At Home: Jewelry Designer Michelle Marocco's Studio

A soulful—and successful—artist gave her workspace a good scuffing.

Inspired by an 18th-century fishing cottage in France, Michelle Marocco transformed a cookie-cutter room in her Carmel home into an artfully distressed place to make jewelry worn by the likes of Russell Brand, Nicole Scherzinger, and Elaine Irwin. Her line, Niyama, mixes beads, diamonds, and wood pieces with leather cording. “It has a real traveled feel,” she says. The same can be said of this space, a product of 40 days of labor by the mega-tasking single mother of two.



The industrial look of these “trouble lights,” common in mechanics’ garages, spoke to the designer.

Mismatched shelving hardware came from Colonial Antiques, near Zionsville.

The Niyama logo incorporates the universally recognized figure-eight.

Marocco distressed the floors herself with a belt sander. “I don’t recommend that. It’s so hard,” she says.

Using scaffolding, Marocco called on her experience as an oil painter to remake the ceiling with her own mix of Italian fresco plaster and dry pigment.

Marocco painted this piece, inspired by meditation—a single focal point.

A Guatemalan piece from a design center in California.

Fashioned from 100-year-old hemp fabric.

This chest, made of wood from old boats, holds Marocco’s beads.

Niyama pieces are meant to be layered. “Less is not more; more is better,” Marocco says.

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the October 2013 issue.