New Midlander turns knowledge of design into book subjects

by decwells
New Midlander turns knowledge of design into book subjects

If the number of furniture and craft stores and social media networks like Pinterest are any indication, home decorating has become the most popular pastime.

Over the past 49 years, Midland newcomer Patricia Hart McMillan has been at the forefront of several interior design trends in multiple roles in New York City. She has co-authored two dozen books on different aspects of the industry with her daughter, Katharine Kaye McMillan.

Pat has written a series of high-end (think penthouses and the Hollywood Hills) style books, landmark homes like the George W. Bush Childhood Home in Midland and three editions of “Home Decor for Dummies!” Evolved when they lived in Florida, she saw a book for dummies in Delray Beach. She contacted the publisher with a proposal and developed a text that combines theory (“Design 101” covering unbreakable rules) and practice. The first two editions have been translated into Russian and Chinese, she said.

Over the years, she has collaborated with Schiffer and other publishers, as well as top residential photographers, including Natalia King-Sun, who has photographed many featured homes in San Antonio.

One of her favorite themes is Christmas, and she has published eight coffee table books showcasing holiday decorations in historic homes, including the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, as well as the designer’s own Christmas decorations. Her subjects range from ‘high rises to high deserts’ and the ranch complex designed by Midland-based Rhotenberry Wellen Architects is featured in a book ‘The Contemporary Villa’, co-authored by her son-in-law.

Pat’s entry into the New York interior design scene came after the mother of four returned to school and earned a BA in English and a Certificate in Interiors from the School of Interior Design New York (SUNY) in 1973. She combines these talents as interior decorating editor for 1,001 Decorating Ideas, Christian Woman Magazine, and Home Mechanix, among others.

She also works in advertising and public relations, but her first love was publishing hardcover books on a wide range of topics, including design elements such as residential architecture, glass blocks, and even a book about dogs, “At Home with Dogs,” which is a Fundraiser for Ben San Antonio Relief. Most recently, she donated seven of her Christmas-themed coffee table books to an auction in support of Christian Anglican youth groups.

That’s great for someone who grew up on a farm in Missouri and went from “cotton fields to corner offices.” Along the way, Pat took root in Texas after a year at Abilene Christian University. Additionally, her husband, who is from Denison, worked at Two World Trade Center before retiring. After years in Florida, she, her husband and daughter Leigh ended up across the street in San Antonio. Ray’s new romance with the Midland native brought the four to his hometown last September.

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