online interior design Marks and Frantz Sutton Place dining room

Start Small, Think Big: Interior Design Process

Ready to reimagine your home but not ready to commit to a full-scale redesign? 

Having a hard time finding an interior designer with the experience and expertise that you’re impressed by? Or maybe you would love to work with us but don’t live in the New York area?  

It’s time for a no-cost online interior design consultation. Click here to contact us.

Whether you want to redecorate one room or renovate your entire home, we decorate and design spaces that feel personal, comfortable, and beautiful.

online interior design consultation by Marks and Frantz

Combining modern traditional design with Hollywood regency, our award-winning interior design firm has been featured in publications such as Elle Décor and Architectural Digest. You might have also seen our trend-setting and iconic set decoration for the movies Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. Learn more about principals Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz here.

No-cost online interior design consultation

Marks and Frantz collaborates with clients around the world. We approach each project with the same attention to detail and excellence wherever it takes us.

We will never charge a consultation fee to discuss a new project. Every interior design project is as different as every client. Beautiful things happen when the designer and their clients are in sync.

For a consultation, we spend an hour together on the phone or in person. We will ask you a lot of questions. What is your favorite color? Do you like pattern? What are your children’s hobbies? What do you collect? Do you entertain? Do you have some pieces of furniture or accessories that you want to keep and repurpose in your new design?

From powder room to entire home redesigns, we can help.

Some of our interior design clients started came to us with one or two tricky spaces that needed some clever interior design and those projects often evolved into entire home redesigns. Many clients want to decorate their entire home but would also like to keep and repurpose certain pieces of furniture or accessories. Some of our clients want us to coordinate their architects, builders, and contractors for them, as well as design and decorate. We pride ourselves on our flexibility with the design process!

online interior design Marks and Frantz Sutton Place dining room

The Nitty-Gritty

We discuss time frame, budget and your priorities and figure out a billing structure that works best for you. We typically charge a design fee to begin a project (see below), purchase goods at NET cost (about 40% off retail), and then add a 35% markup to goods and services. This structure works well for the client who does not want to think about time and hourly billing. It is also cost effective for the client because all pricing is kept below retail. Architectural services provided by M&F (for renovation and new construction) are billed at 20% of construction costs. We also can work on an hourly for those clients who prefer to work that way. Different structures work for different people and projects. See below for sample interior design fees by room.

What is the cost? 

Here are sample design fees by room:

Childrens’ Rooms: $2500-$4500
Family Room: $3500-$6500
Formal Living Room: $4500-$7500
Foyer: $2000-$3000
Kitchen: $6000-$7500
Master Suite: $4500-$7500
Office: $2500-$4500
Powder Room: $1500-2500

The Franklin Report is a great resource for standard industry pricing and what to expect, click here for more info!

The Design Process (The Fun Part):

We start to create your project’s design schematics, mood boards, floor plans, elevations, and color palettes: everything you could possibly need to visualize what your interiors can become. Many visual examples can be found on our works in process page.

online interior design consultation by Marks and Frantz

Construction Documents

When we coordinate and manage general contractors and tradespersons (wallpaper hangers, painters, faux finishers, general contractors, stone masons, etc.), we are obsessive with the details, everything is put in writing (we call these work orders!) so that no stone is left unturned. We work with architects, expeditors, co-op boards…whomever needs that perfect paperwork to proceed. Nailing all these details down upfront insures a smooth and mistake-free design process.

Final Design Steps!

Once we reach the final design phase; we have combed thru every detail more than once, revised, finessed, customized, detailed some more and only then do we come to a place of mutual design bliss.

Expediting the design.

Expediting comes next, also known as ordering, purchasing, shipping, receiving and inspecting! This is all going on in the Marks & Frantz back office – mostly handled by our genius studio manager, Lidia Ferreira and our talented junior designer, Rebecca Kubick with Lisa and Lydia obsessively checking all the paperwork for your project – and believe us, there are mountains of it!

Project Management – the Lisa & Lydia show!

During this phase, we are on site, working with contractors and tradespeople to bring the design to life. We involve our clients as much or as little during this process as they like. Regardless of your involvement in the management, we keep you up to date with photos, progress reports and immediate notification of any changes as they arise. We work to keep the process calm and organized as it unfolds. We shoulder the stress of construction so that you don’t have to.

The Big Reveal…

This is our favorite part! We spend a few days or a few weeks loading all rugs, furniture, custom millwork, window treatments, lighting fixtures into the house and install with a team of magicians. By this point, all items have been inspected by a receiving warehouse for damages and defects, so everything that arrives to the big reveal should be perfect and ready to go.

One of our favorite reveals was documented in this video by Open House on NBC.

Contact Us

Have an upcoming design project that you’ve been thinking of and don’t know where to start? 

Click here to arrange a no-cost consultation. We’re looking forward to the conversation.

Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz





Dining Room Design featured in Vogue

Marks & Frantz Dining Room Design for Sex and The City 2 featured in Vogue

Thank you Vogue for featuring one of our interior design projects! This Sex and the City 2 dining room design was exquisitely executed by our very own set decorator Lydia Marks. The project was just the beginning of Marks & Frantz Interior Design.


Dining Room Design featured in Vogue


The article, written by  gives some creative and insightful tips to refresh and invigorate your dining room design in 7 easy ways including:

1. Update your tablescape

2. Add a statement piece

3. Use the ceiling as your fifth wall

4. Make the most of your bar cart

5. Set the mood

6. Bring in a mirror

7. Dress up the floor

The dining room Lydia designed for Sex and The City 2 most certainly integrated some of these bullet points that Samantha mentions in the Vogue article. Probably the most prominent one is “setting the mood”. Carrie Bradshaw is a fun, smart, cultured, well-read, sophisticated and social woman. It was important that her apartment reflect who she was and her lifestyle. To set the mood, we utilized books, art, and a colorful palette for home accessories. The result was simple and chic with a touch of hollywood glamour.


Not too long ago, a young, stylish couple was so inspired by the film and our design in the movie, they hired us to bring the glamour of Carrie’s New York City apartment to their home in Greenwich, Connecticut. Below is a video (filmed by OpenHouseTV) featuring the final design…

Read the Vogue article 7 Easy Ways to Update Your Dining Room.

Want to learn more about our designs? Click here to view our portfolio.

Have an upcoming design project that you’re ready to execute? Contact us.

Follow our Instagram page to learn about our latest designs and events.


Everything Old is New Again

Yesterday, I installed a chair for a dear client.  It was a chair that had sentimental value to him and he wanted it recovered in a fabric that had some meaning as well.  This client is a huge fan of Art Deco and has a lot of art deco patterns and furniture pieces in his home.

The fabric that fit the bill was Schumacher’s gorgeous reproduction of Less Gazelles au Bois in black. Originally designed by Pierre Pozier in 1927, this iconic print of the leaping gazelles ended up decorating the ballroom of the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1931, when it moved to Park Avenue. Quite an honor for a brave new design! Very surprisingly, I could not find a great image of the fabric in the ballroom – so here is a picture of Marlene Dietrich at the April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf!

art deco Marlene Dietrich April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf

After we installed the chair into my client’s home, I started thinking more about this time in NYC, this fabric and the exquisite pattern/metallic colors. The hotel itself was heralded by President Hoover “The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality…marks the measure of nation’s growth in power, in comfort and in artistry…an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation…”  The suites were named after their most interesting guests: The Cole Porter Suite, The Royal Suite named for the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor, The MacArthur Suite and the Churchill Suite.

There is so much amazing history there – probably deserves it’s own blog post at some point.  But, for now, we can feast our eyes on some of the great new ways this pattern is being used in 2015! Lisa Perry’s gown at Barney’s

art deco inspired fashion design


Dempsey and Carroll’s stationary is so beautiful.  I would love this for my birthday… tomorrow… hint hint hint…. schumacher-gazelle art deco inspired stationary



DIFFA’s Dining by Design: Hollywood’s Golden Age

When the New York Design Center (200 Lex) asked us to partner with them to create a dining environment for the 2015 DIFFA’s Dining by Design event, we were thrilled. It has always been a favorite event in the design industry, and 200 Lex has long been a generous supporter of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). We were excited to take part. Inspired by the black-and-white and gilded all-over aura of the golden age of Hollywood, we fashioned a glamorous dining pavilion.

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired design for DIFFA

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired design for DIFFA with Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz

Furnished entirely by the high-end showrooms in 200 Lex, we gathered items to create a sophisticated and pattern-rich tableau, to set a scene where dinner was to be held on-stage in a gleaming “dining room.” Our table-scape featured fretwork mirrors, deco-inspired wall sconces and a chandelier. A featured hue was emerald, with silk by Kravet upholstering 18 Celerie Kemble for Henredon dining chairs. Beyond the “stage,” an audience from a vintage black and white image looked on from orchestra, mezzanine and balcony.

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired table setting

We thought it would add touch of fun if the viewpoint of this dining environment was from the backstage, framed by the backs of scenery flats, a makeup table and an “On-air” sign.

Golden age of Hollywood inspired design at DIFFA

The New York chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) named our golden age of Hollywood inspired table Best in Show, and the design press and bloggers were very generous in their coverage, but we must confess, this was our favorite, New York legend Bill Cunningham putting us in the Style section:

Marks & Frantz_DIFFA_NYT

As always, we’re so grateful to the design companies and artisans who loaned, donated and gave their time and effort to help us create this.

Furnishings donated by:

Cassandra Occasional Chairs by Celerie Kemble for Henredon

Mark Double Pedestal Table by Kindel

Hanley Large Chandelier by Arteriors

Lulu Floor Lamps by Amanda Nisbet for Niermann Weeks

Baron Wall Sconces by Currey & Co.

Metro Wall Sconces by Currey & Co.

Cicero Obelisks by Currey & Co.

Corrugated Bamboo Cachepots by Global Views

Aqua Peacocks by Global Views

Minstrel Gold Dinnerware by Lenox through Richard Cohen Collection

Tabletop by annieglass through Richard Cohen Collection

Flatware by Nambe through Richard Cohen Collection

Glassware by Michael Wainwright through Richard Cohen Collection

Votives by Orrefors Kosta Boda through Richard Cohen Collection

Chair Fabric Bengal Silk Emerald by Kravet

Table Runner fabric DVF Mini Deck by Kravet

Drapery Fabric 33119.8 by Kravet

Wallpaper GP&J Baker Fretwork Foil Black and Gold by Lee Jofa

Floor Covering Labyrinth Black and Beige by Cole & Son for Kravet

Black Tassels by Kravet

Participating Artisans:

Structure fabricated by DCM Fabrication

Floral by Aisling Flowers/Tess Casey

Backdrop by Drop Shop NYC

Upholstery and drapery by Marks & Tavano Workroom

Photos in this post courtesy of The New York Design Center: Darren Ornitz

Devil Wears Prada Interior Design

Behind the scenes: The Devil Wears Prada

Miranda Priestly’s Office in The Devil Wears Prada. As far as film sets go, those words can usually conjure a pretty clear picture of what that room looks like. Most of us know the iconic film still taken on the set: the powerful superiority of the beautiful, composed, and successful boss peering down at her anxious, cute, and uneasy employee. The Devil Wears Prada office itself seems very hard lined and sleek in this image.

DWP film still

But what is captured in this still is not the whole picture. When I decorated the film set on The Devil Wears Prada it was very important to us that it feel layered and interesting.  The hard edged metal “desk”, really a dining table from Kartell, was given a layer of depth and warmth with a piece of amber glass on top of it. This addition of glass gave a warm but sleek shine that the metal alone did not achieve. The console table to the left of the desk is a fabulous vintage table by Mastercraft, textured brass and burled wood combine to create a rich warmth that helps bring some visual tension into the set – a push/pull of metals and materials.

Devil Wears Prada design by Lydia Marks

Miranda was a very well traveled and artistic character who had a taste for the finest things — and a mission to make the world desire them. I felt that in order to inspire on that level, Miranda needed to have her own eclecticism. Without that, her office would be rote. Adhering to every rule is not what makes a Miranda Priestly.

Devil Wears Prada design by Lydia Marks

One of the pieces I love in this office is the little french deco table that sits in back of her desk. Its curvy delicate quality in combination with B&B Italia chairs (upholstered in an unexpected green) nicely illustrate that design intention.

The-Devil-Wears-Prada-design by Lydia Marks

I think my favorite piece from the set though is the mirror over Miranda’s desk. We knew we wanted a mirror there – and we combed NYC and 1st Dibs to find the perfect one. We did hours of searching, show-and-tells with actors and directors, nothing felt right. One Saturday morning I found it, the perfect mirror, in a junk shop in upstate NY for $40.00.  With the help of my Scenic Department, we painted it, leafed it, stripped it, and painted it again, until we got it exactly right. We hung it up before call and everyone came in to start the first day of shooting on the set. No one asked to see another option! We had found the perfect final piece of the set.

Because we decorated a room for the Dering Hall‘s virtual show house, with all of the items selected from the New York Design Center, I thought it might be a good time to go behind the scenes a bit!  Hope it was fun to read!  Enjoy the showhouse. 

Contact Us

Have an upcoming design project that you’ve been thinking of and don’t know where to start? Click here to arrange a complimentary consultation. We’re looking forward to the conversation.

Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz


Hotel Design: The patterns of Loews Chicago Hotel

I am often inspired by hotel design. Usually, it is the boutique hotels that take chances in their styles, colors, and originality. For obvious reasons, the smaller boutique hotels are able to do it and therefore can easily reflect the vibe of the place you are visiting. The larger hotels often seem to reflect only their own corporate branding. That’s why I was so surprised by the hotel design at the Loews Chicago Hotel.

hotel design

The elevator at the Lowes Chicago Hotel. Featuring a poem by Carl Sandburg.

hotel design

Patterned carpets with “urban” motifs.

hotel design

Printed wall coverings – glass towers refracting light.

hotel design

Hotel Design

Their brand new glass high-rise building in the Streeterville neighborhood was designed by Chicago architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz, developed by the DRW Trading Group of Chicago, and the interior design is by Simeone Deary Design Group. The hotel design is brave and bold and gives the guests of the hotel a strong sense of place. There are elements that reference the architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Louis Sullivan. There are patterns and textures that call to mind Chicago’s industry, railroads and even their literary past. The elevators are inscribed with Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago”. I love this idea – why not read some local poetry instead of staring off into the middle distance?

hotel design

Yes! Patterns on the ceiling!

hotel design

And in the metal work.

hotel design

Patterns on the mantel in the lobby.

hotel design

Neutral furniture on patterned carpet.

hotel design

Carpet with an “urban” motif.

hotel design

More metal patterns on the ceiling.

hotel design

And awesome metal patterns on the walls.




Passementerie: Not your grandma’s drapery tassels!

What is Passementerie?

According to Wikipedia:
Passementerie or passementarie is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings (in French, passements) of applied braid, gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings.

According to me:
It’s trims, braids, bullion fringe, beads, gimps, cords, moss fringe, beads and more. In addition, it’s the jewelry for the furniture, draperies and pillows. It’s the part of the design that takes the most thought and is the most complex to pull together. And, it’s our absolute favorite part of the project!

We especially love working with Houles, a family-run French company that makes the most exquisite trims and upholstery details. They also have a small selection of fabrics that you will soon see in one of our recently completed projects! While their traditional products are heavily detailed and historically accurate, their more contemporary lines are completely on point and on trend, with daring and unusual color combinations. It’s as if this company was made for Marks & Frantz! Through exposure to their various lines, we have learned to embrace this level of detail as never before. I’ve learned to think about the “jewelry” first, rather than last and I think this mindset has made me grow and expand as a designer.


Houles is collaborating with us for a dramatic and informative presentation for the upcoming D&D Building Spring Market.










Maison Jansen at Greenwich Living

Paris-based design firm Maison Jansen was one of the most influential design houses of the 20th century. The firm also designed Jansen furniture. Founded in 1880 and in business until 1989, this firm was truly the first international design firm, with clients all over the world and offices in New York, London, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Havana, Prague, Rome and Rio de Janeiro.

Jansen Furniture

In addition to fabulous interiors, the firm designed furniture that transcends all trends and time. It is really Regency at it’s best and is timeless in any interior. I honestly don’t think we have done a single home without at least one piece of Jansen furniture. Greenwich Living is largely responsible for our exposure to Maison Jansen. They have the most comprehensive collection and have become our go-to source for all things Jansen, totally worth the drive to Stamford!

They were generous to donate a lovely mirrored, chinoiserie console to Design on a Dime and this lovely piece will bring much sparkle to Carrie’s Dressing Room at Housing Work’s Design on a Dime on April 24-26. Free to the public on the 25th and 26th, but if you want to get the best pickings, buy a tix and come to the opening party on April 24! See you there!

Jansen furniture: Mirrored Chinoiserie Console

Mirrored Chinoiserie Console


Lulu Frost Jewelry by Lisa Salzer

As everyone knows, we are totally obsessed with fashion and it crosses over into our world of interior design every chance we get! We met Lisa Salzer and her jewelry line Lulu Frost during our work on Sex and the City and she has become a fave of Marks & Frantz. When we were published in Luxe Magazine and threw a big party for ourselves, she came along and had an amazing trunk show at our party. To be honest, cocktails and jewelry shopping go hand in hand and we wear Lisa’s statement pieces on a weekly basis!

Lulu Frost has generously agreed to donate several pieces of jewelry to fill Carrie Bradshaw’s jewelry box for our Design on a Dime vignette on April 24! Swing by and check out her jewelry at Housing Works’ Design on a Dime – a la Marks & Frantz!

Lulu Frost necklace by Lisa Salzer Lulu Frost earrings by Lisa Salzer Lulu Frost Bracelet by Lisa Salzer Lulu Frost Design by Lisa Salzer Lulu Frost design by Lisa Salzer


Osborne & Little trims and ruffles make me happy!

Today is cold cold cold and we are running around from meeting to meeting, but this little bit of inspiration from Osborne & Little popped up in my inbox and added a ray of sunshine to my day. Osborne & Little trims with ombre ruffles in turquoise and radiant orchid just make me happy, plain and simple! Enjoy!

Osborne and Little Trims and ruffles

Osborne & Little Ombre Ruffles & Trims

Osborne & Little trims turquoise, trim, chevron, ombre, ruffle

Osborne & Little trims Osborne & Little trims Osborne & Little trims


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