Among the businesses that have recently cropped up in town is a chic new studio space above Gallery 52 (in space previously occupied by Best Little Hair Salon) — Shannon Murray Interiors.
By Annette McLoughlin
Among the businesses that have recently cropped up in town is a chic new studio space above Gallery 52 (in space previously occupied by Best Little Hair Salon) — Shannon Murray Interiors. Murray has been a local decorating talent since 2006 and has turned her passion for interiors into a thriving business.
While she didn’t start out in interior design, she minored in it at college, and continued her study of textiles at Parsons. Her first job was in fashion, designing men’s apparel for Macy’s Department Stores. She went on to become Vice President of Merchandising at Tommy Hilfiger. After her second child was born, she redirected her talents to better fit the time demands of a mother.
Having woven her career in fashion into interior design, Murray is guided by her belief that a person’s home should be their sanctuary. SM Interiors was founded on this philosophy and she has turned homes into sanctuaries in Southwest Florida, Westchester County, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
After over eight years working from home, Murray decided she needed “new inspiration, an office outside my home in which to display my aesthetic to clients and space in which to collaborate with manufacturers’ reps.”
For clients who have yet to find their own personal style, Murray offers: “Surround yourself with colors and furnishings that make you feel happy and at ease.” She adds, I pride myself on getting to know my clients — how they want a room to function, what their favorite colors are, and which of their possessions must stay (usually because it’s a family piece or they have a sentimental attachment to it).”
Murray says it’s easy for a designer to work with clients who say, ‘Just make it beautiful,’ but she loves the challenge of working with those who want to be part of the process.
So, she starts off by giving new clients homework. “They need to provide me with photos of what they love about a room, or, conversely, designs they loathe!” Murray continued, “I want each home to reflect the people living in it. I would hate it if someone walked into a room I designed and said, ‘Oh, I see Shannon helped you with your house.’”
To every client, Murray counsels patience. “There are many challenges in the interior design business, but my biggest frustration is the wait time. Most of my clients want instant gratification, however, making furniture takes time (three, sometimes four months.) And because of cost implications, most companies are not stocking items, so there’s often a wait time for wallpaper, fabrics, and accessories.”
Murray is not wedded to any one style or design period, and she is happy to tackle a formal, traditional home, a colorful beach cottage, a wildly contemporary house, or an antique-filled farmhouse.
“Doing the same style or design over and over would be a bore,” she said.
The decorating trends that have caught Murray’s eye this fall are: “greater use of gold in hardware, lighting fixtures, and faucets. Gold brings a fresh pop to kitchens and bathrooms. In terms of colors, soft pink is a new neutral. And indigo is truly the new black. This hue eludes mystery and drama without the starkness and coldness of black.” She also reports that brightly colored floral artwork and upholstery is in vogue.
Like many of her clients, Murray is a young stylish mom and one who knows how to create a chic home that can stand up to kids, dogs, and red wine! The great news, she said, is that “technology has come a long way and resilient fabrics are no longer scratchy, ugly solids for outdoor use. Stain-resistant, indoor/outdoor fabrics, vinyls, and easy-care materials are my staples and they look great.”
For a look at Murray’s portfolio, visit www.shannonmurrayinteriors.com. Her office/showroom is at 11 Theodore Fremd Avenue.