TRACY MCLELLAN | INTERIOR DESIGNER

It’s rare to find someone as sincere and special as Tracy McLellan.  We’ve had the privilege of knowing her on a personal level for several years now and her insight and response to life continues to amaze us.  Aside from being a true friend, dedicated mother, and supportive wife, Tracy runs her own interior design business (which should come as no surprise after stepping foot in her gorgeous home).  Leading by example to her littles, she believes in the power of listening, bending when needed, and carving out time for those near and dear to her.  Here she shares her thoughts on all of the above.

TELL US ABOUT VALENTINA?

The best way to describe Valentina is whimsical.  She is truely an old soul from the 60’s; dancing, singing and spreading light everywhere she goes.

IF THERE’S ONE THING THAT I CAN TEACH MY DAUGHTER IT IS…

Be comfortable with who you are.  She beats to her own tune and that is what will make her stand out one day.  For us, it’s is important to expose our kids to different people, places and activities to continually build confidence, curiosity and a sense of adventure.

HARDEST PART OF THE DAY…

Neither Valentina or I are ‘morning people’.  We can easily sleep in until 8 or 9am any day of the week.  So rallying the troops before school can be a bit challenging.  Waking up, getting dressed, packing lunch, making breakfast, brushing teeth all before 7:30am can be a bit nutty for us but luckily my husband lends a helping hand, while chuckling at the irony of me telling Valentina to hustle.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT DUTCH?

Dutch is very focused.  I am someone that can daydream and get distracted during tasks (as you can see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with dear Valentina) so I admire his ability to sit and work through something until he understands it.

WHAT’S DUTCH INTO THESE DAYS?

You name it, he’s into it.  He’s active and always game just like his dad…soccer, reading, snowboarding, skating, and of course his kandama.

TELL US ABOUT DUTCH’S ROOM…

I wanted to be true to the Mid Century design of our home and implement some of his personality.  Dutch has a true passion for the mountains.  He loves the snow, hiking, camping and just being surrounded by nature in general.  I started with his dreamcatcher and then gradually found a few additional treasures that fit right in.  It’s the biggest compliment when people walk in the room and say “this is SO Dutch”.

FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP FOR THE HOME?

Travels…Regardless of where you go there is something that you can bring home with you that helps to retain a memory, creates a story and adds something special to your home.  I found my son’s dream catcher in Tulum, a sofa in a vintage store while camping in Encinitas and our rug is from Morocco.

HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?

Having young kids has provided me with priceless insight when helping my clients source products and purchase furniture.  B.K. (before kids) I wouldn’t have flinched at the idea of suggesting a white linen sofa or the Ngouchi coffee table.  Finding something that is functional, beautiful and can hold it’s own with kids is key!

CAN YOU SHARE ANY OF YOUR KID-FRIENDLY FINDS?

The trick is nothing too precious or pristine because it’s only a matter of time before someone spills or accidentally knocks it over.  I’m loving some of Perreneal’s linen blend fabrics for a sofa.  Typically it’s used for outdoor furniture which makes it beyond kid-proof.

HOW DO YOU REMAIN CREATIVE AND CONNECTED TO THE DESIGN WORLD?

I’m fortunate and blessed to have amazingly creative friends. I owe so much of what I know about fashion, culture and design to them and what they have exposed me to.  Outside of that I love perusing the web late night on sites like Garance Doré, Remodelista, Lonny Magazine and of course Pinterest.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO ENGAGE WITH BOTH KIDS AT THE SAME TIME?

I’m not going to lie, the age and gender difference can be a bit tricky.  Cards and boardgames like Headbands, Jenga and Candyland are a big hit at my house. And then there’s the obvious like going to the beach and hiking.

THE KEY TO MARRIAGE IS?

…willingness to compromise.

Marriage (just like most things in life) takes work but it has been so rewarding to share, learn and grow with someone that I love.  Parenting adds a whole other twist to a marriage.  For us, it’s important to stay aligned with the major things, the big picture, and not sweat the small stuff.  

ADVICE TO SOMEONE NEWLY MARRIED?

Carve out time for one another.  Continue to date your man and stay playful with each other.  Indulge in the uninhibited fun you had when you were just dating and getting to know one another.

HOW DO YOU REFRESH YOUR SOUL?

Traveling and getting out of town always seems to always do the trick.  It’s something my husband and I immediately connected on and continue to make a priority.  I’m always a bit inspired and refreshed even if we are camping for the weekend or visiting a nearby town for the day.  You don’t have to travel far to have new experiences and perspective.

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO PASS ON TO A MOTHER?

Let your children see you be silly. I think that it’s so empowering to be able to laugh at yourself and still have fun doing things that you might not be that good at.  People with the worst rhythm often have the best time dancing.

  • Elyse Manion

    Loved this. Love her home! Also loved what she said about marriage and a mother. Thanks for this!

    • http://www.homewithher.com Home With Her

      We agree, Tracy’s home and her words of wisdom are pretty special. Thanks for the support Elyse!

  • S. Arnett

    I loved the photos and narrative! Tracy is truly a very special person!