I have written before about the importance of being sensible in the sales. Zero in on bedlinen (going for a song right now), scout round lighting shops (rich hunting grounds for knock-down prices in summer) and bypass all the lovely scatter cushions on discount and head straight to the bargain towels bin – because, unless they are 50% off, every other time of the year bath towels are a boring-but-necessary purchase that you'll get no joy out of buying.
While these are all very wise things to do, I am now about to contradict myself and suggest that if you see an impractical but totally bargainous something in the next two weeks, please do me a favour and buy it – the sales this year are too good to pass up, plus an impulse purchase (or two) will make you very happy. You can always decide where you are going to put it later.
Made.com has some amazing pieces on discount, including this dusky pink armchair, which looks much more expensive than it is. Dwell, Laura Ashley andVery.co.uk are worth a trawl if you have half an hour – there are some good pieces among the chintz and velour, trust me. If you don't know the brand Maisons du Monde, make sure you do, because its sale is also very good right now.
Habitat always does a great summer clearance, especially when it comes to garden bits and pieces. I am a big fan of Habitat's Africa director's chairs. They sell them every year, they are always in the sale and they are the comfiest outdoor dining chairs known to man.
Don't forget that Tesco Direct is closing down on 9 July and, with two weeks left to go, there are still lots of bargains on there that are worth snapping up. Visit regularly, as there are new products added daily, and be prepared to come away with something you didn't go on for. The discounts are so amazing, though, you'll be glad you did.
Last but not least, there's Anthropologie, the heavenly interiors site that sells what I call "knick-knack crack" – aka lots of expensive, impractical stuff I do not remotely "need", but which are just lovely. This store is normally way out of my budget, but I am currently eyeing up the Liberty collaboration chair for my bedroom, although it's a toss-up between this and that dusky pink Made.com velvet armchair. I could buy both, but that would really be living dangerously. Maybe, though, this is one occasion when I really do need to listen to my own advice…