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Functionality Meets Style

Shannon Murray Petruzello shares her company’s philosophy and how they achieve design success with each client.

Getting to really know people— asking lots of questions, making sure there’s plenty of back-and-forth on ideas—is the first step in creating a strong relationship with a client, explains Shannon Murray Petruzello, owner and designer of Shannon Murray Interiors and Shannon Murray Remodeling, based in Rye, NY. “Functionality is key to me in great design, so I make sure to truly understand how my clients want to live and function in the space,” she explains.


Once Petruzello determines how the space will be used, the next step is talking color palettes. “What do they want to surround themselves in to feel happy, calm, and at peace,” says Petruzello. Then, they move to style and what resonates most with clients regarding the aesthetics of their home. “I cannot begin to design a room unless I know how the client wants to live and use the room. To me, a great design must be a functional design.”

Collectively, this helps define her company’s philosophy: That a person’s home should be their sanctuary. And this has been the doctrine of her firm for the last 15 years. “I want my projects to reflect the people who live there. I strongly believe that when someone comes into a home that was designed by us, it should clearly reflect the personality of the homeowners,” she explains.


Instead of taking a backseat when the pandemic hit, Petruzello went in full steam. “I launched a new remodeling segment of my business in 2020, just in time for an uptick in construction projects over the last year,” she explains. The timing was right, since people are spending so much time at home that they are noticing areas that feel worn out and in need of an upgrade, and they want to optimize their space. Instead of spending money on vacations, many homeowners began investing in home improvements.

This year has seen its fair share of new and different home trends. Biggest among them, says Petruzello, is a focus on comfort and functionality. “Clients are asking for ways to create separate TV rooms and dedicated work-from-home spaces for both adults and children,” she says. Petruzello is also getting requests to add or update outdoor space with furniture, design a pool area or add a fire pit.

A recent example of her work includes a large renovation in Rye for a family of five with three daughters. “The home design is bright and lively with shades of blue, whimsical wallpaper, fun tiles and funky furniture—just like my clients’ personalities,” she says. “The home truly represents their family. You instantly get a sense of who they are as you enter the home.”

That’s the key for Petruzello—as it has been since she started her business in 2006. No matter what their needs are, she and her team aim to make clients feel comfortable and happy in their space. If the room is functional, but doesn’t feel right, it’s not serving its purpose, says Petruzello. It’s the combination of comfort, functionally and style that truly brings it all together.

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