Around the House and In the Garden
A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing, and Home Improvement
For six years, House & Garden editor-in-chief Dominique Browning has written a monthly column that weaves together personal stories and tips about home decorating, gardening, and raising children with universal themes of domestic life. In Around the House and in the Garden, Browning adapts and expands these well-loved pieces, adding dozens of new essays, to create an insightful and moving narrative about the solace and sense of self that can be found through tending one's home.
From bedrooms and bathrooms to gardens and trees, from the importance of a couch in the kitchen to the spiritual role of a grand piano, Around the House and in the Garden reveals the intimate relationship between home and self. Browning illustrates the ways her domestic needs, instincts, and arrangements have reflected major changes in her family life. Considering her own divorce, she focuses on how grief inhabits a room: "When I was divorced my sense of home fell apart. And so, too, did my house." Eventually, attention to her home helped to mend her heart, and the attention to her heart helped her to tend her home.
Brimming with warmth, knowledge, and the useful decorating and gardening tips that have made House & Garden a favorite for one hundred years, Around the House and in the Garden is a book for anyone who has ever felt the need to reinvent a life or a space, who has ever fallen in love with the idea of home -- the place where we reinvent ourselves, "the place where we have the final word about what goes where,...what feels comfortable, what is life-enhancing...a place that gives us strength to go out and embrace the world."
- Scribner, May 2002
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