Miss Universe's Manhattan apartment is a trove of style lessons – here's the designer's favorite

Inside the mid-century modern hangout – from the individual behind the design process

Miss Universe's apartment in New York
(Image credit: Havenly)

Miss Universe's apartment in Midtown Manhattan has had a makeover. The result? A maze of modern decorating ideas that deserve duplication far beyond the Empire State. In an interview with Livingetc, interior designer Vivian Torres of Havenly (opens in new tab) explains her five favorite features. This is how she created a stylish oasis high above New York's hustle. 

Miss Universe's apartment in New York

(Image credit: Havenly)

The primary goal of the project was to create two aesthetically-pleasing video call backgrounds for the titleholders – currently Miss Universe Andrea Meza and Miss USA Asya Branch. I chose the gallery wall because it would age well given its timelessness. Gallery wall ideas date back centuries, so contrary to the opinion of many, they are here to stay.  

I wanted to feature pieces that brought cohesion to the design while illustrating relatable and pertinent subject matter. I chose photography that addressed travel (an inevitable part of the life of a titleholder's life). I also chose illustrations that nod to the subjective and ever-evolving nature of beauty via unconventional figures and portraits. Meanwhile, abstract pieces ground the gallery in a modern, progressive aesthetic.

2. Curated bookcases – for a nod to escapism 

Miss Universe's apartment in New York

(Image credit: Havenly)

Each woman has a busy schedule, often involving separate yet concurrent obligations, so to achieve the primary goal. I needed to design a second non-competing background that they are proud to have in a sociable space. 

I incorporated a set of side-by-side wall-mounted styled bookcases. These are strategically positioned on a wall that is out of view of the gallery wall. This accommodates the titleholders' simultaneous media obligations. The cases have a diverse arrangement of books and accessories to encompass various tastes of the current titleholders – and future winners.

3. Blue velvet seating space 

Miss Universe's apartment in New York

(Image credit: Havenly)

The current titleholders really wanted a navy blue sectional; they didn't want seating that felt too frilly or precious – so they wouldn't need to worry about ruining it. I didn't want to incorporate something so large that it would overpower the space and restrict the floor plan. 

The sectional I chose had a sophisticated yet comfortable feel, and it fit the floor plan without compromising the additional functions that needed to be served.

4. Statement acrylic & brass coffee table  

Miss Universe's coffee table

(Image credit: Havenly)

I wanted an almost jewel-like coffee table that felt modern yet very sturdy. When I saw this one, I knew it was perfect. The square shape hugged the lines of the sectional just right, and the mix of acrylic and brass metal materials felt well balanced. It's just the right touch of luxe for the chic Manhattan apartment. 

5. A textural rug with a global feel  

I love creating contrast in a design – it makes things look and feel more dynamic. In choosing the solid navy velvet sectional, I opted for a rug with uniqueness, texture, and a neutral palette to ground the space. I adore tight or small-scale polka dot patterns, but you normally don't see it on textured rugs like this one. When I saw it, I knew it had to find a home here.

With our favorite interior design trends packed in one space, there's a lot to love about Miss Universe's home. We're ordering a new blue velvet sofa pronto.  

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.