Inexpensive Table Solution via Nathan Turner + MDD

The space shown below has been a longtime favorite of mine. It was published in the 2009 December/January issue of Domino magazine (and yes, I still have the issue). The photo is of Nathan Turner's dining room. There are many things that I love about it (like the beautifully layered bookshelves) but the element that I love most is the custom tablecloth. Constructed with fine-wale corduroy fabric and trimmed with a thick black canvas border, it's simple yet sophisticated and alongside the coordinating ivory/black upholstered chair seats, it really makes the room look chic instead of disheveled.

Photo published in 2009 December/January issue of Domino magazine via Nathan Turner, photograph by Miguel Flores-Vianna
The table looks pretty swanky, right? Well, the amazing thing is that the table itself is actually particleboard! If you're wanting to recreate the look without spending much money, you can get the same kind of table as Nathan did and just use an off-the-shelf tablecloth instead of a pricy custom one.

Heavy-duty particleboard tables are used by restaurants, caterers, etc. so it's easy to find gently used ones on Ebay or Craigslist. Of course, there are plenty of online retailers that sell them new too. As for the tablecloth, I suggest adding some thick rayon Petersham grosgrain trim to an off-the-shelf tablecloth to give it a custom look. You can either take it to a seamstress or DIY with an iron-on adhesive like HeatnBond. Also, don't forget to have a glass top cut for the table like Nathan did...it's not expensive and it'll keep your tablecloth from getting dirty and stained. Anyhow, thanks to Domino and Nathan for the inspiration!

Speaking of Nathan Turner... have you been watching Million Dollar Decorators? Along with Jacqueline (Kathryn Ireland's housekeeper) and Mary McDonald, he's one of my favorites (partially because of how lovingly he treats his ADORABLE labs Nacho and Daisy). You can read his posts here on the Bravo blog. If you haven't watched yet, try to catch up on the reruns because it's quite interesting!

Here is Nathan with Daisy...I'm obsessed with this dog. In one of the episodes she cuddles up on a John Robshaw dog bed at Peter Dunham's fab LA shop Hollywood at Home and it completely melted my heart.
Image via katiedid 
Here's Mary McDonald pondering about taking on a potentially disastrous client. During this scene I couldn't take my eyes off of that malachite ring - LOVE it. MM has such fabulous taste...
Mary McDonald via Bravo.com
 A guest house that Mary put together on the show...
Design by Mary McDonald via Bravo.com
 And because it's Friday and I love MM's work, here are a few of her greatest hits from the past few years...
Design by Mary McDonald,  photograph by Miguel Flores-Vianna
Design by Mary McDonald, published in October/November 2008 issue of Western Interiors, photos by Karyn R. Millet

Design by Mary McDonald, published in October/November 2008 issue of Western Interiors, photos by Karyn R. Millet
Don't forget that MM has an amazing book, Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style, that is chock full of many many more inspiring photos of her work. I have a signed copy and it's definitely one of my all-time favorite design books.

If you have been watching Million Dollar Decorators, tell me what you think of it! Who are your favorite characters? Who has the best design aesthetic?

Have a great weekend!


  1. I love that image from Domino. So beautiful :) Million Dollar Decorators is my favorite show on tv right now. All of the designers are fabulous :)


  2. Love the show!! First time I watched I did not think it was for me....then I started watching the 2nd show and now I am hooked!! I thought it was hilarious when Jeffery Alan Marks said his job "was more important than the Presidents"!!! His partner though....he is a little OBNOXIOUS!! Love Mary McDonald-she is pretty funny.

  3. Jeffrey Alan Marks and his partner are very dramatic about everything...it cracks me up!

  4. I loved that malachite ring too AND MDD!!!

  5. She is a favorite of mine - wishing we had the show in Australia!

  6. That is such a great idea for an inexpensive table! Love all of those images ~ thanks for sharing! :)

  7. I love Nathan, too, and his shop is fabulous! I only wish he'd get a little more face time!