By: Malcolm Mayhew
Scout Design Studio is anchored in the Dallas Design District, but finds from the popular spot land in many Fort Worth homes. The 15,000-square-foot showroom is stocked with unique vintage furniture and décor, plus custom Scout label creations — think perfect condition lucite and velvet chairs alongside Ming coffee tables just begging for a fresh coat of lacquer (yup, they do that too). Tiffany Taylor turned her treasure-hunting talent into a store in October 2011, and one year later, her childhood friend Flann Harris packed up his station wagon and joined her. “Best decision I ever made,” he says.
We chatted with the duo behind the eclectic establishment to find out how they do it all and what changes they have in store for 2018.
What’s the coolest piece y’all have ever found? TT: We once found a bed made out of a 1968 Thunderbird. It was the coolest thing, and we drove miles to rescue it. It lived with us for a while, and when the right buyer came along, we were sad to see it go. FH: For me, I will always remember a Tack Shop sign found amidst a pile of rubble. It looked like total garbage, but it was massive and so cool. After a small restoration effort, it was brought back to life and now lives permanently in a high-end retail space in Dallas.
I hear you’re transitioning from curators of vintage items to exclusively selling Scout label items. TT: The goal was always to create our own designs, and as the business grew, we needed ways to supplement our inventory. Our travels for vintage inventory introduced us to a network of artisans who could help bring our own designs to life. We started with a few chairs and then moved into lighting, case goods and décor. We love vintage and finding those truly unique pieces, so it will always be in the mix to some extent.
What was the first Scout label piece created? TT: Our Mayes Swivel Chair. We were selling vintage swivels like crazy and couldn’t keep up with demand. We joked that we were the swivel capital of the world during that time because so many came and went. We eventually decided to create our own chair, and now it’s one of our best sellers.
In August 2017 y’all introduced a second space in the Design District that’s only open on Saturdays. Tell us more. TT: The SCOUTLET serves as our “Scratch and Dent” or “Seconds” area for returned Scout Label inventory. We also have some clearance vintage projects as well as one-of-a-kind concept pieces that never made it to production.
How would you describe the Scout style? TT: Our slogan is “We’re not for everyone. Neither are you.” It’s true; we have a penchant for mixing anything and everything and an aversion to following the rules. We love mixing sleek acrylic with rich acacia wood or neon lights with Louis XIV chairs. We believe a home should be made up of things that you love, and with that, beauty is inevitable. FH: That’s what I love about the Scout style and vision. It’s unconventional. It’s unexpected. It’s not worried about keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians or anybody else ... it’s about doing your own thing and just going for it!
What’s the one piece that every room needs? TT: Something curious. We love items of intrigue that invoke a conversation. I have a 6-foot tall, carved mermaid in my dining room, and people always want to know her story.
Any tips for vintage treasure hunting? TT: We love estate sales and thrift shops, but for a true treasure hunt, go to Round Top. We’re fortunate to have one of the best antique shows in the world right here in Texas.
How do your styles differ? TT: I’m more of a hoarder. When we travel, I’m always buying art and handicrafts, whereas Flann has much more restraint. My husband probably wishes I would take some notes from him on this topic. FH: I’m all about form and function. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s hard for me to have it take up real estate in my life. That being said, I love the eccentric and eclectic, particularly when curated by my partner-in-crime Tiffany.
Any plans for a Fort Worth location in your future? TT: We love Fort Worth, but our focus now is on e-commerce and not more brick-and-mortar. Maybe if we could be next to Joe T’s though? FH: For sure. Why not just inside of Joe T’s? There's plenty of space.
By: Malcolm Mayhew