5 January sales tips to give your home an interior design boost

A very Happy New Year! I hope that you have had a really lovely Christmas and are now looking forward to 2018. Now that the corks have popped and the decorations are down, does your home look quite frankly, a little worse for wear? Well fear not, as I have put together 5 January sales tips to give your home an interior design boost! Armed with my inside knowledge as an interior stylist of the January sales, read on to find out how to make your home sparkle again before you even have time to say Blue Monday …

What’s in store

Creating a stylish and comfortable home doesn’t mean that everything needs to or should come from upmarket ‘design’ shops – but you may be surprised that even these do have really rather fabulous sales.  There is so much fantastic quality to be found on the high street and in supermarket chains too (I have had some very nice white ‘high thread count’ bedlinen from Sainsburys in the past).

5 January sales tips to give your home an interior design boost:

1. Give your bathroom spa luxe

I always think that having nice towels is a small investment to make for the comfort they give but also for the way they can make a bathroom look really special.

Salcombe hand towels from The White Company are offering 30% off at £12 each to £8.40. 

Image courtesy of The White Company.

2. Paint magic

For less than the price of a tank of petrol (or even for the price of a couple of cushions), you could transform a room with emulsion paint this Spring. This room was painted using Farrow & Ball’s Off Black and Shadow White. If you have a really large room to paint then I would suggest to keep the cost down that you opt for a similar shade from Dulux such as Sapphire Springs 1.

Image courtesy of Karen Knox’s inspirational blog Making Spaces

3. Sofa’ from expensive

I have to admit a professional connection to Dfs (but please be assured that this post is in no way sponsored) as I have done a bit of styling for some of their press images. I know, first hand what their product is like (and I have also happily owned a Dfs leather sofa – practical for doggies, teenagers et al – now sadly at the end of its days), how well made it is and where (the majority in the UK). This Ilkley sofa from Dfs’ new collaboration with the fashion brand Joules combines the styling of a George Smith sofa with the smartness of an upmarket tweed check (piped in contrasting purple velvet) – the likes of which you could expect to pay quite a lot for. There is currently £50 off the price of a four seater sofa in the sale at £1,179 but with their 0% finance (no deposit) this would be £24.56/month/4 years. It really would be rude not to.

Dfs/Joules Ilkley four seater sofa.

Look out too for top-quality Kingcome ex-display sofas from £1,500Sofa Workshop have up to 30% off and Sofas & Stuff have up to 50% off end of line and clearance stock pieces. Vanessa Arbuthnott has reduced an orange velvet sofa used in recent press photography from £2,600 to £2,250.

4. Cushion update

Even if you aren’t considering any new upholstered furniture for your sitting room – a little cushion update is something that can boost the inner happiness of your home. Just one or two could do the trick – but a whole new selection is often the answer. No, really … If you have any doubts as to my feelings regarding cushions I will refresh your memory with a previous post Ihavethisthingwithcushions

Cushy debate

It’s true that there is a well-designed budget selection (from £15) at T K Maxx/Homesense but it’s less reliable as to what you might find than in for example, 2018’s No 1 UK cushion maker: OKA(Officially nominated by, err, me).

OKA has to my mind more than surpassed the admittedly still good reputation of John Lewis’s cushion department – in terms of style and quality. Not cheap, but sale time at OKA offers some good reductions such as these:

(Shambhala velvet cushions left Graphite/gold,  £56 reduced to £36 for 51 cm sq cover; right: Roundel cushion cover 51 cm sq velvet, £125, reduced to £62, OKA)

5. It’s curtains for 2018

There is no better time to invest in a pair of curtains than at sale time when there are some bargain discounts on fabric by the metre, ready mades (John Lewis and Laura Ashley) as well as ex display. You will see a larger choice by going into store as not everything is put on line especially ex display samples. It is also worth popping into your local interior design shops too as they swap around their window displays fairly frequently.

Ian Mankin - Blue living room - Sofa in Oxford Stripe Navy, cushions in Oxford Stripe Mint and Grain Stripe Indigo, curtains in Grain Stripe Union Navy - Portrait
Sharp smart stripes from Ian Mankin who currently have 30% off some ranges of fabrics.

Curtain call

I find it a little curious that curtains seemed to have fallen by the wayside in popularity in recent times but that tide has definitely now turned. I really like shutters both colonial style and panelled but I also appreciate the comfort, swish and glamorous style of full-length interlined curtains to the simplicity of unlined linen (IKEA’s Aina curtains, £45/pair).

Fabrics, wallpaper, curtains, blinds and furniture on sale at Vanessa Arbuthnott

Curtain Exchange

I always think that if you go for the best possible fabric you can afford, the curtains will last a very long time and can be altered with subsequent house moves. I hate waste but also, for me they are like a painting, I generally don’t fall out of love with a good print once I am smitten. However, if you do get bored of your curtains and want another top quality pair at the fraction of the price, then you might like to take a look at The Curtain Exchange where you can pass on your curtains to someone else and perhaps swap yours for another pair.

Sample sale at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

From Tuesday 9 January to Saturday 13 January 37 showrooms at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour will be holding a Sample Sale. This includes furniture companies as well as a few of my favourite wallpaper and fabric companies such as Lewis & Wood, Blithfield & Co, Tissus D’Helene and Nina Campbell. When I have been in the past, there have been some pretty good discounts …

Wallpapers at Tissus D’Helene showroom. Photo: Charis White

Colefax & Fowler


Another date for your diary is the 19th January 2018 (9.30 – 5pm last entry 4.30pm, nearest tube Victoria) when there is 70% off fabric, wallpaper and ex display furniture at the Colefax & Fowler sale.  Location: The Royal Horticultural Halls. Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, London SW1P 2QW.

My Little Black Book

In every stylist or interior designer’s address book is a closely guarded inner circle of trusted set decorators and seamstresses. There is one supremo seamstress in particular we all share (but am afraid I can’t reveal her name – suffice to say that it is M-E-L-A-N-I-E (fabulous Melanie – to give her full title) – otherwise she would be inundated with even more work than she already has. Melanie is on constant editorial deadlines for the countless magazines/newspapers/fabric companies who are her clients)!

Curtain ideas

New_England_style_deck II
Shot on location at Foster House for BBC Homes & Antiques magazine. Styled by Charis White, Photography: Catherine Gratwicke.
Sanderson’s 50s collections styled by Charis White, Photography: Mel Yates.
A scalloped roman blind for a contemporary Gustavian style feature for BBC Homes & Antiques magazine. Designed and styled by Charis White, Photography, Sandra Lane.

These are the Kingmakers

Finally, if you have found that bargain piece of fabric and need someone to make it up for you, here in no particular order are some other soft furnishing experts who I would have no hesitation recommending for their beautiful work making curtains/blinds/cushions/lampshades:

Jessica Higgins Interiors – (IG: @Jessicahigginsinteriors)

Natalie Canning – (IG: @nataliecanning) 

Mrs Steed Soft Furnishings – (IG: @Mrssteedsoftfurnishings)

Charis White stylist/writer and blogger with Panda. Photo: Lorraine Kitchingham.

Thank you so much for reading – I hope you have found this useful.  I would love to hear if you have any plans or dreams for any interior upgrades this year, so do please leave a comment below! In the meantime, if you don’t want to miss out on future posts then just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post. You will then receive an email just asking you to confirm. Happy New Year 2018 from Panda (our mini schnauzer) and I! Charis x








5 thoughts on “5 January sales tips to give your home an interior design boost

  1. Haha – Super, especially as I have been feeling the need to update certain areas in the house – just need to persuade AA and have already drawn up a decorating to do list, which I now need to leave casually lying around for him to see! Then buy the paint for him to fall over!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your thinking, the strategy is flawless – what could possibly go wrong?! Please just make sure that there’s a mattress on the other side of the paint cans to catch AA’s fall! Good luck and cant wait to hear more about the plans … Happy New Year Jo!


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