You know that feeling…that feeling you get…when you give someone the host/ess gift of the century? Pure euphoria.
Finding something thoughtful, clever and useful to give to another person — or yourself, or your home — takes legwork. And with warm-weather entertaining at its peak, I have to admit that my RSVPs of “What can we bring?!” have been taking on an increasingly flustered tone. (Inside my head.)
Luckily there’s Scout, a shop here in S.D. filled with stellar design for indoors and out, and gifts aplenty. You’ll find it at Liberty Station in Point Loma, an arts/culture nexus built on the former site of the Naval Training Station commissioned in 1923.
The shop’s one-acre garden includes iceberg roses, lavender, trumpet vine (here draped along the facade), orange and olive trees, papyrus and sticks on fire.
White iceberg roses.
Scout itself is housed in Officer’s Quarters D, formerly the residence of a naval commander. In addition to its 4,000-square-foot retail gallery, the shop, which opened in 2012, also cultivates a colorful garden — an acre alive with the likes of olive trees, white iceberg roses, fig, acanthus, sticks on fire, deep purple echeveria and Cleveland sage.
Setting and sensibility are beautifully matched here. Covetable antiques harmonize with dazzling outdoor rugs by Dash & Albert, Kusmi Tea from Paris (but “scouted” in Berlin), winsome stationery from Austin Press, and paint and wallpaper by Farrow & Ball. This is where the historic mingles with the (dare we say) hip, in all sorts of stimulating ways.
If you’re in the neighborhood, swing by to see the shop’s tribute to trailblazing interior designer David Hicks, running through September 30.
Owner Paul Scott Silvera is especially excited about the new Kusmi tea selection. The company’s based in Paris, but he discovered it while in Berlin. (Paul’s other favorite destinations for aesthetic intrigue include Bruges, Buenos Aires and San Diego.) We brought home the chai, which is out of this world.
Paul Scott Silvera.
“I saw a hole in the market for home furnishings and gifts that had a layered look and successfully mixed old and new,” says owner Paul Scott Silvera, an interior designer and color and home staging consultant. “Scout started as a concept for going out and finding great things to mix with ‘off-the-shelf’ new things to make the picture more complete and tell a story.”
Scout also recently launched its Gardenist service, which provides flora for events and by subscription. The love of plants runs deep; Paul, a dashing fifth-generation San Diegan, grew up tending them. “My grandmother taught me gardening,” he says. “It was never ‘working in the garden,’ it was always gardening. It was always a pleasure. Nobody was better at raising nasturtiums and geraniums than me.”
As far as what you can take home, in addition to new objects and accessories, “we have antiques, we have vintage, we do custom furniture,” Paul says.
Explore the retail space and garden with us, below!
Flanked by fashion books about Chanel and Diana Vreeland, a terrarium forms a habitat for bird’s nest and maidenhair ferns.
An antique wheel creates a thrill ride with succulent planters.
For the littlest design enthusiast there’s Baby Scout, a collection of toys, housewares and games.
Soaking up the sun are a magnolia grandiflora, bougainvillea, cypress and sage.
Acanthus displays impressive spikes on the street side of Quarters D.
Oh, about the massive sign in the garden? “It’s an artifact from the Hotel San Diego that was demolished for the new federal courthouse,” Paul says. “Sailors used to see that sign as the first indication they were home when they sailed back into port. In the final hours before the Hotel San Diego was set to be demolished, Alan Ziter, executive director of the NTC Foundation, rushed in to save it, and he got it on the NTC campus in five hours, and the hotel was gone.”
Lavender adds to the retail aromatherapy.
Paul says of the garden: “It has a formal foundation that has evolved since 1923. We celebrate the evolution and have tried to create a water-efficient environment that still feels lush and true to the image of the concept.”
“I feel at peace and it also feels luxurious to have that much space just as a garden. Other people can’t believe that it’s here once they find it,” he says. What his garden says to the world? ” ‘ Welcome home.’ “
We can think of dozens of friends who would love these welly soaps from Gianna Rose Atelier.
Succulents, lichen, coral and sand unite inside this table terrarium.
These Izola candles come in plant-lover’s scents like clary sage and green moss.
We also flipped for the book section of the store, which carries titles like “Gardenalia” by Sally Coulthard.
“The Balcony Gardener” by Isabelle Palmer hangs out under the shade of a white orchid.
“Gardens Are for Living” by Judy Kameon sums up our battle cry.