Traci Connell

All photos: Michael Hunter

An unlikely path led Traci Connell to great success as a Dallas interior designer.

Connell earned her degree in education and was an elementary school teacher. She enjoyed the job, but says she hadn’t found her passion.

Traci Connell

Traci Connell

“What I really loved about teaching was the creativity and structure of the classroom,” she said. “The big ‘ah ha’ moment for me came in 2000, when my good friend asked, ‘why can’t you make money doing something you love?’ And shortly after, with some careful consideration, Traci Connell Interiors was born.”

At first, Traci Connell Interiors, Connell Interiors at the time, was a helpful second income for her growing family. She spent the first ten years developing her eye for design, honing her business skills, holding leadership roles within the Interior Design Society (IDS), and completing successful client projects, as well as many charity opportunities.

Life threw her a curve ball in 2011, when she found herself a single mother with three children, and the sole provider for the household.

“Fueled with pure passion to feed my family and realize my dream, I reestablished my company as Traci Connell Interiors,” she said. “My decision to change careers is justified every time I see a client lay eyes on their newly designed space for the first time — the tears of happiness say it all.”

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Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging and Design is one of many locals who won a Houzz award this year. Photo: Shoot2Sell.

Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging and Design (and a Candy’s Dirt contributor) is one of many locals who won a Houzz award this year. Photo: Shoot2Sell.

We love to boast about how ingenious and imaginative the housing construction and design pros are in North Texas. So when Houzz announced their winners of “Best Of Houzz 2015” awards, it was no surprise that Dallas-Fort Worth made quite a splash.

Houzz is an online home remodeling and design site that showcases the work of architects, homebuilders, interior designers, landscape pros, and other residential remodeling professionals. Their Best Of Houzz awards come in two categories: customer service and design. Customer service honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews from 2014. Design winners’ work ranked most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on the site.

I’ve spent the better part of the last five days combing through the champs, savoring the superb photos, and picking a few of my favorites to share with you today. Candy already mentioned Tatum Brown Custom Homes’ win yesterday, but I’ve got a few others that caught my eye.

First, all five of the designers I wrote about at the beginning of the month in 5 Dallas Interior Designers to Watch in 2015 were Houzz winners (bam!), so a huge shout-out to these five:

Here are seven other DFW Houzz winners that will impress you with their discerning style and exquisite work.

 

1. CAROLINA V. GENTRY, RID: DESIGN AND SERVICE AWARDS

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Carolina V. Gentry is a principal interior designer at Pulp Design Studios in East Dallas and her aesthetic is fluid and elegant. What I loved most about her interior designs was the clean, almost architectural feel, and details that feel high-end without being fussy. Many of the photos in her Houzz portfolio feature mirrored or silver accents that lend a midcentury vibe to the overall modern look.

But there’s nothing sterile about her the contemporary ambience—her work is warm and welcoming. She has more than one hundred photos on Houzz that will inspire you. Jump to read about six more winners!

 

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Rhonda Vandiver-White is one of five fabulous Dallas interior designers to watch in 2015. Photo courtesy Robert Peacock.

Stylish interiors in North Texas are no accident—we have an abundance of talented Dallas interior designers working hard to make them so. Over the past year, I’ve kept my eyes on a handful of clever interior designers, and five in particular have distinguished themselves through their gorgeous work. Keep an eye on these five in 2015! (more…)