Live from the Kips Bay Show House with Traci Connell
Dallas-based designer, Traci Connell walks us through the stunning pool bar and bath she designed for the Dallas Kip’s Bay Show House. The once overlooked space is tucked away off the poolside veranda. Traci re-imagined the space to be far more than a pool bar and bath as guests are welcomed into a glamorous and relaxing space where martinis flow and inspiration abounds. Watch our Instagram Live Tour of the space with Traci Connell.
Q : You were assigned the Pool Bar and Bath at the 2021 Kips Bay Show House. How does the new space compare to the old?
The space is small so we had to get really creative. In the original layout, the bar was in a corner of the room and the rest of the real estate was used for the bathroom. The beautiful round window was hidden in the bathroom. I decided to completely reimagine the space and that the proper real estate should go to the bar and not the bath. We removed the shower and pushed the wall back for the bath area which allowed for the window to be in the bar area. We created these arches for the bar which welcome guests as they enter the space.
Q : This was your first show house, did you learn anything from the experience?
This show house was great because it allowed us to showcase our architectural skills as well as our design style. We were able to demonstrate how you can turn a tiny space into something magical. Show houses are different than other projects because the timeline is so tight. But it always all comes together! We are really happy how our space turned out.
Q : How did you select the hardware?
Well, the fabulous wallpaper is Arte and it has crazy animals- leopards, swans, dogs, horses- so I thought the Mayan Snake pull would be the perfect cabinet pulls. I love the plate of the hardware. When you pull them they are heavy in your hands which is important. Instead of installing them at the top of the cabinet doors, I decided to install them closer to the floor, which made a bigger visual impact.
Q : Tell us about these cabinet doors!
We knew we wanted the fluted doors- they are so popular right now. The fluted panels came in planks and we pieced them together to follow the curve of the cabinets. They came in white oak but we painted them.
Q: How do you choose hardware for your projects?
We are using a lot of gold and brass. We also like to mix metals if the client lets us. I don't think brass finish is going anywhere. If you use in a classy way and if it has a nice beautiful finish it will stand the test of time.
Q: How do you determine when a project is successful?
I have learned that the most important thing for me is not what a space or home looks like or how it functions- but how it makes you feel when you walk into it. It is my mission to tie the meaning back to the home owner.
Q: Any expert tips you can share with us?
Each space should start with something really special or meaningful, and then build your space around that moment. Our team refers to that special item or element the "Easter egg".
"Each panoramic of decor immerses the guests in a fairy-tale moment as the fascination is let loose to run wild with fun elements of cocktails sprinkled throughout," says Connell. "The bar beckons the guests to take a moment to relax as their spirits—both figuratively and literally—soar."
- Traci Connell from Veranda Magazine