Fun Family Activities | 21 June 2016Create an Oasis with Happy Home Outside Share article facebook twitter google pinterest As summer moves into full swing, even in Britain, we all look to our outdoor spaces as a place to enjoy the sunshine and each other’s company. With Happy Home Outside by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, we find ways to create summer garden essentials – shade, and a place to lounge. photography by Skovdal & Skovdal A canopy serves multiple purposes. It provides shade from the sun and shelter from the rain, but it also gives an enclosed feeling, which can be nice if you are a larger party and like to keep people gathered. Canopies come in a vast variety of shapes and sizes. They can be for one person, or big enough to cover an entire party. But you can also create your own and very personal version from a few easy-to-find things (see opposite) and nestle into your own private world among the trees. There is something magical and luxurious about lying under a lovely canopy, lounging on lovely quilts and mountains of pillows … dozing off or reading a book. The sun filters through in such a pretty way, creating a play of light and shade that changes through the day. you will need 4 bamboo canes diameter 2cm (1 inch) 2 tablecloths, or fabric according to the canopy size you want flag rope 2 spears from tent poles 2 tent pegs a saw and drill how to make Stitch the length of the tablecloths together and make casings about 10cm (4 inches) wide at both ends. If you want a border on the canopy like we have made, add it after making the casing. Saw 2 canes to a length about 10cm (4 inches) wider than the width of the fabric. Drill a hole through the ends of both canes. Saw the remaining 2 rods according to the height you want – my recommended height is 2m (6½ feet). Saw between the nodes to make sure that the canes are hollow. Attach the 2 spears at the top. Insert a cane with holes into one of the casings and pull flag rope through the hole at one side. Tie it with a sturdy knot. Run rope around a tree or pole about 20cm (8 inches) higher than the front poles, then tie it through the hole at the other end of the cane. Insert a cane with holes into the other casing and put the spears through the holes. Add a long piece of flag rope at the top of each spear (these will work as guy ropes) and hoist the poles. Tie the ends of the 2 flag ropes to the pegs and secure them in the ground. Adjust the 2 poles so they are straight and the guy ropes are taut. photography by Skovdal & Skovdal When it comes to pure relaxation, comfort is key! I am personally almost unable to sit upright in a couch – five seconds after sitting down, my feet are up and I am more laying than sitting. Pick good furniture for your cosy corners. Try it out to make sure that you can really relax in it. You can’t properly relax with a spring digging into your leg or a sharp edge wedging your ribs. Blankets and cushions are a given, of course … and you cannot have too many. A daybed or a garden swing are great alternatives to the more ordinary couch and they make great welcoming spots around the garden.Ohh to be outside – even when night falls and it gets a bit cooler you can snuggle up in a beautiful hand-crocheted blanket. Yes please, is my answer. PALLET SWING This swing is wide enough for one to stretch out or for two to share. you will need a pallet painted a cheerful colour 2 lengths of strong rope duct tape 2 strong metal pulley clips with a rope loop how to make Drill a hole big enough for the rope in all four corners of the bottom boards. Pull the ropes through and tie knots, securing the ends with duct tape to prevent unravelling. Finally, hang your swing from some strong branches. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Colour and a sense of fun are central to the RICE ethos. Fresh from the success of her first interiors book, Happy Home, Charlotte has taken the RICE style outside. This is a fun-loving collection of outdoor decorating and styling solutions, from seating and other furniture to lighting ideas, creating banners and buntings, table settings and picnic areas, spaces for parties and gatherings. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.