If you want to learn about the elements that make a home’s decor sing, ask a designer. This month, we sit down to talk with OKC expert Bebe MacKellar of Fanny Bolen Interiors about inspirations, go-to colors and a home’s most important piece of furniture.
What designer, artist, icon has inspired you the most in relation to your work and why? “My mom, Fanny Bolen, always made our home so lovely; she is my mentor, and her designs are always a source of inspiration. Growing up, Warren Ramsey was our interior decorator and he has greatly influenced my career. He loved Fortuny, and often trimmed out curtains, chairs and sofas with Fortuny tapes. He placed gorgeous artwork in his projects, which I find so appealing. His style was similar to the late designer Billy Baldwin. I constantly refer to him in my design process. Sister Parish is another inspiration – she added feminine and comfortable twists to interiors. Currently, I am loving the work of Todd Romano, Meg Braff, Ashley Whittaker and Miles Redd.”
If you could pick one time period to live in, in relation to design or lifestyle, what would it be? “Probably the 1980s. I love chintz and collecting, both of which were prevalent in that time period. Mario Buatta mastered the look. I was lucky to meet him several times, and once he visited mom’s design studio. He was a real hoot.”
What space in your home do you love? “I have a small morning room that is my refuge. Initially, I created it as a special spot for me – but where Mom is, so is everyone else. Now, we all enjoy it. I also love our outdoor room; it is the place where we gather with family and friends. I love to cook and entertain, and really enjoy using the space for that.”
What is a go-to paint color you find yourself drawn to currently or consistently? “Benjamin Moore White Dove is a go-to for mouldings, and I use Pale Smoke and Baby Fawn from Benjamin Moore a lot for walls.”
Is there an accent piece you are most interested in right now, or one that you find is crucial in getting right when you are finishing out a home? “My list of things a home needs is long. Topping it are special lamps and lampshades, great collections reflective of the homeowners’ tastes and original artwork and photographs.”
What do you think is the most important piece – or pieces – of furniture in the home? “There are certain elements all homes need – great and comfortable upholstery and well-made case goods top the list. I also love layered window treatments. Any Parsons-style piece can help set the tone in a room.”