Features

the Trow bathroom is steam cleaned to within an inch of its life

I'm a tidier, but not one for actually cleaning things. Until I took possession of a Karcher steam cleaner. Now our flat is so clean I need help for my compulsive steaming disorder. I'm telling you, it's a revelation...

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

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.

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

Leather is a great material but it comes at an environmental price

Leather's natural so it's good, right? No, it's not. It's a dirty business and many industry players still have a very long way to go in terms of cleaning up their act.

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

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

Compact and versatile FSC birch ply Bookie bookshelf by Louise Christie

While many countries are making huge efforts to protect their woodlands, not all wood is from managed forests. So do due diligence and don't buy wooden products from makers or retailers who can't vouch for the wood's sustainability

Silk Calla lillies form Bloom

If your home is looking rather lacklustre, and you don't have the budget for a major revamp, take heart. Interior designers have tips that are easy to follow, don't cost much and which definitely do make a difference, whether you live in a bedsit or a large house.

Recently completed painted wood and walnut kitchen/diner

If you're looking to invest in a fine bespoke wooden kitchen, Stange Kraft is a company that can meet exacting standards, at a fraction of the cost of the big luxury kitchen manufacturers

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