Saturday, June 25, 2011

Million Dollar Decorator's Design Stars

This show on Bravo is my new addiction.
Watching faithfully every Tuesday night I 
have come to some conclusions after the third episode.
 This is my review on MDD.
The show has two designers who are more talented 
and more entertaining than the rest of the cast.
Lets meet them~
Kathryn Ireland
a British designer, has a decorating style I call English Bohemian.
Her showroom of fabrics have every color in the rainbow, 
and lots of exotic patterns that exude happiness.
Her fabrics have swept Los Angeles by storm, 
and the Indian prints in particular seem suited to the West Coast life style. 
I love how Kathyrn mixes it up with color and pattern~
 I adore this room. 
She is a master mixing scale and color.
What a happy room,
 and the dark furniture keeps it from being sacharine. 
Another one of Kathyrn's brilliantly mixed bedrooms.
She loves using oversized patterns with geometric and odd ball colors.
This is Kathyrn's kitchen and it suits her to a tee.
 I love the painted green cabs with pops 
of bright color and the dark floor to ground it all.
Kathryn can do a softer palette nicely too.
Bohemian and quaint in that English way.
On the show I just love watching her! 
She doesn't "look" like a decorator, or "act" like a decorator...
she seems quite ordinary and average and you can't help but love her.
It is fun to see her in action running her business, running late to meetings,
and being a single mom to teenage boys.
There is a lot of drinking in this show.
Having clients with megabucks and
 mega-expectations can do that to anyone.
"Chardonnay, please"
Kathyrn seems to like drinking with Martyn the most, 
as they are design buds and good friends.
They share their projects and talk design together.
Here I bet they are talking about her client Shannon.
Kathryn has been decorating two houses
 for a client named Shannon Factor
who married into the Max Factor fortune.
Shannon Factor has lots of expensive stuff
She has rooms and garages filled to the brim
and she wants Kathyrn to figure out how to use all her things.
This is quite a task, but Kathyrn can handle it.
Kathryn says plainly that Shannon's house is a monument to bad taste. 
Besides being talented, she is quite hilarious, 
and in this scene she is actually trying on used bras at the flea market. 
Her double D boobs get a lot of 
comments during the show from her fellow decorators.
 I love seeing what she wears, she shows up in the plainest of clothes, 
and then she will appear in a mod caftan
 or an eyelet mini-dress flaunting her womanly figure. 
You just have to love a woman like that! 
I can see hanging out with K, drinking wine 
and laughing our butts off dishing about Shannon. 
Another thing she has going for her is she has dogs and kids. 
I think both of those things round out a person...
and if you don't have kids you should at least have dogs!
Kathryn and a typical morning  in her house I imagine~
lounging in the family bed. 
This is so Kathyrn!
Maybe you are starting to get the picture about Kathyrn 
and her colorful Bohemian English ways...
She is a super talent.
The other design star on Million Dollar Decorators
 is just about the opposite of Kathyrn.
It is kind of like Ginger and Maryanne on Gilligan's Island.
Ultra Design Diva,
 Mary McDonald.
 Seen here with her assistant who is always
 doing the opposite of what Mary wants.
 If she were my assistant, she would be no longer in my employ~
 but clearly I can't afford to have an assistant,
so that is just a guess on my part.

Elegant Mary is very dramatic and in the first episode I thought she was a monster.
 After her client confided in her that she was now going through a divorce,
 Mary shouted, oh no, you can't sell "my house". 
No words of compassion to her client/friend.
 Mary, that was ugly. 
I am hoping it was editing that made Mary look like a monster.
 She then told her soon to be divorced client that 
she had to decorate the guest house on a full budget,
 not a reduced budget, 
otherwise her client should use catalogues
 to decorate the guest house!
 Mary proceeded to buy tons of expensive unnecessary accessories 
to decorate a guest house that was going on the market.
I had all but washed my hands of Mary..
and then epsiode two and three came along. 
I turned into a Mary lover. 
She has fabulous style, 
and she wasn't really that mean after all.
She was kind of sassy and funny.
 And she has dogs~look at these cuties! 
She has to be nice.
Mary's style of decorating is what I would call Modern Glam.
 She seems to use a formula for every room she does.
 She says she doesn't, but I have noticed she uses 
a dark neutral and a light neutral and then often adds one bright color.
 For example, chocolate and cream (and orange).
Or Black and white (and hot pink). 
The other part of the formula Mary uses is there 
is always a wide stripe, and some animal print. 
Lets see if she stays true to her "formula" in the future episodes.
This was the latest room she created for a clothing design diva named Jill.
 Now Jill was very cute, but kind of a spoiled brat, 
and Mary had her number. Jill hated the diagonal striped floor
 before Mary got to decorate the room and fill it up
 with the rest of the furnishings and accessories. 
I hated the price of the diagonal floor~at a cool eight thousand dollars,
 I thought of quite a few design bloggers
 who could have painted that floor for a fraction of the price. 
At any rate, in the end Jill was thrilled, 
even though Mary said she wanted to strangle her during the project.
 "Stop taking the paintbrush out of my hand while I am painting",
 she said to no one in particular 
(well it was said in front of the Bravo tv camera crew) 
and I thought that was the most brilliant thing I had heard anyone say. 
YES! Let the designer do her designs....then you can weigh in at the end! 
Anyway, I love what she does to rooms. 
She creates drama, and mood 
and she does it in an elegant way~her rooms are always classy. 
Mary had a book published last fall, 
and I am going to get myself a copy, because I think 
Mary  is a super design star!
Two talented designers showcasing 
how they design in an entertaining format.
Being someone who makes a living being a designer,
it is soooo much fun to see how the projects are 
on the million dollar scale.

Signing off  with this review,
yours truly, 
The Multi-Dollar Decorator


  1. I caught the ending of the episode with the zigzag floor and I'm not sure I'd tune in again. Maybe I'll give it another chance after reading your nice review.

    Bella Vida by Letty
    Have a great day.

  2. Kathyrn Ireland's designs speak to me. Love all those fabrics and her kitchen windows are to die for. I would kill that much natural light in my house! Thanks for sharing all of this. I might have to tune in and see this show too. :)

  3. I am reading Kathryn Ireland's book Summers in France right now! I am enjoying it. :D

  4. Beautiful pictures, I've never watched this before, I will have to check it out.... I love Mary's style the modern glam... and your so right she has to be nice to have such sweet little dogs! Their little faces or just precious!!

  5. Well, I can tell I'm not watching enough tv because I didn't even know about this show! Going to have to take a look. The only show I watched on Bravo was 9 By Design and wondered what happened to it. Today I found out that they're now doing a show for HGTV! I guess I'm behind on the TV design shows! Thanks for the tip on this one.

  6. Ohhhhh, that was a good overview... so now i can jump right in and start watching. Love the Kathryn personality, that brown and white bedroom, and definitely love Mary's dogs!


  7. Now I am intriged...I will try to watch this show...I love Kathryn Ireland. I have one of her books. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. I love Kathryn the most. But I'm with you...what i thought was being mean in the first episode...I now think is her brand of humor. Taken out of context, she comes off mean. Did you see her on "Watch What Happens Live"? It was obvious that she likes to say silly things. She rattles them off quickly. They say that the character of Karen on Will and Grace was inspired by her and I definitely can see that. I'm loving this show more and more each week.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Amy this os the best post ever! I love the "Multiple Dollar Decorator." it reminds me of when we were younger my husband and I just wanted to be "thousandaires.". I totally agree with you about her and her work. I am behind by a couple of episodes, so I haven't actually seen Mary be nice, but the fact that she hasn't fired her assistant says something. And her work is beyond beautiful. I am so glad you pointed out the "formula"..... Can't wait to see if I holds out. One last thought...I do think it is asking a lot for clients to just accept everything along the way. True, they sometimes can't see the vision, but then I think it should be drawn or computer generated for them. Just because they can afford $100,000 doesnt mean they should not get to express an opinion and just spend it even if they are hesitant. They are the client after all, and it's their money, and I think it makes sense to make them happy during the process, not just after. I wonder if Mary ever insists on creating her vision and then the client hates it. What then? Thank you again for such an excellent post! Ps...sorry for typos...can't scroll back up to spell check on the iPad...such a design flaw!

  11. Your review made me dash to the DVR and set up to record this show. If it is anywhere near as entertaining as your review I will love it.

  12. I too have become addicted to million dollar decorators!!! It is my new guilty pleasure. Kathryn Ireland is the best in my book too. I Love her color choices!

  13. I love this show too! I love both Kathryn and Mary's attitude and styles because they are being authentic and not just kissing the clients butts!
    My other favorite room was the tuscan style outdoor room done by one of the men. There have been some different ideas that blog-land can get going on.

  14. Stacy,In regards to the diagonal floor, Mary showed Jill a sample of how she wanted to paint the floor before she did it and Jill was all for it~then when the floor was painted she hated it! And that is because the room wasn't decorated yet, and although she had approved the idea, she is a client who needs to trust the vision of her designer. Mary had completed many successful projects for Jill. But Mary handled Jill beautifully telling her TRUST ME!!! And I guess Mary was right in the end. Although that floor is controversial!

  15. I've been watching faithfully, too! And they are my two favorites by far. That is a gorgeous picture of Kathryn in the pink skirt! xoxo

    ciao from Newport Beach

  16. Love this review Amy!! I haven't seen more than just a few minutes of the show but will have to start tuning in. Love the designs they did - Wow!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  17. Another great post about this show!! We don't get it here in Oz so will have to wait for the DVD's but I am thoroughly hooked!
    Have a great week!
    jen xo

  18. Thanks for sharing..I will check it out!


  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. Excellent post. I have only seen a few episodes and not in their entirety but I would say you have them pegged to perfection! I think Kathyrn is the most likeable and approachable...and she is talented, love her attitude and her obvious strong sense of self and confidence, she doenst' need to glam it up for the cameras. Now moving onto to Ginger aka Mary.....I am a huge fan of her work ,she can be a bit...ugh...witchy? BUT she does possess mega talent in my book, have rarely seen a room I wasn't drooling over. But man is she difficult. This makes for some fun and entertaining TV for sure!! Great post Amy!

  21. I LOVE this show. As a realtor of 30 years Ive done my own staging on many homes and
    ADORE the waythese decorators interact with their fabulously rich clients. They are the REAL DEAL. And the faces Kathryn and Mary make hilarious!!! If you need another assistant give me a call...LA or Silicon contest!!!

  22. Just in case you want to see my portfolio:) Would fit in perfectly with this show I am abit of a diva. love dogs ...color and materials Had a antique shop when I was 19. Please can you be do more shows per week? Martyns accent is charming. I am sooo jealous... LOVE!!!

  23. GREAT review Amy, I've got it set to record!!! I've seen it all now, trying on bras at the flea market, too funny!
    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Amy--like you, I anxiously tuned in at the very beginning! But I admit I came away with a more negative take---
    The designers all seem to think "It's all about ME! and what I want!"--their clients just need to shut up and pay up! --Nathan seems to be the only one with any sense of thoughtfulness!
    BUT FOR THE FABULOUS DESIGNS, I could do without all the diva attitudes, and would skip this show.

  26. Wait, did they move the show to Saturdays? I was watching them on Tuesday nights and I wondered what happened. Hey, thanks for finding me in Etsy. Didn't realize you also started with them last month. Loving that really cute "British" pillow Amy!

  27. I have not even heard of this show! That kitchen my favorite of all of the beautiful photo's!
    Thanks for opening my eyes to it!
    Have a PRETTY day!

  28. Great post Amy! Million Dollar Decorators is one of my new favorite shows. I am with you that Mary and Kathryn are the two most interesting designers on the show.

    I loved it in the first or second episode when Kathryn, as her boys are running amok (ie., one son dives head first into a pool from a roof top), says in her British accent "I am such a tragic mother." I also love the segments with Kathryn and Shannon Factor, who clearly is a nightmare of a client for a decorator. Watching them spar has been great fun. :)

    As far as the male designers on the show, I like Martyn, but the hypnotism segment involving him getting over his 'chocolate addiction' was not only boring but made me question his credibility.

    Back to Mary, I totally see what you say in that she may indeed have a 'formula' (dark neutral, light neutral then add something else, whether it be pops of color or an animal print or a geometric graphics). What a great eye you have and how fun to read your take on things. Looking forward to more posts from you on this great show.

  29. Thanks for giving me the backstory Amy...I STILL haven't been able to catch up on MDD. I think I was more annoyed at the $100,000 in stuff, including what i thought were unnecessary accessories, for the house that was going to be sold, but you make a good point - Mary is a true pro, probably got plenty of approval first, and I can learn a few things from her about how to deal with clients (ESPECIALLY ones who change their minds after giving approval). PS...loved your garden post today!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...