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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor (1927-1986) was born Earnest Charles Taylor in Modesto, California. After his discharge from the U. S. Navy, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled in the Rudolf Schaeffer School of Design. Four years later, when Taylor was only 25, Schaeffer had set him up as a partner in a design business with Frances Mihailoff.

In 1956 Taylor started Michael Taylor Interiors, Inc. His reputation grew quickly and his clientele expanded from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Soon he was working abroad as well.

Taylor was one of the first designers to point out that there was no hard and fast rule against mixing styles and periods in a room. He insisted that as long as pieces didn't compete with each other but instead created a pleasing contrast, using them together was acceptable.

He was also known for his extensive use of plants and natural materials to bring the outside in and his use of white walls as a backdrop for other aspects of a room. His decorating maxims were "When in doubt, throw it out," as well as "When you take things out, you must increase the size of what's left." He also insisted that a room should never look perfectly finished.

Taylor has been repeatedly listed by Architectural Digest and other publications as one of the best interior designers of all time. In particular, he is credited with creating the "California Look" with his post-MCM designs.

From, and
(This is a piece like the one I posted about yesterday,
which has been restored with dark stain and cork front.)
Walnut and leather dining chairs
Cane front cabinet
Occasional table
Lounge chairs
Burl and walnut tabler
Mahogany chest
Bleached walnut bar
Dining table


  1. Man I love coming over here Dana...I learn something every day. Thanks for the input on my artwork. We only bought it because we liked it and because it's from the 60's. Hey did you guys sell that fabulicious blue sectional???

  2. @LeAnn: Thanks! I'm so glad you like what you read here.

    I bought my Van Hoople picture for the same reason. I knew it wasn't very valuable, but it was such a perfect example of mid-century over-the-sofa art that I had to have it. If we like our pictures, who cares what they're worth. Right?

    And, yes, we sold that sectional pretty quickly. The young woman who bought it posted a picture of it in her house on our Facebook page, if you want to see it one last time and say your goodbyes...LOL