Though it took her a while to get there, Melissa Woody was destined to be a designer. Born to a father who was a home builder and mother who was an interior designer, Melissa grew up in beautiful houses full of collectibles and antiques. ”I remember when I was 12 or 13 my mother would take me to the Brunschwig & Fils showroom and let me choose my own bedroom fabrics” Melissa recalls. “It was so fun mixing and matching the different patterns and colors.”
Though design was certainly a passion, upon graduation from SMU Melissa didn’t really have any idea what she wanted to do. “I dabbled in several things. I tried real estate which was just awful. While sitting at open houses, all I could do was think about how to improve the house. I dreamed up new landscaping, color schemes and floor plans,” Melissa recalls.
She tried painting for a while, doing faux finishes for clients and starting a line of painted furniture at the World Trade Center. A flea market junkie, Melissa leased a space at Love Field Antique Mall and grew her passion for antiques and travel into a lucrative business venture. Melissa now has shop space at Lovers Lane Antique Market, Nick Brock Antiques and The Mews.
Melissa fell into interior design by accident. “I was 3rd grade room mother and had a coffee at my house. After one of the mothers left her umbrella and when she called to retrieve it I had to inform her that I was horrified, but my dog had used her umbrella for a bone and it was destroyed. I told her I would replace the umbrella. She said she would forget about it if I would just help her find wallpaper for her dining room.” This small job turned into a 4 year remodel project and a lasting friendship. From that, everything snowballed and my business grew from referrals!
Melissa’s main design focus is residential, though she has dabbled in a few small commercial jobs. Melissa kindly sat down and answered some questions to give LOL readers a little insight into her wonderfully designed world!
How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal style leans towards timeless traditional. I love antiques — 18th and 19th century furnishings, like chandeliers with cut crystal prism and tapestries. I am a collector; I rely on my collections of antique delft, imari, majolica and barbotine. My favorite 18th century chest. I love upholstered walls, draperies and wallpaper.
I want people to immediately feel welcomed and comfortable when they walk in my house. I love comfy, cozy; I am not a fan of minimalism. I design layer upon layer. No-one is ever really finished with their house, there is always another layer to go.
Which of the projects you’re currently working on or have recently completed are you most excited about? Tell us a little about the project and why.
I just started a house for a newly married couple with small children. This young couple moved from Dallas to a small Texas town so they could be closer to family and raise their children in a small town atmosphere. As a wedding present, they were given their great-grandparents house, which is over 103 years old and has been moved to a new location.
A history buff, I find this house fascinating. Not only does the house have a personal family history with all the childhood memories, but, it’s incredible to see first hand the architecture and construction of that time period. There was no sheetrock in the late 1800′s, therefore; all the walls are wood. Rather than a pier and beam foundation, one wing of the house was built on stones and the plumbing valves are accessible through exterior walls.
I do a lot of work with builders and to see the quality of construction 100 years ago is amazing.
What is your go-to design accessory?
Lamps! They create an instant atmosphere. Also, blue and white porcelain. I sell a lot of it [in my boutiques] and love it… I think it is timeless.
What are your favorite Design District shopping stops?
For antiques, I love Donald Embree’s shop. My mother was a personal friend of Donald’s and whenever I would accompany her to Dallas we would always stop by his shop. His shop is like a jewelry box full of goodies!
If I am working on a job that requires an updated clean look, I always go to George Nash’s showroom… he has wonderful lines and great fabrics…plus it just makes me feel good to go in his showroom…it is always inviting and beautiful.
Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know!
On any given night you can usually find me outside (by the fireplace if it is cool) with my dogs and a glass of wine…because I am a huge homebody. ♥
A big thank you to Melissa for taking the time to share her story. For those craving more from Melissa, she will be opening a lamp shop on Dragon Street on November 1. “The Lamp Shoppe,” located at 1515 Dragon St. will offer custom lamps and lighting solutions. Check back at LowerOakLawn.com for more details soon!