Pop Art and Ping Pong

By Saralyn Lyons


Margo Downing didn’t let a complication like the recession get her down. “It was a good thing,” says the interior designer. “I had to be more creative and [take] more chances.” That included reaching out to local craftsmen for original pieces. When designing this dramatic, Pop Art living room for Bolton Hill homeowner Erik Jones, Downing commissioned screen print artist Matt Muirhead to create a mural featuring Baltimore icons and other images inspired by the client. (Yes, that’s RuPaul!) And if you look hard enough, you might spot a tribute to his dearly departed dog Sjeng. Downing calls the process of commissioning art “like watching a bird take flight.”
“Erik wanted a place to chill and play ping pong, and he loved blue lighting,” Downing says. What emerged was a serene room with amazing architectural bones that she swathed in gray tones from Benjamin Moore. Plexiglas panels glow like a nightclub and custom blood-red tiles on the fireplace come to life. Upcycled furniture from artisans Matt Fouse and Rustbelt Rebirth add to the downtown industrial vibe. And oh God, that mural: “A cacophony of color,” Downing calls it.
The personality of the space captures the imagination. And personality, Downing says, is like the little black dress of interior design: every well-dressed home should have it. —Saralyn Lyons


Interior Design:
Margo Downing Interiors

Matt Muirhead

Custom Coffee Table:
Matt Fouse

Custom Console and Bar:
Doug Meyer

Rustbelt Rebirth

Wall Sconces:
Housewerks Salvage

IGNIS Ethanol Fireplace:

Chesapeake Tile & Marble

Su Casa Furniture


  1. Looks amazing, well done Zmargo

  2. Congratulations to you Margo! And how fabulous that Baltimore Style, a wonderful magazine, has recognized your talent. You know how to bring out your clients personality into their homes! No smalle feat with such diverse personalities you work with!

    • OMG Margo what an incredible/fabulously fantastic space!!!
      Congratulations!!You are so wonderfully talented:)
      I’m proud to be your neighbor!!

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