team tzd: meet brooke

How on earth is 2015 already drawing to a close?!  We are busy bees over here at Traci Zeller Designs, wrapping up our holiday projects and cleaning our proverbial house so that 2016 gets off to a roaring start.  Yay!  We have soooo much to share in the new year, including a brand-new website — designed by the talented With Grace and Gold duo — and lots of projects you haven’t seen yet.

Best Is Yet to ComeBecause this year has been so action-packed, much of our sharing has happened on Instagram and Facebook — but I still love blogging.  It’s so rewarding to connect with you week after week … which I’ve done for almost seven years.  Have mercy!  Talk about time flying by.  I miss blogging more often, and I’ve been brainstorming ideas for fresh content that you’ll find invigorating and inspiring.  So many blogs have outside contributors, and — although I’ve had guest posts here and then — I’ve never had “regularly scheduled” posts from anyone other than me.  I’m a “designer who blogs,” not a “blogger who designs,” and I’ve been reluctant to give up this outlet — my voice — to anyone else.

And don’t worry — I’m not giving it up!!   I believe in paying it forward and sharing what I’ve learned, both as a designer and a mom.  And if I’ve learned it the hard way?  You know I’m not afraid to be candid!   Hello, remember my post on the L-word?  Moms of preschool-aged and older kiddos know that means “lice,” not “love.”  We’re keeping it real, sister.  

Brooke HeadshotBut I now have an amazing team — versus my solopreneur-self seven years ago — and it’s high time that you hear from them, too.  So meet Brooke!  Brooke is our design coordinator at TZD, which means she has her hands on just about everything.  She has worked with me for over a year and, if you’ve stopped into the studio and reached out to us via email, you’ve already realized how fantastic she is.  Brooke has worked in the home furnishings industry since 2007, but her background is originally in fashion.  She’s worked as a buyer for Bloomingdale’s, Talbots and — I may be most envious of this one — in the fur department at Saks.  I’m really excited that Brooke is going to bring her fashion-forward perspective to the blog, so look forward to hearing more from her very soon.

Traci and Brooke at Mint SymposiumBrooke’s often my partner-in-crime at events around town, so if you see us, please say hi!  (I’m the dark-haired Oompa Loompa.)  Brooke is also a mom to two precious children, aged eight and four, so she certainly understand the challenges of creating a home that is both stylish and comfortable.  She is “in process” with several projects in her own home now, so you may get to see those, too.  Fun, fun!

tzd sneak peek: kitchen project (with zephyr)

I’ve been a busy bee this fall, and I’m sure you have, too!  With Halloween now in the rear view mirror and Daylight Savings Time also behind us, it’s full speed ahead into the holiday season.  It’s always so much fun — and occasionally a teensy bit stressful — working with clients who are hoping to wrap up their renovation and/or decorating projects before the holidays.  After all, we all have the vision of a beautiful home perfectly decorated for the holidays!  Oh, and those well-groomed and well-behaved children?  Totally optional … at least in my house.  Hahahaha.  Never fear, our twin elves Jingles and Bubbles will be back very soon to keep a watchful eye.

TZD Kitchen ProjectBut back to business.  It’s been such a joy working with an awesome couple on a major home renovation.  Their circa-1970s home is in Aero Plantation, a fly-in community just outside of Charlotte.  Have you ever heard of a fly-in community?  Yeah, well, me either.  The neighborhood has a private airstrip, and their home used to have an attached airplane hanger.   Isn’t that the coolest?!  I won “Two Realsies and a Whopper” with my kiddos when I used the “my client’s house has a huge driveway so you can turn around an airplane” realsie.  If you listen to Absolutely Mindy Kids Place Live, you totally know what I’m talking about.  Score one for Mommy!

African Alpine GraniteAnyway, they’ve been living in a construction zone for months, but the end is in sight … just in time for the holidays.  And isn’t their new kitchen going to be amazing?!  Cabinets in Pratt and Lambert‘s Feather Gray 32-27, a soft taupe-y gray, compliment their African Alpine granite perfectly.  The cabinet drawing at the top of this post, by the incredible folks at Distinctive Cabinets, shows the focal wall, but there’s so much more goodness than you see here.  Of course, the centerpiece of the main wall will be a large Wolf range, and — to keep up with that major cooking power — they are using a Zephyr hood liner.

Zephyr Monsoon IICoincidentally, I’m heading out to San Francisco this week to learn more about Zephyr and their products — which are top-rated both in performance and in beauty.  I’m particularly interested to learn more about their new Lux Island collection, an integrated design which mounts into the ceiling above an island cooktop.  Hello, genius?!?!  No more blocked sight lines across today’s open kitchens!!  My husband would love, love, love a professional range, but that hasn’t been possible with our current kitchen design.  On second thought, maybe I had better keep this info to myself.    

Zephyr Kitchen Wave WhiteI’m also excited to see the modern hood designs that are part of the Arc acollections.  I don’t often get the opportunity to work on modern kitchens, so this is a bit outside my comfort zone — which means it’s the best way for me to grow as a designer.  I’m digging the Wave hood shown in this rendering.

Cool, right?  I can’t wait to fill you in on everything I learn, so — especially if you are planning or contemplating a kitchen renovation — you’ll want to follow me on Instagram!  I’m @tracizeller on just about every platform, which makes it easy-peasy to find me.  See you over there!

traci zeller