A look into the life of San Francisco based interior designer Scot Meacham Wood as
he speaks about his design philosophy, inspirations and his eye for style,
"Create gracious spaces that work for the people who live there. Be
vigilant about flow, creative with textiles, and abundant with style."
In all honesty I cannot remember exactly how or when I met San Francisco based interior designer Scot Meacham Wood. I vaguely remember a few blog comments from ‘Tartan Scot’ and I do remember being smitten with his design aesthetic, but I can’t recall our first conversation or email exchange.
Fast forward two years and I cannot imagine life without his friendly emails. In some ways we have become modern day pen pals. Because of the 8-hour time difference I will email Scot right when I am waking up and he is just climbing into bed for the night. Or I will get a quick email as I am falling asleep, “Honey I just had to show you my newly upholstered sofa!”
A love of Scotland, a southern upbringing and good design were (and are) the crux of our friendship. Fortunately, we have had several opportunities to spend time together over the past year. Always the gentleman, Scot is the perfect west coast “date” when my husband is unable to travel with me. We always have fun when we are together. But our ultimate outing has to be lunch at Hutton Wilkinson’s Dawridge. That day will remain a favorite.
After studying business and design, Scot spent 13 years working with Ralph Lauren in the “Creative Services” department in the San Francisco store, a place he fully credits for helping him to shape his eye and style. And while that may be true, I personally love his design philosophy, should he have to reduce it to one Tweet: “Create gracious spaces that work for the people who live there. Be vigilant about flow, creative with textiles, and abundant with style.” (Just 135 characters!)
How would you describe your personal style?
Looking through my work – there’s a strong sense of European style, but I can clearly see the impact of my Southern upbringing as well. There would have to be a collection of beautiful textiles. A well-crafted use of the space. And a few moments of flair. A combination of the gracious ‘expected’ with some whimsical ‘surprise.’ As far as my own home, I tend to experiment a great deal in the space. So the design of my house tends to be more fluid than I would EVER expect a client’s home to be.
What is your most prized possession?
My friends. Don’t get me wrong, in case of a fire – I know exactly which piece of artwork I’m going to grab off the wall (a self-portrait by photographer and sweet friend, Patrick V Brown) on my way out the door . . . lol. But, I’ve been very lucky to have met the most amazing circle of people here in San Francisco. I can’t imagine my life without them.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Not wearing my watch. Despite the slightly over-scheduled way that I tend to live my life a great deal of the time, I treasure those magical weekends when I see that there’s NOTHING on my calendar. Being able to be spontaneous and truly live in the moment – either with a pile of friends – or quietly reading or puttering around the house. I guess the short answer might be ‘time.’
"What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Oh, that’s easy. Music. I’ve been a musician most all of my life. And started college on a “piano performance” scholarship. Since then, I’ve been singing with the San Francisco Concert Chorale, a small mixed chamber choir, for about 12 years. There’s something sublimely magical about being on stage with a group of talented people – and knowing that what you’re creating is ‘larger than the sum of its individual parts.' Much like great design work – there’s an alchemy that happens when all the specific elements combine perfectly."
"What inspires your creativity and designs?
It would have to be the people that I have had the great pleasure of working with. I always love that first meeting with new clients. Talking about their dreams for the homes. Before we get into the nitty gritty of budgets and time schedules, I often ask new clients to describe a day at home – but, in the new space that we’re just beginning to design. I remember a wonderful gentleman who spoke about how he loved the ‘ceremony’ of closing his heavy mohair drapes every night before bed . . . that says SO much to me about the space in which he wants to live. A lush, bespoke home. Maybe more formal. But, for someone who truly enjoys living in their space, and has a great eye for detail."
"What books are currently on your bedside table?
The honest answer is my laptop. That covers many of the magazines I read, the New York Times, a collection of blogs, and whatever the internet brings me . . . lol. But, I just started reading Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s “The Bucolic Plague.”
What is your favorite luxury in life?
Well, we’ve already talked about my friends and my music – but, for luxury, there is nothing like freshly ironed Irish linen sheets."
"Who are your style icons?
There’s such a wide variety – the brilliant Michael Smith, exuberant Miles Redd, gracious and witty Charlotte Moss, and of course, I have to recognize the supremely talented Ralph Lauren. I worked for Ralph Lauren here on the west coast for almost 13 years. The man is brilliant. And his ability to create a fully-realized dream out of something as simple as a dessert plate is amazing.
Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life?
As I mentioned, I think the opportunity to spend so much of my early work experience with Ralph Lauren was, and still remains, a huge influence on my life. There was always such amazing creativity – it was like spending an 8 to 10 hour day in “business school” – lol. A perfect place to experiment with style . . . to learn about advertising . . . about customer service . . . to see the impact of long-term client relationships . . ."