30 November, 2012

"Holiday Decorating Contest - the Judges . . . "


I hope you've all enjoyed this extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas as much as I have!  Usually it's such a mad sprint from one holiday to the next - having some spare time this year has been especially wonderful.

But, lo . . . the holiday season is now upon us - and in full swing.  I'm excited to start seeing some of the early entries in the Holiday Decorating Contest over the weekend (click HERE for details and instructions to enter) . . . and know full well that you've all spent these extra few days getting your homes ready to celebrate all the various event that surround this busy season.

But, once our little photo contest is concluded - it's not just little ole me sitting here throwing darts at the board trying to pick out a winner . . .

No . . . once again we have a super talented panel of judges to review the entries and pick the winners in each category - 1)  Christmas Tree, 2)  Dining Table, and 3)  Exterior Entrance/Front Door.

So here, in no particular order are our judges . . . 

Though based in Arkansas, Tobi and I have been friends for years . . . and I delight in seeing the amazing achievements that her career has brought her.  From her cover-story in House Beautiful . . . to her completely amazing Design Camps . . . she brings a cultured, southern eye (and her great love of colour!) to our panel.

New Yorker Michael brings his 'east-coast' touch to the proceedings.  His gracious design work has been on my radar for many years now.  From his beautiful gardens - to his amazing line of textiles and accessories -  Michael has a clear vision for classic beauty.  

Since it's always good to have an international point of view on our panel, Ronda (from her home base in Scotland) seemed like the perfect choice.  Many of you may recognize her from any number of places - her blog, her work at Huffington Post, or from her upcoming book, Designers at Home from Rizzoli.

Because we clearly need someone local from San Francisco, Grant has agreed to fit us into his busy schedule - working on design projects across the country.  Having lived on both coasts - and travelled extensively throughout Europe - Grant also adds an amazing international flavour to our panel - and since we live about 20 blocks apart - and NEVER manage to see each other - hopefully this will be our excuse to catch up!

One of the best aspects of this new 'online' community that we are all involved in - is the new way it allows us to be in contact with 'our tribe.'  And Kathryn is clearly one of 'my people.'  A classic, gracious southerner.  A sharp wit, and delightful storyteller.  And a woman who possesses more china and stemware than I do.  If you don't have a copy of her wonderful book, The Collected Tabletop - it makes a marvelous Christmas present . . . or it might even be one of our prizes . . . hmmmmm. 

Megan's amazing blog, Beach Bungalow 8, has been an inspiration of mine for years.  I have always loved her beachy, bohemian style . . . and I know she'll definitely bring a perfectly 'coastal' vibe to our panel.  Megan also holds the distinction of being the first blogger that I met in person after I began writing myself.  We still laugh about the four and a half hour breakfast we spent together . . . laughing and getting to know each other.  


27 November, 2012

"Rue Magazine - Let's Make a Wreath . . . "

from the holiday issue of Rue Magazine.


I'm super excited to be included in the holiday issue of Rue Magazine - highlighting my lesser-known skills in wreath-making.  As with most all holiday adventures, it's a certain part inspiration, a certain part preparation - and all about wearing the correct holiday sweater whilst working.

Enjoy Rue Magazine this month - and look for me on page 78!


26 November, 2012

"Holiday Inspiration, Rustic Style . . . "


With our exciting holiday decorating contest starting in a few days . . . I thought I would spend a post or two sharing some of my favourite inspiration images to spur your creativity!

from Steve Fuller, our 'best tree' winner from last year 


25 November, 2012

"Sunday Runway - Couture . . . "


We're going to veer a little off topic from our usual Sunday chatter about men's fashion - with the news that you must get yourself to the theater . . . if only to see the intoxicating new Joe Wright film Anna Karenina.

Keira Knightly has never been more radiant . . . and more spectacularly beautiful . . . as the tragic heroine of Russian literature in this tale of aristocracy and infidelity .   And the costumes from Jacqueline Durran are amazing.  Though based on period details, many of the ensembles in the film could easily walk down the runway of any current couture designer.

But the film itself is also a tour de force from director Joe Wright . . . but, one should be aware that this is NOT, in any way, a traditional period piece film.  To say that it is 'theatrical' is somewhat of an understatement.  But, it is lush and romantic . . . with a hypnotic score that spins the action forward.

Take a quick peak at the trailer . . .

I'll get the popcorn.  And you get some M&M's . . . and we can meet in the back row.


22 November, 2012

"Happy Thanksgiving . . . "

SMW Design, Dining by Design 2008


Wishing you and yours a marvelous day of friendship, fellowship, and stuffing.  And pie.

Happy Thanksgiving,

(photography by Nicolas Smith, San Francisco)

20 November, 2012

"SMW Design, The Library . . . "


I wanted to share one of our recently completed projects here at the office . . . a classic, european-inspired library for one of my clients here in the Bay Area.  For me, it just seems to 'tick all the boxes' as a retreat for the modern-day, yet traditional, gentleman.  Antique leather Chesterfield sofas.  Classic English wing chairs nestled by the fireplace.  A flatscreen TV.  And a marvelous custom plaid textile from Scotland upholstered on the walls.  The perfect place to recover from a busy day.

In many ways - this space was all about lighting.  And creating layers of light to compliment the dark, masculine room.  Gallery lights on each of the pieces of artwork.  Floor lights ready for a good book.  Table fixtures to anchor the larger pieces of furniture.   And of course, the custom lighting that we added to the library shelves.  

I love creating these "little moments" within the larger scope of the room.   

 Opposite the fireplace, this antique leather settee becomes another place to gather.  And the cast-iron truck adds both literal and emotional weight to the room - as well as another strong sense of history.  

We also had a marvelous time working with the decorative textiles in the room.  We added a few more classic tartans, mixed with lush wool paisleys, and used these charming needlepoint pillows from Ralph Lauren to finish out the room. 


17 November, 2012

"A Little Pre-Holiday Sale . . . "


So many people have contacted me about wanting to purchase accessories and furniture from my inventory - I decided to post a few of our more popular items on my Pinterest page - just in time for the holiday season.

A Pair of English Armchairs . . . from our photo shoot with Rue Magazine a few years back. 

from Rue Magazine. 

There is a great collection of decorative pillows and throws . . . just in time for the holiday season. 

A few marvelous pieces from my extensive collection of antique Victorian tartanware.

And several other pieces of furniture - including this charming art nouveau arm chair. 

Pop over HERE and have a look -


14 November, 2012

"Holiday Decorating Contest, 2012 . . . "


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 third 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)  Front Door  ( wreaths and garland and lights, oh my. )

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 November 30th and ends at 11:59
p.m., P.T. on Saturday December 15, 2011. Winners 
will be announced on Friday, 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.


(all photography by Nicolas Smith from a party at my own home last holiday season)

11 November, 2012

"Sunday Runway - Shopping . . . "


I was kinda in recovery-mode after my trip to Little Rock this week to speak at Tobi Fairly's amazing Design Camp "A to Z" yesterday . . . so I basically spent almost the entire day curled up in bed . . . surfing the internet . . . 

Um, shopping.

here are a few of my favourites . . . 

06 November, 2012

"Creating Light . . . "


I think it just might be one of the greatest challenges of design - finding the perfect item - and then discovering that it isn't perfect at all.  The proportions are wrong.  It doesn't come in the finish that you need.  Or it's been discontinued (grrrrrr!).  

Such was the case with the chandelier that we needed for the conference room at our project in the east bay.  I could almost find the right piece - only to discover that it was going to be wrong in some important way.

So.  Like we all must do from time to time - we decided to just have the damn thing custom made.  The perfect size.  The perfect brushed steel finish.  The perfect proportions.  And the perfect delivery schedule. 

Working out the details of the design . . . 

As one would expect - install day was a little nerve-wracking.  We got the frame mounted from the ceiling.  And adjusted the height of the piece.  And then the tedium began . . .   

. . . because there were hundreds of these.  No, seriously.  Hundreds. 

Each of the custom prisms would reflect the light slightly differently - giving the entire fixture a marvelous attitude.  And because the large window directly behind the chandelier faced east - the early morning light would cause each of the the prisms to send morning sun dancing around the room.  It was going to be a spectacular way to greet the day.

Getting the last few prisms installed. 

Now, just for some clean-up. 

And done. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails