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The write stuff

The digital age was meant to put an end to paper, but a new Ikea  boutique shows that we can’t get enough of it, writes Kate Burt

Ikea contributes to World Refugee Day with flat-pack fix for

It’s been a rocky month for Ikea. The flat-packer’s flat-packer-in-chief – founder Ingvar Kamprad – left the company at the beginning of the month, a few days after British customers had been complaining in their droves (well, 50) about the firm’s spooky gnome advert.

No more flat pack? Ikea furniture now comes ready-built, but there's a

Bagging yourself a sofa, table, storage unit, rug, chair and cushion for £12 might sound like a steal even by Ikea’s standards, but there is a catch: you’d have to share measurements with the Lilliputians if you wanted to kick back and relax on this particular living room furniture.

Don’t like the taste of Swedes? Well neither does Volvo's new

Are Volvos too Swedish? They are, according to Li Shufu, head of the Chinese firm that bought the car manufacturer in 2010. He told a TV interview that the interiors “feel too Scandinavian”, and the management’s a bit Swedish, too, whatever that means. Volvo’s PR team has swung into action to insist Mr Shufu’s comments got lost in translation, but maybe he’s onto something. Here, Trending presents a handy guide to what is and isn’t  “too Scandinavian”.

The 10 Best desk lamps

Throw some light on whatever you're working on with a classic, quirky or even a canine design

Ikea furniture: Are Billy, Sofia and friends really sexist?

It’s incredible what you can get at Ikea these days: those mugs with the too-small handles; fairy lights; beds; meatballs; a bit of casual sexism. If you were to have a flick through the Swedish flat-pack company’s substantial catalogue, paying attention to the names it gives its products, among the many Nordic place names it uses for things such as mirrors and bedside tables, it seems to have a distinctly gendered naming process.

The 10 best rugs

Need to feel warm in this freezing weather or want a splash of colour in your home? Then invest in a bright or cosy floor covering

More headlines

The Insider: Displaying old family photographs

Digital may dominate these days, but most of us have dog-eared collections of old-school family photos. For years I had mine patched together in a giant picture frame; it looked awful, as well as not doing the individual images justice. I binned the frame, but now what?

Rays of hope

There's no point looking back – the incandescent bulb is dead. Trish Lorenz tracks down the LED lights to get the mood just right this autumn