I look forward to August every year – not just because it’s my birthday and I always have a big garden party, but because the flowers are in full bloom, the lawn’s lush green and the weather is bright and sunny – the perfect time for a celebration! If you’re thinking about alfresco entertaining, dip into our fab feature on page 120 – it’s packed with ideas. And if you’re after a tasty sponge recipe for a birthday, our surprise-cakes masterclass on page 116 is just what you need. As I’ve recently moved into my new house, I’ve been getting inspiration from all our readers’ homes and makeovers – especially Erica’s living room (p40), which I loved so much, I had to put it on the cover! Upcycling tends to involve painting, which is best done outside, so grab the brushes while the weather is warmer, and get stuck into our 10-page craft special (p76). Try making a watercolour cushion, concrete planters or some gold-dipped trinket trays. Life can throw you a curveball now and again, but a happy house can help with stress. Our exclusive Mindful Home pull-out mini mag (p61) is full of hints and ideas for creating a calm feel with fuss-free decor and greener living. So pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy this fabulous summer issue, just for you!
Brighten up your home for summer with our pick of quirky accessories and vibrant room ideas, try out our easy-to-make craft projects, then reward yourself for all your hard work by baking and enjoying an epic cake, all to yourself!