Go Inside Darcy Miller's Colorful, Whimsical New York City Studio—a Space 25 Years in the Making
Darcy Miller, owner of Darcy Miller Designs and Martha Stewart Weddings editor at large, just designed the studio of all studios—one that's a culmination of her brand, a 25-year-long enterprise with a mission to teach everyone how to celebrate to the fullest (and then some). Throughout her career, she's worked out of her home craft room—until now, that is. "I’m thrilled to be able to finally say: 'Welcome to the Darcy Miller Designs Studio!'" Miller tells Martha Stewart Living. "The studio is where all the creating, crafting, and celebrating happens—or at least where it all begins. From floor to ceiling, wall to wall, the small space is filled with everything needed to create or entertain, plus surprises to make you smile. You’ll find works-in-progress, past projects, my artwork and illustrations, photos of our work, and lots and lots of eye candy (plus plenty of real candy, too!)."
Ahead, you'll see more incredible snapshots from the creative's new office space, one that will be used for work, photoshoots, and plenty of parties. Miller also gave insight into the inspirational forces behind the renovation—ideas that you can both shop and carry into your own studio redesign. "There's inspiration everywhere in the space, from our favorite props to a wall of scissors. It all encourages us to be creative and bring our ideas to life," she says.
As for Miller's best tip for elevating a work area? "For me, when in doubt, add a little gold! Gold dresses everything up. I have many storage jars and just having the gold tops elevates the space easily; gold is on all the details from the kitchen faucet to the clips in the drawers!"
Design to Inspire
An office, home studio, or creative work area is, by default, a place you go to be creative—which is why the space itself should be as inspiring as possible. That's part of the reason why Miller favors the multipurpose main hub of the office. "It's what you see right when you walk in. We use this workspace for a lot more than meetings! The large table is a craft table, dining table, and photo shoot surface all in one. It's a place to spread out to brainstorm and have meetings or even parties," she says. "The cabinet opposite it serves as a buffet, and opens up to act as storage too, once again making the most of every inch of space."
The room is also full of natural light, thanks to the windowed doors (a must for a creative space). "It's nice to be able to see trees right outside your office, even in the middle of New York City! The New York City View decal from our Darcy Miller x Chasing Paper collection placed on the wall in between them gives us a view of the Empire State Building."
A Room with Purpose
The approach you take to decorating a home and an office space is actually far more similar than you'd think, notes Miller. "You have different needs and priorities, but in actuality, you approach it pretty similar. I think it's important to think about what you need so that it functions," she says, "[but it should also show off] what you love." She advises personalizing the space to do so—a process that becomes easier when you first establish who the room is really for (your children, for instance): "It's all about creating an inviting space for the people who will be spending time there."
Filled with Favorites
As for her favorite ways to bring a dose of personality into an office? "Use photos, show off objects that you love—and other things that are important to you," says Miller, who featured plenty of her illustrations when designing the studio. "My favorite pieces for the space are my Chasing Paper wall decals that I illustrated and are all inspired by what I wanted in the office—personal wall paper for my own office walls, motivational signs sprinkled around the desks, frames with everyone's portraits by their desks, and, of course, a New York City view."
Once you land on a design aesthetic and the room's overarching purpose, it's important to ensure that your new work area serves you. For Miller, an organization system was a critical priority, one that she actually took into account during the renovation process. "For example, we didn't have enough closets for all our props—cake stands, cloches, plates, Champagne flutes—so we had California Closets build shelving, which was functional and became part of the design of the space," she explains.
After establishing the studio's bones, it was easier to envision each element's place. "We started by figuring out what we needed to make the space function and how we could make that possible—from needing our supplies easily accessible to determining where people sit—and that influenced how it was organized," she notes, adding that her goal was to mask office storage as décor.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
As for Miller's favorite part about designing the studio? "It was seeing how far my brand has come in such a short period of time—every project inspired the next one. On one wall, above the shelving, we used Framebridge frames to display our favorite past work from images in Celebrate Everything," she says. "We also made the most out of a smaller wall—it acts as a vertical portfolio wall, which is full of products and projects I have worked on (everything from past Valentine's to the party blower invitation to Martha's 70th birthday party). It was really fun to see all of the celebrating we have done over the years!"