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Behind the Design: Keija Minor's Midtown NYC Office

Brides magazine's editor-in-chief revamps her workspace with interiors maven Danielle Colding, the HGTV Design Star winner who also happens to be her best friend

The desk area in Brides Editor-in-Chief Keija Minor's light-filled office.
The desk area in Brides Editor-in-Chief Keija Minor's light-filled office.

Good people to have in your inner circle: a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant. If you’re Keija Minor, the recently appointed editor-in-chief at Brides magazine, you’d add interior designer to the list. Thankfully, she possesses just that in Danielle Colding, the New York City-based interiors guru and Season 7 winner of HGTV Design Star. Colding not only served as the creative touchstone throughout the renovation of Minor's Manhattan office—located in the Conde Nast building in Times Square—but she also happens to be Minor's best friend. Click here to see a behind-the-scenes video of the design process!

“We realized really early on that we had similar design styles,” says Minor, who met Colding 10 years ago in Sag Harbor, Long Island, where both women were renting houses for the summer. “We shopped for clothes for so long together before we ever started talking about interior design.”

So when Minor needed advice about a kitchen revamp for her apartment, Colding had a unique advantage. “It was so easy to work with [her] because [she] already knew what I wanted,” says Minor. While the plan was to focus on the kitchen, the project expanded to include the living room, a dining niche, and the paint colors throughout, prompting many of what Colding calls the “are-you-next-to-a-computer” text. “Flash sites were very anxiety-producing,” says Minor. “I’d be like, ‘Go to your computer now. I have nine minutes. It’s in my basket. I need this table!'” Online marketplace One Kings Lane became known in their text parlance simply as OKL, with a flag that denoted an emergency.

Behind the Design: Keija Minor's Midtown NYC Office
The office design revolved around two inherited pieces: a pair of midcentury chairs upholstered in a graphic pink-and-orange Brunschwig & Fils fabric.

I remember I called Danielle, and she had just won HGTV Design Star. And I said, 'Can you do this before you become too famous?'

–keija minor

A few months later, when she was promoted to editor-in-chief, Minor seized the opportunity to transform her new office—with Colding navigating her through the process. The design centered on a few inherited items, which included a pair of midcentury modern chairs upholstered in a pink geometric Brunschwig & Fils fabric; a Lucite console table; a neutral sofa; and stark white cabinetry. "We had done my apartment in cool colors—blue, gray, and silver," says Minor, "so we wanted to do warm tones in here."

Colding added complementary accessories, including embroidered throw pillows, a couple of hard-won foo dogs (which Minor hated at first but eventually grew to love), and an equally graphic wallpaper to back the bookcases. The result is light and airy but with a distinct point of view, one to which Minor has grown attached—and is not willing to part with just yet. "Every piece was so well chosen, but [soon] we're moving downtown," Minor says of her company's January 2015 relocation to the newly rebuilt One World Trade Center. "I've already asked if I could bring all of my stuff." Click here to see more details from the shoot, as well as a video of Keija Minor and Danielle Colding discussing the office's design!

Behind the Design: Keija Minor's Midtown NYC Office

Designer Danielle Colding shares her advice for enhancing a lackluster workspace

1. Make It Colorful
Colding warmed up standard office neutrals with vibrant touches of pink and orange, namely in the embroidered pillows by John Robshaw found at Gracious Home. "I wanted it to feel more poppy and fun," she says.

2. Think Outside the Box
Minor's desk is actually a wood-framed dining table from Bungalow 5 that was customized with white lacquer. "The white desk totally makes the room," says Colding. "For Brides and for Keija, it just felt like the right thing."

3. Go Beyond Basics
Incorporate decorative objects you might traditionally find at home. Colding added a pair of white foo dogs as bookends, a colorful map of Paris—purchased on a recent trip—and a shagreen Lillian August tray for added storage.

Behind the Design: Keija Minor's Midtown NYC Office
A colorful vintage map of Paris is the focal point of a fabric tack board.