Willow Tree Homes, owned and operated by Melissa Penner and Maggie Reed, offers a variety of services from interior decoration to staging in Owasso, Collinsville, Tulsa and surrounding areas. I interviewed Melissa about her passion for decorating and her unique style.
Melissa: "Interior decorating has always been a passion of mine. I can remember as a young girl trimming my bedroom windows with curtains made of a spare set of pretty floral-patterned sheets I found. I have always been passionate about feeling comfortable and finding beauty in the place you spend the majority of your life--the place you call home."
Kelley: What is interior decorating about for you?
Melissa: "Decorating is less about the things you are decorating with and more about the feeling your space evokes. For a long time I had a color on my walls that was very warm, bold, and energizing. I liked that for a time, but when I repainted with a cooler color my space became more serene and quiet. This feeling of contentment in a home is what I want to help our clients find."
Kelley: How is having two decorators beneficial for the client?
Melissa: "Maggie and I have different styles that we gravitate towards. But the neat thing about style is that it is constantly evolving, and you become really limited as a decorator when you pin yourself to just one genre. I think each person's style can change and evolve, and does regularly, so you can have multiple looks that blend well simultaneously. Modern industrial with a bohemian flair, or traditional cottage with a costal vibe...it can all blend together beautifully if done correctly. And I think this is where two decorators can make decorating more of an art form blending colors, décor, and tone together with balance and depth."
Kelley: Describe your step-by-step process for your clients?
Melissa: "Our initial consultation begins by meeting with the client to assess their space, determining their budget, and outlining what they want to improve within the home. In some cases we ask them to fill out a survey which aids us to discover the style they feel most comfortable with. Then we take time to photograph and appraise the space within this framework. It is also a time when we consider the décor items the client has that can be incorporated into the new design and which items will need to be purchased to complete the project. We use a storyboard approach to design which allows the homeowner to visualize what their space would look like after implementing the recommended changes. By including pictures of the client's existing furniture as well as any décor purchases discussed in the initial session we work with the homeowner to implement the desired design plan."
Kelley: What do you think is important when it comes to decorating a home?
Melissa: "When it comes to home decorating our own style is really not as important as finding the style that evokes the feel the home owner wants for their space. The biggest compliment I have received for our work at Willow Tree Homes was when a client said she was amazed at how accurately we were able to uncover and apply her design style throughout her home. Sometimes people don't know what their style is, and that is perfectly okay. Part of our job as decorators is surveying our clients as well as their home to determine what they value and what evokes the emotion they're looking for, as well as what will work well within their space. Whether it is bold and energized, relaxed and calm, light and airy, or warm and cozy there are many combinations that can bring a room to life in a balanced way.
Kelley: Describe your home staging service?
Melissa: "Our goal with our home staging service is to respectfully and kindly come alongside the homeowner and work with what they have and when necessary assist with furniture and décor purchases to allow their home to have a competitive advantage over other homes on the market. Sometimes selling a home can be very emotional, especially if you have lived in a home for some time or have a deep connection to it. It is helpful to have a fresh perspective on how to best present your home to highlight its value and make it desirable to a broad range of tastes. Typically, within the first hour of staging we make a general assessment of the space and evaluate which changes would make the biggest difference in bringing value to the home. Our services begin with a one hour consultation in which we provide a written analysis of one of the major living areas. We use this to suggest changes the homeowner can implement on their own or they can choose to have us make the changes for them for an additional fee."
Kelley: Can you describe other services Willow Tree offers?
Melissa: "Willow Tree offers a broad range of services in home decorating and redesign as well as temporary home staging. Each project can vary from a one hour consultation in which we provide a written plan for one major living area to a complete redecorating of the entire home. We at Willow Tree Homes are extremely flexible and will tailor our services to meet the client's needs. Often, within 2-3 hours of rearranging furniture and making simple changes to décor, we can design a much better flow resulting in a striking transformation of your home. Our basic one hour consultation includes a written plan the homeowner can work through on their own. Ideally to relieve the stress from the home owner Willow Tree Homes can take our services a step further and implement the plan in order to take the burden from the seller."
Kelley: What is the biggest misconception homeowners have in home staging?
Melissa: "The biggest misconception homeowners have is that home staging is expensive, and since they are selling their home anyway, they think why bother putting more money into it at this time. The truth is that a staged home will typically sell for 7-10% more than one that is not staged, and will usually sell 50-80% faster. When you compare home sales homeowners usually find home staging is notexpensive as they originally thought with the often added bonus of an increase in the sale price and speed of the sale. The return can be very significant."
For more information please contact Willow Tree Homes at 918-813-2245.