About us

Creating dream homes on a budget

Gemma Medden and Gareth Fisher's extended cottage in Hornby, North Yorkshire. Hero house for September
(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Real Homes is the site that gives you an insider’s guide to creating a home you love, without needing a unlimited budget. Our goal is to make ordinary homes extraordinary with a focus on cost and value. We cover realistic, achievable ways to make your home special (think DIYs, upcycling, and editor-curated picks of affordable finds), and guide you on the best ways to save money when it comes to home ownership, maintenance, and improvement. 

Meet the team

Laura Crombie: Brand Development Editor

Laura Crombie

My favourite pastime when I was little was drawing my dream home (complete with marble staircase, swimming pool and stables), so writing about property and interiors felt like my natural calling. En route to joining Real Homes, I was a newspaper reporter, Editor of a regional magazine, and Editorial Manager for a travel company (who doesn’t love a free holiday?). I started at Real Homes in 2015 as Deputy Editor and then become Editor before taking on my current position, which focuses on video and events. In case you’re wondering, I’m still waiting for that dream home... but these days I’d settle for a pantry and utility room over stables and a pool!

My interior style is…
I’d like to say it’s simple and elegant, but since our baby daughter came along it’s more like a Worcestershire branch of Toys"R"Us (RIP). I love the textures and pared-back palette of Scandi interiors, but also like to experiment with colours inspired by nature, especially sea blues, foliage greens and sky greys. I think the secret to great style is investing in classic pieces of furniture and then adding colour and personality through artwork and accessories, but I won’t be achieving that until mini me leaves home sometime in her mid twenties.

My next project…
I veer between planning to add a kitchen extension to our current house and wanting to move completely. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a sprawling garden to explore, and I’d love to give our daughter the same. While we count the pennies, I’m planning to upcycle our old oak dining table and sideboard. They’ve served us well for years but it’s time they had a makeover.

My lust list…
One of our sofas has developed an unfortunate sag in the middle (it seems furniture isn’t immune to middled-aged spread), so I’m hankering after a pair of Cosenza sofas from Ercol. They’re just beautiful and should age gracefully.

Special interests:
Family-friendly interiors that combine good looks with practicality. If you’d asked me three years ago, the answer would have been very different!

Follow me:
Instagram @lauraccrombie

Kaitlin Madden: Editor-in Chief, Real Homes and Realhomes.com

kaitlin madden

(Image credit: Mindy Briar Photography)

I joined the Real Homes team in March 2020 ahead of our US launch, but I've written about homes, renovations and decor for more than ten years. I've worked with brands and publishers like Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Refinery29, Modern Luxury Interiors, Wayfair, New England Home, Amazon, The Design Network, and lots more. I currently live in Connecticut with my husband, two sons and our black lab. 

My interior style is...
A fresh take on traditional. My house is a colonial from the 1930s so I try and honor its classic bones in a way that's relevant, modern and not precious or stuffy. At the same time, I love antiques and stand strong on the view that every room needs 'something old.'

My next project..
Turning our breakfast nook into a seating area -- it'll be much more functional that way.

My lust list....
The entire Lulu & Georgia catalog.

Special interests:
I love anything vintage or thrifted. I spend a lot of time (too much time?) browsing flea markets and Facebook marketplace for my next upcycling project. 

Follow me:
Instagram @kaitmadden

Lindsey Davis: Ecommerce editor-in-chief, Future Homes

Lindsey Davis

I made my first foray into writing about homes seven years ago when I joined the Homebuilding & Renovating team as web editor. In 2015 I was asked to also look after Real Homes' predecessor Realhomesmagazine.co.uk and the Period Living website which has now found a new home on Homesandgardens.com. In 2020 we invited a host of successful interiors brands to join us here and Future and I now oversee product content for them all. 

When I bought my first house seven years ago my love of interiors suddenly became a lot more hands on. It is an ongoing project but I have put our advice to good use, tiling a bathroom wall and converting my loft. 

My interior style is...
I love the simplicity and cosiness of Scandinavian interiors so most of my home is painted white and accessorised with textiles, wood and colourful accessories. That said, I am a big fan of dark inky colours, so painted a wall of my lounge the deepest, darkest green I could find (a low budget version of Farrow & Ball Studio Green). I live in a Victorian cottage so I have decorated in a way that lets the period features do the talking, without the place feeling like a living museum.

My next project..
I want to paint the orange pine cupboards in my kitchen. Maybe a grey blue? Or white? Or a really dark navy?

My lust list....
I am planning ahead for a summer in the garden, so have been browsing garden furniture. I can't quite decide what I want/need but love the San Carlo Lounge Set from Cox & Cox – it's like a Mid-century living room for your garden.

Special interests:
Eco and I'm always impressed by the amazing things people manage to do on a budget.

Follow me:
Instagram @elledee20
Twitter @Lindsey_E_Davis

Ellen Finch: Deputy Editor, Real Homes Magazine

Image of Ellen Finch

Since venturing into the world of interiors after a brief stint writing for true life titles, I've been consistently humbled by the beautiful homes I've been lucky enough to write about and the creative DIYers I've interviewed. Since I don't own my own home, I'm always taking inspiration from our renters' section, which is full of clever tips and tricks.

My interior style is...
A bit mix-and-match. I love patterned tiles, Mid-century furniture and plenty of art – but I can't afford all that, so it's mostly Ikea hacks and second-hand buys.

My next project...
Is re-doing my bedroom. With nine houseplants and counting in that room alone, I'm going to need a lot of shelving. I'm also toying with the idea of an open storage system, but with so many clothes to hang up, it's not going to look anywhere near as neat as it does on the Ikea website.

My lust list....
A quick glance at my bookmarks suggests I'm going for a Scandi look for my next project, with this bed, this desk and this nifty shelving unit(perfect for books and vinyls alike) top of the list.

Special interests...
Ironically, I'm both a prolific magazine hoarder and a storage enthusiast, which in reality means spending hours scrolling through storage porn on Instagram while the ever-growing paper piles in my room continue to be a trip hazard.

Follow me:
Instagram @ellenfinch
Twitter @llenfi

Camille Dubuis-Welch: Digital Editor, Realhomes.com

Camille Dubuis-Welch

(Image credit: Camille Dubuis-Welch)

I am Digital Editor at Realhomes.com and joined the team in January 2020. As an interior design aficionado, when I'm not developing evergreen content and furiously researching keywords, I am most definitely finding new ways to spruce up my rented space, usually involving a houseplant or two. I love the challenge that comes with making a room look stylish and feel homely, and my ultimate goal is to renovate the house of dreams, somewhere marvellously sunny with a wild and lavish garden, of course.

My interior style is...

My next project..
I am working on perfecting a living green wall.

My lust list....
A forest green velvet couch/chaise longue.

Special interests:
I love life drawing!

Jenny McFarlane: Senior Digital Editor, Realhomes.com

profile picture of Jenny McFarlane

(Image credit: Matt Gibbs)

I'm Senior Digital Editor for Real Homes and joined in January 2021 working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Livingetc and Gardeningetc. I also work on the homes brands' video show, on the Future Homes Network, which is packed full of ideas to help you make the most of your own home and garden.

My obsession with interior design began way back when I was, at a tender age, glued to Changing Rooms on BBC. Fast forward 10 years and I was studying for a degree in textiles at university.  

After my degree, I lived and worked in the arts in Washington DC. On returning to the UK I kickstarted my career on women's and lifestyle titles such as InStyle, Red, Handbag.com, SUITCASE and LUXE City Guides. 5 years on and I was heading up the content strategy and digital presence on interiors brands Good Homes, Grand Designs and ICON.

Since buying our first apartment and then a house, my passion for interior design and gardening has taken on a new lease of life. I really love making wherever we live a little haven and working to make it stylish and comfortable.

My interior style is... 

I relish finding unique pieces and collecting wall art. I love finding bits that remind me of home (Ireland), places I've visited and things that inspire me or make me feel happy, interspersing them with photos of my favourite humans and postcards from here, there and everywhere. 

I'm not interested in my home being really trendy but I want to be surrounded by gorgeous things that remind me of points in time or a great memory or somewhere I want to go. It's more connection for me than looking of-the-moment.

My next project... I'm currently on the search for a doer-upper to put my own stamp on.

My lust list... I'm pining for Crittall style windows and doors either inside or to open up into the garden. 

Special interests: 

I'm really into exploring new countries whenever I can and collecting and salvaging unique items much to my husband's despair. I also love crafting – although I hardly get the chance with my baby daughter who keeps me on my toes, pretty much on the daily!

Follow me:

Instagram @jennykmac

Annie Collyer: Deputy Ecommerce Editor, Realhomes.com

I've been writing words on Realhomes.com for more than three years now. I spend a lot of my time rounding up the best products in terms of looks and practicality, from kitchen bins to towels and TV stands. Otherwise, I mostly talk to industry experts, and PRs to try to ensure that we're always featuring the very best deals on all the products our readers would expect to see. As for my love of interiors, I moved into a flat in London a few years ago and have managed to give it an impressive bit of TLC, whilst sticking to a budget. When I’m not shopping online for new homeware I’m usually snapping photos of my house for Instagram, or walking my Pug, Doug. 

My interior style is…
Everchanging! My house has white walls and wooden floors, but I am constantly switching up my colour scheme. I do normally go back to mustard, however. I'd say it's slightly Scandi and a little bit boho. My bookcase is bigger than my TV, though, and I do have a penchant for dried flowers.

My next project...
I'm on a mission to DIY my glass living room doors to look like crittall-style ones, to save money and hassle on ripping them out.

My lust list...
I’ve always wanted a freestanding bathtub (who hasn’t) and I think when it comes to buying a house, I may just have to get one. 

Special interests:
Can you ever scroll too much on Pinterest?

Follow me:
Instagram @anniecollyer

Brittany Romano: U.S. Shopping Editor, RealHomes.com

Brittany Romano

(Image credit: Brittany Romano)

My first job right about college was as an intern for Kelly Cutrone at People's Revolution, where I learned how to market brands and strike emotions within consumers. Once leaving there — and a few quick stints at MLBAM and the Weinstein Company — I landed at Marie Claire as a market assistant. There I discovered my distinct eye and how to cater to different products to specifically targeted demographics. 

Next, I continued working my way up the ladder, landing a role as an Editorial Coordinator at Penske Media Company, later leaving to join AMI as a Content Creator. There, I worked alongside all of their top-performing brands including U.S. Weekly and Men's Journal (to name a few). In 2019, at the Awin and ShareASale's ThinkTank 2019 Network Awards, I took home the award for 'Content Strategy of the Year,' after a wildly successful partnership with Allbirds. 

Following all of that excitement — and joining Business Insider's team as a contributor — I exited the AMI brands and joined Future as their new U.S. Shopping Editor. 

My interior design style is: 

Previously, I defined my aesthetic as modern and feminine (though detesting the color pink); however, after moving into my first apartment — and decorating it! — I'm learning it's ever-evolving. 

At the moment, I'm learning to settle my wandering eye, partial to quirky, retro, eclectic pieces, but balancing them amongst timeless charm.  

My next project: 

Everything! Prior to the pandemic, I slept in my apartment, and there was not one piece of furniture in it (aside from my bed!). As a result, the stay-at-home order fully forced me into adulthood, where you'll catch me around-the-clock making improvements just about everywhere.

After completing my living room and adding a desk, my next project is unpacking my bathroom and kitchen. I'm a bit of a hoarder — while eventually circling back to my bedroom at some point to change the wallpaper (for the third time in the past two months!).  

My lust list:

A white colonial (and black door) somewhere North (preferably somewhere closer to my hometown in Connecticut), but for right now? I'd settle for more than one closet in my small Upper East Side apartment or Maison C's Natura Morta wallpaper in the forest shade.

Special interests:  

Pre-pandemic? You'd find me rinkside, cheering on my beloved Boston Bruins, with a tequila soda in hand (or in both hands!), but now, it's just binge-watching the latest-and-greatest release on Netflix. 

Follow me:

Whether I'm documenting my latest DIY-project or live-tweeting my favorite reality shows, feel free to follow me at:

Instagram: @Rammmyyy

Twitter: @brittannnyyy

Jaclyn Turner, U.S. eCommerce Editor, RealHomes.com

Jaclyn Turner

(Image credit: Jaclyn Turner)

I officially joined the Real Homes team in Jan. 2021 to manage buying guide content in the U.S., keeping tabs on what’s new and amazing, and trying those products out too to make recommendations about our top picks. As a savvy, price-conscious shopper myself, I always focus on both quality and value, with a discerning approach.  I’ve previously worked on the commerce teams with Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, and MyDomaine, covering everything from major sales to new product launches. I credit my love of shopping and design to my mother, who really helped develop those habits at an early age, and now I get to make a living out of it… what could be better?  

My interior style is…

I’d love to describe my ever-changing tastes as mid-century boho glam. I love incorporating different patterns, textures, and of course color, to set the tone. I’ll usually design a room around a focal color, or a statement piece. A minimalist I am not, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of Millennial Pink, no matter if it’s still so 2016.  

My next project...

I just moved from New York to Georgia to be closer to my family, and now I’m dealing with trying to fit three eras of myself and my stuff spread out across the house. And dealing with the hanging clothes rack in my bedroom… some masterful closet organization is ready to be set in motion. 

My lust list...

If practicality was no issue, a sumptuous jewel-toned velvet sofa… and one of these days, a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. 

Special interests:

Renter-friendly design ideas and scrolling through TikTok for life hacks

Follow me:

Instagram @jaclynturner

Anna Cottrell: Consumer Editor, Realhomes.com

Anna Cottrell

(Image credit: Anna Cottrell)

I moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. I've always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time. On Realhomes.com, I specialise in writing about property – buying, selling, renting, mortgages – sustainability and eco issues, plus I oversee the gardening section. These are areas that really interest me and I love nothing more than getting to the nitty gritty of a difficult subject. I rent my home and am always looking at ways to make it cosy without having to do major DIY.

My interior style is...
Eclectic: I like things not to be too matchy-matchy and enjoy mixing traditional and modern styles. 

My next project is...
Decluttering! I always mean to do it, start, then somehow never quite finish sorting through all of the stuff accumulated over the years. 

My lust list...
I'm a sucker for lovely bedsheets and have been coveting the 1,000 thread count sheets from John Lewis for ages! Maybe this Christmas...?

Special interests:
Sustainability and reducing waste in the home: I am always looking for the latest innovations in eco-friendly and sustainable materials and technology.

Hebe Hatton: Style Editor, Realhomes.com

Hebe Hatton

(Image credit: Hebe Hatton)

I joined Realhomes.com in early 2018, and I love the direction we continue to go in – there is such a gap in the market for a platform that offers ideas that are both aspirational and practical. On Realhomes.com, I oversee the design and rooms pages. I was until recently a renter, but have just bought my own home on a tight budget, meaning I often have to get pretty creative with what I can do to my place, but who doesn’t love a challenge? Especially if that challenge involves lino flooring, woodchip walls and bathroom suites in various pastel hues... And I love to bring that approach to our readers.

My interior style is…
Everchanging. I want my bedroom to look like the set of Mad Men one day and Marie Antoinette’s boudoir the next. But the style that has stuck with me the longest is somewhere between Boho and a kind of 70’s vibe – think rattan, loads of orange, quirky prints and plenty of house plants.  

My next project…
To tackle my open plan kitchen/dining room/living room/spare bedroom (when needed). It’s a huge space with everything pushed into corners and against walls, making it feel somehow empty and cluttered at the same time. I’m thinking I need to get more imaginative with the layout. 

My lust list…
A bed. I should specify - a bed of my own. As a serial renter, I have been lucky enough to inherit lots of beds, so I am now on the hunt for a bed that has only been, and will only ever be, mine. I would love something crazy ornate like this rattan number from Anthropologie, but since space is limited this simple Scandi design from Made.comis next on my list. 

Special interests…
Instagram. I love using it to find loads of amazing interior ideas.

Follow me:
Instagram @hebehatton

Alison Jones: Assistant Editor, Real Homes magazine

Alison Jones author image

(Image credit: Alison Jones)

I arrived at Real Homes after too long a career in newspapers (local and national). Following brief interludes as a news and court reporter, I found a natural home on the features desk (better hours, more perks) and bluffed my way to becoming a film critic/writer. Various multi-hyphenate roles followed, including editing numerous fashion, lifestyle and property magazines for the papers, before being unexpectedly offered a job at Real Homes.

My interiors style is...
In a state of flux. Every time I think I’ve moodboarded my way to a design scheme I’ll be happy with, I have my head turned by another great-looking makeover in Real Homes.

My next project is...
After being convinced by the can-do attitude of the renovators we write about, I bought a large Victorian house that was last decorated somewhere around the middle of last century. I am now trying to do it up armed with a little knowledge, even less money and a flat-head screwdriver.

My lust list...
I am steadily buying my way through much of what Made.com has to offer (new Penn bed arrives this week). I want a leather pouffe from Morocco, but only if I can go to Marrakesh to get it. And after interviewing theworkshopbelow.com back when they were making lights from jam jars, I always promised myself I’d get a bespoke piece from them.

My special interest...
I used to make quite elaborate occasion cakes. I’d like to get back to doing some of that... just as soon as I’ve built myself a kitchen.

Jennifer Oksien: Appliances Editor, Realhomes.com

(Image credit: Jennifer Oksien)

In 2014 I secured the role as a Website Copy Producer for John Lewis (now John Lewis & Partners) in London. It was here that I made the break into tech and appliances; writing those product descriptions we heavily rely on for making informed purchase decisions, and an array of supporting editorial to help narrow down the choices. After a few years I moved on to dip my toes in life at Future, then manage a small team in a B2B organisation, only to boomerang back to Future and what I love doing; writing about appliances and mattresses. It was meant to be. And the difference with this role as Appliances Editor is that I can put those products I write about to the test so our readers (and I) can buy with confidence when kitting out the home.

My interior style is...
Since buying our first home two-and-a-bit years ago it’s been in a constant state of renovation and restoration. It’s a Victorian terrace so I’m looking for Victorian features and furnishings to complement pops of modern colour (and tech) which we can use to make the house feel more like our home. I’ve been on a mad hunt for brass fire fenders for our two fireplaces; one in the front room, one in the dining room, but now that’s complete (I’m happy to say) I’m looking for a brass bay window curtain rail, bold cotton rugs to use on our recently sanded wooden floors, a large ornate mirror to hang in the dining room… this was the long way in saying that my interior style is a bit of a mixed bag!

My next project...
It will be more house renovation. We want to open up the kitchen and dining room to create an open plan space, and with that I’m hoping to get a new kitchen (albeit a kitchen which is new to me because it will be reusing what we already have, plus bits and pieces I find on eBay!)

My lust list...
I would reeeally like to have cafe-style wooden shutters for our bay window at the front of the house because it gets the full sun for most of the day, and I just think they look nice, too. I’ve been keeping a look out for them on second hand sites, but also have an eye on the plantation shutters at Just Shutters – they’re really nice!

Special interests...
Reusing and fixing items, and scrolling through eBay!

Follow me:
Twitter @JennyOksien

Amelia Smith: Deputy Style Editor, Real Homes magazine

picture of author

I joined Real Homes magazine nearly two years ago and still can’t quite believe my luck! In every house (or more precisely, bedroom) I’ve rented so far, I’ve gone all out with the removable décor – I’ve even been known to put wrapping paper on my uni room walls as both a centre piece and a moodboard, so I’m loving all the ideas for renters we’ve got going on.  

My interior style is…
Always changing! I used to love all things elegant, delicate and pretty, but having the pleasure of looking at amazing and adventurous houses every day means my taste has become somewhat bolder! I love colour and pattern, so I want my home to have something beautiful and bright everywhere you look… simple Scandi just isn’t for me! 

My next project...
I’m currently cramming four years worth of household stuff and so many books into one bedroom, so I’m on the lookout for extra storage.

My lust list…
Dreaming of the day when I can decorate my own living room, I’d have the Rabarber wallpaper by Borastapeter, the Gracie three-seater velvet sofa (colour tbc as I love them both) and a really chunky soft rug to keep cosy.

Special interests...
I love a good patterned tile and beautiful architecture, so I’m happiest when exploring colourful European cities. Porto, Budapest, and Bruges are the last few cities I’ve visited, and shamelessly annoyed my friends by spending ages taking pictures of the buildings. Colourful house numbers in Bruges even inspired us to do a house number plaque moodboard shoot in the mag.

Follow me:
Instagram @ameliahelen20
Twitter @AmeliaHelen20

Christina Chrysostomou: Digital Writer, RealHomes.com

Image of Christina Chrysostomou

(Image credit: Christina Chrysostomou)

The newest addition to the team, I am a Digital Writer at Realhomes.com and joined the team in June 2021. 

Living in close proximity to Epping Forest, I am spoiled for choice with lush green spaces and also have a lovely English garden complete with a floral mélange of roses, lavender, jasmine and an apple tree in my 2-bed ground floor maisonette.

My interior style is…

Quite the juxtaposition, my home is a 'coordinated hodgepodge' of the latest interior styles. However, featuring lots of white and grey decor, oak doors throughout and an upcycled rustic shelf made from a ladder and two wooden planks, the Scandi trend dominates my home.

I'm also a massive fan of multifunctional broken plan design. My living room space is an office by day and social space to relax on evenings and weekends.

My next project...

I love entertaining family and friends and often extend my hospitality to include an overnight stay. So my next project would be to renovate our guest room with a boutique hotel style scheme to make the space more hospitable.

My lust list...

Appearances are everything in Essex, so a huge statement floor length mirror is on the list! Failing that, a lovely vintage Persian rug would also add some color and culture to my sitting room space. Having been stuck indoors during lockdown, I'm a woman consumed by wanderlust. 

So all in all, I think the real answer is - a blank checkbook.

Special interests...

I'm a sucker for high street and designer brand collaborations. I think they are a great way of getting your hands on a statement piece at an entry-level price. 

Follow me:

Instagram: @scenebystina

Real Homes Contributors

Our contributors are industry experts and home enthusiasts. 

Linda Clayton: Contributing Editor

Linda Clayton head shot

(Image credit: Linda Clayton)

Linda is a freelance journalist who has specialised in homes and interiors for the past 19 years, beginning on a trade rag for the Daily Mail Group and now writing full-time for the likes of Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, and of course Real Homes. Linda is our resident mattress reviewer. She spends at least a week on every mattress she tests for us, as does her ever-patient husband. In reviewing mattresses for us for more than a year, she has become something of a very opinionated expert. She lives in Devon with her cabinetmaker husband, two daughters and many pets, and is locked in an on-going battle to drag their red brick Victorian home out of 1970s swirly-carpet hell...

Instagram: @Lindaclaytonwrites

Twitter: @Lindaclayton

Sarah Warwick: Contributing Editor

Sarah Warwick

(Image credit: Sarah Warwick)

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites,
national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic
career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart,
decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and
interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She
loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in
furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits,
costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that
she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial
house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.

Website: Tailored Content

Alex Temblador: Contributing Writer, Mattress Reviewer

alex temblador real homes contributor

(Image credit: Alex Temblador)

Alex Temblador is a Mixed Latinx award-winning author and freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas. Her work in the home space has appeared in outlets like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Culture Trip, and Neighborhoods.com, among many others. She writes reviews and buying guides for Real Homes, and has tested everything from vacuum cleaners to fitness equipment in the name of product research. You can learn more about Alex at AlexTemblador.com

Ann Loynd Burton: Contributing Writer

ann loynd burton

(Image credit: Mindy Briar)

After serving as an editor for luxury publications for nearly a decade, Ann Loynd Burton struck out on her own as a freelance writer covering design and lifestyle. Along with her work highlighting decor trends for Real Homes, Loynd Burton has covered interiors for such publications as Apartment TherapyAspireCottages & Gardens, and Galerie

Kaitlyn McInnis: Contributing Writer

Kaitlyn McInnis writer

(Image credit: Kaitlyn McInnis)

Kaitlyn is an experienced travel and lifestyle writer with a keen interest in interior decorating and home optimization. An avid traveler, she's currently splitting her time between her apartment in a century-old châteauesque building in Montreal and her cozy chalet in the woods (that she built with her own two hands... and many YouTube tutorials!). Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, Tatler Asia, Forbes, Robb Report Singapore, and various other international publications.

Kelsey Mulvey: Contributing Writer

Kelsey mulvey real homes contributor

(Image credit: Kelsey Mulvey)

Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance journalist in San Francisco, who covers all-things design and lifestyle. In addition to covering news, trends, and design for Real Homes, her work has been featured in publications like Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, and Apartment Therapy, among others.

Terri Williams: Contributing Writer

terri williams author

(Image credit: Terri Williams)

Terri Williams is a journalist with real estate, home improvement, and product review bylines at Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, MSN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, and Apartment Therapy. She also covers business topics, with bylines at USA Today, The Economist, US New & World Report, Verizon, and several other brands that you’ve probably heard of. Follow her adventures on Twitter.

Lisa Maloney: Contributing Writer

A seasoned freelance writer and former reporter, Lisa Maloney possesses a keen eye for deals on everything from furniture to fitness equipment and household appliances. She has written an extensive collection of buying guides and product reviews for publications including Wirecutter, ConsumerSearch, ShopSmart magazine, Cheapism, Last Frontier magazine and Alaska magazine. 

Optional last sentence, probably not necessary: When Lisa isn't researching the best buys in home goods, she also covers travel and outdoor adventures.

How to contact us

Get in touch to talk about collaborating with us, but please note we do not take part in link building. If you would like to advertise with us, read more about advertising opportunities

There are lots of ways to get in touch with us:

Code of conduct

RealHomes is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact realhomesdigital@futurenet.com or realhomes@futurenet.com for print matters. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk.


(Image credit: IPSO)

How do we reach a verdict in our buying guides?

There’s no hiding it, the RealHomes.com team is unashamedly addicted to all things home- and garden-related. Together, we have years of experience in these subjects, and use our hard-won knowledge to bring you the very best products at the very best prices.

Our buying guide best buys are carefully chosen by our journalists based on a combination of our own experience, rigorous in-house testing and in-depth research into expert reviews, user reviews and ratings. In other words, it’s just as important to us to know and to report what you, the consumer, thinks about a product once you get it home, as it is to base our guides on our own knowledge and experts’ reviews.

Our guides include many of the retailers you shop with, including our trusted merchants, so that the unbiased shortlist we bring you includes the best products on the market at the time of writing.

We sort through thousands of deals to offer the best prices from the most trustworthy retailers. You can support us by clicking these independently selected links, as we may earn a commission on any purchase you make, at no extra cost to you.

Our reviews are rated on a system of 1-5 stars, based on the criteria of: design desirability – how good does it look, and does it meet our style aspirations; durabililty –likelihood to perform as well; performance – might be comfort (sofas), might be power (pressure washers), might be speed or accuracy (kettles); point of difference – how much does it add to the overall sum of product innovation, Is it noticeably pushing things forward, or is it a copyist me-too; value for money – Real Homes is all about making all of the above achievable to everyone (that’s not necessarily a case of the cheaper the better, but products get judged on value). 

Our experienced reviewers give each product a score out of 25 for the criteria leading to an overall percentage which translates to a star rating (products getting over 100 out of 125 get a 5-star rating).

Five stars - denotes an outstanding product in all of the above criteria. It is rarely awarded, although we do aim to review the best quality product possible and the various industries' leaders, to ensure you'll be buying the best products for your homes. These 5-star products are awarded a Real Homes Loves badge which you'll see dotted around the site.

Four stars - an excellent product that delivers on all the key criteria and would be a good investment for our audience. 

Three stars - a good score that denotes the product has elements of all of the above criteria. It is the standard rating for products that could be enjoyed by most of our audience.

Two stars - denotes a product that significantly disappoints on one of the key criteria above - perhaps it’s well-made but way overpriced, or looks good but feels uncomfortable.

One star - rarely used, but a one star review denotes a product we feel fails to deliver on several of the key criteria and is best avoided by most of our audience.

How do we source our news?

Our team is committed to bringing the latest relevant property news to our audience of homeowners and renters. We primarily do this by interpreting market analysis for our particular audience, but we also create original research through our Real Homes Reports strand. 

All news labelled Real Homes Reports has been produced from surveys conducted by Future PLC's Audience Insight team, via The Illuminate Panel – our proprietary reader survey utility.