Dialogue with a Designer
Featuring Sharon Draznin, ASID, C.I.D, principal of Sharon Draznin Interiors
Photos by Vic Wahby
Interior design has been an integral part of Sharon’s life for 40 plus years. Shecredits her mother and uncle for her early introduction to the industry and nature for much of her inspiration.
Graduating with a B.A. in Interior Design from the American University, Washington, D.C., Sharon began her career working in NYC with various interior and architectural firms. She established Sharon Draznin Interiors in 1990 when she moved from NYC to Short Hills, NJ.
SDI specializes in residential projects that cover all phases of design, including renovations and new construction, working through completion with full interior design services. Sharon’s rooms are created to stand the test of time. She searches for beauty that combines elements of contemporary and traditional style. Her design philosophy integrates architecture and interior design to create environments that complement each other. Sharon believes “Home fashion trends are ever-changing, but the foundations of good design are constant.”
Sharon served as ASID NJ, President (2011-12), President-Elect (2010-11), and Membership Committee Chair (2009-10)
Recent awards include the ASID NJ 2021 DEA – Gold: Residential Large Bathroom and Silver and Bronze: Residential Two or More Spaces (more than 5000 sq. ft.). She is also the recipient of the 2020 American Graphic Design Award for her website, Sharon Draznin Interiors. Sharon is proud to have her work published in the book, Designed in New Jersey: An Exquisite Collection of New Jersey’s Finest Designers. Her designs have been featured in Design NJ, Morris/Essex Health & Lifestyles, House Beautiful, Woman's Day, The Star-Ledger, and The Bergen Record.
When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?
I had an uncle whose family owned a large furniture store and had access to NYC showrooms. He was an early member of NSID. (In 1975, AID and NSID merged to form ASID.) My mother enjoyed decorating her home and would take me to the D&D Building and other showrooms when I was a young child. I fell in love with the fabrics, colors, and furniture. When it came time to apply to college, I decided to pursue a career in interior design. Attending university in Washington, D.C. was a great experience, especially accessing museums as part of the curriculum. After graduation, I worked for David Landau of David Landau Interiors, who had a beautiful store in Bala Cynwyd, PA. He mentored me to become an ASID member. I took the NCIDQ at Parsons School of Design, NYC, in 1979.
What inspires you as a designer?
Interior design has been a passion of mine since I was a child. I have the innate ability to walk into a room and visualize where the furniture should be placed and what style and colors work with the style of the home. I am inspired by nature’s colors. I sit on the beach and see all the blue colors of the water and sky with the calming mix of the beige sand. I see all the greens in the flowers and trees and notice how they mix with other colors. I also love fashion and its trends. I find that they also go hand in hand with colors to mix and introduce in fabrics. I love traveling; I am inspired by the furniture and cultures I see in other countries. Everything in life inspires me to create interiors that are unique, comfortable, and meet the needs of the family.
Can you describe how you addressed a design challenge in a recently completed project?
Residential Dining Room, Short Hills, NJ
This dining room has 10-foot ceilings, so I created a soffit with indirect light around the room to create interest instead of looking up to a flat ceiling. The upper ceiling has gold leaf wallpaper with a custom gold and rock crystal chandelier. The soffit also hid the drapery hardware. I accented the wall with dark gray wood veneer chevron wallpaper. I loved using two different color fabrics on the dining chair. There is a brass sculptural base on the dining table and the gold is used again on the credenza accent. The artwork adds color accents.
What design trends do you see catching on in 2022?
I see more contemporary designed kitchens using light and medium color woods with flat panel doors, the use of quartz types countertops mostly in white Carrara and Calacatta, and wide plank flooring–prefinished or unfinished in light oak wood tones. The use of wallpaper remains strong. In bathrooms: satin brass, bronze, and warm gold tones for faucets and hardware are popular.
How do you keep up with trends and new vendors?
I have an Instagram account and follow other interior designers and resources. I attend all the New York shows–furniture, gift, art, etc. I regularly visit the D&D Building and NYDC at 200 Lex to view updated furniture and product lines. I still subscribe to interior design publications and enjoy the informative articles and stunning photography.
What is your favorite accent color?
When I design with a gray palette, I like to use bright yellow or gold and blue as accent colors. Whether it is a chair, a pillow, or an accessory, bright yellow or blue creates a dynamic contrast.
What do you consider to be the most important benefit of your ASID NJ membership?
The continued requirement to fulfill CEU courses keeps you educated and updated. I have had the pleasure over the years of working and socializing with our interior designers and industry partners. As Chapter president and Trade Show chair, I had the opportunities to develop leadership skills and attend national meetings throughout the U.S.
Do you have a favorite quotation that reflects how you approach your work, creativity, or life in general?
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” ~Steve Jobs
Do any of your family members share your love of interior design and art?
My husband and I raised three children, and now we have five grandchildren who are our greatest pleasure in life! All of my children are convinced they inherited an art gene from me. They are creative and tell me my work inspires them. My daughter Bari, who was a senior executive at a major fashion company, has recently joined me and is setting her keen eye on interior design.
Contact and Social Media Information
Sharon Draznin Interiors
9 Oaklawn Road
Short Hills, NJ