Design Roundup: Mary McDonald

Man, it has been a week.  9 grad school credits + a full-time job + an active social life (one of these is a lie) is a lot to juggle.  This post was supposed to go up Monday, and a Best Of post today, but alas, this is all you are getting for the week.

I was having a bit of Mary McDonald nostalgia this week when one of her designs popped up on my Tumblr dashboard, so I thought it would be fun to do a MM Design Roundup, here goes!


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Mary McDonald is probably the only designer I would give complete control to decorate my house.  Her look is so tailored, classy and sometimes unexpected.  Bravo, when is Million Dollar Decorators coming back?  I need more Mary McDonald in my life.

Here’s why I love Mary McDonald:

Her office.  What woman wouldn’t want this as their office?  I mean those blue walls, the tufted chairs, the desk, c’mon.


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These chinoiserie linen panels for Schumacher.  In the words of Rachel Zoe, “I die.  Bananas.”


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Which brings me to this dining room.  I’m not sure if the same panels as above are in this dining room, but how wonderful is this dining room?


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She has a line of rugs for Patterson, Flynn & Martin.  Not that I would ever be able to own one, but a girl can dream.

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Ok people, she had this sisal rug painted.  She loves painting floors- it’s definitely a bold move and she can always pull it off.  There is pretty much nothing I don’t love about this room.


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Her book, The Allure of Style has been on my Amazon wish list for a while now.  I honestly don’t know why I don’t have it yet (other than it being $40).


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Want to know more about the fabulous Mary McDonald?  Check out her article from Domino Magazine, or this interview on One Kings Lane, or just drool over a Pinterest search.

Can I Live In This Room?

I’m way behind on my magazine reading and I’m just now reading the October issue of House Beautiful.  One of the very first ads in it was this gorgeous photo from Restoration Hardware:

The couch is what initially caught my eye but I love everything about it; the chandeliers, the placement of the artwork on the walls… in the magazine they have it darkened a bit so it looks a bit cozier.  It’s not too feminine and not too masculine.  Loves it.

And for a cool $10,995-14,695 this puppy could be yours!  I can’t imagine every living in a house that would have a room large enough to accommodate that couch but lawcy mercy I lurve it.


The Tremont Grand- Baltimore, Maryland

I was recently in Baltimore for the Association of Bridal Consultants annual conference- we stayed at The Tremont Grand Hotel.  It was a beautiful hotel which was actually slated for demolition a few years back.  It was originally built as a Masonic temple in the 1800’s and there is a lot of the original architecture left.  I snapped a ton of iPhone pics…. by far the most impressive space was the ladies lounge.

Beautiful, right?

Set Design: It’s Complicated

I’ve mentioned it before that I love the set design in just about any Nancy Meyers film.  The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, Parent Trap, Father of the Bride.  They are also so totally Americana, comfy, homey, elegant and beautiful in their own way.

It’s complicated has one of my favorite kitchens- many elements I’d like to see in my dream kitchen.  It was designed by set designer Beth Rubino and I luuurve it.

How do I love this kitchen?  Let me count the ways:

Black steel framed windows.  Marble counters.  Open shelving.  Hanging pot racks.  Woven roman shades.  Butcher block island.  That stove.  The deep sink.  Ok, it is my dream kitchen.

Here are a few more photos from the rest of the house:

Black Steel Framed Windows

I love black steel framed windows… they seem so European and elegant.  This photo is from this blog post which is chock full of other beautiful examples of black windows.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

Labor day weekend my family went to my favorite place on earth, Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  We’ve been going to the beach there for years.  It’s ruined me for all other beaches, there is nothing quite like Kiawah.

A few years ago, probably closer to 10 now, they announced they were building a resort on the island.  We were not happy… Kiawah is a very local island… it’s private and you have to go through a gate to get on it.  Back when my step-grandparents started going to Kiawah you used to have a key to open the gate and there were wild horses and boars than ran over the island.  Much of it is developed now.  Anyways, we were nervous about a resort coming to the island… I know my step-grandmother was especially worried about the inevitable influx of yankees.  She got over it.  The Sanctuary is beautiful.  And not cheap… $650 a night for the cheapest room (we did not stay there, for obvious reasons).  Usually we rent a beach house but since we were just there for a long weekend we just rented a condo overlooking a lagoon.

The Sanctuary is absolutely beautiful… southern elegance at it’s finest.  I love everything about it.

So many photos so here they are in a gallery… click the photo to view it larger.  The hotel looking ones are obviously the sanctuary.  Included in the gallery are pictures of my sister’s 30th birthday that we celebrated while we were down there, and us at the beach house we normally stay at.

Set Design: The Change Up


I saw the Change Up tonight and as soon as I got home I had to look online to get some information about the set design… I loved it.  Here is an LA Times Article with more information about the design and the designers so I won’t go into that, but I did just want to mention a few of my favorite design elements:

  • The whole entire kitchen.  White cabinets and black counter tops.  The dark floors.  Love the curtains, love the roman shades, Country Curtains sells similar ones that I’ve had my eye of for a few years now:
  • I thought the exterior of the house was beautiful but unfortunately I can’t find any photos of it online.  It was so Americana and reminded me a lot of the Father of The Bride House.
  • I loved the bathroom, especially the bathtub which I also couldn’t find a picture.  The whole bathroom was crisp, serene and spa like, but what else would you expect when the fixtures are from Restoration Hardware and Waterworks.
    I loved the whole house… the designers did a great job of creating a very elegant, comfortable house.

Hanging Pot Racks

Whenever, and if ever I have the money to design my dream kitchen I will be sure to have a pot rack hanging directly over a butcher block island.   I attribute this directly to my love of the kitchen in Father of the Bride.  Not just the kitchen, I love the design of the entire house.  Nancy Meyers directed FOTB and I pretty much am in love with the set design of every single one of her movies… The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated.  If and when I ever finish my MA Interior Design degree I would love to be a set designer, but I digress, back to pot racks… (PS stay tuned for a post on my love affair with Nancy Meyers set design)…

I’ve written about my love for hanging pot racks here before, and I had totally forgotten about it until today.  I just however stumbled upon and now my life is complete.  Well, it will be when I own one.

Isn’t it lovely:

Especially over a butcher block island:

And beadboard cabinets painted butter yellow, a farm house sink, subway tile, nautical pendant lamps……  Ok, back to reality.

For now, here are some pictures of the Father of the Bride that has inspired my love for pot racks:

Nancy Meyers love affair post coming soon1  Stay tuned…

Great Design: Awesome Orange Paint Color

Oh my mercy is this color and this room not GOREGOUS!  Rooms like this make me want to start my design degree again ASAP.

Check out more of this room and how the owner created this awesome orange color at the LiveLikeYou blog here.  It is Benjamin Moore Grand Canyon 118 with a coat of Antelope Canyon 125 on top.  Beautiful!