“Don’t be afraid to mix different periods and styles. Sometimes the most interesting rooms come from strange juxtapositions.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Debra McQuin founded the McQuin Partnership design agency after a career as a high-level advertising executive working with the likes of Kraft, Mars and Gillette. Her skill for crafting a story within a space is evident in the rich, characterful schemes that she creates.
The McQuin Partnership has worked on projects across the UK, the US and France. Each project has a unique style, showing Debra’s commitment to reflecting the likes and dislikes of her clients, rather than her own.
We chat to Debra about her use of the mid century classic Paol Cadovious’ Royal System shelving, her three favourite belonging and how a perfect Sunday looks to her…
Is there a signature McQuin Partnership look? If so, how would you describe it?
We don’t have a signature look as all of our clients have different likes and dislikes and we believe their homes should be a reflection of them, not us.
In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you?
I’m a big lover of classic mid century pieces, but believe they need to be used sparingly.
One design that I have in my own home and have recently used for clients is Paol Cadovious’ Royal System shelving. It’s functional, flexible and incredibly beautiful.
What would be your top interior design tip for our readers?
Don’t be afraid to mix different periods and styles. Sometimes the most interesting rooms come from strange juxtapositions.
What does home mean to you?
A place that’s equally comfortable when you’re alone or when it’s filled with friends.
What are your three most treasured pieces?
A Cherner Chair that my grandfather used at his desk; a pair of 1950s Lalique milk glass lamps that I’ve updated with contemporary drum shades; a large Art Deco mirror that I found in pieces in a Budapest junk shop – now restored, it’s a real beauty.
A perfect Sunday is…
Walking my dogs in Kensington Gardens or Richmond Park; brunch at Raoul’s; an afternoon nap!
If you could choose one piece from Layer, what would it be and where would it live?
I covet the Kai Christensen dining chairs. I’ve bought them before for clients, but would absolutely love a set for myself. (For the dining room, of course.)
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