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

By Shayna Seid
Photo: Carmel Fasano Brantley

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 welcomed two baby girls and moved into a home in Westchester, New York. 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.

Ariel describes her aesthetic as “traditional with a contemporary twist.” “At AOI, we’re known for creating interiors that are rooted in tradition, yet infused with a well-edited, fresh take,” she says. When it comes to decorating her spaces, Ariel likes to start with the architecture of a space to think about the layout, then she ponders how the space will be used. “From there, it’s [about] layering in personality with textiles, color, etc., and the furniture silhouettes come next. The finishing touches of art and accessories are the piece de resistance and really make any space feel unique and finished and reflective of its owner.”

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 have a huge collection of both contemporary and vintage interior design books, and I learn so much from them every single time I read them,” Ariel says. Books by Stephen Sills, Renzo Mongiardino, Frances Elkins, and Billy Baldwin are “the great classics.” “I love Mark Sikes’s book and Ashley Whittaker’s book, from a contemporary designer standpoint—I love seeing how they layer color and pattern in fresh and beautiful ways.”

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 love to entertain and cook, so beautiful tableware, functional cookware, and gorgeous-meets-hardworking kitchen gadgets top my list!”

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.”

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 leaves us with key advice for couples creating their own Over The Moon Registries: “Try to think about the foundations of what you’ll need to build a home together: beautiful entertaining pieces—servingware, linens, china, glassware, flatware—cookware, kitchen ‘gadgets’ like a great espresso machine, coffee maker, tea kettle, etc. and then also beautiful bedding, towels, and accessories like vases and picture frames. Those are really the ‘registry essentials’ and then whatever else strikes your fancy is an added plus!”

Shop Ariel Okin’s Dream Registry and start your own Over The Moon Registry today!