A Day in the Life of Magdalena Keck

Manhattan-based interior designer Magdalena Keck, who is inspired by nature, art, and technology, has been creating commercial and residential interiors for nearly a decade. She takes us through a typical day for this month’s Designer Dailies column.

04.02.13 | By
A Day in the Life of Magdalena Keck

7:30 AM: Wake up, start the day with Lapsang tea, NY1, and scanning phone and email for urgent messages. There are usually some, so answer those. Then walk to the office through Madison Square Park, admire the immaculately designed and maintained park. It was first designed by Ignatz Pilat in 1800s and then re-imagined by the renowned Lynden B. Miller in 1990s. Even in January it is beautiful. Breathe the cold morning air preparing for the day–it’s like a mini meditation.


9:30 AM: Start the day at the office. Make latte. Answer messages and emails before first meeting and design work planned for the day. Today I am mostly working on design for a two bedroom pied à terre on Upper West Side for a Client from LA. The space will be composed of carefully edited collection of art, furniture and objects. At the same time it will comfortable, inviting and functional. I am excited about the concept and looking forward to working on it.


10:00 AM: Meet with Elizabeth Sadoff, an art advisor helping us on a new pied à terre on Upper West Side. The presentation is in two weeks and art will be a huge part of this project. We are building a very exciting collection including works of Dowell, Webb and O’Hara.

A Webb oil panel we are coveting

A Webb oil panel we are coveting


12:00 PM: Work on materials and finishes. We will have lots of luxurious textures and color palette of old gold and warm grays. Most of the furniture will be contemporary (some of it custom) mixed with vintage lighting.

3:00 PM: Visit to Tai Ping Carpets to select and design rugs. Tai Ping is one of my favorite places to shop for rugs.

Tai Ping rug colors

Tai Ping rug colors


8:30 PM: After stopping back at the office for a quick check in and then yoga, stop by Eataly on the way home, pick up baby squash + greens for dinner. Eataly opened couple of years ago on the ground floor of the old Toy Building on lower Fifth Avenue and instantly became a hot spot for locals and tourists. It can be crowded and overwhelming, but once you find your way around it you are in and out in no time. La Verdura is my favorite restaurant there, but dinner at home tonight.


8:45 PM: Walk home thru Madison Square Park and admire Leo Villareal’s Buckyball on a misty evening. Buckyball is a 30 feet tall light sculpture composed of two nested, geodesic sculptural spheres comprised of 180 LED tubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons. The effect is random compositions of varied speed, color, opacity, and scale. The parks ever changing art installations are such a treat. Jaume Plensa’s Echo is also a memorable all time favorite. Finally at home, I make pasta with roasted veggies and enjoy diner with my husband Jonathan, read a couple of chapters of McDougall’s Born to Run, and go to sleep.

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.