A Conversation with Traci Connell of TCI

Traci Connell portrait next to photo of Bentwood Kitchen project Photography provided by Traci Connell Interiors
May 15th, 2024

At Bentwood Luxury Kitchens, we are very fortunate to work with many talented industry professionals who specify our cabinetry.  Also based in Dallas, Texas is Interior Designer, Traci Connell ASID, IDS, of Traci Connell Interiors. Connell has been creating beautiful home interiors for nearly two decades. Connell and her team deliver tailored, luxurious interiors that are as much a work of art as they are livable spaces. From high-end residential projects and vacation homes to commercial spaces, Connell transforms an environment with art curation, cutting-edge technology, and unexpected design elements.  

In addition to numerous award nominations, Connell was invited to be a Kips Bay Dallas Decorator Show House Designer in 2021, D Home Best Designer from 2018 through 2024, and has been included on the Luxe Interiors + Design Gold List in 2018, 2020, and 2021. The firm’s work has been recognized in national and regional media publications including Luxe Interiors + Design, Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, Modern Luxury Interiors, D Home, and AD Pro among many more. 

Traci Connell working on design
Photography provided by Traci Connell Interiors

A favorite Dallas project Connell worked on with our local dealer team Bentwood of Dallas, is still often referenced as inspiration. You can read the full story of this Bentwood favorite project here:  


We were excited to talk with Traci about the project we worked on together as well as discuss design in general. We hope you enjoy this conversation with one of the true artisans of the design profession.  

Talking with Traci

Custom kitchen designed by Traci Connell interiors with white cabinetry by Bentwookd L
Photography provided by Traci Connell Interiors

Bentwood Luxury Kitchen: For the Sheehan project where you used Bentwood cabinetry, what was your favorite element in the kitchen design? 

Traci Connell: Often, the jumping-off point is my favorite part of the design process. Beginning with the inspiration of using stunning walnut for the accent built into the island countertop combined with the bright white of the Bentwood cabinetry, it all set the stage for this stand-out kitchen. 

BLK: Your design included a stunning island. Tell us more about the defining details of this addition. 

TC: Durability was key when redesigning this kitchen after a major house fire. The homeowners looked at this as an “opportunity” rather than as devastation since they were not happy with the previous cabinetry they had. The goal was to avoid the paint chipping effect on cabinet fronts as well as the durability of the eating portion of the island. We chose to use a company, Grothouse, to create a bulletproof waterfall island topper to combine beauty and function. 

BLK: How was the use of color important in this particular design? 

TC: As you can see from the rich mulberry fabric selections of the bartop stools, the homeowners wanted to bend the rules a bit and introduce striking elements that immediately grab your attention in the spaces around the entertainment area. Texture and natural elements from the walnut, paired with a simple white of the countertops and cabinets created a fun dialog between the bold striped patterns and large-scale floral paper peeking in from the mudroom. 

Design Trends

BLK: How do you feel about current design trends? Is there anything in particular that speaks to you or influences your current designs? 

TC: Let’s flip this question on its head. I’d love to see current design trends turn into classic designs where trends disappear and design has no time stamp. We have gravitated toward creating more meaningful spaces by integrating homeowner’s collections, artwork, and antiques into the design. By doing this we can create a connection between the two. New traditional furnishings are coming in strong and I’m here for it! 

BLK: What color palettes do you favor right now? 

TC: Moody spaces are intriguing to me currently. Rich aubergine combined with splashes of cream, deep greens with a touch of salmon, and black with any color! 

BLK: Your work is a form of artistic expression. Do you have a design intention when working on a large project beyond pleasing the client, of course? 

TC: I do, indeed! As an interior designer, it is my job to push the needle a bit in design since the client doesn’t have the vision or exposure to do so. We can always pull back on design, but offering the dream first can open up extremely creative and purposeful spaces. 

A look across the living room towards the kitchen
Photography provided by Traci Connell Interiors

Luxury Cabinetry Choices 

A Butler's Pantry designed by Traci Connell
Photography provided by Traci Connell Interiors

BLK: When planning a kitchen or bath project, what do you look for in luxury cabinetry? 

TC: At our firm, we create many kitchens and baths for clients who desire a luxury “Ritz Refresh.” Lighter brown veneers, textured neutrals along with painted finishes that do not show wear and tear are at the top of our list. 

BLK: How do the Bentwood and Harmoni cabinetry brands meet your needs and fit into your designs? 

TC: I do love the option of offering several different pricing levels between the Bentwood and Harmoni product lines.  Offering the warranty of such a quality product helps client satisfaction is key. As designers, we should take advantage of using our vendor partners who specialize in niche areas. Why wouldn’t we?!  

BLK: What would you say to clients on the fence about hiring an Interior Designer? 

TC: Interview several and ask about budgeting, experience, and process. Look at their portfolio. A designer’s finished work speaks for itself. 

Find Inspiration Near You

Inspired to update your own space?  Click here to find your closest authorized Bentwood dealer. We’ll connect you with a designer in your area and get started with your vision right away! 

Not quite ready to begin a project? Look through our gallery to find inspiration and discover the beauty of Bentwood. 

Article Name
A Conversation with Traci Connell of TCI
Traci Connell worked with Bentwood Luxury Kitchens on the remodeling of a kitchen as part of a house rebuild for a family after a tragic fire. We were excited to talk with Traci about the project we worked on together as well as discuss design in general.
Design Inspiration, Exclusively Bentwood, Kitchen remodeling
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