Keith Richards greets me in the groovy gold-and-orange Jonathan Adler print-wallpapered entryway of Tracy Martin Taylor’s Dallas home on a bright Tuesday morning. Taylor’s recently adopted (and very well-behaved) scruffy dog bearing the name of the Rolling Stones legend is just one of many hints that Taylor, founder of Eleven 11 Design, is something of a rock ’n’ roll rebel in her interior-design ways. Her not-afraid-of-anything (especially color) design exudes bravado, engaging houseguests in a space true to Taylor.
The early ’90s home that Taylor bought and moved into nearly seven years ago oozes a modernized Seventies vibe that is anything but the clichéd kaftans and wood paneling of the bygone era. So naming her dog Keith Richards (said as one word) isn’t out of character for the former publisher of FD Luxe and Quick magazines. “Fashion, music, design – they all feed each other,” Taylor says. And her home is a testament to that assertion. First inspired by her grandparents’ style and their perpetual Italian calendar – an item that is now perched in Taylor’s home – and fueled by the creative world, it’s a display of everything she loves, including animal figures.
Her design mantra is simple: If you love it, it will work. “Because you love them all, they can make sense together,” the designer explains. “I saw that [Jonathan Adler] wallpaper and said, ‘Where am I going to put that?’” The home nestled in a rare wooded area is accented with animal figures throughout the rooms. “My friends will joke about it,” she says, laughing. “But it goes back to my theory – buy what you love.” Taylor is drawn to the creatures because of the majesty, whimsy and “surprising” dimension they add to her home. Her adoration for fashion and music is also reflected in the home she shares with her 5-year-old daughter, which doubles as her office and design studio. One of the aspects that Taylor loved about the home when she bought it was that it was a “blank slate” and adaptable to any style and function.
And in the midst of the bursts of color and character, the home is neatly arranged for maximum functionality and interaction between Taylor and her daughter. “Organization is key,” Taylor says. She professes that in order to keep your house in order, you have to create systems that work for you. For this family of two, that included Taylor’s daughter getting involved with naming and labeling the toy baskets neatly stored in a part of the living room. In the kitchen, there’s a desk designated for the preschooler’s art supplies. Since the two spend most of their time in the kitchen and living room, this gives the mother and daughter ways to spend time together in various spaces.
Taylor decoded one of the most difficult design problems of the 21st century: integrating kids’ toys and storage into the home without detracting from its design. And the result of her success is a growing design firm helping clients (often first-time parents) design their child’s room and other spaces in their home – a project she loves to take on. There’s “nothing greater than realizing that that kid is going to grow up in this room [that I designed]. They may be 25 years old and remember that mural. That’s really, really special.”
Taylor strategically mixes design and function to create a home that works for her family and business. With bold patterns and shapes inspired by the world of fashion and a strong sense of self, the seasoned interior designer made a home that’s a little bit fashion, a little bit rock ’n’ roll and full of life. Just like her.