My garden is like a scene from The Apocalypse after the destructive winds and rains of winter. There is no colour as any plants are only just starting to venture out after the cold start to spring. It is a depressing sight of brown, dead and broken. Even the metal arch we had honeysuckle on has been torn in to three pieces with the wind. Of course I have plans, as I love my garden; and what better way to get ideas than from a book dedicated to adding life and glamour to the outdoors. This is where Happy Home Outside, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau is a great inspiration.
The book is a funky, colourful and encouraging look at how to create something special in any outdoor area, with ideas for comfortable retreats, party ideas, eating out, lighting, seating, canopies, as well as a treehouse and a vintage camper van. It’s filled with cheerful fun, and feel good vibes. This book makes you want to get outdoors, and is certainly making me look forward to the warmer days of summer (can’t wait).
Even my two younger children have pawed through the book, with fascination and awe of all the ideas. It’s very much a Neets themed book, and Jasper just thinks the camper van is ace.
The book is split in to sections, according to ideas for certain areas and themes.
The forward is written by Will Taylor, a blog writer on home, style and fashion. His motto is “beige is boring”, and I can see why in his forward he enthuses about Charlotte’e ideas and the book itself. There is certainly no beige to be had, and each idea is filled with wonderful and doable thought.
Charlotte introduces her book with a happy note, explaining how she got her inspiration and what she set out to achieve. “Enjoy, and stay happy outside – and inside out”. How fab, because right from the start the book makes you want to do all this and get out there.
Here is an inviting fold up day bed, with a simple canopy; perfect for the reader in me. I can just picture myself, elderflower cordial and a book. Bliss.
A plastic spoon inspired curtain. Who would have thought?
Now this has got me thinking, and planning already. I’ve since ordered some wooden pallets from a local farm, and I do plan on creating something similar to this. Our beloved swing seat became repairable last year, and it was with sadness that it went to the great garden furniture graveyard. Charlotte has given me the idea for a replacement.
I simply adore all the bright colours and designs that can be added with using all these different cushions, blankets and such.
The party section is wonderful. We have two significant birthday’s this summer, and there are many ideas in Charlotte’s book to certainly get me thinking of what I may do. Some of the projects would be great for wedding ideas, such as the bottles above. Lovely idea.
What do you picture here? A family gathering? A reunion of friends? A birthday party? So many possibilities. So comfortable, and cosy. Away from the screens and screams of general life, think of curling up on the cushions, snuggling in to a blanket, telling stories, listening to the world about you. The detail of the colourful bunting, cushions and lanterns add the vibrant atmosphere, yet it still fits in to being outdoors and serene. A good combination.
Enchanting lights, lanterns and candles.
Eating out had a whole new meaning when it is done outdoors. Everything tastes better. Charlotte gives ideas on what to serve and how to serve it. There are some splendid ideas on how to jazz up a simple picnic.
While enjoying some foods that are more down to earth. Delicious.
Jasper adores this page. He has made it quite clear that he would like one. As do I. I can still remember the wonders of a cloth tent in the garden, although ours were often made of sheets and clothes airers. But there was something rather magical about it, so I can see exactly where Jasper is coming from; as I can see where the inspiration for this is coming from.
Throughout the book, I have been filled with excitement and ideas, and I can’t wait to get out in to the wildness that is our garden and bring life back to it.
In each section there are ideas to make, alongside helpful instructions.
A beautiful inspiring book.
Danish born Charlotte lives in Denmark, with her French husband Philippe. In 1998 she founded RICE, an ethical homewares company. Her mantra is Live Love Laugh, and I can this is shining though in all the ideas on this book.
Fuss Free Living Ratings
Convenience 10/10 This wonderful book is filled with easy to do ideas and inspiration, that can create fabulous outdoor spaces whatever your budget or likes.
Appearance 10/10 Happy Home Outside is beautiful; there are page after page filled with colour and pretty things. Bright, cheerful and such a happy book.
Value 9/10 Priced at £25.00 as a hardback book, this is indeed worth it. Good quality imagery, and lovely to read through.
Happy Home Outside is published by Jacqui Small.
Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group for sending me the book to review. All opinions are my own.