Arts and Entertainment

You may also worry you're not conversant enough in current design lingo to get much out of new BBC2 series The Great Interior Design Challenge. Fear not. The only vocab you needed to enjoy last night's episode was "upcycle". It's a verb meaning "to take a perfectly decent piece of furniture and ruin it by the addition of some old tat you bought at a car boot sale".

On the tiles: Makarbas suite

B&B and Beyond: Riad Idrissy, Fez

Two London entrepreneurs have restored a riad as a base to explore this imperial Morrocan city. Sarah Gilbert soaks it up

The Business Matrix: Thursday 13 December 2012

Puma chief quits after slowdown

<p>{1} Fizz Foam Fold Out</p>
<p>With its deep, plump pillows and jet-black cover, you'd never guess that the Fizz Foam Fold out costs less than £200. Even less so, when you see it fold out, which it does with unusual ease, and turn into a comfy occasional bed.</p>
<p>£179.99, argos.co.uk</p>

The 10 Best sofa beds

Got the relatives coming to stay this Christmas? Put them up in style with one of these stylish (and comfy) couches

Henry Cockburn: I was trying to listen to my shoes. I thought I was going to be put in a straitjacket

'I was completely introverted. I felt there was no one I could trust to tell them what was going on in my head'

Amour, Michael Haneke's new film

IoS film review: Amour

An unflinching drama tackles the cinematic taboos of old age and degeneration

The Big Six: Caribbean hideaways

From La Banane's secluded bungalows to a 400-year-old country estate that was once the home of Perry Henzell, director of the first Jamaican feature film, The Harder They Come...

Ipads and other gadgets boost sales at John Lewis in Christmas run up

Ipads and other electronics have helped department store chain John Lewis start its run up to Christmas with festive cheer.

1. Top drawer: Try Fears and Kahn for glam vintage furniture such as this Etienne chest of drawers, £850, fearsandkahn.co.uk.

World (wide web) of interiors

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 Big Six: Modern Viennese hotels

Hotel Lamée, Innere Stadt

Guys! Women don't have a monopoly on work-life balance, you know

A few months ago, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a cover story for the Atlantic - "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" - that caused a major rumpus. Mostly, it seemed at the time, because she stated the obvious in an elegant way. Now she has returned to the issue for the Atlantic - sort of. This time she's looking at men. But mostly she's soliciting views on whether men feel they are afflicted by the same struggles.

Withholding food and drink from terminally ill patients has 'transformed' end of life care

The controversial method of withholding food and drink from terminally ill patients so they die quicker has “transformed” end of life care, according to an article in a leading medical journal.

Boy 'thought he was right' to shoot neo-Nazi father

A ten-year-old boy who used a snub-nosed revolver to shoot his neo-Nazi father in the head "thought that what he was doing was right," and therefore "cannot be held responsible" for the crime of murder, his attorneys have claimed.

'You've brought shame on us all:' Angry family members target Jimmy Savile's great-niece on Facebook after she speaks out about the star molesting her

Revelations came the same day as Jimmy Savile’s Scottish holiday home is attacked by vandals

Room at the top for old V&A furniture

You may feel like you are window-shopping at Harrods or the Burlington Arcade when you step inside the slick new furniture gallery at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, which opens in December.

United Carpets warns of closures

United Carpets today became the latest high street casualty as it warned of “significant” store closures after its main trading arm collapsed into administration.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
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The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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Marian Keyes

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Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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Rodgers fights for his reputation

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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