No place like home

PUBLISHED: 15:16 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 21 February 2013

Tips and bargains for the home by TV presenter and lifestyle expert Alison Cork The weather outside may be getting colder, but inside gain a sense of warmth and cosiness by using the right accessories. Without spending a fortunate, you can...

Tips and bargains for the home by TV presenter and lifestyle expert Alison Cork

The weather outside may be getting colder, but inside gain a sense of warmth and cosiness by using the right accessories. Without spending a fortunate, you can bring autumn's warmth into your homes really simply by changing some decorations and accessories. Here are a couple of ideas designed to inspire you.

• With less daylight and more hours of darkness, change lampshades from white to cream, sand or even red and make sure you use full spectrum light bulbs for a warmer, more flattering light. are sure to have something you like

• Heavier fabrics and textures help warm a room in the same way open airiness cools it in summer. Use wool and velvet throw pillows. Arrange a wool throw over a chair and hang an heirloom quilt on the wall. Visit for a cost effective way to update tired furniture.

• Adding colour to a room can be as simple as investing in a piece of artwork. Right now the art market is booming, and although the high street has a lot to offer, if you want something original, save money by buying on-line at

• Should you need any DIY tools to fix up your new autumnal acquisitions for your home, check out some of the bargains at

Shop of the Month
The Name Shop

After the success of the BBC series Who do you think you are?, this shop will be very in vogue at the moment. The Name Shop specialises in tracing your name's origins and then can translate it on to shields, coats of arms or crests. What is the story behind your surname? Is it biblical, related to an occupation or dating back to the Vikings? To find out visit 20 Barnes Wallis Drive, Leegomery, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 6XT or go online at

Discount of the Month (boxed with pic)
Fantastic Furniture

High design and low prices don't tend to go hand in hand. But Fantastic Furniture's top-quality reproduction "Barcelona" is affordable and true to the original design. One of the company's perennial best sellers, it pays testament to the enduring popularity of iconic design.
Following the original classic as closely as possible, it features 12mm polished steel and a full Italian Leather, hand-stitched upholstery created from individual pieces of a single hide, to create a consistent finish. Fantastic Furniture is offering readers the "Barcelona" chair for just £395 instead of the recommended £795, with the "Barcelona" footstool (worth over £200) thrown in for free. It's available in black, white or dark brown leather. Delivery is available to any UK mainland address for £45. To claim, just click on the Reader Offer banner at or call 0870 0671 970. Offer ends October 10 or while stocks last. To view the full range of discounts and bargains, visit

Image: Fantastic furniture

Bargain of the Month (boxed with pic)
Don't move, improve

The core concept of Homebrands could not be simpler: Why pay full price for high-street furniture when you could have it at half price? And put like that, I'm sure you can see their point too! The company buys cancelled orders and customer returned furniture from a number of the UK's major department stores (whose names can't be mentioned), which it then sells to the public at half the normal high street price - sometimes even less. This results in an Aladdin's Cave of bargains, with up to 1000 items on display at any one time, and new stock arriving on a daily basis. And if you're after something specific, take advantage of its 'wish list' service; leave the details with Homebrands and you'll get a call when your perfect piece arrives. Homebrands' Stoke-on-Trent store is now offering readers a further 10 per cent off its already discounted furniture. This offer is valid until October 31.To claim, simply mention this column during your visit 12 & 22 Newstead Industrial Estate, Trentham, Stoke-on -Trent, ST4 8XB, or call 01782 646 911.

Image: Homebrands

For more bargains, visit

Did you know?

...that the mercury from a single fluorescent tube or light bulb is enough to pollute 30,000 litres of drinking water?

Ryness, the London lightbulb specialist, is offering free light bulb recycling to all of its customers. Simply come into one of our stores with your broken light bulbs and we will ensure that they are correctly disposed of.

Freebie of the Week

If you're always changing the style of your living space, then look to Multiyork for inspiration. Unique among furniture stores, its sofas are fitted with tailored removable covers, turning a classic look into a more contemporary one. With over 10,000 fabrics to choose from including the Lexington (pictured), the choice is endless. And Multiyork is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a £1,000 voucher to spend in-store.

To enter text SOFA followed by your name to 87233. Texts cost 50p plus your standard network charge. Competition closes at midnight on 3 November. With a network of over 60 stores nationwide, Multiyork is within easy reach, visit or call 0800 040 7171 for more information.

Image: Lexington

Your turn to recommend

This week, readers have recommended...
• JDR Construction Ltd, TF4 2RH, comprehensive variety of services. Based in Telford. Call 01952 502 090
• Bullet Heating & Plumbing, TF4 2JQ, top quality services. Based in Telford.
Call 01952 504 472
• Brennan Electrical Services, TF3 5DZ, trustworthy company. Based in Telford.
Call 01952 507 722
• N&M Decorators, TF2 7RN, first class decorating services. Based in Telford.
Call 01952 670 233 or 07970 298 728
Think you're as good as these guys?

Get a free webpage on ProblemSolved and if you make the grade by getting a reader recommendation, we'll list you here in the column. To get listed, text FREE to 87233 followed by your email address (Texts charged at standard network rate).

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