The Insider: Last-minute gift inspiration


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The Independent Online

You don't need to spend a fortune on a present from a glossy design store to satisfy your interiors-mad friends…

For collectors

Miniatures are charming but cheap(er). I cherish an antique metal toy horse I was given, while a friend last year sent party guests home with little porcelain birds (officially tree decorations). For romantics, has a magnetic kissing couple (above) for £13. I also love the tiny vases, £12.50, at

For bare-walled buddies

A single plate can be pretty, but seem mean. But add a wall hanger (Amazon) and you've just gifted some art.

For children

For very small kids, trawl excellent indexing, everything's beautiful and there are discount codes. For bigger nippers, it's all about gallery shops:, and

For window shoppers or compulsive redecorators

An interiors magazine subscription is a winner. Or a decorating bible for new home-makers: Holly Becker, Grace Bonney and Conran are all safe bets.

For anyone

An ornamental letter is a design staple. is packed with unusual old ones for next to nada (especially if you include UK-delivering US shops). Search for "letters" in "vintage". Or, for £29, sells "Metalvetica" letters for font nerds. Cheaper still, does Arne Jacobsen letter mugs for £12.50.

The 'big' present

If your loved one could do with a break, treat the both of you to an interiors-minded retreat in a stylish holiday cottage. Design brands Papa Stour and Pedlars rent out holiday homes, or try for wow-factor holiday lets.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at