the easy way to create a stylish entryway

Traci Zeller on Charlotte TodayYou only have one chance to create a first impression, right?  And the first impression of your home is your entryway!  Whether you have a spacious foyer or a narrow entrance, let’s make it stylish — and tidy.  After all, this twin mom wants the chaos to stop at the door!

Last week, I shared my favorite entryway tips and products with Colleen Odegaard and Eugene Robinson on Charlotte Today.  If you missed it, you can watch the segment here!

Tempaper Branches WallpaperCan an entryway be beautiful and organized?  It’s easier than you think!  To make it just as easy to remember, I coined the three “S’s” — somewhere to Sit, plenty of Storage, and something that makes a Statement.

Marble Storm Tempaper Temporary WallpaperI used “Branches” in Mystery Blue and “Marble” in Storm by Tempaper as a perfect example of a simple way to make a statement.  Tempaper is temporary, removable wallpaper that you can apply yourself.  In other words, it’s the perfect solution for high-impact decorating without long-term commitment!

Traci Zeller on Charlotte Today 2Cotswold Marketplace has a fabulous custom upholstery line, which means this gorgeous bench is available in your choice of fabrics.  No worries if it’s too big for your foyer — because it’s also perfectly sized for the bottom of a bed!

Dash and Albert Samode RugDash and Albert — my favorite indoor-outdoor rugs — are sturdy and fabulous … which makes them ideal for entryways.  You can see the entire line at Hall’s Carpet on Monroe Road, including the great navy and white patterns that I had in the studio.

Oriental Furniture Blue and White Umbrella StandNot much room?  Try a basket or umbrella stand for some tight space storage!  I found this blue-and-white chinoiserie umbrella stand on Amazon.com, and more fantastic choices abound at all price points — everywhere from Home Goods to Target to Overstock.com.

Selfie with Eugene RobinsonAnd just because I can’t resist a little more alliteration … here’s a Selfie on Set!  Thanks so much for having me, Colleen and Eugene!

What first impression does your entryway give?

how to create a home office in a small space

Ta-da!  The Holiday 2014 issue of New York Cottages and Gardens has arrived, which means Lisa Mende and I can finally share the Big Reveal of our Ronald McDonald House of Long Island project.

Lisa Mende Traci Zeller Ronald McDonald Home OfficeDuring times of personal crisis, it can feel as though time has stopped.  But somehow the world keeps turning … which means bills still arrive, phone calls need to be returned and appointments must be made.  As difficult as it is to deal with those things during a crisis, it’s even more difficult to manage when you don’t have a space in which to work.  To address that need, Lisa and I created a shared business office for families to use during their stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

RMHLI Business Office BeforeDo you remember where we started?  It was such a joy to turn this dingy, cramped space — not even 100 square feet — into a warm, cozy office for families to conduct personal business.

Cocoon by Kerry Steele“Cocoon,” the gorgeous original painting by Kerry Steele, served as the inspiration for our entire space.  Lisa and I hope that families staying at the Ronald McDonald House feel sheltered and “cocoooned” as they fight the illnesses that brought them to Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.  I pray that those families feel enveloped, supported and strengthened by the love of everyone who worked on, donated to, and cared for this amazing house.

RMHLI Office Interior Before 2Do you need a home office that nurtures your spirit?  This project shows that even the smallest space can be transformed into a beautiful and functional office!

Lisa Mende Traci Zeller Home Office ShelvingOver the next few days, I will share five key design techniques that Lisa and I employed to transform this “tiny hovel in the corner” (what I jokingly refer to as our specialty).  Please reference all prior conversations about the Traditional Home showhouse at Adamsleigh.

1.  Float the furniture

2.  Think UP … and modular

3.  Texture, texture and more texture

4.  To quote Mies van der Rohe, “God is in the details”

5.   Lighting is everything

Lisa and I are enormously grateful to everyone who donated, sponsored or otherwise contributed to the Ronald McDonald House project.  I will share more on the blog about these companies and extraordinary individuals, but for now, please join me in thanking Thibaut, Kravet, Stanton, Duralee, Kerry Steele, Hunter Douglas, Taylor Burke Home, Currey & Co., Bunny Williams Home, the adorne collection by Legrand and House of Laurence.

From the bottom of my heart, merci!

For more photos of the newly designed spaces at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, be sure to pick up NYC+G or click through to the online gallery.  Interior design by Lisa Mende and Traci Zeller.  Photos by Marco Ricca Studio.  

traci zeller