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Time to bag a bargain

Fancy upgrading your interiors? Brave the cold – and the other shoppers – and you could find your dream sale item. Trish Lorenz explains how

The January sales are about to begin (even though some shops jumped the gun are started discounting before Santa had turned up) and this year promises to see more competitive pricing than ever as retailers attempt to woo consumers, many of whom are still feeling the effects of the recession. The economic climate also means that designer products and top-end brands, which in the past would not have been included in the sale, are now being reduced in price.

"Before the economic downturn it was rare to find high-end furniture brands in the sale but now you can pick up a design classic at a discounted price," says John Lewis living and dining buyer David Barrett. "My tip is to pick carefully and trade up to a piece that will stand the test of time."

Sales are a great time to buy quality pieces. As prices come down you can afford to buy more expensive versions such as designer-name furniture. Look for brands you know and like and search websites before you head out so you know what you're looking for. If you know what you need, you're less likely be sidetracked.

Before you set off, measure your space and take colour swatches for accurate matching. For bigger items such as sofas, think about access, too.


The hottest homewares sales:

Chesney's – save up to 45 per cent on fireplaces, chesneys.co.uk

Liberty – save up to 60 per cent on the London retailer's prestige pieces, liberty.co.uk

Plumo – homewares with a a fashion touch and travellers vibe have up to 50 per cent off, plumo.com

Roger Oates – stair runners, rugs and fabrics with up to 50 per cent off. Starts 10 January, rogeroates.com

SCP – save up to 60 per cent on contemporary designer furniture. Starts 29 December, scp.co.uk

TwentyTwentyOne – stylish homewares with up to 75 per cent off. Starts 5 January, twentytwentyone.com