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. 

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Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz

Sustainable Design in Tulum: Jungle Chic

I just got back from a quick trip to Tulum. This gorgeous little stretch of coastline on the Caribbean Sea is one of the my favorite places in the world. I have been visiting these beaches and staying in different cabanas there for the last 15 years or so. Tulum has been getting very popular – just two weeks ago the New York Times published an article about Tulum and how fashionable it has become. Along with the new popularity comes a lot of other things, some good and some not – more people, great restaurants, wifi at hotels, ATMs, a boutique.  But what has not changed much is Tulum’s eco-chic design aesthetic. Here are some fun examples of the creative ways that Tulum embraces sustainable design.

sustainable design Tulum Zahra tub

The bathtubs at Zahra are hollowed out tree trunks in Tulum


sustainable design lamps made from coconuts at Nueva Vida

lamps made from coconuts at Nueva Vida


sustainable design Seashell bath fixtures at Casa Violeta

sustainable design glass bottles Charlie's Restaurant

Walls made from glass bottles at the famous Charlie’s Restaurant


sustainable design translucent walls let the light shine through

translucent walls let the light shine through

sustainable design family photos into folk art


Friday Favorites: Tangerine Dream

The world is about to become a whole lot brighter! Tangerine Tango was officially launched as THE color of 2012. While this might be old news to the fashion industry, the rest of us are just starting to fully embrace this electric color. According to Pantone’s color expert, the color of the year is not about fashion trends, but an expression of a mood or an attitude. The color specialist explained that Tangerine Tango in particular is “hopeful and optimistic,” marrying the “vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow,” while maintaining a quality of sophistication. This shade of orange symbolizes vitality, urgency and strength…making this a very timely trend.

Such intense reddish-orange hues have previously been relegated in the home to accessories or accents. No more!  This color is starting to appear in larger doses and in unexpected details. Trina Turk uses the color generously in her clothing, as well as in her line of outdoor fabrics for Schumacher. Interior design luminaries, such as Miles Redd, Jamie Drake and Steven Gambrel have been using this color generously for ages.

I hope some of that bravado and optimism rubs off on me!

Wallpaper by Cole & Sons at Lee Jofa


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