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Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style Hardcover – October 5, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Decorator Mary McDonald is known for vintage Hollywood movie-worthy houses, as seen in her new book Mary McDonald: Interiors (Rizzoli). She shares her tips for bringing a touch of glamour into everyday life." ~Family Circle

"Inside these pages: Mary McDonald's first book, due out in October, reflects the fact that she is a designer with varied inspirations and charms that always leaves you wanting more. 'Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style' reveals the many layers of this celebrated and beloved designer." ~Florida Design

"Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style will be published this month by Rizzoli, featuring more than 250 photographs of some of the most glamorous rooms captured between the covers of a coffee-table book... Interiors seems to ahve elegance, romance, and flair buried deep within its high-gloss pages." ~Lonny

"Mary McDonald Interiors: The first book from the fashion-forward former milliner offers insight into her design philosophy of infusing spaces with drama, elegance, and plenty of customization." ~Tradtional Home

"This month, Rizzoli's new Mary McDonald: Interiors, the designer's first book, shines a gorgeous light on the Los Angeles native's work, a bring-it-on layering of exuberant color, theatrical gestures and obsessive collecting - executed with just enough poised elegance and formal composition to preserve order in the house." ~Veranda

About the Author

Celebrated Los Angeles decorator Mary McDonald has been working in the industry for more than fifteen years. A third-generation Angeleno raised in Brentwood, her projects have captivated the design community.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; First American Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847833933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847833931
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have a collection of books on architecture, interior design and fine homes and generally examine all of the notable volumes that appear at the bookseller. I ran across this book the other day and was ready to dismiss it because I usually dislike design books that are more about the designer than their designs, especially if there are multiple shots of said designer in evening wear. However, Ms. McDonald won me over with the quality and breadth of the projects she chose to present in this volume, even if I'm not typically a fan of her kind of decorating. The interiors are striking, the photography is generally beautiful (with a few exceptions, where the photography is not up to par) and the whole package is well-presented. This is a fine addition to anyone's design library.
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Format: Hardcover
In this gorgeous book Mary McDonald offers page after page of stunning rooms that take your breath away. They're one-of-a-kind rooms which you don't forget easily. None of her rooms look alike although there are common features such as use of chinoiserie, stripes, saturated color, global elements and animal prints. The book is designed around chapters titled Seductive, Curate, Glamour and Grand Tour. Then she teases out the elements of these. The Seductive chapter includes elements that are labeled flirty, dressy, charm and whimsy. You see how these descriptives play out in her rooms through the photos.

Room decor is a kind of chemistry, so what do you want to combine? Everything is created twice, first as an idea, then tangibly. Before talking furniture styles or colors, what mood or emotion do you want the room to evoke? If you begin with the ideas (or adjectives), then everything you choose for the room can exemplify those elements. McDonald shows how she has done that through the adjectives she employs: flirty, charming, seductive, whimsical, chic, dramatic, global and colorful.

McDonald explains some ways she plans rooms. After considering the needs and lifestyle of the client, assessing the bones of the home etc. she says: "...I filter the plan through my own reservoir of inspiration which comes from so many sources: fashion, textiles, period clothing, old fonts, drips of water, peaks in whipped cream, old gold bullion, buttons, teacups, machinery parts, grasshoppers, lizards, animal furs, jewelry, rocks, minerals, leaves, flowers, the grain on an old piece of wood, the ridges on shells, black sand, bright plastic cups, Lucite, baby vegetables, fancy candies... my list is endless.... Creativity is like breathing for me--it's my life force.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love decorating books, love AD, Trad. Home, etc. I got this book and began thumbing through and was almost revolted at the poses of the author, like she thought it was her opportunity to dress up and flaunt her sexiest poses. It just kinda bugs you! I got the feeling she was advertising for a mate or something!!! I immediately got turned off and thought, I'm going to return this just for that. Then I picked up the book and started reading through it and I do genuinely like alot of the photographs and she is interesting to read. So I'll keep it. But please Mary and Publisher, let's do the next one with a little more class and keep the subject matter to decorating! Like the way Charlotte Moss does it... a few photos of her in action, not making google eyes at the camera... Charlotte Moss is total CLASS! PS> there is way too much sisal carpeting in this book. Why do all decorators do white fabric and sisal carpeting? They are supposed to be fabulous at mixing colors and patterns, that's what really fascinates a non-decorator.
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Format: Hardcover
Whilst their are some irritant factors to this book,(not least the authoress' penchant for having full page glamour shots of herself, in her evening wear, sprinkled throughout), on the whole I liked this book, for the bold use of colour and the dramatic flair Mary Mcdonald exhibits in her designs.

Ms McDonald likes to mix things up, but in a way that is fresh and elegant. In less practiced hands there would be a danger of too many influences creating a confusing mish mash of styles. However Ms Mcdonald uses a skilled eye to bring in elements of traditional 18th C European furniture and chinoiserie pieces mixed up with old Hollywood style glamour, Art Deco, Art Nouveau and bits and bobs from Latin America, India, and Asia. She then manages to pull them all together into a harmonious whole. So the rooms look elegant and fresh instead of resembling a rummage sale. Her use of colour in many instances is very bold, but restful to the eye, never jarring, and where required she manages to link indoor to outdoor spaces quite fluidly. It is refreshing to see a designer prepared to use bold and dramatic elements, to give the rooms zest and interest, but they are still very livable. There are no touches here of "The Miss Havershams" i.e. subdued, musty and sepia toned rooms all tastefully done, but with no flair or pleasant surprises. No one could accuse Ms McDonald of lacking a unique style or personal flair.

The scope of designs is considerable, ranging from the author's own ultra feminine private bedroom and dressing rooms, to the ultra masculine rooms she designed for a male friend's house. Public and private rooms are given equal treatment, and there is enough variety in the number of houses depicted, for most readers to settle on a personal favourite.
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