how to freshen your house in five minutes

Quick!  You have five minutes to make your house presentable.  Am I the only one whose husband calls shortly before the arrival of newly invited guests?  Never fear, MOMs.  You may have twins, but you’ve got this!   I use a laundry basket and toss in all of the odds and ends that manage to accumulate all too quickly.   You know, the toys that have found their way downstairs and the bills that need to make their way upstairs.  Next, stash the laundry basket out of sight.  Preferably somewhere that you won’t forget where you put it.

Traci Zeller Designs Foxcroft Kitchen Painted CabinetsNow it’s time to move to the kitchen and check the sink.  If I’ve been there last, all is well.  If my husband has been there last, well, all bets are off.  Move any abandoned dishes to the dishwasher.  Give the sink a quick swish with the sponge.  If you are feeling especially ambitious, use a microfiber cloth to dry.  Shiny sink =  extra credit.

Traci Zeller Designs Powder Room Charlotte NCTime for the powder room.  Ensure the hand towel is freshly washed and pressed.   Repeat quick swish of the sink.  Use another microfiber cloth to shine the faucet.  Wipe down the toilet, if necessary.  Especially important for the twin boy moms.  Ahem.  We are virtually “paper towel free” in my house, but for emergency situations, Method wipes can’t be beat.  And they are compostable.  

Traci Zeller Home Candle by Ella B.Last step?  Burn a pretty candle with a clean, crisp fragrance.  Because really it’s all about the sinks and the smell.

Why yes, I do have a favorite; thank you so much for asking!  Of course, it’s one of my Traci Zeller Home candles, created by Ella B. and hand-poured in Charlotte, North Carolina, in my two exclusive scents.  In addition to my signature scent — zesty mandarins and citrus-fresh limes combined with herbal notes of basil — I added a celebratory Bubbly scent — champagne, pomegranate and pear.  The common denominator?  Clean, crisp fabulousness.

So now you know pretty much everything I’ve been up to.  Interested in more “quick clean” tips?  I spilled additional dirty secrets — hahaha, pun totally intended — in this post.

Photos by Dustin Peck Photography for Traci Zeller Designs.  

homearama 2015: furniture scoop! plus giveaway!

I am soooooo behind with the HomeArama 2015 scoop, but if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen more than a few sneak peeks.  And did you notice the really big hint I dropped last week??

Ethan Allen Matisse Chic Living RoomWith construction quickly drawing to a close, I’ve been firmly focused on the decorating selections — and I am beyond delighted to share that I’ve partnered with Ethan Allen to furnish the home!  (If you weren’t at last week’s Muses event in Pineville, you missed a great time and the big announcement.)

Ethan Allen Quincy Bed in TurquoiseHave you seen the new Ethan Allen?  Over the last twenty or so years, Ethan Allen has been reinventing itself  into the modern global design brand that it is today.  Long gone is the over-emphasis on early American and colonial styles.  Today’s Ethan Allen reflects design diversity ranging from classic to modern and incorporating international influences.  They’ve coined the term “The Next Classics,” which fits their style perfectly.

Ethan Allen Baldwin Settee in Hot Pink with Nailhead DetailPlus, in the wake of the Great Recession, Ethan Allen recommitted to its American workshops and manufactures approximately two-thirds of its product line domestically.  Proof in point?  Ethan Allen is selling “Made in the USA” to the Chinese market.

Rosette Wall MirrorEthan Allen is a favorite resource for my Double Day Design clients, and it’s because the Ethan Allen “value proposition” is so strong — timeless style, excellent custom service and accessible pricing.

Ethan Allen Monterey Skirted SofaI’ve highlighted just a few of my favorite products in this post, and you can believe that you’ll be seeing them at HomeArama 2015.  And now for the giveaway!  Muses, the new Ethan Allen coffee table book, is beautiful, and I have one copy to send a lucky reader.   Simply comment here or on any of my Ethan Allen-related posts on social media (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook), and you’ll be entered to win.

In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars!  HomeArama 2015 opens July 18, 2015 and closes August 2, 2015.  You won’t want to miss the beautiful Cheval development and four brand new, fully designed custom homes.

All photos via Ethan Allen. 

traci zeller