ABOUT Gallery Details Contact Home


Creating beautiful interiors since 1999
•    Greater Boston area, South Shore, west and north
suburban towns, Cape Cod and islands
Rhode Island School of Design, ID Program, 2000

Residential projects large and small
•    Family/living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, foyers, new construction
Residences large and small, brownstones, city apartments, beach houses, antique homes

•    Design consultations, lighting, fabrics, flooring, kitchen/ bathroom cabinetry and fixtures, stone, window treatments, blueprints, architect/contractor interface, renovations and new construction

•    Travels to Europe, Mexico and tropics, art, architecture, fashion and industrial design


Q & A with Teresa:
Getting to “Comfortably Elegant Interiors”

What’s your overall design philosophy?
Design is about scale and balance, no matter what the style! Adding pieces in the appropriate scale and balance are really at the heart of good design. Furniture and furnishings in a scale that is too large or too small for a space can work, if additional elements create the right sense of balance.

Most clients know what they like when they see it, so understanding their individual taste is imperative. That comes during the initial Discovery Session and is enhanced throughout the relationship.

My role is to interpret the clients’ goals in a way that is truly reflective of their lifestyle and just a bit outside their previous comfort zone.

When making design decisions with each client, my main mantra is: “You’ve got to love it!”

Why interior design?
Looking back, I realize that there were many influences in my early life that lead me to a career in design. While in elementary school I took painting classes at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. At that time, the classes were held in the basement where historic furniture was stored in hallways and open spaces. There were no velvet ropes or alarms and I looked forward to living among those beautiful treasures every week. Those memories all came back to me during a private tour of the backrooms and kitchen at Rosecliff in Newport in the late 1990s.

When I was a teenager I actually envisioned a career in the fashion industry. At age 17, as a member of the Fashion Board at Jordan Marsh (now Macy’s) I was asked to design a Juniors Department. I took paper and pencil and detailed my ideal shopping experience. The result was a Plan View (bird’s eye view) of the department, taking traffic patterns and my personal concept of merchandising into consideration. It was exciting when those plans were implemented the following season after a ‘blind’ selection by the department manager and buyer. Today, there are constant reminders of how closely fashion and interior design are aligned by style, textiles, trends, and historical influences.

A while back, I was asked by a residential client (an architect) how I first knew that I would have a career in interior design. My response: As I drove down residential streets I would mentally redesign the outside of homes and plan the dècor of the interiors. At some point I realized that everyone didn’t do that!

How was Willow Designs, Inc. launched?
In September of 1999, just prior to graduation from Rhode Island School of Design, I sent out formal announcement cards unveiling Willow Designs, Inc. to everyone in my database. That included all clients from my former high tech career, business contacts, friends, aunts, uncles and neighbors. My first three projects in 1999 came from prior long-term contacts at Harvard University, MIT and GE, who trusted me to take on their living room and bedroom projects. I was off and running!

How do new clients find you?
The web has certainly been a great way for new clients to reach me. Also, through word of mouth, referrals and media coverage, the clients have continued to arrive with interesting and exciting projects. I’m often surprised by how new clients find me! A month or so after hosting our baby granddaughter’s first birthday party, I received a call from a parent of one of the children in attendance who had an interesting comment. She said, “I can’t say exactly what I loved about your home, but when I got home I realized that my house didn’t ‘feel’ the same way. Can you help me to capture that feeling in my home?” That resulted in a wonderful whole-house project and personal relationship. At the conclusion, I received a lovely note that said,“You captured the spirit of what we wanted our home to be!”

Any other adventures in the design world?
I love being part of the New England/Greater Boston Design Community. All aspects of the industry are represented in the many design industry events and gatherings that occur throughout the year. That’s a wonderful way to really get to know vendors, all the industry specialties and trends.

A big part of my involvement in this community is a commitment to service on both the executive and the community level. Serving as President of the NE-IFDA, Director-at-Large on the National Board and Vice President of Community Service for IFDA has been rewarding on the industry leadership level. Working with various charities and civic associations over the years has added another level of gratification to my interior design career.



1. My Scarves
Silk, cotton or wool scarves from Old Navy to Chanel finish each outfit! I have a few hand loomed wool Irish scarves for when it’s really cold.

2. Perfume
I love a light touch of fragrance that matches my mood or the season. I have almost 60 bottles!

3. Color
In my home and my wardrobe, color is essential. I recently painted my first white room in decades. It’s white so that it won’t conflict with the gorgeous view.

4. Museums
From the classic to contemporary, art feeds the soul! The MFA, MOMA , the Met and the Museum of Art & Design are my favorites!

5. Heirloom Furnishings
I love all of the furniture and furnishings in my home. Each piece has a story but the really special pieces are those from my two grandmothers. My paternal grandmother’s accent table that once housed the latest letters and photos from Ireland now sits in my foyer. The porcelain bird lamps that had graced my maternal grandmother’s bureau now proudly sit on mine!

6. Books
I have no patience with poorly written literature. There’s nothing like a beautifully constructed novel or short story. Non-fiction and Design books are also essentials.

7. Hats
Although wearing a hat these days can make you feel a bit overdressed, I keep adding to my collection of fascinators and wide brim felt hats. The latest addition is from my late mother’s closet.

8. The Atlantic Ocean & Its Rivers
I’ve always lived within a short distance of the ocean and love the sounds of the surf and the sea birds. Morning walks along the shore help to sooth all of the stresses of life. Kayaking the North River from my backyard marsh is a particularly Zen experience.

9. Textiles
As a teenager I made many of my own clothes, after spending hours in fabric shops. I love that all of the major fabric houses of the world are now accessible to me. From the grandest silk and bouclé to the durable and stylish indoor-outdoor options. Each fabric house offers wonderful selections for every style and motif.

10. Purses
I don’t very often change purses to coordinate with my shoes because it’s a chore to change out all that I carry. But I do love my purse collection. My favorites include Marc Jacobs, Longchamps leather bags and a few from Florence constructed of that incomparable Italian leather.