Australian Homes

Mary McMahon

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th August 2010

The eclectic Mckinnon home of Mary McMahon
Colour and texture in the entrance hall
Kimonos and fabrics purchased from Mary’s time living in Japan
Jewellery makes a vibrant display in the bedroom
More exquisite textiles in the bedroom… love the deep red against those vibrant teal walls!  Brave!

The most stylish girl I know is a very dear friend, known in my family as ‘Beautiful Nina’.  Nina’s style is always brave and eclectic – yet consistently faultless.  Seriously.  Like she can put some weird brown stripey skirt with a fluro pink top and it’s like, GOLD.  She’s a fashion buyer, you see.  She has the BEST wardrobe known to man… full of bright colour and bold patterns and textures.  Aggh.  It’s amazing. One day I will photograph it for you. ANYWAY.  This isn’t Nina’s house – it’s her Mum’s!

Nina and I spent many afternoons in our early twenties sitting at her Mum’s kitchen table in this very house, dreaming up creative projects, sewing and printing T-shirts for our fledgling T-shirt label (hey, didn’t everyone have one?).  Every time I visited, I was always amazed by Nina’s Mum’s incredible house!  It’s like a museum!

Mary McMahon’s home is filled to the brim with beautiful textiles, ceramics, artworks and collected ephemera.  Many of the Japanese textiles she proudly displays are remnants from a time years ago when the McMahon family lived in Japan.  Mary is an artist and ex-art teacher, and is always full of wide-eyed enthusiasm for recent discoveries… every time I see her she’s rattling off the names of new artists or designers she has just uncovered – names I usually haven’t even heard of yet!

I love Mary’s brave use of colour in this home!  Did you notice every room is painted a different colour!? Mary’s the kind of lady who just decides on a whim to repaint her whole kitchen one weekend and goes out and does it.  Without even asking anyone.  Love that!

ALSO you will notice towards the end of this post some shots of Mary’s current creative passion – her incredible mosaic creations, which seem to pop up in her garden quite regularly and in very random places like magical little toadstools!  They are just so unique, so brilliantly wacky… I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like them!

Mary was SO excited to share her house with all the trendsters who read The Design Files!  I hope you like it! :)

China plates displayed on the wall in the TV room
Kitchen dresser, colourful collections!
Kitchen – handmade mosaic above the cooktop
Another different coloured wall in the kitchen!  And flying ducks above the door! Awesome.

Mary’s gorgeous garden!
Lush plants in the garden
Mary’s ‘ladies’ at the bottom of the garden!  How bonkers brilliant are they?!
More mosaic genius from Mary McMahon!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th August 2010


  • The Art Cupboard 6 years ago

    can i live here? its so wonderful!

  • charmaine 6 years ago

    It looks wonderful. Her house expresses who she is.

  • handmaderomance 6 years ago

    oh my this is a home i would happily melt away in to soak up every detail. i couldnt help but think of frida kahlo while looking through these pics. and those beautiful mosaic sculptures of mary’s at the end are divine. do the very last ones hold plants as well? i love their lips, eye lashes and ear ring – so many details to look at!!! thanks lucy – another gem xx

  • Lucy 6 years ago

    YES evie they hold plants! Brilliant aren’t they! :)

    Also YES you are totally on the money with the Frida Khalo call! I should have made that connection in my intro!

    HEY on another note… I met your lovely boss-lady yesterday at LiS!! Soooo great to meet her! And I saw your new packaging designs for Christmas… STUNNING! Ms Bloom was singing your praises big time :) Nice work!!! xxx

  • Amelia 6 years ago

    Can’t find anything here I don’t love. OK, so the dusting might be hard work. But probably worth it….

  • Sal 6 years ago

    I can imagine it smells like spices and always has a delish meal bubbling away in the oven or dancing on the stove, jazz playing on a Saturday morning, red wine sipped by the fire of an eve. Afternoon tea in the garden and sweet dreams every night!

  • Skye Jefferys 6 years ago

    Oooohhhh… so beautifully captured Lucy! I didn’t notice all those gorgeous details at Nina’s amazing wedding. Its no wonder she has such amazing style, with a talented mum like Mary! x

  • Courtney 6 years ago

    Oh, the color, the texture! What a perfectly lovely home. Very dreamy – I can see why you were inspired to be creative here.

  • RayG 6 years ago

    LOVE The mosaics. I want some!

  • faith 6 years ago

    What gorgeous colours and textures. makes a warm inviting home!

  • Gabriela 6 years ago

    lovely home!

  • lulu 6 years ago

    It’s just beautiful! Everything in it looks loved and thoughtfully chosen. The colours are delicious!

  • Marissa 6 years ago

    wow, the garden ladies are so wonderful and slightly creepy. love them.

  • Jenny Butler 6 years ago

    I love homes likes these- every single thing is chosen out of love which is why it works. Mary’s ladies are incredible!!!

  • Jessamy 6 years ago

    A beautiful and livable home. Bliss.

  • Stitchybritt 6 years ago

    I really like this one. A lot of the homes you feature have that designy minimalist feel, and although they are great, this one’s got real personality and culture to it.

  • Mary Hanrahan 6 years ago

    Whilst viewing Mary~s fabulous array of decorative art, I commented to John (her husband), I
    would never be able to dust everything, too much like hard work. His comment who worried about that?
    Great house to be in, great company and food to boot. Love it.

  • Nancy 6 years ago

    My, what a divine home! I love Mary’s eclectic style, and all those rich reds and chocolate browns. The way she combines bold colors and intricate patterns – smashing! And that china plate wall, well it’s just AMAZING!

  • evi ferrier 6 years ago

    Thanks Mary, so exciting to see a soul mate. would love to exchange pics of my home with you – I am sure you will feel totally at home in my playpen.
    I’m in Mosman Park Western Australia.

    We obviously follow the same principals in decorating, ie “Too much is not enough”

    thanks again for most inspirational pictures.

  • nikki 6 years ago

    just wondering any of those gorgeous mosaics are for sale, I would love to possibly buy one???

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