Oozing with outdoor charm


With summer well and truly here and some decent weather to boot, we're all being lured outside into the garden. Don't panic if you've barely had a chance to water the plants, let alone re-stain the furniture, a few new additions are all you need to give you outdoor space a new lease of life.

Pick of the bunch


A gorgeous bouquet of blooms in a vase, lovingly placed on the kitchen table or windowsill, has to be the simplest way to instantly bring colour and warmth into a room.

It's all in the detail


In the same way some people can make an item of clothing look special just by adding a single accessory, others can transform a room in a trice with a little re-arrangement and the addition of a few eye-catching items.

Winning decor - Rio style


Take bold colour, flamboyance and exotic design, shake it up and you have a winning decor cocktail.

Find your macho style match


Time was when decor was a girly pastime, and men who were enthusiastic about interior design were warily regarded as being a little too in touch with their feminine side.

Butterfly ball


Graceful, beautiful and naturally attracted to blooms, the butterfly's endless variety of bold colours and intricate markings offer constant inspiration to designers, and their motif frequently flutters onto fabrics, botanical prints and delicate decos

Bring the indoors out


Lounging and dining outdoors is one of the pleasures of summer but it must be done in style, because a poor setting will dampen spirits faster than a sudden downpour.

Decor to float your boat


Who says summer can't last forever? You'll guarantee blue skies whatever the weather if you get on board with coastal chic, which summons up pleasing thoughts of holidays, sandy beaches and relaxed living, no matter what the time of year.

Pick of the bunch


Flowers are blooming in our rooms, as our love affair with nature and all things botanical continues to grow.

The grub outdoors


The closest thing to a villa holiday, nothing signals summer like stepping outdoors and entertaining family and friends in the sunshine.

Room for fun

a cosy lt, featured in Creative Family Home: Imaginative and Original Spaces For Modern Living by Ashlyn Gibson, published by Ryland Peters & Small

If your home is feeling like a battleground after the school holidays, as you and your children fight for territory, it could be time for a new strategy.

Don't let renting cramp your style

a sunny yellow feature wall and cheerful accessories cheer up a kitchen Image in Home For Now by Joanna Thornhill, published by CICO, £16.99

Our home should be a place where we can truly feel ourselves and show off our style and taste - but millions of us are living in someone else's property, with all the limitations that imposes.

Get cracking at home

Gisela Graham Wooden pastel Happy Easter garland, £9, The Contemporary Home

Easter egg hunts, a celebration lunch and time with the family are the pleasures of the upcoming holiday, but don't forget one key element of the preparations - setting the scene at home.

Season's gleamings

Kenwood appliances, Kmix kitchen machine, £279, hand mixer, £64, Kmix hand blender, £69, Isme

Spring is in the air and it's time for that annual ritual - giving rooms a good clean and polish.

An old-fashioned update

Rangemaster Classic Cooker, from £1,525,

If you're feeling nostalgic, and your most-loved possessions are ones which hark back to childhood memories, chances are, retro-inspired homewares will appeal.

Lights of fancy

a Royal Collection Crystal Chandelier, £1,625, Blue Almonds(; 020 7584 8038)

They may conjure images of royalty and riches, but there's no reason why chandeliers can't illuminate more down-to-earth homes too.

Spring fresh homes

Elements stair set

We're finally leaving winter behind, yet our homes can look as though they're still suffering from its effects. Thankfully, a few changes, small but significant, can spruce things up.

Blissful wedded gifts

Set  2 Just Married pillow cases, £70,

Most couples building a wedding list still say "we do" love beautiful tableware and cutlery - after all, these gifts will be useful for a lifetime.

Living by design

artwork and a dramatic sculptural shelf resin

:: Kelly Hoppen, interior designer and currently one of the dragons on BBC Two's Dragons' Den, whose new book is Kelly Hoppen Design Masterclass: How To Achieve The Home Of Your Dreams, says the importance of home cannot be underestimated.

Teal appeal

Roller blind in Sunara Hotan from The Fabric Box

If you're still clinging to neutrals and nervous about dipping your toe into a technicolour world, help is at hand.

Just add water

egg-shaped Aveo bath, £4,805, West One Bathrooms

If there's one room in the house where you should make a splash it's the bathroom, as leisure is just as important as lathering.