A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life of Elana Frankel of One Kings Lane

by Grace Bonney

Elana Frankel was one of the first names I ever heard in the world of design publishing. My first job in design was working for a small public relations firm in Park Slope and my task was to type and mail press releases. Elana’s name was one of the first I ever typed into a label making document and I thought her name sounded so cool. I remember hoping I would get to meet her one day, because she had written for all of my favorite magazines, like Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, New York Magazine, House Beautiful, Instyle, Metropolitan Home and The New York Times, among others. Cut to ten years later and Elana is now the Senior Director of Photography and Style at one of my favorite companies and blogs: One Kings Lane.

Whether she’s art directing photo shoots or commuting into Grand Central Station, Elana is always paying attention to design details. I’ve become such a fan of her Instagram feed and the way she shares such great glimpses into the art and design that surrounds her on a daily basis. Today we’re getting a special peek inside her daily life, from time at home (which was originally a church, built in 1844) with hens and a rescue dog to fast-paced work in her One Kings Lane office. Thanks so much to Elana for sharing her day with us and for inspiring a very green 23-year old from Virginia to follow her excitement into the world of design. xo, grace

Click through for the full story after the jump!

Wake up: 5.30am. Crazy? Maybe. But I like quiet time to focus before the day begins.

Meditation is part of my life. We live in a church from 1844. So it’s naturally reflective space. I sit with a floor cushion that I designed along with a Singing Bowl. The sound is truly magical. Because the original floor has cracks down to the dirt, it’s easy to stay grounded. With the subtle scent of aging wood and earth, I sit quietly and breathe.

My eldest son, Zeke, sits on a chair behind me and does his own thing each morning. Calming and unnerving.

Before breakfast, I go out to our mini barn, feed the chickens and then let them out to roam free range.

We have four hens (“the girls”) and a rescue dog, Cayman. While they play tag, I grab eggs for breakfast.

I am a tad obsessed with making the perfect hard-boiled egg and have a very specific way that involves a Japanese strainer and egg timer. Paired with green tea from my new fave Te Company.

On my way out, I fill the girls’ water dish and start moving from country mama to urban creative.

The Mamaroneck train depot is the second oldest in the county, circa 1888. Taking in the original details at the station makes the train wait bearable.

My hour commute, precious time, gives me the opportunity to do what I love…read.

My senses come alive once we roll into Grand Central. I especially love hearing different live music each day.

Pass this building everyday and am mesmerized by the gloss, matte, textures and colors.

Once I hit my office it is a pace like none other. I barely have time to hang my jacket.

Once in the office, it’s a whole new sensory overload. We produce hundreds of images a week for the site. I have an amazing creative team that is tireless in its pursuit.

My favorite item…Bestmade dartboard. Now if I could just hit the damn thing.

Flowers are a big part of my day and studio life.

There are five lifestyle sets shooting in the studio each day. I am a product junkie so I #lovelovelove seeing what comes through.

Lunch is usually a quick bite but today I had a special date. Renn and his mom, Style Director Meghan Guthrie, came in to catch up before she comes returns to work from maternity leave.

I spend some of my afternoon in meetings or art directing on set/on location but I try to meet with people who inspire me. Today, I looked over some artwork by my friend Cyndy Ware, whose self-portrait I had to have.

When I get home, I love to see what’s inside the boys’ backpacks. Today, Leo, the youngest, had his first set of x-rays taken and he is VERY proud.

I end the day the way it begins, putting the girls back in the coop…then dinner, drinks and a chat with my partner in love and life…Dan.

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  • Wow. Well I feel inefficient now. Ha ha! One thing I do very well though is the perfect hardboiled egg! I’m impressed every time. So I’m not a lost cause yet! ;)

  • This was a super duper fun surprise to see Elana’s face when I opened up my browser! and a sneak peek into her home! Elana was also one of the first magazine editors I met at the gift show when I began my career in home accessories. Thanks for the post, Grace!

  • Elana- this is a lovely “snapshot” made of many
    snapshots of your day – I hope you are sharing with
    other women the peace and satisfaction you have
    found mothering and working – thanks for this –

  • Congratulations Elana, you seem to have cracked the code of work/life balance while being a Mum. You truly are an inspiration. Thank you Grace for sharing your hero with us.

  • What a lovely way to live, sigh :) I wish my work was accessible by public transport, I could get used to an hour of time to read rather than sit in traffic.

  • Love this! And love to see that Elana lives right nearby me in Mamaroneck! I did not know you could have chickens here–very cool. As a fellow design mag writer/editor, I hope I get to meet her one day soon.

  • This is just wonderful! I grew up on the same train line and also commuted into Grand Central for my first real job! I love that commute and Grand Central is a wonderful jolt to the system to start the day off. Elana, you are an inspiration.

  • Hi Elana! I am a vendor for One Kings Lane and owner of Enchanted Fig Tree. Love your story! I, too, am a mom, room mom for my Kindergartner and just bought a chicken coop so my three year old can experience a little bit of farm life. Thank you for being an inspiration. Stephanie Fig :)

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