Designer Profile: Garry McBournie

Warmth meets elegance and a comfortable sophistication in the work of Boston-based Gary McBournie. Classic furniture, decorative arts, innovative color schemes, and graphic accents are the signatures of his always inviting style.



What inspired this career path for you? My grandmother was a huge inspiration for me. She raised a large family in Boston and created a warm home environment—lovely furnishings, wonderfully soft linens, down-stuffed pillows, and always the aroma of delicious food cooking in her kitchen.

What is your go-to source for inspiration? Ever since my first boss sent me to Europe, travel has been a source of design inspiration for me. I love to visit historic houses and gardens, museums and regularly tour cities to view the architecture.

Tell us about your creative process. I spend a lot of time in my head before I begin a project. Consideration is given to the style of the home, the clients’ lifestyle as well as their wants and existing possessions. I also want my projects to live harmoniously with the surrounding environment, so when I first visit a new job, I spend a considerable amount of time walking the grounds and absorbing the light, colors, and textures.

Describe your style in 6 words or less. Transitional, Sophisticated, Disciplined Use of Color and Pattern

What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? I am delighted to see a resurgence in brighter colors and exuberant patterns, and the inclusion of antiques and “brown” furniture. On the flip side, while the DIY movement has engaged the public’s interest in design, there is still a long way to go. The understanding of scale and proportion is critical to good design. I also think that there needs to be some education on how to “finish” a project with that final layer of artwork, accessories, and personal objects.

What’s a staple in your tool kit? My color wheels from the various paint manufacturers. They ARE different and it is important to know the characteristics of each manufacturer so that you select the appropriate paint and color to achieve the desired effect.

Who do you look up to in the design world? I have several designer “heroes” including Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Mark Hampton, the team of John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, and Alberto Pinto.

If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?One of my other major inspirations has been classic Hollywood set design. I would love to step back in time and design a glamorous 1930s bedroom suite for Carole Lombard.

Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “Orange is my favorite neutral.”

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? Each month, I eagerly peruse the pages of Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, and Traditional Home. I have also become a blog fan of Stylebeat, Quintessence, Dering Hall, and Ask Patrick.

What do you love about Viyet? For years, many of my clients have put their old/unused items into storage with monthly/yearly fees ultimately exceeding the cost of the goods. I can now provide a credible online resource for them to sell these items, and have already recommended Viyet to a long-term client. Viyet definitely fills a real need in the marketplace.


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