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

Mark Shaw

Mark Shaw is best known for his photographs of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy, which he shot originally for LIFE magazine and later as the Kennedys’ “unofficial” family photographer. He developed a strong friendship with JFK and Jackie and regularly visited the White House during their time there. But Mark Shaw was first and foremost a Fashion and Advertising photographer whose freelance assignments for LIFE magazine had him photographing some of the most notable celebrities of the 1950′s. 

This collection of Mark Shaw’s fashion images, taken at the House of Dior between 1952 and 1962, is the first book showcasing Mark Shaw’s extensive fashion photography for LIFE and other magazines throughout the 1950s. It is available at Liz O’Brien Gallery in NYC and we are snapping them up like crazy for our clients. Not only is the fashion amazing, but the interiors are pretty fabulous as well! We plan to use the first image in a beautiful powder room in Old Greenwich in a home that Marks & Frantz renovated and decorated from head to toe in 2013.

Dior Theatre de France 1960

Dior Theatre de France 1960


Photographed in 1953 at the French country estate, Corbeville, Jane Sprague models a ball gown by Fath.

Photographed in 1953 at the French country estate, Corbeville, Jane Sprague models a ball gown by Fath.

Sophie Malgat wears Dior in Dior's Passy Home, 1953. Sophie Malgat in Gray Chiffon Dior in Dior’s Paris Home

Sophie Malgat wears Dior in Dior’s Passy Home, 1953. Sophie Malgat in Gray Chiffon Dior in Dior’s Paris Home

Ghislaine Lounges in Elsa Schiaparelli's Home

Ghislaine Lounges in Elsa Schiaparelli’s Home


A velvet dinner dress by Chanel photographed in the vine hung Paris courtyard, Cour de Rohan, in 1955

A velvet dinner dress by Chanel photographed in the vine hung Paris courtyard, Cour de Rohan, in 1955






Painted Floors

House Beautiful had a feature in their latest issue featuring painted floors and the designers and artisans responsible for them. As I delved deeper in the stories and started poking around the internet, I came across a whole range of craftsmen who work in the industry for some of the super–star designers. Their websites show this huge breadth of varied work that was truly mind-blowing, but more on them later once I have a chance to work with them and explore their studios.

This article did inspire Lydia and I to consider painting the floor in a client’s foyer for a project we have in progress in Manhattan. The beige limestone floor came with the apartment purchased by our clients and was the only thing we left untouched in this foyer. It was relatively new and in pristine condition, so it seemed best to work with it, but our wheels are turning and you may see a big surprise when we actually shoot the finished foyer!

This is a

This is a “foyer in progress” by Marks & Frantz in NYC, stay tuned for the after shots!


Miles Redd designed foyer

Miles Redd designed foyer

Jeffrey Bilhuber





Marks & Frantz featured in Luxe Magazine

We are very excited to have our latest project featured in this season’s New York Luxe Magazine! The article features our renovation of a 1920’s Tudor home in Greenwich Connecticut. The story was written by Cathy Whitlock and features photographs by Michael Partenio.

Connecticut Cottages & Gardens features a beautiful new ad by us!

Take a look at a sliver of last year’s favorite project! We are keeping this project under wraps for now, but here is a sneak peak!

photo provided by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

Highlights from last night’s 6th Annual Masquerade Ball hosted by the New York Design Center!

Last night the entire Marks & Frantz team hit the NYDC for their 6th Annual Masquerade Ball! The theme was Roaring 20s, which we largely ignored (Nicole pointed out that the Girl Scouts were founded in 1912, so we are not so far off!). It was a benefit for The Alpha Workshops, a wonderful workshop that trains artists living with HIV and AIDS to work in the decorative arts. The costumes were amazing, not that we expected anything less from a room full of designers!

 Lisa and Lydia

Lisa Frantz, Lydia Marks, Anna Cangiano, Nicole Villi of Marks & Frantz

or Troop 7777

Team Amy Lau won the costume award. We were going to face off and take them out since we were both teams of girls in knee socks, but they outnumbered us so we decided against it!

My personal fave was Tony Manning’s group!

Not sure who these designers are but their royal wedding was one of the best of several last night.

The girls from Veranda Magazine!

The girls from NYDC, the talented marketing mavens behind this ball

Lydia with Tim O’Rourke of Fort Street Studios

and some most excellent Fascinators…. future blog post tk on the Fascinator!

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