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Interiors porn: 18 best unusual Christmas gifts for the home

From blingy skulls to brain-themed bookends, we round up some of the most interesting homeware to give this Christmas

Open door, not open plan

A growing family needs space, but privacy can save your sanity. One architect couple on a tight budget achieved both

The 10 Best children's beds

Make bedtime less of a battle with our pick of the best beds your little ones will be desperate to settle down in for lights out

A black and white issue: square print cardigan £65; jumper, £60; square print trousers £65, all by Laura Ashley

iStyle: Laura Ashley goes back to the future

At 60, Laura Ashley delves into its archives to uncover a little-seen side, writes Alexander Fury

Topman design AW13

Designer Hike Wear: Take a hike

Fashion followers have been supplanted into the wilds this season, as a host of designers head outward bound, says Rebecca Gonsalves

A woman's touch: How fashion designer Emma Cook recreates her feminine look at home

What do you do when she wants girly flourishes and dinky trinkets and he wants minimalist lines with bold graphic details? Easy, says fashion designer Emma Cook: you wait till he forgets

iStyle: Pop Art inspiration from the Barbican

The brash, colourful movement signalled a radical departure

Jacket £39; skirt £28; hat £35; boots £45; all by Dorothy Perkins,

iStyle: A very berry affair

Shades of maroon and oxblood provide an instant update for both your wardrobe and make-up bag this season, says Emma Akbareian

Virgule Tartan, £485, exclusive to Selfridges

Roger Vivier: In the footsteps of greatness

Roger Vivier’s signature comma-shaped heel is being given a new lease of life, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Layer sheepskins across your rocking chair for a luxurious feel. You can fake exposed walls with faux concrete and wood coverings, £40/sq metre, from" width="140" height="186" onclick="location.href='';" class="" />

iStyle: Give your home a cosy overhaul

Keep yourself warm and snug in the long winter months

The king of cool: Contemporary art has found a home at Raimund Berthold's Thames-side flat

Either the Warhols or the radiators had to go – fashion designer and contemporary-art collector Raimund Berthold never had an easier decision to make, says Holly Williams

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen is one of the 22 artists shortlisted for Award, the £10,000 prize associated with the British Ceramics Biennial. Photo:

iStyle: Smashing crockery: The home of British pottery is hosting a gathering of 150 of the world’s most original ceramic artists and designers.

The third British Ceramics Biennial opens in Stoke-on- Trent this week, with a series of exhibitions, installations and events featuring the work of more than 150 artists and designers.

Freja fever: shorts £182 available from Harrods and department stores nationwide, 0207 580 8644

iStyle: Model behaviour - Freja Beha Erichsen dons denim for charity

Freja Beha Erichsen has collaborated with Mother denim in aid of charity, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Somerset by Alice Temperley

Alice Temperlay Lingerie - Bedtime stories

Alice Temperley’s debut for John Lewis broke sales records, a year on, will her first lingerie line be another dream come true? By Rebecca Gonsalves

Wall or nothing: Patricia Anne wallpaper, £49/roll,

iStyle: We’re on a roll - Liberty follows the trend as wallpaper range launches

Liberty has launched a wallpaper range – but its prints aren’t the only tempting ones. By Trish Lorenz

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk