30 June, 2010

"Delicious . . . "


Style. Costumes. Sets. Drama. Cuisine. Tilda. Swinton. All combine to create a feast of almost overwhelming emotions.

I am simply in love with "lo sono l'amore" or "I Am Love."

The Cast of "I Am Love"

I saw the film on a magical Sunday evening last weekend here in my beloved San Francisco. It tells the story of the complex relationships and family pressures of an affluent Italian family - as seen through the eyes of the matriarch, a Russian beauty married into this Milanese family, portrayed by the almost alarmingly luminous Tidla Swinton.

Check through your local papers - and you might need to seek it out . . . it is well worth the work. Equal parts heart-wrenching melodrama / design porn / food porn / and a breathtaking film score (from opera composer John Adams).

And to whet you appetite, here's a peek :

Has anyone else had a chance to see this? I'm curious of your thoughts on the film . . .

bon appetit,

27 June, 2010

"Sunday Morning, Old School Style . . . "


A quiet Sunday morning here in San Francisco. Clear, bright sunlight streaming through my window. A small list a chores and errands tacked to my refrigerator. A pot of English Breakfast tea steeping in my kitchen. And Bach blasting from my speakers . . .

When I was a very little boy - and the world had just become too much of me to understand - I would retreat to my bedroom and listen to my record player. You remember those enormous record players - the ones about the same size as a large dining room sideboard? Opening the lid of that giant piece of electronics was almost like opening the door to Narnia. I could drop in a round disc of vinyl and music would magically pour out and transport me to any one of a million different places.

One morning, when I was around ten, I discovered in a pile of my parent's unused LP's - a copy of Albert Schweitzer playing the organ works of JS Bach. I can still remember listening to it for the first time. It was magical. It was math. Simple and complex all at the same time. And it remains on of my very favourites.

The Prelude in G Major BWV 541 . . .

and "The Fugue" . . .


26 June, 2010

"Design, in Flight . . . "


My sweet friend, and amazing designer, Benjamin Dhong just sent the most exquisite images of his room at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase - and I just HAD to share them. His space was in this marvelously tiny room up on the third floor, with beautiful views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge . . . and a wonderfully intricate roof line of slopping eaves and dormer windows. He was "inspired a chic Parisian garret," and the idea of "flight."

Let me introduce you to . . .

"The Aerie"
- a meditation on winged flight -

Beauty, by reflection.

"What could be more wing like than winged victory?
She’s perfectly placed in the dormer window and looks
like she just flew into to room. It’s quite dramatic and
it takes the room to another level."

I'll have to admit, I actually missed one of the best aspects of the room the first time I visited - and frankly, I was on the press tour, and the room was incredibly busy. But on my next visit, during a quiet weekday, I saw it - and it's truly breathtaking. First click on the image above. Then slightly *blur* your eyes.

"To make the room cozy and nest like, we commissioned
decorative painter Linda Horning to paint the most subtle chalky
mural all around the walls and ceiling. You’re sitting under a
canopy of trees…. in the fog. The effect is totally serene
and hypnotic. Restrained and subtle. People’s jaws
drop when they enter the room."
-Benjamin Dhong

And I so love the addition of the Arne Jacobsen egg chair to the room, covered
in a cut velvet from Manuel Canovas. Adding a strong, iconic piece of modern
furniture gives the classic space a great energy. And, for me, it also recalls that image of
being enclosed within wings.

and in what might be the most perfect piece of music to accompany this 'room in flight' . . .

"Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" by Eric Whitacre.
(seriously, @5:50 second - it's actually flight set to music . . . chilling)


for more information on Benjamin's amazing work, click here.

24 June, 2010

"Camping, by design . . . "


I'm just absolutely fascinated by this. If I were closer to Arkansas, I would totally go - 'cause I know Tobi's gonna put on a great event.

For more details, click here.


22 June, 2010

"San Francisco Magazine, The Best of . . . "

San Francisco Magazine, July 2010

If you haven't seen it yet, the July issue of San Francisco Magazine has hit the newsstands - and page 40 lists the top San Francisco design blogs - according to the ever gracious Diane Dorrans Saeks of the amazing blog The Style Saloniste (thestylesaloniste.com)

Bloggers Grant K Gibson (grantkgibson.blogspot.com), Katie Denham (katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com), Kendra Boutell (porcelainsandpeacocks.blogspot.com), Kit Golson (chicprovence.blogspot.com), as well as myself (I won't provide a link, because clearly - you're already here . . . lol) are all mentioned. Do take a moment and check everyone out, if you're not already regular readers.

Have a look :

(click image to enlarge)


21 June, 2010

"Twilight . . . "


I'm often asked from where my inspiration comes. And frankly, there's never an easy answer. I always schedule a series of meetings with all new clients - we talk about the space, review aspects of their home that they love, identify the specific challenges we need to solve, and deal with the nitty gritty issues like budget and schedules . . . but, my favourite discussion revolves around "tell me how you use your home . . ."

And I tend to hear the most fascinating stories. Stories of friends gathered around a piano during the holidays. Stories of quiet nights at home - toasting the end of a busy day with a glass of champagne. The desire for a retreat from the hectic bustle of the day.

And one evening, we were having a late meeting, as they both had long days at their offices . . and we all noticed the beautiful twilight stretching across the night sky. Of the brilliant hues on the horizon. And the lights of the city dancing across the view from the 22nd floor. And in an instant, I saw their new home. Saturated royal and navy. The warmth of camel silk-velvet and mohair. Silk. Leather. With the gleam of polished chrome.

Rich mahogany. Nubby silk. Candlelight. And intimate dinners overlooking the city.

On a table - all ready for entertaining.


20 June, 2010

"Ready. Set. Summer . . . "


Thought I'd share a few pictures from my visit to the Hamptons this week. The weather was beautiful every day. And a few days visiting with friends in these delightful little towns was the perfect way to get me in the mood for summer. Enjoy.

in Southampton.

Round Swamp Farm in East Hampton.
Excellent homemade desserts and pastries. And amazing fresh fruit.

After a day of antique shopping we needed a stop
for lunch at Lobster Roll.

In Sag Harbor.

And a beautiful afternoon at The Surf Lodge in Montauk.

And hours spent looking out at the vastness of the Atlantic.

slightly sunburned,

all photographs, Scot Meacham Wood

16 June, 2010

"Go Forth and Garden . . . "


- Just a quick "hi" during my vacation . . . and a little something
to spur your creativity - as summer approaches. -

For me, nothing says gracious living more than a beautifully appointed garden shed! Maybe it's the ideal spot to arrange the flowers you've gathered from your cutting garden. Or maybe it serves as the perfect place to keep all of the tools and accoutrement needed to tend your garden. Or even the perfect place to entertain on a warm summer's evening . . .

And one of my all-time favourite garden buildings, the outdoor
pavilion of the ever-gracious Michael Devine.


14 June, 2010

"Meanwhile, Back in 1908 . . . "


There are several facts that I am quite willing to state about myself; I have a great passion for all things tartan. My excitement about the new season of Mad Men borders on illness. When given the choice, I would always rather swim than run.

And, when in New York - I'm always an Upper East Side kinda guy. Much like San Francisco, each neighborhood in New York feels very specific. And my antique cuff-linked, bow-tie wearing, preppy soul usually lands quite comfortably on the UES. It's where I always stay when I'm in town. I know where the closest Sarabeth's is (Madison and 92nd!). And I can walk to Stubbs and Wootton.

"Do you have a reservation?"

But, this last trip had to be cobbled together quickly - so whilst hurriedly putting plans together - I thought I'd experiment a little, maybe be a bit adventurous, and head west. Way west. And frankly, a goodly ways south as well. To a different part of the city. So . . . without further ado . . . for the first few days of my visit . . . let me introduce you to . . .

It's way over by the Hudson in the west village. And frankly, it's kind of like staying on a set of a 1940's noir detective film - and seems to be somewhat proudly decrepit. In fact, I keep expecting to see Phillip Marlowe sprinting across the lobby on his way to solve another crime. Velvet curtains frame every window. But with young hipsters waiting for the elevator. Huge potted palms rise from every corner. But with hip-hop music streaming from the bar. And it doesn't just feel historic - it IS historic.

Built in 1908 and designed by William A. Boring - the renowned architect of the Ellis Island Immigrant Station - its original task was to house sailors in small 'ship's cabin-like' rooms. And those single bed rooms still remain. But, there are also larger "Captain's Cabins" . . . spacious and only somewhat spooky.

Here are some other images from my stay . . .

The "Jane Ballroom" Bar

Beautifully coloured and delightfully threadbare flame-stitched textile covers this 12 foot bench in the lobby.

Tile work, vintage lighting, and tapestries in the entrance.

And I LOVE these brass sconces in my room.
I have a client using a similar light fixture in his project - and I *know* his
head just exploded with excitement at seeing this installation.

"Captains Room"

An antique brass bed. Flat screen TV. WiFi. And I'm totally fascinated by the upholstered walls . . . in a beautiful peacock-feather woven textile. I took a few other pictures of the walls - but, couldn't quite capture its beauty on film.

Bottled water delivered by the charming man who operates the elevator.
Yes, Virginia, there's an elevator operator.

And a classic bathroom. With innumerous square-feet of
subway tile . . . and European bath fittings.

and I love having "tepid" as one of the temperature options in my shower.

Or you can choose one of the historic "Standard Cabins" -
which contain a simple twin bed - and with shared bath facilities down the hall.
Not for everyone - but, a great price for a simple night's rest.


some images pulled from the Jane Hotel website.
some images pulled from the New York Times article.
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