Refined Design: Elizabeth Strianese Creates Highly Custom Interiors

Presented by   |  Photos by Kate Sears Photography  |     |  Design Feature

Whether working on new construction or giving new life to lived-in spaces, designer Elizabeth Strianese believes that a whole-home approach to interior design is the secret to creating a harmonious flow that responds to the lifestyles of her clients. Through her company, Elizabeth Strianese Interiors—a boutique firm based in Wappingers Falls that focuses on luxury and highly customized design—she creates cohesive spaces that are warm, welcoming, and imbued with the essence of their inhabitants.

“It’s a collaboration,” Strianese explains. “Clients often have huge binders or Pinterest boards and they know what they like, but it’s not necessarily focused. I act as an editor, getting to the heart of what the client truly wants, and together we form the design, like you would a stone: refine, shape, and polish.”

Strianese’s work is classic enough to stand the test of time while remaining mindful of today’s trends. Her spaces feel fresh for decades to come, no matter the style of home. For instance, she recently worked on a loft apartment in Beacon for an artist who wanted an intimate, peaceful atmosphere that also felt welcoming for visits from her grandchildren. “It’s a unique challenge to create warmth and softness from an open space in a two-story industrial building,” Strianese explains. “So we built environments with colors that are very relaxing, like a bedroom with lavender, oxblood, and browns. It’s feminine but not girly, and flows with the rest of the apartment.”

A common area makes a statement with a custom pendant light, Alpaca-upholstered sofa, and retrofitted wood stove from Spain.

The exposed brick walls of an office were brightened by minimal wood furniture. Concrete floors in a common room were softened by a rich jewel-toned area rug. The kitchen features soothing elements like sage green herringbone tile walls, velvet bar stools, and charcoal cabinetry, which contrast a vibrant dining space decorated with abstract gold leaf wallpaper and a pair of 1960s vintage chandeliers. “It was fun to coz-ify such an industrial space,” she says.

Similarly, Strianese designed a separate Beacon loft for a businessman who wanted an entertaining space with an urban vibe. It had been gutted down to the studs, with holes in the plywood floors and a leaky roof, and needed the works. “We went with a design that’s very calming, yet still masculine, but not in a slick way. It has very organic qualities like silk carpets and natural stone throughout to make it more tactile,” she explains.

The space highlights the custom finishing work Strianese loves to do. The expansive kitchen island features white marble that waterfalls on both ends and encases a stove, rich wood paneling on the front, and blue-gray cabinetry that matches floor-to-ceiling built-ins behind. “The views from this building are insane—one half faces Main Street, which is full of vitality and people, and the other side faces mountains which you can often see with mist,” she explains. “That all played a role in selecting colors that brought in the outside elements.”

In contrast to these urban homes, Strianese recently designed a country cabin in Livingston  that had been built with tongue and groove pine logs—meaning, without insulation or wiring in the walls. “We had to be so clever, especially with the wiring,” she explains. “For example, we had to drop part of the ceiling ever so slightly and cover it with wood, so that we could add junction boxes.”

The home sits on a lake, so elements of water, such as cool-toned tiling in a breezeway, were brought throughout and larger windows were installed to optimize the views. Bedrooms were sheetrocked to give the eye a rest from the constant flow of wood, which the owners agreed created a more dramatic appearance that better emphasized the remaining exposed wood throughout the house. “The two most rewarding parts of what I do are figuring out the puzzle, and then the client’s joy at the end,” she says. “When a client says you’ve made their life better—there is great reward in that.”

Join the Conversation

Comments are closed.