29 June, 2012

"Lake House Style . . . "



Well, boys and girls . . . summer is practically upon us.  And looking at my travel and work schedule for the next several months . . . I'm not seeing a solid vacation on my horizon.  So . . . I'm gonna have to take a little cyber-vacation.  The good news . . . you can come along with me.

Let's pile in the car, put on some B52's, and head out to the lake house.  Seriously.

SMW Design, Lake Tahoe Residence
SMW Design, Lake Tahoe Residence
Spitzmiller & Norris

SMW Design, Lake Tahoe Residence

Thom Filicia, Lake House

SMW Design, Lake Tahoe Residence

27 June, 2012

"Around Georgetown . . . "


Thought I'd share a few pictures from my recent trip to Georgetown.  I'm working on a new project in the Washington area - and had some free time to wander around this charming little corner of our nation's capital.

Amazing brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets.  Block after block of classic, Federal style townhouses and residences.  Gaslight sconces and streetlights.  And the late afternoon sun bathing the entire neighborhood in its warm glow.

And an early evening dinner at "The Tombs."  Perfection.


(all images by Scot Meacham Wood for "The Adventures of Tartanscot")

24 June, 2012

"Sunday Runway, Shorts and a Sweater. . . "


It's kind of been a running joke around San Francisco since I've lived here.  I think my good friend Stacey at Ralph Lauren may have stated it the most clearly almost 25 years ago . . . "the name 'San Francisco' is translated from an obscure Spanish phrase meaning 'shorts and a cashmere sweater.'"

Our very specific weather was famously described by Mark Twain, "The coldest winter I ever spent - was a summer in San Francisco."  And it's not like it's actually 'cold' here . . . it's just fairly chilly in the morning and early evening.  So it makes one's wardrobe options kinda challenging.  As someone who is out and working during the day . . . I need to be dressed for everything . . .

And my usual solution is shorts and a sweater.

Michael Bastian, for the New York Times
Now I'm quite well aware that many of you have been suffering through some fiercely hot weather the last fews weeks . . . so, don't begrudge us our oddly temperate weather here in San Francisco . . . along with our even temps, and possibly because of them, we also have roving bands of naked bicyclists.  I consider it a simple trade-off.


22 June, 2012

"Bluer than Blue . . . "

SMW Design, Berkeley, CA


. . . and salutations from the ever-busy office of SMW Design.  Sorry for the intermittent postings around here these days - I've been traveling for work - and have been shamefully remiss in keeping up with you fine people over here at the blog. You know when you've been working too hard . . . you discover that it's hard to focus on any one thing in particular?  Well, I was having one of those moments the other day . . . posting a few images on Pinterest . . . pulling textiles for a project in the East Bay . . . reviewing pictures of a project on the East coast . . . and as my eyes began to blur . . . and I started noticing the same hue.

A blue.

A gray-ish blue.

And it seemed to be everywhere.

in linen sport coats . . . 
SMW Design, Atherton, CA
in a simple paint colour . . . 
Artist Bryan Larsen
from Finders Keeper Market, KY
SMW Design, Berkeley, CA

SMW Design, East Hampton, NY
in completed projects from years ago . . . 

in the faded colours of transferware china . . . 

Joseph Minton, for Traditional Home

from HERE.

SMW Design, East Hampton, NY

Now, when pressed for a favourite colour . . . I almost always respond with green and olive.  So, this new subversive focus on blue has kinda peaked my interest.  Let's see what might happen next . . .


17 June, 2012

"My Father's Golf Game . . . "

(I hope you'll indulge a bit of recycling for today's post.  It's a piece I wrote in 2009 in recognition of Father's Day.)


Okay, this one's gonna be . . . mmmmmm . . . well, I don't quite know what this one's going to be. So I'll make you a deal, I'll just start typing - and you just keep reading - and we'll both see where this ends up.

My father and I have always had a somewhat strained relationship. I swear, if you do a google image search for "distant, silent type," there might actually BE an picture of my dad. In spite of this, he had an indelible effect on the man I became. He had strict requirements of his two boys; impeccable manners, promptness, an exacting work ethic, consistent oil changes, and honesty.

I have always looked back, with a certain amount of humour, on what my parents MUST have thought of the practically alien creature that I MUST have seemed as a child. My abiding hope is that my folks would lay in bed at night and smile with wonder at most of the drama that always seemed to surround me. There were four of us in our home. My retired military father. My high school beauty queen mother. My incredibly athletic older brother. And me - rehearsing Bach for hours each day - obsessively fussing over my wardrobe - and pouring through design magazines. My father played golf. I played the organ. To say that we never had much in common is kind of overstating the *very* obvious.

But, I'll call Dad this afternoon to wish him a Happy Father's Day. We'll have a stiff, stilted conversation about his golf game and my gas mileage. We'll most likely both be a bit uncomfortable. But, I know that it would break his heart if I didn't call. I also know that he loves me. He knows that I love him. And, damn it, I'll make sure that we both say so. My father would want it that way. He taught me good manners - and more importantly - honesty.


05 June, 2012

"Of Night Noises and Night Lights . . . "

Stone Creek Camp, TX

There's some emotional connective tissue that's bringing together a few differing ideas this afternoon.  Firstly, it kinda feels like summer for the first time here in the city.  And not a classic SF summer comprised of mid-60's temperatures and fog trailing down along my ankles in the morning as I leave for the office.  But, a proper summer.  Bright, clear skies this morning.  And warm enough to wear shorts to the office (on a day that didn't involve any client meetings!)

Phoebe Howard
Ok, I did say this was going to be a little rambling . . . but, I was also thinking a bit more about Moonrise Kingdom and its romanticized portrait of scouting.  I was a Boy Scout when I was much, much younger.  I loved the amazing feeling of sleeping out of doors . . .

And I still do.  Sleeping to the sounds of owls hooting or deer wandering and nibbling in the dark night . . .  the feel of dew against my face in the early morning . . . and the harsh glare of the dawning sun . . .

So along with our 'as-glorious-as-it's-gonna-get' weather . . . and the fact that I slept last night in my favourite cotton pj's - but, not under my usual pile of blankets and covers - or wearing a cashmere sweater to keep the chill away - but on top of the covers.  With the windows open . . .

I'm discovering I have an obsession with sleeping porches.  An obsession that I can't quite explain.  Well . . . maybe no explanation is needed.   I don't think I've ever slept in one.

Mimi McMakin, House Beautiful
But they just seem to be the perfect combination of security and freedom.  Exposure and safety.  Woodland noises . . . and a reading lamp.

Michelle Fries Design
It almost makes me yearn for the classic 'yankee' cabin upbringing - that I never actually had.  As a Boy Scout in Mississippi, we always camped at Civil War battlegrounds.  Under pitched parachutes.

Kelly Van Patter, House Beautiful.

And I think I only slept on our back porch the weekend that I was repainting my bedroom.   Clearly I have a very active imaginary life.


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