A thriving partnership as interior designers was not exactly what friends Chessy Rayner and Mica Ertegun had in mind 25 years ago when a friend asked for help in decorating her apartment. But that is indeed the genesis of MAC II, the New York based firm that has designed residences worldwide for members of the social set to which the principals belong. But Ms. Rayner and Ms. Ertegun do not limit their work to the residential category; a healthy listing of banks, shops, model apartments and offices rounds out the professional resume. Clients include the Trade Development Bank in Geneva, Banco Safra in both Brazil and Luxembourg, The Republic National Bank, Astoria Studios, Warner Communications and New York's renowned Carlyle Hotel. The MAC II principals are open to any challenge. Ms. Rayner, acting as spokesman, says it best with her terse statement: "If you want to hire us, we're willing."
MAC II has consistently favored a particular aesthetic whose interpretations have served the designers well. To paraphrase Ms. Rayner's description, the MAC II approach centers on simple fabrics, big, gutsy furniture plus a few good pieces. "We like to mix things up," she says. "Our rooms don't have a period look, and not everything has to be a million bucks." What the rooms typically do portray, she continues, "is a simpler, cooler way of looking. They're not too frilly or busy." While in no way embracing a minimalist credo, Ms. Rayner and Ms. Ertegun do value careful editing. "The less you have, the better good things look."