Real Homes

From the editors

- amelia smith co-editor @ameliahele­nsmith alison jones co-editor @alisonjone­s103

There’s a lot to celebrate this May, with three extra days off – including a bonus bank holiday for the historic happening of a coronation.

With all this extra free time, we’re wondering what’s the best way to spend it? Perhaps you’ll use some of it to finally get round to finishing all those jobs on your DIY to-do list, ready to throw open your house and garden to host family and friends.

I (Alison) will be planning to party outdoors. ‘Project patio’ will be completed, with the cracked old crazy paving hidden under sleek new slabs. Festoon lights and handmade decoration­s will complete the effect as we christen it with something chilled and bubbly.

I (Amelia) will be fleeing my own home to spend time with friends and family. From a tea party in a friend’s flat to lounging around in my parents’ garden, I’m looking forward to putting my feet up with my favourite people.

Whatever you are celebratin­g, if you’re having your own spring party at home, or just want to set an appetising scene for family dinners, style editor Anna has got the prettiest tablescape­s to inspire you on page 64.

If you love socialisin­g outdoors, now is the perfect time to start preparing the garden, ready to embrace the sun. Get set to enjoy early barbecues or lazy lounging as the weather gets warmer. Check out Charlotte Evans’ garden (page 108), which is a charming combinatio­n of comfy corners to relax in and spaces to dine out.

For clever ideas on how to feel more connected to your outside space, even when you’re indoors, our feature on glazed extensions (page 119) shows how a dramatic glass door and roof can put you at the heart of nature.

If you have completed a home project or transforma­tion that you are proud of, we’d like to celebrate that, too.

This month, we launch the annual

Real Homes Home and Garden awards (Page 30), as we search for the most stylish and creative spaces. It might be a skilfully done renovation of a family home, the redecorati­on of a rented flat to fill it with personalit­y, or a complete overhaul of a neglected garden or patio. There are big prizes for the winners that impress us with their design skills and hard work, so get entering, and good luck!

Whatever your plans for this month, we hope you find this issue filled with inspiratio­n and advice to help you make the most of your home and garden. Enjoy!

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