In the first season - when Miranda's heart took a lickin' (from countless dates and dumps) yet kept on tickin' - the color palette for her place was purposely black and blue. "We used all the shades you'd find in a bruise," says Conway. "Dark blues, plums, deep teals."
When Miranda bought a new place on Manhattan's Upper West Side, she came to terms with her single-status and learned to lighten up. "She's less the walking wounded; she's more confident and secure," Conway says, "Her new apartment is sophisticated and indicative of a successful New York City woman. A partner in a law firm could afford a big pre-War apartment in the 80s and all the modern appliances, so we gave it to her."
Miranda has softened up and let down her guard a bit. She dealt with the loss of her mom and even rekindled her relationship with Steve. Likewise, her furnishings are less harsh and heavy. "I love the sheer curtains and the surprisingly girly touches - like antique perfume bottles on the dresser," says Conway. They hint at what Miranda is really like beneath that tough-as-nails cynical exterior. "She's definitely a lot more fragile and feminine than she appears. If you look deeper at the details we've placed throughout her interiors, you'll see the real Miranda - and maybe get some clues as to what's in store for her in episodes to come."
"Let's face it," says Conway, "Miranda does not mince words. She calls it like she sees it. She can be, well, blunt." To emphasize this, Conway scouted for furniture that was particularly angular or "edgy." "We were looking for interesting pieces that had a straightness to them, because Miranda will always tell it to you straight," says Conway. The coffee table, end tables, even her tube-steel bed fit the bill perfectly with long lean lines and mid-Century influences. "Miranda's decorating also looks a lot more put-together than Carrie's," adds Conway. "It's obvious she's had professional help - that was even a storyline in which her decorator stole her boyfriend."
One of his favorite touches is the starburst mirror over the mantel in the living room. "It's hard, sharp, bright, and a little unusual - all words you could certainly use to describe Miranda," he says. "When I saw it, I just yelled, 'Ah-ha! That has Miranda written all over it!'"
"Miranda is ever-practical," says Conway. "She's not about embellishments or details. She's very pragmatic and utilitarian." It's a given, then, that she'd look for pieces that serve multiple purposes. For example, a dining room table that's big enough to double as a desk when she has mountains of legal briefs to go through. Conway couldn't find a table "with the right proportions or texture" so he built one. The chairs were a great find - stacking ones by Donghia. "You'll notice there aren't a lot of 'things' on surfaces or on the walls," Conway adds. "Maybe a frame or a vase or some candles here and there - but not lots of 'stuff' or creative clutter like you'd see in Carrie's. The only decorative touches throughout are the crown moldings because again, they're clean and angular."
The interesting dining room painting is a Conway original. "I'm not telling what it's supposed to be a painting of - I'm not sure I know!" he laughs. "We were in a Tibetan mood, I wanted to have a bit of a mysticism, Eastern philosophy thing going. I found some art references and voila! It's really whatever you think it is - which you know Miranda would find fascinating."
"When your life is in disarray, what do you do?" asks Conway. "Your organize what you can - in Miranda's case, her home." Hence, the apartment is always tidy - everything has it's place, from the toothbrush in the holder on her sink, to her law books stacked straight on a table in the hallway.
"We went through a plot where she stresses over her housekeeper trying to rearrange her life - and her goody drawer," Conway says. "She hates when her life or her way of thinking is disrupted - it rocks the boat too much. Just look at how she freaked when Steve moved in."
Miranda is probably most proud of her kitchen, Conway speculates, because she's gone to great pains to furnish it with "top-of-the-line appliances, all state-of-the-art stuff. But here's the funny thing: the only appliance she ever uses is the coffee maker. She's too busy to cook - but she has the best intentions."
The backsplash tiles are reminiscent of the early "bruise" palate - lilac, lavendar and Mediterranean blue. "But it's not as harsh, it's cool without being cold." The bathroom is white ("very clean, very sanitary," says Conway) and there's not an overabundance of beauty products. "She's more no-muss, no fuss - we rarely see her primping in the bathroom. In fact, the most recent glimpse we - and Aidan - got of this room was when she threw her back out and was lying on the floor."
In case you thought Miranda was all business, Conway added some accents that definitely reveal a kinder, gentler side. "There's a framed picture of Cynthia as a little girl, dresses as an angel, in the bedroom. And the rug in the living room - which we found at designer ABC Carpet and Home - is a delicate cream-colored brocade." Conway is also proud of the sheer window treatments he snatched up at ABC as well. "When the light comes through them, they cast the softest shadows." The geometric lamp on her bedside stand is also a light-hearted touch - it evokes images of champagne bubbles. "It fit the color theory well, but it also seemed festive and fun--especially right for her bedroom."
It's easy to duplicate Miranda's decor, says Conway, if you keep your color scheme cool (the walls are actually light-lavender although they appear white) and your accents simple and elegant. "If you want your interior to look polished and put together - and you don't really have a lot to work with - start at the floor and work your way up." He "ebonized" the solid oak floors of Miranda's place with a dark stain. "Everything in the room stands out more smartly," he says. Think conservative, with an eye to proportion rather than surface embellishment. "No splashy colors or hip clutter. Keep it lean, mean and clean."
The addition of Baby Brady this season to Miranda's life means a few additions to her apartment as well. "It will take Miranda a while to adjust to the mommy-thing," says Conway. "She has to kind of ease into it. She's not quite sure what to do with Brady, but eventually she'll soften up." For this reason, he chose to simply create a mini-nursery in her bedroom. "It's practical-which is what Miranda would want. She has him at hand for those 2 a.m. feedings."
Conway's team chose a basinete and crib from Bellini. "It's high-end baby furniture-which Miranda can afford. Charlotte gives her the Bellini baby basket for her shower, so Miranda probably just figures, 'This is the store you go to.'"
"We outfitted it with this beautiful Amy Coe bedding-all animal prints in different ginghams and soft flannels. It's the complete set, from blanket to dust ruffle--very coordinated because Miranda would buy it all at once. She wouldn't be spending a lot of time romanticizing the nursery shopping spree: her philosophy is more, 'You do what you have to do so you won't be a bad mother.'" To compliment the bedding, he added rice paper dinosaur lamps, "very baby-cute, but very well-made."
As for the nursery accessories, Conway has not overlooked any detail. "There's the diaper genie-every mother must have one; a high-tech baby monitor; and all kinds of products, from Mustella and Kiehls to tried-and-true Baby Magic wash." Cerebral Miranda would also research the key to make Brady stop crying. "On her night table, we placed the book The Baby Whisperer. She'd probably read it then discover it didn't work and get even more frustrated."
played by Cynthia Nixon
Miranda is smart, self-assured and proud of her achievements. She raises the bar for herself continually, be it in her professional or personal life.
Tell us what you think about HBO GO. Sign up now to participate in the HBO GO Advisory Panel to share your opinions and for a chance to be entered into HBO sweepstakes and contests.