Ready to Host a Gathering Again? These Tips Will Help Ease You In.

Over the last year, daydreams about the big things put on hold because of the pandemic—weddings, graduations, baby showers—have shared space with all the little things just out of reach. We’ve missed strolling through museums, watching live music, and …

Over the last year, daydreams about the big things put on hold because of the pandemic—weddings, graduations, baby showers—have shared space with all the little things just out of reach. We’ve missed strolling through museums, watching live music, and sitting in the stands of a baseball game—not to mention hugging loved ones and hearing their voices in person. Now that things have taken a turn for the better, it’s possible to go out and admire art, dance in a crowd, and cheer for a home run. And many of us simply want to relish the return of hosting a dinner party. Just ask the home and decor DIYers.

“Company! Conversation! Human contact! In all seriousness, I’m really just looking forward to finally being able to socialize in person again—without this cloud of fear and skepticism hanging over us,” Trisha Sprouse, founder of lifestyle site Vignette, said to me. “Being able to host people in my home again feels a bit exhilarating in a familiar but also foreign kind of way. Just picturing a meal where there’s laughter and candlelight and intimate conversation gives me all the feels.”

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11 Outdoor Rugs to Instantly Transform Your Space

Outdoor rugs might sound like nice-to-have decor when compared to a table set-up for all your meals or mosquito repellent for all their meals. But we’d argue that they’re an essential part of any outdoor space.

They can make your space feel infinitely…

Outdoor rugs might sound like nice-to-have decor when compared to a table set-up for all your meals or mosquito repellent for all their meals. But we’d argue that they’re an essential part of any outdoor space.

They can make your space feel infinitely cozier and more like an extension of your home—which is what we’d want our decks and patios to feel like anyway. If your outdoor space has seen better days, a good rug can hide a worn-out stain, paint chips, or mysterious food remnants. It’s also much more comfy for bare feet—my wooden deck is beautiful, but comfortable it is not.

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16 Fun Swimming Pool Accessories for Your First Summer Dip

When it comes to swimming pool accessories, we say more is more. Even though our bags can’t zip because they’re overflowing with sunscreen, snacks, and sunnies , we’ll always find space for a fun pool float or game.

In fact, we bet you’ll want to pack…

When it comes to swimming pool accessories, we say more is more. Even though our bags can’t zip because they’re overflowing with sunscreen, snacks, and sunnies , we’ll always find space for a fun pool float or game.

In fact, we bet you’ll want to pack these 16 swimming pool accessories even before the essentials. From a yacht-shaped lounger for yourself and a floating paradise for your furry BFF to waterproof playing cards and cute beach balls, these are the 16 best swimming pool accessories for hours of fun in the sun. And if you need a pool to begin with? Yeah, we've got that, too.

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Picnic Dinners Are the One Thing I’m Keeping From Last Year

There’s a lot from the last year that I am ready to toss to the wayside: Zoom birthday parties? No thanks. Remote learning? Never again—please! My house slippers? I’m planning a bonfire. One of the few things I’m keeping? Picnic dinners. While I am del…

There’s a lot from the last year that I am ready to toss to the wayside: Zoom birthday parties? No thanks. Remote learning? Never again—please! My house slippers? I’m planning a bonfire. One of the few things I’m keeping? Picnic dinners. While I am delighted to be patronizing our favourite taco spot and dosa shop again, I’m definitely not giving up the casual outdoor meal tradition my family came to discover—and love.

Last spring, when the weather turned warm enough to eat outside (or to be honest, while it was still a tad too cool), my husband, my son, and I started packing up meals to eat outdoors. It was a way to escape the confines of our relatively small home and also a necessity on days when we’d planned a hike or beach trip and we couldn’t pop into a restaurant. Al fresco lunches had always been a part of our routine—and frankly, expected—but picnic dinners were new—and they were a revelation.

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The Year That Changed Outdoor Living Forever

For the past year-plus, the outdoors has been our saving grace. It’s where we went to find peace in the uncertainty of our “new normal”; where restaurants turned to survive, ushering patrons around heat lamps and into personal igloos; where weary front…

For the past year-plus, the outdoors has been our saving grace. It’s where we went to find peace in the uncertainty of our “new normal”; where restaurants turned to survive, ushering patrons around heat lamps and into personal igloos; where weary frontline workers found respite from overwhelmed schools and hospitals. With that embracing of it as a safe haven has come a newfound respect for it, a reinvigorated valuing of the five yards or five acres we call our backyards.

“The pandemic undoubtedly surfaced an appreciation for our yards like we’ve never seen before,” says Allison Messner, CEO and co-founder of Yardzen, an online landscape design service that provides clients with virtual renderings of their dream outdoor space, then connects them with the local pros that can make it happen. “Our yards have become the space to do essentially everything we also do inside—dine, cook, entertain, work, play, and relax.”

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14 Memorial Day Sales for Every Room in the House

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and with it, one of the biggest shopping holidays with major sales on… just about everything. Some of the best deals we’re seeing are on furniture, home decor, and sleep, aka everything you’ve been wa…

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and with it, one of the biggest shopping holidays with major sales on... just about everything. Some of the best deals we’re seeing are on furniture, home decor, and sleep, aka everything you’ve been wanting for every room in your house.

In case you find some free time this weekend between al fresco dining (safely!) and a DIY project or many, here are the best sales that your space—and wallet—will love.

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A Sensory Garden With the Power to Heal

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories beh…

Welcome to Real-Life Renos, where we’re pulling back the curtains to the home renos we just can’t get enough of. Tag along as our favorite designers, chefs, and cookbook authors welcome us inside their spaces and share the behind-the-scenes stories behind their transformations. We’ll explore their takes on sustainable living, how they express their identities through design, how they create beautiful spaces that center around accessibility—and so much more.


Over the past two years, my husband and I have been slowly renovating and restoring our Victorian terraced house in North London. It wasn’t love at first sight (at least for me), but Darius saw the potential. It had three bedrooms, good proportions, and a big (for a city) garden. However, the layout was terrible, it had a non-functioning bathroom upstairs, and a rundown extension on the end of the kitchen. The electrics were outdated, the windows leaked, and all the original features had been lost over the years.

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10 Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Set the Summer Mood

Outdoor entertaining season will be in full swing before you know it—is your space ready for your next summer hang? If you’re not sure where to begin (Weather-proof couches? An outdoor rug? An alfresco dining setup?), note that lighting works wonders i…

Outdoor entertaining season will be in full swing before you know it—is your space ready for your next summer hang? If you’re not sure where to begin (Weather-proof couches? An outdoor rug? An alfresco dining setup?), note that lighting works wonders in majorly transforming a space. Whether you’re drawn to string lights, lanterns, or something else entirely, take a cue from these 10 retreat-like backyards below that will have you feeling inspired to tackle your own.


1. Wonderfully Industrial

Photo by Olivia Watson

Make your back patio feel like your favorite outdoor eatery by hanging string lights) across character-filled exposed beams like Olivia Watson did. The overall look? Industrial chic!

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12 Ideas to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space, Sustainably

There is no better feeling than breaking out your outdoor decor for the season. You know the day: the weather has finally hit 60 degrees and you can’t wait to blissfully sit out on your porch (slash deck, slash apartment terrace) and finally finally fe…

There is no better feeling than breaking out your outdoor decor for the season. You know the day: the weather has finally hit 60 degrees and you can’t wait to blissfully sit out on your porch (slash deck, slash apartment terrace) and finally finally feel the sun warm your face again (with SPF 45 on, of course). Whether you have just enough room for a bistro table and chairs or a whole outdoor living room to play around with, our fresh-air spaces quickly become sanctuaries for the next several months.

My partner and I have been in the market for some new outdoor decor now that we own a home and finally have a backyard of our own to deck out. And, while there are so many beautiful options out there, the "consume, consume, consume" mindset that comes with buying (and decorating) a new home can often feel like… a lot. To help ease our environmental footprint a bit, we decided to approach shopping for our very own oasis from an eco-conscious mindset, and look to items that were sustainably made to outfit our outdoor space.

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10 Vegetables That Thrive in Pots, No Garden Required

This past year has seen a surge of moves to the suburbs, time spent on balconies and in yards, and home cooking, which inevitably also led to people thinking about growing their own food. Growing herbs and vegetables doesn’t have to take up an entire y…

This past year has seen a surge of moves to the suburbs, time spent on balconies and in yards, and home cooking, which inevitably also led to people thinking about growing their own food. Growing herbs and vegetables doesn’t have to take up an entire yard or require a farmer’s touch, either. Everyday people (you!) can successfully feed themselves fresh homegrown produce, no matter how big or small the outdoor space.

I checked in with two plant experts, Nadia Hassani, plant author and Penn State Master Gardener, and Tim McSweeney, Food52 design director and backyard farmer extraordinaire, to find out the best starter produce for growing in containers. But first, a couple things to keep in mind:

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