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Mary McMahon


11th August, 2010
Lucy Feagins
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!

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email