Warmth meets elegance and a comfortable sophistication in Gary McBournie's designs
Warmth meets elegance and a comfortable sophistication in the work of Boston-based Gary McBournie, whose refined and polished interiors are always a hit with our readers. Classic furniture, decorative arts, innovative color schemes, and graphic accents are the signatures of his always inviting style.
Serene Sitting Area
The tuxedo sofa in Gary McBournie’s own Boston loft is softened with pillows and set off by a pair of upholstered screens. On the wall above is a starburst found at a flea market in Paris.
Inviting Living Room
A suede-upholstered chimney adds texture to the living room. The bookshelves that flank the fireplace create intrigue with books, art, and old gear parts.
Elegantly Simple Dining Room
The dining area of the loft is kept simple, with a round mahogany table and dining chairs upholstered in soft green-striped velvet.
The kitchen is flooded with natural light that pours through the industrial windows overlooking the city. Circular cutouts give verve to bar stools sitting at an island topped with Vermont marble.
A warm caramel palette and a nook for the bed create coziness in the bedroom; the banding on the comforter is a classic touch.
Coral and Cream Library
In this library in a house near Boston, a color-blocked wool rug is textural and graphically colorful.
Crisp White Slipcovers
Crisp white slipcovers are as classic and versatile as an oxford cloth shirt that can be dressed up or down. Here, with checked pillows and worn wood antiques, they go the casual route.
A lacquered antique sea chest serves as a coffee table; flea-market-find lamps made from laboratory beakers add a layer of history.
Cheery Breakfast Area
A groovy custom rug in the shape of a flower adds punch to the breakfast area. Chairs covered in patchwork plaid slipcovers layer color and pattern into the room, while white linen keeps the window treatments simple.
A checkerboard pattern floor and bar stools in multiple bold colors make the kitchen a good place to gather.
Hint of Mint
A relaxing master bedroom with mint-green walls and ethereal white curtains gets a current of color from a sumptuous royal blue throw.
Sunny yellow walls and an antique iron daybed give the guestroom down home charm; the dramatic ikat pattern pillows add a dose of global panache.
In a home that was originally a barn and carriage house, a large, lofty entry posed a challenge. “This space was always a question mark that none of us wanted to tackle,” said McBournie. “An antique rug directed its pattern, and we applied bright colors that were tempered with an umber wash so it didn’t have a psychedelic look.” Now, a striking geometric pattern in the entryway welcomes guests to this Massachusetts house.
Earthy Brights Palette
A fun mix of patterns and colors gives the large living room an easygoing attitude.
The chairs surrounding the dining table were covered in a rust-colored ultrasuede but add surprise with contrasting linen on the back. The large iron chandelier over a reclaimed wood table makes a handsome focal point.
Warm Gathering Spot
The long center island, painted barn red, makes a good place to visit while a meal is being prepared. The charming ruffled valance is a typical McBournie flourish—understated but pretty.
Easygoing Breakfast Nook
With a big bay window, yellow walls and a hand-braided rug, the breakfast nook has a sunny disposition. The moss green corbels are a nice detail.
Soothing Bedroom Palette
The soothing palette of brown, cream, white, and toned down greenish teal make the bedroom a great place for musing. The drum style tables add interest.
Salute to Summer
This blue-and-white boys’ bedroom is perfect for the summer months at this all-season Cape Cod home.
The glamorous gilded frame of the mirror and lavish window treatments hint at an earlier era, with a neutral carpet and a solid green sofa grounding the scheme and making it feel more contemporary.
Accents of red temper the predominately blue-and-white color scheme of the master bedroom. A Victorian settee was re-upholstered with the room’s signature floral fabric.
McBournie livened up a formerly staid living room by putting a more modern spin on it for Traditional Home’s 10th anniversary issue in 1999.An Asian rug was replaced by modern day stenciled sisal. Formal furniture was exchanged with comfortable armchairs and sofas in colorful prints.
Seaside Living Room
Delft-like blue and white provide a classic touch in the living room of this West Indies vacation home, See the next slide for more detail.
The blue-and-white porcelain atop the carved German cupboard set the palette for the room.
Seaside Guest Room
Bright green and floral fabrics liven the guest bedroom. A scalloped cornice tenting the raffia headboard makes a dramatic statement.
Seaside Guest Room
Mahogany twin beds with bedspreads that have bright flowers on a white ground echo the West Indies vibe of the house.
Peach-hued walls give the bathroom a warm tropical feel. The blue-and-white theme is continued with the porcelain in this space.
Seaside Master Bedroom
The grand mahogany bed in the master bedroom was custom-made in West Indies style. The small settee at the foot of the bed was crafted on the island.
Nantucket Dining Room
When McBournie took possession of his Nantucket home, the dining room had peeling plaster walls. “It needed a statement,” he said. His remedy: upholstered walls in a mini-check fabric and a painted floor in a bold “old world” pattern.
Nantucket Living Room
McBournie painted the watercolors of shells above the sofa in the living room himself. The room’s décor references the home’s location in a former whaling town and the fact that it’s original owner was a boat captain.
This kitchen was reconstructed to closely resemble the original one in an old Nantucket home; a yellow, blue, and white palette gives it abundant energy and warmth.
Blue-and-White Boys’ Room
In one of the small upstairs guest rooms, denim “canopies” are hung on rods and draped as closely as possible to the slanted wall.
Blue-and-White Master Bedroom
Dreamy pale blue walls envelop this room, where a custom-made duvet trimmed and tied in burlap keeps things vacation casual.