"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life."
- Frank Lloyd Wright
COCO ARNESEN established her design firm in 2003 in New York City with the goal of creating stunning environments that promote a sense of calm and wellbeing, spaces that are at once beautiful and easy to live in. Coco's art for creating intimate spaces that exude warmth and sophisticated simplicity has resulted in a long list of satisfied, and often repeat, clients.
Coco offers a personal touch for every client, bringing 20-plus years of experience to bear. She listens carefully to her clients to ensure that their design tastes and needs are translated into functional and aesthetically beautiful homes. Her clients comment on her friendly, open disposition, professionalism, attention to detail, and discerning design eye.
Whether a small decorative project, new construction, full-scale renovation, or simply an update of furnishings, every project gets Coco's full attention, from preliminary design development through detailed floor plans, construction management, and the selection of final decorative elements.
The daughter of a diplomat, Coco lived in countries throughout the world during her childhood, from Turkey to Spain, Nicaragua, Switzerland and Haiti. This culturally rich and diverse upbringing fueled Coco's lifelong interest in art, antiquities, and design, and was formative in shaping her openness to perspectives on beauty. Coco is fluent in French and Spanish.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Coco worked for ten years for renowned design firms in New York such as Charles Damga, Inc., David Scott Interiors and Stephanie Stokes, Inc. before starting COCO ARNESEN DESIGN.
"Coco is a true professional and also creative, kind, and brilliant at managing all aspects of the job, from a basic redecoration to a full-on renovation or new construction. She works beautifully with contractors, architects and tradespeople, speaks several languages and knows where to find exactly what you're looking for. I can't recommend her highly enough, and have used her on four separate projects."
- Fiona, Upper West Side
"I've hired Coco on multiple occasions over the past decade, and she has consistently exceeded my expectations on every level. She's highly creative and has an insider's knowledge of the NYC design world. Whether it's coming up with an original and thoughtful design concept, managing costs or overseeing a project, Coco handles every detail with grace and composure."
- Kristin and Tom, Greenwich Village, New York City.
"Coco was recommended to us by a friend who is an architect and who has worked with her. We engaged Coco to help us create a relaxing Asian-influenced apartment, which we use as a part-time getaway. She met with us to understand our lifestyle and preferences. She was patient with us, walking us through the Manhattan decorating maze. She introduced us to sources for fabrics, window treatments, Asian antiques, custom new furniture, rugs and lighting. She adjusted her suggestions to accommodate our preferences, selections and out-of-town acquisitions. She was collaborative and open-minded, her costs were transparent, and she listened. We are very happy with the result and friends comment how restful and relaxing our place is."
- Sue and Frank, Upper East Side Residence, New York City.
"Coco helped us decorate our three bedroom apartment. She was willing to work with our ideas, was able to interact with our contractor and architect effectively and had a lot of sources both high end and low end. Coco also stepped in to supervise our apartment repairs when it was flooded and we were living abroad. We highly recommend her!"
-Milanee and Sujal, Upper West Side Duplex, New York City.
"Coco is an excellent listener. She helps you flesh out your ideas and make choices without ever being controlling. Coco was an incredible liaison and advocate with our builder and other materials providers. She is sensitive to and helped us stay within our budget. Coco is always personable and a pleasure to be around!"
-Sam and Paulette, West Side Apartment, New York City.
Photographer Mark Jenkinson
Design Associate Kate Draper