Book Review: Happy Home Outside

I’m so happy that spring has arrived (rather bumpily, but there are definite signs – I saw my first bluebell today), and I am spending more time out in the garden, and working on it looking at its best when the really warm days arrive.

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This pretty book – Happy Home Outside (from Jacqui Small) – by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau of Rice and Happy Home fame – has lots of fun ideas for summer living, and ways to bring your day to day life into the outdoors (whether it be in the garden, at the park, or on a country picnic).

The style is colourfully Scandi – eclectic, bright, cheerful, a little bit vintage, a little bit folky. There are ideas for relaxation:

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I am very inspired by these gorgeous textiles. Great to have a throw or two to use outside in those cooling English breezes!
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Great use of some pallets to make a cosy corner for relaxing.

There are some delicious ideas to encourage playfulness and laughter, and get everyone, young and old, enjoying the outdoors.

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Great  idea to use some metal shelves to hold toys, outdoor games, balls. Might encourage people to put things away again afterwards – it’s always better when you don’t have to spend half an hour looking for a ball before you can play!
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What a lovely teepee den! Such a great playhouse or a getaway for some quiet reading time, or shade from the sun. And everyone could get involved in making decorations for it.

The ethos is about making the everyday just that little bit more magical and fun, but easier too. So if you’ve got a covered outdoor space, why not make a little outdoor kitchen:

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This is such a gorgeous, practical space, if you are lucky enough to have the weather (maybe not up here in the north west midlands!) to eat outdoors on a regular basis.

But if your ambitions for your outdoor space are a bit smaller, there are simple ideas, for example, for lighting:

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There are simple craft ideas like these, scattered throughout the book, and recipes too!
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Here’s an excellent idea for having all the outdoor stuff ready to go as soon as the sun comes out (we have to make the most of it!).

I really enjoy books like this (full of pictures and inspiration), that aren’t too prescriptive and are full of ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments. I guess a lot of it could be found on Pinterest, but it’s very restful to have it all curated for me, and I like the words too!


If you’d like to win a copy, do feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, letting me know what you are looking forward to this summer. I will make a draw for the book sometime on Friday evening (8 April). I am afraid, because of the postage, entrants are limited to the UK please.

To order Happy Home Outside at the discounted price of £20 including p&p* (RRP: £25), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code QPG409.

*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

17 thoughts on “Book Review: Happy Home Outside

  1. What a lovely looking book. I love the idea of a basket ready to go and enjoy the sunshine. Thanks for the chance to win this. Fingers crossed!

  2. Beautiful colours and some fabulous ideas. Roll on summer so we can enjoy the great outdoors.

  3. Looks great, lots of different ideas. I’m looking forward to lighter nights and being able to enjoy sitting outside.

  4. I love the palette day bed idea. This summer I’m looking forward to the same thing I look forward to every summer -picnics!

  5. Thanks for chance to enter. Most looking forward to the sound of children and dog playing outside (and not tramping muddy feet/paws across my kitchen floor 🙂

  6. Looks like a very inspiring book full of super ideas. Hope I’m in with a chance to win it otherwise I’ll have to raid the piggy bank to buy a copy.

  7. I like the sound of this book. I love Pinterest but nothing beats flicking through a book for inspiration. We already have a little mud kitchen but I can’t wait for Summer so my children don’t need to play outside in coats, wellies and hats!

  8. It looks a gorgeous book, I’m loving spending time outside at the moment, but it’s all in a very practical way with vegetables, my patch could definitely do with some prettying up.

  9. Mostly, I’m looking forward to some warm sunshine. I’m sure that we are all vitamin D deficient here in the UK!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway! After a good few years of hardly venturing into the back garden, this year, I can hardly wait! There was so much work to be done in the garden, we weren’t able to just sit and relax without feeling the need to grab the secateurs or hedge trimmers but at the end of last year, our garden had a transformation thanks to two smashing chaps. Now it’s looking lovely and all we need now is for the weather to oblige!

  11. What an inspiring looking book! I have to admit that my main hope for this summer is some sunshine and warmth!! Weather nice enough to spend the day and evening in the garden. I’m hoping for family get togethers around the BBQ that extend well into the evening as its actually warm… Failing that we’ll be having lots of indoor picnics again!

  12. It has been so wet this winter that I haven’t been outside as much as I would like and I am feeling very blah! Warm sunshine, pretty flowers in my garden and the sound of the birds is what I look forward to. The birds have started already so Spring is definitely on its way.

  13. Just blue skies and warm sunshine will do me, and of course colourful flowers. Thanks for the chance

  14. Hello Ali always love your blog posts thank you. I am so looking forward to the summer months – longer days, spending more time outside, making and creating wonderfully bright and colourful things for the home and spending more time with the family.
    Thank you 🙂

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