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

Trade secrets! From Set Decoration to Interior Design

Please join us tomorrow at the D&D for a talk:  “From Set and Screen to Living Room: The Set Decorator and the Interior Designer.”  I will be on a panel discussion with Cathy Whitlock,  film historian, designer Marshall Watson (his line at Lewis Mittman has graced the sets of the new Katie Couric show). and Ann Maine, editor in chief of Traditional Home, will be the moderator.  For more information and the address, click here.

Design*Sponge Interview

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.  We talked about set decoration, interior design , and of course, wallpaper!

The radio station, Heritage Radio, where we did the interview was really great – in the back of the super popular Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s Pizza.  Check out Heritage Radio’s great programming here.   I hope you enjoy the interview!!

My Home in Madame Figaro

Madame Figaro (Japan) ran a really fun photo series called “Creators in their Homes” and they asked me to be involved.   I love the shots they took of our home – they are real and reflect how we live.  They did not send any stylists, just one photographer with a camera and two lights.  At first this whole concept made me really nervous, I felt like my apartment should look more like it would if it were going to be in a shelter magazine.  But, after speaking with the editor and writer, I understood that that was not the point.  The intention of the series was to show how people who create live- and what their spaces they create really look like, in every day life.

I love the pictures because: the mirror over my mantel was bought for $40 at a flea market and I had it silver leafed – then hung it over Miranda Priestly’s desk in Devil Wears Prada, my husband’s mess of analog stereo equipment sits next to my sons Fischer Price record player, one of my favorite pieces of art by Boston artist Isabel Riley pops off the white wall with its candy colors, my son’s toys are (barely) tucked away, like usual, and there is also a small picture of his nursery – a brief moment in time (decorating wise) that will never be the same again.

The Selby runs a very similarly themed photo essay on their fantastic and wildly popular website.  Here are a few pictures I loved from  a feature they ran on Angelika Taschen.

from The Selby

Read and see more at


Cathy Whitlock lecture at the Park Ave Armory Art and Antique Dealers League Show

Cathy Whitlock will be speaking at the Art and Antique Dealers League Show at the Park Avenue Armory this Friday, May 4th from 3-4pm.  Her lecture will cover a century of cinematic set decoration, featuring highlights from every decade of Hollywood history. A slide presentation will show photographs, behind-the-scene images and designer sketches of sets from Top Hat, The Fountainhead, Gone With the Wind, The Age of Innocence, Something’s Gotta Give-and many more!

I am really looking forward to the lecture –  although I have been a big fan of the book since it was published,  I have not had the opportunity to hear Cathy speak in person!  I admit, I might be partial – the book features a film that I was the set decorator for: Devil Wears Prada.

Cathy Whitlock’s book Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction (Harper Collins, November, 2010) represents the marriage of her two passions-design and cinema. She is also a contributing writer for Traditional Home magazine and The Huffington Post, and features editor for Array Magazine. Cathy writes the blog Cinema Style, which chronicles trends and inspirations in film, reaches 70 countries, was named one of the Top Ten Best Design Blogs of 2010 by Fox News. A graduate of Parsons School of Design and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Cathy has more than 24 years of experience in the interior design industry and has had practices in New York, Chicago, Memphis and Nashville.

Cinema Style

Cinema Style (a blog that I love) had a great post yesterday:  When Worlds Collide: Fashion and Film.   The post discusses how the influence of celebrity can affect our purchasing choices.  Specifically, moving beyond celebrity endorsements, how celebrity partnerships and inspirations actually may guide this market. Check out the article and while you are there  take the time to look around.  There are a lot of excellent posts to read if you are interested in film design.

At Marks & Frantz we are always interested in these intersecting worlds and try to foster these collaborations in our own work as much as possible.  Our redesign of the Top of the Strand, the rooftop bar at the Strand Hotel in New York City, was a creative partnership with Trina Turk for Schumacher and the set decoration for the films Sex and the City and Devil Wears Prada were chock full of fashion/design/furniture crossovers.





Miranda Priestly’s office in The Devil Wears Prada was chosen by Elle Decor as one of their top ten favorite movie set designs from Cathy Whitlock’s new book Designs on Film

I was so excited to see that Miranda Priestly’s office in The Devil Wears Prada was chosen by Elle Decor as one of their top ten favorite movie set designs from Cathy Whitlock’s new book Designs on Film.  What an honor!  It was the first film that I decorated alongside the very talented Jess Gonchor.  Going out to buy the book today!!

You can also read more of Cathy’s writings about film design and trends on her blog

We’re official! Check out our new website!

Press contact:
Serena Merriman
917 952 3089



New York, NY (May 3rd, 2010) – Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz will launch their interior design firm, Marks & Frantz, in May 2010 in Manhattan, NY. The duo share a passion for design informed by their work as set designers for film, television and print advertising. Between them, they have decorated and designed sets for films including Sex and the City 1 & 2, The Devil Wears Prada, Broken Flowers and the Namesake Films, for advertising campaigns for labels including Mercedes Benz, Calvin Klein, Loreal, Maybelline, Wyndham Hotels and for luxury labels including Neiman Marcus, Vanity Fair and Saks Fifth Avenue. Both have designed interiors for residential and commercial properties including the rooftop bar at The Strand Hotel in Manhattan.

Marks & Frantz will focus on design and decoration for residential and commercial properties, offering an extensive range of services including space planning, color palette selection, furniture design and custom upholstery, custom metal work, art consultation and custom artwork.

“Designing interiors for film and television changed the way we approach design, because the characters were so important” says Marks. “When we work with a client, we aim to incorporate their personality and lifestyle into their spaces, not simply create rooms that are well designed. We use space, color, light, texture, art and furniture to create highly individual, personalized homes.”

After 15 years of working as interior designers, Marks and Frantz have established relationships with showrooms, antique rug and furniture dealers, contractors, architects as well as specialized craftsmen.

“Our experience in commissioning custom pieces has given us unique access to furniture fabricators, metal workers, and decorative painters. We are loyal to our talented vendors and are able to pass on our preferred pricing to our clients” says Frantz.

Marks & Frantz’s offices are located in new York City but they are available to work on projects across the globe. A full list of services, bios, portfolios of their work and contact information can be viewed on their website,

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