Designer Profile: Elisa Baran

Rising Star Elisa Baran Reinvents Celebrities Interiors from Coast to Coast, Introducing Sleek and Sophisticated Spaces with a New Wave of Brutalist and Wabi-Sabi Style

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

Designing in the most important and influential design cities on the west and east coast, Elisa Baran has quickly established an eye-catching style for her clients that sets her apart in both New York City and Los Angeles. They say the devil is in the details, yet Elisa reveals the beauty in the most unexpected ways, with the most intricate elements such as subtle texture in paint and custom furnishings to bring elegance to every room.

Elisa Baran

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

A master of mixing materials to create a balance of brutalist and wabi-sabi aesthetics, Elisa’s interior design principles are an ode to European aesthetics. Sourcing one-of-a-kind objects and mixing high and low pieces, Elisa creates atmospheres that her clientele can consume forever. With layers of tranquil neutral hues, every residence is a harmony of refinement and comfort.

What is your design process?

Grey sofa, wooden tables, cream wooden ceiling

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

To give a quick description of my design process, I always start with inspiration images from my clients after viewing the property to get an idea of their personal style. I generally like to let the property lead the design, taking me through its history and throwing my aesthetic and twist in collaboration with my client's point of view. From there I jump into creation mode, designing room-by-room while always keeping in mind shape, color, form, texture, and function of each space. Lastly, material selection to coincide with budget and use begins and presentations to follow.

What is your key design philosophy?

Wooden stool and floor, hall table

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

While aesthetics play a huge part of my design philosophy, function is as important. I fully acknowledge and adhere to it, but I do not allow it to become a limitation during the design process. I like to push boundaries as much as the client will agree to, while keeping comfortability in mind. A home should grow with one's ever evolving self and allow the eye to wander at every turn, keeping your imagination flowing and curiosity alive

Where does your inspiration come from?

White bed and foot stool, bedside table

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

My inspiration mostly comes from my travels to Italy and France. I have a huge archive of photos from my frequent travels there that I always turn to. I also pull from nature and the changing seasons (being that I live in New York City) to inspire me, as well as from my own clients. I'm very lucky to have creative and forward-thinking clientele.

What is your process when approaching a new project?

Wooden ladder rail and stool, black taps

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

It's similar to how I approach my design process. I approach each project with curiosity and excitement, discovering what makes that project different from the rest and how I can take it to its full potential in a timeless manner. An important step is getting all the information I need from the client to make sure I know all their needs and wants, along with their budget. I try and be as realistic as possible when it comes to lead times and pricing up front, so there are no hidden fees or unanswered questions during construction that I had to do with.

If you could go back in time and give yourself any advice, what would it be?

Grey bedsheets, black bed, grey bedside table

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

I would tell myself to intern or work for another design firm to get a leg up on experience. I was and still am always so passionate about everything I put my mind to that I wanted to skip learning from others and learn from my own mistakes. I realize now that community in this industry is so important, and having experience and knowledgeable people to guide me prior to throwing myself into this world alone would have been a wise move. You live, and you learn, and I don't regret the path I took! I've built up a hard shell because of it.

What’s on the horizon for you and your firm?

Pool, view, table and chairs

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)

I have a rug collaboration coming out at the end of this year that I'm very excited about (I won't say with who just yet)! I'm also looking to grow the firm and finally start a team, which has been a long time coming. I'm currently in the midst of interviewing interior design graduates at the moment. Some very exciting times ahead, and I'm enjoying every moment of the journey!

White bedroom and bed

(Image credit: Elisa Baran)
Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.