Property
 

The quickest way to update your home is to add concrete to the mix, and from lamps to flooring, the high street has it covered. By Trish Lorenz

What Everyone Wants sounds third warning

What Everyone Wants, the discount retailer dubbed "What Nobody Wants" by its critics, issued its third profits warning in as many months yesterday, forcing the shares to an all-time low.

Storehouse owns up to its mistakes

The Investment Column

Storehouse to open more BhS branches

Storehouse, the BhS and Mothercare retailer, is to create 1,000 jobs this year as it undertakes a pounds 120m investment programme in its stores. It will open six or seven new branches of BhS as it moves to increase the number of outlets from 141 to 200. A further four branches of Mothercare will also open.

Laura Ashley boss earns pounds 1m

Ann Iverson, the chief executive of fashion and home furnishings group Laura Ashley, picked up a pounds 525,000 bonus last year which took her total pay to more than pounds 1m.

Is it worth it?: D&G go OTT, frankly

Something makes this bag cost pounds 495. But what is it?

Food of love carries health warning

Amorous couples have been warned to be vigilant after fears that an adult range of chocolate and fruit body paints may be contaminated with nuts. British Home Stores told customers a mistake may have occurred during production of its Dutch-made slap-it-all-over-lick-it-off Chocoholics range.

Not easily scarred

Almost exactly five years ago Merlyn Nuttall was dragged off the street in broad daylight, sexually assaulted and almost killed. Emma Daly listens to her inspirational story of physical and mental recovery

Six of the best home improvements

You don't have to go mad on decorating, or even buy works of art, to change the feel of a room - just add a touch here and there. Accessories such as rugs and lampshades can make all the difference. The key is not to spend a fortune, and to improvise. Maybe use old maps as wallpaper, or make the most of half-used tins of paint by painting stripes on odd walls. We've come up with six suggestions, one for each room of your house, to make an immediate difference.

Obituary: Barry Prothero

Barry Prothero was a committed fighter for gay liberation and an innovative curator, who helped set up and direct the Angel Row Gallery for Nottinghamshire County Council.

City Talk: Beware British Energy burnout

Yet another privatised utility has resembled the flight path of a Harrier jump jet in its share price performance. British Energy (now at 152p) has outperformed the market by 16 per cent over the last three months. Quite why this should be so, however, is something of a mystery: its interim results showed a pre-tax loss of pounds 53m. A cost-cutting initiative will help margins, but the dividend is unlikely to grow at more than 5 per cent a year. With high nuclear liabilities, just little things going wrong can have a big impact on the bottom line. Take profits.

Revamped Storehouse good value

The Investment Column

Ready to wear: Wedding bella

If you ever get invited to an Italian wedding, do go. They are an excellent source of entertainment, because (as with all nationalities, I guess) there is always one cousin who has gone all-out with the totally ostentatious dress or suit. There is another great tradition in Italy, giving bomboniere to mark a wedding, a landmark birthday, first communion or christening. These are sugared almonds wrapped in veils attached to a little "present" - a dust- gathering ornament or small silver picture frame for example, which although diminutive in size, costs a lot. Bomboniere are a huge industry and special cabinets are constructed to hold these hideous little things (you can't throw them away in case the person who gave them to you comes to visit) and the choosing of a bomboniera better than anyone else's, is almost as important as the choice of bridal gown. But at an Italian wedding, everybody always has a good time, the food is superb (no mandarins in syrup) and the vino flows. By the end of the day, through the rosy glow of red wine, even cousin Maria's hideous dress looks good. Thank you to Elena and Vincenzo, who allowed our photographer to take pictures at their wedding, where, sadly for us, there were no fashion disasters.

OF MACHINES AND; DESIGNER DREAMS

In the world of business the role of design has too often been forced to take a back seat, says Sir Terence Conran in his new book. Here, in our second essay taken from Terence Conran on Design, he guides us through some off the changes in the workplace - from the look of our offices to the increasing importance of corporate indentities - and argues that new technology could remove forever the distinction between home and work

Six of the best hats and scarves

1 Ski-tie hat, Lucy Barlow pounds 28 and M&S scarf, pounds 12. Look cooler than a snow-boarder in Lucy Barlow's ski-tie hat with "Snow" Logo. Made from ultra fashionable boucle wool it comes in ink blue, black, cream and brown. Marks & Spencer have a great range of winter warmers. This soft boucle scarf comes in charcoal and grey. Lucy Barlow, 0181-968 5333; M&S 0171-935 4422

Bazaar: Mad thing

Let Rip Fun Pot, pounds 3.00
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
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Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
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peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal