Today I have the great pleasure of sharing with you my interview with interior designer Mary McDonald. Mary's work is nothing short of a master class in how to use Chinoiserie. Her style is sophisticated, glamorous, feminine, stylish, and elegant. I chose her interview to coincide with Pagoda Week here at Chinoiserie Chic, because pagodas are clearly one of her signature touches. If her book Mary McDonald Interiors - The Allure of Style is not in your library, it needs to be. Please enjoy the interview and some of my favorite rooms of hers with Chinoiserie elements. Next week - my interview with Meg Braff.
Q - How do you use Chinoiserie?
A - I honestly have used Chinoiserie as a design element in numerous applications: curtain valances, side tables, wall brackets, galleried cabinets, hand painting on furniture, custom four post beds. My list is endless, but I usually choose only one Chinoiserie element per room or it gets too wedding cakey.
Q - Why do you like to use Chinoiserie?
A - I love the feminine and fanciful part of it. It can take an otherwise perfectly ordinary room and add a bit of whimsical charm. It's easy to overdose on though so one has to use restraint.
Q - What does Chinoiserie add to a room?
A - Whimsical elegance.
Q - What are your favorite Chinoiserie pieces?
A - I can never turn down a Chinoiserie mirror because it is so easy to use in a broad range of interiors. I probably love my custom designed Chinoiserie bed which I have produced for other people. I love the way I designed the fretwork at the top with a small little pagoda folly in the middle. Who doesn't love something with carved bells on it? (Pages 48 and 55 in my book!)
I am really a Chinoiserie tramp, so choosing is almost impossible.
Q - To what do you attribute Chinoiserie's appeal for centuries and its recent resurgence?
A - Gosh, I am not that old yet, not so sure. Close though.
Thanks for thinking of me Beth.
|Mary McDonald's Custom Chinoiserie Bed|