Cut- price Christ­mas: how to stretch your gift- giv­ing bud­get – and save enough to spoil your­self as well The weekly homes and in­te­ri­ors col­umn that brings you the best that money can buy, for not very much money at all

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Shop Talk -

By Alison Cork

Alison Cork is a writer and broad­caster spe­cial­is­ing in prop­erty. She is founder of www. home­sand bar­gains. co. uk, the web­site that shows where to fi nd top qual­ity home prod­ucts at hugely dis­counted prices, and also www. thetrades­mens di­rec­tory. co. uk the web­site of rec­om­mended trades­men. If you can rec­om­mend a bar­gain or good trades­per­son, email her at [email protected]­ison­cork. com

Tile style

Boast­ing a very com­pre­hen­sive web­site and brochure, Ex­eter-based Orig­i­nal Style has a fab­u­lous range of traver­tine, lime­stone, mar­ble and glass tiles at about half the price of their up­mar­ket high street com­peti­tors in the ma­jor cities. Items in­clude some stun­ning metal mo­saics in stain­less steel and brushed satin fi nish, along with more tra­di­tional Ital­ian stones. Un­usu­ally, all the stone is stocked in the large out-oftown ware­house, which means that or­ders can be ful­filled within a week and equally im­por­tant, the qual­ity of the stone is top-notch. Fal­con Road, Sow­ton In­dus­trial Es­tate, Ex­eter, EX2 7LF. Call 01392 473000 www.orig­i­nal­style. com.

Best DIY buys

With spring comes DIY, but be­fore you trot off to the “sheds” (su­per­stores), get hold of a copy of DIY Es­sen­tials, a cat­a­logue of more than 30,000 home im­prove­ment prod­ucts avail­able for home de­liv­ery. Also on­line, the range fea­tures abra­sives, fi xings, shelv­ing, ar­chi­tec­tural iron­mon­gery and a range of hinges and han­dles that are about 50 per cent cheaper than in the big stores. De­liv­ery avail­able na­tion­wide within fi ve to seven days. Call 01623 871758. www.diyessen­tials. com.

See­ing the light

For wooden Vene­tian blinds at up to 75 per cent dis­count, look at www.dis­count­blind cen­

or visit one of its five Lon­don out­lets. You can buy a blind here for £59, which would cost £196 on the high street. Spe­cial­ists in their fi eld, they also do sim­i­lar deals on Velux roof win­dows and Amer­i­can plan­ta­tion shut­ters. 139 Mun­ster Road, Lon­don SW6 (020 7736 4473).

Fab furniture

I have re­cently come across an in­ter­est­ing web­site called www. fur­nishtha­t­ uk. Op­er­at­ing only via the in­ter­net, it has man­aged to cre­ate a re­ally sleek port­fo­lio of un­usual and af­ford­able furniture - a sort of cap­sule col­lec­tion for peo­ple a bit stuck for in­spi­ra­tion and money. Goods in­clude rugs,

Hot stuff

The www.heatand­ web­site sells heat­ing and plumb­ing prod­ucts di­rect to the pub­lic at trade prices. With more than 14,000 prod­uct ranges, it has a vast ar­ray of boil­ers, san­i­tary ware, gas fires, show­ers and much more — all prod­ucts are branded, from man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Ideal Stan­dard, Val­liant and Ar­mitage Shanks. De­liv­ery is free and within five work­ing days. Call 0845 226 2222. light­ing, soft fur­nish­ings a furniture. Also on of­fer is sil­ver and bronze ser­vice, they put to­gether whole ro flats for would-be land­lord level of fi nish de­pend­ing u bud­get. Many items are ab and all are care­fully chose 0870 458 6170.

Back­room staff

For won­der­ful cot­ton and linen sheets, du­vet cov­ers and blan­kets, visit www.the­li­nen­

and its sis­ter dis­count com­pany www.the­big­backbed­ uk, where all the old stock and ends of lines from The Linen Press are sold at heav­ily dis­counted prices. Typ­i­cally, a linen throw 170cm x 240cm can be had for £45, down from £150, and a dou­ble du­vet cover for £22, down from £58. You can also visit The Big Back Bed­room fac­tory shop at Hart­ley, near Kirkby Stephen, Cum­bria. There is also a free swatch ser­vice by post to aid colour match­ing (01768 372777).

Up the gumtree

For an ex­cel­lent way to clear your house of clut­ter or fur­nish a prop­erty on the cheap, take a look at’s Free­bies and Swap­shop sec­tions. I have been told that peo­ple have dec­o­rated their en­tire homes through For the per­son giv­ing the item away, it’s free to post the ad and an in­fin­itely bet­ter so­lu­tion than pay­ing the coun­cil to take furniture away and clog up landfi ll sites. And if you are the re­cip­i­ent, the deal is nor­mally that you would have to col­lect the item. Most of the items are in Lon­don and the South-East. www.gumtree. com.

Time for beds Give me some space

Al­ways wanted a proper din­ing room but never had the space? Need your sit­ting room to dou­ble as a work­ing area? Then take a look at the Mas­cotte from One Deko, a cof­fee ta­ble that opens out into a full-sized din­ing ta­ble at the touch of a but­ton.

Clev­erly con­cealed, the but­ton can raise or lower the ta­ble to seven dif­fer­ent heights, and with the top ex­tended the cof­fee ta­ble be­comes a din­ing ta­ble for six peo­ple. The el­e­gant, Ital­ian-made Mas­cotte is man­u­fac­tured from solid wood and qual­ity wood ve­neer, and is avail­able in beech, cherry, light wal­nut or wenge.

Nor­mally re­tail­ing at £595, it is be­ing of­fered to Tele­graph read­ers at just £495 (plus £50 de­liv­ery any­where in the UK) — sim­ply men­tion this of­fer. Please note that the Mas­cotte ta­ble is made by hand, so al­low six weeks for de­liv­ery. Call 020 7375 3289 (open seven days a week) or visit There is a ware­house in north Lon­don that sells a huge range of dis­counted beds. Beds Ltd, based in a con­verted church ware­house in West Kens­ing­ton, boasts 12,000 sq ft of di­vans, bed frames, wooden, up­hol­stered, metal and any other type of bed you might covet. Op­er­at­ing since 1968, it sells dou­ble di­vans and mat­tresses from £179. Any bed on the shop fl oor can be de­liv­ered im­me­di­ately, and, as­ton­ish­ingly, it can make a be­spoke bed in 36 hours. Beds Ltd, 220 North End Road, Lon­don W14 (020 7385 7711) uk.

Light stuff: fur­nishtha­t­room’s lamps and furniture

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