Presents of mind

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THERE’S only one problem with buying people lovely Christmas gifts for their home.

And that’s fighting the urge to keep them for yourself!

Present-giving is particularly risky this year because there’s such a beautiful selection of homeware around that you might find yourself sorely tempted to squirrel items away for your personal use.

But if you’re playing Santa do at least ensure that you match your choice of gift to the recipient’s home style, even if it’s not your taste.

No-one will thank you for a piece that you love but which jars with their decor – and they then have to display every time you visit.

Check out our guide to buys for every budget and every room in the house:


All that glitters should be gold this season as metallics bring a shine to rooms. Dress a desk with Dwell’s copper desk globe, £79. You could use it to help you pinpoint a sunshine destination in the New Year!

Hot drinks will have a touch of class when served in Dwell’s ring cup, £24.95. It’s black with a gold ring-shaped handle, accented by a large diamante. It comes packed in a lined jewellery box with only the ring showing.

Get a natural glow with a Philippi fire oil lamp, £120.50, Occa-Home. The glass and aluminium trimmed bowl is filled with natural stones and fibreglass wicks and resembles a small fire.


Natural materials offer the touch-me textures of finishes like faux fur and bring out the more adventurous side of rustic.

Indulge your snuggly side with a gold jaguar print faux fur throw, £149.95, Style Abode.

Extra seating is always useful when family and friends descent but banish saggy bean bags. Opt instead for a a circular real cowhide footstool, £429, Marks & Spencer.

A beautiful alternative is a chunky tree trunk stool, £149, Dwell, made from a single piece of a teak tree.

Keep toes cosy with a sheepskin rug, £335, Celtic Sheepskin.


Choose cheery red, the traditional colour for the season, as well as iconic images from reindeers to robins for a home with jingle-bells style.

A reindeer accessory is a must-have. There’s a charming scene of a child hanging baubles on a reindeer’s antlers on the Christmas Snow Print cushion, £12, Marks & Spencer.

Guest rooms always benefit from a luxury touch such as new towels, and plump red robins adorn the trim of cream towels, from £8, from Bhs.

Guard against the temperature dropping by providing an extra layer of warmth with a cranberry throw, from £28, Laura Ashley, and as a finishing touch add red heart-shaped cushions, £9.98 each, from B&Q stores.

Watching old movies and having afternoon tea is one of the rituals of the holiday. Make the occasion special with a robin teapot, £10, Bhs and a Brissi cake plate and butterfly-decorated glass dome, £48, John Lewis.

A red and silver candelabra, £28, would make a perfect focal point for a Christmas table, or a poinsettia pillar candle, decorated with red blooms and a sparkle finish, £8.40, both Laura Ashley.


Gifts with style will always be welcome and stay on display long after the Christmas decorations have been packed away.

Serve coffee in an elegant, limited edition Belle eight-cup cafetiere, £31.95, La Cafetiere, which has an appropriate crisp white and silver design reminiscent of cascading snowflakes.

Spoil tea connoisseurs who insist on a loose leaf brew with an Alessi tea strainer with bird cage, £67, Alessi or John Lewis. Its silver cage is topped by a red bird and it produces a soothing chirping sound when used.

Celebrate retro-style (and tune into the carol services) with a handsome radio, the Evoke Mio by Orla Kiely Abacus Edition, £149.95, from John Lewis or

Vivid seasonal arrangements will contrast well with a grey Brissi holly vase, £38, John Lewis, and add atmosphere with twinkling candlelight which will shine through a design of fir trees and winter branches decorating a set of three votive candles and holders by House Doctor, £10, Bodie and Fou.

Please catwalk queens and those with a desire for designer labels with a Morphing cushion, £94.50, Amara, embellished with the name of its designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, and a tattoo style design of a red rose.