Please read this delightful article about Melissa Woody that appeared in today’s Dallas Morning News.
We are very proud to be associated with one of Dallas’ top designers. Thank you, Melissa, for all you contribute to the success of our Market.
Special Contributor – Dallas Morning News
When Melissa Woody bought the two-story cottage in University Park, she was initially impressed. The 1930s house was located on a quiet, tree-lined lane and had the potential to be a cozy retreat.
“I thought it was cute and cottage-y. It needed additional square footage, but it was an easy fix,” says Woody, owner of the Lamp Shoppe in Dallas.
However, the interior would be a challenge.
“The house was dated and depressing. An elderly couple had owned it and not done any renovation. Everything needed to be updated,” she says.
Past expansions left the house as “a hodgepodge of rooms. It looked like it was put together with spit and tape. It didn’t make any sense,” Woody says.
She was undaunted. An interior designer, Woody looked beyond the home’s flaws and saw its possibilities. She knew it was the perfect place to house her prized period decor.
“What I wanted was a comfy, cozy cottage. I wanted upholstered walls and wallpaper. The 8-foot ceilings were perfect for me. I don’t need 9-foot or 10-foot ceilings.”
Collecting antique furnishings and porcelain has long been a passion for Woody.
“All my collections started with one majolica vase when I was 13. Then I was always collecting something,” she says.
Her antiques come from all parts of the globe. Some were purchased on trips to Western Europe and some she found locally.
“I do antique shows. I do auctions, estate sales and local antique dealers.”
Her assortment of furniture, rugs, porcelain and lighting is so extensive that Woody sells pieces at Lovers Lane Antique Market and Nick Brock Antiques on Henderson Avenue. The lamps are her favorites, and she restores, redesigns and sells them at her Dallas Design District shop.
Once updated, her new home was to be a showplace for her most loved pieces.
Woody has two young children, so her initial priority was to add a bathroom and laundry room upstairs and renovate the outdated kitchen.
The home’s den proved to be a particularly pesky challenge.
“It was a long, skinny room. I think it once had been a screened-in porch,” she says.
Because the home’s roof extended outward from the den, Woody saw the opportunity to widen the room by 10 feet. This renovation created space for Woody’s larger antiques and provided room for an upstairs expansion.
Decorating the 3,300-square-foot home proved to be an easier task than the renovation.
“The minute I walked through the house, my mind was clicking. I knew what I wanted in each room.”
With fabric and wallpaper samples in hand, she began the planning.
“I started with the big pieces of furniture. I knew I had to have a wall to put them on,” Woody says.
Next came a layout of her collections and decor accents.
“It starts from there. Then you just layer it up. You fill in with all your accessories. Then you coordinate it with your fabric and wallpaper.”
There are no bare walls, windows, floors or corners in the home.
Upholstered or papered walls distinguish many rooms, and patterned draperies and valances outline windows. Heriz, serape and mahal Persian rugs dot the floors.
“I love layering. I don’t like echoes. I’ll never be a minimalist. It’s so depressing. I’m from the school of ‘more is more.’”
In addition to furniture from the 1800s, Woody’s home displays her much-loved porcelain.
Collections include Italian majolica, Japanese Imari, Chinese Delft, English Staffordshire and French barbotine and Palissy. Many pieces illustrate animals, including an assortment of birds, fish and dogs.
“When I get tired of something, I switch it out. I have things at my shop I can play with. Everything in the house is for sale,” the designer says.
Woody also built and decorated a guest house at the rear of the property.
The Hansel and Gretel building has a multipurpose living area with kitchen and full bath. Originally constructed as a place for her children to play with friends, it now serves as a location for entertainment and displays the same Continental flair.
The yard in between is a manicured oasis of flora with a stone fireplace and seating area.
“I treat the yard like I do the house. I layer it. The whole yard is wrapped in azaleas and has boxwoods, pyracantha, Savannah holly trees, Virginia creeper, hyacinth and geraniums. I love being outside.”
The home is Woody’s provincial retreat and a commemoration of the past.
“I like that it’s comfortable. I can walk in the house and instantly feel better,” she says.
Nancy Baldwin is a Plano freelance writer.
Fill your home with the warmth of personal collections -
With the Fourth of July just around the corner, we wanted to share with you our patriotic spirit.
Lovers loves the English country house look – soft leather chairs, ancestral portraits, old leather books, horse paintings, dark navy, green or red walls, worn Oriental rugs, tartan, paisley, antique pewter, dogs and horns.
Let us help you create this classic look in your home.
If you have an old saddle, throw that in too!
The love was flowing yesterday afternoon along with tea and champagne at a party honoring our wonderful dealers. We nibbled on cucumber sandwiches, heart shaped brownies, tiny scones with clotted cream & jam and decadent chocolate covered strawberries. The table was set with pretty silver serving pieces and the beautiful centerpiece was an antique blue and white Delft tulipiere filled with red tulips. A great time was had by all!