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all the best
She’s the go-to girl for all things American and design-related. And now we’ve got her on our team! Home Plus Scotland welcomes Ronda Carman.
or most of my life it has been my habit to amass as many books and magazines as possible. When we moved from our native Texas to Glasgow four years ago, all of my printed possessions came along too. Of course, it did not take long to realise that my growing collection would not find a home in our flat given the closet shortage! I either had to use an electronic medium to store my findings or move house. I decided that starting a blog would be a much easier option, and so began All the Best - A Passport to Stylish Living. What started out of necessity has become a widereaching style and design blog that is now read in more than 75 countries. The focus of my attention and writing is people. I have huge admiration for the artists of the world, and I love getting to know the mind behind the work of a designer or an emerging brand. In my opinion, it’s the creative people in our society, the minds that think outside the box, who deserve attention and limelight. Whether it’s wine, wallpaper, sheets or shoes, I am always on the search for an interesting back-story or a fascinating individual creating a life doing something they love. Which is why I guess I fit in so well with the Home Plus Scotland team!
Never in a million years did I imagine that I would one day write a blog, much less end up living in Scotland and writing for HPS. Life has a funny way of bringing about the unexpected. As a family, we now call both Scotland and America home. Living between two continents, sometimes literally, often times virtually, I am offered an amazing opportunity to meet people across many countries. Through my writing for Home Plus Scotland, I hope to share many homes (plus people) with you from both Scotland and around the world. This issue we start with the fabulous Brad Ford, a New York based designer, a great house in the West End of Glasgow which is rented by fellow Texan Gwen Nicol and her family, and my top tips for staying cosy – it’s a lot colder here than in Texas! Hope you enjoy it. All the Best,
PS… Don’t forget to check out www.allthebestblog.com when you’re online looking at the new Home Plus Scotland website!
Profile: Brad Ford
New York based, Arkansas born interior designer Brad Ford is one to watch. Understated yet sophisticated, straightforward, elegant and functional rooms underpin the foundation of Brad Ford’s trademark style. Very much like the man himself, his rooms exude warmth and sophistication. Brad established his eponymous firm in 1998 with an emphasis on residential spaces. “Whether a room is formal or casual, traditional or modern, accessibility and comfort are a must,” Brad says of his design philosophy. With more than 10 years’ experience in the interior design field, he also holds a degree in Interior Design from F .I.T. as well as a degree in Business and Economics from Hendrix College. Brad honed his skills under such leading New York designers as Thad Hayes and the late Jed Johnson. Recently, Brad was featured as one of ‘10 New Designers to Watch’ in both New York Spaces Magazine and in New York Magazine, was named one of America’s Top Young Designers by House Beautiful and recognised as one of the Rising Stars of Interior Design by the International Furnishings and Design Association.
Profile: Brad Ford
How would you describe your personal style? I would describe my style as warm, approachable, serene, casual, yet sophisticated. What inspires your creativity and designs? I'm from Arkansas originally and grew up surrounded by the most beautiful natural resources. I've always loved natural materials and organic forms, and I think that comes through in my work. I'm also heavily influenced by Scandinavian design: simple and uncomplicated, yet functional and stylish. What is your most prized possession? My dog Turbo. He's a gentle giant... he weighs almost 100lbs and still likes to crawl up and sit in my lap. What is the one thing in life you cannot live without? I have two: music and movies! I'm absolutely passionate about music and always have to have something playing in the background. In addition, one of my favourite things to do is go to the movies on a Friday night. I can't think of a better way to unwind from a hectic work week. What is your favourite luxury in life? Enjoying a delicious meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner... I love food! What is your idea of earthly happiness? Sitting on a big back porch overlooking a beautiful lake, sipping an icy cocktail with friends and family watching the sun go down. I honestly can't think of anything more perfect. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Making a living doing something I love.
There’s no place like
Ronda Carman chats to a fellow Texan in Glasgow, Gwen Nicol, to find out how she has made their rented house feel like home.
"The last thing that I want is a home where family and friends aren’t free to relax"
ant confirmation of the old adage, home is where the heart is? Then look no further than the beautiful detached villa Gwen and Scott Nicol are temporarily calling home. When the family of five moved to Glasgow from Texas they were certain of two things; that the move wouldn’t be permanent and that the house had to feel like home. For the Gwen that meant an abundance of space for her three boys to run and play, a garden, a large kitchen and, most importantly, their own furniture. Unlike in Scotland, it's rare to find furnished flats or houses to let in America. "I can’t imagine not having our own belongings and furniture with us, especially as we have children," Gwen says, looking around the bright, airy and spacious lounge. "It's very important to me to be able to create a home environment. To us, that means being surrounded by memories and the things that we love. The architecture of this house is vastly different from the Southern and French influenced styles of my childhood." The stylish and easygoing Louisiana native had very clear ideas about how to both play up and play down the magnificent interiors of the West End villa to make the house appropriately stylish and comfortably charming. "The last thing that I want is a home where family and friends aren’t free to relax," Gwen quips whilst waiting for a turkey to be delivered and preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for their network of Scottish friends, which includes 12 adults and 13 children. Playing host to the occasion is one of the most striking and well-used rooms of the home — the dining room. Deep green walls create a stunning backdrop for art, family, friends and food, Colin Park artwork takes pride of place and a gorgeous white light dominates the eye-line. Skilfully mixing playful with the precious and old with the transient and new, each room has a unique and distinctive aesthetic. A pair of Ariat cowboy boots rests against the garden door, whilst a rustic coffee table in the lounge marries with modern art and antiques in a happy, unpretentious manner. "When you add different styles and textures to a room you create a certain cosiness and liveability. Our furniture is meant to be used, you can dance on this table," Gwen laughs pointing to a table anchoring the lounge. "I love a home that bustles with activities, guests and parties." This unpredictable, personal mix of styles lends to the sense that the house is truly a home, one that has long been cultivated by fun, interesting and cultured people — even if it’s a temporary arrangement.
all the best... ways to keep cosy
Divine Fair trade Hot Coca £1.49 Whether whisking up a rich dark cup of fragrant hot cocoa or using it in your favourite chocolate recipes, Divine Cocoa is the perfect choice. gorgeous. www.homeofhomefragrance.co.uk
Baxters Luxury Soups £1.59 I adore homemade soup and make it every Sunday (www.allthebestblog.com). If you find yourself short on ingredients or time try any of the Baxters Luxury Soups. Each is rich and deeply flavoured, created from the finest ingredients. I especially love the Lobster Bisque. A delicate mix of Atlantic Lobster, dry white wine, fresh Scottish double cream and a dash of brandy, this soup is the best.
Cashmere and silk blend tights to keep you warm and beautiful this season. www.brora.co.uk
Double Waffle Blanket £44 John Lewis textured waffle textured blankets are ideal as an extra layer or as throws. www.johnlewis.com
Velvet Lined Slipper from Toast £59 These simple metallic leather, velvet lined slippers are sure to keep your toes both toasty and stylish. www.toast.co.uk
Hot water bottle
Scottish Cashmere Hottie and Bed Sock Set £99.50 This great cashmere set will keep you super warm this winter. www.scotweb.co.uk
Votivo Red Currant and Amberwood Candles £28 each Votivo Red Currant is savoury blend of tart red currants and golden fruit glaze. Votivo Amberwood is a rich, woodsy, masculine scent that combines ambergris, spicy blond tobacco, burnt cedarwood, amber and honey. Both very different, both very
Qi Black Tea Liqueur £30 Warming Qi Black Tea Liqueur is handcrafted from smoky Lapsang Souchong tea, rare fruits, exotic spices, and barrel-aged brandy. www.farehamwinecellar.co.uk
Snuggling £0 Credit crunch or not it’s the best way to keep cosy and warm. See you next issue… x
Lace Knit Tights from Brora £45