Editor’s Miscellany: Color His World

By Kyle Hoepner

2013 continues apace as the year of books by or about New England designers with the appearance this month of Gary McBournie’s Living Color: A Designer Works Magic with Traditional Interiors, written by his partner, William Richards.

Just out from Pointed Leaf Press, the volume charts McBournie’s many-hued course through life and design. Long a fixture on the pages of Traditional Home and House Beautiful (not to mention being a 2009 inductee into the New England Design Hall of Fame), he has spent many years zipping between offices in Boston, Nantucket and Palm Beach, creating warm, inviting spaces that are emphatically not in the “1,000 shades of white” camp.

Rather than being presented chronologically, projects in the book are organized by the mental association McBournie has with their color palettes. For example, “Cityscape” includes this penthouse located in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District of Manhattan:

Photos courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

Colors of the year’s four seasons follow, with “Winter” including a Back Bay apartment we published in 2009:

Photos by Sam Gray for New England Home.

In general McBournie’s colors, whether bold or pale, are woven throughout the rooms of each house or apartment—but occasionally a single shade will create one extra-dramatic splash, as in the floor of this Nantucket kitchen:

Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press.

The clever deployment of color and light can even substitute for the sun itself, as in this formerly “dungeon-like” island media room:

Photo courtesy of Pointed Leaf Press

Open almost any page at random, and you’ll find a juicy jolt to brighten your day. Living Color is available in bookstores or via the Pointed Leaf Press website.

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