With the cost of living continuing to rise this year why not give gifts to help spread the cost of everyday living. With online shopping you have the opportunity to expand your gift ideas beyond the high street. We have Christmas wrapped up and this week we're going to take a look at soft furnishing practical and functional gift ideas for both family and friends, beginning with stylish bed throws. This type of practical and useful gift is ideal for both sexes, individuals and couples. Keeping warm this winter is a major concern for many people and it's not only the elderly that are finding it difficult to pay ever increasing fuel bills. Bed throws literally come in all shapes, sizes, colours, patterns and fabrics, enabling you to select them as Christmas gifts which people can appreciate throughout the winter and into spring. Opting for plain, neutral colours is a safe choice. Creams, ivory, whites and tans will compliment virtually all duvet covers sets or bedding, décors and interior design styles. If you know the colour scheme of a particular person's bedroom then it makes life a little easier as you'll be able to chose a colour to suit! Bed runners are bang on-trend at the moment and offer great value for money – these make an extra special gift for people you know have cold feet, for a lighter style and novel present wrap a hot water bottle inside a stylish bed runner – who could possibly be offended by such a thoughtful gift? Alternatively you could add coordinating bed cushions to bed runner or throws to make your gift that little bit special. If you know family or friends who've just starting living on their own or together a full size quilted bed spread would be gratefully received – why not causally browse online with them and ask their opinions to get a feel for the kind of bed throws they'd choose themselves. Be discreet and tactful in your approach and they'll never guess what you have planned! Think about your gift selections this year and choose soft furnishings that you know will come in handy, be appreciated and above all will last for years to come! If you are into handy-crafts you could also make your own bed runners and cushions by choosing from the wide ranges of curtain fabrics online.

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