feature: mistress of reinvention
Lee, a former fashion model, agency owner and television personality, finds herself in a parallel motion: "I'm in the third phase of Tracey, and I keep reinventing myself, but it all has an underlying current, much like a great piece of music, and it's all based around creativity. I'm a stylist, have just started a new television development company, and all of this is based around my love of designing and living and cooking and friends and family. It's all part of what I think the perfect American world is
embracing all of these things and making a life."
Lee works with clients to bring a worldly, eclectic sophistication to their homes, drumming up their sense of personal heritage and encouraging a freewheeling fearlessness about decorating and design. It's a fresh approach that's also a passion.
"I don't consider myself an interior designer by any stretch," Lee says. "I majored in music in school, but creating a living space is something I really love to do, whether for me or someone else. I take great pride in making a room livable for someone, especially if they put their own stamp on it to make it their own, or allowing me to help them create something that says I'm Irish and I love it, or I'm a romantic, or sophisticated or whatever. I like finding that quality and making it happen."
Her sense of color, scale and texture brings the rooms in her stone house into a delightful balance - stimulating but relaxed, uptown without being untouchable. Music flows freely, fragrances are tantalizing, fresh flowers and paintings exert their visual punch. It is a place that's always ready for large groups of friends, who lap up Lee's signature pasta dishes with devotion. Or beg for her pork tenderloin with chocolate sauce. "A table's never too full," she says, crediting her mother Romayne for instilling a flair for living and entertaining and "picking up strays for Thanksgiving. She would bring musicians home all the time, and I never knew who would be in the house - Sammy Davis Jr, or Mel Torme, Jack Jones - I was just this little kid and it was an interesting life."
If there's any guiding wisdom that Lee swears by, it's to live only with things that you love.
Everything else seems to fall into place.