It may be wet and snowing outside this morning but no amount of bad weather can dampen my mood. And that’s because I’ve been enjoying reading a particularly sunny book this weekend – Happy Home Outside by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau.It’s an inspirational ‘exterior design’ book packed full of ideas for making your garden into a truly magical space. With sun-lit photos, bursts of fruity colour and want-to-sit-there locations throughout, it’s certainly been keeping me in an optimistic mood. In fact, it’s made me look forward to summer (as a winter baby I always prefer cooler months) and I can actually imagine myself sitting outside this year and spending some time in the sun (wearing SPF50, of course) thanks to the photos in this publication. With a foreword from Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar – one of my favourite design blogs and source of many colourful Pins – this book kicks off with a rousing call to enjoy ‘The Outdoor Life’ this year; to seize the moment, to surround yourself with colour and nature, and to spend quality time with friends and family. I literally couldn’t agree more.
With life moving at an increasingly faster pace for me, I’m finding it difficult to wind down, despite needing to de-stress more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being busy and working 7 days a week (while practically never working a day in my life – the joy of self-employment) but this book is just what I need to inspire me to take time to enjoy the little things and make time for idleness. Okay, that’s not the main focus of the book – it’s an epic collection of simple DIY projects, things you could make to add colour and cosiness outdoors, and what you could do with your family and friend while you’re out there – however, I’m taking just as much inspiration from the calming images and the chilled-out hazy days they represent. The relaxation that comes from doing nothing-in-particular is something I definitely aspire to achieve.The upcoming Easter break is often a time when friends and family gather together – possibly the first time since Christmas – and if the weather plays ball why not celebrate outside? This could be one of the first weekends that we can get out into the garden this year and is definitely a great excuse to hang out the homemade bunting! With ideas for DIY party decorations, laying a pretty table and even recipes for al fresco meals, Charlotte’s book is a rich source of ideas for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, BBQ parties, Easter and bank holidays outdoors.Even if the weather isn’t so great this book has got indoor/outdoor living covered with shed décor, summer room ideas, shelter and shade. A lot of the ideas in Happy Home Outside could easily be used to create a bright, comfortable space indoors too, such as the tea-towel cushion sewing project, make-your-own storage ideas and even a coffee table DIY using an old drawer.
I’m thrilled to have been able to review this new release and it is staying firmly on my office bookshelf for inspiration and optimism on rainy days like today. In fact, I’m going to make a cup of tea and flick through the book again now while imagining that I’m taking my cuppa outside to enjoy on a blanket beneath a blossoming cherry tree. Roll on Spring!
Happy Home Outside: Everyday Magic for Outdoor Life by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau is published by Jacqui Small and is available to buy on Amazon.