Review: Sweet Beams

Sweet Beams


Renee Garrison and Tom Szumlic

PDF Version provided by author



Sweet Beams was written to celebrate the place we call home, with bits of inspiration, such as: “The most essential piece of garden equipment is a hammock” or “Put the ‘living’ back in your living room. Try Dancing.”
But it also includes practical tips for new homeowners or renters: “Offer a bottle of water to anyone who delivers anything to your door.” “Personalizing your porch or entry with a wreath, mailbox or planter has been proven to be an effective home security system. There are fewer break-ins.” In 10 short chapters, this book reminds everyone how lucky we are to live under a roof.
The perfect gift book for someone moving into their first rental apartment or final retirement home. (It pairs nicely with a housewarming plant or a bottle of wine!)
I want to start off by saying this is not the normal book that I might read, but I enjoyed it all the same. I would not normally accept this type of review request only because I would hate to be a disappointing review to the author since this is not my focus. But the only reason I accepted this was because in the email that was carefully typed out to me, one of the authors, Renee Garrison included that it was great for first time apartment and home owners. This year, I am moving into my own apartment so it sparked my interest.
The introduction is simply perfection. Renee and Tom have a way with words, that without making too much of a pun here, make you feel comfortable like you are at home. The homey feeling is continued throughout the book, including the title. I love Sweet Beams as the title and thought it went nicely with the overall feel that the book produces.
I thought that the photographs in Sweet Beams were extremely pretty and inspiring. They added to the overall message from the authors and did not take away from the points they made.
I like the additions of quotes and tips at the end of a description given by the authors. They go through each room and highlight the most important features and the best ways to make it feel like home.

Every inch of the house was included, from the dining room table to wall color to the garden, you name it and Renee and Tom have advice for it.
 As Renee mentioned in her email to me, this book would be the perfect gift for a new homeowner or for a first time apartment dweller. But I would even go so far to say that this would pair well as a wedding gift. It had so much advice for creating a home out of a house and I think it would be great for newly married couples. Not to mention that the price is perfect for a gift!
About the Authors:
Renee Garrison is the former Architecture Critic of The Tampa Tribune. She has written extensively about architecture and interior design and won two Communication Awards from the American Institute of Architects.
Tom Szumlic, Architect and General Contractor, maintains his own architectural practice in Tampa, Florida.