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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brown: Houston Style Haven

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Several beautiful pieces greet customers as they walk into Brown

This past Saturday, Fabian and I paid a visit to Brown, one of our favorite stores in Houston. It is a veritable treasure trove of antique lighting, furniture, vintage teaching charts, mirrors, and decorative architectural and industrial pieces. Owner Jill Brown is a very gracious host and was sweet enough to chat with me for a little while.

Jill frequently travels to Europe to find new pieces for her store, most of which come from France and Austria, where she used to live. In the store, you'll find pieces to suit almost anyone's design aesthetic...traditional, French, Swedish, industrial, all of which have a huge fan base. However, Jill stressed the fact that she shies away from anything that could be considered trendy. When I mentioned that I felt her shop was filled with heirloom quality pieces, I struck a chord. Jill says she has aimed to create a space filled with unique pieces that transcend the current trends and make for an edited, layered look. The result is collected and chic.

Clients frequently come in feeling unsure about exactly what it is that they want. Sometimes people feel they should go with a certain fixture or overall style because it is currently popular or because a friend suggested it. Jill urges them to go with their gut instincts, which I feel is very sage advice. The process of choosing lighting, furniture, and accessories for one's home can certainly be overwhelming, but in a sense, it is actually quite visceral if we choose to listen to our instincts instead of other's opinions. Though, I'll be the first to admit that sometimes, it certainly helps to get the opinion of someone whose taste you admire or is similar to yours.

Whatever your taste, Brown is sure to have something to make your heart skip a beat.

Brown is located at 2940 Ferndale at W.Alabama, Houston, TX 77098.

FYI: Blogger is making my pictures look skewed again despite the fact that I wrote this post in LiveWriter and that they looked perfect in the preview. Please click on the pictures if you wish to enlarge them. Rest assured, I am able to take a centered picture, though you wouldn't know it from the way they look here.

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The shop by Brown is housed in an unassuming bungalow on a residential street near Houston's Upper Kirby District

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Fabian and I both loved these huge glass lanterns.

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The shop is filled with vintage instructional charts. The majority are scientific, but this cursive chart caught my eye. There is a teacher left in me yet!

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Brown is like a candy store for lighting and design lovers. There is something for everyone.

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Jill always has an assortment of gorgeous mirrors available. My favorites are the black and gold leaf rimmed one on the top right and the more ornate white mirror on the left.

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An array of beautiful French copper pots

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Unlikely Neighbors: A couple of industrial pieces coexist quite nicely with antique sconces. I love the juxtaposition of the ornate lighting fixtures against the raw, salvaged wood.

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A bounty of industrial and architectural treasures waiting to be repurposed

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I love this globe ceiling fixture. It looks like it was originally meant to go outdoors, but I love the idea of putting it somewhere unexpected, like in a foyer or a breakfast room.

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How amazing is this cabinet?

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These choices are a bit more subdued and lend themselves beautifully to Swedish design. The tree trunk lamps would look so great in a beach house with a subdued palette.

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An array of unique chandeliers. I think the three piece, billiard-style fixture in the center would look fabulous in a kitchen with black cabinetry.

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Beautiful, vibrant antique maps hang out under a fantastic wall-mounted lighting fixture.

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These vintage charts would be so great in a foreign language classroom! I'm guessing they were intended for speaking activities where the students made up an original story to go with the pictures.

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Antique French Periodic Table of Elements

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Fabian especially loved the outdoor fixtures.

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I've noticed that mushrooms have started popping up everywhere, which is really funny to me. I must have seen them in three stores that day.

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Gorgeous, vintage French bottles in various shades of green

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I love these column lamps! They would be so gorgeous in a grey room. How lovely are the canisters behind the lamps? The one on the left is filled with typesetting letters and numbers.


I ♥ You said...

brown shuts it down. jill has the most amazing stuff. and she is such a sweetie! great post p!!!

Lindsey Michelle said...

Wow! What an awesome looking shop! This is on my to do list now for my next Houston visit.

{ Lindsey }

Brilliant Asylum said...

The stack of mirrors alone makes it worth a trip!

jenniferjane said...

This shop looks so fun! I read your blog all the time and love your style and posts. You've been tagged!

Michele said...

I agree about the mirrors. Going into this place I'd be in heaven.
The antique French Periodic Elements Table would look kind of cool in our home. There is absolutely nothing like this around where I live.
I love your blog too and tagged you as well. :)

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVELY shop! I adore those copper pots!

Anonymous said...

I purchased my first ever antique from Jill earlier this year -- something small but very special. She truly has an amazing eye for beautiful things.


72 and sunny said...

what? this store is craziness! i may have to come to houston just for this alone!!!

My Notting Hill said...

Wow - the lighting selection is amazing. I'm drooling over those vintage wine jugs.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this place is AWESOME! How is it that I have never heard of it? It must be that my level of coolness is evaporating due to living in the Woodlands for so long, all that pine pollen finally got to me. I love those classroom charts, and really want that Periodic Table of Elements for my home office! Excellent post. I will HAVE to go.

la la Lovely said...

This place looks so fabulous!!!!! I think I need to visit Houston! Great blog by the way!


Hello from Canada! That was an incredible feature post. Thank you for your photos and words. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

I need that antique Periodic Table. I used to be a middle school science teacher and I taught the Periodic Table. I hope there's something like that still there.