Whether building new or renovating an existing home, the design team at Willow Homes brings thoughtful floor plans, authentic character, and stylish looks to Birmingham’s favorite neighborhoods. Take a look at some of their work, and get to know the experts behind the designs.
Your tagline is design, build, renew. We love this—especially the word “renew.” How does this mantra guide what you do?
We are always working to “renew” the places our clients spend their time, whether it’s a kitchen, a family room, a condo, or an entire home. That same idea of renewal is a core concept in how we go about choosing where and how we design or build. We are working to help renew existing neighborhoods, thereby doing our part to hopefully help renew Birmingham.
We strive to find creative and exciting ways to breathe new life into the spaces our clients call home. Whether we are sourcing unique and durable products to turn an outdated kitchens into a gorgeous, yet highly functional, family center; bringing an artistic and timeless quality to an old fireplace; or figuring out an interesting way to reuse the beautiful old wood and brick from the original homestead, we love the entire process and always have fun along the way.
You really are a turnkey business! Can you help me with my new home or renovation, as well as my budget, from start to finish?
Yes, we can assist in every aspect of a project, including the budget. We often tell our clients that “shopping” in our industry is unlike any other purchase you make. When creating an estimate for a project, we put our expertise and experience to work, and we look closely at which customized design attributes should go in each home. And we are constantly improving our ability to estimate costs. Our team consists of experienced estimators, project managers, and designers who have the ability to deliver, from concept to move-in, on any project down to the smallest details, including turnkey furniture installation and window treatments.
I don’t need help with everything. Can I work with just Willow Homes or Willow Design Studios?
Absolutely! We offer a variety of services across the home-design spectrum. We can help our clients evaluate a lot they are considering for a new build or decide if an existing house is suitable for initial purchase. We also can design a new home or renovation or provide an estimate on house plans a client already owns. In addition, our design team has the resources and creativity to simply help clients freshen up the furniture and window treatments in their current home at a great price.
What have been some of your favorite designs?
Our favorites usually are the ones that prove to be the most challenging. Those projects may involve working with a unique space or an odd-sized lot and turning it into something really cool. We’ve also learned that eliminating wasted space and getting the most from a home’s existing square footage is often the best way to keep a project on budget.
What is essential to home design for today that will keep it relevant in years to come?
For us, it’s important to keep evolving in our designs while also looking back in time for inspiration. Our goal is to create something that is useful and artistic, as well as timeless. And while trends certainly inform us, we also work hard to make each home unique in its own way.
You work all over the city yet you call Homewood home. Why?
It comes back to the idea of renewal. The City of Homewood went through a great resurgence years ago, and with that came an increased interest in living here. The growth has created a mix of old and new in existing neighborhoods. Just like all areas of Birmingham, there is opportunity here to keep what is already great while also improving on other aspects.
Another reason we were drawn to this area involves the relationships and simplicity that come from the small-town friendliness. There’s simple pleasure in getting an ice-cream cone after school, riding bikes over to the library and the park, or walking to the elementary school to see your child in a play and then meeting up with neighbors for a fun, affordable meal at one of the many local restaurants. Homewood is a special place, and we love being a part of it.
Create an interesting architectural envelope with high ceilings, thoughtful trim work, and pretty details.
Allow enough space on a front porch to accommodate a porch swing.
Place doors and windows (with transoms) strategically to allow for the maximum amount of natural light.
Keep historical details such as butler’s pantries and full walk-in pantries, wood-burning fireplaces on sleeping porches, and telephone shelves turned into well-placed charging stations.
Add built-ins, bookcases, window seats, and locker bays for storage and character.
Make a statement in a half bath. Sometimes the smallest rooms make the biggest impact. Some of our favorite details include wallpaper, antique mirrored glass, or a dark paint color. We also like a furniture vanity with a wall-mount faucet and a stunning light fixture.
Meet the Team
Willow Homes is an award-winning firm founded by the father-and-son team of Rob and Jason Hale. Rob is a third-generation homebuilder, while Jason left his law practice to join his father in creating the company. It has now become one of the fastest growing boutique construction firms in Birmingham. Willow Design Studios is owned by designer Allison Hallman (Rob’s daughter and Jason’s sister) and designer Katherine Bailey. Together, Willow Homes and Willow Design Studios handles new builds and renovations.