Designer Crush: Tracy Lynn

1. How did you get your start in design?

It all started in the early 2000s when I was newly married. My husband and I moved into our new home and I took it upon myself to completely transform the space. Without any outside help or formal training, I juggled all of the responsibilities of designing, contracting and managing the seemingly monumental task, figuring things out along the way. Once the transformation was complete, I hosted a party and a dear friend liked my house so much, that she asked me to do the same for her. From there I was referred to another friend and another...the rest is history! 

2. Where do you draw inspiration from?

In terms of specific project design, I’m greatly inspired by my clients. They always bring their own vision and ideas about what they want and I build upon them and expand from there. My greatest source of new inspiration comes from my incredibly talented TLS team! Everyone has a different style and aesthetic and I can walk around our offices and look at everyone’s project boards. I’m always surprised and excited to see what they’ve put together and we’re all constantly sharing cute new vendors or products we’ve come across.     

3. What does it mean for you to approach design “holistically” and why is this important?

A home should be a retreat where residents can rest and re-energize, and where families and friends can connect. Whether we’re working on a bathroom or a complete ground-up build, we look at the project in terms of the big picture. The kitchen is the heart of a home and it sets the tone for the rest of the house. If we’re designing a kitchen, we like to think about how that space fits within the framework of the existing rooms and how the clients might redesign other spaces in the future, or use rooms for different needs. Life is always evolving so we want everything to flow and seamlessly transition between spaces. When we’re looking at the grander scheme, we’re able to anticipate and fill-in potential design holes. We really work to create a space that reflects the uniqueness of the home owners and honors the character of the home so that there is always a positive synergy between the two.

4. What’s your process for getting to know clients and fostering strong relationships?

Getting to know a client is a little like dating. You ask questions about their life, likes/hates, ideas for the future, how their family dynamic works like where the kids drop off their backpacks, needs, preferred style of communication and so on…  I think communication is key, like with any relationship. I want my clients to feel like they can speak their mind and feel comfortable telling me if they foresee any red flags or areas of concern because in the end it’s them living in the space, not me. Once we’ve established that trust and openness, the bond naturally fosters itself.

5. How do you define “California style”?

The first word that comes to mind is livable. There’s a beautiful yet approachable quality to California style with effortless indoor/outdoor living and entertaining in mind.    

6. Which musical album or artist has had the biggest impact on your life and why?

I vividly remember listening to the Doobie Brothers growing up at home and my dad rocking out in the background.

7. Describe your ideal Sunday.

A leisurely breakfast at home in PJs, with my family. Then a movie or hike and ending the day with sunset views and ice cream sundaes.  

Lightning round!

8. Pancakes or waffles?

Waffles.

9. Tattoos: yay or nay?

Nay.

10. First celebrity crush?

Leif Garrett / Scott Baio.

11. Comedy show or music festival?

Comedy show.

12. Real news or Real Housewives?

Always real news.