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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 Never in a million years did I imagine that I would one day

F 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
write a blog, much less end up living in Scotland and
writing for HPS. Life has a funny way of bringing about the
course, it did not take long to realise that my growing As a family, we now call both Scotland and America home.
collection would not find a home in our flat given the Living between two continents, sometimes literally, often
closet shortage! I either had to use an electronic medium times virtually, I am offered an amazing opportunity to
to store my findings or move house. meet people across many countries. Through my writing
I decided that starting a blog would be a much easier
for Home Plus Scotland, I hope to share many homes
option, and so began All the Best - A Passport to Stylish
(plus people) with you from both Scotland and around the
Living. What started out of necessity has become a wide-
world. This issue we start with the fabulous Brad Ford, a
reaching style and design blog that is now read in more
New York based designer, a great house in the West End
than 75 countries.
The focus of my attention and writing is people. I have of Glasgow which is rented by fellow Texan Gwen Nicol
huge admiration for the artists of the world, and I love and her family, and my top tips for staying cosy – it’s a lot
getting to know the mind behind the work of a designer colder here than in Texas! Hope you enjoy it.
or an emerging brand. In my opinion, it’s the creative All the Best,

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. PS… Don’t forget to check out
Which is why I guess I fit in so well with the Home Plus when you’re online looking at the new Home Plus
Scotland team! Scotland website!

Profile: Brad Ford

New York based, Arkansas born interior designer Brad from F.I.T. as well as a degree in Business and Economics
Ford is one to watch. Understated yet sophisticated, from Hendrix College. Brad honed his skills under such
straightforward, elegant and functional rooms underpin leading New York designers as Thad Hayes and the late
the foundation of Brad Ford’s trademark style. Very much Jed Johnson.
like the man himself, his rooms exude warmth and Recently, Brad was featured as one of ‘10 New Designers
sophistication. to Watch’ in both New York Spaces Magazine and in New
Brad established his eponymous firm in 1998 with an York Magazine, was named one of America’s Top Young
emphasis on residential spaces. “Whether a room is Designers by House Beautiful and recognised as one of
formal or casual, traditional or modern, accessibility and the Rising Stars of Interior Design by the International
comfort are a must,” Brad says of his design philosophy. Furnishings and Design Association.
With more than 10 years’ experience in the interior
design field, he also holds a degree in Interior Design

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
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
What is the one thing in life you cannot live
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
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

Hot chocolate gorgeous. Cashmere and silk blend tights to keep you
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Whether whisking up a rich dark cup of Soup
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and stylish. Bisque. A delicate mix of Atlantic Lobster, Sock Set £99.50 dry white wine, fresh Scottish double cream This great cashmere set will keep you super
and a dash of brandy, this soup is the best. warm this winter.
Votivo Red Currant and Amberwood Tea liquor
Candles £28 each Qi Black Tea Liqueur £30 Au naturale
Votivo Red Currant is savoury blend of tart Warming Qi Black Tea Liqueur is Snuggling £0
red currants and golden fruit glaze. Votivo handcrafted from smoky Lapsang Souchong Credit crunch or not it’s the best way to keep
Amberwood is a rich, woodsy, masculine tea, rare fruits, exotic spices, and barrel-aged cosy and warm.
scent that combines ambergris, spicy blond brandy.
tobacco, burnt cedarwood, amber and Tights See you next issue… x
honey. Both very different, both very Lace Knit Tights from Brora £45