Saturday, January 15, 2011

Contemporary Designer Profile: Mary McDonald

We love an elegant and understated, simple and modern room any day, but there's something to be said for an over-the-top and dramatic interior. You know what they say: if you're going to go, you might as well go all the way. Well today's contemporary designer has been described by House Beautiful as "bold and theatrical," two attributes we look for in a designer we want drama and intrigue from.

One glance at Mary McDonald's portfolio and you can see the reason for all these spicy descriptions of her work: she doesn't back down from a room. She faces an interior project full on, and you better believe those rooms end up surrendering to her talented skills in the end. Enough with the battle clich├ęs-not everyone can pull off rooms this bold and brazen and make them still seem sophisticated and livable, but McDonald does it. 

So how does she complete these interior design feats of skill strength? There's certainly a lot of color in her spaces. Palettes give pause as you stand to take it all in. There's a room with large, horizontal stripes in a palette of watermelon green, candy apple red, pink and black and white. There's a room arrested by bright, sun-yellow drapes. An office is set off from the ordinary with an icy blue that makes you think you've landed in Antarctica. Where red and black is a common color combination, McDonald makes it spectacular by choosing black and a deep, burgundy wine. 

McDonald also achieves bold rooms by utilizing pattern. Like those big, painted wide horizontal stripes on a wall mentioned earlier. Like in matching leopard skin-printed wallpaper to leopard skin-printed upholstery. She's a fan of arresting wallpaper, in elegant prints or bold modern prints. She uses rugs to grab attention. 

Overall, her rooms are gorgeous, stunning, bold and brave. And isn't that why you hire an interior designer in the first place? To take chances on interiors in ways that you probably wouldn't if you were going it alone? McDonald is a perfect example of why the interior design profession is one that is absolutely vital to our lives-we could all use a little infusion of boldness and drama! 

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.  

1 comment:

Jill Seidner | Interior Design said...

Love Mary McDonald's work! Her book is a must have, if you haven't already gotten. Thanks for sharing the profile!