Introducing Beyond The Palette, a New Column From Quentin Esme Brown

Hi Everyone, 

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This is so exciting! I could not be happier to be joining the Beyond team as a columnist and to have the opportunity to write about a few of my favorite things. The Beyond publication, in itself, makes me proud to be a young woman in 2018. It’s saturated with both incredibly interesting and incredibly diverse articles and personal stories. This site is a hub of wonderfully meaningful accounts and culturally reflective information that is presented in a curious and non-assuming manner. It’s pure and professional in its truth. Mari and Nicole and I met when I told them my personal story, and an amazing and immediate friendship turned quickly into a collaboration. The words “humbled” and “excited” are inferior to my actual emotions joining both of them in a professional setting. 

So I suppose I will tell you a little about me. I’m 28 years old. I’m a libra. I’m not sure what my rising sign is because my mother can’t find my birth certificate. I grew up between New York, France, Los Angeles and Palm Beach, and, as an adult, I have lived in Los Angeles for almost 10 years with brief periods of time in London and Paris. As of this week, I will be officially bicoastal, with a new apartment in the West Village—we will have some fun together decorating that from scratch! I have an extensive ice cream collection, love love love film, and have (long-ago) forgotten the number of tattoos I have (it’s somewhere north of 50, though, surely). 


Growing up primarily in New York City, I was thrown head on into the world of art. My father, the owner of a residential and commercial development company, had worked for the majority of his life—before my birth—in the both the Pop Art and film industry and could often be heard quoting Shakespeare or e.e. Cummings on any given day, at any given moment. My mother, a literature scholar, as well, had doubled and even tripled her workload with extracurricular jobs to keep herself enrolled in university where she eventually graduated and entered into the world of publishing. My name itself comes from two American classics—Quentin, from William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” and my completely inconvenient nickname from J.D. Salinger’s “For Esme with Love and Squalor”—both of which, without a doubt, I can recall being read to me multiple times, before the age of 8. 

The over-saturation of expression was virtually impossible in my household, and as soon as I could string together a thought—much less a sentence—I was handed a marker and paper. Properly lined blank journals symbolized my winnings as I grew out of pampers and entered new developmental phases. Lucky enough to be surrounded by art in all its glorious forms, my younger self saw, with undying passion, a world exploding with colors and geometry, dramatic communications and heartfelt moments of laughter and tragedy. And to my absolute delight, all this wonder could be translated to the page, through a little ink and a sore forearm.

While all this expressive stimuli sounds lovely, I also developed major problems with anxiety early in childhood. My parents’ divorce and father’s chaotic disposition, punctuated by years of illness, caused us to move frequently, leaving me feeling unsafe and looking for stability constantly. It didn’t take long for me to understand that I cannot feel calm and at ease unless my environment fits my all inner needs. 

At first this started with my interior, wherever in the world I found myself: I cannot recall a time where I was too young to find the strength to rearrange furniture regularly in my room (and anyone else’s—if they let me). As I got older, my quest to fulfill in myself the warmth of “home”, matured into a lifestyle building a well-rounded atmosphere, one filled with organization, peace, expressive stimuli and most of all, food. I had always been lucky enough to be exposed to culinary greatness, but with neither parent knowing how to cook, the grueling chore of self-teaching morphed into the ultimate pleasure of sharing home-cooked meals with others.

I moved out pretty early in my teenage years, returning to my mother’s domicile on and off until I was a few days over 19, when I moved across the country to my father’s hometown of Los Angeles, immediately settling into early twenties life as a homebody (or “hermit,” as many close friends prefer) and homemaker. Since that relocation, which is now nearly a decade ago, I’ve renovated and designed three of my own residences and consulted on many more, simply because I love it that much. I’ve worked endlessly with antiques from all different periods and designed north of 16 pieces of furniture. I’ve learned the ins and outs of home remodeling and created areas that work to fit the needs of its inhabitants. I’ve mastered the art of creating the “Happy Home”, and enjoy the full responsibility of sharing this space with others by hosting and opening my doors to a consistent flow of laughter, communication, and full tummies. 


Through this column, I want to expand my palette (and palate “see what I did there”) and hopefully my readers’, as well. While my taste is by no means minimal, and my cooking follows no particular trend, I’ll try to share all I know and hopefully hear from you about what you want to hear about! I want everyone to feel that home is a place to be proud of and to share. My ultimate goal is to provide my readers with bespoke event planning and design consultations through Beyond The Palette. Please, please, please feel free to reach out to me with feedback or questions about your own Happy Home.

I have confidence that my tips and clips can work for anyone, because, at the end of the day, your space should feel like your own personal oasis, where your guests feel welcome and you can indulge both your naughty and healthy sides alongside me, in the kitchen. And hey, if you’re not reading to get any advice, then I hope you enjoy the articles… remember, this is my first time…leave me some suggestions in the contact section—again, I’d love to hear from you! 


Quentin Esme