Robert Allen Designer Spotlight – William MacDonald of WillMac Design
As an accomplished designer, William has over 15 years of experience designing private residential interiors, garnering him an abundance of practical know how. He brings innovative ideas to each custom project and his vast knowledge includes furniture design, styling, lecturing, writing, and art directing. His firm focuses on small as well as large scale bespoke design projects from concept to completion.
William has been published in and contributed to many respected national publications such as, Canadian House and Home, Style at Home and The Globe and Mail, as well as Homefront Magazine. His work has also appeared on many national design television programs. Currently, he is a monthly columnist for the Toronto Sun newspaper and his work is seen in various Canadian design and lifestyle publications.
As an enthusiastic traveler, William makes frequent trips to the world’s design hot spots. Highly influenced by his overseas travels, his design work can best be characterized as an amalgam of contemporary new world chic and traditional European styles. His company, WillMac Design, continues to grow working with clients in Canada and throughout the US.
1. What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I’m a very “in-doorsy” person by nature. From a very early age I was more interested in my interior surroundings. When all my friends were outside playing I was using cardboard boxes, kleenex and matchboxes, designing rooms and furniture.
2. Describe your design aesthetic in 10 words or less.
Understated, relaxed elegance with a nod toward classic design.
3. What movie has given you the greatest interior inspiration?
There are two films. Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell and Indiscreet with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. The sets are cool, glamourous and ultra-sophisticated, but at the same time oddly relaxed and easy.
4. What is your go-to fabric from either Robert Allen or Beacon Hill? How have you used it in your projects?
Glazed Linen from Robert Allen is amazing! I’ve used it on dining chairs, benches and have made a lot of piping for sofa’s and headboards. From Beacon Hill I love Crown Scroll. I recently used it in a dining room. Hung at the windows and on the backs of chairs. It is truly relaxed glamour.
5. What attracts you to different colors/textures in fabrics?
I look to history quite a bit. I have a degree in art history, so I’m always been drawn to fabrics that reflect a fresh view on classic style.
6. What is your philosophy on incorporating vibrant colors in neutral interiors?
Proceed with caution. It’s about balance and good taste, so really think about it and if you feel it’s too much, it probably is.
7. What is your favorite project that you have done with Robert Allen / Beacon Hill and why?
Can you provide examples of this project? It’s a project we call The King City Estate. It is a large home to a growing family a little north of Toronto. My clients are amazing and had a real sense of what they wanted. The results are incredibly beautiful and suit the style and needs of the whole family.
8. You are based in Toronto, how does the Canadian lifestyle influence your fabric selections for projects?
Toronto is very big and multicultural city with many international influences. It’s a more European type city than some other Canadian or American cities. So my fabric selections are usually based on client’s needs and desires and influences from around the world. We’re very lucky here!
9. What fabric trends are you looking forward to in 2016?
Metallics, romantic boho styles and great solid silks and linens in strong jewel tones.
10. What are some of your favorite travel destinations for inspiration?
Palm Beach for luxe, elegance and color. Montauk for casual, surfer simplicity. London for traditional, tailored coziness. And my weekend place. It has ever-changing scenery with a lake on one side and forests on the other.