29 November, 2011

"Holiday Decorating Contest . . . "


Well, the holiday season is finally here again!  And since we had SO much fun last year - sharing images of our homes all decorated for the holidays - let's do it again.  For those of you who have been long-time readers, you'll know how MUCH I love decorating for the holidays.  The smell of fresh cedar.  The feel of pine sap on my fingers.  Maybe some holiday music on the stereo.  

Don't fret - you'll get to see what I've been doing at the house this year - but, I really want to see what y'all have been up to . . . So, I'm pleased to announce the second annual" Tartanscot Holiday Decorating Contest! "

There are three categories that you can enter :

1)  Christmas Tree ( lights. ornaments. creativity. )

2)  Dining Room ( it's one of the best times of the year to entertain.  Let's see that dining table! )

3)  Fireplace Mantel.  ( let your imagination sparkle! )

How to do it:

1)  Decorate your home. 

2)  Take digital photos.

3)  Email your images (along with your name and address) to "HolidayContest@SMWDesign.com" 

But, don't think it will just be me here - throwing darts at the wall to see who's going to win.   Tune in later this week to meet our panel of Celebrity Judges - a collection of designers and bloggers from around the world.  

And it's not just for bragging rights - images of the winning entries will be posted here on Tartanscot during Christmas week - and I'll also be announcing our special prizes for the contest later in the week.  

Now, for the small print:

Contest begins on Friday December 2th and ends at 11:59
p.m., E.T. on Saturday December 17, 2011. Winners 
will be announced on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

The contest is open to both interior designers and 
design enthusiasts who want an opportunity to showcase
their work in the 'Tartanscot Holiday Decorating Contest'.
Submit clear photographs (up to a maximum of four photos per category)
of each room designed by you to (HolidayContest@SMWDesign.com). It
can be either your own personal home or a home designed by you for a
client, just as long as it is your OWN work.
Photograph from every angle, including close-ups and special details. 
Images should be no larger than 1MB and in jpg format. 
Provide your full name and address.

Cheers and best of luck,

27 November, 2011

"Sunday Runway, Holiday . . . "


Hey everyone!  With the holidays coming so quickly, did you buy anything new to debut at one of your holiday parties?  A fancy new pair of shoes?  A beautiful velvet blazer?  Some swanky new plaid pants?

Please.  Everyone share . . .

(image from here.)

25 November, 2011

"Shopping. From Home . . . "

The Library of Darin Geise


I thought I'd hop on the shopping trend for the day - but, in a way that doesn't involve any parking drama.  Or long lines. Or being pepper-sprayed.

So, you're welcome to lounge around the house all day in your pj's - but still take part in the shopping frenzy for a Friday - and thusly, I present some of my favourite design books . . . and a few inspirational spaces where such books could be stored.

Start clicking . . .

A new favourite from the always delightful Charlotte Moss . . . 

Love this one . . . packed with inspirations . . . 

A wonderful new book from Barry Dixon . . . 

And if by some chance you haven't gotten Joe's book yet - hurry, hurry, hurry . . . 

Designer Ward Denton (photography by Pieter Estersohn)

A new favourite from David Easton . . . 

Highland Living

23 November, 2011

"Happy Thanksgiving . . . "


So.  It's Thanksgiving Day.  Turkey's in the oven.  Stuffing's ready to start.  Pecan pies are waiting to be sliced and enjoyed.  The guys are in the front yard playing touch-football.  Kids are still well behaved.  All organized.  All ready.

And you have a couple of minutes to sit and relax, maybe read a few blogs before the hectic food frenzy begins.  So from me.  To you and your entire family.

Happy Thanksgiving.  


(images courtesy of Kirsten Clarke Photography, from "Designing Your Holidays, with Scot Meacham Wood")

20 November, 2011

"Sunday Runway - Colours of Autumn . . . "

Orange Gloves . . . 


Been playing around in my closet today.  Getting everything ready for the new season.  Making sure that every glove has its mate.  Putting all my heavier coats in the front of the closet.  Making decisions about buying new scarves and hats . . .

Orange Cashmere . . . 

Orange Chinos . . . 

Orange Satchel . . . 

Orange Sport Coats . . .

Orange Cords . . . 

And possibly the best accessory for fall - a bright orange Vespa . . . lol . . .


10 November, 2011

"Falling . . . "


Before we fall headlong into the frantic pace of the holiday season (and I'm including Thanksgiving in that list of holidays!) - I could really use a moment of rest and introspection.  I know that personally, I'm still organizing my plans for the next few weeks.  What parties am I going to?  What parties am I hosting?  Can I squeeze a quick trip to NY in there somewhere?  And if so, what am I going to pack for such an exciting, last-minute adventure?

So as a flurry of question marks seem to spin about me - there's always the respite - and the solace - of great design and impeccable style.




Aged Leathers.  





Inspirations . . . 

SMW Design, my bedroom from years gone by . . .
(photography by Nicolas Smith)

SMW Design, my drawing room - dressed for holiday a few years back . . .
(photography by Nicolas Smith)

One of my favourite rooms, from Barry Dixon

Scotland, a perennial inspiration . . . 

Alessandra Branca, for Elle Decor (photography by Joshua McHugh)

Also from Alessandra Branca . . . 

SMW Design, a small corner of 'the study' . . . 

Oh, to be in New York right damn now . . . 

SMW Design, the living room - overlooking the San Francisco Bay at night . . . 
from Eric Cohler . . . one of my favourite images of his work

Or maybe something a bit more quiet . . . 


09 November, 2011

"Designing Your Holidays - the Party Pictures . . . "

A big 'thank you' to Anchor Distillers, our liquor sponsor. 


Well I guess after weeks of chatting on and on about our Designing Your Holidays, with Scot Meacham Wood event here at the Kravet Showroom in San Francisco last week - I really want to share some of the great images of the evening, as well as my memories of the night.  

So (as a wise and delightfully musical nun once said,) let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.

The whole gang.  (from the left)  Maria Angelo and Rhonda Hirata (from the San Francsico Design Center), yours truly (decked out in buffalo-plaid),  and from the Kravet SF Showroom - Beverly, Nick, Sara, Leslie, and Lisa Davis (the showroom manager), with Pat McIntosh of Lulalina (Custom Greetings and Invitations). 

And what's a holiday party without the guys behind the bar . . . from Tonic Beverage Catering

Or the carolers by the front door . . .
(All members of the San Francsico Concert Chorale)
And what's a great party without GREAT guests . . . 

Whitney Riter with Kelly Stucker (from CA Home+Design Magazine, a co-sponsor of the event)

Rhonda (from the SF Design Center) greeting Crystal Gentilello (of Rue Magazine)

Ursula Kloeters , Ann Davies, and Dana Walsh 

Stephanie Rodriguez, Seana Stockton, and Sara Cortez
Me with Kelly Campisi-Farwell

Michelle Ruiz (of the blog ModinaMichelle), Lisa Davis (from Kravet), and Rhonda Hirata (SF Design Center)

Holiday table settings from Ralph Lauren.

And from William Sonoma.

And beautiful Hermes table service from Gump's San Francsico.
After 20 or 30 minutes of chatting, touring the showroom, and getting everyone seated and ready - Off we went . . . traveling through from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve in record time. 

First, we worked to plan the perfect guest list.

With a couple of good giggles along the way.  Nothing makes a better evening than some good ole laughter! 

Then Pat McIntosh (of Lulalina) shared her insights and inspirations for making customized invitations.

Then some tips for getting the house ready - as I fashioned a Thanksgiving wreath using one of those sad, plastic wreath-forms as its base.  

Success.  All the while trying to keep everyone entertained.

Chase from Tonic - working his magic to concoct some amazing custom cocktails . . . 

And finally, back to me - sharing my thoughts for creating an exciting menu for your next cocktail party.
(I'll be sharing more of my ideas here at Tartanscot over the next few weeks!)

And then it was 'goodnight' to all the assembled guest.  With gift-bags.  And chocolate.  

And a very special 'thank you' to Lisa Davis at Kravet San Francisco.  We've been plotting this evening for months - and she's been a great resource - as well as a good sounding board - as the evening came together.

All photography by Kirsten Clarke.
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