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The Independent Online

Loving... stackable chairs

The thought of stackable chairs might remind some people of unforgiving, ugly school seats. But designers are trying to dispel this uncomfortable association and encourage consumers to embrace variations of these much-maligned chairs. Habitat has a range in red and green for £139, while Norman Foster has designed an aluminium collection, available from the Conran Shop, for £340 each. However, this set (pictured) by Konstantin Grcic, which can be purchased from www.twentytwentyone.com , is by far the most interesting and aesthetically pleasing of the bunch. If you don’t fancy splashing out, Ikea has a more simple design for £25.

Hating... decorating

An easy and affordable alternative to the time-consuming task of wallpapering or painting walls is to hang a big and beautiful canvas print, which also come in the form of blinds or murals. Surface View works in conjunction with a variety of companies and galleries – the V&A, the National Gallery and the comic-book publishers Marvel, to name a few – so has more than 1,000 designs to choose from. It also produces enlargements of personal images in any size, crop or colour for £75 per square metre.

Buying... designer lights

Among the more extravagant items unveiled at last month’s trade shows in Cologne and Paris were the designer Philippe Nigro’s ‘Confluences’: three seats of varying sizes that conjoin in a jigsaw-style pattern to form a single sofa. Innovative and original they may be, cheap they are not: two seats cost £1,939. There were items on display, however, that won’t cause a tsunami-sized surge of guilt each time you catch sight of them. These Stealth pendant lamps by Antonio Arevalo are £93 each. Made from a single, folded sheet of Perspex, they are designed to clip on to any standard light fitting. They are also available in white Perspex from www.bouf.com .