Monday’s Masterpiece – When in doubt, be bold

(and add a chandelier).  That’s a pretty good motto actually, I shall remember that…
Happy happy Monday!  I thought that the designer we’d look at today is  Mary McDonald, as she seems to be in the ‘design news’ a lot right now.  When I first came across her work I thought it was not really for me:

However, I saw an article in Veranda in which she gives some design tips and thought I would give her a second chance – turns out she has also designed a lot of drop dead gorgeous schemes.  I luuuurve how she’s not afraid to splurge bold colours and prints all over the place, and she seems to have a serious soft spot for all things chinoiserie.  All very whimsical and fun – big fan!

Her offices are just mind-bogglingly amazing.  This image of her old work space has been posted on every single blog/magazine/design website in existence, but I think you’ll agree it’s for good reason.

And this is her new office – there are no words…:

Yep, still no words.  Mary, I salute you.

And now onto her top design tips:
1. Incorporate a coordinated table-scape
Mary recommends using a bunch of unrelated items with an over-arching colour theme, and making sure there’s one item that’s tall, medium, short, wide and narrow.

2. Use decorative painting
Paint a silhouette directly onto the wall, in a kid’s room or guest room, for a spot of whimsical fun.

3. Use a bold colour or pattern on seagrass
This should work on any natural fibre rug, such as seagrass, sisal or jute.  You have to be careful to ensure the pattern on the rug falls where you want it to in the room.

4. Cheat with a four-poster bed
If you want the effect of a four-poster bed without the expense, and have a ceiling that’s not too high, you can cheat and mount the valance and panels directly onto the ceiling – it should also make the ceiling feel much higher.

5. Include a window seat
Window seats are just so cosy and cute, especially when said window gets a decent amount of sunshine.  Mary recommends trying to fit one in wherever you have a little extra space, even in bedrooms. I am seriously digging the use of geometric prints here too.

6. Add a little something to floorboards
I really really love wooden floorboards, and I would never in a million years consider doing what I am about to suggest, so I thought I would leave it to Mary to fill you in on this flooring sacrilege: “In this master bath the wood floor was originally pretty boring. I knew I wanted something more, so I had it painted in zigzags because I thought it felt fun and now and current. To tie the floors in with all of the marble, I looked at the different light grays in the stone and picked out this one nice shade of almost blue-gray.”
Looks pretty cool though, I have to admit…

7. Strip back to the original material
Original stone, metal and wood really shows off the character of a room, and adds depth to a scheme with its patina and age – always consider stripping items back to their original material.


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