A Southerner with a deep-rooted connection to Scotland, Scot Meacham Wood is renowned for his timeless design and magnetic personality. Since establishing his firm in 2001, Scot Meacham Wood Design, Scot has become an interior design icon. Shop his personal items and pieces from his namesake collection now on Sotheby’s Home.
How did you discover your passion for design?
As a youngster, we traveled the world with my Air Force officer father. So I had a front-row seat, watching my mother create a new home for us every two years or so. She often used all the same pieces, but found new and exciting ways of spinning gold, sometimes in a gracious three-bedroom home in Los Angeles or the stark, cinder-block military housing of South Korea, from our inventory of furniture. I recall walking through that aforementioned cinder-block house in South Korea when we first arrived, and when I voiced my concern about how bleak it was, my mom replied, “Don’t worry. We’ll just decorate the $#it outta this.”
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
It would be tough to single one particular piece out, but, surely it’s my art collection. I have a deep love of self-portraits…and have numerous ones in my collection.
Can you pick your five favorite items you are consigning and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
Several pieces included in our sale are prototypes from our SMW Home Furniture Collection. The Inverness Sofa in Blackwatch Tartan, our own version of a classic English Chesterfield sofa. The pair of Randolf and Hein Park Avenue Chairs have also been favorites of mine and were featured in our photo shoot with House Beautiful. The Mayfair Settee is another piece from SMW Home with the addition of the Lucite legs giving it a glorious partnership between modern and antique. Our Fife Cocktail Ottoman makes the perfect spot to both rest your feet…and serve a wee spot of tea!
Is design an art or a science?
It’s actually more like baking a pie. When you’re making crust, it’s science. Measurements have to be perfect. Directions must be followed precisely. This is the architectural part of the project. Door and window placements, traffic flow and lighting. Once that is completed, we start making the pie filling. And this can be driven by the marketplace (or in the pie analogy, the farmers market!). Let’s search the best ingredients in the marketplace and be ready to find inspiration anywhere. Maybe even something you find on sale on Sotheby’s Home!
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
We usually lean fairly hard into pattern mixing here at SMW Design and love creating new patterns at SMW Home. When looking for inspirations, one can rarely go wrong keeping a close eye on nature or art. Bark-y browns with greens and blues remains one of my favorite palettes to play with.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
Design projects are rarely “completed” as new ideas crop up, or one of our famous “10 years later” refresh projects comes along. At SMW Design, success is usually defined when we can look at a project and see a “home” instead of seeing a design project installation.
Share your biggest design secret.
Always wait until you find the right solution. “Placeholder” pieces tend to become permanent if you’re not careful!
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Poorly chosen furniture scale always bugs me. But, I think the issue many homeowners get wrong is just “doing the minimum” and not really leaning into making something amazing.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
They should each rest next to one another in a well-completed project. I always tell clients that I don’t want to sell them “a project” that’s going to require more maintenance than it deserves.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point?
We tend to always start a presentation for clients with textiles. Clients always seem to respond very viscerally to pattern and color, so we get a very strong sense of the home they would be comfortable living in.