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.  

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four simple steps to stylish outdoor living

Did you catch my latest appearance on Charlotte Today?

Traci Zeller on Charlotte Today Stylish Outdoor LivingIf so, you already know my four simple steps to create a stylish outdoor living space – yes, you’ll have to watch the video – and my new obsession with outdoor furniture that doesn’t need cushions to look good.  Why?  Because we here in Charlotte, North Carolina are blessed with an over-abundance of a little thing called Pollen.  A little thing that is a really big nuisance … both to our allergies and to our outdoor living!

IKEA Byholma ChairI have a personal — and immediate — interest in this topic, because, thanks to a few too many years outdoors, my front porch furniture looks Much Worse for the Wear.  Why didn’t I remove the cushions or use covers, you ask?  Because it’s my front porch!  With the style of my existing furniture, that would have looked ridiculous.  So now I need new furniture — and I’m determined not to use cushions that will get destroyed by the Great Pollen Invasion.

The steal of a deal that I highlighted on Charlotte Today?  IKEA’s Byholma Chair.  You can’t beat the look or the price!  Paired with great pillows — Frontgate has my favorite catalog selection — the Byholma Chairs look like a million bucks.

RH Montecito Lounge ChairPerhaps tops on my list?  Restoration Hardware’s Montecito Lounge Chair.  Isn’t it sooooo fabulous?  Unfortunately, it’s too modern for my traditional front porch, but I reaaaaaalllly like it (written in mental whiny voice).

Frontgate Isola Lounge ChairFrontgate’s Isola Lounge Chair is more traditional but just as chic.  This one is definitely a front-runner!    Brown Jordan Flex Lounge Chair

For a bit of a nautical flair, how about Brown Jordan’s Flex Lounge Chair?  It’s clean and transitional, yet still has that mid-century vibe.  Memo to self:  Perhaps I should move into a more modern house.  

Brown Jordan Fremont Sling Lounge ChairWell, we’re not moving, so let’s go back to traditional.  Brown Jordan’s Fremont Sling Lounge Chair is soft and classically detailed.  Don’t you love the “knuckles” on the legs?  I have a similar detail on my stair balusters.

Grandin Road Retro Squares Spring ChairBut — unlike me — if you can really go retro, how about Grandin Road’s Retro Squares Spring Chair?  I heart it too.  Decisions, decisions.  I know what I’m leaning toward, but I’m interested in your thoughts!

Plus, how do you protect your outdoor cushions?

Product photos via IKEA, Restoration Hardware, FrontgateBrown Jordan and Grandin Road.

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