Room With A View
SHERRY BROWN / Tulsa World
Mark and Janet Mobbs, along with their cat, Miss Kitty, sit in the living room of their bed and breakfast, the Inn at Woodward Park. The couple spent three years renovating the home before opening it as a bed-and-breakfast last year.
Couple Restores Home Into Woodward Park Bed & Breakfast
It has been about a year since Mark and Janet Mobbs’ lives transformed from 9-to-5ers to innkeepers.
But if you ask the Tulsa couple, who restored a home built in 1920 into the Inn at Woodward Park, they’ll say it was much longer than that.
“It took almost three years to renovate, and we did most of it ourselves,” Mark Mobbs said.
The result was a bed-and-breakfast at 1521 E. 21st St. with a perfect view looking south onto Woodward Park.
With three guest rooms, a sun room and plenty of common areas, the Inn at Woodward Park has become the Mobbses’ new home and a second career for both. Mark Mobbs spent years as an accountant, and Janet Mobbs is a former X-ray technician.
“We were looking for an investment property and I saw this listed, and I thought it was a very good price for its location,” Janet Mobbs said. “But when we looked at it we saw why. It had water damage, and squirrels were living upstairs. It was really sad.”
The house’s poor condition initially kept them away, but a few months later, Janet Mobbs saw the house listed as a tear-down property.
After looking at it again, this time with an architect, they realized the house was solid and just needed a “little bit” of reconstructive work.
That little turned into a lot, and after restoring the entire house, they opened their doors last year.
They transformed an old sleeping porch with a knockout view into a sun room full of cozy sofas for reading or relaxing.
The three guest bedrooms range from a snug bedroom suited for business travelers to a honeymoon suite with a Jacuzzi tub. To use every inch of the space, they have turned many of the closets into showers or full bathrooms.
Janet Mobbs said they kept the 1920s feel throughout the home with its deco r, which is most evident in what they call the Hollywood Room — a guest room fitted in cool blue accented with brown velvet and other luxurious textiles.
“We really wanted to keep that 1920s feel because that was when Tulsa was in its heyday,” she said.
Since opening the bed and breakfast, the couple have met travelers from Oklahoma and its surrounding states and even the world.
“We’ve had people from Sweden, Australia, Russia, Israel, the West Indies and Canada,” Mark Mobbs said.
“I think I’ve gotten such a good education from the people from the other countries. I’ve never been out of the U.S.,” Janet Mobbs said.
Most guests enjoy the inn’s close proximity to Utica Square or St. John Medical Center, and many others are involved in weddings in the area.
“Our busiest time last year was the change of seasons — April and October. If you want to stay when the azaleas at Woodward Park are blooming, you’d better make reservations now,” Janet Mobbs said, laughing.
They’ve even had a brush with fame, when a person recently called from the “Rachael Ray Show.”
“I thought it was a joke. I said, ‘Really, who is this?’ ” Janet Mobbs said.
The show needed a place to film an interview, and the representative found the Inn at Woodward Park from its Web site. But the Mobbs are being kept in suspense, for they weren’t told the identity of the guest or the air date of the show.
“Rachael Ray did send us an autographed photo,” Janet Mobbs said.