Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Million Dollar Decorators are you for Real??

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Million Dollar Decorators are you for Real??

Hello lovely friends!  I don't have time to watch much tv but there are a few shows I record on the DVR that I watch when everyone else is sleeping.   Recently I've added Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo.

Have any of you been watching it??


I don't know if I love it or hate it.  Maybe I love to hate it??
I can't stop watching it even though some of the decorators are reedonkulously annoying and seem to get all the air time.

I am floored by the outrageous amounts that people spend on pieces of furniture (I know, I know, it's Million Dollar Decorators, of course they are going to be spending insane amounts of money)  BUT, my Chic on a Shoestring brain says, NO!!  You could totally get that at HomeGoods for $89.99!!  

Even if I was a millionaire, I wouldn't spend $25,000 on an end table.  I just couldn't do it, I don't care who made it or how old it is, it just doesn't make sense to me.  I'm not saying that it's not ok for people to do it because I think people should spend their money how they want to, I just couldn't do it.  Just sayin'.

So, on to the cast...
via Bravo, from left Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks , Nathan Turner, Kathryn Ireland ,  and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

The show has some big name decorators that are super talented with big personalities (of course, it is reality tv ya know).

Mary McDonald is my favorite, I love her style, elegant and glamorous.  She also has great fashion sense.  She's a little bit of a "Miss Priss" but I think the show tries to make her appear worse than she really is.  She is kind of funny and I like that she seems to tell it like it is. 

Here is a bedroom from her portfolio, I think it's fabulous even though it's definitely not a look that everyone could pull off in their home.  That's why she decorates for millionaires.  ;)

via Bravo
 A lovely living room by Mary McDonald which could be pretty easily recreated on a much lower budget.

via Bravo

Kathryn Ireland (not the swimsuit model) has a very eclectic and warm style.  It's not really me but I can definitely appreciate it and she is great at it.  She seems to not take herself too seriously (kind of a goofball!) and always have a drink in her hand.  It could be the producers making it appear that she always has a drink in her hand??  Who really knows?!  She couldn't be too goofy or drunk all the time because she is so successful.

This bedroom by Kathryn is just so cute!

via Bravo

Next is Nathan Turner.  He owns a popular furniture boutique in LA.  He seems like a nice guy and doesn't get nearly enough airtime on the show probably because he's a nice guy. 

This is a  beautiful table scape he did, I love the Ikat table cloth I'm also loving the pillows in the background.

via Bravo
Next on the show is Jeffrey Alan Marks, he is very talented but he takes himself way too seriously.  On the show he says "some days my job is more important than the President".  What?!  Are you serious?!?

He really said that.  Yuck.  Give me a break Jeffrey Alan Marks, you're killin' me.

So even though he takes himself way too seriously he is super talented which is why I can't turn it off. Look at these beautiful rooms!

via Bravo

Ok, it looks cool but I'd always worry that the boat hanging from the ceiling was going to come crashing down and kill me in my sleep. 

via Bravo
I absolutely LOVE everything about this kitchen!

I saved the worst for last.  Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.

However incredibly talented he may be I can not get over his snobbish personality and super-annoying Thurston Howl III accent. 

The first time I watched the show I almost fell out of my chair because of his ridiculous accent, I thought he was joking... like doing an exaggerated impersonation of someone else (like Thurston Howl III).  But that's just really how he speaks!   It's unbelievable. 

I need to stop myself  now because I was raised that if I didn't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say it. :)  Watch the show and make your own opinions dear friends. 

Here is a room from his portfolio...

via Bravo

As someone who loves decorating I enjoy the show, even though it drives me nuts 90% of the time.  Have you watched it?  What do you think??


  1. I love Kathryn. If I had to deal with the client that she has, I'd have a drink in my hand at all times too! I think Mary is a piece of work. haha I completely agree on Martyn's accent. It is so over the top that it's hard to listen to him, but he is an amazing decorator. I love JAM's partner Ross.

    I will be sorry when the show ends this week!

  2. I agree totally agree about Martyn. My husband's English and sounds nothing like him. He actually watched the show with me one night and just started cracking up when he heard Martyn speak for the first time. Too funny.

    ~Aaron {the girl with the boy's name}

  3. I too have a love hate relationship with it. I think what bothers me more than anything is they all (except Kathryn)have an over the top pretentious-ness that is so offensive to me. Granted they are all very talented and very successful but man they are such a snobby bunch of self absorbed people that I am stunned that they have made it this far. Its hard to get past it sometimes and I turn it off. Surprisingly, I haven't been overly blown away decor wise with any of them to be honest. I thought for sure that I would just be blown away by their decorating. Although, I will probably still watch because I can't help myself! UGH!

  4. I *just* started watching this show too! And I love it! What I don't understand is how annoyed the designers get when their clients get "too involved" in the design. For heaven sakes, their budget to decorate a room is a complete years salary for some people!!

    So I am with you...I LOVE to hate it ;)


  5. I love ,love this show. I agree with all the comments. It's like watching a train wreck...I can't look away. It does hurt my stomach though when they are so rude and pretentious. Shocked over the amount they pay for things. Seems like a sin to me. My favorite is Kathryn. I love Marys design but want to slap her every 5 seconds. Two Tulips Talking

  6. Love the 2nd bedroom, LOVE the kitchen. Would absolutely love the room with the boat, if they stuck to a nautical theme, instead of throwing "jungle" in there.

    I have never seen the show. But I was acquainted with someone who paid over $2,500.00 for a small coffee table. (glass top on a colorful dolphin statuary)

    I think that is ridiculous, so I couldn't even IMAGINE someone spending $25,000.00. I'd probably fall over.

    Now you've got me wanting to watch at least one episode of it. LOL


  7. You are hysterical! I wish I had the BRAVO channel. I would so love to watch this show so that I could totally relate to your comments.

  8. When I watch this show I can't help but remembering a line from "Steel Magnolias".

    "Daddy always says 'An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure'".

  9. Love the show. I agree with all that you said but the fact that they are so flawed makes them so fun to watch. They are all quite talented but Kathryn Ireland is probably my fave. i do love Mary too with her glam touches and I really liked what Martin Lawrence Bullard did for Sharon Osbourne. Jeffrey Mark's style doesn't float my boat so much but I do love that carpet on his stairs at home.
    I like the show so much I had a Million Dollar Decorator Marathon party here at the house Friday night. :) I guess that makes me a dedicated fan. hehe
    Pam @ BeColorful

  10. I had to spit out my soda when Kathryn pulled up at her client's home and there is $750K worth of antiques sitting in the driveway. I mean, holy yard sale Batman!!!! LOL - I too guiltily watch the slow train wreck, it's hilarious.

    As for that Martin.....I've started speaking like him on the phone just for fun :)

  11. I will have to watch this show! I love decorating.

  12. OK..I admit, I'm living in the 19th century (well maybe the 20th) but I don't have cable TV or satellite dish so I don't see any of those great shows. But I agree with you, I just couldn't spend that much money on an end table! But this is what I tell my clients "Show me a look you love and we'll re-create the basic essence of the room on YOUR budget!" They love it! I get the job! Win-win! And if I should ever get a client with more money...well that means I've either gotten lucky or I've already become famous! LOL! Great photos of these designers portfolios. I'll save for inspiration!

  13. Thurston Howell the third, that is it... you nailed it! Love to hate the show too=)

  14. I'm with you, can only take in the tiniest of doses. If the personalities weren't outrageous, the program would be too normal. My guess is that most tv viewers want something outrageous for entertainment value. Oh, and btw, I agree with you about the rowboat on the ceiling. I couldn't get any rest in that room! xo Diane

  15. I hate it. I feel like they spend money for the sake of spending money. And they don't ever really do any fun DIY projects. I feel like a designer should design something, not just buy a whole bunch of stuff and then pay other people (contractors) to do the work. It's pretentious...they're pretentious. But it's LA...what do you expect?


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