Do Tell: What do you think of Million Dollar Decorators?

While I was dubious after the first episode, I’ve come to enjoy Million Dollar Decorators more and more each week. The designers, Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks, his partner Ross, and Nathan Turner are all quite talented and I find it very enjoyable to see their creative process as well as how they deal with some pretty difficult clients. However, I know some designers out there are less than thrilled with the way the design profession is portrayed on the show. My biggest gripe is that they don’t give the adorable Nathan Turner nearly enough screen time!

What is your take on the show? Do you watch it and enjoy the over-the-top antics or do you prefer to change the channel? If money were no object, would you hire any of the designers featured on Million Dollar Decorators to design your home? Who would you most want to chat up at a cocktail party?

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. The first day I changed the channel right away and now I wait for the show to start. I would like to chat with Martyn Bullard and ask him for his perspectives and learn; but it would definetely be more fun to chat with Mary. I would feel free with Mary and a bit nervous with Martyn.. hard choice!

  2. I love it. Can’t decide who I like best. On a grander scale with much bigger budgets and personalities, it is like what designers do every day. We get clients that don’t listen to us, although they are paying for our advice, unbelievably short deadlines, and lots of drama! I always thought this job would make a great reality show some day and it does!

  3. I can’t get enough of Nathan Turner and Mary McDonald. I love their friendship and think they should have their own spin off show.
    I love Jeffrey Alan Marks portfolio, but Ross drives me crazy.
    I’m just glad Flipping Out is back on.

  4. I adore this show! My favorite is Kathryn personality wise but if I were to hire one of them it would be Mary as her “glam” decorating style is more in line with my liking. Only thing I found odd about the show the past two weeks is the “One Kings Lane” bit. I also adore One Kings Lane but found it a bit too product endorsey (is that even a word?) to encorporate their shopping for the stuff to sell and then having the sale on One Kings Lane a day after the show airs. Other than that, my favorite show!

  5. I would love to have Mary McDonald decorate my home. I don’t think she will because my house is a “cookie cutter” home or as she would say “track home” LOL.

    BUT…..I would have her do anything she wants to it!

    Also, I love Daisy Fuentes home that Martyn Lawrence Bullard did so he would be my second choice!

    I wish they would add Kelly Wearstler to the mix too!!

  6. I love the show!! I think the design process and just how their brains work are so fascinating. The initial commercials really turned me away, but during a lazy afternoon I decided to watch one and now I am hooked! Martin is hilarious and while Mary has a questionable personality, she definitely pulls out show stopping rooms.

  7. guilty pleasure! extremely talented designers. could live w/out the snobbery.. but guess when you deal in millions of dollars every day, it can’t help but creep in. LOVE me some NATHAN! agree… not showing him enough!

  8. I actually enjoy it quite a bit! The chacacters are a total hoot! Mary has grown on me, Martin I can take in small doses, Kathy is a riot and the two good looking guys are just fun to watch. Overall enjoying it.

  9. I am enjoying the show – it has grown on me. I think I like Mary the best design wise. I would love to hang out with Mary and Nathan at a cocktail party. I actually was at a cocktail party with them last year, but I had no idea who they were or that they were so hysterical. Damn! I think that Kathryn’s housekeeper is my favorite of all the characters!

  10. Was JUST talking with Tobi Fairley about this yesterday! She asked me what I thought… I do enjoy the show, but was curious how designers in the industry feel they are being portrayed. It’s very entertaining though, and I love getting a behind the scenes look at their businesses.

  11. I love this show! I wish it focused more on how they put the designs together and less on the personal dramas but that’s what makes it a guilty pleasure I guess! I would most want to chat with Nathan Turner. He is so cute and charming and I love his style.

    I so love seeing Kathryn Ireland interact with her French housekeeper too. They crack me up.

  12. I am loving the show. As with all reality TV, I do think the personalities are edited to be over the top. I wish they’d show more finished projects. I can’t say I’m all that impressed with some of the designs, but really it just makes the clients look crazy for spending so much money– seriously some of the end results look unoriginal and kind of budget. Mary is my hands down fave!

  13. I love the design aspect of the show, but the personalities are a little off-putting. It seems as if Bravo forgot that a majority of its audience consists of everyday people. It’s great that a show exposes us to some things that we aspire to have (as opposed to all the DIY on a budget design shows), but to constantly film the designers offending viewers with snide comments and, in some cases, just plain rudeness and bad manners ….well, that’s just a poor production choice of behalf of the network.

  14. I am liking all of the characters a lot more now. However……I will say that they all seem to be a bit to focused on the money part. It’s a little bit gross. “Oh Daaawling I am not gonna buy a million dollar table” OKL lady” Have you bought Million dollar tables?” MLB “Oh Yes Dawling In the past I have” UMMMMMM HELLO??? That’s not real and that’s probably not true either. I don’t doubt he has crazy budgets..but a million dollars for a table…yeah right! Also did you know that Mary’s last client “DRU” was an actress? Kinda a buzz kill but true:( I just blogged about my K Ire spotting yesterday!

  15. LOVE Mary McD!! But what I really love is that no matter how big you may get, you are still a service provider that has to answer to a client. Keeps them in check I think.

    This week’s episode was hilarious — Martyn was so clearly lost having to buy on budget.

    Kinda bored by JAM & Ross, but interesting that JAM is looking more and more like a diva!

  16. Initially I hated the diva-ness of it all, but now that I’ve seen Mary McDonald ignore the client to great results on at least three occasions, I realize that it’s arrogance for a reason and now I adore her. Also love Kathryn Ireland and sweet Nathan. Those other two diva-boys drive me a little mad with all that deliciousness and petulance. Classic reality tv, of course, but I’m not a fan of all of that.

  17. I love this show! Some of the designers may come off a bit pretentious, but hey it is reality tv. I adore all of the designers. I loved last weeks episode when Martyn went shopping with One Kings Lane, he seems like he would be fun to shop with 🙂

  18. This show is such a toss-up to me. I feel personally conflicted because I feel with blogging, and through many other mediums, we are moving forward with the concept that great design can be accessible to everyone. I used to hate to see the same top 10 designers in every magazine, show, etc because it didn’t say to the majority of people that they too, could have great design. I feel like this show is a set back in that light.

    As someone in this industry, I love to watch it, the entertainment value is certainly high. I would love to see more of Nathan, and Ross and less of Martyn – he actually makes me feel as if a slime comes over my body when he opens his mouth.

    Otherwise, its fun to see these designers at work.

  19. I’ve been warming up to everyone as the season progresses. Nathan Turner, Kathryn Ireland & Ross come off as pretty down to Earth people who happen to work with celebrities, those with lots of money, etc. The others are all snobs, which makes it fun to watch and sort of laugh at them for being so out of touch.

    In terms of design, I’d have to go with Mary McDonald. I don’t like everything that she does, but her overall design aesthetic is closest to my own.

  20. I flove this show. All the designers are interesting characters. I think I prefer JAM designs because they are so understated. Mary and Martyn (esp) seem more glam and Kathryn’s so English/English–you can see how she designs with fabric–it’s her eye. Nathan seems like a bit of a nonentity–rather see more of Peter, actually.

    Now, why do I watch? Ross!! He’s compelling to watch. (wish we could see more of Nancy as well)

  21. Lauren, in North Carolina.

    I’m with Katie. But I’ll take it a bit further… & compare Mary Mcdonald to John Edwards. Someone I loved & adored for a long time from afar…yet once I “got to know them” found out, they pretty much suck as human beings. Yes, yes, she has good taste. But with that attitude, I wouldn’t let her near my home with a ten foot pole. Her energy gives me the creeps & I’m now seeing rooms that I once adored, in a different light. They seem cold & to use one of her favorite terms, “cookie cutter”. Seriously, I now find her style far from spectacular. Want to achieve MM’s look? Here’s what you do: Stick to THREE colors, paint some floors, choose luxurious furniture, sprinkle in a few sterling silver picture frames/accessories & Voila`!
    PS: I really do hope it’s all an act.

  22. I agree with the above poster who described the show as a “toss up.”

    I like the seeing creative process of the designers and I love Mary McDonald’s style, and like watching what can be done with a big budget.

    However, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Jeffrey Alan Marks are too precious and have a west side affectation which is very off putting. Sometimes MLB says things that sound like something Derek Zoolander would say.

  23. Anon 9:47, as someone who has only ever been to LA a few times on business, I’m curious as to what you mean by “westside affectation”. Are people on that side of town known for being a certain way? Do tell!

  24. i LOVE them all!!!! i would def. want kathryn & mary to decorate my house! & i would chat with them all over cocktails!! especially ross…. i adore ross!!!!! 🙂

  25. I love the show and look forward to it each week. I would love to have Jeffrey or Kathryn design for me. I love watching the others, but my style is less glamorous and more casual.

  26. Westside affectation @ Paloma:

    This is a just a broad generalization. Coming from someone who has lived in Southern California (not LA) all her life.

    I’ve encountered people in LA who have this affected way of speaking. It almost sounds like an accent, mixed with droll, idle richness. I noticed it years ago and wondered, “Why is this person speaking this way? They’re from California.” It was puzzling.

    Then a friend pointed out that it was just a rich West Side affectation.

    I feel bad saying that. But when Jeffrey Alan Marks and Martyn Lawrence Bullard (who clearly has an accent, duh! but mixed with that privileged affectation) speak, it’s so off-putting.

    Hope this helps.

    I wonder if you’ll ever hear or see it in action?!

  27. It is refreshing to finally have a TV show about high-end design, and the drama is certainly entertaining, some familiar when working in design, some a bit over the top.

    I LOVE Kathryn Ireland!

    Each episode has had some good lessons too.

    1. You can’t do fast and fabulous on a tight budget.
    2. Let the designer manage the project and do what they do best, and you will get better results.
    3. Trust your designer and don’t complain about how it looks until it is all completed.
    4. Don’t buy everything you can afford and expect it to work together.
    5. The contractor needs to communicate with the designer before complaining to the client.
    6. Don’t have unrealistic expectations of how long something takes or how simply construction should be.
    7. Train the housekeeper well to keep your interior pristine.
    8. A good designer understands his/her client’s needs and wants.



  28. It’s my latest fave show! It’s glamorous and I love looking at all the gorgeous homes & rooms & occasional fights! I think Ross, though extremely good looking, is a proper jerk. I get style inspiration from it, I love Kathryn & Mary’s decor style and also want to replicate a fashion look from Jeffrey.

  29. I’ve just started in this industry and most of the cast make me cringe. Yes, you might be a successfull designer, but never forget you work in a service industry. A healthy dose of courtesy and respect for the people hiring you to spend their money wouldn’t go astray. And celebrity arse shmoozing doesn’t count as respect. On another note, just because you can spend a million dollars, doesn’t mean you need to. Money buys neither taste or class, something these over-inflated egos have forgotten. I would never hire any of these people, no matter how rich I was.