The Well Appointed House, LLC was founded in 2001 by Melissa Hawks. She wanted to bring the unique home décor finds that were readily accessible to the urban market in Manhattan to a more widespread audience on the Internet and The Well Appointed House was born. The website has grown over the last fifteen years to include more than 12,000 items.
What three pieces should every home have? An elegant couch in a favorite fabric, a gorgeous yet functional coffee table and a pair of stunning lamps. I like lamps in shiny rich colors made of naturally occurring materials like ceramic, porcelain or even plain alabaster, with a well-proportioned shade. Measurements are key—you don’t want a lamp that is too big or too small. It needs to be just right! We’ve got great lamps by Bungalow 5 and Bradburn Home that are very popular with our customers. When picking fabric for your couch, be sure that it is durable but in a color that makes you feel happy. You need to really love the fabrics you surround yourself with.
Where do you like to splurge when decorating a home? I like to splurge on a few special antique pieces. In my own home, I have a console table from the 1700’s, a beautiful chaise lounge and a Swedish secretary—both from the 1800’s.
Where can you save money when decorating a home? Paint is an easy way to refresh a room that isn’t too costly.
What has been your biggest design challenge you’ve faced recently?
Taking an old 80’s house and redoing it to make it feel like a modern, chic 2018 space. Less is more.
What’s your favorite room to design? I’ve always loved decorating kids
rooms—a place where so much magic happens!
How has your design strategy evolved since you started your career? I have gone in a more transitional direction. I like a cleaner look now. I am limited in my own home, because I live in a 106-year-old landmarked Greenwich home and the furniture and decor I have is true to the style of the house. In Palm Beach, where we also have a home,
I went with a much cleaner and modern look. In buying for my website, I tend to select products now with much cleaner lines than I did years ago when I first launched the site.