Twins or Triplets

how design trends are like the weather

Friday, October 14th, 2016

With High Point Market starting next week, I’ve got the latest trends on my brain. Do you read the trend reports that flood the web after High Point Market? I do! It’s always interesting to see what other people chose as the hot “new” looks. Those looks usually overlap with what I’ve noticed, but it’s nice to see the trends through someone else’s eyes. Here I am at April’s market, checking out the new Carina chair from Brentwood Classics. I heart a perfectly scaled chair, and especially one that swivels! What people outside the furniture industry often don’t always understand, however, is that most of these trends are rarely “new.”

Traci at Brentwood Classics in Carina Swivel ChairI liken the trend cycle to a rainstorm. At the very beginning, you see just a dark cloud in the sky and there’s a “mood.” You know, when it just feels like rain. A few scattered drops start to fall from the sky, and you’ll encounter one or two. Pretty soon, however, the rain grows steady and you’re bound to get wet. Are you still with me here? Sometimes the rain (or trend) dries up — but sometimes it becomes a monsoon. Now you are soaked! The trend now appears in every big box store from Target (closer to the beginning of the trend) to off-price retailers (closer to the end of the trend). By this time, however, you can see a glimmer of sunlight. There’s another (and sometimes the opposite) trend on the horizon.

A perfect example from recent years? The continued love affair with all things brass or gold. It’s not a new trend, but it’s not going away any time soon, either. But you know what? Pewter and silver finishes showed up again — when you couldn’t find a cool finish to save your life (or your room) several markets ago. That’s why the best designers are able to mix and match; it keeps your overall look from being stuck in one trend.

Brentwood Classics Bae FabricMy favorite “trends” are the ones that result in functional improvement — furniture that looks just as good (if not better!), but now functions at a higher level than before. Take sustainably harvested hardwoods, for example. Furniture frames made from sustainably harvested hardwood are no different than those frames made from traditionally harvested wood, but with less adverse impact on the Earth. Now that’s a trend I can get behind!

Brentwood Classics Balthazar Chair in Bae PebbleThat’s also why I’m such a fan of the “trend” toward performance fabrics. The look and feel of today’s performance fabrics are light years ahead of what most people expect! The idea of using outdoor fabrics on indoor furniture used to give me the heebie-jeebies, because those fabrics were rough and scratchy. Functional improvement? Well, maybe — but it sacrificed both comfort and appearance. But now?? I am soooooo happy to report that those rough and scratchy days are long gone! I am absolutely bonkers over the new Crypton fabrics. They look and feel amazing. No matter the desired color, pattern, or texture — there’s a perfect Crypton choice for every room. I particularly like the linen texture of Bae, shown above on Brentwood ClassicsBalthazar chair. Bae is one of the new Crypton fabrics that Brentwood Classics added to their stellar lineup of fabrics, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Brentwood Classics Crypton Home Granbury FabricRounding out the super-versatile Crypton collection for Brentwood Classics are Granbury, an almost-heathered chenille, and Henry, which is velvet. Of course, each of these fabrics is offered in multiple colorways, so you can choose the best look for every project.

Brentwood Classics Henry Fabric Crypton HomeDreamy, right? The real win-win, of course, is when these “trends” are adopted by trusted vendors like Brentwood Classics. That way, you know your purchase is far more than just a passing fad, but instead a high-quality investment that will work beautifully in your home for years to come. Now that’s my kind of trend.

What’s your take on trends?

All photos belong to moi. In Spring 2015, High Point Market paired me with Brentwood Classics as a sponsored blogger; I enjoyed them so much that we’ve worked together ever since! 



hello? is there anybody in there?

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

I don’t listen to Pink Floyd, but somehow that seemed the perfect title to this blog post. I haven’t blogged since May. MAY! What on earth? You must have thought I had given up on my little corner of the web, but that’s not the case. The truth is simply this: It was a crazy summer. After the pace my TZD team had kept up for the last year, we needed to slow down for just an eensy bit, to regroup and set our intentions for the next year. I’m thrilled to say that we’ve been as busy as ever with client projects, and we have so many amazing things in the works. I’ve been sharing on Instagram, especially, but also Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, I simply haven’t had the time — or perhaps I should say the emotional energy — to sit down and blog.

summer-fun-at-the-lakeWhen I’m not working, of course, I — like so many of you — also have a busy family life. My twin boys turned ten. T E N! I’m not sure how that happened. I’m soaking up every last little bit of their childhood as I see it slipping away faster and faster. I love each year more than the last … but I sure do miss those babyish voices and being able to carry them both at one time.

Somehow, I’ve also found myself — much sooner than expected — as part of the “sandwich generation.” You know, those folks who are sandwiched between caring for young children and elderly parents. My mom has been suffering from some significant challenges, and I’ve spent many, many hours with her at multiple doctors and visiting various facilities that might be better suited to her needs, both now and as she continues to decline. We’ll be moving her as soon as we can. I’m young to be in this situation, but my mom had me and my sister when she was a bit older (at least for that generation) and her decline has come at an earlier age than most.

pink-tulipsPlease don’t misunderstand: This isn’t a sob story. I’ve always loved how tulips turn to face the sun — and I prefer to do the same. As my dear friend Tawna Allred said, I’ve won “the lottery of life.” I am so very, very fortunate to have an incredible family, wonderful friends and fantastic clients and projects that I cherish. They get everything I have, every day. What that means, though, is that occasionally, something — like this blog — has to give.

30a-beachI’m hopeful that we’re turning the corner on my mom’s care. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be back at the blog much more regularly. I miss it here! I’m on Instagram almost daily, so — if you wonder whether I’ve dropped off the face of the earth — peek over to my feed for a quick reassurance that I’m alive and well. I took this photo during a very quick trip to the beaches of Florida’s 30A with my precious goddaughter and three of her dear friends. As a boy mom, all I can say is — I lived and I even left with all of my clothes, jewelry and hair products. Anyhoo, it’s easier to sneak a quick photo for Instagram than to sit down and artfully compose a blog post (or at least that’s what I tell myself I do)!

gazebo-plansBut back to TZD. We have so many exciting things in the works, and I’m desperate to share all of them with you. If only those blog posts that I’ve written in my head would have magically found their way onto the computer screen! On our TZD radar screen for the fall? We’re breaking ground on two custom home projects any day now. There’s a to-die-for outdoor space in the works. You can see a sneak peek of the architect’s plans above. Serious drooling over here, folks.

brass-sideboardA beautiful family will soon have their gorgeous new living room, breakfast room, foyer and upstairs nook installed, and it’s going to knock everyone’s socks off. We’ve already delivered this incredible sideboard to their dining room.

starbucks-in-san-franciscoOh, and my family’s squeezing in a trip to Dubai. Crazy, right? I’m so excited. With that on the horizon, we didn’t take a traditional summer vacation — which is just fine by me. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m the girl who likes to drink hot chocolate in San Francisco in July. Lucky for me, it’s only supposed to be mid-seventies to mid-eighties in Dubai, so while there might not be hot chocolate, at least I won’t be sweltering.

See you here soon? Pinky swear.

All photos by moi, except the architect’s drawing.