11 October 2009

BROWN Hosts Garden & Gun

image_thumb40

The darling - and let me repeat that for emphasis – the darling Haskell Harris, Associate Editor of Garden & Gun magazine said it best: “BROWN and Garden & Gun are simpatico.” I couldn’t have said it any better.

image_thumb43

Haskell Harris, Associate Editor, Garden & Gun magazine

But wait, who, what?

image_thumb37

Thursday night BROWN, my favorite lighting and decor store in Houston, hosted a party to welcome Garden & Gun, the newest Southern lifestyle magazine on the scene – or, as they say of themselves - the “Soul of the New South.” The two companies styles could not have meshed visually and philosophically any better – they are simpatico. Thank you, Haskell. BROWN and Garden & Gun just look good together.

image_thumb21

Blow-ups of former G&G covers were strategically placed around the shop, along with stacks of the current issue, each neatly tied with twine.

Jill Brown, proprietor and designer of BROWN, planned the get together and every detail was perfect, it truly seemed as if Garden & Gun and BROWN were actually run and owned by the same people. Jill’s style is incredible and it really showed on Thursday night – starting with the menu (and all made by Jill herself) – the sweets and food all a nod to every Southern favorite: bourbon balls, molasses cookies, beer cheese, and turkey sandwiches – to name just a few of the delectables. Drinks included Belgian Beer and the historical Tait Farm Shrubs. Instead of using platters, the tables were set with Jill’s fabulous collection of antique copper pots and pans. Bread that looked like stone blocks chiseled with large G&G’s were an extra visual touch.

image_thumb23

Bread branded with G&G in wire baskets – every detail a visual treat.

The flowers, there weren’t really flowers in the sense you would think, instead Jill found someone somewhere in the Carolinas that provided tobacco leaves – in honor of Garden & Gun , because as Jill put it “tobacco is Southern, a part of our heritage, textural, and Brown. Jonathan Andrew Sage arranged all the tobacco leaves and various plants in Jill’s old galvanized buckets. Other “floral” details included cherry tomato stalks that Sage incorporated into the mix. Anything that had to do with the South, it seemed Jill had thought of it.

image_thumb251

Sweets and treats were placed in galvanized trays. Autumnal colors mixed well with BROWNS’s decor.

image_thumb49

Some time ago Jill found a substantial cache of 100 year old copper pots and pans. She put them to good use at the party.

image_thumb31

Live music – inside and out. Notice the gorgeous painted wood floor! Squares merge into stripes.

A band – the acoustic Across The Water played inside - while a lone saxophonist, Edmond Baker, Jr. added a moody vibe outside. The large store was filled to capacity with many of the great interior designers in Houston – I saw Babs Watkins, Ginger Barber, Sharon Perry, and Carol Glasser mingling in the crowd. Cote de Texas favorite Sally Wheat was there too.

image_thumb271

The General Store on the front porch of BROWN.

The front porch was set up like a general store, except nothing was for sale, it was all there for the guests to take home. (I took home a little sign, ok – three tiny signs!!!) Little chalkboards were purposed as signs, both outside and inside. And throughout the store were “Haskell’s Picks” – things that the Garden & Gun style maven found especially appealing. Haskell, who has the cutest dimple in the world – only one, I asked! - gave a talk about the history of Garden & Gun, their vision and where they want to take the magazine. She spoke about authentic design and heirloom quality – passing down things from generation to generation. Haskell is just as darling as you would expect and watching her star rise, first at Cottage Living and now here at Garden & Gun, you know she will have a long and successful career. Her mother was an interior designer – the very house where Haskell was raised was also where her mother’s shop was located, so you can safely say Haskell ate and slept interior design - and it shows. When her redone Birmingham house was featured in Southern Living, everyone loved it - but she’s in a new home now in Charleston where G&G is headquartered. Besides editing the magazine’s style features, Haskell also writes a charming blog HERE.

image_thumb29

Stacks of the current issue were there for the taking. Jill also graciously bought subscriptions for all of her guests. Thanks, Jill!!

You don’t have to be southern to enjoy Garden & Gun – there’s a mix of food, music, art, travel, and sporting culture in each issue. And G&G is one of those rare magazines that men love as much as women. When I got home, Ben immediately confiscated my issue and promptly bought gift subscriptions for his brother and partner. And with Haskell Harris in charge of all things stylish, there is plenty of ink on interior design and gardening to satisfy all feminine leanings. To order Garden & Gun go HERE. To visit BROWN, go HERE.

image_thumb33

Now that it’s all over except for the memories, Jill Brown, whose incredible eye has solely created the unique and visionary BROWN, graciously refused to take any credit for the party, giving Angela DeWree of Design and Inspiration, total thanks for the night. Somehow, I think Jill is being a little too humble, but that’s just part of her endearing charm. Make no mistake though DeWree is incredibly talented – her abilities in event planning, branding, PR, store staging (you name it, she does it) are legendary in Houston and she really shined Thursday night along with Jill. To contact DeWree, go HERE.

Below are a few favorite stories of mine in Garden & Gun, available on the their web site:

image_thumb1

This Texas Hill Country farmhouse is a modern day version of the classic Texas dogtrot. Read the story and see all the pictures HERE.

image_thumb311

How cute is this vintage styled trailer? G&G is filled with stories like this. HERE.

image_thumb11 This gorgeous Georgian garden is located on the former land of author Flannery O’Connor, read and see it all HERE.

image_thumb511

The oldest beagle pack in America – living in Virginia, HERE.

image_thumb71

One of the most visited private gardens – that of Emily Whaley – is featured in G&G HERE.

image_thumb9

Besides Haskell’s duties for the magazine, she also writes their blog, Belle Decor. Filled with personal stories of her past and present, she also highlights her favorite finds. HERE, the Charleston office of Ross Kenan Interiors is shown.

image_thumb3

This beautiful portrait by Jim Pollard is of Lou Harris and her two daughters, Haskell and Chandler. Son Haze was previously painted in another portrait. Haskell told Courtney of Style Court that she vividly remembers the chinoiserie screen in the background. To read the charming and bittersweet story behind this, go to Style Court HERE.

Haskell Harris has long been a favorite among design bloggers, starting with her days at Cottage Living. Growing up in Virginia, in the true southern manner, design is in her blood. Sharing the house with her mother’s interior design business, Haskell had an early and constant exposure to all things beautiful. Her love of historical houses also dates from her childhood, which was spent in an 1910 historically significant house. A graduate of UVA, Haskell moved to Birmingham when Cottage Living hired her. There she remodeled a cottage, which when published, made design bloggers everywhere fall in love with her. And who can blame us? Her house is as adorable as the one-dimple Haskell is. The jump to G&G forced a moved to Charleston and another historical house, this time a rumored to be haunted 1796 single house. We are all patiently waiting to see what magic Haskell performs there. Until then, please enjoy one more peek at the Birmingham cottage Haskell painstakingly remolded. Pictures, sources, and quotes come from Southern Living HERE and Style Court HERE.

image_thumb25

The charming Birmingham cottage that Haskell restored. Originally a neon green, she spent weeks painting it the neutral shade Cliffside Gray (RME-74) by Benjamin Moore with trim shade Swiss Coffee (5012) by Behr.

image_thumb26

I adore the picnic bench out front with lanterns – what better way to meet your neighbors?

image_thumb7 The welcoming front porch with swing and painted striped floor.

image_thumb111 Living Room / Dining Room

Inside the cottage, there is a large living/dining area. The pine dining table came from Haskell’s childhood mountain farmhouse where she spent many years eating meals on it, surrounded by family. The color scheme was taken from a bag of gourmet marshmallows which Haskell found soothing and inviting. “They were the softest, most sophisticated colors I’d ever seen. Pale pink, pale blue, cocoa, cream, and pale gray―I based all the paints on those marshmallows,” Haskell says. “The chalky finishes remind me of studying in Italy and visiting old villas and churches. The paint looks like it’s been there a long time.”

Living room wall paint: Riff (C2-358) by C2 Paint. Fabric on wingback chair: Tucker Resist from Lewis & Sheron Textile Co. The two antique 18th century maps of Europe atop the bookcases are a favorite splurge – found in NYC on a shopping trip with her mother.

image_thumb27

The hanging shelf is another heirloom from her parents. I love the way the chair fabric pops against all the neutrals.

image_thumb28 Another view from Southern Living magazine.

image_thumb19 The kitchen is utterly charming with its mix of high and low: black honed granite was a splurge, as was the farm sink from Herbeau. The walls are humble beadboard which add to the cottage atmosphere. Kraftmaid cabinets mix with classic white subway tiles from Daltile.

image_thumb291

Close up of the beautiful sink and faucet. Haskell loved her honed black granite and confesses she probably loves every honed stone. For her next kitchen, she wants to do fatigue green honed granite with matching painted cabinets – sounds divine! The hanging baskets hold fruit and recipes – such a cute idea.

image_thumb5

View towards the back door of her kitchen. The small tiled floor is another charming cottage touch.

image_thumb17

The master bedroom was a calm haven for Haskell to come home to. You can just see the vintage crystal doorknob on the very right.

image_thumb50

A collection of mirrors accessorized a wall in the light pink bedroom. Many were empty frames found by Haskell and fitted with antiqued mirrors.

Secret (C2-048), also by C2 Paint.

image_thumb15

Haskell herself installed the subway tile in her bathroom. She chose gray grout to age the look and for ease of maintenance.

image_thumb13

And finally, in her laundry closet, next to the bathroom, Haskell cleverly wallpapered it with wrapping paper printed with maps. Baskets, shells, and a lantern add the finishing touches.

I can’t wait to see what Haskell has done with her house in Charleston! This one will be hard to top, that’s for sure.

image_thumb51

I hope you enjoyed learning all about Haskell Harris and Garden & Gun. To read more about BROWN on Cote de Texas, go HERE, and if you live in Houston pick up the latest issue of Paper City to see a large feature on Jill’s house. Thank you Jill and Haskell so much for including me Thursday night. It was a real treat to be there!