Classic Interiors Designed To Be Kid Friendly

Posted on | May 31, 2012 | 5 Comments

After a recent photo shoot, We caught up with one of our favorite Charlotte interior designers, Traci Zeller, owner of Traci Zeller Designs. Not only does she “run” a celebrated interior design firm in Charlotte, but she’s a mom to two 5-year-old twin boys. While her lively “Twinkies” certainly keep her on her toes, Traci doesn’t see any need to sacrifice living an attractive life in a beautiful home. As a mom of multiples, she has a unique understanding of the needs of style-conscious homeowners with small children, and she specializes in designs that give her clients the freedom to enjoy beautiful interiors, in spite of the age of their young ones.

Images Courtesy of Traci Zeller Designs

Traci is known for her fresh, sophisticated and elegant designs, which she achieves by mixing old-school and new school design principles and focusing on items that are both beautiful and full of life and personality.

Traci applies a number of thoughtful solutions to common design concerns of clients with young children. When it comes to carpets, upholstery and drapes, while she does incorporate naturally stain-resistant fabrics like microfiber and faux-leather in her designs, she doesn’t consider fabrics that are prone to staining off-limits. If her clients have their hearts set on cotton, wool or linen items, she has the answer. “Not one fabric item comes into my house if it’s not fiber-sealed,” she notes. “Fiber-sealing makes fabrics resistant to staining and easy to wipe down, and it protects your investment pieces.”

When it comes to furniture, Traci always advises her clients against buying “throwaway” pieces for those early childhood years. Instead, she suggests that they invest in high-quality items that can take an occasional bruising. She notes, for example, that while an inexpensive sofa may seem like a good solution for a house with rambunctious children, it will last a couple of years at most. However, a more expensive sofa with a hardwood frame and eight-way hand-tied springs will stand up to just about anything, and can last a decade, or even longer.

“Repurposing” is another way Traci builds longevity and functionality into her client’s designs. For example, she notes that an ottoman can serve as an elegant and sophisticated coffee table while children are young. When they are older, the ottoman can be moved elsewhere in the home. It will still look great and serve a purpose, and her clients will be free to replace it with a coveted glass coffee table.

Images Courtesy of Traci Zeller Designs

Traci notes that, while she thoughtfully incorporates the needs of young children into her designs, common sense must rule the day, and limits must be set. “Children should be taught to respect the pretty things that you’ve spent good money on. My Twinkies know not to touch my ‘pretty-pretties.’ Also, I wouldn’t send one of them out onto my new carpet with a cup of grape juice.”

Traci believes that blending functionality and beauty are not only possible, but essential. “A home should be a place where children are loved and nurtured, as well as a place that is beautiful, welcoming and sophisticated,” she notes. “And I think those things can go together.”

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5 Responses to “Classic Interiors Designed To Be Kid Friendly”

  1. tzd: foxcroft living room, before and after
    June 7th, 2012 @ 1:46 PM

    [...] [...]

  2. Holly
    June 12th, 2012 @ 8:12 PM

    Traci is so smart and is a great designer – I love seeing her work and her emphasis on family design and practical design decisions for a family.

  3. David Fisher
    June 25th, 2012 @ 9:28 PM

    Traci believes that blending functionality and beauty are not only possible, but essential. “A home should be a place where children are loved and nurtured, as well as a place that is beautiful, welcoming and sophisticated,”

    I agree. I think this should be considered when choosing the finish on our furniture also. A thick plastic-like layer of varnish might look nice and offer protection from water, etc. But it won’t look so nice after some scratches and dents. And it is difficult to repair. A traditional oil finish offers enough protection, is easy to repair, and develops a beautiful patina. The occasional scratch and dent seem to be more at home with such a finish. They just become part of the patina.

  4. Liz Hughes
    June 26th, 2012 @ 5:46 PM

    I have a great furniture repair guy I recommend to everyone. Dinks and dents are his specialty. The beauty of furniture is that it comes in all types of finishes to accommodate all of our preferences.

  5. Gray Shelton
    July 24th, 2012 @ 9:37 AM

    I am so glad to see Traci express the wisdom of buying reliably built furniture instead of throw away furniture when you have children. I certainly agree that children can and should learn to respect nice furniture and items. Not only for your own home, but because good manners (in the realm of homes) are important when they visit others’ homes. If you buy throw away furniture and allow them to disrespect it, they may disrespect nice furniture in other settings.
    Wonderful article and beautiful designs!

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