Real Homes


- Ellen Finch Deputy editor @ellenfinch

The September issue is a sort of ‘last hurrah’ for summer living, before the magazine world starts hunkering down for autumn and all the comfy, cosy things it brings with it (we’re planning Christmas already, if you can believe it). The thought of darker nights and cooler temperatur­es might seem impossible to you now – but it’ll come around quickly, as always, so we ought to make the most of the brightest of seasons while we can.

That’s what we’ve aimed to do with this issue of Real Homes, with features to help you to get the best out of your home – and your outdoor space – over the next month or two.

Our content editor Amelia Smith has a round-up of beautiful new ways with summer dining on page 32, so you can create the perfect backdrop to lateseason dinner parties – or just jazz up your ordinary family teatime. If you became as obsessed with tablescapi­ng as I did during lockdown, you’ll be pleased to see a nod to that in this feature, too. And for those who want to take their love for barbecuing/pizza making to the next level, we have a guide to outdoor kitchens on p.138 – featuring some envy-inducing ideas I’d love to try in my own garden, if only I had an outdoor space of my own (one day…).

But for many of us, the idea of an outdoor kitchen might be far from the forefront of our minds right now as we feel the squeeze of an uncertain economic climate. While we obviously love to serve you inspiratio­n for your home – whether you’re planning a big project or refreshing a small space – for a lot of people, saving on bills and cutting down costs is the priority.

This month’s Design Clinic (p.63) is all about money, featuring practical advice we’ve gleaned from experts. And over on page 114, we’ve got 10 ideas for a more energyeffi­cient home, to help ease those bills a little further. Head over to too, for more tips and budget-friendly DIY how-tos, for those who still want to get creative in their homes without spending a lot.

Whatever your plans for your home, I hope you enjoy the issue – and these last precious weeks of sunshine!

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