Cochineal (ko.chi.neel)

Sarah Mendel Risa Pally - 7028.jpg


Cochineal is an interior design firm focused on simplicity. Driven by something intangible—a vision—we strive for streamlined and effortless outcomes. We are dedicated to details, but believe in the unfussy. Living among fine design is not only possible, but comfortable.

Our objective? Executing smart styles that fit our clients’ lifestyles and exceed their expectations. We customize rooms by offering not only the products that transform a space, but a meaningful design experience and client-specific solutions. We select pieces from our network of galleries, auction houses, artisans, and showrooms, adhering to outlined schedules and budget expectations.

What we provide is personal and professional, and we define a successful experience as making our clients’ lives easier. Our designs are comprehensive and collaborative, but also thoughtful and fun.


Design is a discussion. At Cochineal, we challenge each other to be thoughtful, creative designers. Our studio is unrestrained—we never say no to ideas—and promising proposals are thoroughly fine-tuned and strengthened. This practice of collective, productive discourse elevates us as a team and is evident in all aspects of our designs, from floor plans to finishes to furniture.


Cochineal was established in 2015. Sarah Mendel, Founder and Principal, specializes in interior design and decorating, commercial development, and furniture design. Risa Pally, Director, has worked in interior design and decorating, retail development, and construction. Both graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City.

our name

Josef Albers, the artist and professor largely responsible for shaping modern art education, mused, “If one says ‘Red’—the name of color—and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” Our company name is an homage to Albers: cochineals are the bugs that produced red extract for dyes until synthetics were invented in the 1850s.

Our clients

W HOTEL in Hoboken, NJ. TIMBER COVE RESORT in Sonoma County, CA. KIMPTON ROWAN HOTEL in Palm Springs, CA. ELEMENT HOTEL in Harrison, NJ. RESIDENCE INN in Jersey City, NJ. IRONSTATE DEVELOPMENT in New York, NY and Hoboken, NJ. APPLIED PROPERTY COMPANY in Hoboken, NJ. IRONWAVE HOSPITALITY in Hoboken, NJ and Laguna Niguel, CA. THIRD PALM CAPITAL in Dallas, TX. KRE GROUP in Bridgewater, NJ. BECKENSTEIN FABRICS in New York, NY.

We have private residential clients in New York, New Jersey, California and Florida.


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