Tag Archives | interior design

We have worked with Melissa for over a decade, having just completed a major new construction project from start to finish with her.

The Process

For our most recent project we built a new home from start to finish.  While we started the process with a high degree of trust in Melissa’s abilities having worked with her in the past, we were still amazed at the full range of her contributions given the large scale and complexity of our most recent project.

Melissa really operated as much as a Project Manager for us throughout the project as she did as a traditional decorator. This was vital to driving the project forward and the value she added working with the entire team (architect, builder, subcontractors, etc.) cannot be overstated. Some form of “Wow, Melissa is amazing” was a conversation I had with nearly every person involved in our project.

From big picture design elements during the construction document phase, to real time in the field adjustments with subcontractors, Melissa was involved and adding tremendous value in moving the project forward without delay. The end results in all aspects of the project were significantly better due to her contributions.

Her Vision

One of the things we have appreciated most when working with Melissa is the design process itself from start to finish.  Our conversations always start with how our family intends to use a room or living space and from the there the discussion of style and furniture and colors flows quite naturally.

Melissa has an extraordinary spatial sense. She shows a in-depth of understanding of the interaction between a room’s scale, colors, lighting and the tangential spaces we find remarkable. Somehow there is a 3-D technicolor model of your project always running throughout her thoughts and ideas.

She consistently finds amazing colors, fabrics and furniture that match your vision and is a true talent in the space. Her gallery of projects will make this obvious to anyone who sees the finished product, but the intense focus on details during the design phase is what makes this all work in our minds.

Accompanying this vision is a fiscal sense we really appreciated, as with any size project there are budgetary trade-offs that must be made. Melissa sincerely cares about your budget and really works with you to understand how different decisions will impact costs.

Working Style

There is a boundless sense of positive energy when you discuss your project with Melissa, she is simply always into it, day in and day out.

There is also a relaxed confidence about her that we truly appreciate when working with her, as you feel like you are in great hands throughout a project. She will share her valuable opinions, sometimes strongly, but will always incorporate what you’re looking for in a space and makes sure you love the final decision.

While Melissa’s incredible vision and positive energy are what you notice first when starting a project, equally important to us were her organizational skills and dogged tenacity to keep the project moving. With any large project decision making fatigue can easily set in, and Melissa did a fantastic job of prioritizing critical decisions and presenting us with options, while also handling less critical decisions on her own.  That professional persistence to keep a project moving on the timelines that are required is incredibly valuable in terms of both project time and cost at end of the day.

What we really love about her whole approach is that in the end she is not trying to achieve some vision she has for “your” project, but instead is driving the project towards your ultimate satisfaction.


We could not be happier with the finished product after working with Melissa, and our friends/family are amazed when they come into our home and see her work  Quite literally we could not have achieved anything close to what we ended up with without her.

  • Jim & Kelli Morrow



Ashley – Wellesley, MA

I truly feel blessed that you helped me accomplish our dream home!  I know my style is not for everyone, but I smile every time I stop and admire our house.  Plain and simple, our house makes us so HAPPY! It represents the zany personalities of our family and I could not have accomplished this without you and your vision. You pushed me out of my comfort zone and you reigned me in when I needed it.


I have received ENDLESS compliments……everyone raves about the amazing use of color.  I vividly remember our first meeting when I showed you a few of my thoughts for the house…..a lot of very safe colors that i thought I was supposed to like and use.  You took it all in and listened to my thoughts. You came back for our second meeting and asked me a very pointed question…..” i’ve noticed that you and your husband wear a lot of color, what about incorporating those vivid colors into your house, they seem more fitting for your family and lifestyle”  You were exactly right and off we went!


I know every client is different…some clients want you to bring them options and/or present them a complete picture, but you allowed me to bring ideas to the table then worked with me to seamlessly bring together a complete vision.  We couldn’t be happier in our new space, it truly feels like a home that perfectly fits our family. Thank you again for everything – your vision, your patience, your guidance and most importantly your vast knowledge of how to perfectly bring together all aspects of decorating a home.  


-Ashley, Wellesley, MA

Margaret and Jason Newton MA

Working with Melissa Gulley has been one of the most wonderful and rewarding experiences. We started with a completely stark white house, virtually no furniture, definitely no window treatments, and almost no concept of what we liked and what our tastes in decorating were. Because of this, the thought of decorating our house and making it a “home” was daunting and depressing. But, then, a friend of ours suggested we talk to Melissa. We went to a house she was in the process of decorating and we really loved what we saw and this encouraged us to make that first scary phone call. From the very moment Melissa walked in our house for our initial meeting we both fell head over heels in love with her. She was simply great. She laid out a plan, first helping us to learn more about our own tastes and what we wanted our home to look and feel like. Then, she guided us through a process of envisioning our home, helping us with colors, fabric, window treatments (as much as we insisted that our house was different and didn’t need window treatments, Melissa showed us the way to understanding that window treatments are the pivotal part of decorating, now we can’t help but notice the window treatments everywhere we go!), furniture and, most importantly, making our house a home for our family. The results of our work with Melissa are evident – our home is warm and welcoming with the all important beautiful window treatments, simple yet elegant furniture, fantastic colors, rugs and wall treatments that make everything come together, and, most importantly, our home is lived in and very much appreciated.


Melissa is the most energetic and exciting person we have had the pleasure of spending time with. She makes everything relaxed and easy going. She listens to your concerns and cares intently about everything you express. Melissa understands and respects your budget, she is extremely open and forthcoming about costs and comes up with creative ways to work within your budget. She has the most intuitive sense of colors, fabrics and style, mixing and matching things that you never thought could come together and making them look fantastic.


Every single day our entire family loves and appreciates how beautiful and comfortable our home looks. There is never a day that goes by that we don’t think about the gorgeous red carpet on our stairs, our welcoming and comfortable kitchen, our funky dining room, our more formal, yet still homey living room and our very exciting family room. We love it all and attribute every morsel of it to Melissa. We’ve known Melissa for over 7 years and we’ve grown to have a warm and wonderful relationship with her, both professionally and personally. She is a joy to be with, her creativity and decorating ability is just awesome and she is the most honest, trustworthy, reliable, considerate person – the total package!! Come see our house and get a first hand view of what we’re talking about! We feel very lucky to know Melissa – she is certainly our decorating go to girl!!


Margaret and Jason 

Newton, MA

Rebecca S. Chestnut Hill MA

Everyone has a nightmare construction or contractor story to share. I am sure my story ranks higher than most. While in a whole house renovation, I had the broken water pipe, failed inspections, Impossible contractor and missing workers…..but I also had the hero story of the very sweet, lovely Melissa Gulley. My interior designer extraordinaire who also proved to be a contractor whisperer. Melissa Gulley not only worked design magic, but somehow, she helped bring the seemingly impossible construction team to complete a tremendous house renovation including a kitchen suite, master bath/bedroom suite and family room addition as well as finishing the rest of the house. Working closely with my architect, the contractor, the electrician, the plumber, the millwork professionals, the plasterers, painters, landscape installers, roofers, etc., Melissa Gulley helped shape and at times, direct every aspect of this very large project- THANK GOD!

Melissa Gulley worked closely with both my husband and I to design our family home. As a family with three boys, a cat and dog, Melissa designed our space to reflect our personalities and accommodate our active lifestyle. The process made me aware of the amount of planning and effort that is required to achieve beautiful and useful design. Melissa helped develop an appropriate light design, she helped reconfigure closet space, added molding and millwork to compliment my 1920’s tutor, and created a spacious living room that seats all of my neighbors comfortably when I entertain. She also designed sumptuous window treatments, amazing custom backsplash, and ultrasuede double sofas that add drama and sophistication in a male dominated home. I haven’t even discussed the magic she created in my large master bath.

After encountering numerous construction setbacks, it was important for me to find a designer who was sensitive to my budget requirements. My large scale project involved stone, millwork, tile, window treatments, decorative rugs, carpet, linens, art, refacing a fireplace, flooring, sconces, chandeliers, task lighting, tables, chairs, buffets, and the list goes on. Melissa Gulley guided me to splurge on special items, and worked with me to find less costly design alternatives for others.

One of the most striking features of my home is the bold use of color and rich textures. Prior to working with Melissa, I am certain I dreamed in color, I often used color accessories, but the reality was that everything was beige or green. I am now totally affected by the deep colors and beautiful patterns Melissa introduced to my home. I would never have had the guts to choose this without her and yet it feels like us.

I can go on and on, but most importantly, anyone wishing to hear more should call me or come and see for yourself. I love my home and I would recommend Melissa Gulley to anyone involved in a small or large-scale redesign project.

Rebecca S.
Chestnut Hill

Zorfas family, Newton MA

We have worked with Melissa for almost 20 years.  Melissa has designed three houses for us, one in Newton and two in Florida and she has also worked with many of our friends over the years.  She is a great person and wonderful to work with.  She is trustworthy, deeply thoughtful, kind, smart and funny as well as organized, professional and a great problem solver.

As you can imagine during the construction and completion of three homes, you run into some crazy issues and lots of stress. Melissa is fantastic at forging connections and happy friendships with every player on the team- the architect, builder, and all the sub-contractors – even the delivery people. She worked nicely with a few huge egos, difficult characters and some that were just plain grouchy. She, however, never missed a beat.  She has been unfailingly happy, positive and very encouraging the whole time regardless of situation.

Melissa has a vast knowledge of construction- she has worked on numerous construction jobs from tiny to huge. She can easily hold her own conversing about difficult construction issues with any contractor, electrician or architect and is very helpful to everyone in problem solving. I have also seen her quietly step back to respect someone’s need to figure things out. She is very intuitive in how she deals with people.

She creatively guided us through our “historic city home” renovation in which we wanted to be more traditional, warm and comfortable (not to mention kid friendly). She has also helped us create a more contemporary look at our “new vacation homes” where we want a simpler, airy feeling (but also wet bathing suit proof). She has a wealth of product knowledge, a never-ending database of where and how to find the perfect things. She travels to North Carolina often to nurture relationships with manufacturers and see what’s new, as well to New York to keep up with show room offerings. She is very comfortable designing custom rugs and furniture if we are unable to find just the right piece.

Melissa has great personal style, I always look forward to seeing what she’ll wear to our meetings- sometimes simple, classic and tailored and other times funky and relaxed. I love that I don’t feel like I need to be dressed and polished to see Melissa as she is relaxed, easy going and seems to be able to keep the larger picture in mind especially during periods of stress. She would have made a great therapist. Actually, I have to laugh because I think she was our therapist during these big projects.  I can’t tell you how many times she talked me off the edge!  We’ve always felt that we have someone our team that has respected our budgets, our goals and our timetables.

We love our homes and we love Melissa.

The Zorfas family

Wellelsey MA

Over the past 15 years, Melissa Gulley has provided incredibly detailed design services for our family in two homes, on projects of varied scale and budget. The scope of her services ranged from fully transforming and decorating my master bedroom, baby’s room and living room to design specifications of a three story construction project. Through her questions and time spent with me and my husband, she was able to bring fabrics, furniture, tile, carpet, accessories and ideas which suited, complimented and heightened our taste, needs and personalities. She worked out the differences between my need to be funky/ modern and my husband’s need to be true to his Boston subdued persona and more traditional taste.


Throughout the design process, Melissa Gulley helped restore our Home, bringing in millwork, incredible molding and creative space planning. Melissa worked cooperatively with the builder as well as the architect, to develop a functional and beautiful floor plan. Prior to Melissa’s involvement, we did not maximize lighting, built in units, and window/ceiling placement. The hard working, detail oriented, spirited, and beautiful design genius worked her magic with all of the contractors and I am certain each and every one would be willing to also submit a testimonial supporting her incredible value to our large scale construction project.  One of the best parts of these projects is that we all had fun, she shows up smiling and happy. This should be fun and Melissa added just the sunshine and humor we all needed.


The icing on the cake with Melissa Gulley is her ability to not only bring together great floor plans, furniture, window treatments, and rugs, but as a former stylist, she has an eye for the smallest of detail and will take the time to find items of character and value to each home she decorates. Shopping for knickknacks, coffee table books, artifacts, even great art seems to be sport for Melissa. She also has employed local artists to paint original pieces for my home.  Even years later I feel she is always keeping our needs in mind. My favorite time of year is when she pulls a few incredible finds from the Brimfield Antique Show that are just perfect for our space.


I would refer Melissa to anyone anytime without the slightest hesitation, she seems to work beautifully with all personalities, tastes and budgets.  Interestingly, her clients never seem to leave, she does multiple houses and projects for people again and again. She has worked with so many of our friends and everyone just absolutely LOVES her.  They all give her name out to other friends with ease and enthusiasm. I don’t think Melissa has ever had to advertise- its all word of mouth- that says it all!

Wellesley, MA

Maureen and Thad Palmer, Weston MA

Dear Melissa:

I want to tell you just how much I have enjoyed working with you over the past few years and look forward to continuing the relationship moving forward. With your patience, the decorating journey will continue on with you. You have brought a refreshing contemporary outlook to designing a distinct style and feel for our home. You happen to have a unique talent for understanding what it is we desire for the final outcome of a space and offer various creative avenues to reach the goal, keeping every small detail in mind.

It’s always a pleasure to get emails or photos in the mail from you of a piece that you think may work for a specific place in the house. Most of all I’ve loved partnering with you because of your spirited and honest approach coupled with your efficiency and broad base of experience. It has been so much more than simply picking fabrics and making educated choices for the spaces in our home, it has been an exciting and inspiring process which has led to a home that is remarkably designed yet comfortable, one that we are proud to be in and, thanks to you, for which we have received many compliments.

You are welcome to use us as a reference any time.

Thank you,

Maureen and Thad Palmer