The Insider: Last-minute gift inspiration
Sunday 16 December 2012
You don't need to spend a fortune on a present from a glossy design store to satisfy your interiors-mad friends…
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, helpyourshelf.co.uk has a magnetic kissing couple (above) for £13. I also love the tiny vases, £12.50, at shanvalla.co.uk.
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 very small kids, trawl babystylefile.blogspot.co.uk: excellent indexing, everything's beautiful and there are discount codes. For bigger nippers, it's all about gallery shops: shop.southbankcentre.co.uk, vandashop.com and saatchistore.com.
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.
An ornamental letter is a design staple. Etsy.com 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, do-shop.com sells "Metalvetica" letters for font nerds. Cheaper still, nordicelements.com 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 themodernhouse.net for wow-factor holiday lets.
Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.com
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Negotiable: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are currently recru...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN English Teacher required to sta...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education has been asked e...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: English Teacher needed for a Januar...