Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wherever you call home...SWEET BEAMS a book that helps you make the most of your home by Renee Garrison

Renee Garrison is a former architecture critic of The Tampa Tribune who has written extensively about architecture and interior design, and won two Communication Awards from the American Institute of Architects.
Renee is coauthor of “Sweet Beams: Inspiring Everyone Who Lives Under A New Roof!”, which shares how to celebrate the place we call home, complete with practical tips and sources of inspiration.

·    Hello Renee and welcome to A Place in The Spotlight can you tell us a little about SWEET BEAMS ?

   It is a celebration of home - the perfect gift book for someone moving into their first rental apartment, their dream house or final retirement home. Sweet Beams was written for everyone lucky enough to live under a roof.
·    What inspired you to write it?
For years I prowled bookstore aisles, searching for the perfect housewarming gift to give friends when they moved to a new residence. I’d usually give a bottle of wine or a healthy green plant when friends rented a new apartment or moved to a bigger house. But after the wine was consumed and the plants died, there was no lasting reminder of my good wishes.
·    Describe your writing in three words.
     Insightful, humorous, inspiring.
·    Was there any research involved in your work?
     As the former Architecture Critic of The Tampa Tribune, I met and interviewed many homeowners throughout my career. I discovered some common themes among those who created nurturing residential environments. I started jotting down my observations from simple quips: “Construction is a humbling experience. If you don’t believe this, lift a concrete block.”
To more moving thoughts: “Pass on the meaning of your home to your children as if it were a beautiful legend…it is. And it will echo in their future homes.”
·    What authors inspire or influence your work?
I enjoy Anna Quindlen, who is often witty and always wise. As a former NY Times columnist, her writing is clear, concise and easy to read - and also won her a Pulitzer Prize.
·    Do you need visual media to describe people or places?
No, I prefer to use the written word because memories of “home” are very subjective.
·    Favorite snack when writing.
     Lots of coffee and chocolate.
·    Do you have a Muse?
     Dorothy, who returned from Oz, closed her eyes and whispered, “There’s no place like home.”
·    Is the Thesaurus one of your best writing friends?
     Of course - it alleviates bouts of writer’s block.
·    Who gets to read your drafts before they're published?
     My husband - if he has time - but I also value the opinion of a former Tribune editor,  who is now retired and living in Miami.
·    Share with us your biggest hurdles in the writing process?
Isolation…writing alone at the computer can be very draining. Some days, the words just don’t want to flow.

Tips To Turn Your House Into A Home

  • Why is it important for people to find inspiration at home?
  • Do we take our homes for granted?
  • Can you give us a few practical tips or suggestions for the Spring?
  • Do people favor certain rooms in their home?
  • Which area of the home should people start with when turning a house into a home?
To read more, visit Renee‘s blog, or look for “Sweet Beams: Inspiring Everyone Who Lives Under A New Roof” on
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