Wed. May 29th, 2024

MILAN — According to celebrity go-to interior designer Jake Arnold, real estate, design and art are the key ingredients to exquisite homes.

Known for harmonizing British charm with laid-back California style, the 34-year-old has seen his reputation rise through his design spin on homes of the rich and famous including John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry, Rashida Jones and Zendaya, to name a few.

Studio Jake Arnold and The Expert, another company he cofounded, has now teamed with New York City-based high-end real estate advisory firm Official to curate the opening of their Aspen office and Aspen retail space and launch a new consumer-facing program, which will kick off in the luxury ski destination. The collaboration, which was revealed to WWD Thursday, involves providing design resources and access to world-renowned interior designers, in order to help individuals envision and create their dream homes in less time and with more efficiency.

The Expert, which was founded in 2021, is a virtual design services firm that links clients globally to more than 200 A-list interior designers for exclusive one-on-one video consultations. It is also a marketplace with more than 125 brands and more than 5,000 select products. Inside, the new Aspen space is furnished with The Expert’s own vintage and contemporary pieces like lighting from Brooklyn lighting studio In Common With and Scandinavian rugs by Nordic Knots. Accessible art platform Creative Art Partners, which was founded by Brian Ludlow in 2016, was also tapped for the Aspen project.

“I was attracted to the way Official connected the two… It’s all about lifestyle and how they want to see the full relationship blossom from the purchase all the way to someone executing a beautiful home that feels custom and special,” Arnold explained.

Inside Studio Jake Arnold’s latest Aspen project with The Expert, Official and Creative Art Partners.

Jake Heddaeus

In a complex market environment, the Aspen housing market is outpacing other secondary ones, both in the rise in home value and in terms of median price, according to residential real estate brokerage and mortgage origination services firm Redfin.

In March 2024, Aspen home prices were up 188.8 percent compared to last year, selling for a median price of $3.8 million. By comparison, in March 2024, Palm Beach, Fla., home prices were up 91.4 percent compared to last year, selling for a median price of $3.4 million. Hamptons home prices inched up 11.5 percent compared to last year, selling for a median price of $1.4 million, Redfin reported.

“Aspen was a great jumping-off pad for this project, where people have or potentially will have multiple homes or who are looking at second homes. I think people in Aspen are alway looking to buy things ready to go,” Arnold added, explaining that his clients have often sought his advice on potential real estate acquisitions to understand how the space can be made their own. Official plans to introduce this concept to additional new markets, including the Hamptons and Palm Beach.  

Official’s chief growth officer and cofounder Nicole Oge told WWD that she admires Arnold’s “sense of timeless sophistication and his success in finding solutions for a discerning clientele. Jake’s design platform, The Expert, was an important piece of this equation for Official given the natural synchronicity between the home buying/selling processes and a client’s desire to be connected with the best designers in the world.”

Beyond the physical design and decor, The Expert will offer Official’s Aspen clients individual consultations. This collaboration also involves organizing a calendar of events tailored to Official agents and their clients to inspire creative conversations, connecting the real estate sector with the local art and design communities.

Official claims it is the first real estate firm to specialize in the high end of the market. The firm currently operates in key markets including New York, Miami, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, Aspen and Orange County, Calif., and prides itself on its network of respected developers, discerning buyers, and sellers.

Oge said that the Aspen market’s total residential sales surpassed $2 billion in 2023, with an average home price nearing $10 million. “It holds the highest density of ultra-high net worth individuals in the U.S., with one in every 67 residents falling into this category — nearly 15 times higher than New York. Additionally, Aspen has evolved into a thriving cultural hub, further enhancing its allure on the global stage.”

Jake Arnold

Inside Studio Jake Arnold’s latest Aspen project with The Expert, Official and Creative Art Partners.

Jake Heddaeus


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