06 June, 2019

"How 'To Tea' . . . "


Let's talk about another very British topic (that's not the Royal Family) - and take a wee break from my ramblings about textile and toiles.  Proper tea is equal parts ceremony, tradition, and much-needed hydration.  And sometimes a snack.  And sometimes a meal.  Let's examine a few facts . . . a few legends . . . and a few of my personal preferences and rituals.

Let's talk tea . . . 

 High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

Many fine folks use these terms as though they were interchangeable - though, in fact, each has a very specific meaning.  The term 'afternoon tea' refers to a mid-afternoon snack comprised of tea and light nibbles.  It is usually served at 4pm and serves as a snack between proper lunch and usually mid-evening dinner.  Scones are the perfect fit for afternoon tea - as well as simple sandwiches and cakes.    Now 'high tea' was traditionally used a substitute for the evening meal - and thus usually had a selection of much heartier dishes for the meal.  So though 'high tea' sounds like a fancier version - usually 'afternoon tea' was used as a snack by the upper class - and 'high tea' by the working class as their evening meal.

Shop our collection of antique hotel silver 
at SMW Home.

Milk First or Tea First?
Now this one gets serious.  In our household, it is ALWAYS tea first - whether I'm brewing a cup or a pot.  The tale I was told was that as tea became a tradition in English society during the Victorian era, tea service began to be produced for working-class households . . . and those service pieces were mass-produced and usually of a lower quality.  For that reason, the milk was added first - to temper the tea and keep the cups from breaking.  I also (personally) find that adding the milk to tea helps manage both the colour and temperature of my tea.
 Shop our collection of tea service
English Breakfast or Earl Grey?

English Breakfast.  Stop, the end.  Only and forever.  Seriously.  With some Scottish Breakfast for
a wee bit of variety.

Pot or Cup?

This really depends on my day.  My usual tradition is to make a huge pot of tea if I'm going to be at the house all day - and I'll work my way through it in a hour or so.  But, a quick turnaround almost always mean a cup (or frankly, more likely a mug) of tea with breakfast. 


22 May, 2019

"SMW Home's Spring Cleaning Sale . . . "


As in most households, Spring weather brings on a flurry of Spring cleaning.  Here at SMW Home . . . we're of the same mood.  Beginning this morning, we have a vast collection of our custom pieces - from furniture to floor coverings to lighting and pillows - marked on sale - and ready to find a new home and make room for our new product.  I have a few examples posted here - but, head over to SMW Home and see what might be perfect for your own wee castle.

Abbotsgrove Luggage Rack - in Yellow Lacquer
Retail Price - $625.00 / Sale Price - $395.00

Retail Price - $2,500.00 / Sale Price - $1495.00

8ft X 10ft Henry Plaid Rug
Retail Price $4200.00 / Sale Price $2500.00 

Pullman Ottoman - in MacLeod Tartan
Retail Price - $2975.00 / Sale Price - $1350.00 

Our St. James Armchair - in Wool Twill/Sky
Retail Price - $5625.00 / Sale Price - $1950.00 

Have a look at the entire selection - marked up to 60% off - starting today at SMW Home


17 May, 2019

"Chinoiserie Starts at Home . . . "


As many of you might know, my father passed away early last year and thus my brother and I inherited the family home where we had spent a good portion of our lives growing up.  He and I spoke regularly about the need to meet back home to sift through the decades of belongings and treasures - and likely some trash - and prepare the house to be sold. 

On one of my trips to Mississippi - I discovered a cache of vintage textiles that my mother had purchased when we lived in the Far East . . . and I knew I wanted to honor her by creating a few new textiles for my own collection based on the things that she had bought.

So honestly - in possibly the 'lowest-tech version' of how this is done - I ended up making copies of a few dozen motifs and then cutting and taping them on butcher paper at the studio.  Endlessly toying with pattern density and negative space - working to find the perfect balance of both.  Once the basic pattern was laid out - off it all went to my artist to create the final design for the pattern . . .

Thus, I'm pleased to introduce you to SMW Home's first chinoiserie toile, Cordelia Park Toile.  Available in 4 colourways (as well as decorative pillows) and boldly printed on a hearty cotton canvas for an amazing sturdy hand.

Mother would love these.


Yes.  There's a story behind the name . . . but, it's kind of a long one - lol - so we'll cover that next time! 

08 May, 2019

"Royal Family Ties - Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor . . . "


It's been an exciting couple of days for my fellow royal family watchers this week.  The Duchess of Sussex went into labour earlier in the week - and seemed to have her first child almost immediately.  And then things started turning ugly.  (well, they've been ugly for quite some time . . . )

Folks complained about the grammar used on the official announcement placed in front of Buckingham Palace.  As though the palace needed feedback from the comment section of FB on how to do their jobs.  When would we see the child?  Why had we not ALREADY seen the child?  What would it be named?  There's also a swarm of nonsense about the couple - and the most nonsensical was the theory that she's never been pregnant - and has been faking these last nine months - and was using a surrogate.  Well . . . that's actually NOT the most ridiculous, but so much of what I have read about HRH Prince Harry's family doesn't bear repeating.

But - I actually want to touch on another topic.  We Americans export such an enormous amount of pop-culture to the rest of the world - we often make the mistake of assuming that other cultures don't have their own points of reference.  So, no.  The newest member of the royal family is not named after either a 1970's cartoon character or noted bigoted television show.   "Archie" is a fine, historic Scottish name . . . and is well-used in the UK these days.  It means 'bold' or 'brave' - and might actually be derived from being one of 'the archers' - who would be the last line of defense for a castle before the enemy breached the walls.  "Harrison" literally means 'son of Harry' - so how much more perfect could that be.  "Mountbatten-Windsor" is the surname of the family for those members who do not have an "HRH" designation.  (It's a bit more complicated than that - but, those are the highlights.)

It will be exciting to see how wee Archie interacts with his famous cousins George, Charlotte, and Louis.  But for the moment - I'm delighted that the birth was uneventful and that the entire family seems well.  The delight I see in his great-grandparent's eyes is a clear signs that he will be surrounded with love.


PS.  Unkind remarks about any member of the Royal Family are not likely to be tolerated here.  That's just the way things are in my little corner of the internet.  

24 April, 2019

"High Point Trunk Show . . . "


It has become a tradition each season during High Point Market that I have a trunk show to debut SMW Home's new textiles and wallpapers.  This year was no different - and I was delighted to be hosted by the lovely team at Currey & Company.  Bright and early Sunday morning - I began to unfurl my new textile collection, and await new friends and old to stop by and see!   

The Currey & Co. Showroom at High Point is somewhat legendary for its endless hospitality and the energetic crowd that it draws every day of market.  Amazing product.  Beautiful showroom.  GREAT music.  And some seriously good food.  I often use it as a hub on long market days - as a place to connect with friends and to be inspired! 

My sweet friend Tobi Fairley stopped by early
on to see what I had been up to - both personally
and  professionally.  Tobi and I have been friends for
over a decade (though neither of us has aged a day!)
and these regular markets always give us a chance
to catch up! 

Jennifer Habley (of noted Hampton's design firm
Habley Handler Interior Design), wanted to see what 
I was working on.  I think a few of our new Chinoiserie and
Summer Tartans might be amazing in one of their projects! 

 I always love meeting new folks at market as well!
And it's the perfect place to share adventures and
struggles with the people who understand

 So many of my new designs are based on
challenging both scale and colour - so being able to
share these designs 'in person' is invaluable.
Our Blackhall Manor Tartan is a wee bit on the
enormous side - and that's just the way I like it!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by - for samples, for 
possible projects, and always for a good laugh!  A grand
'thank you' to Currey and Co. for your gracious hospitality! 
And a special thank you to Beth Tilley Green for your
amazing photographs - and your always charming smile!

Take a look at the new collection - and let me know which one is YOUR favourite.  


16 April, 2019

"Where Do You Summer (Tartan) . . . ?"


I've been super busy over the last several months - and I'm excited to share a few new treasures that we've created here at Scot Meacham Wood Home.  We've been importing classic Scottish wool tartans for many years - including some of our exciting custom tartans that I began creating right from the very beginning.  But, I wanted to expand the idea of highland tartans a wee bit.  

So . . . I began to imagine what I could find to bring to the conversation that was new and different.  So . . . I'm delighted to announce our new SMW Home Summer Tartan Collection.

I first started with the idea of bringing something more modern to our collection - and answer that unending question, "Do you have anything that isn't wool?"  So, now yes we do!  These are all printed on a cotton/linen - and feel as bright and breezy as a summer picnic.

Blackhall Manor Tartan, Wilcox Tartan, Donovan Tartan, 
Rutherford Tartan, Rex Tartan, and Mulcaster Tartan

So take a look at our entire new collection!  And let me know which of our new patterns is your favourite.  


26 December, 2018

"Holiday Watch List . . . "


If you're anything like I am - you're likely spending a part of this holiday week puttering around the house catching up on errands and tasks that have slipped off the to-do-list . . . but, NEED doing before the new year is upon us.

And - if perchance you'd like some things to help continue putting those tasks off . . . here's a few of my favourite television shows and films - perfect for a chilly afternoon of ignoring chores and laundry!

 The Family Stone 

 This is easily one of my favourite 'holiday' films.  It's a great, messy story of family dynamics at Christmas - with marvelous performances from SJP, Diane Keaton, and the entire cast.
Search for it - it's from about a decade ago.


My love for British panel shows is fairly well-documented amongst my circle of friends - and THIS might be my favourite.  You can find it on streaming services like 'BritBox' or 'AcornTV' - or even on YouTube.  They're quick 30 minute shows - and I've been know to lose entire afternoons just lapping them up like potato chips.  

The Haunting of Hill House

If by some chance your holiday needs a bit more horror to balance out the frivolity, this is AMAZING.  
It's some very circular storytelling - that just continues to wind around itself until the final scene.  
It's not for everyone - but, I found it compelling.  

 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

If by some chance you need something frothy and naughty - pop on your cigarette pants, grab a Gin Fizz, and get ready to giggle.  Great story and some of the best art direction and costuming that I've seen in ages.   Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein are a great pair!

Happy watching,

24 December, 2018

"Happy Christmas Y'all . . . "


Wishing you a joyous Christmas holiday and an amazing new year.


11 December, 2018

"The Perfect Holiday Scone . . . "


Most people I know seem to fall into two categories.  they either love to cook - or they love to bake.  I fall into the latter group.  Baking bread.  Making pies.  For me it's the perfect balance of art and science.  So to celebrate the holiday season here in San Francisco - let's try something with a nice jolly attitude - Pomegranate Scones.

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
6 tablespoons of chilled butter
1 lemon
1/3 cups of pomegranate seeds
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup of half and half

for garnish:
1 tablespoon of half and half
2 tablespoon of sugar

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

And away we go . . .

Combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and baking power) in a large bowl.

Use a pastry cutter to incorporate the chilled butter.

Combine the beaten egg with the half and half - and add to the dry mixture.
Stir just until moistened.

Add the juice of one lemon.

Add 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds to mixture and stir lightly.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed 12 to 15 strokes.
(when you first turn the dough out, it will still be slightly separated.
after kneeding, the dough should begin to form into a ball)

Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

Pat, or lightly roll, each section into a small disc about a 1/2 inch in thickness.
Cut the dough into six pieces.

After placing on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper - garnish each scone by
brushing with half and half and adding a light sprinkling of sugar.

My kitchen tends to run fairly warm whilst I'm cooking - so I usually place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to re-chill the butter before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes.

And there you have it.  Warm.  Yummy.  And practically bursting with holiday flavours.
As options for the pomegranate seeds, I've used dried cranberries.  Or chopped walnuts.  Even miniature chocolate chips.  


06 December, 2018

"The Giving of Gifts (Part Two) . . . "


There seems to be no end to the invitations - both given and received - during this joyous season.  It always seems to be the perfect time to catch up with friends and family.  Speaking of entertaining - I know I always love a fresh new treasure on my tabletop when I'm entertaining.  We have a charming collection of imported English table service and highland China

Warmth is never our of season or out of style.  We have a hearty collection of imported tartan throws - both one-of-a-kind antiques from the 1940's . . . and classic tartans from Pendelton. 

And for that hard to buy for list, we carry an exclusive collection of antique Victorian tartanware from the late 1800's!  It's the perfect little treasure to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

Let me know how we can help with any of your holiday shopping.  SMW Home . . . here to serve.

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