Fourteen years ago, Tracy Morris found herself in a surprising position — she had been recently laid off from her job during the dot-com bubble and in an unplanned move, started the company that is now Tracy Morris Design. The constant request of designing friends and co-workers homes on evenings and weekends, now became a full-time job.
It wasn’t until April of 2003, when she was unexpectedly published in Home and Design magazine that her interior design business really started to take off. The projects increased in size and in 2007 she moved from Florida to DC to begin growing her team.
Today, Morris has a team of five other designers in her Georgetown office and her firm juggles anywhere from 15-20 projects a year, ranging in size and scale. Morris approaches her business with a laid-back, approachable style that emphasizes transparency with her clients — something that isn’t always the norm in the interior design industry.
“The [interior design] industry was clandestine — it wasn’t at all transparent. My clients see the net prices and know exactly what the final cost will be,” Morris said.
Her friendly demeanor mixed with her “obsessively organized” work-ethic offer her client’s guidance during the major life events involved around designing and filling a home with personality.
“It’s about getting into the client's head. It’s their space and their home and making it as comfortable as possible for their lifestyle and their family,” Morris said. “I always tell them, ‘I’m your design guide. I’m not going to let you make an expensive mistake.’”
While Morris is based out of D.C., she says about 20 percent of her clients are elsewhere — from California, Hamptons and even Puerto Rico. Interior design projects can range in size from redesigning an entire house, to simply helping a client find the right drapes.
“It is an intuitive knowing - as much as design school can teach, you can’t teach everything,” Morris said.
Every Day Design Tips from Tracy Morris
“Stay away from accent walls”
“It works well for commercial spaces, but not in residential,” Morris said. ”Pick one clean color for your walls, and highlight with artwork and antiques.”
Match the interior design of your home with the exterior look and feel
“If you have an all glass home, don’t put traditional furniture. Make sure the exterior and interior are complimentary."
Use artwork to liven up your space
“It doesn't’ matter where you get it from, or how expensive it is, as long as you love the art, it's better to do something texturally unique than painting a bold color on your wall.”