Monday, April 26, 2010

Exclusive Interview with Dominique Browning & Giveaway!

We are so fortunate to be able to speak to Dominique Browning, former editor of House & Garden Magazine!
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Since House & Garden, Dominique has been very busy writing books and recently joined the world of blogging. Her new book, Slow Love - how I lost my job, put on my pajamas and found happiness, is a wonderful touching memoir of her journey after leaving House & Garden and her steps toward self discovery. With thoughtful, honest insights she shares her struggle toward self awareness and peace. You celebrate her small triumphs, and share her fears as she moves forward into new, uncharted territory. Traveling along with her you are able to also slow down and rediscover the wonder and beauty of the world around us. Her words resonated so strongly with me that I just couldn't put the book down. I loved it!
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So imagine how thrilled I was when Dominique was able to share with us a few more of her thoughts and insights on design and enjoying the process.
WD: You have been watching home design trends for many years. What do you consider timeless and classic?

DB: I've decided it doesn't have to do with style or period--things Baroque and things ultra modern can be classic. It has to do with integrity: things well made, and designs to themselves, fully exploring and expressing what they are. So, an elegant modern sofa by Billy Baldwin looks great now, and did fifty years ago. And works in a contemporary room, or in a room full of Fine French Furniture. WD: What is the most favorite room in your home -what details make it so special to you?

DB: Any room that has books in it, and a comfortable place to read. The details I crave: a table near a chair for that cup of tea or glass of wine. A soft, thick throw for my knees, or around my shoulders. A jewel of a pillow to brighten the air, and fabric that is not scratchy or irritating. And, finally, what I call an intimate landscape nearby--some small configuration of vase, sculpture, stone or bird's nest--anything, found or precious or both, that your eye can rest on, and your imagination can wander over.
WD: What are your favorite places to find inspiration for both your home and garden?

DB: I LOVE consignment shops, and have found treasures galore in what people are casting off, particularly if they happen to be in wealthier neighborhoods!
WD: With the struggling economy and many home owners having to stay longer in their homes than they may have wanted; what advice would you give to them regarding refreshing their spaces?

DB: Staying longer in a home would never be my problem! The longer you are home, the better your house becomes. Keep adding things you love, and they don't have to be purchased. They can be found objects, from walks in the woods or on the beach. Of course, an ever-changing pile of photography books goes a long way. And so does simply reupholstering ONE armchair. Or, getting a new set of towels in a vibrant color that you never would have used before. Amazing how small things make a big difference.

WD: How have you made the transition from critiquing rooms to really enjoying them?

DB: I have always enjoyed my rooms, and I'm still critiquing rooms! Just silently, muttering under my breath! WD: So often I hear from friends and clients "I just want to get this room done!" What tips can you share to help us enjoy the process as well as the outcome?

DB: First, start ripping pages out of magazines, pages with ideas that catch your eye. Don't edit yourself ahead of time. If your pulse quickens, rip. Then look at what you've got, find shared themes, and head in that direction. NEVER keep working with someone who makes you feel insecure, dumb, frightened or confused. FIRE AWAY! Don't wait for a crisis. This is when breaking up is easy to do. And enjoy it at your own pace--some people need to work slowly, one piece at a time. Others want that "magic wand" feeling--everything done at once. Stay true to yourself. And do not let yourself get talked into living with something you don't like. You wouldn't do that with a partner, would you? So why would an armchair be any easier?
WD: One of the many themes in your new book is your fear of change and the unknown. What words of advice do you have for others who share those fears, and how can they make fear become a positive catalyst?

DB: Don't run from fear--that's what I learned hardest. Stay with it, examine it, look deep into that dark heart. And start learning and changing. I have some bad habits (like always beating up on myself, internally--that horrid little voice that says nothing is good enough) and those habits kept me in a semi-fearful state. So I have had to literally talk myself through them, and train myself to change my ways of thinking.

WD: What are the most important things you have learned about yourself while writing your new book and blog?

DB: I LOVE blogging! I resisted it for years and years, back in HG days! I guess I just wasn't ready for it. So I learned something very important, both in my new online writing and in writing the book. Don't hold back. Life is short. Make the most of whatever gives you pleasure.
One of things I have missed the most from House & Garden is Dominique's Editorial Letters. I am so thrilled that her new blog, slow love life brings her conversations and touching insights back to us again.
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As I mentioned, Slow Love, is a wonderful book! We are so fortunate that Dominique has given Willow Decor a copy for one of our readers. (or you can purchase it here) Just visit her new blog, slow love life, and come back here and leave a comment. Next Sunday I will choose a random comment and send off the book. I know you will enjoy both her blog and her book as much as I have.
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Finally a very special thank you to Dominique Browning for sharing her time and thoughts with us! So thrilled she part of the blog family!!
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(Photo credit: NY Times, House & Garden,Coastal Living, Iowa Garden, House & Garden AU)

50 comments:

  1. Oh, I'd love to read this!! She sounds like a fascinating lady. xo Terri

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  2. Oh, I was thrilled to see and read this interview and to know that Dominique has a blog! I have truly missed her editorials, they were always the first thing I would read...so happy right now! Great job!
    Jessica~

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  3. It was such a treat to hear from Dominique! The honesty and no holds barred approach she brings to her new journey was very inspiring (: I absolutely LOVE the title "Slow Love - how I lost my job, put on my pajamas and found happiness." Can't wait to read it!

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  4. Great interview and I am already enjoying Dominique's blog...I would love to read her book. xv

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  5. I am so going to love reading her blog! Yay! The book would, of course, be fabulous and I would love it!
    :)

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  6. What a lovely interview with Dominique. I knew about her book but her blog comes as a pleasant surprise. I like the fact that she has taken the time to write detailed posts and I'm sure every one of them will be a pleasure to read.

    Chryselle @Frangipani Decor

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  7. I enjoyed the interview so much that I'm going to get the book!! What she said resonates so much with what I feel and think about my own space! And, like you, I always read the editor's note. thanks -susan

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  8. Losing House and Garden was the first "big blow" to me in the magazine collapse of late. Dominique did amazing work there and I so enjoyed reading her insightful editorial comments. I am so glad to hear that she can be found again via the internet! Thank you for this wonderful interview.

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  9. Thank you for hosting her! Her book sounds wonderful and I have just bookmarked her blog.

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  10. I am so happy to find Dominique's blog after having missed her wonderful editorial pages in House & Garden. What a jewel she is, now shining in the blogosphere! I can't wait to read her book! Please count me in for the giveaway!

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  11. I enjoyed your interview with Dominque...insightful questions and insightful answers! Her blog is delicious! Already got a tip about putting stones in the bottom of the soap dish to keep it dry....duh? Why didn't I think of that? Thanks for introducing us to slow,love,life...I'm a fan!

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  12. Adorei a leitura e o jardim dos sonhos.
    Lindo.
    Bjos

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  13. I've been subscribing to Dominique's blog for several weeks now. I missed her voice after House & Garden folded. Even if I did not connect with any of the homes featured in a particular issue, I knew I would connect with her comments.

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  14. I miss "House and Garden" so much! I checked out her blog and was amazed at the current post re: mourning a loss. It really resonated with me. Her comments were so true. I would love to read her book.
    Marion E
    mle@fuse.net

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  15. Thank you for sharing about Dominique with us! Went to her blog and love the garden gate in her Virginia Garden post. I seem to be all about the outdoors now with warmer weather finally arriving!

    Would love to win this book!

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  16. I can't wait to read the book. I will read more of her blog when I have some quiet time. I so believe in slowing down. Wish I could convince my husband as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Since I'm a pajama girl, I loved this! :-) Missing House & Garden and Dominque's articles & this put me in a happy place. I love the idea of the book and her blog is going to be one of my favorites I know. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  18. What a terrific interview. I miss her editorials and am very happy she's blogging now. I've got a plane ride coming up tomorrow so I think I'll pick up her book to make it more enjoyable. Michele

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  19. I still miss House & Garden ~ any chance of it reappearing in a different form?

    Kare

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  20. Enjoyed this post very much. What Dominique is saying is so true and I can very much relate to it!

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  21. Wonderful....a lesson for us all....smiles.

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  22. wonderful piece! so insightful and thoughtful...and full of good advice...thank you so much

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  23. I really have missed "House & Garden" Magazine - and Dominique's creative and insightful Editorials-!
    So Delighted to hear about her new Book and Her Blog - which I plan to add to my list as soon as possible-! Thanks for the Good News-!!

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  24. Great interview! How fortunate to been able to interview her. Looking forward to reading her book.

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  25. Dominique is right on, thank you for sharing your interview with her.

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  26. That sounds like a lovely book to read. I've been over to her blog and I have to say it is a feast for the eyes and the soul.

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  27. Great interview, your very inspirational.

    Ruth

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  28. What a great interview! I love Dominique's honesty, I have added her blog to bookmarks and can't wait to check it out later. Thanks for the introduction, and thanks for this great interview!!

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  29. Great interview...sounds like the book promises to be just as good!

    Thank you!

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  30. DB is a writing with the ability to share details to the point of visualization. I have enjoyed 'Paths of Desire' immensely and would love to add this book to my shelves.

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  31. What insightful interview. I liked her from the first time I met her on the pages of House and Garden. She has great spirit and wonderful style.
    Will have a look at the book!

    Thanks!

    Victoria

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  32. Can't wait to get to know Dominique better on her blog, thanks for the chance to win her book!

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  33. Thank you for sharing your interview. The book sounds very interesting and I'm enjoying her blog.

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  34. Hi Gina~
    What a wonderful interview, filled with some great advice and insight into the world of design and living!
    I'm adding Dominique's blog to my list. I loved reading her words from the magazine, too. And the blog looks so lovely.
    Donna
    (No need to enter me in the book GiveAway since I was just a very lucky winner. :)

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  35. I'm a very happy girl. Her book arrived at my doorstep this afternoon. Can't wait to delve into it. Great interview!

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  36. Very informative interview & will enjoy following her blog as well. The book looks like a good read as well!!

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  37. I really enjoyed Dominique's blog. Love her outlook on life. It would certainly be interesting to read her book.

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  38. Interesting and inspiring interview. I'm going to run to her blog

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  39. I would love to read this book...learning to make changes in life is an important skill and can be so inspiring. Thanks for the opportunity to win and for the interview.

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  40. Love Dominique's blog and her book looks wonderful.. your blog is great too!!

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  41. Great intervie! Can't wait to read Dominique's book and get some much needed first hand info about slowing down and enjoying life.
    Amy

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  42. Thank you for the interview! I was aware of the book coming out, but not that Ms.Browning had begun a blog; great find! As one who is still in mourning for H&G, I really enjoyed visiting her blog, where she also has links to past H&G columns!
    Thank you!
    Cass

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  43. I too am a flower saver. I love watching the petals and pieces fall over time, to cover my tables and counters. They create new colors and dimensions as they age. Just the act of stepping out of your own home to cut and sample what is growing is such a gift. I too would love to win Dominque's book. Reni

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  44. Wonderful interview with a very insightful person. Dominique seems to speak to "Home, Growth and Love" - a more meaningful take on "House and Garden" - all of which result from much nurturing. She expresses the wax and wane of life that we all deal with in one way or another. Thank you, Willow, for bringing this to us.

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  45. Glad to find Dominque's blog....she writes beautifully. Loved her piece about enjoying aging flowers. I've always liked seeing a few petals on the pretty wood of the dining table. I'd love to read her book!

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  46. Gina - loved the interview! Great questions and great answers! I love Domenique's answer to "what is your favorite room?".

    "Any room that has books in it, and a comfortable place to read." Yes! Books and comfort and a tiny end table for that glass of wine or cup of tea - and I am purring like a cat!

    Nicely done dear Willow sis!

    ox, Mon

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  47. great interview! makes me really want to read her book. loved her blog, as well as yours!
    would love to win this lovely giveaway.
    kathi

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  48. Thank you for introducing this wonderful woman/writer! I can't wait to read her book, no matter who wins it!

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  49. Thanks for the great link and the opportunity to win the book!

    Christina

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