The Skirted Roundtable: Scot Meacham Wood





This week, The Skirted Roundtable welcomes Scot Meacham Wood of SMW Design.   An interior designer and noted musician, Scot surprised us with an a Capella serenade!   That’s a first, for sure!   Scot tells us all about his start in the business working for Ralph Lauren and we discuss how Lauren’s influence can be seen in some of his projects.  Scot is also a popular blogger who writes Tartanscot, a play on words for his love of all things tartan.   During the interview, Scot tells us about his interior design business, explaining how he works and his creative process.  As always, it’s so interesting to learn how other interior designers handle their jobs – it’s such a learning experience and an opportunity to compare and connect with others in the business.  We thoroughly enjoyed our talk with him, he’s such an old-fashioned southern gentleman, although he has lived all over the world and is definitely a Scotsman at heart!!


 image A project in East Hampton that we all loved.  What a gorgeous and grand entry hall.




The master bedroom in the Hamptons house.  This is a favorite of mine and I really see a Ralph Lauren vibe in this room.  Love the slips and wallpaper, and I love that blanket!!



image Scot describes this room in a Californian house where he had to duplicate the sofa because the owners only had one.  Notice the tartan blanket, of course!



imageScot’s apartment is well known to the blogosphere.  He told us that he is in the midst of a complete remodel and these pictures are now obsolete.  Here is his bedroom, which is also a study.  



image The other side of his bedroom.  Scot tells us all about that fabulous picture behind the sofa, Ralph Lauren, hint, hint.   Notice the tartan blankets, pillows, and curtains.   I can’t wait to see what his redecorated place will look like!


To listen to the Scot Meacham Wood interview, go HERE.  To visit his web site, SMW Design, go HERE

Two Cuties in Houston


Here are two really adorable houses for sale in River Oaks.    Although the houses themselves are typical for the neighborhood, their fabulous decor is what caught my eye.  As you all know, well decorated houses are a true rarity on real estate web sites, so anything that looks half-way decent is a plus.  These two houses are extra plus, IMO.  Their decor just speaks to me:  casual, warm, linen, antiques, seagrass, slips, lanterns, mirrors – all the design elements I love.   The first one has been for sale for a while so if you are from Houston and you stalk HAR, you’ve no doubt seen it.   Why is it still for sale?  Myself, I would buy it in a minute (furnished, of course!) and have trouble figuring  out why no one has.  I guess it’s the economy, stupid.    When looking at the two houses, try to imagine which one you would prefer to buy.   The first one is twice the size of the second and it’s kitchen is  nicer.   The second one’s backyard is a knockout.   Both are great family homes, though the second house would be a great empty-nester home too.   Both have great locations, inside one of Houston’s best neighborhoods. 


House #1



The first house was built in 1937 and has 4700+ sq. ft.   There’s a downstairs gameroom, along with formals, family room, and 4-5 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half baths.  There are full living quarters with a kitchenette.  The ONLY drawback I can see is no garage, but still…come on, someone – buy this!!!!  It’s beautiful!   Look how cute the front is with the striped awning,  iron Juliet balconies and great landscaping.



image The real estate brochure says the house is “like a page out of Veranda Magazine” and it really is.  I love the textured, patterned runner on the stairs and the painted foyer floor.   There are antiques everywhere, like the gray painted trumeau on the left wall and the Mora clock further down the hall.   I apologize about the pictures, but the owner didn’t ask me to come take my own pictures – though I would LOVE to,  hint..hint.  HAR needs to post better photographs.




Totally updated – I really like the front door, how bright and open it is. 




The foyer divides the dining room and the living room.  I love the gray walls here – I would probably repaint the banister a little lighter, maybe a pewter color, but that’s just me. 




Love the way this is decorated with the soft blue and white stripe fabric on the chairs and the silky striped curtains.  Love it!  Love the custom cut seagrass.  Love all the dainty French chairs.  Does anyone know who the decorator was  - I’m dying to know.




Another view of the living room.    I love the animal print on the accent chair. Love the blue walls – you don’t see that much true blue lately, but it’s so fresh and calming and feminine.   The whole house has a wonderful feminine vibe to it which is why I like it, I’m sure.     You can glimpse the family room through here.



image Oooh.  gorgeous!  I love the soft silky check curtains and the architectural plaque.  Love the crystal chandelier.   Love the chairs!  To die for!   This is my favorite room in the house, crazy for it. 



image One more time.  Of course the seagrass is perfect throughout – 2 inches, custom cut, the only way it ever really looks right.   Apologies for the quality of the photos!  HAR – let the realtors put larger and better photos on your site!!!



image The dining room connects to the kitchen through the bar (seen next to the range).   Love the range hood and the lighting fixtures.  Love the painted cabinets.  The back splash is from Chateau Domingue in Houston.




image Looking towards the breakfast area and the family room.   I would probably put white marble on the counter instead of wood if I moved here.  Of course, there’s a farm sink.    Not sure what the shades are made of, but I really like the style.   And I would love to see the gray painted cabinet on the left.  It looks fabulous.



imageThe family room – love, love, love!    I really like the fabric colors here – its a bluish aqua.   I love the metal side table and the washed wood sofa table.  But that clock!  That clock!!  What a focal point!!!  I want that!!!! Tonight!!!  The lamps, with their square shades,  are great too.  OK, for everyone who hates white slipcovers – here is a great alternative to slips.   I wish I could tell if the sofa is a velvet or a twill.   Even without the slipcovers, this house definitely has that Houston look. 



imageLooking from the family room and kitchen into the foyer.   Love the way the arches are continued through the hall to soften the look and add an interesting architectural touch.



image I wish we could see the chairs flanking the fireplace – it looks like they might be covered in a Colefax and Fowler linen, hard to tell.  Love the check on the wing chair – that actually does look like a slipcover.  Oh well…I would have taken pictures of the chairs if they would have only asked me!!




image I THINK this is the game room which might be in the converted garage space, overlooking the courtyard, though I’m not positive.   I love the color scheme here – raspberry.  And I love the Brunschwig and Fils toile on the chairs.  Great lantern.  What a nice, large space. 



image The brick courtyard.  The family room is to the right.  I believe the pink room is to the left.  Another great lantern.  What a nice outdoor space.  Who needs a big backyard when you can have something so pretty? 


image Another great shade of gray-blue in the master bedroom.  More French furniture, Leontine linens, of course.  Layered needlepoint rug over the seagrass.  Very pretty. 



House #2


The second cute house is also in River Oaks and is about $500,000 less than House #1, but, it’s 1/2 the size with only 2300 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and again, no garage – just a carport.   BUT, add an additional 580 sq. ft. for a pool house with kitchen AND a pool.  Built, again, in 1937,  this house actually is option-pending. 




Nice curb appeal with landscaping and a slate porch. 




image The living room is all shades of gray.  Slipcovers, French chairs, and custom cut seagrass. 



image Another view, facing the back family room.   Very pretty wall color – a grayish blue color.   This decor has a more eclectic feel  – with less antiques than house #1. 




imageDining Room:   Great curtains – full and luscious.  Perfection! 




image The eat-in kitchen is off the dining room.  I like the antique iron and marble table with the lucite chairs.   The kitchen is smaller than House #1, but it has wonderful marble counters and great appliances!



imageThe cozy family room is all white slip covers, baskets, seagrass, and bamboo shades = love it!!!  It’s perfect!



image This must be the master bedroom with white linens and light blue curtains and walls.  Again, a very pretty and soothing color.



imageLove this room with the light blue slips and the zebra pillows.  Love the khaki colored curtains.   




The screened porch off the dining room and family room overlooking the fabulous back yard. 



imageFabulous back yard!   I love the landscaping and the pergola. 



image There is a covered carport here and a wonderful pool  house that was once probably the garage space.



image Inside the pool house – more white slips, linen curtains, seagrass.  I would probably let this be Elisabeth’s room.  It even has a bath and a kitchen.  She could live her when she got married, too!  Her father would love that. ;)


OK – here’s the question:   would you buy house #1 or house #2?   House #1 has twice the space, but no pool.   House #2 is smaller, with just 3 bedrooms, but it has the fabulous backyard and pool.   Hmmmm.   This is a tough one.  I might go for #2 since it’s so much cheaper, plus I would then get the great pool.  But, house #1 has a better kitchen and so much space inside – you could always add a little pool or fountain in the courtyard!!!     OK, here’s my choice:   money no object:  #1, money an object:  #2. 


Reminder:  New Skirted Roundtable with  Scot Meacham Wood HERE.

Must Be Nice!




Unlike everyone else in the United States, my daughter’s high school is just now celebrating Spring Break.  We are always off schedule because our break comes during Passover week.  One bad thing about being on our own schedule is Passover always falls so close to the end of school and summer vacation, that the kids have a hard time getting back into the groove of school after their long break.    This year,  Ben and I got to spend Spring Break alone at home, while our soon to be graduated and just turned 19 year old daughter took off for a Spring Break to end all Spring Breaks.  One of her classmates invited three friends to tag along with her parents to Anguilla, staying in accommodations Elisabeth’s father and I only dream about.  Like I said, it Must Be Nice!  That’s Elisabeth with the hat on, of course.  

There’s no cell phone on the island unless you want to pay exorbitant international fees, so we are Skypeing each other.  I think I’ve talked to Lizzy more on Skype than I do when she’s in the same house.   Most of her conversations have been about how beautiful the house is that they are staying in.  Talk about rubbing it in!!!!    And speaking of Skype, why does everyone look so horrid in the video?  They need to do something about that!   




Here is where the gang is staying.  Yeah.  OK.  I could probably get used to this.   They have the house on the left.  Another family from Chicago is staying in the house on the right.    Both sides are available for rent.  I get lustful feelings just looking at this picture!!  I hope Elisabeth is grateful and appreciative, especially vocally to her hosts.  She sent me the URL to the rental company so I could see how beautiful the beach house is – I think she is really just showing off a little.  Ever wonder what 19 year old girls think about?   She told me she would love to have her “destination wedding” at this beach house.  Trying to act like this is a reasonable topic for discussion, I replied that she might need to find a boyfriend first, then graduate college, then we’ll worry about her where she’ll have her “destination wedding.”  And why are those so popular today anyway?    My idea of a destination wedding is when the reception hall is across town from the church.




image The back of the house overlooking the ocean.




The view of the ocean.  Anguilla is closest to the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten.  The stone steps divide the pool between the deep end and the baby pool.  There’s a hot tub too.  I wonder if the girls are swimming  here or in the ocean? 



image At dusk:   walking in through the front door, you can see all the way through the house, out to the ocean.




image There is a small pond in the front, which you walk over on the stepping stones to get in the front door.   The front pond mimics the footprint of the back swimming pool, which is also situated up against the glass windows.   Inside, rocks are placed at  the window to create the illusion the pond continues into the house.




Looking out towards the entry court and front pond.   Elisabeth excitedly told me “ Mom, there are lanterns everywhere – you would love this!!”   Of course my dear, of that, I have no doubt.



image The middle section of the large living area.  On Skype, Elisabeth showed me the two garden stools  “just what you love, Mom.”  Aw, she noticed the interior design!  Maybe there’s hope yet for her to join me in my business.




imageThe main sitting area – white leather, which is so beach friendly.  I would like this better, though, with a blue and white striped rug ala Something’s Gotta Give, but you already knew that, I’m sure. 




image The dining area has large, comfortable gray tufted chairs.   The table is trendy limed wood, but – I’m not sure what to make of the white iron base??




image The view at night.  The kitchen is on the other side of the wood wall. 



imageThe kitchen has aqua countertops and stainless appliances.  I love that refrigerator.   



imageOne of the bedrooms with a white cowhide rug. 




The media room upstairs.  I imagine the  girls are spending most of the time at night in this room.  Hopefully they aren’t bar hopping!!



image At dusk, the view from our rental on South Padre Island, Texas.


Truthfully, my daughter is really not used to such luxuries as the beach house in the Caribbean,  so I hope she is really appreciating her trip!   As most of you know, we don’t travel a lot and leaving Texas is not my husband’s favorite thing to do.   Consequently, we vacation at the beach on South Padre Island, at the very tip of the United States, where Mexico meets Texas.  In fact, the international border is only 3o minutes away by car and probably 5 minutes by boat.    We don’t own a condo there and nice hotels are pretty scarce on the island, so we rent.    The problem with renting condos is most available aren’t really fancy, to say the least.   The one we rent is about 25 years old and has seen better days;  it’s had very little remodeling or updating done to it over the years.   I know we could find one nicer, but it’s right next door to my friend’s condo, so the location is perfect.   




Our rental last summer.  Ouch!


Do your eyes hurt?   We rented this unit last summer.   We chose this particular unit over the other ones available in the building because it has white tiled floors which means it would at least be cleaner than the carpeted rentals.   Last summer we stayed here a month so I did try to make it a little more homey.   Each summer I go through a little drill when we arrive at our rental:   I walk through the unit and hide all the pillows, accessories, paintings, fake plants, area rugs and assorted clutter  in the guest closet.   I can’t do anything about the paint job, so I just pretend it’s not there.   Over the years I have accumulated an assortment of ready made slipcovers for the rentals, along with throw pillows, drop cloths, and Indian bedspreads which make great cover ups for nasty condo furniture.   The picture above is off the rental web site – isn’t that couch a beauty?





Here’s what it looked like after I cozied up our unit.   I used blue and white ticking ready made slipcovers for the sofa and love seat.   We bought the pillows on sale down in Padre at the best (and only) decor shop on the island:  Park 100.   I brought the Dash and Albert rug with me.   I’ll buy flowers at the grocery stores and add candles to atmosphere.  The books come from home to read while we are there.   I ruined by Saladino Villa on the beach and ended up having to replace it.   The wicker coffee table was actually kind of cute – about the only cute thing in the condo!





I moved the blue and white lamp from a bedroom to make it look a little nicer, and came THIS CLOSE to buying a new shade for it.  Sad, I know.  The white tiled floor is a plus.   Whenever we are choosing a rental, we always opt for tiled floor over carpeting because at least you know it will be clean then.    I learned my lesson one summer when I had to personally have the carpets cleaned the day after we arrived.  Yuck!!!   We take a SUV down to the beach, so we have a little extra room to pack up all the decorating materials.   After doing this now for over 22 years, Ben is resigned to my summer condo redecorating.   It took a few years, but I finally broke him in.   Now, I think he actually appreciates the clean slipcovers over sitting on old upholstery. 





In the dining area, I put a Dash and Albert blanket over the wood table to try to soften it up a little.   I added the cute Vagabond Vintage bucket bag from Olivine.  The “captains” chairs – well, there wasn’t much I could do about those and just had to forget they were there.   I don’t have pictures of the bedroom, but the Indian bedspreads sold at Urban Outfitters do wonders for quick makeovers.    You can actually use one for a make-do dust ruffle and layer another on top for a coverlet.    I also put down a few more cute throw rugs in the bedroom and bathroom, which really add a lot to the decor.





Even beach towels and bags can become a decorative element. 


South Padre is home for us.   I’ve been going since I was a little girl and our entire family loves it.   It’s a laid back, very casual beach town, with not much night life, which is exactly how we like it.     But still, a Spring Break  holiday in a gorgeous contemporary  Caribbean beach house Must Be Nice!!!!  I just hope Elisabeth doesn’t get spoiled.   This summer, she’ll be back in the land of vintage tufted cream sofas and vivid blue painted walls.

Do you do summer rental decorating?   My sister-in-law does the same thing I do, she even brings her own  kitchenware and sheets – I’m not quite that sick – yet!   I would love to see pictures of your own summer rental decorating.  I need some new ideas!!!


P.S.  Check out the new Skirted Roundtable – San Francisco interior decorator Scott Wood is interviewed.  AND he even serenades us!!!  hehe – that is NOT to be missed.  HERE.




And finally, here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Easter Weekend!!!