Designer Friday: A-List Interiors

As classmates at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Ariella and Anelle, two aspiring designers, knew that they weren’t there to float with the current- they were there to make waves. Six years later, the two friends’ combined dreams wove themselves into A-List Interiors, a full-service design firm for the modern-day fashionista. With Anelle’s background in fashion and Ariella’s expertise in fine art, the two have blossomed their business from dormitory dream to established residential design firm. Noticed not only by consumers but by major publications, such as Architectural Digest and Luxe, the detail-driven women are powerhouses in the Manhattan design market. Meet the spirited and sparkling best friends below in this double Designer Friday!

“Millennial lilac” takes on a glamorous new form from A-List in this bedroom with an upholstered Chatelet bed and lavender-adorned tapestry curtains.

Andrew Joseph: Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on?

Ariella Duker: Since we predominantly work on residential projects, we would be excited to take on a boutique hotel (preferably in an exotic location). Boutique hotels are unlike other commercial projects because they allow for greater creative expression and we would be part of creating rich and memorable experiences for a lot of people.

Anelle Gandelman: My dream would be to take on an historic property in England or France…a townhouse restoration or country manor would be incredible. I’m obsessed with architectural details and would love the challenge of integrating the history of a place with modern design. I also love visiting both these countries so a project in either would give me a great excuse to visit more often.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?

Anelle and Ariella: We are inspired by our travels and feel energized when we are able to incorporate design elements or actual furniture finds from other cities and or countries into our interiors. Layering in antiques, vintage, and original artwork with new pieces makes us excited about where the next special piece or idea will come from. It allows us to give our clients a home that is truly personalized and cannot be replicated.

Rich turquoise walls and light mustard sitting chairs are a lush and tastefully contrasting pair in this sophisticated sitting room.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?

Anelle and Ariella: Don’t sweat the small stuff… the wasted time worrying could be put to much better use!

Keep your eyes on your own paper so to speak… don’t compare yourself to others and follow your own path at your own pace and be sure to celebrate others’ achievements along the way as you would your own.

Andrew: Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?

Anelle: I moved to the US from South Africa on my own at the age of 17. Looking back, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to do it had I been a little older. Luckily I was naive enough not to worry too much about what could go wrong. It was a crazy thing to do, but also the best decision of my life.

You don’t need bright colors to make a room stand out- just ask A-List, whose eyes for angels and detail make this clean, cool room a picturesque place to hang.

Andrew: Favorite Scent?

Anelle and Ariella: oOumm Paris candle scents Caroli & Erakis. Scents have the ability to transport you to a place or evoke a feeling in such an incredible way. These scents remind us of time spent in Paris, one of our favorite cities and make our homes feel a bit more moody, cozy, and dare we say “sexy.”

Andrew: Before leaving the house, you always…

Ariella: Give my dog a treat, kiss the brown spot on his head, and tell him to be good (he always is).


ABOUT A-LIST INTERIORS | The design duo Ariella Duker and Anelle Gandelman of A-List Interiors met while studying fine and decorative arts at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. After graduating from the American Arts Course, the two remained close friends, working independently for six years before they joined forces and founded A-List Interiors in 2012.

Anelle Gandelman comes from a strong background in both art and design. She is an alumna of DwellStudio, a New York-based home furnishings company, where she served as Head of Design before leaving to start her own design firm and contemporary Art Gallery in 2007. Anelle studied Interior Design at the New York School of Interior Design and holds a Certificate in American Art and antiques from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design.

Ariella Duker studied various elements of Fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is a graduate of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where she earned a Certificate in American Art and antiques, and graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Binghamton University. She has a special interest in wine, earning certificates from the American Sommelier Association, the Sommelier Society of America, and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

A-List Interiors are known for their attention to detail and their ability to seamlessly mix antiques and contemporary art and furnishings in both traditional and more modern projects. The duo were recently named Rising Stars by the New York chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IDFA). Their work has been published in Architecturaldigest.com, Luxe, NY Cottages & Gardens and their room at the Hampton Designer Showhouse was featured in Traditional Home.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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