24 December, 2014

"Happy Christmas . . . "


Happy Christmas y'all!  I hope to be 'back in the saddle' over here at tartanscot right after the first of the year!


04 December, 2014

"The Tartan Elephant in the Room . . . "


Those of you who are regular readers have probably noticed a particular silence regarding our regular Holiday Decorating Contest.  A few of you have even emailed me privately to find out what the details are going to be.

Well, the simple truth is I'm not going to be able to host the contest this year.  We've been dealing with an illness and death in my immediate family - and I just don't have the bandwidth to handle the contest this year.

I'm also going to be traveling a good part of December, both on personal and business matters.

Thanks for understanding . . .


30 November, 2014

"Happy St Andrew's Day . . . "


Today is the Feast Day for St. Andrew . . . the patron saint of Scotland.


27 November, 2014

"Happy Thanksgiving . . . "

SMW Design 2011
(images courtesy of Kirsten Clarke Photography)


You have but TWO objectives for the day.

1)  Gratitude.

2)  Pie.

I'm hoping for a healthy serving of each this Thanksgiving weekend!


25 November, 2014

"Inspiration Point - Saturated Colours . . . "


Y'all must know how much I love deep, saturated colours.  This amazing detail image from Gavin Houghton project in Kensington is just beyond delightful.


23 November, 2014

"Sunday Runway - Falling . . . "

Douglas Pickett for Ralph Lauren 2012.


As I said earlier in the week . . . we're going to be a little on the 'short and sweet' side of things whilst I get caught up at the office.

So . . . here's your inspiration for this week.  Let start getting dressed up.  Fall is well upon us (except for your poor folks under 10 feet of snow . . . you look to be well into January weather!).  But, for the rest of you - it's time to break out the flannels!


19 November, 2014

"Inspiration Point - Garland . . . "

Cathy Kincaid Design
(photography by Tria Giovan for Southern Accents) 


It's been a more than slightly hectic couple of weeks around here (a little more on that in a later posting) so, I thought I'd play a bit of catch-up by posting a few of my favourite images (many of which are also posted on my inspiration boards here in the office or on Pinterest and Instagram) as a way of sharing some of our projects!

These are going to be short and sweet - but, hopefully, you'll find some inspiration as well!


16 October, 2014

"Partly Cloudy . . . "


When we were first started plotting out our "Dark and Stormy Study" for the 2014 Traditional Home Showhouse in Napa - we were face to face with a dark room - with a low, dark raftered ceiling.  It's not exactly a huge challenge for us to work in a dark space . . . it's actually something that I kinda of enjoy.  As usual - we never try to make a dark space 'brighter' - to the contrary, I really like to take them a bit darker and make them more intimate and private.

"The Dark and Stormy Study" - BEFORE.
Drawing on San Francisco's rich nautical history - we seemed to have started call it "The Dark and Stormy Study" right from the beginning - as I was inspired by the exposed rafter ceiling - that had a certain ship's keel attitude to it.  But, we wanted something that felt much more romantic and moody than just a perky, navy and white sailor's room. 

So . . . . 

We found this AMAZING wallpaper from Fornasetti through Cole and Sons at Lee Jofa.  We were certainly going to have the "dark and stormy" mood well under control with this flawlessly evocative wallcovering!

Here's an image from the west wall during wallpaper installation day.
I can assure you - there were squeals of delight when we saw this!

The completed west wall.
(photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 
But . . . we needed a bit of brightness to balance out the space . . . so we delved into bright "marine blue" linens and classic madras plaids from Lee Jofa and Ralph Lauren Home.

(Photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 

So . . . now we come to "A Piece of Sky" . . . .

"A Piece of Sky" by Daniel Tousigant
through Geras/Tousingant Gallery

The painting is by a dear friend of mine here in San Francisco - Daniel Tousignant
His work always resonates with me.  They are often based on classic 
"old world" motifs - but, presented in a completely modern point of view.  And you
can only imagine the 'squeal of delight' when I first saw it.

I loved this bright, sunny 'window on the world' contrasting against the dark, moody wallpaper.
I knew when we had these two pieces for the room - we were going to be all set. 

Another of Daniel's works.

You might also recognize Daniel's work from the photo shoot
of my own home with House Beautiful last December.
That's another of his pieces hanging in my bedroom.
(photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 

I'll have more 'behind the scenes' posts over the next few weeks!


12 October, 2014

"Sunday Runway - Striped . . . "

James Dean sporting some sporty navy and white stripes. 

I thought I'd celebrate our "Dark and Stormy Study" from this year's Traditional Home Napa Showhouse with a little celebration of nautical style!  One can rarely go wrong with a simple navy and white stripe . . . both in one's interior design . . . as well as one's wardrobe -


"The striped breton shirt as we know it today came into being shortly following the 27th March, 1858 Act of France which introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seaman in Brittany,  The shirt was originally known as marinière or matelot. The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean's victories."

Robert Redford looking stylish - as always. 

Originally reserved for professional purposes, the Fisherman’s sweater has 
now become, like denim, a 20th century fashionable clothing item.

"Within a few decades several color variants appeared: red, white, striped, but it should be remembered that, in the Navy, the single colored sweater was reserved for officers, and the striped variety for sailors. To this day, in the French Navy, young recruits wear a striped tee-shirt during their three month onboard training period.

Rooted in our common heritage, this mythical sweater is worn by both 
fishermen and enthusiast sailors, at sea, and in town. The chandail is now 
a quintessential item for the wardrobe or adventurers, artists 
and fashion conscious consumers alike."
from the History of Saint James of Normandy

Coco Chanel

From Saint James of Brittany. 
If this gets you hankering for one of your own - check out Saint James.


10 October, 2014

"The Dark and Stormy Study . . . "

Scot Meacham Wood Design's "The Dark and Stormy Study"
photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy


I'm delighted to invite you to a sneak preview of our 2014 Traditional Home Napa Showhouse - opening this weekend.  For our "Dark and Stormy Study," we decided to embrace San Francisco's rich maritime history and imagine a retired sea captain and his rustic Napa Valley retreat.

"Sky" painting by Daniel Tousignant

"Scot Meacham Wood of Scot Meacham Wood Design is transforming 
the Napa Showhouse’s historical Cheese Barn into a dark and stormy study 
for a retired sea captain. Influenced by San Francisco’s rich maritime history 
and inspired by the rustic architecture of the Cheese Barn space, Wood 
is taking this opportunity to explore what kind of wine country hideaway a 
dignified seafaring man would create for himself after a life spent 
navigating California’s rocky coast. Removed from the rest of 
the house, the Showhouse’s Cheese Barn is the ideal location for 
Wood to express his creative vision for a 
moody, refined, and masculine private space."

We were delighted to partner with Kravet and Lee Jofa for the maritime-inspired textiles and the marvelous Bunny Williams Lamps that add a flawless note of modernity to our space!  We *love* that heavy-gauge wool throw from Jessie Black - located right here in San Francisco.  I am especially grateful to Garden Court Antiques for the amazing collection of antique pond yacht models which add the perfect seafaring aesthetic for the room.

"To bring Meacham Wood’s design to life, he’s relying on a dark coastal 
color palette of navy, gray, and sand. In addition, he’s utilizing a mixture 
of existing architectural features of the space, like exposed rafters, along with 
bringing in hand built sets to cover some walls to allow for the application 
of wallpaper and paint. The result will be a space that reflects to the 
Showhouse’s historic design and location, while still giving 
Wood the ability to fully realize his creative vision."

If you're in the San Francisco bay area in the next month - make plans to attend the showcase house and view this marvelous collection of interior designers!

For tickets and more information on the showcase house - click HERE.


All images by Thayer Allyson Gowdy Photography

09 October, 2014

"A Sneak Peek Preview . . . "


For this year's Traditional Home Napa Showhouse . . . we thought we'd try a slightly more austere aesthetic.  Something a bit more on the 'restained' side than our expected 'layered' side.

Stop back by tomorrow to see the room revealed.


(photography by Thayer Gowdy)

02 October, 2014

"Because You Have To Start Somewhere . . . "


We are completely excited about our involvement in this year's Traditional Home Napa Valley Showcase House opening on October 12th.

And just so you know . . . the above image is what we started with.

Click HERE for more details.

Stay tuned,

28 September, 2014

"Rowing Blazer Book Signing in New York . . . "

Chip Kidd, Drew Poling, and Scot Meacham Wood


We had flurry of travel this week as Drew and I zipped out to New York for a few days to help celebrate the release of Jack Carlson's new book "Rowing Blazers" at the new Ralph Lauren flagship store on 5th Avenue.  The new store was awash in striped and tipped blazer . . . an amazing jazz combo . . . and a good time had by all.

"Classic American style was born in British boathouses, where the very first 
blazers were fashioned for college rowing clubs. This book, created by 
champion rower Jack Carlson, offers an insider’s guide to the elaborately 
striped, piped, trimmed, and badged garments, as well as 
the stories, elite athletes, historic clubs, and races associated with them. 
Featuring lush photographs by F.E. Castleberry, Rowing Blazers is a 
definitive visual feast, transporting readers to the highly atmospheric
 boathouses, campuses, and team rooms of clubs around the world. 
For anyone who has raced the rivers or lined the banks, this handsome 
ode to the eye-catching, evocative rowing blazer is a must."

Have a look at a few photos from the event . . .

Jack Carlson signing copies of his book "Rowing Blazers"

"It brings together three of my passions: rowing, menswear and 
pageantry," said Mr. Carlson, a Georgetown- and Oxford-educated 
rower on the U.S. National team, who started 
working on the book 4½ years ago.

by Jack Carlson

(photography by BFA NYC)

26 September, 2014

"The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire . . . "


Thought I've been traveling for the past few days . . . I was greatly saddened to read of the death of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire - known in her younger days as Deborah Miford.  The Mitford sisters have always fascinated me . . . in fact, I've been reading Deborah's own memoirs "Wait for Me" over the last few months.  It's a bit heartbreaking that just as she's becoming SO real to me . . . that she passes away at the age of 94.

"Born in 1920, “Debo,” as she was widely known, was the youngest of the six 
celebrated Mitford sisters. She became a duchess through a twist of fate. 
After her marriage in 1941 to Andrew Cavendish, the younger son of the 10th 
Duke of Devonshire, the newlyweds expected a life of genteel poverty. 
But three years later, Andrew’s elder brother, William, who had married 
Kathleen Kennedy, a sister of J.F.K., was killed in action in World War II. 
In 1950, Andrew inherited both the dukedom, and Chatsworth, 
a 297-room house on 35,000 acres that is arguably 
England’s grandest non-royal home."

- from the New York Times 

At her marriage to Lord Andrew Cavendish in 1941.

Celebrating her 90th Birthday at Chatsworth House. 

Chic beyond words . . . ! 

The Duchess with her quite famous, prize-winning chickens at Chatsworth House.
(photography by Bruce Weber)
In the amazing gardens at Chatsworth House.

"Palatial as the property is, the Cavendish family carved out a large 
private section for themselves where 
they were blissfully domestic.

At the time, however, it was "a fabulous mess," as Debo later recalled.
In grave disrepair, it was also saddled with
reportedly up to $20 million in taxes and death duties.
Rolling up her sleeves, the Duchess brought
the estate back to its glory days."
- from Vanity Fair


22 September, 2014

"Traditional Home - Napa Showcase House . . . "


SMW Design is delighted to announce our invitation to take part in the 2014 Traditional Home Napa Showcase House.  The event is open from October 12th through November 16th on Tuesdays through Sundays.  For tickets and more information - you can click here.

We're just finishing up all the details on our space . . . but, I can give you a few clues as to the design of our living room;  1)  masculine.  2)  rustic.  3)  cloudy.

That's right . . . cloudy.

So . . . if you're in the area - come up and see us sometime . . .


21 September, 2014

"Sunday Runway - Back at Square One . . . . "


November.  1987.  I still remember coming back from my post office box in Breckenridge, Co and seeing this image for the first time.  Kevin Kline.  Polo/Ralph Lauren.  GQ cover.   And a flawless Fall transition ensemble.

We've chatted in the past about interior design images that stick in my memory . . . but, what about fashion? 

It's always good to check in on old friends . . . and fashion that still rings true and stylish.



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