Design Experts
Apr 20, 2010

20 questions with Scot Meacham Wood

By: Lauren McPhillips

20 questions with Scot Meacham Wood Author: Style At Home

Design Experts
Apr 20, 2010

20 questions with Scot Meacham Wood

By: Lauren McPhillips

He's a lover of fabulous design, gracious living and all things tartan. Interior designer Scot Meacham Wood has made quite the name for himself in the design world, heading projects everywhere from the Four Seasons San Francisco to the luxe beachside residences in East Hampton. His 13 years of working in creative services for Ralph Lauren has built up his impeccable style and he now sits at the helm of his own design studio, SMW Design. Being a fabulous designer and one of our favourite bloggers ( tartanscot.blogspot.com), it was a delight to include Scot in our 20 Questions series, discussing everything from design inspiration to favourite restaurants.

1 If you could shadow any designer for a day, who would it be? 
Scot Meacham Wood
Probably Michael Smith. I love his point of view and his rooms never fail to inspire me. I would love to see him in action.

2 Where do you look for obscure sources of inspiration?
SMW
I really wouldn’t consider any source of inspiration to be obscure -- inspiration comes in whatever form is close at hand. I do admit that I watch fashion shows intently each season for great new colour and textile ideas. I worked in fashion for years with Ralph Lauren, and even now will often look through a new client’s closet to see what colours he or she responds to.

3 Favourite restaurant? 
SMW
Izzy’s Steaks and Chops -- it's a great little place right in the centre of the Marina District in San Francisco. Seriously, they might have the best creamed spinach anywhere on earth. 

4 What’s your favourite room to decorate? 
SMW
It could just be the Southerner in me, but I love working on entertaining spaces -- beautifully detailed dining rooms or gracious living rooms that are just begging to be filled with conversation and laughter. 

5 What’s your current paint colour obsession?
SMW
There’s this dark navy-ish, slate-ish, royal-ish, charcoal blue from Benjamin Moore that’s called "Gentlemen’s Gray" that I am totally obsessed with. I may just have to re-paint part of my house.

tartan-scot-condo-living-room.jpg
Living room of Four Seasons San Francisco "The homeowners needed a space that was as striking as the spectacular views of downtown San Francisco," says Scot, who designed the space. "By basing the colour story on the twilight sky, the rooms open seamlessly into the skyline."

 


6 If one song could be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be? 
SMW
Well, I could go all haughty and high-brow and say The Enigma Variations from Edward Elgar (I am fascinated by the slow, steady passion of the work), but Our House by Madness never ceases to put a big smile on my face. It’s one of my go-to songs on my iPod when I’m running.

7 What’s the one store you could spend hours browsing?

SMW Does the Paris flea market count? No? I'll take Aero Studios in New York then.

8 London, Paris or New York? 
SMW
London. All day, every day. I love the historic depth of the city -- and the amazing fashion. Plus, my favourite gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, is right near Trafalgar Square.

9 If money were no object, what one thing would you buy? 
SMW
A castle. There -- I said it. 

10 What do you consider to be the most iconic design piece of the past century? 
SMW
I’m not trying to avoid answering (well, I kind of am -- there’s WAY too much to chose from!), but any piece of furniture is ‘iconic’ if it’s used beautifully and if it helps to bring style and function to a home. Whether it’s something mass-produced or a one of a kind antique, if it’s right then it’s right. 

tartan-scot-entertaining.jpg Garden party "I was inspired to create this table setting for a late afternoon luncheon by the newly completed garden," says Scot of this tabletop vignette. "I used beautiful botanical inspired china, a simple colour story, and masses of fresh flowers, and the garden acted as the perfect setting."

 


11 Favourite movie? 
SMW
I can’t even begin to pick one! Seriously (and I won’t give you some long song-and-dance answer about any movie being a favourite depending on my mood).

12 What’s your favorite movie interior
SMW
Good grief, you’re asking me to choose again -- there are so many!  Karen Blixen’s home in Kenya from Out of Africa, any and all of the sets from Gosford Park, Castle Howard from Brideshead Revisited, The Montana cabin from Legends of the Fall, and recently, the sets from Tom Ford’s A Single Man.

13 What do you think is the easiest way to update a room? 
SMW
Take every single accessory out of the room, then start bringing things back in, slowly and carefully. You’ll be amazed what a quick edit and some rearranging will do!

14 Best coffee table book
SMW
There would be a huge gasp of shock if I didn’t say Tartan:  Romancing the Plaid by Jeffrey Banks.

15 What’s your fave way to spend a lazy Sunday? 
SMW
Well, my Sundays tend to be much more on the active side than the lazy side -- you can bet that I’m out trail running or hiking on any given Sunday.

tartan-scot-warm-living-room.jpg Glam home on the San Francisco Peninsula "I find inspiration everywhere," says Scot. "At times it's as simple as the textile. Sometimes it's the proportions of a room. And at times, it's envisioning gracious furnishings basking in the afternoon sun that's pouring through the expansive windows."

 


16 Do you like to be the entertainer or be entertained? 
SMW
I really love to entertain. I’m working on a fairly large project at my house right now just so I can get a larger table in my dining room. The more the merrier!

17 What do you think is the best renovation you can do to your home?
SMW
Anything that can make your kitchen function more smoothly is always going to improve your home. 

18 What is your fave space that you’ve designed? 
SMW
Maybe because it’s what I’m working on at the moment, but my own place. There’s something so freeing about working on my own home -- I can be much more daring (and more inventive!) and can experiment with new colours or furniture.   

19 What’s the biggest design faux pas? 
SMW
Big rooms filled with tiny furniture.
 
20 Marilyn, Audrey or Jackie? 
SMW
Audrey --  gracious, lovely, stylish, private.

tartan-scot-white-living-room.jpg East Hampton summer home "There is always something so amazing about the light on the East Coast," Scot says. "This wonderful home is chock full of rooms absolutely flooded with sunlight. Quiet places to read, beautiful views of the ocean, a large room to gather with friends -- it's the perfect place to stay for summer."

 

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20 questions with Scot Meacham Wood