What was once a landing pad in between life’s many commitments has now become so much more. Our homes have taken on new roles as an office, a gym, a school and an entertaining space, among many other things. With its new role comes the realization that what you once thought was a perfect home for your family doesn’t function nearly as well in this new normal. “We are seeing more people willing to invest in their home so it can serve its new purposes and be a space where they can live comfortably,” says DC-based designer Tracy Morris, owner of Tracy Morris Design (tracymorrisdesign.com).
Morris got her start in the industry at the young age of 6 while helping her aunt and uncle flip houses. “This early education was invaluable,” shares Morris. “I carried everything I learned through the years until I started my own firm.” In 2003, the veteran designer left her 9-to-5 job to follow her true passion—and she never looked back. Since then, Morris has left her design mark throughout DC and surrounding area homes, restaurants and offices, as well as across the world in San Diego, Dallas, Puerto Rico and even Switzerland. While her personal aesthetic is best described as comfortable elegance—think clean silhouettes and cozy, textured fabrics so the space is polished but still welcoming and livable—Morris goes about each project with a unique approach: “When it comes to clients, I take the style they love and create something beautiful that works for their family,” notes the Washingtonian. “Getting to know them and their story makes the design more personal and helps me envision how the space is going to be used.”
But some elements do remain constant in Morris’ designs, especially when it comes to the brands and designers she calls on. “Benjamin Moore for paint, Moore & Giles for leather, Circa for lighting and Perennials for fabric have featured in nearly every project I’ve completed,” she notes. Furnishings and decor play one of the biggest roles for Morris. “For many of my designs I find inspiration from furniture, textiles or art,” she says. “I often find an amazing fabric or an interesting table and that pushes the design in a specific direction.” From timeless creations to moody, artistic aesthetics to layered, whimsical interiors, Morris can—and has—done it all.
One commercial project in the DC area holds a special place in her heart. “The Round Robin Bar at the Willard hotel was one of my favorite projects,” says Morris, who was tapped to update the hotel’s iconic bar. “I wanted it to feel refreshed without losing any of its original character.” To breathe new life into the storied local, Morris stuck to a familiar palette, updated the leather and wallpaper, added new light fixtures and then seamlessly blended the old with the new. The results are a reimagined yet timeless space that is a must-see.
With the new challenge of transforming your home into a multifunctional space, the increase in interior overhauls is inevitable. Morris ensures a space doesn’t only look good, but is also livable and functional for each individual and unique set of needs. “I want the personality of the client to shine through in their own home,” notes Morris. “Being able to bring in personal touches is always something I strive for.” So, who’s up for a redesign?
Photography by: Greg Powers