Meet the Tastemakers: Mary Evelyn McKee – Pied-a-terre
Mary Evelyn McKee has design and artistry in her genes. Painting classes with her grandmother taught her how to really see, and her artist father spurred her talents. “He was so encouraging. I could put two dandelions in a bottle, and he would proclaim it gorgeous. And my mother, an accomplished pianist, taught us tempo and movement to Mozart and Bach,” she says. From her richly artistic upbringing, she studied art history, cusing on decorative arts and architecture at Hollins College.
Her approach is personal, pragmatic and artistic. “When a client is updating, I look for solutions that are timeless, elegant and comfortable. I try to create something fresh and forward-looking, and use personal collections that reflect the individual,” she says. Her style is elegant but not fussy and informed by history yet fresh and surprising. Formulaic design is not in her vocabulary. She seeks the singular piece that creates the frission necessary for dramatic but inviting rooms.
Mary Evelyn began her design enterprise in 1986. Its success led to opening her retail interiors shop offering her signature palette of sunny neutrals and her eye for great design.
Whether in New York, Paris or Birmingham, her interiors shop exhibits designs for a lofty Pied-a-terre with midcentury and contemporary decor. Antiques add frission and gravitas.
Mary Evelyn has been published in Coastal Living, Southern Accents, Elle Decor, Traditional Home and many local publications.