The queen of creating luxuriously livable spaces, designer Traci Connell of Traci Connell Interiors (traciconnellinteriors.com) shares her philosophy on living life to the fullest in 2021—by making your space a serene escape the whole family can enjoy.
Connell concocts the perfect blend of contemporary cool and classic furnishings throughout her projects. PHOTO BY MICHAEL HUNTER
You put an emphasis on the concept of creating gorgeous interiors that are also livable. What does this mean to you?
Livable interiors are TCI’s heartthrob—this niche became personal to me when my children were young and my son spilled orange Gatorade on a white sofa. From then on, I knew I had to create interiors that are a perfect mix of luxurious and durable. Our team blends high-end design with the practicality of everyday living, skillfully integrating life-withstanding products and finishes. I like to say, ‘What good is a luxurious home if you can’t actually live in it?’ We specialize in materials and furnishings that stand up to everyday life, giving our clients a ‘bulletproof’ home for kids, pets, entertaining and more.
What are some of the ways you are implementing this concept in 2021?
This year, we are learning more from our vendors that create durable products and implementing them in each design, while educating our clients on the benefits. When we create a space, we make sure to have not only the most beautiful but also the most durable upholstery, countertops, floors and more. For example, we use scrubbable paints, pet-shield carpeting, Crypton fabrics, scratch-resistant finishes, antimicrobial sinks and many more products that make our projects luxe living that lasts. The easiest living is when you feel the most comfortable in your own home, and I know that firsthand!
This year, you’ve seen that people are spending less on trips and more on their homes—what are the biggest trends you’re seeing with clients changing up their homes right now?
As everyone is spending more time at home these days, we’ve seen a huge increase in the desire to bring the outdoors in and become much more functional around the home. Because homes now have multiple uses, such as separate work spaces, at-home happy hours, three meals a day, hangout time and much more, many people are desiring to delineate the spaces. We’ve seen an increase in the use of natural plants and greenery to create an atmosphere of the outdoors. We’ve had several sliding door systems installed that connect the patio to the family room, truly bringing the sunset inside with some fresh air. And lastly, in order to delineate spaces and create more function, we’ve seen a big desire for the design to change in color. Instead of the typical black and white design that we’ve loved so much, clients are asking for something different, something that when you walk from space to space in your home, you feel like you are leaving one thought and completing it with the next in a totally new way. To meet this desire, we’ve turned to bold paint colors that wrap a room.
How are you rethinking your business approach this year to accommodate clients?
We want our clients to fully experience their home in a fresh way, evoking a feeling that gives them a sense of comfort and ease. In order to do this, we are up-leveling our training for TCI designers and will be creating multilevel 3D drawings and renderings for each project, so clients can visualize their space and create that feeling before the design is even installed. Our approach to the business will be to pitch our value to potential clients so they know the full TCI experience they will be receiving.
Tell us about expanding your services to put an emphasis on vacation properties.
Due to the pandemic, we know that second homes and vacation properties are very desirable at the moment. Since we have seen a decrease in travel, homeowners are looking for an alternative place to retreat. It’s a place where memories are meant to be created. Our design philosophy is perfectly molded for designing spaces such as these— luxurious spaces where the homeowners do not have to worry about lifting a finger. They can truly let loose and live without the worry of spills or messes. We design specifically for this and have noticed an opportunity to make this happen for others.
You just bought a lake house as well. What did you want this new personal project to be for you?
Th is is our escape, a space for my family and grown children to come, relax and be together. When we purchased the home, I knew it had great potential. I fell in love with the architectural style of the home and knew this would be the perfect project to curate each room into its own oasis and pinnacle of design that I so desired. Over the last six months, I have seen my children more than in the last two years. It is a ‘kid catcher,’ and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Traci Connell has seen a huge surge in home renovations and design this past year. PHOTO BY MISTI DAVIS
What are the most exciting new things you are working on?
We are thrilled to be designing the large renovation of a well-known Georgian estate with the intent of updating the look with a clean-lined, classic approach for a modern family. Another standout is a new-construction home, which is currently in the architectural phase, and sits waterfront within Dallas’ Devonshire neighborhood. Th e clients have a vast art collection, which will make this modern dwelling a masterpiece.