Welcome to Design track mind by Melissa Gulley

I am an interior designer from Newton, MA having a lot of fun writing this blog between client appointments, kid stuff, kid school stuff, dog stuff, husband stuff, husband's company stuff (http://www.fueldog.com/), life stuff, old house stuff, family stuff, extended family stuff and the rest of the detail stuff. I am not a writer (clearly) so please ignore the typo's, spelling mistakes and desperate need for proofreading.

Catch more bees with honey

I have been absent from the blogging world for a month, and I know you all thought I was in the hospital with a terminal case of “Awe” from meeting Tom Silva.  Well, almost!  Not only have I met Tom Silva (my hero- sigh), but I have actually sat next to him at a few This Old House team meetings. I know, pinch me!  I have now also met Norm Abrams.  He was wearing a long sleeve plaid shirt, jeans and work boots on a black rubber roof in 95 degree heat (total stud, the average man would have melted where Norm held strong and looked good)  The This Old House project has been so fun, interesting, and rewarding.  So far we have worked on tile selection, plumbing valve and trim selection, lighting plans, kitchen plans, furniture layout, and we are starting to get into color and flow.  My clients, Allison and Raveen Sharma, are so unbelievably nice and appreciative of this entire effort. 
The Sharma’s -Picture from This Old House web site.
It’s amazing how motivating it is when people are so nice. The Sharma’s personalities have mobilized the entire crew to put forth an effort of good will that is rare in the renovation world.  It goes to show: you catch more bee’s with honey.  While speaking with the producer the other day, we both remarked on how much we want this house to be perfect for this wonderful couple, as they make us feel so lucky to be part of the project.
exterior of the this old house auburndale house project
Before picture- from This Old House web site.
I know, I know, you’re probably think I’m blowing sunshine up the skirts (pants) of the TOH crew and clients.  I’m not.  I have already been hired, so there is no need to say this kind of stuff to land the job, or even keep the job.  I want to drive the point home that being nice is an incredible motivator – especially on a renovation and design project.  Some people are motivated by money, fame, power, but I am so motivated by making people happy.  I’m a people pleaser by nature!  Often you work with clients who do not express happiness or gratitude for a job well done.  Honestly, those clients are usually not the ones for whom I call in the “once a year favor” from a key vendor.  Obviously, it goes without saying that you do your best work for everyone - each client gets 100% (that’s how we keep our reputations).  But we all know those people who - without asking for it or expecting it - end up getting 110%, just by being wonderful.
Proposed plan for the front of the house- Drawings by Newton Architect Chris Chu via This Old House web site.


  1. Melissa, I love your blog and I love your work! What an honor to work with This Old House and such a wonderful family, congratulations. I look forward with anticipation to your progress and each new post, they make my day. We have the same values, it's all about loving your job, being nice and making people happy. Those type of people are far and few between. Keep up the great work, you deserve it!

    Jane Gianarelli

  2. I am so excited to see the end result. I love looking at your previous designs and can't wait to see what you do with this house (and curious how they are going to make that garage work???).

    Your fan in Providence

  3. Melissa, I knew you and the Sharmas and the whole TOH crew would hit it off! Thank you for being you - refreshing, energetic, creative, knowledgeable, experienced, smart and fun to work with! I am so glad you are on board to help create a beautiful, functional and fun home for the Sharmas! And I love your blog!!!