Leather cube doorstop by Elvis & Kresse

We've taken making do and mending to new heights, with imaginative, often innovative products made by skilled craftspeople.

renovation work is nearly always more expensive than you think

More people are finding the only property they can afford is a rundown one that needs work. Oldrids & Downtown, the Lincs-based furniture and homewares company, has been looking into the costs of home renovation

Energy efficient appliances can help cut household bills

Are you doing due diligence and choosing the most energy-efficient household products when you need to replace them (having recycled the old of course...)?

This year marks the centenary of the celebrated textile designer's birth and among many events the mark the occasion is an exhibition of her work in Manchester

Features

Acers are small trees suitable for compact urban gardens

We need trees and if you think they're the preserve of folks with large gardens, well that's not the case. A pot will prove a fine home for many small or dwarf trees.

New for 2016, A3 LED wall panels by B.Lux. www.grupoblux.com

Does your heart sink when you look around a lighting shop? Find much of what's on offer too fussy, too dated, too samey or too unimaginative? Then look to modern lighting from Spain, which is home to scores of great manufacturers who've embraced energy-saving LED technology

Position different varieties of orchids on a display unit in a conservatory

They have long been the interior designer's favourite indoor plant - no Kelly Hoppen interior is complete without an arrangement of orchids. And prices have come down considerably, making them a good option for adding instant style to a room

People

Chalk Paint creator Annie Sloan, a woman who's become an international business success

Fervour, passion, zeal.... all are adjectives that describe how Annie Sloan's customers feel about her paint. Many a competitor company would kill to know just what it is about it that inspires such devotion. Its creator isn't entirely sure either, except that it's damn good stuff

Fi Douglas of bluebellgray

bluebellgray has gone from the kitchen table to big time homewares brand in a very short space of time. Abby Trow caught up with Fi Douglas, artist, designer, company founder and lover of flowers to find out how she’s coping with success and why her designs have struck such a chord

Accessories

Linen cushions by Rapture & Wright

That bellweather of British taste, John Lewis, says 'flamingo' has been one of the most popular search words on its website and sales of all things flamingo have been rocketing. Well, they are very beautiful so we've tracking down some quality, tasteful and eco friendly flamingo-themed homewares to lift the spirits over the winter months

Vibrant Jassa range from Ikea

With Mother's Day hoving into view you may be inspired to buy more than flowers for your mum...a vase to put them in perhaps, or a rose scented candle. We've also been on the hunt for useful and always attractive pieces for the home, from baskets and bedside cabinets to pot stands and linen cushions and fabrics. All eco friendly, of course

This seating cube is made from old newspapers so yesterday's news is tomorrow's seat

Interiors

Micro living doesn't have to feel cramped

This contemporary flat shows that with very limited space, the input of an interior designer is invaluable. Because the devil's in the detail and getting the detail right can be devillishly difficult

A novel idea for a splash back

If your kids won't stop drawing on the walls, or you harbour latent talents as a mural artist, why not turn your house into a wipe-clean canvas... And we're not talking black walls, because you can buy low to no VOC chalkboard paint in every colour under the sun

Bamboo has a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly materials, a real super grass. It's used in products from flooring to t shirts and washable nappies - but is it always good stuff? Kay Hill investigates