23 May 2010

The Lady In Yellow

 

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If you are like me, this cover of Veranda is instantly recognizable as an interior done by Mary Douglas Drysdale, the iconic interior designer from Virginia.  In the 90s, Mary was featured on this cover of Veranda and for several years, this color combination became her trademark.  Who could forget those gorgeous silk plaid curtains?  I never did.  In fact one of my earlier jobs had curtains exactly like this in a shameless attempt at copying her! 

 

 

imageMary is known for using classic antiques mixed with contemporary art work.  Her interiors aren’t exactly minimalist, but clutter is banished in favor of over scaled accessories:  a large rooster, a sunburst mirror (before they were “in”),  and wind vanes – all favorites of Mary’s.  

 

 

imageHere, the yellow had become deeper – more vibrant, leaning toward orange.   During her career – Mary has been on over 60 covers!  An amazing achievement for someone with a small overhead - her staff numbers only four.  

 

 

 

image Yet, as often as Mary uses classic architecture and furniture, she also is comfortable designing using Americana motifs such as quilts and wind vanes.   She is as competent designing a large mansion as she is a centuries old stone farmhouse.  This  yellow and white bedroom shows the quilts Mary is known for, along with her famous plaid curtains and the large sunburst mirror. 

 

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Beautiful period antiques mixed in with contemporary art – a trademark.   Mary’s interiors often have classical architectural elements – elegant moldings and columns.  Mary does it all – she is actively involved in the plans from the ground up.  

 

 

 

imageModern art work mixes with  traditional furniture.  Mary loves to paint floors.   Rarely is a floor finished with just a plain wood stain.  Here the plaid curtains have become stripes.

 

 

image Gorgeous architectural elements - something Mary likes in her interiors.  She studied in Paris for three years before she opened her interior design business.  Notice the gorgeous gilt wind vane!  

 

 

imageAt her centuries old stone farmhouse, Mary was inspired by her neighbor’s pumpkins for her kitchen palette. 

 

 

image Yellow becomes orange!  Mary admits she loves white backgrounds with bright pops of color. 

 

 

 

A recent Veranda cover story showed this guest room in soothing greens with pops of pink.

 

 

 

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Mary says that many fabrics she uses are actually put together by herself using several different pieces sewn together.  In this recent project, the grand entrance hall is white with small pops of soft yellow and black accents.

 

 

 

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In the same house, the formal living room is all creams and ivories.  Notice the beautiful painted floor! 

 

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Mary Douglas Drysdale – a legend of our times, highly intelligent, hugely talented, and wonderfully talkative - visits the Skirted Roundtable this week.  Be sure to listen – you’ll be as enthralled as Linda, Megan and I were.  As always, your support and comments are most appreciated!!

 

 

To listen to Mary Douglas Drysdale on The Skirted Roundtable go HERE.

49 comments:

  1. Hands down, one of my all time favorites!!!!!

    I never knew someone loved saffron and white+classical proportions as much as I do until I discovered her work some years ago. She is simply brilliant. A true master. Gorgeous photos :) Thank you!

    xoxo,

    Andrea

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  2. Can't wait! I have loved her work for years. Her use of color, her mix of contemporary art,antiques and folk art - she is one of the all time best designers. What a thrill for you all to visit with her and for us to listen. Thanks!!

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  3. I often find rooms I love and when I look at the credit, I see Mary's name. I love her color sense, but even more I love that she can take traditional design and make it look fresh and timely. That pumpkin colored kitchen has just given me a grand idea! Am I as nervy as Mary??? we'll have to see!

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  4. What a treat!
    I'll definitely be listening in.

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  5. All that white with a bright pop of sunny color is so good for the soul.

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  6. Oh, I just can't wait. She is fabulous and just makes you love yellow, more and more and more. Hope you are well, Joni. I've missed talking with you. Have a great week ahead.

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  7. Joni, I love her color palettes the bright yellows, oranges, with red, although I adore the soft green with pink on Veranda's cover as well!

    How great she looks sitting on that fabulous painted furniture.

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  8. All this wonderful yellow reminds me of the sunflower fields I see in the south of France each July.
    I saw a yellow trunk in Paris earlier this month...wish I had bought it now...oops.

    Yellow just makes one happy !

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  9. Yes, she has always been one of my favorites, so I am looking forward to it!

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  10. She is quite a talented and creative woman. Her works are one of a kind. So encouraging, in all my endeavors!

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  11. From now on I will never say a bad word about the colour yellow. For sure!

    Again I noticed the credit you´re giving to a talented collegue, you seem to be a very nice person and I always enjoy reading your posts!

    Helle:))

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  12. Thank you for helping me to rediscover a fave from the 90's. She is brilliant! I believe she sparked my love for white with pops of color in an interior. And she is better than ever!

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  13. Thanks! I can't wait to hear this one.
    And yes, I too have that 1996 magazine ( and many more).......

    ( should you be getting ready for the pomp & circumstance soon? )

    Thanks,
    Joni

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  14. She is one of my all time favorites and the reason I purchased Signature Style. I also copied her here at The Ranch but went with apple green and white check hoping no one would notice. Thanks for this fabulous post!

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  15. I love the cheerful colors Mary uses. All her spaces bring a smile to my face!!

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  16. She is timeless. Yellow is such a happy color...always brightens my day...maybe that is why almost every room in my home is yellow in some form or another.

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  17. What beautiful rooms! I've always been attracted to her work. I love the how sunny they all seem and how happy. Isn't she cute, too, in that photo, and she looks as sunny as her rooms. I will have to see if I can find a computer where I can hear this, Joni. For some reason, mine still gives me fits. I know the interview must be wonderful. Thanks!

    XO,

    Sheila

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  18. I love the way Mary uses yellow - seems like just the right dose.

    And, I remember buying that Traditional Home book, Signature Style - as much for the cover - as anything inside!

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  19. WOW! Totally stunning! Absolutely love her style!
    Lou x

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  20. I love her designs. I love yellow and it is back..!

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  21. ooo...I feel like licking a stick of butter...lol. I'm off to listen right now. These spaces are yummy.

    Best,
    Michelle

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  22. I have been enthralled by MDD's sense of style ever since I saw an article on a ranch-style house she designed in the DC area maybe about 10-12 years ago. It had been gutted and as I recall, MDD and the owners had agreed it would be a bit of a challenge but what a creative and unique home it turned out to be! No matter what she has to work with, her talent just blows me away each and every time.

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  23. I love her careful and selective use of color against the neutral background. I'm sure her interview will be very interesting... Terri

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  24. Joni to the rescue! After I saw the SRT photo, I tried to find more images of her work, and now you have pulled it all together for us once again! I loved that Veranda cover; our own living room is a Ben Moore saffron, with white accents; the color has been great for 35+ years. It's great with Christmas reds too.

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  25. Each photo simply G L O W S ---
    wonderful post, Joni!

    Jjj

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  26. Does anyone remember the kitchen she did for Bette Midler a few years back? It had lots of deep yellow. I think it was in Traditional Home... Fay

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  27. Such sunshine and warmth! Love the colorS, stenciled painted/stained floors, valanced window coverings, charming weathervane, and particularly the quaint statuettes (or are they Mannequins?).

    Thanks for the introduction Joni. I do love her style.
    -Brenda-

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  28. She is the epitome of classical design. It is her design work that inspired me in the early 90s and became a big fan of neoclassicism.

    I love how she mixes contemporary and folk art into her spaces.

    I cannot wait for her book. And I loved the interview.

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  29. Ugh! a designer after my own heart with my beloved yellow...I absolutely love decorating with yellow - all of her work is so stunning and sophisticated...can't wait to listen...thanks Joni!

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  30. those fun yellow and white curtains remind of Jackie Kennedy - that wonderful picture of her as First Lady on summer vacation at Hyannis Port in a simple yellow and white check "shift" - remember that word - now I am dating myself -the precursor to all the sleeveless sheaths that everyone is wearing today, if you have good arms!)

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  31. How creative she is with color! thanks for this post and I'm off to listen too!

    xoxo

    Kit

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  32. It's funny the element that I probably remember the most from her designs is the weather vane. Probably because she uses them so unconventionally. I certainly would not put myself in her category but often have designed our own stripes by combining fabrics. Be it color combinations you cannot find, most recently for bed pillows or desiring really wide stripes as in my dining room drapes, this is a great solution. Can't wait to hear the interview.

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  33. I can always spot her work. The buffalo yellow checks are sooo nice. Enjoyed this post, it is beautiful.


    yvonne

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  34. Oh, love her pops of color on a white background...exactly what I favor too! Her mix of classic and modern is wonderful too!

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  35. Interesting little read on the The Lady in Yellow:

    http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com/2007/07/mary-douglas-drysdale.html

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  36. Hello Joni,
    I love the interiors of Mary! I love her way of bringing in architectural details as the colums. And the painted floors are so beautiful! That enry hall is just gorgeous! Very impressive. i don't think she uses the yellow for now, but I loved the pumpkin orange she used in her house!
    I am going over to listen what she has to learn us at the Skirted Round table!
    xx
    Greet

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  37. Hi Joni,

    Loved loved loved the kitchen post..and I LOVE your sink!! ..but I am not a fan of yellow - at least not the bright version. It is just not soothing enough for me. I like what you wrote though about things coming in and out of fashion.. No matter - I never lean into bright colors for my home. Maybe it is a sign of my life being too stressful and I need a calm retreat... As always..I love your blog. Thank you for putting so much work into it so we can enjoy!

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  38. She is amazing! My mother has plaid yellow curtains in the 90's and I think I know why! I love the floral bedroom. It's such a change to what she normally does that it's now imprinted in my memory!
    Lila Ferraro
    Queen Bedroom Sets

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  39. Such a talented lady!
    Nice selections of her work.
    Donna

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  40. True talent. Working with color is not easy and to do it so boldly while still exercising such restraint is quite an accomplishment. Her neutral palettes are just as gorgeous. I don't know that I will ever stop thinking about that gorgeous room filled with cream on ivory on soft white...

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  41. ***... with only a staff of F~O~U~R????... "Who'da THUNK?!?!?"

    THANK YOU JONI... that was just DELICIOUS!!!

    Linda in AZ
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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  42. Lovely! (Do you ever show us anything but lovely?!) My favorites are the kitchen and the guest bedroom with the "pops" of pink.

    How are you faring with graduation festivities? I'm one big weepy mess! (When I'm not nagging Hockey Boy about writing thank you notes, that is.)

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  43. I love seeing Patricia's work everywhere. She is so talented. As a fellow Interior Designer, I know how welcoming it is to have personal artwork in your home. I have always wanted a portrait of my sweet Golden Retriever, Madison, and now that her kidneys are failing I'm wishing I had one.

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  44. There's so much to see in this great post! What a legend indeed!

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