Who do young couples in New York turn to when they need a designer who is effortlessly chic and has a fresh eye? If you guessed Ariel Okin, you’d be correct. Ariel seamlessly mixes traditional design with cosmopolitan elegance, which is exactly what the owners of this apartment on New York’s West Side were looking for.
“The clients really wanted a warm, layered, sophisticated space that blended a traditional aesthetic with some more-modern and sleek accents for a collected, cosmopolitan vibe,” says Ariel. “They’re a fun, young couple with a great sense of personal style, so their ideal home was one that blended heritage with intrigue.”
The bones of the apartment were already fabulous. Expansive windows let in plenty of natural light and offer amazing views of the Hudson River. Ariel layered in tone-on-tone neutrals, classic blues and white, and pops of highly saturated color. Every room offers a perfectly blended vignette of traditional elegance and modern style.
The entryway sets the tone for the rest of the apartment. “I really love the entryway and the living room and how they speak to each other,” says Ariel. “From the green velvet on the bench to the navy lacquer on the bar, the rich camel leather and the beige hide rug, it all speaks to each other in a really fun way.”
A traditional aesthetic isn’t as constricting as you might think. Ariel opted for this pop of modern art by Dawn Wolfe, a favorite artist of hers, to shake up the feel of the room. “Something super poppy and graphic above the mantel works well because it feels unexpected paired with the men’s suiting fabric on the more traditional club chairs,” Ariel says.
The clients really wanted warm, sophisticated, layered space that blended a traditional aesthetic with some more-modern and sleek accents.
The master bedroom features a lovely seating area complete with a sofa and a desk. The ottoman with bullion fringe is a One Kings Lane exclusive. The art above is also by Dawn Wolfe.
The study, which Ariel describes as a “cozy man cave,” is layered with masculine elements like these leather-wrapped sconces from Ralph Lauren Home. The room is lacquered in a blue hue from Fine Paints of Europe mixed by NYC Fine Finishes, which also lacquered the entryway and dining room. “If you’re looking for some wow factor, lacquer is definitely the way to go,” Ariel says.
In a tonal living room, stronger pieces like these leather ottomans pack a punch. “I like to think of tone-on-tone as more of a gradient or ombré, rather than multiple items in the same exact color,” says Ariel. “If you’re using beiges, for example, factor in all types of browns, from the lightest coffee cream to the darkest espresso bean. That’s where you get that highlight and contrast, and that’s what keeps things interesting to the eye.”
The living room was so large that Ariel felt it was important to create distinct zones. “The concept was to think about a conversation at a cocktail party. Where would people be sitting? Where would they instinctively gravitate to? We settled around the TV, which is hidden behind the custom built-ins, the fireplace, and the bar,” she says. “I think it’s always really important to be thoughtful about seating patterns in a room, especially for clients who entertain a lot, because it can really affect the flow of a party.”
Ariel’s clients already had the dining room table, and getting rid of it was not an option. Pairing the rustic table with the elegant silhouette of the dining room chairs elevated the table’s look. “We had to ultimately balance the heaviness of the table with the rest of the room,” says Ariel. “We used lighter fabrics, textures, and colors to create a sort of ethereal vibe.”
The kitchen features a lovely breakfast nook and seating for four. The tufted side chairs and chic table offer a more casual alternative to the formal dining room.