Star of the Show
Interior Designer Traci Connell brings whimsy, glamour, and comfort to the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas
Creating one space for a world-renowned show house is a big undertaking—but two spaces? That’s a serious challenge. And yet, that’s exactly what designer TRACI CONNELL took on for the 2021 Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Dallas, outfitting both a poolside bar area and a powder bath with her unique approach to everyday glamour.
The poolside bar area featured in Cambria Style’s summer 2022 issue may be the more dramatic of the two spaces, but the diminutive powder bath has a special allure of its own. Accessed through a narrow archway that oozes secret-passageway appeal, the vanity room feels like a respite from the social butterfly bar—and the warm Dallas sun in the pool area just outside.
Connell, the award-winning, nationally published interior designer and business coach whose namesake firm is based in Dallas, gave the bath her signature livable-luxe look, treating every surface to its own interesting material. The walls, for example, sport a gemstone-illusion wall covering that takes the concept of a “jewel-box” bath in a quite literal direction. A waterfall of Cambria’s Woodcroft design surrounds the freestanding black pedestal sink. And the sconce lighting above the sink incorporates a surprising material: leather. The entire effect is surprising and whimsical, but also restful. “Right now, especially, we all need spaces in our homes where we can relax and just lounge,” says Connell. “I wanted people to walk through the passageway and feel like they were escaping—to feel like they were somewhere else where they can just relax.”
Mixing rich tones on the walls and surfaces helped create the restful, enveloping effect, says Connell, but she was careful to keep the tones balanced. “Even though I wanted to create a really moody atmosphere, I didn’t want it to be too dark or oppressive,” she says. “The white lacquered ceiling, the light floor, and the sunlight streaming in through the window create a really nice mix—it’s fresh and bright, but still very soothing.”