Author Archives: Madison

The Best Compact Two-seater Sofas

Any search for a loveseat nowadays is likely to be less than fruitful – rather than the traditional S-shaped set-up, where couples faced one another, you are likely to find a compact sofa. Not that we’re complaining – we love a two-seater! In this spirit, we’ve picked out our five favourite cosy compact sofas – whether you call them a ‘cuddler’ or a ‘snuggle chair’ (we’re looking at you,!) you’ll find they all serve the same purpose of positioning you next to your beloved!

Doodler Snuggler by Loaf at John Lewis, Clever Velvet Belize

Doodler Snuggler in Clever Velvet Belize – £1,199 by Loaf at John Lewis

We forgot to mention the ‘snuggler’ – another word for a cosy seating arrangement! John Lewis’s doodler sofa has plump cushions filled with feathers, rounded arms and relaxed pleats. It’s available in a wide range of shades, but we’ve opted for the Clever Velvet Belize. We appreciate velvet as much as the next person, but we’re not sure it’ll solve your Sudoku puzzles for you. With weathered oak feet, a solid timber frame and a ten-year guarantee, who cares?

Scarpa Fabric Cuddle Chair

Scarpa Fabric Cuddle Chair – £449 (was £549),

Very’s opulent loveseat (sorry! ‘Cuddle chair’!) has been covered in a crushed velvet-style fabric with a mottled surface that looks amazing when the light hits it. It has removable, fibre-topped seats with foam filled cushions. The sofa’s back cushions are reversible – so it’s every bit as practical as it is stylish – and the sofa itself has scrolled arms and solid timber bun feet finished in glossy black. Two contrasting scatter cushions complete the look.

Chester Red Textured Compact Sofa with Oak Stained Feet

Chester Red Textured Compact Sofa with Oak Stained Feet – £895, Habitat

Habitat’s Chester compact sofa is also available in an extensive range of colours and fabrics – everything from wool to leather and tweed, in every shade from yellow to charcoal. Designed by Matthre Hilron for Habitat, the fully-upholstered sofa has a durable and removable cover as well as a streamlined profile, and fibre seat cushion. The legs are available in an oak stained finish, as well as in the dark stained version pictured here.

Zurich 2 Seater Loveseat Sofa by Langley Street

Zurich 2 Seater Loveseat Sofa – £629.99 (was £971.99), Langley Street

We love the striking retro styling of this Zurich loveseat sofa from Langley Street. It has a shell-like back and a slim profile, with rounded shoulders as well as a lined backrest. The epitome of modern retro style, it has eco-friendly rubberwood legs that elegantly angle outwards from the base of the sofa. It’s been reduced substantially from its original price tag, with over £300 off, so there’s never been a better time to buy this beauty!

Ariana 2 Seat Sofa in Ochre Velvet

Ariana 2 Seat Sofa, Ochre Velvet – £699,

Finally, we present yet another quality sofa from the skilled team at Made. com. The Ariana sofa has deep and plump seat cushions that are filled with a soft padding – perfect to relax into. The design itself oozes class, with turned wooden legs and a dimpled, upholstered back. It’s also available in Chic Grey, Graphite Grey and Sapphire Velvet (as well as in a three-seater version or in a matching armchair).

Five of the Best: Christmas Tree Toppers

If your traditional tree-topper is looking a bit worse for wear, then why not replace it this year with a spangly new one? We’re no longer restricted to simple stars or angels, but they remain – overwhelmingly – the most popular designs. Here are our five favourite Christmas tree toppers, each of them certain to brighten up your festive centrepiece – and all available from an online retailer near you.

John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Pinnacle Tree Topper in Red

Tales of the Maharaja Pinnacle Tree Topper in Red – £15, John Lewis

We start off with something slightly different – part of a rich range inspired by classical Indian dance (we’re especially fond of the lion and leopard’s heads baubles!), the John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Christmas tree topper is made from glass with a shiny red finish and has been finished with an ornate glittering gold pattern and a generous amount of diamantes. It’s 33cm high and 8cm in diameter.

Linea Light Up Wooden Tree Topper

Light Up Wooden Tree Topper – £20, Linea

An unusual design, now, that manages to be both rustic and sparkling: ,Linea’s Christmas tree star is made from thin and randomly-sized strips of wood shaped into a three-dimensional star shape. The design has been painted with silver glitter detailing and is affixed to a spring-like wire base that will grip to your tree without fuss. Its soft LED lights add to the magic and are powered by two AA batteries.

Gisela Graham Glitter Fairy Tree Topper

Glitter Fairy Tree Topper – £14.99, Gisela Graham

Already a bestseller, the fairy tree topper from Gisela Graham will add traditional charm to your tree. This beautiful angel is 28cm high and wears a shimmering white dress with a full skirt and a frost-like finish that perfectly matches her glistening wings…and she carries a snowflake-shaped wand in her left hand. She’s made from resin and will add a real touch of magic to your Christmas decor.

Swarovski Christmas Tree Topper Figurine

Christmas Tree Topper Figurine – £99, Swarovski

If only the best will do then you might want to check out this rather astonishing Christmas tree topper from Swarovski, no less! The tapered, curvy, conical-type design is made from clear crystal glass and has been decorated with smaller, glittering crystals at its widest points. At over 27cm high, it’s 7.3cm in diameter and is a real statement – though at just short of a hundred quid, it doesn’t come cheap!

M&S Jewel Snowflake Tree Topper

Jewel Snowflake Tree Topper – £12.50, M&S

We finish with a simple design that’s as stylish and timeless as you’d expect from the High Street favourite: M&S’s jewel Christmas tree topper, which is a boutique-style piece formed in the shape of a snowflake. At a petite 8.5cm high and 6cm wide, it is made from a gold-toned metal studded with plastic gems and will happily sit atop your tree for very many Christmases to come!

Five of the Best: Glass Ornaments

There’s no need to limit glassware to the kitchen – glass ornaments can add a real touch of style to your mantelpiece or at the centre of a table. They also reflect the light, adding atmosphere and sparkle to your home. We’ve sought out our five favourite currently-available glass ornaments for your perusal:

Basil Bird Cherry White Glass Ornament in Teal – £23, Svaja

Svaja has become a huge name in glass sculpture and it’s not hard to see why – the petite (6cm high and 11cm wide) Basil Bird has been handmade by Lithuanian glass artists in Lithuania and it features a striking colour combination of teal, turquoise and red. It’s also available in other hues, such as blue and green or amber and cherry red, if you love the shape but would like the sculpture in different shades.

Giftology Seahorse Collectable by Waterford

Giftology Seahorse Collectable – £70, Waterford

It’s such a fascinating creature (famously, the male of the species incubates the female’s eggs and gives birth) and striking too – so we’re surprised that the seahorse isn’t captured in sculptural form more often. Luckily, Waterford are here to put the situation right with their crystal seahorse ornament which is 18.4cm high and comes in a beautiful cylindrical gift box – the perfect present for someone special.

Pomme Blue Smoked Glass Statuette by Maisons du Monde

Pomme Blue Smoked Glass Statuette – £7.15, Maisons du Monde

Why not tell someone they’re the apple of your eye and give them the gift of this lovely, minimalistic Pomme Blue statuette from Maisons du Monde? The diminutive apple-shaped piece is 16cm high and 15cm wide and is transparent but made from smoked glass with a blue tinge to it. The perfect piece to liven up any living area and provide decoration without being overtly fussy.

Reef Blown Glass Fish Figurine by Now's Home

Reef Blown Glass Fish Figurine – £162.99, Now’s Home

10cm high and an impressive 42cm wide (as well as 24cm across), this blown glass dolphin or fish figurine from Now’s Home stands on a sturdy rectangular base, making it easy to display anywhere in your home. This pleasingly heavy (over 4kg) piece is shot through with a blue tinge and stronger black lines at the sides and will bring a welcome and tasteful touch of marine life into your home’s interior.

Swarovski Alice in Wonderland Figurine

Alice in Wonderland Figurine – £119, Swavrovski

Perfect for a child’s bedroom (though maybe lock it in a display cabinet for safety!) this gorgeous Alice in Wonderland figurine by Swarovski is inspired by the lead character in Disney’s famous film (which of course was itself inspired by our own Lewis Carroll’s classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This charming figurine is made from transparent crystal, apart from her famous dress which is a cobalt blue colour.

Five Modern Pendulum Clocks

We know…you’ve been using your phone to keep time with. Somehow, though – it’s not quite the same as a grand statement clock, certainly not if you fancy a bit of striking wall furniture. For that reason, we’ve had a look around our favourite online retailers to find these, our five favourite currently-available modern pendulum clocks.

Bard Copper Pendulum Clock – £39,

In super-trendy copper,’s Bard is a statement pendulum clock – a generous 41cm high (and 21cm wide) – which can be mounted on your wall or displayed as a freestanding piece. Its shiny, number-free copper face is appended by simple black hands and a minimalistic copper pendulum suspends from it. A curved frame surrounds the timeless but contemporary piece, giving it a nice retro feel.

Jazz 34cm Wall Clock by Nomon

Jazz Wall Clock – £329.99 (was £419.99), Nomon

The Jazz wall clock is made from sustainably-forested natural alder wood that’s been treated using handcrafting processes. Two silvertone hands – in the style of double prongs – sit at the centre of its circular face, and a stick-like pendulum moves beneath it in a quiet and relaxing fashion. This fine battery-powered timepiece is currently available with £90 off its original price, so there’s never been a better time to invest in this quality clock.

London Clock Company Glass Pendulum Wall Clock

Glass Pendulum Wall Clock – £80, London Clock Company

If you’re furnishing a modern interior, you could do worse than consider the London Clock Company’s wall clock, which has a marker dial in brushed chrome on its long glass body and is supported at the back by chrome brackets that span its length. Slim, quiet and super-stylish, the 63cm-high (and 21.5cm wide) timepiece has a long, rod-like pendulum and is powered by a solitary AA battery.

Acctim Bromsgrove Pendulum Clock in Oak
Bromsgrove Pendulum Clock in Oak – £59, Acctim

A perfect combination of traditional materials and modern design, Acctim’s Bromsgrove clock has a quartz movement and is powered by a single AA battery. Its white face, with black hands, is bordered by a spun metal bezel and sits on an asymmetrical oak and mirrored backdrop. A simple stick-like pendulum beats time beneath the face of this 18.5cm-high timepiece.

Miu Yellow Patterned Cuckoo Wall Clock

Yellow Patterned Cuckoo Wall Clock – £30, Miu

Exclusive to Habitat, Miu’s pendulum wall clock takes a simple shape and decorates it with a colourful yellow and grey vintage pattern. The long pendulum of the quirky 49.5cm-high timepiece is decorated in a monochrome checked pattern and the hands are an acid orange. In a circular cut-out at the top, you’ll find a perching (albeit stationary) red cuckoo. Perfect to add a bit of character to even the most staid backdrop!

Five Fabulous Statement Wall Mirrors

A mirror can really have a transformative effect on the room – as well as making your living space look twice as big, it can add brightness and, if you choose a statement wall mirror then they can add a real focal point to your environment. Join us as we choose our five currently-available favourites.

Christine Mirror by Fiam Italia

Christine Mirror – £259.99, Fiam Italia

At a fairly gigantic 195 wide by 100cm high, you might need a large room to accommodate the spectacular Christine Mirror by Fiam Italia, but if you have a grand and airy room then it will be a stunning talking point! Fiam Italia specialise in creating furniture made from applying industrial processes and craftsmanship to curved glass, and the traces of heat forging on this piece guarantee that each piece is unique.

Lorentz Metal Wall Mirror Rose Gold

Lorentz Metal Wall Mirror Rose Gold – £446 (was £480), Deco Home

Comprising a large (90cm in diameter) circular centre with ten rods of metal on either side like the pipes of a church organ, the Lorentz wall mirror wall is part of an equally unusual range that includes dining, end and console tables as well as an entertainment unit. Each item is also available in a chrome colour as well as in this warm rose gold. It’s currently available at £34 so buy it now for a sweet discount.

Notre Monde Metal Frame Rectangular M Wall Mirror

Metal Frame Rectangular M Wall Mirror – £595, Notre Monde

Taking the art of Dutch abstract painter Mondrian as its inspiration, the M wall mirror from Notre Monde uses three colours of glass – bronze, clear and charcoal – and arranges them in the style of one of his familiar grid paintings. It has hangers on each corner, so you can display it whichever way up you prefer. It’s a metre square, so it’s big enough to make a real impact in any room.

Yearn Chain Wall Mirror in Silver

Chain Wall Mirror in Silver – £199, Yearn Mirrors

An impressive 134cm wide and 83cm high, this contemporary wall mirror by Yearn is more than large enough for you to touch your make-up in! The large rectangular centre is edged in a rather generously-sized ‘chain link’ design which has bevelled edges (it’s 6cm deep so it has a real chunky feel to it). A 102cm-in-diameter circular version (which employs the same technique to great effect) is also available.

Gallery Specter Wall Mirror

Specter Wall Mirror – £179.99, Gallery

Gallery’s Specter wall mirror consists of a large rectangular mirror at the centre of a bold geometric metal design. The copper-coloured frame is made up of multiple copper-effect criss-crossing rods, which are bent at angles to one another. The edges of this piece of art extend to 119cm high and 94cm wide, so make sure you’ve cleared plenty of wall space if you want to invest in this beauty!

Five Stunning Cloche Shaped Table Lamps

The word ‘cloche’ might make you think of a 1920s-inspired piece of headwear, or a useful piece of glass used to protect plants. It’s the distinctive shape we’re focussing on today, though – more specifically, how designers have used it to produce really stylish pieces of lighting. Join us as we present our five favourite cloche-shaped table lamps, each of them currently available from respected online retailers.

Blythe Mercury Cloche Table Lamp

Blythe Mercury Cloche Table Lamp – £89, M&S

We start with M&S’s cloche-shaped table light will fit in well with any style of interior decor, and is made from mercury (otherwise known as silvered) glass: that is, glass blown to form a double wall, which then has had silvering applied within the layers. In this case, the silvering has been applied in a sort of mottled or marbled pattern, which enables the light to emerge atmospherically from the gaps. The lamp sits on a whitewashed wooden base.Harper Glass Cloche Table Lamp

Harper Glass Cloche Table Lamp – £45, Matalan

The simple design of Matalan’s cloche table lamp has an almost industrial edge. Its curved shade is made from clear glass and sits atop a shiny chrome base unit to which a simple bulb-holding chrome fitting has been applied. At 23cm high and 14cm wide, this minimalistic piece of lighting packs a lot of design punch for its diminutive size and will fit in well with your home no matter what its style.

Silver Cloche Lamp with LED Fairy Lights by 5th Avenue Trend

Silver Cloche Lamp with LED Fairy Lights – £23.99, 5th Avenue Trend

5th Avenue Trend’s cloche lamp consists of a domed lid on top of a metal base, inside which you’ll find a string of white LED fairy lights. Suitable for indoor use only, this charming piece is operated by three AAA batteries and will add a lovely atmospheric feel to your room, especially as the nights draw in and winter approaches. It’s 27cm high and 11cm wide so it wont be too obtrusive as it does so!V&A and John Lewis Paxton Cloche Table Lamp

Paxton Cloche Table Lamp – £135, V&A and John Lewis

If you like your home accessories to have a bit of history and design pedigree attached to them, this Paxton cloche table lamp from John Lewis might be of interest to you. Inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, this stunning lamp is named after Sir Joseph Paxton, who designed the Crystal Palace in 1851 – and it draws many of its design details from that structure. Its mirrored smoked glass dome sits on top of a wooden base.

Stylish Glass Cloche 37cm Table Lamp Base by First Choice Lighting

Stylish Glass Cloche Table Lamp Base – £21.99, First Choice Lighting

Our final choice is something slightly different – the light emitting part of this cloche table lamp base is above the dome, rather than within it! What’s really special about this piece, though, is that the glass dome actually lifts from its polished chrome base, meaning you can display things within it – such as dried flowers, photo frames or even books – the choice is yours! Finish this one off with your favourite lampshade.

Light up Your Life: Indoor Lanterns

Electric lighting is all very well, but rarely can it create the same sort of atmosphere as a simple candle in a lantern. Lanterns have also become popular as people go for more rustic home decor schemes, or in bathrooms where nautical is a popular look. Bearing that in mind, we’ve had a stroll around our favourite online shops and come up with our five favourite indoor lanterns.

Large Fusion Bamboo Globe Lantern

Large Bamboo Globe Lantern – £40 (was £80), Fusion

Looking for a large statement piece for your indoor or outdoor entertainment space? This bamboo lantern could be just the thing for you – its 54cm-high frame will provide your room with a great focal point and, when lit, will emit a warm and soft glow. This giant piece is currently available at half its original price but is selling out fast, so act quickly if you want to get your hands on this one.

2 Piece Lighthouse Lantern Set by Home Etc

Two-piece Lighthouse Lantern Set – £51.99 (was £54.61), Home Etc

Two for the price of one, this time – this sturdy pair of lighthouse lanterns is made from iron, given a lacquered grey finish. Both pieces are quite sizeable – the larger lighthouse is 54cm high and its more diminutive sidekick is 36cm high – and candles can be inserted at the base and the middle ‘viewing’ area as well as in the more traditional top section. They can be displayed either freestanding or hung from the hooks.

Linea Medium Metal Lantern

Medium Metal Lantern – £40, Linea

Exclusively designed for House of Fraser, this decorative lantern is a simple, quality piece that will elevate any interior design scheme thanks to its sleek lines. A shapely glass midsection, in the shape of an inverted bulb, sits on top of a chrome base. On top rests a matching chrome lid, attached to which you’ll find a leather looped handle, meaning that this 34cm-high piece can be hung as well as positioned as a freestanding piece.

ELVA metal lantern in black

Black Elva Metal Lantern – £57.49, Maisons du Monde

A slight departure from the nautical feel of many of our other choices, this Elva metal lantern  has a squared structure with horizontal openwork along its sides and is finished in black, though a white version is also available. Inside, you’ll find a candle-holding glass container. An impressive 61cm high, this lantern can be used both indoors or outside and it has a handle at the top that means you can transport it with ease.

Wilko Rope Lantern

Glass and Rope Lantern – £10, Wilko

We end with a real bargain – every bit as functional and aesthetically pleasing as many more expensive versions, this rustic lantern from Wilko comprises a large glass base encircled by rope. Around the neck of the lantern, the pins of a thick chrome band are attached to a thicker piece of rope that mean you can hang the lantern if you choose. Perfect for brightening up a bathroom, this simple piece can be yours for just a tenner!

Five of the Best: Storage Trunk Sets

If you’re pushed for space, then there’s every chance you’ll need to explore your storage options…but some of them are more stylish than options! Trunks can be a great alternative to a sideboard or cupboard – not only do they look great, they be transported easily and can be slid under the bed or carried to the attic. Having said that, if you’re the happy purchaser of any of the trunks we’re showcasing today, the last thing you’ll want to do is hide them away!

Aluminium and Copper 3 Piece Trunk Set by Homestead Living

Aluminium and Copper Trunk Set – £274.99 (was £500), Homestead Living

Steampunk remains such a big trend, but it’s easier to add it to your wardrobe than to your decor – but this great set of three trunks will help redress the balance! In graduating sizes, each of the three is covered in aluminium-coloured metal that’s been given an aged, soft, almost iridescent sheen. With a ‘patched’, rivetted finish, they are large enough to be used as coffee or bedside tables, as well as looking beautiful at the end of your bed.

Split Willow Set 3 Leather Strap Storage Trunks

Split Willow Leather Strap Storage Trunks – £49.99,

If your decor is more rustic in style then grey storage trunks will fit in beautifully. Crafted from split willow, they are lined with fabric and finished with faux leather storage straps so they can be closed securely. They’re also available in a natural finish, and are part of a range that includes magazine holders, laundry baskets and storage units – so there’s no excuse for letting that clutter accumulate!

John Lewis Water Hyacinth Trunks, Set of 3

Water Hyacinth Trunks – £100, John Lewis

The amount of new materials used in home furniture seems to be multiplying at a bewildering speed: but we won’t complain while the results are as aesthetically pleasing as this set of trunks from John Lewis is made from water hyacinth, a fibrous tissue that is perfect for basket weaving. Each box has a hinged lid and the two smaller trunks fit into the larger one. A grey wicker version is also available if you like the baskets but not the colour.

Brown Vintage Book Trunks (Set of 3)

Brown Vintage Book Trunks – £419 (was £451), Deco Home

Read all about it! Or at least…create a grand, bookish feel to any of the rooms of your home with these three vintage-style trunks, each of which is covered with a book design. The edges of the trunks are finished with a faux leather trim embellished with rivets and there are latches at the sides. The largest of the trunks measures 65cm by 42cm (41cm high) and so there’s plenty of place to store your stuff. Maybe even your books!

Darjeeling Set Of 3 Storage Trunks

Darjeeling Set Of 3 Storage Trunks – £264.99, IPD Furniture

We end with the Darjeeling storage trunks – three beautiful boxes that are handmade from Indian Sheesham wood by skilled craftsmen. Built with huge attention to detail, each piece has true rustic charm and has the quality you’d expect from antique boxes. If you love the look, you’ll find a dining set, coffee table, lamp unit and television unit (though it’ll be hard to pass this off as antique!) in the same range.

Five of the Best: Spice Jar Sets

Move away from the salt and pepper! A bewildering array of spices are available to the consumer nowadays – but this is matched by the wide variety of storage options for them. We’ve come a long way from the days when a faintly rustic-looking wooden rack would house a set of out-of-date stale spices…here, we celebrate by offering our five favourite currently-available spice jar sets.

Cole & Mason Hudson 20 Jar Filled Spice Carousel

Hudson 20-jar Filled Spice Carousel – £65, Cole & Mason

Ah…whether it’s a lazy Susan or an movable utensil set, we do love a rotating piece of kitchenware – so this spice carousel from Cole & Mason makes us very happy. The glass jars are 70ml in size and have polished caps that twist in order that you can precisely shake, pour or seal their contents. The caps are labelled so you can avoid any of those embarrassing cooking errors and there’s a central handle so you can transport the carousel easily.

13 Piece Herb Rack Set by PureDay

13-piece Herb Rack Set – £31.99, PureDay

A sleek and contemporary replacement to the wooden spice racks of yore that we talked of earlier, this set consists of twelve glass herb (or spice) jars, each of which have metal lids that are easy to label. The jars slot neatly into the circular cut-outs in their stainless steel frame, which will fit neatly onto any kitchen wall – this set is a great way to store your herbs and spices if space is at a premium.

Premier Housewares Vintage Home Set of 6 Spice Jars

Vintage Home Set of Six Spice Jars – £16.99, Premier Housewares

Add a bit of shabby chic style to your kitchen with this traditional-looking set of spice jars from Premier Housewares. The cream-coloured ceramic jars are each 10cm high (6cm wide) and are printed to indicate their contents. On reflection, maybe this set is more suitable for the less adventurous (or rather, unpretentious!) chefs amongst us: paprika, basil, oregano, mixed herbs, mixed spices and paprika options are offered.

KILNER 20 Piece Spice Jar Gift Set

20-piece Spice Jar Gift Set – £14.99, Kilner

Since making and preserving – whether it’s herbs, jam or gin – has come back in a big way, jar-creating giant Kilner has been busying itself with providing new ways to store our creations. If you’ve got a friend who likes to ‘reward’ you with their latest concoctions, this 20-piece spice jar set, this could be the perfect gift for them: it contains a wooden crate, six clip-top spice jars, 12 labels and a recipe booklet.

Wilko Spice Rack Set 6 Piece

Six-piece Spice Rack Set – £6, Wilko

Wilko have come up trumps again with an unpretentious but elegant solution at an amazing price. Their stainless steel spice storage rack encloses a sext of six glass jars, each of which has two-part, chrome effect screw top lids that enable you to sprinkle, pour or seal your herbs and spices. At just six pounds, you’ll be able to buy one or two and expand your culinary repertoire with a wider range of herbs and spices!

Smart Screens: The Best Room Dividers

As our cities get larger, space is at a premium and more and more people are sharing smaller and smaller living spaces…so there’s never been a better time for the room divider to make a comeback! A great way to break a room up into two smaller ones and create a bit of privacy when sharing a space, they can actually be stylish pieces of furniture in their own right – as we demonstrate today, by sharing our five favourite currently-available room dividers.

Tom Raffield Gwelsen Screen

Gwelsen Solid Oak Screen – £1,695, Tom Raffield

We start with a stunning handmade designer piece, produced by Tom Raffield in his Cornish woodland workshop. The Gwelsen screen consists of steam-bent, twisted strips of wood which, together, create a complex arrangement of vertical opposing spirals which provides glimpses of the other side of the room. A matt finish is created by a blend of natural oils, and this piece has been created with sustainable materials using ecologically-sound practices.
Arthouse Cottage Garden Room Divider Screen

Cottage Garden Room Divider Screen – £89.99, Arthouse

Add a light, airy and ethereal touch to your living space and bring a bit of the outdoors inside with this Cottage Garden room divider by Arthouse. Butterflies, flowers and foliage cover the four hinged sections of this piece, which can be extended or compressed as you like (to a maximum width of 160cm). It’s part of a series of room dividers by Arthouse, which include prints of exotic birds, ornate patterns and even bare brickwork!

Pearl White Room Divider Bookcase

Pearl White Room Divider Bookcase – £149.99, Danish Pine

If you expect a bit more functionality from your screen, then this white room divider bookcase from Danish Pine might be the one for you. A basic but striking structure with a scratch-resistant Pearl White melamine finish, it provides the perfect space for you to store books or ornaments. If you like the shape but not the colour then it’s also available in Sonama Pine – a wood-effect melamine.

Karalis Room Dividers

Karalis Room Divider – £57 (per panel), B&Q

In the old days, those seeking to divide rooms would just hammer MDF everywhere and hope for the best. Now, a super-stylish semi-permanent room divide can be easily created thanks to this Karalis room divider. It’s supplied in single panels in unfinished (ready-to-paint) condition, each of which has an adjustable height (up to 245cm high) with adjustable feet and four non-slip pads. Simply add more panels to create the perfect living space.

27.2cm x 27.2cm Stixx Room Divider Set by Koziol

Stixx Room Divider Set – £19.99 (was £24.98), Koziol

If you want even more flexibility than long panels provide, Stixx, a modular partition, could be the answer. Designed by Frenchman René Barba to create flexible and airy interior spaces, the system consists of individual modules that are arrange to create a diamond-cut, light-reflecting look. Each pack consists of four pieces and hook connectors to join them all together. It doesn’t create perfect privacy, but would be great in an office space.

Pitcher Perfect: The Best Large Jugs

Despite the absence of any evidence, it is actually still summer – and will be for a good time yet. We might not have been spoiled by balmy evenings and barbecues to date, but we are nothing if not optimistic! In this spirit, we have been looking at that staple of the summer picnic – the pitcher jug!

Waterford Half & Half Ginger Jug

Half & Half Ginger Jug – £92.50 (was £185), Waterford

We start with a real beauty: the Jo Sampson-designed Half & Half Ginger Jug has a simply beautiful modern silhouette. The larger bottom of the vessel has a wide band of textured-cut glass around it and it shifts dramatically into a narrower neck and spout. It’s appended by an oversized glass handle, but don’t mistake that rich orange hue for a beverage! The base of the piece has been colour-washed with a rich orange hue.

Portmerion Pitcher

Water Garden Pitcher – £29, Portmeirion

As pretty as the Welsh coastal resort which bears its name, Portmeirion pottery is known for being nostalgic and colourful. This Water Garden picture, adorned with an exquisite hand-painted design formed of delicate blooms in shades of lilac, green, blue and yellow, is no exception. The 22cm-high three-pint jug functions perfectly as a pitcher but also doubles as a vase for your floral arrangements.

Georg Jensen Urkiola Pitcher, 1L

Urkiola Pitcher, 1L – £150, Georg Jensen

A real attention-grabber, the Urkiola Pitcher is part of a collection designed by Patricia Urquiola, which includes bowls, vases, candleholders and trays, in addition to a series of pitchers. Each is made from stainless steel – some of it mirror-polished and some of it featuring a ribbed design. On some pieces – as you can see on the handle of this one – you’ll find a durable PVD finish in a gorgeous rose gold colour.

Kitchen Stripe 2 Piece Pitcher Set by Fairmont and Main Ltd

Striped Two-piece Pitcher Set – £26.99, Fairmont & Main Ltd

Get two for the price of one with this two-piece pitcher set which has ‘a traditional English stripe design’ (i.e. it looks a bit like Cornishware!) in blue and cream, which has been created using an under glaze engorge technique. A large pitcher is complemented by a super-cute smaller one, and this timeless earthenware pare will fit in perfectly with kitchens of all types – from the rustic to the super-modern.

Wilko Functional Glass Jug 1L

Functional 1L Glass Jug – £1.50, Wilko

If you’re looking for something that’s above all functional (and something that, should an accident arise, you can replace without too many tears) then look no further than this one-litre glass jug from Wilko. Being priced at a rather ridiculous £1.50 means that you can get six of them for less than a tenner! This makes them the perfect choice for a wedding table – or purely for the serving of Pimms.

Best of the Vintage-style Sideboards

They fell out of vogue for quite some time, but the trend for vintage designs brought back sideboards with it and besides…they’re just so useful, aren’t they? Our five favourite vintage-style sideboards prove that this versatile piece of furniture deserves a place in your living room!Twiggy Orange and White '60s Style 4-door Sideboard

Twiggy Orange and White ’60s Style 4-door Sideboard – £250.50, Maisons du Monde

We start with an instant mood-lifter: the Twiggy white and orange four-door sideboard from Maisons du Monde. With its cubic form, relief patterns and rounded edges, it simply screams retro ’60s style and will add cheer to your everyday life with its pop art stylings and bright colour scheme. It’ll fit right into any Swinging London boutique…or indeed your living room! As functional as it is striking, it houses eight useful compartments in its 114 by 111cm frame.

West Elm Mid-Century Small Sideboard

Mid-Century Small Sideboard – £660, West Elm

With a rather more sober take on retro style, but no less deserving of attention, West Elm’s mid-century small sideboard draws its inspiration from timeless Scandinavian designs of the ’50s and ’60s. This can most clearly be seen in its silhouette, with its slim legs and bevelled edges. It may have a streamlined shape, but it has plenty of space, with three drawers and a cabinet with a single door. It’s finished with handles in an antique bronze finish.

Carraway 3-Door Sideboard

Carraway 3-Door Sideboard – £679 (was £849), M&S

This isn’t just any vintage-style sideboard…it’s an M&S art deco-style sideboard! We absolutely love the Carraway range, which includes an equally glamorous drinks cabinet. Both are in the sale, so there’s never been a better time to add them to your collection. The fold-out doors on this sideboard have been spray-lacquered in a light grey colour, then etched with an Art Deco pattern, whereas the legs are made from dark-stained timber.

Passion for Retro 2 Door Sideboard by Mia Casa

Passion for Retro Two-door Sideboard – £341.02, Mia Casa

This Passion for Retro ’60s-style two-door sideboard really doesn’t try to hide its influences – and isn’t it fabulous? Another flashback to the ’60s, with its white, turquoise and wood colour scheme, it features sliding doors and enclosed storage. Expertly crafted from wood that’s been oven-dried to reduce the risk of cracking in the joints, this is a quality piece that will add elegance and interest to your interior decor.

Monty Retro Large Sideboard

Monty Retro Large Sideboard – £159,

Another piece influenced by Midcentury pieces, this large ’50s-style Monty sideboard from Very is part of a range that includes a TV unit as well as lamp and coffee tables. At just £159, it’s an affordable way to inject some vintage style into your surroundings, with its contrasting walnut-effect finish and contrasting white drawers and its distinctive tapered legs. Both cupboards contain removable and adjustable shelves for maximum flexibility.