The Latest Trends in Water Features

Water is a soothing natural element that can add comfort and ambiance to any outdoor space. Whether it’s a pond, fountain, waterfall or bubbling rock, water features continue to be a popular design element for outdoor living spaces. As this practice continues to evolve, technology and contemporary design preferences are definitely influencing the trends.

Water Feature Technology Trends

Smart Features

More and more homes are becoming integrated with smart-home technology, and this is making its way into outdoor living spaces. One of the hottest trends is to incorporate “smart” technology into water features so that homeowners can use a smartphone app, Alexa or Google Home device to turn the feature on or off.

Solar Technology

Utilizing solar technology for a water feature offers multiple benefits. Not only does it eliminate the ongoing costs of electricity to power the water feature pump, but also eliminates the need to run electrical utilities to the water feature. This is especially helpful when installing a water feature to an existing outdoor living space. Retrofitting an existing space with electrical wiring can be a costly endeavor.

Water Feature with Lighting Technology

Water Feature Lighting

Adding lighting to a water feature enhances the ambiance and also allows the feature to be viewed at night. For ponds and brook-like features, it’s popular to include lighting under the water or shining towards the water. For features that include a waterfall, incorporating an LED light into the waterfall itself adds an ethereal quality. It’s also popular to affix low voltage hardscape lighting to exterior walls of water features.

. . .

Water Feature Design Trends

Interactive Fountains

Interactive fountains are not only beautiful, they are a great family-friendly patio design element. These types of water features can either be designed with a water-recycling permeable paver system, or by adding a drain system to standard pavers.


Fire & Water

There’s just something primal about juxtaposing the natural elements of fire and water that appeals to humans at an instinctual level. As the fire pit and outdoor fireplace trends continue to grow, so does the trend to incorporate a nearby water feature.

Brighton™ Series Fireplace and Waterfall Feature
Weston Stone® Wall Outdoor Hardscapes
Highland Stone and Weston Stone® Wall with Water Fall Feature
Bristol™ Series Fireplace and Celtik Wall Fireplace and Water Feature
Belgard Elements™ Fireplace and Water Element


Pondless Waterfalls

A pondless waterfall is simply a recirculating waterfall or stream without the presence of a pond. The water typically disappears into a basin or a bed of gravel to recirculate into the water feature. Trends in this style of water feature range from natural stone streams to wall fountains and contemporary stand-alone structures.

Weston Stone® Outdoor Patio Waterfall
Allan Block® Outdoor Waterfall Feature


The post The Latest Trends in Water Features appeared first on Outdoor Living by Belgard.

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Sensible answers to the top ‘is it too late to’ gardening questions

Is it too late to prune roses or apple trees? Trim lavender? Or plant spring bulbs? What about mowing the lawn? Is there a time when you should definitely put the mower away?

I had a gardening ‘to-do’ list for this week. Then it snowed. So most of the list went out the window.

When is it too late...gardening jobs

A sudden fall of snow means that my too-late gardening jobs are even later still…

Unfortunately, many of the jobs I’d planned were already a little overdue. So often I find that gardening jobs can’t be done at exactly the time suggested in the ‘Jobs to do in your garden this month.’ Sometimes life gets in the way of gardening.

I’ve also had a few queries from readers asking if it’s too late to trim their lavender or cut their hedge, too. So I thought I’d round up the common ‘is it too late to…’ queries in gardening and ask some experts for their answers.

When is it too late to prune my fruit trees?

In the UK, you’re generally advised to prune apple and pear trees in December and January, which is mid-winter. We are now currently in late winter – mid February. The idea is that you should prune fruit trees when they’re dormant.

But I’ve left pruning the crab apple and apple trees this late. And now it’s snowed. Should I wait until the snow thaws? But will that be too late?

Some friends nearby are fruit farmers. They have to prune thousands of apple trees and make sure they get the best possible yields. ‘We go on pruning fruit trees in the snow,’ they told me. And they hadn’t finished pruning by late winter either. ‘It’s fine to prune apple and crab apple trees up until around the middle of April,’ they told me. ‘And later is better for canker-prone varieties because the sap is rising which helps prevent canker.’

So it’s fine to prune your apple and crab apple trees up to about three months later than it says in the gardening books. And you can prune them when it’s snowing. If you have to.

Note that peach and plum trees should only be pruned in the summer.

Crab apple trees

Even though it’s snowing, it should be fine to prune these crab apple trees beside my front gate. This is Malus hupehensis in spring.

When is it too late to mow the lawn?

If you look outside your window in winter and see that the grass has grown, then mow it. If your grass isn’t growing or is covered in snow, then you don’t need to mow it. It is as simple as that.

Landscape consultant Matt Jackson, who has run major gardens for the National Trust, says that professional gardeners who run large gardens in temperate climates almost always mow throughout the winter. ‘When I started learning how to be a professional gardener, I was told that my mowing season should end in December,’ he says. ‘And it starts again in January.’

Gardeners are often told that October is ‘your last chance’ to give your lawn a final mow. But that only applies to areas where winter days are regularly close to freezing point. If your winter weather is regularly above 5C or 40F, then the grass will grow.

However, Matt advises that you mow with the blades on a higher setting in winter. Don’t cut the grass too short. And don’t mow if the lawn is very wet, because the weight of the mower may churn up the grass and give you bald patches.

Should you mow the grass in winter?

Our lawn in December. You can see that the grass needs mowing.

And if you mow throughout the year, then you’ll need a reminder to service the mower. The great advantage of a ‘put your mower away’ in a gardening ‘to-do’ list is that you will remember to service it when you get it out again.

Read The Rest…

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Before and After: This Stylish Deck Redo Will Have You Dreaming of Spring

This DIYer shows off some smart ideas for hiding weird design quirks.

With February almost behind us and March on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about spring projects — specifically, projects that will help you make the most of any outdoor living space this season and beyond. Here’s an impressive DIY project to inspire you, from Carla Isolano (@houseofbeau13). Carla’s patio space was nicely sized, but a little dreary. “The whole area was in some serious need of TLC,” Carla says. “The bricks were full of weeds, and they were uneven and mismatched.”

Before: brick wall with filled-in old doorways

After: wood deck with slatted wood pergola

“The idea had always been that we would use this space as an outdoor dining area,” Carla says. She had the idea to create a pergola over the space that would both shade the area and help camouflage some of the things they were unable to change, like the mismatched brick wall.

As for the brick patio, Carla covered it up with a wood deck. She included a new hinged cellar hatch in her design, which blends in with the rest of the deck so it looks like one seamless floor. Making sure the cellar door opened and closed easily was crucial since that’s where the family stores their wood for their fireplace.

Carla was able to save on labor by DIYing the job, so her total cost was just for materials and rang up to about £1600 ($2232).



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Landscape Design Tips

Garden Landscape Design – 10 Tips To Design A Beautiful Garden Landscape

1. When coming up with a garden landscape design, you should consider the size, shape, and style of your home during the landscape design phase. The landscape design of your garden should blend with the house, not distract from it. You should be trying to enhance the property as well as the existing structures with your landscape design A good garden landscape design should flow smoothly with your home by creating repeat design details, textures, colors and smooth transitions.

2. When designing your garden landscape, make sure you have a plan in mind. A garden design should incorporate height and width restrictions of the area you plan on planting your garden, especially when dealing with trees. The garden may become unmanageable blocking views or pathways.

3. A successful garden landscape design will include proper soil requirements for the types of plants that you choose within your garden. Drainage requirements have to be taken into consideration when designing your garden. Poor drainage will doom your garden from the start

4. When designing your garden landscape, make sure that you plan for future growth. Your landscape design at maturity may change how the garden receives sun and shade throughout the day. Garden plants bought with the sun in mind may end up in the shade.

5. A vital key to a great garden landscape design is to create a focal point. Whether your focal point is a tree or an oddly shaped plant or garden color, create a garden landscape around it.

6. Consider the curb appeal that your garden landscape design will bring. The backyard garden may be where you hang out, but the rest of the world will see the garden design in the front yard. A good landscape design technique is to plan curves into the garden design; nature does not work in just straight lines. This type of landscape design will increase the look and curbside appeal of your garden, adding value to your house.

7. The future needs of the family should be taken into consideration when designing your garden landscape. If you have children, design your garden with them in mind. Each member of the family will use the garden design differently.

8. One of the most overlooked elements of landscape design is lighting, both natural and artificial. Lighting plays a very important role in any good garden landscape design. Garden lighting sets the tone for how the garden will be used during the day as well as at night.

9. Your garden landscape design does not have to be expensive, but make sure that you are being realistic about costs. It’s very easy to misjudge landscaping design costs, especially if you hire contractors.

10.When planning your garden landscape design, make sure and create it around your personality, desires and maintenance requirements. If you really like an oriental garden design, why plant a rose garden. The future maintenance of your landscape design should be a major decision during the landscape design. If you do not have the time or the ability to keep up on the maintenance, your landscape design is doomed for failure.


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35% of Spring Renovations Will Be Focused on This Part of the House

Instead of staring out the window all day at the winter tundra, get in the mood for spring by sorting out some projects to take on once you can see the lawn again. You won’t be the only one: According to a new study, 35 percent of Americans are planning on tackling outdoor DIY projects this year. Sure, you could endeavor to install a fully grown tree for big impact, but these ideas are a much lighter lift and still up curb appeal. 

Let There Be Life!

Take a page out of Reese Witherspoon’s book and invest in a couple of metal tubs to create raised flower beds. The extra height can end up hiding unsightly siding, and plants will spill over the edges in vines for that purposefully wild look. Shop secondhand sites for used bins; their patina will make it look like you’ve had a green thumb for decades.

Keep the Lawn Looking Great After Sunset

Framing a path in some subtle battery-powered lights, tucked in paper bags, is the affordable feature the front walk—and your night vision—needs. Stick a few stones in the bottom for windier days.

Paint It Black

Sellers, listen up: Paint! Your! Door! Coating it in a glossy black shade can add nearly $6,000 to the value of your home when you list it. 

Water Now, Save Money Later

A bit of watering and seeding before the summer heat does wonders for prolonged growth. Maintaining your lawn costs about $270 a year, but doing so will add $1,200 to your house’s value. 


Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

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How to buy art online and some of the best places to find it

By Emily MacAlpine

As online shopping continues to grow and grow, it’s no surprise that our online habits extend to interior design, styling and art purchases. Art gives the final layer of detail and personality to our home, it can inspire our interior design choices and above all is a personal decision.

Photo by Sheri McMahon | interior design + styling by MARG. Studio | Art by Erin Morgan

Without first seeing the works in person, art can seem like a daunting online purchase however the bonus of being able to buy online is that more and more artists are selling their work this way, giving us access to things that may not have reached us beforehand.

It can feel very exciting to have the ability to buy art while sitting on the couch in our PJs but there are also a few things that I think need to be considered when making an investment into art online.

What do you like?

Before launching in and hitting purchase I recommend spending time understanding what it is you actually like. The best place to start is at larger institutions and galleries that display already recognised pieces in their collections, like Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) or the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). By determining what it is you like (or don’t like) about a work, you are gradually refining what kinds of work you may like to hang in your own home. Note that there are often some artworks you might like but you wouldn’t necessarily hang in your home. There’s nothing wrong with that!

Photo by Sheri McMahon | interior design + styling by MARG. Studio | artwork by Katie Wyatt via Greenhouse Interiors  

What to look for

There are countless online platforms to buy art online so make sure you are understanding where the works will be coming from and if the seller is reputable. Find art that resonates with you whether it be the subject matter, aesthetics, colour or the artist’s story. The more of a connection you feel to the work, I guarantee the longer you will have it. As you collect timeless pieces of art you will add depth and character to your interiors and create a story over time that is unique to you.

Where to look

The main sources of buying art online are online art fairs, commercial galleries, some interior suppliers and directly from the artist via their website or social media. Again my advice is to start with some of the bigger, more established platforms (as you did with the national galleries) to get the lay of the land.

Some of my favourite online suppliers are:

  • Walcha Gallery of Art
  • Saint Cloche Gallery
  • The Corner Store Gallery
  • Bluethumb
  • Greenhouse Interiors
  • The Other Art Fair


As you are not seeing these works in person, make sure you get a tape measure out and check the size of the work in your home. If you are struggling to visualise it you can also stick paper together to the size of the work and hang it on the wall (with the centre at eye level) to see how it feels. You can leave the paper hanging up for a few days for you to consider how you would feel with an artwork hanging there.


It’s up to you to be discerning about what you are buying online and how much you would be willing to spend on it. The more research you do, the more you will understand where your chosen work’s value is placed in relation to other works of the same medium and size.

Essentially the process of buying art shouldn’t change too much if it’s online or in person. We still need to be doing the research and buying something we have a connection to and will love for a long time.

-Emily MacAlpine is an interior designer with a background in architecture and experience working for an art consultant. She runs her own interior design business, MARG. Studio. The next intake of her online The Art Buyer’s Course will be early next month.


The post How to buy art online and some of the best places to find it appeared first on The Interiors Addict.

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5 Delicious Dining Room Decor Ideas To Make You Feel Like You’re Eating in Your Favorite Restaurants

If there’s one thing we’ve consistently missed during the pandemic (besides a general sense of normalcy), it’s eating at restaurants. Sure, we can tap DoorDash and Postmates to deliver our favorite dishes every night of the week if we want to. But it’s not remotely the same as sitting down to a meal with the sound of wine glasses clinking and the ambiance of a dimly lit restaurant

And it seems the design world is reflecting our wistfulness for days of restaurant yore—at least, that’s what we discovered when we scrolled through Instagram this week (as we always do), in search of the top trending dining room designs. The most popular dining room posts this week all had one thing in common: They look like Michelin-starred restaurants. Really!

So rather than spend one more minute mourning the days of date nights and table service, we’re taking the opportunity this week to bring the restaurant to you, dear readers. Read on for how to get the same vibes in your own dining room, and then go ahead and order your favorite takeout—we’ll handle the rest.

1. Fuzzy throw blankets

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A post shared by Rebekah (@little_york_house)

Your dining room won’t ever feel like a restaurant until you start incorporating some cozy details, like these luxe furry throw blankets featured by @little_york_house.

“Adding a sheepskin throw to a chair or dining bench gives the benefit of extra cushion and warmth while also adding a touch of luxury and style to your dining experience,” says Natasha Nicolaou of NatNico Designs.

“At a time when many people are missing the restaurant experience, simple things like adding brightly colored throws to a dining table can change the whole look and feel of the room and make dinner feel a little more special,” says Nicolaou.

Get the look: Upgrade your mealtimes with this Safavieh golden faux fur throw from Kohl’s.

2. Large bistro table

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A post shared by KICK COLLECTION (

We can’t help but miss the days of sitting around a bistro table like this one featured by

“A round table in a dining room is perfect, because everyone has equal seating,” says Doreen Amico-Sorell of Sorell Interiors. “This makes for the best configuration for both conversation and everyone being able  to reach for plates in the center.”

Get the look: Enjoy your future family dinners and at-home dates around this show-stopping gold and white round dining table from The Home Depot.


Watch: These 3 Home Decor Touches Can Help Sell Your Home


3. Plush armchairs

Who says dining chairs have to be the rigid ones in Grandma’s house? Certainly not @willandbequeath, whose space makes us wish they’d open a restaurant of their own.

“Plush dining chairs are a perfect way to add texture, color, and comfort to a dining room,” says Nicolaou. “Settling into beautifully upholstered and comfortable dining chairs feels special, and encourages everyone to spend time enjoying their evening around the dining table.”

Get the look: Cherish mealtimes at home like you would at a restaurant with these Broseley tufted upholstered dining chairs from Wayfair.

4. Gilded mirror

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A post shared by LM Design Studio (

One of our favorite ways to upgrade a dining space to look more Michelin star-chic is with a gilded mirror, like this one from @fleurdelesalle.

“A large, gilded mirror is a game-changer for any dining room,” says Nicolaou. “Like adding a crown to a regular outfit, a large, gilded mirror instantly gives your room a touch of ornate style and grandeur, while also adding space and depth.”

Get the look: Make a grand statement in your dining room with this ornate filigree mirror.

5. Mix-and-match dining set

If you’re looking for an easy way to get that restaurant vibe—and a design you can achieve on even the smallest budget—look no further than this mix-and-match dining set from

“When done right, this trend really gives a designer feel to a dining room,” says Nicolaou. “In a small cottage kitchen try mixing different styles of thrifted wooden chairs or painting a matching set in different colors. In a more formal dining room try mixing wing chairs with a different style of matching benches, or buy a set of velvet chairs in two or three colors. Don’t be afraid to try lots of different combinations.”

Get the look: Pair these Pfister upholstered dining chairs from Wayfair with a few Roudebush wood dining chairs to get that effortless mix-and-match style.

The post 5 Delicious Dining Room Decor Ideas To Make You Feel Like You’re Eating in Your Favorite Restaurants appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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How to choose a garden style – 12 beautiful garden design ideas

How to pick the right garden style for your garden. Choose from the top 12 garden design ideas to find the one that’s right for your garden.

Establishing a garden style is the first step in creating a garden design.

And it’s also a good starting point if you want to give your garden a lift. It helps you narrow down choices in garden furniture, plants and ornaments. You’re much more likely to find things you’ll really enjoy.

You may already have a garden style without really being aware of it. If so, putting it into words will help you decide which direction you want to go with new planting and furniture. It can help make sure that a big investment, such as a shed or greenhouse, looks how you want it to look.

So here are 12 garden styles to inspire you.

I’ll go into more detail about each one further down this post.

  1. Cottage garden style
  2. Traditional garden style
  3. Formal garden style
  4. English Country Garden
  5. Reflecting the architecture of your house
  6. Outdoor room, also known as urban garden style
  7. Contemporary/modern garden style
  8. Mediterranean or ‘dry’ garden style
  9. Coastal garden
  10. Exotic or ‘tropical jungle’ garden
  11. Wildlife garden
  12. Japanese garden

Cottage garden style

Cottage garden is an easy, pretty, relaxed style. It’s all about  the plants and flowers that grow well in your area. It’s colourful and it’s great for small gardens.

Cottage garden style

This cottage garden belongs to Sue Oriel who grows flowers to sell in the rest of her garden. Her company, Country Lane Flowers takes orders and also sells from a roadside stall in Kent, ME13 9QR.

The key elements of cottage garden style is lots of flowers, often mixed with grow-your-own veg and a fruit tree. Add in somewhere to sit, read or work. Garden furniture in a cottage garden doesn’t need to match. And there isn’t a particular style of chair, table or bench. It’s just whatever you’ve managed to acquire.

As cottage gardens are often small, they have no lawn, just paths, a courtyard and lots of flowers. But it’s a style that refuses to obey rules. So you can have lots of what you love in your garden.

There’s more about cottage garden style and how to achieve it here.

Traditional gardens

Traditional and formal gardens aren’t quite the same, but they’re both structured. Even if they are small or middle-sized, they’re usually divided into ‘garden rooms’ with hedges, walls or trellis, each with its own style or function. The practical parts of the garden – for example, veg growing – will be separate from flower growing.

Traditional gardens will have a lawn, a herbaceous border or borders. They are filled with perennials and annuals, with plants planted in three, fives and sevens, or in swathes. Colour schemes and plant combinations are often quite carefully planned.

They’ll also have trees, shrubs, paths, terraces, a focal point – such as sculpture or a sundial – plus sheds or a greenhouse. I particularly liked the traditional garden at the Bath Priory Hotel when I visited in the autumn.

The Middlesized Garden

I would describe the Middlesized Garden as a ‘traditional garden’ because it has a formal parterre near the house, an open lawn at the back and a separate veg growing area out of sight of the house.

You could argue that ‘traditional garden’ isn’t a garden style, because it overlaps with ‘formal garden’ and ‘English country garden.’


The post How to choose a garden style – 12 beautiful garden design ideas appeared first on The Middle-Sized Garden.

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Navy weatherboard house: a crazy good before & after

It’s been a while since we caught up with Naomi Findlay’s progress on her Carrington House reno, but we can assure you it’s been worth the wait because today we have this knockout before and after of the exterior to walk you through. I mean, really?! It’s off the charts! It’s a brave woman who takes on a project like this one, but if anyone can…


Over to you, Naomi…

Today we’re taking you outside! Tackling the facade has transformed this once old brick house into an eye-catching home with a breathtaking streetscape.

We didn’t have much appealing to start with so we had a lot of work to do here! We had balustrades that were cracked due to the beautiful trees, ceilings full of asbestos and a leaky roof. In other words, it was about time that we did something about it!



The first step was grabbing the sledgehammer and knocking down the cracked balustrades. To balance the symmetry of the house, we decided to install two beautiful French doors on either side of the rooms.

Next, it was time to remove the asbestos and the roof with sadly, a complete rebuild.


Pachira Tiling came to screed the porch floor, giving it falls so when it rains, the water simply runs away. Then Andrew tiled away the balustrades of the front porch with some beautiful white brick balustrade tiles.

For a completely different but traditional look, we decided to go with a beautiful cast panel custom colour front screen door. The team from Cotton’s Glass came in to install the door to sit in front of our main door.


With doors in and tilling begun, it was time to start cladding the front facade of the house! Team Ferris come in to first help set up the string lines, batten the front facade and then accept the deliveries.

Then we were ready to add some colour! We went with a cape blue from Taubmans, and spray painted our beautiful french doors white. We kept it super simple for these balustrades and rails with a simple, clean and classic look.


With all the construction and work done, it was time to tile the floor, and don’t we have a showstopper tile for you?! Andrew came in to help tile the floor in this beautiful grey patterned floor tile from Beaumont Tiles. And with the tiles all in, that wrapped up our transformation of the front facade.

What do you think?

Here’s a few more detail shots…






Read about everything used for the facade

Want to learn from the best? Check out Naomi’s free online renovation masterclass.

The post Navy weatherboard house: a crazy good before & after appeared first on The Interiors Addict.

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Kids’ room decor ideas: Stylish new art prints

I don’t know about you but with the school holidays over, I’m super keen to declutter my kids’ rooms and give them a mini-makeover. Beyond the sorting and storage battles, I think a couple of cute new interiors buys could be just the refresh that the rooms need. And there’s nothing that makes a greater impact, per dollar spent, than some fabulous new wall art.

Alphaberts: From the font to the colour palette, we love the nostalgic feel of these gorgeous alphabet prints. Perfect for adding a big splash of colour, you can choose from a couple of purchasing options – either download a file to print yourself or at a printer, or choose to have a hard copy delivered (framed or unframed). From $34.90.

Violet Eyes: The work of artist, commercial illustrator and textile designer Ainslie Fletcher, we’ve been fans of this brand since its inception. From pretty girls’ faces to floral designs, it’s the go-to spot for a whimsical wall art find. From $99.

Violet Eyes creates removable wall decals too
Violet Eyes

Blond + Noir: While this brand’s range spans rainbows, butterflies and geometric shapes, it’s the Australian animal series that takes our fancy. The brand does a brilliant range of removable wall decals too. From $25.

Blond + Noir
The ‘Coco’ and ‘Klim’ Australian art prints are seen here styled with the brand’s removable wall decals
Blond + Noir

V. Happy Co: With their use of bright primary colours and fun, retro designs, this new kids’ ‘alphapic’ brand is destined for success. There’s a gorgeous full alphabet poster plus single letter designs and for those after a custom creation, you can order a bespoke name print too. From $90.

V.Happy Co
V.Happy Co
V.Happy Co

Desenio: The perfect site from which to purchase a complete gallery wall set, this brand takes the second-guessing and rumination out of the equation. There’s plenty of stylish options for babies, toddlers, tweens and beyond. From $24.95 per print. Sets sold individually.

The ‘Playful Moments’ gallery wall set includes nine complementary prints. $297.55
'Lovely Sleep' gallery wall, $174.70
‘Lovely Sleep’ gallery wall, $174.70

Alphapop: With a fascination and love for typography and language, this lovely retro styled print range was created by Michael Wholley and Helen Frank. “As parents of a toddler we love to produce unique prints that educate and delight young minds,” says Helen. From $45.

Alphapop print
The ‘Alphabet Pop’ print
Alphapop print
The ‘Times Table’ print is one for the older kids
Alphapop print
The ‘Blocks’ print

The post Kids’ room decor ideas: Stylish new art prints appeared first on The Interiors Addict.

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