18 fantastic ways to create an outdoor space that has something for everyone

Our family garden ideas are exactly what you need if you’d like to spend more time with your loved ones outdoors. With a bit of inspiration and creativity, you can easily transform your plot into a place that will tempt your youngest to your oldest out to enjoy the fresh air. 



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Whether it’s garden activities for kids to keep them occupied or a chic seating area to enjoy family meals alfresco, the best family gardens have it all, without sacrificing style.

Paul Schaffer, Managing Director of Plum Play who create fabulous play equipment for gardens, comments on the importance of an outdoor space for all the family. Even in winter, he says, there’s nothing better than sticking on the wellies and enjoying the outdoors. The garden is a fantastic space for everyone to get outside and spend quality time together, away from screens. And, now that many places are closed, the garden becomes even more of an important refuge. It also enables children to express themselves and inspire their imaginations, all in a safe way, Paul adds.

Of course, play equipment can be enjoyed by all, but for some, other garden features are equally

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Realogy Exec: 3 Ways the Pandemic Changed Real Estate for Good

Realogy expansion brands released a new 27-page oral history of the pandemic and how it has altered the industry.

From the early days of the pandemic and through the housing market explosion, the real estate industry has been moving fast, leaving little time for reflection.

Sherry Chris | Photo credit: BHGRE

But a new undertaking from Realogy’s expansion brands portfolio — which encompasses ERA Real Estate and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate — attempted to catalog what’s taken place over the past year and the lessons learned.

“We really wanted to capture what had taken place over the past several months in the hopes that — and this is exactly what happened — some best practices would emerge that we would be able to share within the Realogy expansion brands, and with the industry as a whole,” Sherry Chris, the CEO of Realogy expansion brands, told Inman.

Chris and the team at Realogy decided who better to tell the story than those who lived it? The result is a 27-page oral history, with interviews and insight from more than a dozen broker-owners under the Realogy flag, titled, Real Estate in the Time of COVID.

Chris, in compiling the

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How to Find Ways to Market an Interior Design Business | Small Business

The way a home or business looks affects how the people who spend time in it feel, so interior designers can find clients among homeowners and business owners. Although most can benefit from interior design, however, not everyone is willing to pay the price for a quality interior designer. To find clients, you need to market your business in a way that will help you attract not only those who could use interior designing but also those who see it as a worthwhile investment.

Ask other interior designers and business experts to help you strategize. Interior designers with successful businesses and business consultants or mentors have been through the process of finding unique marketing ideas before, so they are in a position to help. Business mentors can help you think about what markets you really want to pitch your services in and focus on those markets. Schedule an appointment with a successful interior designer or business mentor. Ask the potential mentor questions about her business, business philosophy and experience to determine if she will be a good fit. Do not hesitate to interview several prospective mentors, and choose a mentor who is successful, has experience in finding ways to market

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Average spend, how to budget, and ways to save

Whether your bathroom needs a complete do-over with demolition down to the studs, or you just want to update the fixtures and flooring, a bathroom remodel requires perfect planning to stay within budget and get the job done in a timely manner. After all, most homeowners can’t do without their bathroom for any length of time.



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According to Remodeling magazine’s cost vs. value report 2020, the average mid-range bathroom renovation costs $21,377, and yield a 64 percent ROI. However, costs could be as low as $2,500, according to the internet services company Angie’s List, depending on the scope of the job.

“The biggest budget factor is whether the project is a gut to remodel or simply a facelift to replace the fixtures and update the look,” says Gabby Koontz, kitchen and bath designer for Classic Kitchen and Bath in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Planning a bathroom remodel of your own? Below, we’re running through the biggest factors that impact bathroom remodel costs, how to budget for your bathroom remodel, plus ways to save money if you’re renovating on a dime. 

Factors that impact bathroom remodel costs

Labor—According to Angie’s List, the cost

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25 ways to create stunning house plant displays

Indoor plant ideas can help lower stress levels, replenish the air and make your home look gorgeous. What’s more, indoor plants offer an excuse to have fun and get hands-on creative too. 



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Surrounding ourselves with indoor garden ideas, and the act of caring for plants, also helps us get back in touch with nature. And, as the Botanical Boys say, ‘Connection to the natural world is more crucial than ever. In a fast-paced fragile world we live in today, we need to just slow down sometimes and observe nature – it’s the one thing that keeps us alive.’

‘It is incredibly important that each and every one of us finds the time to connect to nature in some way and by doing so also positively impacts our own wellbeing,’ they add.

It’s easy to enjoy all the benefits of plants indoors. However big or small your home, there’s definitely room for a leafy beauty or two  – from tiny bonsais to stately palms and figs they can pep up a mantlepiece, filter light coming through a window or even help divide an open-plan living space. They can add contrast and texture to the

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41 ways to maximise the potential of your compact space

The best small garden ideas need to be practical, stylish, and easy-to-implement. A bit of design know-how can transform a cramped courtyard or an urban square of lawn bordered by dull fencing. In fact, it’s surprisingly simple to create a successful space that’s both attractive and functional, even on small plots.



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Every good garden design needs to take the surrounding area into account. This is particularly important with small gardens, where neighbouring houses can affect the end result. Be realistic about what you can achieve. Whether you’re planning a complete overhaul or a few tweaks, we’ve put together some design tricks that will help you nail it. 

From a little trompe l’oeil to fab foliage, garden furniture, lighting, clever garden storage and more, these small garden looks are easy to achieve and will help turn your space into the ultimate spot for outdoor living. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re working on a tight budget – we have clever tips to let you save as you go. Get ready to see your city balcony, tiny country garden, shady patio area or even that lacklustre patch of lawn be transformed into an extraordinary small

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19 fun ways to light up your garden in style

Looking to brighten up your plot? Try these festoon light ideas – they will instantly add sparkle and style to your space. Whether you’re after a cosy outdoor living room or an atmosphere that’s fit for a party, it’s easy to see why they’re such a popular go-to. Effective, affordable, and easy to string along a fence or hang from a pergola – what’s not to love? They’re the perfect choice if you’re on the lookout for garden lighting ideas.



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‘When it comes to styling your festoons, there are so many options,’ says the team at Lights4fun. ‘For a subtle illumination around your garden we recommend swagging the lights along an exterior wall or fence, or for the ultimate wow-factor create a festoon canopy overhead, this looks particularly effective over an outdoor dining table or seating area and adds an inviting warm glow to your space.’

Thalia Shaw, owner of Sparkle Lighting, adds, ‘Festoon lights are a great affordable option to create atmosphere in a garden. They are brilliant for emphasising a focal point such as a barbecue area, dining area or sitting area,’ or ‘for creating a zone.’

Sounds perfect,

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16 ways to turn your home into a plant-filled haven

Looking for indoor garden ideas? We’re not surprised! After all, we’ve all been spending a lot more time between our own four walls this year. Wouldn’t it be nice to give it all a freshen up with a load of leafy green foliage, and maybe a bloom or two?



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Although many of us are lucky enough to have an outdoor space to call our own, some of us city folk are, well, lacking in the garden department. If that’s the case, maybe our garden design ideas have got you pining for some green-fingered action of your own. But that’s okay – whatever your outside-space situation, nothing can stop you creating a plant-filled sanctuary indoors! And even if you’ve got an outside plot sorted, there’s always a reason to welcome more plants into your world.

‘Plants don’t just have to be laid out in garden areas or as patio plants – any environment can benefit from the vibrancy and health benefits of plants,’ says the team at Indoor Garden Design. ‘No matter what the environment, plants and plant holders can be styled to suit the aesthetic of your space.’

So, why not fill your shelves

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5 Creative Ways to Expand Your Design Business in 2021

In response to the economic downturn, some interior designers have reevaluated their design services and considered alternate revenue streams. AD PRO consulted with several who have expanded their offerings beyond traditional interior design services; some made these professional pivots even before the pandemic struck, and others as a result of it. Here, they share their experiences and provide insights for others who might be contemplating secondary money-making means.

Sell real estate

“Creating multiple streams of income is becoming almost trendy, and it’s an intelligent approach to adding to the success of any business,” says Kelly Collier, founder of Plot Twist Design and a licensed real estate agent since 2009. She says she has taken a break from real estate several times, most recently to launch her design studio at the beginning of 2019. By December of that year, she added real estate services to her design business.

“Real estate makes perfect sense for someone who is equally passionate about it as they are about design,” says Collier, who recently helped an investor friend with renovating a property to flip. “I assisted their construction team in selecting flooring, kitchen and bath tile, and other finishes. Once the work was completed last

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4 Ways To Embrace Real Estate’s Pandemic-Induced Digitalization

At Inman Connect, Opendoor Chief Product Officer Tom Willerer shared what the customer should expect after a year spent almost entirely online.

It’s not too late to join us virtually for Inman Connect! We have a stellar lineup planned through Thursday. Register now to jump into the live sessions today, plus you’ll have access to what you missed on-demand. Register now.

Ten months into the pandemic, most of us are anxiously awaiting the day we can resume our daily lives. But some things we’ve learned and habits we’ve picked up over the last year need to be channeled rather than simply left behind — the rapid move to digital everything, from open houses to home tours has, in many cases, become a client expectation.

“Some of the things that COVID has accelerated, like virtual touring or remote closings, were things that we would hear customers were interested in [prior to the pandemic],” Opendoor Chief Product Officer Tom Willerer said at the “Digitization and the Shifting Consumer Experience” session Thursday at Inman Connect.

The Opendoor business model of iBuying has been disrupting the industry long before the pandemic. At Inman Connect, Willerer offered attendees four tips on how to take

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