Tartan & A Home Tour

As part of my highly irregular Fabric Friday series, today I’m going to write about a pattern that we all know & wear – tartan.  I’m also going to show you a colorful home that boasts lots of it.

Most of you recognize tartan as the familiar pattern one sees on Scottish kilts. It is original to Scotland and it consists of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. At first tartan was woven in wool but these days you can find it made with many different fibers and colors, printed on many different mediums (textiles, plastic, paper, wall coverings and glass to name  a few…). As it happens, the San Francisco apartment of Scottish designer Scot Meacham Wood is an ode to this timeless pattern so I though it would make a great addition to today’s post.

Scottish babe

Scottish babe with kilt

In North America, tartan is also referred to as plaid (although in Scotland plaids have a completely different meaning – a kilt accessory or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed). At its origins, tartan was a symbol of Scottish clans- each clan had its very own pattern and color scheme representing it and only members of a certain family could wear a given tartan pattern. However, in this day and age tartan has become so widely popular that we wear it regardless of our noble origins. 


Scottish clans and their corresponding tartan pattern

The home of Scot Meacham Wood is a great example of tartan’s popularity. Filled with many different textures, deep rich hues, chinoiserie and personal collections, this apartment is an excellent display of tartans, tweeds and other Scottish vernacular.

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour

A dramatic red ceiling and grasscloth wallpaper in the hallway set the tone for the rest of the rooms. The house feels cozy and theatrical from the very first glance.

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour

Once you’re inside, you totally forget this is a city dwelling! The interiors look and feel more like a charming Scottish hunting lodge. Deep hues of blue and red, and beautiful tartans set the scene, while a display of trophies and hunting scenes tell the story.

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour

Pictured above and bellow, is the masculine living room enveloped in navy and orange.

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour

The bedroom is one of my favorite spaces in this home. Layered patterns, a leather headboard and a superb wall color. I particularly admire the nailhead trim detail below the ceiling that mirrors the nailhead on the headboard. The mix of tartan, antiques and chinoiserie is unexpected and dreamy!

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour

Café Design | Tartan + A Home Tour



P.S: The original story appeared in House Beautiful so if you’d like to see more of Scot Meacham Wood‘s home, you can read about it here. I’m off for the week but not before I wish you all a fun weekend!


  1. stephen becker
    November 19, 2017 / 12:04 am

    I really like chinoiserie but I am worried that will come as too feminine. Should I be concerned? Is it considered “feminine”

    • Eva Contreras
      November 20, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Hi, Stephen! Thanks for leaving a comment! To answer your question, you have nothing to be concerned about. Chinoiserie is for everyone, it has been loved by kings and queens of the Far East for centuries and now it’s available for all of us to enjoy 🙂 . xo, Eva