|Pinstripe wallpaper in Beau Brummel's house in London.|
Pinstripe, plaid, tuxedo ruffles, flannel, tweeds, leather, bespoke tailoring -- just a smattering of these masculine touches can coax a courtly and dignified tone from the frilliest of interiors. Think Cary Grant or George Clooney, leather paneling, a dashing fedora, a long-ago remembered scent of pipe tobacco. It's a style that wears well on its own, but also mingles well with modern and traditional, rough and luxe, high and low.
|Ralph Lauren fabric and wallcovering, Fall 2010|
No one does masculine interiors quite like Ralph Lauren. Long before he debuted his Home collection, Lauren perfected menswear-inspired interiors in his own home. A modern-day dandy, Ralph Lauren fully embraced his decor of plaid, tweed, and tobacco leather furniture, his home a tasteful embodiment of his blue-blood-in-America clothing line.
Below, Lauren's Bedford estate library, resplendent with plaid, paisley, tobacco leather and antique carpets. Lauren's homes (he has five) all sport meanswear-inspired touches, regardless of their geographic locales.
|From Architectural Digest, image by Durston Saylor|
Below, Harris Tweed covered chairs in the Blythswood Square hotel, Glasgow, Scotland's first five-star hotel. With knock-off tweeds now being produced around the world, genuine Harris Tweed has been produced for 150 years by islanders who live on Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Still a cottage industry, Harris Tweed is still handwoven from strong Scottish wool on pedal-powered looms in the weavers' homes, and is then sent out to their local mills for washing and finishing.
|Harris Tweed-covered chairs in the Blythswood Square hotel.|
While many other types of tweed exist, only Harris Tweed is protected by an act of Parliament, which created the Harris Tweed Authority in 1933, defining by law what constitutes Harris Tweed. Only tweed that is dyed, spun, and woven entirely by hand in the Outer Hebrides islands of Harris, Lewis, Uist and Barra can receive the sovereign "orb" trademark. An inspector from the Harris Tweed Authority checks every 50 meters of the tweed before it's stamped by hand with the famous symbol.
Flannel, long a menswear staple known for its sturdy-yet-soft qualities, has been made since the 17th century. Originating from Wales, flannel is woven from wool and cotton, then brushed to give it its softness. Below, a grey flannel Chesterfield chair.
|Chesterfield from Lover's Lounge|
Below, a Ralph Lauren flannel Chesterfield sofa and plaid chair.
Plaid has seen a resurgence in popularity in both fashion and interiors. Tartan, as it is referred to outside of North America, is historically Scottish, with clans designated their own official pattern. Provinces in Canada have their own official tartan, but did you also know that here in America, most states have their own official tartans? You can find a list of official U.S. state tartans here.
Plaid has long been used to decorate interiors, but mostly in cabin or rustic interiors. Below are some examples of just how sophisticated and refreshing plaid can look. Two different plaids in the same color family, a silk table covering, a sheer-covered crystal chandelier -- who would have ever thought they would all look this good together? What an elegant and thoughtful design.
|Image and design from Encore Decor|
Below, a bathroom in Castle Forter in Perthshire, Scotland. From the photos of this stunning castle, it looks as if plaid/tartan is used in every room. The overall look is of comfortable elegance.
Below, a more polished take on decorating with plaid.
|Courtesy of Summer Thornton Designs|
Below, the San Francisco home of designer Scot Meacham Wood. Of Scottish descent, Wood unabashedly decorated his home with plaid, plaid, and more plaid. The result is pure, beautiful, British luxury.
|Courtesy of The Adventures of Tartanscot|
Scot Meacham Wood's bedroom.
|Courtesy of The Adventures of Tartanscot|
Plaid on a classic Eames lounge chair.
...as wallpaper in a hallway alcove, behind a vintage coat rack.
|Courtesy of House To Home, U.K.|
...on a Mini Cooper.
...even the interior of a Porsche.
Pinstripes have long been associated with conservative business attire. Now the fabric gets a decidedly modern update as it transitions into interior design.
|Courtesy of Designers Call|
|Courtesy of blog 2Modern|