It would be very hard for me to tell you which of my collection of interior design books would be my favorite. In fact, I can't narrow it down to one, but I can tell you that Mary McDonald is my favorite interior designer, and her book, Mary McDonald Interiors - The Allure of Style is one of my top 5 most used books. At least once weekly, I flip through the pages of Mary's first book - soaking up color pairings, vignettes, layering tips, fabric pattern pairings - accessory inspiration - you name it, and it can be found beautifully captured in the pages of The Allure of Style.
Many of the gorgeous photos in the book are of homes that McDonald has in fact lived in, including her Hollywood Hills home that's been photographed in nearly every shelter magazine, and the Brentwood mansion she once shared with ex-longtime-boyfriend, Beverly Hills developer John Bersci. That home was actually what introduced me to McDonald, when it was published in Veranda, all decorated for Christmas in 2008.
I love looking through the rooms of a designers private home, mostly because typically a designer uses their own home as a canvas of sorts. Things that pop into their very talented and gifted minds that they either don't have a client for, or can't convince a client of, usually get played out in the rooms that they see every day. Take for instance, in the bedroom above, in Mary's Hollywood Hills home as photographed for her book. Lovely, right? But we all saw Mary change this room as part of the Bravo series: Million Dollar Decorators.
(If you don't know what I am talking about, you can watch the house tour and see this after here.)
And here again, the same room as above in Mary's Hollywood Hills home all done in deep navy blue and blush pinks. You see a lot of this transition in Mary's book - and it really gives you a deep appreciation for the different ways a room can be transformed by color.
The book also includes the many rooms of the last project Mary completed with Bersci, a $29 million dollar estate in prestigious Brentwood, California. Expertly staged for photos and sold with an option for also picking up the furniture for an additional $5 million, the house and the decor is one of my favorites in the book, and is constant inspiration. I look through these pictures for ideas on slipcovers, upholstery, furniture layouts, vignettes ... like I said, you can't imagine the wealth of inspiration in 270 pages.
The book is well written, witty even - and the pages are filled with insightful tips and tricks. Separated into multiple categories, the book doesn't chronicle house after house, but rather style after style. From theatrical to seduction, glamour to bohemian - the super large, super beautiful, super inspirational photos can help you with your bedroom, your bathroom, your dining room, heck, even your garden or patio!
If you're interested in owning a book that will give you hours of enjoyable reading, years of valuable inspiration and design advice, and infinite access to the mega-talented Mary McDonald, look no further than Mary McDonald Interiors - The Allure of Style. Oh, and I hear she's working on her second book. I can not wait! Purchase on amazon with the link below!