Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Sarah Abdallah

Stumbling across a detail-oriented designer with a keen eye may be easy to find, but what makes Sarah Abdallah unique is her ability to understand public space and hone in on our five senses, to create her clients’ utmost personal environment. Her years of travel and holistic approach to design harmonizes into timeless, contemporary, and calming spaces. You can find her designs all over New York’s hottest spots like The Lincoln Center, The Ritz Carlton, and more recently, the VNYL, a 1970’s inspired lifestyle space located in downtown New York City. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Sarah Abdallah of Functional Creative Design.


With David Hicks wallpaper, custom-made furnishings, and rock n’ roll inspired elements, this space in the VNYL takes us back to a time of great hair and even greater design. Photo by Clara Esperanza.

Andrew Joseph: What was the last book you read?
Sarah Abdallah: Spirit Hacking: Keys to Reclaiming Your Personal Power, Transform Yourself, and Light up the World by Shaman Durek.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Sarah: Ancient Wisdom Today podcast – learning and reawakening past knowledge of spirituality – healing and manifestation through listening to guest speakers, shared mediations and storytelling by Shaman Durek.

Sup Babe Pod – Morning dose of living your best life and pro tips & life hacks for women by host Nicole Rosé also known as DJ Rosé. I love the high vibes and simple reminders of life hacks and pro tips to get you motivated through the pandemic.

Andrew: How would you define your work in 3 words?
Sarah: Imaginative – Accessible Luxury – Comfortable.


The second floor of the VNYL is the Black Rose Room. Dark tones featured in the woods and leather are accompanied by bold teal panels and vintage touches, creating an ambiance that truly encompasses “old meets new.” Photo by Clara Esperanza.

Andrew: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Sarah: Accessible luxury, comfortable and timeless – which taps into your well-being. You would feel a soft cashmere blanket, as you walk through the space you would feel a heated stone floor, then walk onto a handmade wool/silk rug on your bare feet. You would smell essential oils coming through a modern handmade ceramic air defuser. As your feet reach down from your high thread count Percale Egyptian cotton sheets you land on a soft Genuine Curly Mongolian sheepskin rug.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail
Sarah: Skinny Margarita – I love high-end tequila so want to taste it not cover it up.

Andrew: Favorite App?
Sarah: Instagram – I am a visual person and learner.

Andrew: What are three words to describe where you live?
Sarah: Peaceful – Still – Hopeful.


Sarah Abdallah was truly inspired by the music and energy of the 1970s. She strived to make this space just as fun and exciting as the era, yet accessible and functional. Photo by Clara Esperanza.

Andrew: What are you most Proud of?
Sarah: Taking the leap of faith in myself – doing what I love the way I envision it.

Andrew: What would you tell your teenage self?
Sarah: Be patient and don’t be afraid of the unknown. Your thoughts and your spoken word create your reality – speak what you want into existence with love and kindness for yourself and others. Remember… The possibilities are truly endless.

Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Sarah: Being an agent of change and legacy leader – my passion extends into humanity and creating more love and kindness globally for all. It’s important to me to work on the educational component for students who are excelling in the classroom, allowing them to connect Theory to Practice.


About The Designer | New York Designer and Interior Architect Sarah A. Abdallah has overseen design and execution of some of the most iconic hotels, restaurants, co-working spaces, residences and retail spaces in the world. In her dynamic career she has regularly lent her intuitive eye and project management skills to spaces at some of the most notable hospitality brands in the world: Lincoln Center, The Ritz Carlton, The Intercontinental, The Soho Grand, Edition Clock Tower in NYC, The Park Hyatt and Shangri-la Fort Manila to name a few. In Residential, Commercial, and Mix-use projects: NeueHouse NY and LA, 15 Hudson Yards Luxury Residential Tower, The Water Line Square, and Battersea Power Station in London to name a few. Abdallah honed her perspective, and careful attention to detail through her selected firm experiences include working with Rockwell Group Architecture, Planning and Design, Toni Chi and Associates, Perkins Eastman, Grand Life Hotels and Glen & Co.

As a dynamic woman of bi-racial and bi-cultural background, she is the founder of a bespoke luxury design firm based out of Flat Iron District of Manhattan in New York City. Photo by Sumaiyah Akhtar.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for aspire design and home magazine. See more of his work here.

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