Tracy Dunn may live in South Florida, but she is known for designing interiors that could be placed in the Northeast as easily as in the Southeast. Her aesthetic is timeless, modern, and inviting, with an emphasis on comfortable and refined living… definitely my style! Today, I am delighted to welcome Tracy to The Glam Pad as she takes us on a tour of her beautiful Fort Lauderdale home. Unless otherwise noted, photography is by Marcy Black Simpson from the July/August 2016 issue of Southern Lady and from this month’s “Southern Style” edition of Southern Lady.
Q: As a native Floridian, how has the tropical landscape influenced your design aesthetic?
A: The vibrant colors that are so abundant in South Florida exist with so many inspiring contrasts, such as beautiful bougainvillea in multitudes of colors set against a backdrop of their own deep green leaves, or white sand next to aqua water under an amazing blue sun filled sky. Mother nature has inspired my designs to include contrasting vibrant colors while always paying careful attention to incorporate light to soften the scheme as needed.
Q: Your home is very traditional and not necessarily representative of the stereotypical Florida style. Please tell me more about the design process of your home.
A: We were attracted to the home for its architectural style, which was so different for South Florida as it was inspired from a Northeastern design. It is consistently referred to as “The Father of the Bride house”. Although I was born and raised in South Florida, I have been drawn to a more traditional Northeastern style. My husband and I had always admired the home and were fortunate to become the new owners back in 2002. It has been fun to carefully incorporate a design plan that is conducive to South Florida living, while honoring the very traditional “Northeastern” canvas.
Q: What style of decor is most requested by your clients?
A: Because South Florida is a melting pot, I receive several style requests; however, I would say the majority of my clients like a timeless classic look with a fresh approach. Several of my clients either collect or inherit beautiful antiques that they want to incorporate into their home. They don’t want it to be stuffy, but they love the layered look, as if the rooms are telling a story. As a growing number of homes have a more modern focus, I have also enjoyed finding ways to mix the old with the new.
Q: Are you seeing an increased interest in traditional decor and antiques?
A: I am, which is music to my heart. My current projects right now all represent traditional décor and antiques. I was thrilled at a recent meeting with clients when the husband proclaimed, “I want to incorporate some beautiful antique pieces in the living room!”
Q: Please tell me more about your background in fashion. How do fashion and interior design go hand in hand?
A: I received a degree in Fashion Merchandising from FSU. Fashion Merchandise and Interior Design majors were in the same school at FSU (I think they still are), so as a result, we took a lot of the same courses especially about color and textiles. Upon graduation, I immediately started in the fashion industry buying several departments of ladies fashions for Maus Brothers and Jordan Marsh (36 stores in Florida). After years in the fashion industry, I started my own interior design business. To be successful in both industries, you must have an amazing recall and eye for color, an imagination to create magical combinations, an ability to really listen to your customers while inspiring your vendor partners to explore their creative boundaries. I have also found that both disciplines have a mission, which is to bring the principles of color, texture, scale, and layering into a unified look.
Q: What inspired you to become an interior designer?
A: As long as I can remember, I have always been interested in homes and aware of interiors I have loved. As I would read design books or magazines, my interest continued to grow. As long as my husband remembers, he has watched me tear out pages of design magazines and organizing those pages in various folders. He is constantly amazed at the recall I have for the years and years of pages I have accumulated. I simply have a natural passion and energy to make living spaces more beautiful. Additionally, I listened to my heart and followed my dream.
Q: Where do you continue to find inspiration?
A: I continuously find inspiration through travel, antiquing, reading, and the colors we are surrounded by through Mother Nature. The inspiration I received on a recent trip to Barcelona was amazing.
Q: What are your favorite interior design books?
A: Gosh, I have so many of them; however, some favorites are: Tom Scheerer Decorates, Bunny Williams Point of View, Decorating In Detail by Alexa Hampton, Creating A Room by Charlotte Moss, Parish-Hadley, Sixty Years of American Design by Sister Parish, Albert Hadley, and Christopher Petkanas, and most recently, Beautiful by Mark Sikes.
Q: Do you have any favorite collections or luxury items you could not live without?
A: I still continue to collect Canton, Herend, and numerous styles of sterling silver as well as antique glassware. As far as luxury items, I do have a soft spot for handbags and unusual jewelry.
Q: When you are not busy designing, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
A: I love to travel, read, boat, exercise, and go on fun adventures with our children. I also love to entertain, and I particularly enjoy designing the tablescapes. And I’m a fanatic about college football!
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: As I say to our children and the younger generation, “find what you are passionate about, and you will always be happy.”
Thank you so much, Tracy, for welcoming us inside your gorgeous home. It is absolute perfection! For additional information on Tracy Dunn Design, please visit her website and follow along via Instagram for daily inspiration.