I am with Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood and Tommy Hilfiger (a direct descendent of Robert Burns) on this one. It isn’t just because I have centuries of tartan design imprinted in my family DNA either. In fact Mr White disputes my allegiance to Scotland in any way, shape or form, because as he so rightly points out, I was born to Scottish parents on the outer fringes of North London.
The yearly family holidays North of the Border, some only just remembered through clouds of midges whilst others on white sandy beaches with turquoise Atlantic rollers, don’t seem to count. The romance of the overnight sleeper from Euston awaking to the breathtaking lochs and viaducts on the West Highland line, taking tea and a slice of Dundee cake with my Grandma in the West End of Glasgow, doesn’t mean I am actually Scottish in his mind. Either way, a few of us, just adore the heritage, craftsmanship and designs that make up Scottish style and what better time to remember this than on Burns Night.
Whilst other trends will come and go, Scottish style is a classic form of decorating that never really goes out of fashion. There are designers who have pushed the boundaries with designs to make them appeal to a wider audience. Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties do fabulous super-sized thistle motif wallpapers and Vivienne Westwood has reinvented colours with wallpapers for Cole and Son. Ralph Lauren has had a long love affair with Scottish design for both home and fashion keeping alive the fantasy of the baronial home.
Stag motifs have been around for a few seasons and just as you think it is all over, there are more being slotted in to various collections. Next have done so well with their 5-arm faux antler chandelier, that they have brought out an 8-arm one. Big is good when it comes to chandeliers, too small and they look a bit timid. If you have the budget, real antler chandeliers and lighting are to be found at a company in the borders called Clockhouse Furniture.
When I first styled a Scottish style feature for The Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine I struggled to find some authentic wall-mounted antlers. Now Ebay is awash with them and they are once again being given pride of place in hallways. The shot top left in the montage is one I styled for BBC Homes & Antiques magazine and interestingly, gets the most repins of all the photos I have on Pinterest.
If you have anywhere near the obsession I have for wearing tweed, then you need to visit the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The Harris Tweed shop is on one side of the street and Ness is on the other. Both have the most beautiful brightly coloured tweed women’s jackets. Incredible tailoring and finish. A more thrifty approach is to look out for tweed in charity shops. Quite often it is in good condition and can be customised with new buttons, fabric or ribbon trims.
For more Scottish inspiration check out my Scottish style Pinterest board.
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Scottish Style Shopping Directory
- John Lewis: Croft Collection
- Cole and Son: Vivienne Westwood
- Graham and Brown wallpaper
- Lewis and Wood wallpaper
- Timorous Beasties
- Dunelm Mill cushions and throws
- Romo fabric
- Voyage Decoration fabric
- Harris Tweed fashion and home
- Ness fashion