World (wide web) of interiors

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From flash sales to high-end boutiques, Britain's online design shops
are booming. Trish Lorenz favourites her top bookmarks in time for
Christmas

The homes-and-garden market is estimated to be worth £20bn annually in the UK alone but it has traditionally been a laggard in online retailing, far behind innovative sectors such as travel and fashion.

But there are signals that the sector is beginning to make up lost ground on the web. Wayfair (wayfair.co.uk) said this week that its UK division has seen 100 per cent year-on-year growth. And Achica (achica.com), the homewares flash-sale site, announced this month that it has surpassed one million UK members.

If you're on the hunt for interiors bargains, the growth of homewares sites on the internet is good news. Achica offers discounts of up to 70 per cent, with 15 new promotions a day on average across 10 categories. Keep an eye out for cashmere throws by Joshua Ellis with up 50 per cent off (on sale 29 November) and contemporary furniture by Interstil and Kare with up to 50 per cent off (both on sale today).

Discover Deliver (discover-deliver.com) is another site worth adding to your toolbar. If you've seen a piece of furniture you love, this is the place to find out who designed it, where to buy it and how to get it home.

If you're looking for a specific product, be that a sofa (sofas.com), curtains (naturalcurtaincompany.co.uk) or bed (loaf.com), you can find a wide range online, usually at competitive prices. The web is also a great place to discover the work of young and specialist designers. Try sites such as the Shop Floor Project (theshopfloorproject.com) for a well-curated selection.

The internet is the natural home for vintage and antique pieces with sites such as Fears and Kahn (fearsandkahn.co.uk), H Is for Home (hisforhome.com) and SkinFlint Design (skinflintdesign.co.uk); all are worth a look.

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