Behind the Scenes with Design Darling

Today I’m thrilled to be featuring Miss Mackenzie from the much loved blog Design Darling. A former Rue magazine intern extraordinaire, Mackenzie is a girl after my own heart — her style is classic and pretty with a lots of prep mixed in! I admire Mackenzie for her ambition, her creativity, her fun, fresh writing voice, and lately, for her sense of self. Read on to learn more about her!

Name: Mackenzie Horan, 22
Your blog: Design Darling
Your current city: Working in NYC, commuting from CT

5 places I want to visit in my lifetime

Take an African safari. Be among the first to ring in the New Year in Fiji. Speak French with the locals of Montreal. Shop for vintage furniture in Palm Beach. And of course take a luxurious getaway to the South of France!

4 books I want to read in the next year

I intend to read the remaining four of six Jane Austen novels this year (a task on my 101 in 1001 list). An added bonus will be Mindy Kaling’s new book, which seems like the sort of read that will have me in hysterics on my silent commuter train in the morning!

3 photos that exemplify what I want my life to look like in 5 years

Three of the tasks on my 101 in 1001 list are to move into my first apartment, to start my own company, and to make progress toward our family’s goal to see all fifty states. In five years, I hope to live on my own, to be self-employed, and to have the leisure to travel with my loved ones.

2 goals I’m currently working on

Again back to my list! No. 10 is to be able to better define my aesthetic in both fashion and interior design. I have words like “classic,” “polished,” and “preppy” in my head but feel free to make suggestions! As you might imagine, blogging has been absolutely instrumental since I write about what I love every single day!

No. 23 is to write and send fifty handwritten notes. I’m happy to say that I have sent twenty-three thus far and have loved the challenge! Receiving snail mail is so joyous and I love being able to extend that little luxury to others.

1 thing I’ve been dreaming about is…

 How to make blogging, decorating, and freelance writing a viable career path for myself. It has long been my dream to be self-employed and I am determined to make it happen sooner rather than later!

How did your blog get its name?

I tried out infinite variations with “design” and “style” before landing on Design Darling. My boyfriend occasionally calls me “darling” — mostly to calm me down when I’m ridiculously excited or irrationally stressed out — and it felt like the perfect fit!

Who serves as a source of inspiration for you?

Bloggers are a constant source of inspiration for me and I’m embarrassed to admit that I currently have over 200 subscriptions in my Google Reader. A simple before and after project, a picture of what someone wore that day, or even a closely cropped vignette of someone’s bedside table can get my creative juices flowing. My favorites right now are Amber Interior Design, Atlantic-Pacific, Better Than Bland, Mrs. Lilien, and Small Shop Studio.

What is your proudest achievement to date?

The fact that I picked up and moved to San Francisco six days after graduating from college in May to intern for Rue Magazine. I was nervous — and later homesick — but the fact that I gave it a shot reminds me that life is an adventure and everything happens for a reason.

Where is your favorite place to rest and re-charge?

We are blessed to have a family home on Nantucket and I steal away there any chance I get! Eating an ice cream cone at the Juice Bar or visiting the chapel where my parents were married puts me at instant ease.

When did you first start blogging, and why do you keep doing it?

I began blogging two years ago as a junior at Bucknell University. I loved school but I was desperate for a creative escape from life in central Pennsylvania ;) Since then, I have met so many incredible people, some of whom are now my very best friends. Sharing what I love with my readers — and, best of all, having them share their stories in return — is an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Leave a Comment


  1. 11.9.11

    Mackenzie is one of my very favorite bloggers, so much fun learning more about her!

  2. 11.9.11
    Chelsea said:

    Mackenzie is a definite favorite of mine. I love this interview. xo

  3. 11.9.11
    Sweet nothings said:

    love mackenzie’s blog and style. I actually also posted about Mindy’s book today too! I love when people unintentionally have blog jinx as i call it

  4. 11.9.11
    Marion said:

    Such a great personal peek into her blog and style. I am going to have to go check her out! :-)
    XO – Marion

  5. 11.9.11
    Katherine said:

    What a great interview! Loved this little snapshot of her personal style and taste – and adore that she’s trying to read Jane Austen! Thanks for sharing with us :)

  6. 11.9.11

    Thanks for the introduction!

  7. 11.9.11

    So cute – will definitely have to check out her blog :)

    – Sara @ Gameday Stylist

  8. 11.9.11

    Lovely pictures & post!

  9. 11.9.11
    Patience said:

    Very inspiring.


  10. 11.9.11

    Great feature… Design Darling is fantastic!

  11. 11.9.11

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and Victoria for having me today! xx

  12. 11.9.11

    If only we could all be as driven, talented and genuine at 22 as Mackenzie. She really is a darling. Love this post!

  13. 11.9.11

    Mackenzie: We must schedule a visit to Montreal when I will be in town! I will help you with the French aspect :)

    Victoria: Love the series, as always! Great post :)