Style At Home: Mackenzie Horan Of Design Darling

Written by on August 20, 2013 in Lifestyle, Style At Home - 55 Comments
Home Tour with Mackenzie Horan Of Design Darling / Photography Trent and Dara Bailey

Darling really is the perfect description for Mackenzie Horan, her fashion and design blog Design Darling, and her adorable New York City studio apartment. Although her space may be small — only 300 square feet! — it is absolutely packed with sweet and stylish fixtures that make it the perfect space for Mackenzie and her furry baby Rory. This is one stylish space that is definitely small but mighty, and we love how Mackenzie has decorated it in a way that is completely true to her own design sensibilities.

Photography: Trent and Dara Bailey of Trent Bailey Photography

1 of 23
  • When and why did you begin your blog, Design Darling?
    I started Design Darling in 2009 as a creative space for combining my interests in fashion, interiors and writing. I had no idea it would become such a big part of my life! Today it’s my visual diary — a place to share what I’m wearing, what I’m working on and who’s inspiring me at any given time. I’m passionate about sharing my goals (I keep a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days!) and encouraging my readers to be their best, happiest and most stylish selves!

  • “This is the happiest view while I’m working away at my desk!  Hot pink Arc de Triomphelemon oil paintingblue and white ginger jar“Drink More Gin” posteraerial park photobraid printfloral watercolor. The ginger jars are from C. Wonder.”

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of your blogging journey thus far?
    Launching my online boutique was such a “pinch me!” moment. I write about home décor, jewelry and monogrammed gifts almost every day on my blog, so it was a natural transition to start sourcing and selling those items myself. I have so much fun with it!

  • How would you describe your décor and overall design aesthetic? Does your home mimic your personal style at all?
    I decorate the same way I get dressed in the morning! I’d say my style is classic-with-a-twist. I love timeless navy blue and white, but I have to have some playful accessories in the mix — whether it’s a pair of gingham wedges in my closet or a “Drink More Gin” print on my gallery wall!


  • “Rory is my one-year-old Cockapoo. He’s definitely a handful but I can’t imagine life without him! The mirror was a vintage find that my mom gave me for my birthday and the sofa was an impulse buy on Joss & Main. The pillows are an Etsy find in David Hicks’ La Fiorentina.”

  • “The Society Social Piper bow chair is probably my favorite piece in the apartment. The designer Roxy is a good friend of mine and her line just keeps getting better! The acrylic console-turned-desk is CB2, the lamp is Mary MacDonald and the monogrammed pencil cup is Design Darling.”

  • What’s your favorite part about your apartment?
    It feels like me! Living and working in such a tiny studio has made me edit down my belongings to only the ones I truly love and can’t live without. I think my favorite project (and the one that made the biggest difference) was building the pelmet boxes above the windows with my parents. We followed this tutorial and I think they’re the perfect finishing touch — in my favorite color combo, no less!”







  • “I bought the biggest Ikea Expedit there is. I have more books than I know what to do with. The baskets store lots of small items for my boutique. The bookshelf is a perfect divider between my bed and the table where we pack and ship orders.”

  • Where are some of your go-to places to shop for home décor?
    Design Darling, of course! I can’t get enough of our topiaries and tortoiseshell glasses. I also love C. Wonder, Serena & Lily and Society Social.


  • Topiaries are the ultimate apartment solution for getting a little green without the constant upkeep. This is Rory’s usual perch — my little guard dog!”

  • Tell us about your biggest splurge and best bargain in your apartment.
    My biggest splurges were bedding from Serena & Lily and throw pillows from Dana Gibson — so worth it. The best bargains were the mirrored side tables, which I found at Brimfield Flea Market for $20 each!

  • “My next apartment needs to have double the closet space! I keep the top of my dresser tidy with this clutch organizer and acrylic jewelry stands from The Container Store.”

  • What are your main sources of inspiration?
    My style is heavily influenced by my surroundings — whether that’s growing up in Connecticut, living in New York City or vacationing on Nantucket. I love to travel and plan to set foot on a new continent (Australia? South America?) as part of my next 101 in 1001 list. And I use Feedly to devour my daily dose of fashion and interiors blogs — right now I can’t get enough of Damsel in DiorLook Linger LoveNote To SelfSavvy Home and Sequins & Stripes.


  • What have you found to be the biggest challenge in decorating your apartment?
    Making it work in 300 square feet! I spend a lot of time here, so it was important that my apartment function for blogging, gathering with friends, keeping inventory for my boutique, packing and shipping orders and — of course — living happily ever after with my Cockapoo Rory.

  • How do you sparkle?
    I stay true to my personal style and I do what I love every single day! Getting to share that sparkle with my readers every morning is the best feeling in the world.

    “I love the mix of Ikea’s Docksta table and Society Social’s Fifi chairs. They fold up, so I keep two of them in my closet when it’s just me working. I’m wearing a J.Crew scallop dress and Kate Spade gingham wedges, a nice change from my usual PJ set 😉 The throw pillow behind me was a gift from Ivy & Vine in my beloved hot pink and navy blue combo.”

  • Ana (Sequins and Linen)

    Beautiful apartment Mackenzie!

  • delirium

    nice apartment, too shame the window at bedroom is dirty :(

    • tee

      how rude!

      • Mona

        Agree, jealousy masked with rudeness.

        Beautiful apartment Mackenzie! Adore that bookshelf and the styling.

        XO Mona

  • Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    Completely obsessed! <3

  • Averil

    Where are the chairs from?

  • Ashley Rizzardo

    What a beautifully decorated apartment! I adore the desk chair!


  • michelle

    love it mackenzie! everything is perfect!

  • Rachel

    I absolutely love this space! A girl after my own pink and navy heart. Truly darling.

  • Kate C

    It’s so lovely seeing around your apartment, Mackenzie – I’ve started reading your blog this summer and only ever seen snapshots so it’s fun to see more of it here! I love the pink, navy and white colour scheme – it’s so fresh! You’ve made a lovely space.

    The English Teacher Cooks

    • Mackenzie Horan

      I can’t tell you how much that means to me! Thank you so much :)

  • sarah

    anyone know what kind of dog that is? i keep seeing a similar one around town the last few days and hes a beauty. Any ideas of the breed??

    • Mackenzie Horan

      He’s a cockapoo! :)

      • sarah

        thank you, hes so cute!! :)

  • ubreyn12

    Love the feature! Small space with big style!! The details are amazing.

  • Anna Williams

    Where are those adorable drinking glasses from? They are perfect! :)

    • Mackenzie Horan

      They’re old from Jonathan Adler :)

  • Christen

    Adorable! Where is the mirror above your couch from?

    • Marche

      I was going to ask the same thing! I’ve been wondering since you posted a glimpse into your studio! I love that mirror :)

    • Mackenzie Horan

      It’s a vintage find! My mom gave it to me for my birthday :) You should be able to find something similar by searching quatrefoil mirrors!

  • Amber

    Your apartment is so charming! Wear is your couch from?

    • Mackenzie Horan

      I bought it on Joss & Main! West Elm’s Chester sofa is similar.

  • Morgan Jennifer Smith

    Such a cute space – what a way to decorate with only 300 sf! Love MacKenzie’s blog!

  • Rachel Medlock

    I’m so inspired by this space! Great feature.

    Suppose Anything

  • bright and beautiful

    love your place, Mackenzie! would you mind sharing where you found the gold sailboat placed in your bookcase?

    • Mackenzie Horan

      They’re a vintage find from Etsy. There are tons of cute ones on there!

      • bright and beautiful

        wonderful, thank you!

  • Lisa

    So excited to finally see this adorable apartment! Mackenzie, you hit it out of the park–every detail is so perfectly you! :)

  • Sarah Tolzmann

    Aww thanks for the shout out, Mackenzie! Your place is adorable — I expected nothing less. x

  • Pingback: Saving My Pennies | a glass of milk()

  • Chloe Logan

    Beautiful spread, and beautiful apartment! Your style continues to inspire me, Mackenzie. Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: Mackenzie Horan’s Home | Snapshots & My Thoughts()

  • annicabenning

    I LOVE these apartment tours here on the glitter guide but it would be nice to see well, the entire apartment! Does she have a kitchen or bathroom? And a whole photo of the bed would have been nice instead of a tiny zoomed in vignette. I know the rest of the apartment might not be ‘perfect’ so I could see why she would only want one room photographed, but it’s real. And real is nice! After all, when you click on a tour of someone’s apartment you expect to see more than a living /desk area.

    • Kirsten

      I agree completely. I wouldn’t call this an apartment tour but rather a series of detail shots of her living room. Cute stuff, but the “tour” itself was a dud.

  • Pingback: Ruthie & Rose()

  • Andrea

    Where are the lucite boxes from?

  • MissLizzieBizzie

    Love the blue ostrich table/bar cart where is it from?

  • Jil

    Love the pink glasses at your bar and the drink more gin art. Could you source those for me?

  • Pingback: Loving Lately… | Toasted Sparkle()

  • Pingback: Links I Like « Look Linger Love()

  • Lianna Eysnogle

    so beautiful – she uses the space amazingly!

  • Gabrielle | Savvy Home

    (Belated) Thanks for the shout out Mackenzie!! Your apartment looks fantastic! And that mirror is to die for! xo

  • Pingback: Loving Lately… | Pardon My French()

  • Pingback: Favorite Pins of the Day: The Bar | Studio Style Blog()

  • Dee

    Beautiful apartment. I love the all the colour!

  • Pingback: 9 WAYS TO KICK YOUR BEDROOM UP A NOTCH | Best Friends For Frosting()

  • Nickie

    Nicest place ever :) where are the white frames coming from?

  • Pingback: 10 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand | Elana Lyn()

  • Pingback: Obsessing Over… | Kelly in the City()

Ready for


Our Free newsletter offers fun, colorful and chic lifestyle tidbits from fashion to fitness; each topic injected with a healthy does of sparkle. We aim to delight, inspire and encourage creative energy!