At Home With Design


Perhaps nothing is more representative of  interior designers than their homes and studios.  

Photography by Andrew Wilkinson

In addition to being a personal haven, it acts as a blank canvas for creativity. For our interior  designer photo series, Urban Agenda Magazine got the opportunity to peek inside the homes of some of the areas most respected interior designers. Here, they share their design aesthetic, personal mottos, career highlights, and more.

Miriam Silver Verga & Hillary Kaplan, Owners/Lead Designers

Mimi and Hill Design Studio

335 Canterbury Road, Westfield, NJ 908.403.6169 (M) | 908.531.0013 (H) |

“Only connect!” – Miram Silver Verga  & Hillary Kaplan

Mimi and Hill is a full service design firm that works closely with clients to create considered environments, whether they are individual rooms or whole house conceptions.

Describe your design aesthetic in three words:

Sophisticated, authentic, inviting.

What is your favorite room in a home?

Our favorite room is equally balanced between form and function. We love to problem solve and to truly get to know our clientele. Mimi and Hill’s rooms inspire connection, whether that comes from maximizing the seating in a living room so hosts can comfortably fit crowds, or an intimate connection transpires because a room speaks to a client’s deepest sense of themselves. Our favorite spaces inspire people to share life’s precious moments.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs —

Curated soul. Sometimes that is found in vintage objects that speak to a person’s heritage or past, sometimes it is represented in specially curated art, or perhaps it is in globally inspired pieces that remind our clients of their favorite trips or family far away.

What inspires your designs? 

Our design is primarily inspired by each other. We are the ying to the other’s yang, and our spaces speak to that constant push and pull and the perfect balance that ensues. The magic that comes into play when old/new, soft/hard/ shiny/textural, open/intimate are considered and perfectly balanced is inspiring to us. We are also inspired by our clients’ desire to live in homes that perfectly represent them. Lastly, we are inspired by our travels, most often taken together.  They continue to remind us of our global position and how others solve the problem of how to live best in their spaces.

What has been your career highlight thus far?

Our career highlight has been creating homes for clients who are far from their origins. We completed a home in St. John and Puerto Rico. We were inspired to create a new way of living in those environments, and we designed homes that were not only unique to the families living there, but representative of the geography around them. It was especially challenging to complete an entire home in St. John where every last dish, napkin ring and pillow had to be sent there by our team. The only items for sale on the island are found in the small grocery stores. Although these homes were a challenge, they continue to be one of our highlights.

As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and so is the case for Mimi and Hill.  The duo uses their combined backgrounds in fashion design and interior design publishing to take spaces to the next level. Not only does that level incorporate curated decorations, architectural finishes, and fabrics, but also emotion. Miriam and Hillary, who call themselves, “style diviners and family soothsayers,” capture the essence of their clients in their designs. As they explain below, that gift is rooted in connection. 

Our personal motto, “Only connect!” comes from the great novel, Howard’s End, where one of the protagonists becomes impassioned with the phrase. Among the expression’s meanings is the call to unite opposing elements within each person, to carve out balance.  But it is also a call to put our greatest energy into personal relationships, even as our worlds become bigger. Not only are we passionate designers, but we also believe that our best rooms allow people to connect with each other and their environments in a way that corresponds with how they want to live their own beautiful story.


Robert Jennings, Owner/Interior Designer & Decorator

Robert Jennings Design, LLC

New Hope, PA | 908.442.9437

“Form follows function. A space must be functional to suit the homeowner’s way of living.”  – Robert Jennings

Robert Jennings Design is an interior design firm specializing in complete home transformations. Projects range from new build homes and entire house renovations to single room furniture plans.

Describe your design aesthetic in three words:  

Functional, timeless, captivating.

What is your favorite room in a home?

The kitchen. It really is the heart of the home.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs —

To be well-lived-in and enjoyed.

What inspires your design?

The client, architecture, and natural surroundings.

What has been your career highlight thus far?

I would have to say my project called Helm in Mantoloking, NJ.  Under my sole direction, I renovated a completely dated house into a warm welcoming getaway where the true potential of the home was realized. I finished the whole house renovation in a record four months to have it ready for a wedding shower. The home was complete for six weeks before Hurricane Sandy hit and flooded the house with five inches of water. I had to do it again! I did everything in the home: the design, furniture, finish selections, landscaping and pool, down to the silverware and dishes. I even had the refrigerator stocked and directed the caterers to set up the party. The client was blown away when they arrived; I was ready for the emergency room.

As is evident in his retelling of the tumultuous design project, Helm, Jennings is relentlessly committed to any endeavor.  Rated a pro-level designer on the community interior design website, Houzz, he has received praise for both his thoughtful nature and his thoughtful designs. After having their 35-year-old Colonial transformed by Jennings, one client wrote on Houzz:

“Robert has incredible vision, wonderful communication skills and is a true design professional…But [his] skills do not stop there…he is incredibly kind and honest.”

In addition to his design-savvy, Jennings has a knack for working with realtors, contractors, and any other intermediary. This, paired with his worldly sensibilities and penchant for renovating outdated homes, makes his designs memorable.

I have had the incredible opportunity to live and travel extensively through Europe, Japan, and India, which has greatly influenced my inspiration in design. I love the experience of creating a customized and personal home through my unique relationships with my clients and contractors.


Elizabeth Guest, Principal/Owner

Elizabeth Guest Interiors, LLC

908.236.0503 |

“My personal motto is ‘Beautiful living…with fine design.’ My firm’s goal is to make beauty and style a part of everyday living: to give my clients environments that are useful and functional, and infuse them with a luxe-attitude and comfort.” — Elizabeth Guest

Elizabeth Guest Interiors is a high-end interior design firm that provides a customized, individualized approach to each project ranging from hourly consultations to complete project management and implementation.

Describe your design aesthetic in three words: 

Classic, eclectic, and global-chic.

What is your favorite room in a home?

The main living area—call it a great room, family room, living room—the space that is most often used by everyone in a family, including pets.

Complete this sentence: Every room needs —

That unique piece that conveys the owner’s individuality and point of view.

What inspires your designs?

I am inspired by so many different visual references—art, nature, gardens, travel to different countries and locations. The act of seeing and absorbing everything around me can be like falling down a rabbit hole—there is an endless stream of things to really LOOK at and absorb that trigger my imagination and will cue me to make a mental ‘file.’

What has been your career highlight thus far?

I was one of the designer’s selected to create a room in the prestigious ‘Mansion in May’ 2014 designer show house that took place at the Blairsden Mansion in Gladstone, NJ. We had over 33,000 visitors in one month and raised over $2,000,000 for the Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Morristown Medical Center.

Guest seeks to create a layered room with depth of design when undertaking a project. Her rooms achieve balance and symmetry while mixing fabrics, textures, and finishes. The resultant space artfully juxtaposes old and new for modern livability. Her late mother-in-law and style icon, C.Z. Guest, largely influences Elizabeth’s hybrid design aesthetic. 

“She had impeccable taste with homes,” says Elizabeth.  “They were the ultimate blend of glamour, chic, and comfort. I absorbed so much of that over the years spent with her, and that same aesthetic has infused my work today.”  C.Z.’s influence continues in the overall brand of Elizabeth’s design firm, which she explains below: 

“Elizabeth Guest Interiors delivers classic luxury and comfort with a modern, global vision. Every project is custom tailored and designed to reflect each unique client’s specific story and wishes. I love seeing a client’s enjoyment and use of a finished space that they may not have visualized for themselves.  As the saying goes, ‘Give them what they don’t know they wanted!’”