Thursday, June 10, 2010

A French Inspired Give Away

Hi Everyone! Next week is my One Year Blog Birthday and I wanted to do something really fun and different to celebrate. My third post last June was about a person and book who I truly identify with. When I found her, every photo resonated with "me" and my style.

Carolyn Westbrook  is a talent that many of you know personally. She has space at Warrenton for the Texas Shows and is now branching out into her own lines of bedding, linens, and lighting. Her book, Carolyn Westbrook Home, has been sort of a decorating bible for me. I keep it nearby and have studied each page and photo.


Carolyn's wonderful Texas home, The Oaks

So now for my one year anniversary
 I want to share the excitement of

Carolyn's new book:

The French Inspired Home

with an interview with Carolyn.
She was gracious enough to take time to answer some questions
about her new book which will be released in September.

What was your motivation for doing this new book?

My Romance with France and most things French. My romance with France began long before I ever set foot in Paris. I have always loved the intricate detailing that is evident from French furniture, to the way the French decorate their homes with elaborate moldings, aged objects and pieces that have become antique as they were passed down the line, from one generation to the next. They still take the time to consider the details, whether in their architecture, buildings, statues or just in a to-go bakery box that is adorned beautifully. Not only that, but they realize the importance of their history and beauty, and they protect it. They do not push down historic buildings to pop up a super mall and life is not about disposable surroundings. I do love and respect that philosophy. I do hope that the new book will motivate others to surround themselves with aged and antique pieces that have been carefully sought out and gathered. This is the "good stuff" and it cannot be found at the local mega mart. These pieces were built at a time when people took pride in their work, and will not have to be replaced in six months. Just as our countries landscape has become much of the same, no matter what city that you are in, so are people's houses. A handful of big retailers are all selling similar products, so that people that decorate their homes in this manner, end up with essentially cookie cutter interiors. It is my job to let everyone know that not only can you find it often times cheaper at a tag sale or flea market, it is better quality and you are helping keep our world green, by recycling. This is truly the "good stuff" so go out there and get it.

Is this an "evolution" of your own personal style?

No. I have a love for all styles, as is evident in my own home. Growing up, as my Mother was a decorator, I was always inspired as our interior changed often from Asian, to contemporary to French Country, it was always evolving and I try to do just that. It is important to keep things fresh.

Will the backdrop for this new book be your personal residence or will you be showing other people's spaces?

It is partially my own home, but much of that has not changed from the first book, Carolyn Westbrook Home. I do add and subtract elements and change things around, but if you have a classic interior, then it is always good. I use much color throughout the house and I love prints. I am happy to see that prints and wallpaper are making a comeback. We did shoot some other houses for the book, that were either friends, colleagues or clients of mine.

 Did you "redecorate" your entire home?

No. I have spent my whole life collecting, what is precious to me, and I would never consider scrapping that to go with the newest trend. I do think it is important to freshen up your room and assess what needs to be moved around or in some cases moved out to another room, but for the most part, I am happy with my home. We have redone a few rooms, like the girls room, as it was all floral in the first book and they were just not having it, now that they are teenagers, but alas, their room is not in the new book. One of our downstairs rooms, is now the "Library." It was not photographed for the first book. It has always been a beautiful room with a fantastic mantle, but I have always wanted a library. We brought in enormous shelves and filled them with our collection of books, some of which had been packed away, so it was great to see them displayed, while other books, I bought at antique malls and flea markets. I was thrilled with the result. Now, it is one of my favorite rooms in the house.

How did you incorporate the French Inspired Home into your existing style and decor for your personal Home?

We have always had French Inspired style in our home, as both my Mom and I are big fans of the French furniture and accessories. If you look at my first book, you will see the main hall is filled with antique French chairs and paintings that we have brought back from France. I have always had a love for the French linen monogrammed sheets, and look for them wherever I go. My love for the French style is not something that simply was thought of for the book, but has been an inspiration, since I was young.

I love the "format" of your book "Carolyn Westbrook Home" and enjoyed how you took us room by room and area by area, even your outdoor spaces, to show us your decor and design sense. How will this new book be similar or different from this room by room format?

It is formatted a bit differently, as it is broken down in different chapters, the first being "A Romance with French" to another that is "French Bleu." I hope that the readers will love this format, as much as I do. I was very fortunate to work with a fabulous team and they were very trusting of the way that I wished to see the book layed out.

Thank You, Carolyn!

I love sharing a good thing,
so there will be two names chosen to receive this new book.

One will be from all the entries,
and a second will be chosen from those who
post about /link up with me with the sidebar button.

Here are the ways to have multiple entries:

1. Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment, then let me know you are a follower.
2. Post about this give away
3. Link up with the give away with my Give Away Button
4. And for those of you that have me on your blog roll, thank you dear friends, just let me know!
5. and then, if you'd like to go visit Carolyn's blog and follow her, leave another comment.

Five entries possible!!

Remember to leave a separate "comment" for each entry!

I'll be choosing the winners!
 Yea, there will be two of you!
on June 30th.

Thank You, each and every one of you
for making this last year
one of my very best!

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