Photography lesson

Scot Meacham Wood’s Whimsical Harlem Residence is a brilliant lesson in pattern

Moving is hard enough, but moving in the midst of a global pandemic has its own set of challenges – and formerly San Francisco-based designer Scottish Meacham Wood had more than his share when he moved to his East Harlem residence in Spring 2020. “I actually found most of my articles online!” Wood said. “During the pandemic, nothing was open, and my partner and I also had to live in the house while it was set up, which was difficult.” Wood didn’t expect to spend months stuck in his new apartment, but kept busy ordering some fun fabrics online and covering some walls himself, including the yellow gingham ones in the bedroom.

“I love to mix up the patterns so it was really fun playing with the fabrics in the space,” adds Wood, who defines his design style as a mix of European and Southern sensibilities that connects the old and the new. , in part inspired by his Scottish roots. For this home, he aimed to create a summery, Hamptons-like vibe with bold structural choices that provided solutions to common problems he encountered.

The dining room, for example, suddenly had to serve as an office or “zoom room” due to the pandemic, and was designed to meet multiple needs. “I love this room because it has a comfy sofa you can sleep on, but also a dining table and lots of work books, so we can also use it as a desk,” says Wood, who opted for a plain green Benjamin Moore. wall to allow the room to be more fluid in its function. In addition, he also needed a lot of space for his books, of which he has over 1,200, but didn’t want to create an entire library in one space. Instead, he strategically placed shelves and bookcases throughout the house, from the bedroom to the living room, even the kitchen. “It was difficult and different, but we made it work making sure there was no room too much many pounds, ”Wood adds. “Each room opens up to the other, so we connected them in one way or another. As if one room was navy blue and yellow, the next room also has touches of yellow.

Lesley Unruh Photography

stripped wallpaper, stack of books, reading nook

Lesley Unruh Photography

Wood’s decades of experience as a textile designer also influenced his design choices, refining his natural ability to blend several different prints without overwhelming the space. “The trick is to use the same color family or the same pattern family to make everything look cohesive,” he shares.

For example, in the bedroom, the shiny gingham headboard pops out against the yellow walls, but since it’s the same checkered pattern, they work. Likewise, the breathtaking sofa in the living room plays on the sunny yellow color of the lamp and the curtains. “I actually looked at the old photos of Gloria Vanderbilt’s apartment a lot for our mood book,” says Wood. “Its eclectic mix of patterns was both fun and sophisticated, which is what I was looking for: a truly fun and efficient home.”

Mixing up the patterns was therefore not much of a problem for the designer, who used many textiles from his own collection throughout the space, but trying to repurpose furniture from his old apartment was definitely a challenge. The living room turned out to be the most difficult room to position – “I measured this room at 90 degrees until Sunday, but that’s the only way I found the furniture would fit! ” Wood said, lamenting about the floating couch and the location of the bookcase.

Since this was the first time Wood and his partner had lived together, they combined dark wood furniture from their two old San Francisco homes to create this new haven, and he had ample free rein to make decisions. “Luckily he let me do almost whatever I wanted, but I wanted to give him some huge selections,” the creator said. “After all, this is also his home.

Visit the entire apartment below.


bedroom, tartan bedspread, tartan headboard, tartan wallcovering, bedside stool, vintage chest of drawers in brown

Lesley Unruh Photography

“It’s not so much a relaxing bedroom that I’m used to, but I love how cheerful and bright it is,” Wood says of his favorite room in the apartment. Using similar textures and colors, it allows the area to remain cohesive, while still embracing its whimsical aesthetic.

Custom headboard: Mayfair, covered in Campbell Tartan wool by SMWHome. Bedding: Serena & Lily. Wall Upholstery: Lantern: Ballard Design. Custom Sisal: Stark carpet. Leather chair and carved bookcase: antique.


living room, vintage brown wood coffee table, coffee table books, wall art, pastel blue painted wall, tartan sofa

Lesley Unruh Photography

living room, vintage wooden coffee table, coffee table books, wooden dresser bookcase, tartan sofa, large side lamp

Lesley Unruh Photography

The dark woods contrast with the brighter colors used in this space, which was done on purpose. “I wanted to combine old sensibilities with modern touches,” says Wood.

Sofa: made to measure, covered with Meacham Tartan wool by SMWHome. Wallpaper: Edwin Stripe (narrow) by Schumacher. Lantern and Carpet: Ballard design. Drapery treatment: SzMWHome. Georgian Library: antique. Masterpieces: private collection.

Dining room

dining area, green painted walls, deer head, bookcase with books,

Lesley Unruh Photography

This versatile room serves everything from a dining room to an office, but it really wins out as a space where Wood’s artwork can shine. “I have so many works of art from all over the world,” he says, noting that the darker walls in this room really let them stand out.

Mural: Benjamin Moore Green Clover. Lantern and table skirt: SMWHome. Napkins: personalized by Mark and Graham.


kitchen, vintage oven, cookbooks, wall art

Lesley Unruh Photography

The addition of Metro Shelving book storage gives the kitchen a dual purpose, while crisp white walls allow it to blend more easily into the rest of the home, especially since the open floor plan required. a more fluid design.

Wardrobe skirt: Brunschwig vintage. Storage: Metro shelving. Masterpieces: Rowing blazers. Shelving: Ballard design.


bathroom, wall covering, striped shower curtain, towels, monogrammed hand towels

Lesley Unruh Photography

True to the house’s patterned theme, the bathroom uses fewer colors, opting instead for a navy and white scheme that exudes Nantucket vibes. However, the intricate textured walls with hand-painted accents lend a healthy dose of character.

Towels: personalized by Mark and Graham. Door wallpaper: SMWHome.

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