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The Monthly Edit
from Traci Zeller

Tailored to a 'T'(ZD)

Like so many designers, I have a passion for beautiful, high-quality fabrics (and any expertly crafted goodies like pillows, draperies, and upholstered pieces made from them!). I've been thinking recently that I likely got this passion from my grandfather, who was classically trained in Germany and worked his entire adult life as a tailor.

Many of my earliest childhood memories are from his bespoke tailor shop. I distinctly recall how the walls were neatly lined with bolts upon bolts of the finest fabrics and spools of thread in every color imaginable. It was as good as a candy store for this style loving girl!

My grandfather outfitted well-dressed gentlemen for their daily lives, from professional to personal, in that shop. The only women’s clothes he ever created were for my grandmother, and believe me, she was always impeccably turned out. In fact, I’ll never forget her insistence that “dungarees” were only for gardening. Let's be clear - while I don't consider my style to be 'casual' either, I definitely wear my 'dungarees' often - albeit always with some seriously fashionable jewelry and shoes! And, while I love flowers, I am most definitely not a gardener. 
 
How I wish I had a picture of that shop to share with you! Writing this did prompt me to finally put in a request with my aunt to unearth one from her attic and send it my way, so hopefully I’ll get my hands on one soon.
 
Nonetheless, those images live on in my memory, and quietly shape how I approach designing my clients' interiors. 

For me, more often than not, it all starts with the fabrics!
Case in point is a whole-house design in the Meadows at Weddington community (the family room is shown in the image at the top of this email). Along with a request for a 'rustic luxe' overall look and feel, my inspiration began with these gorgeous fabrics and trims.
The combination of patterns and textures here are proof positive that 'neutral' doesn't have to be boring!

I love the juxtaposition of the classic Schumacher floral alongside the modern Peter Dunham animal print. And by the way, I am of the belief that - when chosen carefully and used correctly - animal prints are both classic and neutral! 

It's the stellar quality and sumptuous 'hand' of the creamy linen cotton and the nubbier, darker solid upholstery fabrics that make them stand out in a room. I think my grandfather would agree that how a fabric feels is a dead giveaway of its true quality.

And those trims! The power of beautiful trims to add style to a room should never be underestimated. A simple tape added to a plain drapery panel can take a room from ordinary to super-chic in short order. Add in a pillow trimmed in something luxurious or a contrast welt on your sofa cushions and the whole room is instantly elevated. Talk about a wow factor!

Just as my grandfather set couture standards for the quality of the clothing he made, I painstakingly ponder and scrutinize every tiny detail I put into my clients' homes. I understand - as my grandfather did - that the results depend on the quality of the elements used.

I think my grandfather would be truly proud of me for embracing his mindset, and that makes me love what I do for my clients all the more! 

Do you have any items you adore (old or new, furnishings or fashion) that are made exceptionally well? I'd love to hear about them! 

Warmly,
Let's talk about your project!
Watch my tips for giving your home a mid-winter refresh!
Take a peek at some of my recent Instagram posts... 
Traci Zeller Designs Charlotte, NC Interior Designer
Traci Zeller Designs Charlotte, NC Interior Designer
Traci Zeller Designs Charlotte, NC Interior Designer
Traci Zeller Designs Charlotte, NC Interior Designer
Traci Zeller Designs Charlotte, NC Interior Designer
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