Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Home Designs

The February 2009 domino spread of Mary McDonald's guest house made the California-based design an instant celebrity in the design world and pictures from the spreads made the rounds on the design blogs more times than I can count. And yet, despite her ever-growing popularity, McDonald's website remained...well, somewhat amateur with its scanned clippings of press and minimal online portfolio.

Fortunately though, McDonald has finally gotten with the times and gotten herself a new website -- and it's lovely. Lovelier still is her online portfolio, which is complete with plenty of new pictures of her modern, innovative take on Hollywood Glam.

This room feels incredibly soft and subtle for McDonald -- certainly, this is a far more "undecorated" look than we're used to seeing from her. I'm particularly fond of those gorgeous striped drapes and the warm gray on the walls.

In some ways this bedroom is not my usual cup of tea (white, pink and chocolate brown are a bit too muted/Restoration Hardware for my tastes, canopied beds are too fussy, etc.) and yet I love this. I suppose it just goes to show you that just about anything can be made innovative and beautiful. And certainly that bed is nothing you'd see at the RH's or PB's of the world. This isn't the first time McDonald has used a pink ceiling set off against white moldings and bold wall color, but I love it all the same. [By the way, don't the white mirrors on either side of the bed look identical in style to the brown mirror hanging next to the fireplace in the sitting room above?]

I love how subversive this room is. After all, Decorating a sun room in predominately black may seem a bit like an oxymoron (after all, isn't a sun room supposed to be light and bright), but McDonald pulls it off with unexpectedly sophisticated results -- all while using furniture (like the garden stool) and fabrics traditionally used in a garden.

Again, McDonald manages to make bold color choices look sophisticated by tight editing. I absolutely love the choice of the pale slate blue against the bolder orange.

Here, the chartreuse monogrammed Leontine linens are such an unexpected -- and brilliant -- choice in a red and white room and keeps the color palette from reading as candy striper. The large scale of the monogram is a great modern (and on trend!) update on a traditional motif.

This dining room is what I've come to associate Mary McDonald with most: namely, bold wall colors and modern, graphic takes on traditional furniture and upholstery. The antique buffet keeps the room eclectic and from feeling too new.

This last room might be my favorite. I love the modern black and white patterns paired with the vintage black Chinoiserie figurines and those stunning chairs upholstered in red patent leather (brilliant!). It's the perfect balance between traditional Chinoiserie and modern glam -- one of my all time favorite combinations.

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