How I Host: Jessie Pickren
There's a lot to admire and enjoy about Jessie Pickren. She's the owner and creative director of HEW and Company — a bombshell design house specializing in all things stationery, branding and prop styling. But her thoughtful and imaginative touch extends far beyond custom paper. She's a master of environment and has the gift to see the potential of any space—no matter how unlikely. (Case in point? Tour her renovated cottage on Lonny.)
When we started working on this How I Host series, Jessie immediately came to mind as one of the first designers we wanted to loop in. I knew her vision would be entirely original and fresh — blending thoughtful design and details with the most memorable of guest experiences. Per usual, this lady exceeded all expectations.
Read more about Jessie's hosting sensibilities below—and how she transformed her abandoned swimming pool into the perfect backyard dining spot.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HOSTESS STYLE? KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET — 5 WORDS OR LESS.
Casual and welcoming.
ENVIRONMENT IS KEY. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE TO HOST A PARTY?
At our home by the river. I love having friends old and new in our living space with us.
DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE DRINK OR DISH YOU LIKE TO SERVE?
Gin gimlets, up. Every party, always!
WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO COLOR PALETTE FOR DESIGN?
Lately I've been gravitating towards deep charcoals and rich blacks but that's constantly changing.
WITH EVENTS, IT'S IMPORTANT TO TOUCH ALL THE SENSES. THE PERFECT PLAYLIST INCLUDES...?
The Louvin Brothers
early 90's Mariah Carey
and some good old school cheesy 90's country too...Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, etc
WHO ARE YOUR DREAM DINNER GUESTS?
I'd give anything to cook dinner for both sets of my grandparents and have them in our home until the wee hours of the night.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR DESIGN FOR "HOW I HOST?"
We were hosting an engagement party for our dear friends who are getting married this fall. The gal of the duo is this really beautiful witchy woman with dark hair and dark eyes. She's the perfect (very nice and sweet) witch! I wanted it to be pretty, of course, but visually dark and moody evening for them that matched her vibe and style but also felt warm and inviting.
WHAT PIECES DID YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Most things I chose with that dark color palette in mind. Like the Jeremiah Chairs, the Clairmont Tables, the gray linens, dark marble candle holders, and Havelock Chairs in black. And then super simple glassware like the champagne coupes and Spanish wine glasses to lighten things up a touch.
WHAT'S YOUR BEST HOSTING TIP FOR BEGINNERS?
Keep it simple and keep your guests' glasses full.
This post is part of "How I Host" — a 12th Table series featuring inspired and creative hostesses and how they transform their spaces into welcoming, design-forward environments. All photos by Cassidy Carson Photography.