Pictured from left, Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Mary McDonald, Nathan Turner, and Jeffrey Alan Marks. (All photos courtesy Bravo Media)
Tonight is the premiere of Bravo‘s newest docu-series, Million Dollar Decorators, and if you can make it past the unctuous opening montage and obligatory round of sassy, arms-akimbo introductions (“I don’t follow trends, I set them,” says Jeffrey Alan Marks, smoothing a lushly textured rug and plopping down on a coordinating settee), you’re in for an entertaining peek into the lives of five Los Angeles-based interior designers: Marks, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Kathryn Ireland, Mary McDonald, and Nathan Turner. These high-charisma characters offer plenty of reasons to watch, but having previewed the series (thanks, Bravo!), we offer eight additional enticements to tune in.
UnBeige’s Eight Reasons to Watch Million Dollar Decorators
8. The designers’ offices. Not up for watching the beat-the-clock challenge of furnishing Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne’s new apartment? Cut the sound and delight in the glimpses of the designers’ workspaces, including McDonald’s glam/mod aerie and Ireland’s Provence-infused pool house. And while Lawrence-Bullard’s home teems with exotic rugs and Hermès Balcons Du Guadalquivir china, his offices are dominated by white lacquer and inspired accents—fur-covered task chairs, anyone?
7. The seersucker blazers. We’re suckers for seersucker, and the premiere episode doesn’t disappoint. For those inclined to TV-based drinking games, take a sip anytime someone wears a seersucker or a plaid, or says “madness.”
6. The birthday parties. This series runs for eight episodes, and there are about as many elaborate parties. Tonight’s premiere features a birthday bash for Ireland, whose three teenage sons offer to do the cooking (weak-stomached viewers may want to turn away during this portion of the program). The trio gets waylaid by preparing tortilla chips from scratch, so the dinner menu is abridged. No worries, says Ireland. “Give [the guests] enough tequila and we can skip the middle course and go straight to the cake…if there is cake.”
5. The design concepts. “I’m kind of thinking of doing antlers, but in a hip way. There’s nothing ski house about it,” says McDonald of her concept for a new project. Meanwhile, Marks advises, “You should always decorate a room and then put one thing in there that’s an accident.” [Cut to: the wooden rowboat suspended upside-down from the ceiling of his living room.]
4. The “bad news” scene. Don’t miss McDonald’s episode-capping meeting with a client who needs to change course on a design project. We’ll leave it at that.
3. The dogs. The designers’ adorable canine companions could have their own spin-off. The premiere episode includes a scene of McDonald’s pups being unleashed into her peaceful office, while Marks critiques his model-turned-boyfriend-turned-assistant’s job of giving his golden retriever a shower and shampoo.
2. Lawrence-Bullardian bons mots. The man knows how to deliver a line. Our favorite, which is reason enough to watch tonight, comes as he grows increasingly frustrated with the expedited time frame of the Osbourne project. “I don’t really lose the plot,” he tells the camera. “And if I do lose the plot, which is rare, than I lose the plot.”
1. The support staff. Look for some breakout stars among the designers’ assistants. Ireland’s turban-wearing French housekeeper, Jacqueline, is a dead ringer for Diana Vreeland, and Marks employs two assistants with the same distinctive first name. “I don’t know how I found two assistants with the same name, but I did,” he says. “There’s Demetra, my personal assistant, and then there’s Demetra two. She does all the…I’m not sure what she does, but she’s needed.”