Refined Touches Elevate Sarasota Designer’s Home

A designer leans into classic, sophisticated styling to tell the story of her family home in Sarasota

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Interior decorating wasn’t always on Tracee Murphy’s radar. In fact, as she tells it, the Sarasota-based designer didn’t realize her interest in the field until after she had graduated from college with a degree in psychology and moved into her first home. “I put mauve carpet in the living room and went over the top with florals and trim,” recalls Murphy. “Everyone thought I was crazy, but I was actually just a designer waiting to be born.”

Soon, Murphy realized how her university studies could help her capture the feelings of different spaces, and today, she continues to employ this signature approach when orchestrating the layout and aesthetic of her residential projects. “Most people don’t realize that color placement alone can change how you react when you enter a room,” she says.

While understanding the individual styles that appeal to each of her clients is Murphy’s specialty, her most recent commission was even more personal—it was her own home, after all. The 6,200-square-foot residence has five bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms, and was envisioned with Murphy’s large family in mind. “This is a primary residence for my husband and me, as well as our youngest son,” says the designer. “But between our other four children, who live in different cities but visit often, it always feels like a full house.”

Although challenging, Murphy said taking on the California-style ranch allowed her to incorporate all her favorite elements and truly lean into her own distinctive techniques. What came to fruition is, as Murphy puts it, “classic styling with a relaxed yet sophisticated touch.”  In terms of palette, that means a mélange of neutral tones of beige, gray, green, terra-cotta, and various shades of warm white.

Clearly, one of the centerpieces of the home is the dining room. Here, what appears to be a custom mural is actually a Japanese-inspired wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries. “It’s one of the first things that meets the eye when you enter the front door, so I wanted it to make a statement,” says Murphy. “The blossoms and twisted branches are printed on grass-cloth, which gives the background texture for even more depth in the room.”

Another focal point is the fireplace, which is original to the home. Murphy initially debated whether to remove this feature, but ultimately decided to highlight it, as “the variation in organic colors and gorgeous veining give the main living space so much personality.” Displayed above the fireplace is Sarasota painter Larry Forgard’s Flower Robe, which was selected for its dramatic, earthy colorways and a vibe that lends itself to the motif found in the dining room wallcovering. Opposite the fireplace is a gallery wall of family photographs, which are swapped out on a regular basis. “The reason for this house is family,” she says. “Displaying pictures of our loved ones is what makes a home come alive.”

The heart of the home, the kitchen, is presented as a seamless blend of both modern and traditional design styles. As she enjoys both cooking and entertaining frequently, Murphy opted for open shelving for easy access to dishes and serving pieces. Two sconces above the range add a polished touch to the vignette, while serving their lighting purpose. Tying everything together, the backsplash is made up of large-format porcelain tile that was book-matched for symmetry, and above the open shelving, Moroccan-inspired zellige tiles that shimmer in the natural light.

While Murphy knew that she wanted the primary bedroom to evoke tranquility and elegance, she was even more eager to focus on the primary bathroom. “I’ve loved checkerboard flooring since the beginning of my career and this was actually my first time executing it,” she says. “I wanted a truly authentic old-world sensation and chose antiqued marble and limestone, along with a heated flooring system for extra luxury.” To infuse the space with further drama, Murphy installed black-frame glass shower doors that nearly stretch to the ceiling, along with a translucent chandelier by Hudson Valley Lighting.

“The guiding principle that drove the design of this house was the idea of loved ones,” says Murphy. “I wanted a true family home with a classic and sophisticated aesthetic, and that’s what was achieved.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Tracee Murphy, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Text by Mallory Jacobson

Photography by Amy Lamb, Nashville, TN

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Dining Room

Table – Chaddock, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Chairs – Century, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Trim – Samuel & Sons, samuelandsons.com

Chandelier – Palecek, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Wallcovering – Phillip Jeffries, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Drapery – Kravet, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Living Room

White sofas – Sherrill Furniture, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Club chairs – Hickory Chair, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Ottomans – Hickory Chair, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Cocktail tables – Bernhardt, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Chandeliers – Currey & Company, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Artwork – Larry Forgard, State of the Arts Gallery, Sarasota, FL

Entry

Round table – Vintage, Homeowners’ collection

Ottoman – Bernhardt, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Sculpture on stand – Vintage, Homeowners’ collection

Kitchen

Cabinetry designed by Tracee Murphy, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL, and fabricated by Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Sarasota, FL

Hood – Campbell Cabinetry Design, Sarasota, FL

Backsplash – SRQ Modern, Bradenton, FL

Back splash lighting – Urban Electric, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Island designed by Tracee Murphy, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL, and fabricated by Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Sarasota, FL

Island chairs – Palecek, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Island lighting – Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL 

Artwork – Denise Sedor, Devon, PA

Powder Room

Sink – Signature Hardware, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Mirror – Arteriors, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Wallcovering – Schumacher, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Primary Bedroom

Bed and headboard – Vintage, Homeowners’ collection

Bedside chests – Noir, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Club chairs – Vintage, Homeowners’ collection

Chandelier – Arteriors, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

B/W artwork – Denise Sedor, Devon, PA

Primary Bathroom

Shower designed by Tracee Murphy, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL, and fabricated by Rusty’s Tile, Sarasota, FL 

Tub – Wyndham Collection, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL 

Drink table – Noir, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Chandelier – Hudson Valley Lighting, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Flooring – Tile Market, Sarasota, FL

Back Exterior

Seating – Ebel, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Cocktail table – Hickory Chair, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Round dining table – Four Hands, Trade Mark Interiors, Sarasota, FL

Chairs – Klaussner, International Design Source, Sarasota, FL

Lounges and tables – Vintage, Homeowners’ collection

Umbrella – Frontgate, frontgate.com

Throughout

Builder – Vertical Design + Build, Sarasota, FL

Landscape architect – Critter Ridge Landscaping, Sarasota, FL

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