Interior designers and other experts in the home industry work on an impressive number of spaces throughout their careers. But even if some of the makeovers and redesigns start to blend together after a few years, there are some rooms that are just truly unforgettable.
So, to give designers a chance to revisit their favorite projects—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the one room these pros will remember forever. For some, there’s a sentimental connection, for others, there was an obstacle they never thought they’d overcome. But no matter what, these rooms are worth remembering.
There is not a single thing interior designer Ariel Okin would change about this new traditional-style Park Avenue living room, from the custom linen sofas to the stunning view of the city's high rises. Her design philosophy incorporates each client's personality into the space, and though everything she creates boasts polished touches, she remembers this room as a memorable landmark of her design career.
“This project was the first large scale, truly ‘grown up’ space that I designed fully on my own,” says Okin. “I’ll never forget it, both for its place in my portfolio as something I remain so proud of, and also because the family is so incredibly wonderful and became close friends of ours.”
Reflecting on this particular project fills Okin with pride, executing a room remodel that not only her clients loved, but set the stage for her design style to follow.
I always strive to create rooms that are timeless and elegant yet still highly livable and never stuffy.
Keep scrolling to see how Okin created the sophisticated living room of her client’s dreams.
This blue and white living room embraces Okin’s design aesthetic of clean lines and timeless antique finishes. She upholstered the cozy sofa and matching chairs with piped linen details and chose muted tones of blue to help lend a serene look and feel to the space. A variety of styles live and interact with one another in this room, with dip-dyed Christopher Spitzmiller lamps accompanying the Oomph side tables and a simple woven jute rug.
When it came to incorporating a few key statement vintage finds, including a desk and Chinoiserie screen, Okin notes that the pieces posed a challenge to the overall design.
“Figuring out how to factor in a vintage 1920s art deco desk from 1stDibs so that the husband could work from the living room and look out onto the view of Park Avenue proved a challenge, but it was one we inevitably tackled,” Okin says.
Both elements proved to be standout favorites that helped complete the room. “The vintage Chinoiserie screen is a favorite piece of mine to this day, as are the custom upholstered sofa and matching chairs,” Okin says. “I used them as inspiration for my furniture collection with Society Social.”
This aesthetic is present in all of Okin’s projects, embracing “new traditional” that blends a neutral palette with texture, pattern, and shots of color. “It is a theme that can be seen in all of my work,” says Okin. “I always strive to create rooms that are timeless and elegant yet still highly livable and never stuffy.”
The completion of this inviting space truly ran on Okin’s adrenaline. “I was working two jobs when I designed this project: my office day job, plus building my interior design firm on the side on nights and weekends,” Okin recalls. “I worked so hard to accomplish this project while I also put in eight-hour days at my desk. I’m really proud that I pushed through, even though it was hard at times. It was so worth it.”
Okin notes that this room, despite being one of her first large-scale projects, is largely representative of her style now.
“This project will always remind me of that special time, and thinking back on designing the room, I feel pride and happiness,” says Okin.