Professional of the Month

Recently we had the opportunity to chat with Interior decorator Shannon Murray Petruzello and pick her brain! Here is what we found most interesting about this talented designer and super busy mother of two boys! All we can say is that her style is without question a 10! 

Family Photo 2





How long have you lived in Rye?

My husband and I moved to Rye from Larchmont the summer before our first son was born. And, oh my, it’s been 10 years already! 

What’s your favorite local restaurant (could be anywhere local, doesn’t have to be Rye)

Locally, my family and always eat at Aurora. I am married to a die-hard Italian who must get his pasta & pizza fix and Aurora just does it right!

However, if we are up for a drive, I am most intrigued with Whelk in Westport. Of course, a great interior makes me excited but their food is absolutely so creative. We were eating next to Martha Stewart one night and after we overheard her recommendation of this restaurant – we had to check it out! And, boy, was she right!

 What’s your typical client looking for?

I am working on many young Westchester family homes right now. So, the main focus has been kid friendly fabrics. Stain resistant, indoor/outdoor fabrics, vinyls and easy care materials are all the rage. My clients tend to be young, stylish New Yorkers who want to have a chic house but need it stand up to a home full of kids (and red wine! ).


We always have clients ask us, “we need a decorator for a small job”. Do you handle these types of projects?

Of course! We live in a fast paced society. Most of us are super-busy and tackling “small” jobs allows us to update our home and then move onto something else. It works for me too as it’s a great way for me to have a quick impact on someone’s home in a small way. And, it may lead to something larger at another date.

 What’s your favorite paint color? Are the “greys” still a popular palette? Or your top go-to colors? 

Oh yes! Everyone is into Grey right now! Its what we like to wear which translates into what we want to surround ourselves in at home. My background is in clothing and textiles (in my past life, I was head of Men’s Dress Shirts at Macy’s then VP of Tommy Hilfiger Kids).  I watch what is trending in fashion as it always moves into interiors. They are both extremely related.

I love neutrals so I tend to be drawn towards whites, greige and taupes when I choose a paint color. Again, my background at Tommy Hilfiger comes into play. Our offices and showrooms were painted in Benjamin Moore Putnam Ivory. I was surrounded by this color for years. And, it still soothes me. It is the color of a great pair of Khaki pants. My boys’ rooms are painted this color and it’s a color that goes with anything!


Do you see people using the spaces in the homes differently or in new ways?

Most of my clients truly want a traditional home (i.e. a formal dining room, a separate living room and family room). However, the big open kitchen/family room is becoming the norm for easier entertaining and interaction with family while cooking. Also, the mudroom is a new must-have along with a designated playroom.  

My living room is the largest and most underused he in the house, any ideas to make the space more family friendly? 

I truly believe the living room is going to give way to a larger more casual area for families as our lives become more concentrated towards less formal entertaining & living.  A few ideas to help utilize this room and make it more functional for everyday life is to…add a piano – make a music corner, move out the furniture – add a ping pong table & a game table, use it for a family office – put in a desk or large table with comfy chairs for surfing the net or doing homework, or switch up the furniture styles – take out the stuffy sofas and add a large seating arrangement of swivel chairs and an ottoman for ease of conversation – you could even add in a bar cart or wine area to add more space for entertaining. The key is functionality!

New Traditional


I have a smaller home and would love a quick easy tip on decorative storage. Any ideas?

It really depends on what you are trying to put away. I like to use the organizers that hang from the back of closet doors in kids’ rooms. They have a ton of compartments to stash away toys, shoes, goggles – all those things kids need to grab quickly – and you can keep it all hidden. I also use baskets everywhere. They are in my linen closet, in my cabinets, under our beds & by the door. We put our shoes in them, books, cords for all those annoying chargers, protein bars, lotions, towels, etc. A big basket is chic and can even be put in the corner of a family room to store blankets.  

Tell us about your home. What drew you to it?

Our home is a 1920’s stone farmhouse – center hall colonial. When I first walked in, I was drawn to its old bones. The character of the house with its tall ceilings, old moldings & interesting windows had me at hello! We did a complete over-haul of the house 6 years ago and added an addition. I kept the integrity of the old colonial style but added a modern twist. I am a traditionalist at heart and love antiques but the clean, simple, lines of a modern aesthetic is what I love to mix together.   




Shannon Murray Petruzello, Principal and Designer, graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Merchandising and Design Management.  Shannon has over 15 years of experience in Design & Merchandising in the Fashion Industry. After 5 years of traveling to Europe and Asia designing Men’s apparel for Macy’s Department Stores, Shannon gained valuable insight and technical expertise with textiles. This is where she gained her love of fabric, pattern and color.  This passion grew at Tommy Hilfiger, USA where she was Vice President of Merchandising for over 10 years where she had intensive input with the design of the garment, showroom design and color palettes. After a fulfilling career in the Fashion Industry, Shannon funneled this design energy into her true passion of Interior Design. Shannon bases her love of designing homes on the philosophy that a person’s home should be their sanctuary. SM Interiors was founded on this philosophy in February 2007 and she has turned homes into sanctuaries in Southwest Florida, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey.

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