Real Homes


- Ellen Finch Deputy editor @ellenfinch

This time of year is a bit of a strange one. The thrill of the blank slate a new year brings has long passed, and there’s still a fair bit of chilly weather before we start seeing more sunshine. In the interiors world we might start to see the first of the SS22 collection­s trickling through, but for the most part, things feel a bit, well, flat.

For me personally, there are two ways to get through the last couple of months before spring arrives. The first is to throw yourself head first into winter, embracing all the cosy comforts you can’t get from any other season. Enjoy layering up with hats, scarves, gloves and wellies to go out for a walk; relish the darker nights, before they start drawing out, and take them as a signal to rest in the evenings (as much as you can – there’s still dinner to cook and washing up to be done, obviously!). If you need to, build a pillow fort out of all the cushions and throws in your entire house, and hibernate there until daylight saving time begins…

The second way is to start planning and looking forward to the freshest of all seasons, spring. That’s what we’ve aimed to do with this issue of Real Homes, gathering ideas to get ready and excited for a new start. We’ve pulled together our favourite ways with biophilic wallpaper on page 34 (florals? For spring? Groundbrea­king… but they just work!) and shared a 10-step plan to prepping your garden on page 114, from tending to spring bulbs to planning a veg patch and planting for summer flower. If you’re reining in your budget this year, our edit of the best walletfrie­ndly updates for any room (page 64) will help you transform your space in a flash.

And, of course, there are the real homes that make up the heart of this magazine. There’s nothing better than nosying around someone else’s space, and our house tours this month are truly inspiring. From a stylish family home in Whitley Bay to a moody cottage renovation in rural Northumber­land, we hope you find plenty of ideas to spark your creativity and get you planning for your next project. Happy scheming!

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