Where fashion goes, decor follows. And this fall, the fashionistas are inspired by Scotland.
Plaid capes, kilts and coats hit the fall 2014 catwalk for Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney. Marchesa showed tartan-printed lace, argyle and fur, and deconstructed kilt patterns into a dress collection. Brazilian label Animale used Celtic and druid patterns and shot its ad campaign against a rocky background reminiscent of “Braveheart.”
Maybe it’s Scotland’s referendum on independence that has drawn designers’ attention.
If you’re ready to add a little Highland fling to your living space this season, there are lots of options.
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Rich woods, soft sofas, rubbed bronze and landscape prints evoke the Caledonian country manor. The look, traditional and tasteful, can be dressed up or down.
And modern interpretations also abound, with oversize or edited classic patterns, layering of aged items with new, and playful versions of iconic Scottish elements.
Scottish style is rich with clan tartans and evocative motifs drawn from a long and tempestuous history. The color palette is equally rich: deep lichen greens, rainy grays, cranberry, moat blue, malt and butterscotch. In paints, check out Devine Color’s Oat, Thunder and Juniper; Sherwin-Williams’ Loch Blue and Salute; Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon. (devinecolor.com; sherwin-williams.com; us.farrow-ball.com)
Look for archetypal patterns like herringbone, plaid, tweed, lace and argyle. Pottery Barn’s Alana lace printed bedding, Target’s Threshold Paisley print lampshade, Missoni’s tweed pouf and Graham & Brown’s argyle wallpapers are at AllModern. (allmodern.com)
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s elegant rose and Arts and Crafts motifs are interpreted in pretty lighting and window and wall stencils at JustMackintosh.com.
Look for items with key, thistle, antler, knot and shield motifs. Sir Edwin Landseer’s iconic painting of a mighty stag, “Monarch of the Glen,” is available in prints and on pillows at Zazzle.com. The retailer also stocks William Morris-print wall clocks, pillows and stationery.
Reproductions of vintage Scotland travel advertising are available at Art.com.
At LampsPlus.com, there’s a selection of Woolrich throw pillows featuring stags’ heads, pheasants and plaid trims. Here too are Townshend’s Journey rug in a soft gray tartan, argyle print doormats and canvas pillows with regal crests.
For a contemporary twist, consider the Crystal Keltic Oreo black-and-white houndstooth print chair — an awkward name for a sophisticated piece. You’ll find coordinating ottomans with the same oversize print.
DwellStudio’s Thistle Vine pillow features a striking yet simple graphic of the plant printed in dark brown on a background the color of the foam on a glass of Bellhaven ale. (lumens.com)
More modern interpretations of Scottish icons are at Cafepress.com, including a rug featuring a Scottish terrier’s silhouette superimposed on the bright blue and white of the flag.
Scottish design studio Timorous Beasties’ Thistle wallpaper comes in several moody color schemes reminiscent of a Scotch mist. They’ve also created the edgy Glasgow Toile, which at first glance looks like a typical toile filled with vignettes, but on closer inspection depicts life on the seedier side of the city. (timorousbeasties.com)
Michelle Pattee’s photo of a regal stag is silkscreened onto hemp and backed in velvet to make a pillow at Pendleton-USA.com. The retailer also has some porcelain mugs and dessert plates in a jaunty tartan.
Materials associated with Scottish style have patina and a sense of age about them. Think “heritage woods” — mahogany, chestnut and oak. Warm bronze and pewter. Candlesticks and vases with Celtic designs. (scotweb.co.uk)
Leather and faux leather accessories are a good way to introduce a bit of the Scottish manor look without investing in a large piece of furniture. Check Homegoods for small storage boxes and trunks clad in faux leather, or spend a brisk fall Sunday prowling a good antiques market for items with provenance.
Pat Renson is an interior designer based in Auchterarder, near Scotland’s famed Gleneagles golf course. She puts tartan and plaid on modern sofas and chairs. Velvety woodland-print pillows are paired with quilted linen headboards, in muted hues of ivory and earth. (patrenson.com)