You can turn over a new Leaf by doing this one thing Today

How to Save some Money in the Future by doing one thing Today
Photo courtesy of Lee Industries
Today I am turning over my sofa cushions for a very good reason. First, I've found that flipping over the cushions gives the foam of my sofa's seat cushions a break from constant wear. Secondly, the sofa cushion fabric has half the exposure from sunlight degradation as long as I flip the cushions at least once a year. 
Yes, I know most windows these days have UV degradation protective qualities, but you'd be surprised to know it does not completely solve the problem of fabrics fading over time. Besides using window coverings to protect your upholstery, this simple act of flipping your cushions can extend the wear from sun and constant use of your sofa for years.

But if you're in the market for a new sofa and flipping the cushions won't do the trick, check out
Lee Industries website for earth and people-friendly furniture. Do something good for yourself and our country (Lee Industries furniture is made in the USA) and the universe.

For more information on how to make your home beautiful without adding stress to your busy day -
Call Mary Alice in the New Jersey and metro New York City area at:
732 690-2030

Stressed out? Follow my Prescription for a quick Remedy

Lee Jofa Showroom at the Philadelphia Marketplace Design Center

Stressed and overwhelmed lately? My prescription is simple: Add a little color to soothe your soul.

Once upon a time, I visited the Lee Jofa fabric showroom at the Marketplace Design Center in Philadelphia and I saw something that truly caught my attention. It was the red on the walls that grabbed my attention and made me take a second look. Sure I love red, it's my favorite color. But it's that feeling that I get, when I see the color that I love the most.

For me red goes back to my favorite dress when I was a child. It also represents candy apples and Christmas and strawberries, all at the same time. When I wear red now, I feel confident. When I use it as a accent color at home, it makes my living room light up.

Color is personal. Some people gravitate towards blue or green for the serenity it suggests. Whatever color you love, make sure you use it at home or in something you wear. It doesn't have to be on a wall,  but it can easily be added as an accent color with a scarf or throw.

These days, stress can challenge our days, so make sure you come home to the color you love, to have the life you want to live.

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
Allied Member ASID
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York

Buying a new Sofa? A few things you need to know before you Shop

Photo courtesy of

It's right in front of you. It's that sofa you saw in your favorite home furnishings store. But before you get too excited, check a few details that could save you money in the future. While some furniture will last decades, some will fail too soon because the fabric was not durable for the use intended.

Besides obtaining the specifications on the structure of the sofa (8-way hand tied springs, kiln-dried hardwoods,etc.)  you'll want to know the performance rating of the fabric.

An easy way to know if the sofa fabric will last is to obtain the double-rub or fabric wearability rating.
For instance, the Kravet fabric shown below has a 30,000 double-rub rating. That's considered a sufficient rating for heavy duty wear of upholstered furniture.

I can just imagine the sofa with the fabric accented by a contrasting welt and the pillows that will have a beautiful print...

Kravet fabric with 30,000 double-rub rating*

(Note: This fabric included on furniture order as per E-Design Trade website)

For more information on how to make your home beautiful without adding stress to your busy day -
Call Mary Alice Smith in the New Jersey and metro New York City area at:
732 270-2676

How to solve pet Problems that make your Home look like it's "Gone to the Dogs"

We all love our sweet, cudly pets.
And, at the same time we want to have a beautiful home.
Photo courtesy of painter Nancy Spielman

So to keep everyone happy at home, especially our family and pets, here are some guidelines for easy-care decorating for pet-friendly living areas:

 Use ultra-suede fabric for upholstery.
My family room sofa can be scrubbed clean with a wet cloth in a matter of minutes.
I swear by its power to hold up to dogs, cats and even kids.

Robert Allen Fabrics Sensuade in Caramel

One of my favorite ways to hide pet hair (even long-haired cats)
 is an animal print for upholstery.

This Kravet fabric is rated 200,000 double rubs for upholstery

Stay relaxed with your rugs by using rugs made for outdoor use.

Photo courtesy of

Now - go play (with your dogs and cats) without worrying about the furnishings!

Why having a decorating Plan is better than having only a ‘Wing and a Prayer’ Plan

Why is having a decorating Plan a better Idea than having only a
‘Wing and a Prayer’ Plan?

Cartoon courtesy of

A few weeks ago a former client called for help with a room project. Simple enough, but the challenge was that it had to be completed in a few weeks. 

No small task, but approachable only through the habit of setting up a plan with detailed goals. As each goal is accomplished we check them off one-by-one.

Notice what Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith remark in their groundbreaking book The Dragonfly Effect  about goals and getting things done. In their book they remark, that when we achieve “…more, smaller success…” it serves to provide “reinforcement and sustains momentum.”

To sustain your momentum in your decorating and work projects consider the following:
1. Set detailed goals: short descriptions coupled with a completion date.

2. Mark off goals as completed.

3. Perform a weekly assessment of goal setting with every person involved in your project.
For those who have problems thinking ‘linearly’, check out this ‘Mind Map link to organize your step-by-step process. (For ease of use, you can use words rather than drawing objects!)

Have a great day!

Mary Alice Smith
M. A. Smith Interior Design 
732 608-7583