GLAMOROUS AND DURABLE INTERIORS

BY EMMA BURLEIGH

There are few things more powerful than someone who knows what they want and will do whatever it takes to get it. Traci Connell proves that greatness can come from following your dream.

Before becoming an interior designer, Connell worked as an elementary school teacher, however, she quickly realized that her favorite part of teaching was decorating her classroom. Feeling unfulfilled, Connell turned to a friend who simply asked, “Why can’t you make money doing something that you love?”

And Traci Connell Interiors (TCI) was born.

As principal of an awardwinning firm, Connell brings 20 years of interior design expertise to the Dallas area. Known for her well-edited designs, streamlined business processes and sense of humor, Connell and her team tackle projects ranging from full-home furnishing and custom-built designs to major renovations. She makes it look easy, however, she credits her success to her diligent prep, a talented team and humble beginnings.

When talking about her inspiration for the business, Connell recalls a time when her son spilled orange Gatorade on the carpet, which she hid under furniture for many years. “I realized that having a home that you are proud of aesthetically shouldn’t mean that you must sacrifice durability,” says Connell. Her experience as a mother has helped her immensely in her ability to tailor her designs to family homes. “My kids have taught me how crucial it has become to offer worry-free solutions to my clients with busy families while still capturing a glamorous look. It’s really the best of both worlds. And the best part,” Connell says, chuckling, “is that you’d never know it—we make durability look stylish.”

She continues: “I’m a mom of three, and I get that spills happen, so I try to outfit my clients’ homes with durable materials that stand up to life’s little messes. Our first priority is to provide a beautiful living space that our clients are eager to come home to. Secondly, we want that beauty to last, so we equip most of our projects with indoor/outdoor fabrics and rugs, scrubbable paint and nonporous surfaces like quartz. Many of our clients entertain frequently and feel at ease knowing that their sleek white sofa sourced by TCI can withstand the occasional spilled red wine.”

Connell walks every client through a detailed planning process. She works carefully with each client’s vision and lifestyle in order to achieve the best end product possible, whether it is a classic residence, a luxury barn or a high-rise condominium. A part of that groundwork is executing a scaled design plan with elevations and space allocations that allow correct furniture proportion the first time. “People come to me for a beautiful, functional and well-thoughtout home,” Connell stresses. “I make it my goal to grasp my clients’ aspirations, learn their stories, understand their dayto- day, and develop a rapport while creating the design plan.”

From there, she sources unique furnishings and builds pieces that combine form and function, specifically for their day-to-day use. Each project concludes with Connell’s favorite part, the reveal. “I love seeing my clients’ faces after an installation. After all the preparation, bringing together a well-balanced space that combines their vision and gorgeous furnishings, all with a hint my signature style—it’s priceless.”

Connell is a prime example of the success that can result from pursuing your talents and passions. “I love the fact that I am able to use my creativity in such a capacity, whether it is design, business planning or marketing,” she says.

Lucky for the Dallas area, this entrepreneur is using her talents to bring beautiful and longlasting interiors to clients every day.

Emma Burleigh is a part-time freelance writer living in Dallas.