Interior Designer Ariel Okin’s “Traditional with a Twist” Dream Registry

By Shayna Seid
Photo: Courtesy of Donna Dotan

What makes the perfect registry? Our Dream Registry series answers just that, providing an endless source of inspiration for those putting together their own Over The Moon registries. We enlisted the help of some of our most stylish and in-the-know friends—whether they’re single, engaged, or already married. (Because we’re taking a page from Carrie Bradshaw’s playbook and saying one should be able to register for Manolos no matter what their relationship status!) Peek inside the registries of tastemakers, from editors and stylists to wedding planners and beyond. Your dream registry is just a click away.

Photo: Courtesy of Erin McGinn

Ariel Okin, OTM Bride, writer, interior designer, and founder of Ariel Okin Interiors and Fenimore Lane, married her husband Benjamin Okin in a beautiful wedding at Rosecliff Mansion in Rhode Island on May 13, 2017. Since then, the two have had a baby girl and moved into a home in Westchester, New York, that she’s in the process of decorating. We, of course, knew that Ariel would be the ideal person to make a Dream Registry, since she is our go-to for all things interiors, shares our love of Nancy Meyers’s movies and movie sets, and just released a collection with OTM favorite accessories brand Neely & Chloe.

Ariel describes her aesthetic as “traditional with a twist.” “At AOI, we’re known for creating interiors that are rooted in tradition, yet infused with a well-edited, fresh take,” she says.

So where does the woman who has created spaces for the likes of Lena Dunham and Sara Foster as well as the Maisonette and Goop offices find her inspiration? To start, interior design books—”I’m a total hoarder! I often will reference an old Mark Hampton, Billy Baldwin, or Albert Hadley books for inspiration,” she says. “Ultimately, for interiors—as well as in life—I think your intuition should guide your process. As Billy Baldwin used to say, ‘Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.’ And I am a firm believer that trends are not to be followed! Classic, authentic style has staying power.”

For Ariel’s New York home, her husband Ben’s only request was that his spaces be “comfortable,” but he trusts her completely and lets her do her own thing. Every spouse isn’t that easy and amendable though. “For clients who have opposite styles, I always tell them to individually print out our design presentations, circle what they like, and compare notes—that can apply to choosing items for a registry, too!” Ariel advises.

When it came to choosing inspiration for her Dream Registry, Ariel admits it was hard to pick one theme. “But I stuck to my trusty blue, white, and green color scheme—my favorite colors,” she says. “I also thought about pieces that, almost five years into being married—next spring!—and as a mom of a toddler and someone who cooks a lot, I know I would use all the time.”

Since the interior designer is also “an avid home cook” and uses the Le Creuset pots from her wedding “truly multiple times a day,” Ariel had to add them to her Dream Registry. She goes on to say, “A great espresso machine is another must-have, as well as two sets of flatware and china—formal and daily—and some beautiful serving pieces.”

“The espresso machine is a splurge, but so worth it—especially working from home during the pandemic,” she says. “It’s so necessary to be able to make yourself a quality cup of coffee to savor.” We agree—the Jura machines are utilitarian, but also like a piece of jewelry for one’s kitchen.

And while you may think uniformity with serving pieces is classic and easy, Ariel loves mixing and matching multiple sets “to create a beautiful, layered table.” “That’s what I did with our own registry. I love that not everything necessarily matches,” she says. “But it all looks so lovely together.”

Finally, Ariel’s key advice for couples putting together their own registries would be to “have so much fun doing it! Getting married means building a life together, and picking out the items for your home as a married couple is just the beginning of that amazing, beautiful, wild ride!”

Shop Ariel Okin’s Dream Registry below!