Tag Archives: Mary McDonald

Tablescapes are Not Only for the Dining Room

Mary McDonald Tablescape in Tangerine

I LOVE getting questions from my girlfriends about their houses.

It sends me on a little research project to make sure I give them the perfect, researched advice. It’s nerdy, exhilarating, and fabulous. For me, it’s second only to presents.

And I love presents. Continue reading

Is it Love or an HGTV Crush?

Cover Blog Pic“I think I need subway tiles and a farm sink in my kitchen.”

“I definitely need some word art.”

“Mid-century modern would look so great in a bedroom. Or maybe a bohemian look with a Moroccan wedding blanket.”

“Ooohh, look at those French cafe chairs.”

The more we see something, the more we think we like it, and the harder it gets to discern what our TRUE loves are… Is the farm kitchen REALLY my style, or do I just like it because I’ve seen it on Fixer Upper? 

How can we tell if we are truly “in love” or just having an “HGTV crush?”

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Turning a Corner in Charleston

Battery Park in Charleston, South Carolina.

Battery Park in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a few steps, you can turn down a corner and escape.

That’s my favorite part of Charleston.

Scores of moving lines have been written about her beauty, seduction, and endurance; all of them true. She is a Holy City that entrances you with her streets of cobblestone and her walls of ivy. But, the best quality is her balance between busy and quiet.

Sometimes in life we need to just take a few steps, and turn a corner.

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Window Dressing

Notice where Mrs. Bunny Williams hung her drapery; ceiling to floor panels bring your eye up and add a touch of luxury.  ~from Architectural Digest

Notice where Mrs. Bunny Williams hung her drapery; ceiling to floor panels bring your eye up and add a touch of luxury. ~from Architectural Digest

Window metaphors and references are endless.   Our eyes are windows to our souls, God is said to open one when a door closes, and the law of window cleaning claims that “it’s on the other side.”

Despite our love of window analogies, often times the windows in our homes get neglected or poorly dressed.  I have been quite guilty of this, too. Continue reading

I Will Wear Pink Lip Gloss Everyday

A Suzanne Kasler designed room in Veranda. [photo from Veranda Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015]

A Suzanne Kasler designed room in Veranda. [photo from Veranda Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015] The contrast between the glamorous pink chair and the weathered wooden table is genius.

“I will wear pink lip gloss everyday.”

I proudly proclaimed this as my resolution on New Year’s Eve when I was seventeen years old. Why that is the only resolution I remember is beyond me, but it is.

How embarrassing.

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Perspective in Design and Life

In design, perspective can create depth. The same is true about life. The depth of a matter cannot be fully appreciated and measured until you see things from different points of view. Continue reading

What makes a Christmas Tree beautiful?

One of my favorite rooms at the Biltmore House, decorated for Christmas.

One of my favorite rooms at the Biltmore House, decorated for Christmas. Notice the limited color palette that complements the room’s decor.

I have always loved the pageantry that goes into Christmas décor. As a little girl, getting the Christmas ornaments out of the attic, fluffing the garlands, and watching my mother make beautiful bows were just as exciting as seeing what Santa brought me on Christmas morning (okay, ALMOST as exciting… I really love presents.)

There was just something about the experience of decorating with my mother that made the tree so special. 

[There was also usually an anecdote that accompanied buying that year’s tree; like the one year the tree flew off the car’s roof on the way home, so we just went to another lot and bought a second one. Or, the year we didn’t have enough string to secure it, so my mom just rolled down the car window and held on to the tree while driving 15 mph all the way home.]

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