Garrett Brown Designs
Garrett Brown Designs creates furniture, custom interior spaces, and art inspired by nature. Their team acts with authenticity, integrity, and passion.
A Q&A with Garrett Brown
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Silver Spring, MD just outside of Washington, D.C. snowboarding and wanted to go to college with a mountain near by, so I selected Steamboat Springs and received a degree in Outdoor Education.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Ever since I was young, I always enjoyed building things with my hands. Whether it was a tree house, or arts and crafts at camp; I always had the desire to create. So I knew I was embarking on a creative path when I started my first business at age 17. My brother, Evan, and I started a landscape architecture company. We would design and build custom patios, walkways, retaining walls, etc. My brother to this day still runs the company.
Are you self taught? Did you learn from a mentor?
My mentors laid the groundwork, but I spent many nights alone in the shop making tons of mistakes. At RRCC School of Fine Woodworking, they have an amazing staff and I leaned on them heavily during the early days. My mentors were the two department heads at woodworking school, Jeremy Cox and Jason McCloskey. I probably annoyed them with constant questions because I basically lived in the school wood shop when I was enrolled in classes.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve made?
My favorite piece is my first, a desk (called the Juxtaposition desk) that combines my first career of landscaping along with my love of woodworking. It still serves as my office desk today, and I don't think I will ever sell it.
Do you recall the first piece you made? How did it turn out?
The first piece I ever made was a bed commission. I sold the commission before I knew anything about woodworking. Once I received the down payment for the commissioned piece, I said to myself, "Shit, I don't know how to build a bed." So I talked the head of Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking to open up a last minute spot in Intro to Woodworking. I also enrolled in a photography class because the piece had a photo transfer of a mountain range across the headboard. After school I would go to Club Workshop, a local communal shop that has since shut down. My friend Milo Alfring and I built the entire piece there with their sub par tools. But I would take what I learned in school from the week and apply it right to the bed project. The bed came out amazing, and the client was thrilled. I'd love to rebuild that bed frame someday.
It's the weekend. What do you see yourself doing?
Driving up to Vail to spend some time outside with my lady and her pup. And most likely riding some type of bike or sliding down a hill sideways.
What are three words you would use to best describe your work?
Clean, sophisticated, modern.