Pictures: Jon Ivins
Katrine Anker-Nilssen chats to Tracy Kelly of beautiful interior space Nom de Plume Studio.
Tracy grew up in Zimbabwe, riding horses and living a life outdoors. “My family moved to South Africa in my teenage years and it’s here I met my husband, Trevor. I have been blessed with three beautiful children and two very precious grandchildren,” says Tracy, who lives on a farm in the Wartburg area. “I’ve created my own sanctuary here, a place where I can hide and spend time in my garden with my animals and family.
“I started my career 30 years ago, first getting my interior design diploma through a design company in New York, then slowly, one project at a time, adding to my portfolio – which now incorporates residential, corporate and hospitality,” says Tracy. “With all design projects there are seasons. My current season has led me very much into hospitality, with specific reference to African bush lodges and I love these projects. They bring together all aspects of design that I am drawn too, with specific reference to bringing the outdoors inside.”
20 years ago Tracy purchased a turn of the century Cape Dutch home in Pietermaritzburg. “At the time it was a base from which I could work while traveling to schools, sports and fitting in my interior design and decorating career along with my family,” says Tracy. “I moved away from the area and worked remotely for several years, but returned about six years ago and gave the home a complete renovation.
“Nom de Plume Studio is my front of face, an interior space that is curated to represent myself and my adaptability with regards to design. My inspiration is always a mix of classic English with the subtle nuances of Africa, I love to display the works of the incredibly talented artisans in our continent.”
Tracy says Nom de Plume has been a wonderful platform and base from which she has been able to consult with clients and carry an exclusive range of decor accessories that clients are able to purchase. “I have been able to meet incredible people – from suppliers, to manufacturers to clients themselves.”
Inspired by the flora and fauna of Africa and the vast differences in our cultures, Tracy is also equally inspired by the classic English country homes with the mix of old and new. “This can be seen in my design style, which is very inherent. I often use older pieces and love them for their Wabi Sabi imperfections, which in themselves tell a wonderful story. I love to add layers coupled with lots of texture, which plays a very important role in any interior scheme.
“I am fortunate enough to be living my dream with regards to interiors, I work with amazing clients and on incredible projects,” says Tracy, who would love to travel more to see wonderful creations by other talented interior designers in her field, whom she admires and looks up to.
Nom de Plume is a destination for the client who wants to find pieces that are exclusive and unique. “We are here to inspire and stimulate you with regards to your interior thinking. It is a sensory experience, and everyone who visits our studio needs time to pause, breathe and take it all in. We want you to understand the concept of living and mixing the old with the new, the rough with the smooth, the shiny and the matt. Now more than ever before, we need to put our own stamp on our interiors – and we are here to help you do that,” says Tracy.
Beautifully curated with exquisite pieces all hand-selected by Tracy, Nom de Plume Studio is a lifestyle within a 100-year-old Cape Dutch homestead. So please do pop in and experience this beautiful interior space in person.
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