They shop, they drink, they dine, they kvetch. They turn otherwise ordinary rooms into polished interiors, and then ... they go shopping again. They are the stars of “Million Dollar Decorators,” the Bravo reality series that started its second season tonight, yanking back the curtain to see how four of Los Angeles’ biggest design personalities — Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Kathryn M. Ireland, Jeffrey Alan Marks and Mary McDonald — do their jobs.
The show, its colorful cast and guests such as Sharon Osbourne have made "Million Dollar Decorators" a guilty pleasure for design aficionados and looky-loos alike. Some, however, have found the spendy opulence — rugs that cost what most people spend on an entire room — out of step with the times.
How would the Million Dollar Decorators fare if they were plucked from high-priced antiques shops and decorator showrooms and set loose inside low-cost retailers instead? What would catch their eyes? And how would they use what they found?
Gamely, the four decorators — whose client lists include
“Simple shapes work best,” McDonald said. “If you try to make something fancy inexpensively, it often looks cheap.”
British-born designers Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and Kathryn Ireland are known for layered interiors with a worldly Bohemian spirit. Ireland, who takes inspiration from French provincial and English country homes, and Lawrence-Bullard, who celebrates the styles of the Mediterranean, Morocco and India, visited Marshalls at the Beverly Connection shopping center in L.A. With its rotating inventory of designer goods, many marked down 50%, the store had well-known brands including Le Creuset cookware and
"You could go to one of the major department stores and spend hundreds of dollars more for the same things," said Lawrence-Bullard, who was inspired to create a holiday table setting that could work year-round. "To me, real style is being able to mix high and low."