Wednesday, October 08, 2008

David Mlinaric on Decorating



Until recently, I was only mildly familiar with David Mlinaric. OK, actually, I only recognized the name and that was it. So when I heard that there was an upcoming book about the British design legend, I was intrigued. I just got through reading Mlinaric on Decorating (by Mirabel Cecil & David Mlinaric), and I must say that I got the same feeling that I did when I first read one of David Hicks' books. I can't really tell you why, but I suppose it might be because I kept wondering, "Where has this man been all of my life?"

Mlinaric is considered to be one of the top British decorators of the second half of the twentieth century. (And he still is today seeing that he's only 69.) He has had clients ranging from Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton to Lord Rothschild. I think what amazes me about his work is his range. He's done mod and hip, shabby traditional, and clean contemporary, and all of these looks are included in this book. And Mlinaric seems just as comfortable redecorating the great properties of the National Trust as he does designing the interiors of a London flat.


It's really a shame that Mlinaric does not have the name recognition here in the States that he does overseas, but I do hope that this book remedies that. With page after page of photos of exquisite interiors, this book just might have you too wondering why you're not familiar with this talented man. I think that after reading this book, you will be glad to make the acquaintance of this remarkable designer. I know I was.



Mlinaric's studio at No. 33 Tite Street, Chelsea, c. 1960s


The dining room at the Tite Street studio. To me, this room is reminiscent of David Hicks- maybe it's the banding on the walls.


After John Fowler's death, Mlinaric became adviser to the National Trust. Mlinaric was responsible for the redecoration of the Assembly Rooms in Bath. This is a shot of the ballroom, the principal room of the Assembly Rooms.


The guest bedroom of an 18th c. Loire chateau, decorated between 1986 and 1991. The walls were hand-painted to look like cloth hanging from brass rails.


Glebe House, Chelsea, c. 1981-83

26 comments:

  1. Love the wall color and screen in the Glebe house image.

    So many books to covet this fall!

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  2. Anonymous9:53 AM

    The Loire château is Mick Jagger's place.

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  3. I love David Mlinaric; amazing, amazing talent. His work is not much seen on this side of the Atlantic, which is a pity. He was originally commissioned to decorate the apartment of Julia and David Koch in NYC (the former Jackie O apartment), but as W reported, he was bounced mid-job and replaced by Alberto Pinto. Trivia: Mlinaric is married to the former Martha Laycock, whose maternal grandmother, Freda Dudley Ward, was a longtime mistress of the Prince of Wales, aka the Duke of Windsor.

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  4. Courtney- I love that image too. Elegant but warm too.

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  5. Anon- Thanks for that info! The book has quite a few images of the chateau, and it's quite beautiful.

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  6. Aesthete- I love it when you connect the dots. I am completely in love with Mlinaric's work after reading this book. I'd hire him in a heartbeat.

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  7. Thanks for the preview on my favorite living decorator. His Tite St drawing room was part of a movement in the '60s called Mod/Trad, according to John Martin Robinson who has written perceptively about these matters. As for the gathered wall covering in the French guest bedroom, it isn't really hand-painted, but rather a famous Mauny wallpaper. See the recent book on John Fowler for another example of its use.
    That said, I'm eager for the arrival of my copy of that book!

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  8. He really is a great, great talent, but I think it's a close call for me: either Mlinaric or Robert Kime. I think I'd have to go for Kime!

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  9. Toby- I really think you'll enjoy this book, especially as you're a fan of Mlinaric. Re: the wallpaper, the author wrote that it was hand-painted, but you very well might be right about it being Mauny.

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  10. This is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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  11. magnaverde10:53 AM

    Another Mlinaric fan here. The Jagger bedroom's walls look like Mauny paper to me too, and I'd guess that "hand-painted" is just a typo for "hand-printed". Either way, it's another book to go on the list.

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  12. Milly- Hope you like the book too!

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  13. Magnaverde- OK, another vote for Mauny. I better check the book to see if I overlooked this info! I do think you'll enjoy this book. I was truly and pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it- and his work.

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  14. Let me add my vote for Mauny; am pretty sure.

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  15. Wonderful post today! I adore Mlinaric's EYE. Quite a talent, indeed. Now I want the book!

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  16. I stumbled upon this book at Potterton Books while in London last week and am so happy to receive this blog post! It must be a sign that I should get my own copy... Mlinaric has such an impressive range of styles, and I particularly like the Loire chateau and Glebe house images. Thank you for sharing!

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  17. David Mlinaric was strongly of the view that men make the best decorators.
    "Men have good judgement or no judgement at all. Women tend to dabble. Also they rarely have any idea of scale~they seem to get things out of proportion. Women usually hate living in big houses or buying large objects for a room. It frightens them."
    Hmmm...and yet he admired Mrs Lancaster, who was nothing if not bold in her approach to furnishing her houses..

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  18. Mimilee and Artsetoile- I hope you both get a copy. I didn't know what to expect, and it ended up being such a joy to read.

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  19. Toby- Well, I really don't agree with him about that, and you bring up a good point about his admiration for NL.

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  20. oh i love that last shot, the gebe house. beautiful and warm. the trim with that wall color? yummy.

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  21. Peak, I was just as suprised when I discovered him recently that I had not heard of him earlier. Looks like an amazing book, it's definitely on my ever growing list!

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  22. The ballroom is amazing...what grandeur and the hand-painted bedroom in the Loire chateau is fantastic. Thanks for pointing this talented designer out to me.

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  23. You have inspired me - can't wait to have a look at his book.

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  24. Love the image of the Assembly Rooms in Bath... loved Bath loads, too!

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  25. Love all the pictures
    Will defenitely buy this book

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  26. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Hi Jennifer,
    Hope you are well!
    Here's Mlinaric's website:
    http://www.mhzparis.com/
    Hope to see you next trip to Atlanta!
    Best,
    Anne Hepfer

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