11 OCTOBER 2009

BROWN Hosts Garden & Gun

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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.

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Haskell Harris, Associate Editor, Garden & Gun magazine

But wait, who, what?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 to designandinspiration.net

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