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The Independent Online

Loving... After striding confidently down the catwalk and back in to many a designer boutique this season, the resurgent Scotch cloth has also returned to the realm of homes and interiors. The Louise collection by Louis de Poortere would make a welcome addition to any neutral living room (with more eclectic colour schemes, tartan and check can be overwhelming). Simple tartans also make excellent material for sofas, cushions and even curtains – check out osborneandlittle.com. If that's a little brash for your taste, experiment with a tartan throw – warm in winter, something to sit on during picnics in summer – or some tartan bed linen.

Hating... The chain's fall from grace has been remarkable, its drop in profits – a staggering 97 per cent – as dramatic as the decline of the Bank of England's base rate. Understandable, really, when you consider that the price of one of their coffees is the same as a small alcoholic beverage in most pubs. It appears that when people are watching the pennies, or in this case their pounds (a small latte at Starbucks costs around £2.20) the luxury of a shop-bought morning coffee is one of the first things to go. But it would be a shame to be deprived of one of life's daily pleasures, so before you drastically resort to the Nescafé, consider the purchase of an espresso machine. They might seem expensive at first – the Espressivo from Dualit costs £149, for example – but if you're having two Starbucks coffees a day you're spending close to £5, meaning that your machine will pay for itself within a month.

Buying... Last year these trendy Pantone mugs won the Gift of the Year Award from the GA, the trade association for the UK gift and home industry, and were runners-up in the 'Elle' Decoration Award. The American company Pantone, who produce colour-matching charts for printing and paints, has given special licensing to a company called W2 to produce a range of products inspired by their charts; these even include the colour reference code, in case you want to match your china with your décor. The original set of 20 coloured mugs, at £8 apiece, has been expanded to incorporate some stylish espresso cups with saucers, as well as a range of bags, wallets and travel accessories. These mugs could soon be collector's items, but don't let that stop you from using them to impress your guests now. ( www.w2products.com )

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