New Season New Collections

I feel like it’s been a while since we had a look around at what’s new in store and, since it’s a new season and a new month and we didn’t do an interiors round up at the end of the month, I thought we’d have a wander round the shops today. So grab a pair of comfy shoes; slippers will do as it’s virtual, make a fresh pot of coffee and let’s see what’s new, what’s in and what’s hot. These are in no particular order but simply as I came across them.

plain lamp by zara £29/99
plain lamp by zara £29.99

The “plain” lamp from Zara is a rather splendid piece. It’s made from steel (hence the gloss) and, at the time of writing, comes in this dark colour with a fabric cable – always a nice touch. Point to note – it’s called green but on my screen it’s definitely blue – a sort of Farrow & Ball Hague blue, which does have a hint of green in it. It’s a completely classic shape that will never date so for the price it’s a good investment. Remember, the light will only come down as it’s a solid shade so there will be little to no ambient light – it’s very much a desk or a task light.

usb rechargable light from zara
usb rechargeable light from zara £49.99

The lighting collection at Zara is pretty good and it has jumped on the current cordless and rechargeable bandwagon. Now I have been unsure how useful these are if you’re not taking them into the garden but actually if you rent and the sockets aren’t where you want or planning a renovation then being able to move a cordless and rechargeable light around to where you want it can be useful.

oak bedside table from zara
oak bedside table from zara £179

Staying with Zara, because it’s been a while since I looked and there are some good things. Bedside tables are always hard. I usually suggest vintage is better and I have seen some real bargains on facebook marketplace where you can pick up a fairly ordinary pine number for around £20 that you can paint any colour you like but if you want new (and there’s no judgement here) then this oak table with a drawer (no assembly needed)  is a good one.

zara kassl geometric side table
zara kassl geometric side table

Finally, these Kassl geometric side tables come in burgundy, ivory and green and you can mix them up however you wish to create something that works for the space you have. The smaller curved one is 50cm by 43cm while the rectangular one (which is curved at one end – check the diagrams as the pictures aren’t great) is 80cm long and 30cm at the narrow end flaring to 34cm at the curve. They’re made from lacquered mdf and I think you might find a variety of uses.

The Kassl Editions range is Zara’s collaboration with this minimalist brand which was founded in 2018 with the sole aim of creating the perfect fisherman’s coat. The clothes are sold at Matches Fashion and Selfridges and this collaboration with Zara is a high-low for them both and one of the first designer collabs for Zara. It’s a good’un. There’s also a cool quilted chair, a rug and modular storage.

mango home collection
mango home collection

Carrying on down our virtual high street and Mango’s new home collection continues strong. The colours are natural and neutral, the fabrics similar and while much of it is “coming soon” it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on it to see what’s arrived. There is lots of bedlinen, tea towels, hand towels and cushion covers (look for the quilted velvet ones). Judging by the images crockery and cutlery may be coming and if you need a new shopping bag this gingham number is gorgeous.

AnthropologieWoven Marija Kori Modular Armless Chair £498.00
Anthropologie Woven Marija Kori Modular Armless Chair £498

So much modular furniture is dull, grey and boxy but this, from Anthropologie, is fun and will fit into so many types of room scheme. It’s handwoven from recycled fabric strips and you can put together your own sofa from a corner chair, an armless chair and an ottoman (not pictured). It’s a great piece and, again, perfect for renters as you can start small and take it with you to a new/larger place or even, from the other side, if you are downsizing and started big you can split the pieces up in a new room.

lamp by anna spiro for anthropologie
lamp by anna spiro for anthropologie

If you’re still looking for lighting (and this time of year is when the best collections drop) then how about this fun collaboration with Australia-based  designer Anna Spiro. This lamp also comes in a yellow version and the range includes pillowcases, quilts and stationery. Perfect on the bedside table above. There is also a lovely sculptural wooden candle holder.

anna spiro wooden candle holders for anthropologie
anna spiro wooden candle holders for anthropologie

Which would make the perfect accompaniment to these stunning marbled candles from By Alice. And I’m not mentioning the C-word just yet but these candles are on a four week pre-order so now might be the time as, together with a candle holder that is a TOP present (capitals in case The Mad Husband drops by).

pair of hand-marbled Italian candles from By Alice
pair of hand-marbled Italian candles from By Alice

And to finish off the candle section (because this is also a sweet present) is this candle snuffer in the shape of a hare. Saves you blowing and spitting (we’re very germ aware these days) over a burning candle and also saves you from burning your fingers when you double check it has gone out.

graham and green hare candle snuffer
graham and green hare candle snuffer £13.95

Next up is the print from a set by Tash South. When Rukmini and I set up the Design for Diversity pledge last year, several brands immediately signed up. Heals has run an extensive eduction programme for all staff and Rockett St George pledged to look out for more brands to collaborate with. This unframed print is a result of them being true to their word.

tash south for rockett st george
tash south for rockett st george

And on that note do check out Akojo Market, selling handmade jewellery, accessories, homeware and fashion from independent African designers. The collections are great and you can read more about them here. This blanket,  handwoven by women using traditional techniques, is made from 100 per cent cotton grown by smallholder farmers in Africa under the ‘Cotton made in Africa’ initiative. Once woven the blanket is meticulously hand sewn with rows of cross stitches by seamstresses.

cotton blanket from akojo market
cotton blanket from akojo market

And, breaking news, they have just introduced a Gifting Sets. There are 12 to choose from which include one-of-a-kind objects handmade by artisanal communities across Africa. You can choose room by room, or by price and, of course, you can buy one box and pass the contents on as presents to others. They will be on the site from 12 November.

gift box from akojomarket
gift box from akojomarket

So we’ve wandered from the high street to the small store with a few other shops between. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and you’ve found some ideas and inspiration.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Lots of marbled candles on Etsy just FYI for anyone who’s inspired by the above but looking for something a bit different, or available right now.

  2. Oh Kate such a pity to tempt us to be told no longer available. Same story with the Anthropologie armless sofas!!
    Dare I ask if you could please double check rather than disappoint, because it’s today’s Blog after all.

    1. I just randomly managed to buy one (one, I wanted two), so it looks like they might be coming in and out of availability rather than being permanently out of stock. Of course, I don’t have it yet, they may cancel and refund me…

  3. I have a rechargeable lamp and was extremely glad of it during a power cut the other night – I’ve now told friends they need to have one for emergencies. More light than a torch, safer and more convenient/easier to find than candles and matches in the pitch dark!

    1. I have two Pooky ones and love them, despite having outlets to spare! Middle of the dining table, by a late night bath, bedside when the main lamp is too bright, high on a bookcase…. So useful.

      1. Yes – I have a Pooky one too. Absolutely brilliant all over the house. Real game changer I think.

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