Category: Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald…

It’s been a while since a magazine spread has made me gasp out loud. Am I alone in thinking that too many magazines are featuring boring, thoughtless, characterless, uniform apartments? the magazines in Hong Kong seem to only feature dreary white boxes…no sign of human life, (or of any taste for that matter…). I only read a few of the US design mags, one or two from the UK and 2 from Australia. Some of them (there are a few exceptions) are starting to look much of a muchness to me. This is a subject that I’ve spoken to friends about…but clearly not many of them seem to pay as much attention to this as I do. Lucky for them. Because I’m getting fed up! Does anyone else feel this way? Maybe the blogging community needs to circulate a list of recommended monthly reads…

Anyway, I do digress a little. The spread that made me gasp was from House Beautiful – an LA home by none other than Mary McDonald. She has an amazing eye for colour and a talent for mixing beautiful pieces – a combination that makes each of her interiors colourful, chic and livable – as well as looking like they have a history!

Perhaps I’m just fed up with the mostly Asian negative attitude towards vintage and antiques – or anything with history. Maybe I should just stop complaining and do something about it!

Sorry for the rant folks, but I feel better now. All images from House Beautiful Feb 08. More details about the feature here.

Mary McDonald’s office

I think two requests are enough to warrant me posting the images of Mary McDonald’s office that came from said ill-gotten magazine…

As I mentioned, this was the first I had ever seen the work of milliner, turned decorator, Mary Mc Donald. And that was enough to be hooked. It took me ages to track down her website to see more of her work. Once I had, I realised that I had actually seen a few homes she’d completed in magazines, and not realised. She’s a master at creating luxurious bedrooms, and incorporating subtle chinoiserie detailing. I think her offices are just as glamorous, and her signature style is evident here.
I think these images are actually the same as those on her webiste, and were previously published by Domino magazine.

I just adore this image (sorry for the crappy quality). The combination of the pale blue and all that white furniture is timeless, and so pretty. She’s used a wallpaper, or a painted mural, on the back wall and is not afraid to cover it up with black and white photos. Her desk and the chair behind it are stunning. And those lamps are amazing.

These curtains are fabulous, and the frog detailing on the soft pelmet is subtle but just enough to give a hint of the orient. The sofa, cushions, side chair and the porcelain stool are beautiful. I also love the casual feel of the sisal flooring.

I love this too. I have always been a fan of dark wooden floors with really pale walls and white trims, with silver details. So much so this is the look I went for when we renovated our house. I love the chandelier, its from Restoration Hardware. I also love the black details she’s used as a contrast, and especially like the idea of hanging art with ribbon.

Stunning combination of black, white and red. The horizontal stripes on the wall are very graphic, and again she’s used just a few chinoiserie pieces to give the room some interest.

These images are of a filing cabinet in her office, which I think was covered in a paper – possibly wallpaper or wrapping paper. But alas, I don’t read chinese so I may never know. If anyone can fill me in I’ll be rapt! (sorry, bad joke). This is a great idea though, I’ve done this before on bed side tables and it looked great.