What The Best Windows Are Wearing This Coming Year

Photo courtesy of Hunter Douglas

Surprising News About The Trend in Choosing Window Treatments for 2014

"Back in the day" we had limited choices for dressing windows. Blinds, draperies, shades and curtains didn't offer what today's homeowners can choose for their windows.
 
Today, it's not only about the look or the design of the windows. Today we look at the function of the window before we even consider how it will look. With so much attention to the environment, to healthy lifestyles and to safety in the home, it's important to consider how the window treatments will affect our furnishings but most important - our families health and well-being.
 
Consider the following first before you select your window treatment style -
  • Do your present windows need better energy efficiency? Do your windows help to control the heat or should you add energy enhancing window treatments to keep more of the heat in during the winter and keep your rooms cooler in the summer?
  • Are there issues you need to solve in your home with allergies? You may want to look into the best selections, such as natural fibers, to reduce allergens or dust problems.
  • Have you had damage to floors or upholstery from the sun? Perhaps it's time to add UV film to your windows and to choose window treatments that Hunter Douglas says "enhance UV protection".
  • Has your family changed with the addition of a new baby or animals? Cordless window shades are the answer to your safety concerns at home.
So, to answer the question "What are the best window treatments for the coming year" ?   I would say the best window treatments are ones that are energy and safety efficient. Of course, safety and efficiency does not rule out beauty. There are many ways to get the best of both worlds to ensure your home is the safe haven of your dreams.
 
Stay tuned in this blog about window treatments will feature ideas to go with different styles (Casual, Modern and Traditional) and why they will look great for years to come.

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. Interior Design serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me:
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York

 
 
 


Window Treatments - Is It Time For New Window Treatments In Your Home?

Photo courtesy of Hunter Douglas

If Your Window Treatments Are 7 Years Old - It's Time For A New Look

How do you know if it's time for a new look in your home? One of the first things I look at when I visit a home for a design consultation are the window treatments. After about seven years, window treatments may need refreshing. Perhaps the color of the fabric has faded, it's time for a color change in the home or there is a need for more or less privacy in a room.

When done right, window treatments are the finishing touch to a room, like jewelry is to your outfit. So, just like our wardrobes, window treatments need to be updated now and then. For instance, you may want room darkening shades in a new baby's room or maybe you've changed your furniture and want a cleaner, less cluttered decorating style.

Seven years ago window treatments had a different look than today's current style. While some people may still like the look of swags and trims, I find that the' less is more' approach is more up to date with the times. People want simplicity, ease of use and fabrics that are fade resistant, energy efficient, child safe and environmentally friendly.

Do you like your window treatments? Are they working for you or is it time to look into bringing your rooms up to date?

Check back for my next blog post on the questions to consider when looking for a new window treatment for your home.

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. Interior Design serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me:
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York

 


How To Finish Decorating Your Home In Time For The Holidays

Photo courtesy of Williams Sonoma

You've discovered there are only days till your favorite holidays. But your days are already crammed with family activities, work and countless other items. What's a go-getter like you to do?

So many of my past, present and future clients are in the same predicament. We want so much to enjoy the holidays (for once!) and yet the clock is ticking, and the list keeps expanding.
 
While I can't whip out a magic wand and solve every problem on your list, there are some ways I help my clients manage their decorating to-do lists to keep them on track with home decorating challenges:
 
  • Make a list!
Take one room at a time and list every item that needs to be replaced, repaired or discarded. For instance, do you need a new sofa or will a new rug give you that new look you want so badly?
  • Prioritize your list
If you love Excel like I do, you can quickly move your decorating list around and even add price points, add a column for dimensions or add a list of people to call (like me) and their phone numbers.
  • Commit to a date to find and purchase the most important item on your list
Remember where there is commitment, there'll be progress!
 
Schedule a date with a friend, your significant other or an interior designer
so you can tackle your list before it's too late.
 
What's at the top of your list this week?

 
Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me:
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York

 

Why Use An Interior Designer? How Much Do Interior Designers Charge?

Interior Designers pull it all together
 
While it may be true that years ago an interior designer could make a substantial living marking up goods to sell to their clients, today's interior designer's main focus is to give value to their clients by sharing their expertise and professional experience, rather than depending on selling and marking up goods.

How do we share expertise and provide professional service?
  • We provide professional service to our clients when we visit with our clients to discuss the project at hand and listen and note everything needed to create the best solutions for home or office.
  • We collect information at design centers, research new concepts, visit trade shows and showrooms for noteworthy products that may be used to design a home or office.
  • We design floorplans, concept boards and elevations of rooms, so that our clients can see what their spaces will look like before the project is installed.
For instance, a recent project I worked on was based on a design fee for creating the design of the room. The only markup was a small percentage for administrative handling of the items purchased. I copy all receipts and present my hours and the cost of the items to my client for payment. There are no hidden charges, no over-the-top fees or surprises.

Of course, not all designers want to work this way and some projects may be based on a different fee structure to keep record keeping easier for both client and designer.

But in this day and age with the Internet, clients already know how much some items cost. Keep in mind though that there are many aspects to creating a room beyond picking furniture. You won't have a custom looking room by purchasing items off the shelf.

The rooms you see in Houzz or Pinterest were mostly done by designers who spent hours working on everything including floorplans, window treatments, flooring, furniture, lighting, accessories, artwork.

In essence, our value to our clients as interior designers is in our expertise, our creativity, our experience, professionalism and willingness to create the most beautiful space for our clients.

For more information on what's new in design for the home, check this Blog innovative ideas for new construction, renovation and remodeling.

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York



 





Part II of a Three Part Series on Choosing Paint Colors for Your Home

Soft and calm colors courtesy of House Beautiful
How long will it take till I find the right colors for my home?

Last week we discussed the steps taken with clients on a paint consult for their home. While choosing paint colors is not 'rocket science', it should not be taken lightly! Colors have an effect on all of us and we don't share the same response to every color. Color is personal to each individual.
For instance, your favorite colors may remind you of a cruise to the islands where the color of the sea was an incredible blue. Or, you may have a deep need of calming colors in your busy home. If it's a company office, it may be colors that would either soothe or inspire your clients that you'll choose.
So when I visit my clients homes to choose colors, we take time to determine the colors that 'call' to them. While it would be easy to choose a color from a Pinterest board or a Houzz photo they liked, those particular colors or shades may not 'read' well in their home. 

How long will it take to find the right colors for your home? The truth is we'll need at the minimum 2 hours to find the right shade. Ok, we have the time it takes covered, but what about the cost to get professional help?
How much will it cost for professional help in choosing your paint colors?
Let me ask you - do you need help with:
  • Paint colors for one room's walls
  • Choosing a color for a room that 'flows' into another (open plan homes offer a challenge on how to change colors from one space to another)
  • Paint colors for a whole house
  • Paint colors for walls, trim and ceiling
  • Paint colors for homes without furniture (new construction houses)
  • Paint colors to work with existing furnishings
  • Exterior paint colors
As you can see, everyone is unique when it comes to their home. So the best way to answer "how much will it cost for professional help in choosing your paint colors?" is to reply that it depends on the size and scope of the project. In other words, some projects may take an hour and some a few hours to determine the best choices.

So, to keep it simple, typical designer fees run from $75 per hour to whatever the market will bear in the metropolitan cities like New York. Here in Ocean County New Jersey, for a 2 hour meeting the fee is 150.00 (one hundred and fifty dollars) within a 50 mile radius to Toms River. (By the way, I do not charge travel time to and from your home!)

I hope this information helps you. Color is so important in your home. Whatever you do, whomever you rely on for help - just make sure you take the time to choose a color that you love!

One Of The Easiest Ways To Ensure A Successful Renovation

One of the most important things you can do to make your renovation a success


Photo courtesy of Fitday.com
Two miles into my walk, I realized how positive I felt. Not that I woke up in a bad mood, but that quick walk in the early morning transforms my day ahead. I feel more alive, more ready for anything and more ready to help my clients in their home or office transformations.

Exercise is such a powerful tool to give you a positive vibe. It can help you to stay motivated when you need to feel motivated to get things done.

Renovating or decorating is demanding. Every day there are decisions to be made, ideas to think through and money to invest to make the changes that you want to transform your home or office.
 
What better way to start your day than to start it in a 'can-do' frame of mind. My most successful clients have been the ones who have that 'I can do it attitude.' They also were the ones who were steadfast in maintaining an exercise daily habit. Interesting...

If you're thinking about renovating your home or office, consider renovating your spirit as well. I'll be there to coach you along and applaud your success as you transform your home, your life.

Have a great day!

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me: masmith729@comcast.net.
M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York





The Most Important Advice For Decorating Your Home

Keep it Clear and Simple

I captured this image on one of my morning walks. What I like about it is its clarity and its simplicity. It's the same thing when you hire people to help you decorate or renovate your home. To have a successful design project, you must have clarity about how everyone in the project will work together and who, when, where and how things will be accomplished. 

It’s as simple as that!


Here are some of the ways to make a renovation successful: 

Collaborate: Getting along with everyone is a win-win attitude. (Being pushy or demanding will only render a lot of push-back = it slows progress!)
    
Communicate: Roadblocks to communication stifle creativity and progress. There are so many ways to communicate today - text, email, phone or in person. Do whatever works for the individual/s to keep the momentum going.

Finally and really important: Be ready to go to Plan B, or C, etc. Sometimes the best ideas need some time to appear. Your redesign will get done, but only if you decide that today is the day to  finally get your project going.
 

It's simple!

After years of working on interior design projects, it's so true that having a ‘yes’ attitude makes all the difference. Know it's okay to communicate your needs and wants, but keep your mind open for new ways of solving a problem.
 
Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.
M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York

How You Can Use Red, White and Blue For An Endless Summer Look At Home

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

 
Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, sum...summertime. That old song from the sixties has never gone out of style and neither has our love of summer. When I think of the start of summer I remember Long Island Beaches, picnics and watching fireworks in Port Washington.

Mid summer our family would take the trip to Buffalo. On the way we would stop and stay a few days at a cabin on a lake near Cooperstown. Here's where thoughts of Adirondack woodsy campsites, marshmallow roasts, rowboats and swimming in a lake bring me back to a simpler time, a slower pace.

If you're like me and you want to have a summer vibe throughout the year, then consider decorating a room in your home with a summertime theme. Sometimes just the colors - red, white and blue are all you need. Think of adding a few objects like the flag, or the madras pillow to achieve the spirit of summer. Be careful, don't overdo it. Just a few items and a great color scheme will bring back those memories of your happiest summertime days.

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.
M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York



How To Choose The Best Chandelier for Your Home

 

The Do's and Don'ts of Chandelier selection for the Dining Room

When you think of choosing a chandelier for the dining room, it's more than just picking a fixture that you've seen in a magazine or someone's home. Chandeliers are like the jewelry we choose for a certain outfit. Chandeliers define your home's style and the informality or formality of a room. Chandeliers add sparkle, glamour and finish off a room with a flick of a switch (make sure to install a dimmer!).

Photo courtesy of Hinkleylighting.com

Chandelier Sizing 101

Before you start hunting for the perfect chandelier, you need to get your facts straight! First, measure the length and width of the dining room to determine the correct size or diameter of the chandelier. For instance, if your room is 18 feet by 12 feet, the chandelier should be approximately 30 inches in diameter.

But, and there is always a 'but' - if the room has an extra high ceiling, then take that into consideration as well as the size of the table beneath it. The larger volume of space may call for a somewhat larger fixture.

In any case, walking the floor of the lighting store to find the right chandelier is not a walk in the park. Do not plan on finding a chandelier at first sight. I like to take a 'once around' of the store layout to get a feel for what the store has to offer. Then I spend more time and thought till I can hone in on a few that fit my client's unique style.

While you gaze at the almost endless choices, you will find yourself pinpointing styles that work for you and those that are a definite no-no. Do you want glass shades, crystals, a gilded or wrought iron look. Will the chandelier require frequent cleaning? If there are silk shades can they be interchanged with different colors for the seasons? Most of all, what look are you going for - romantic, urban-contemporary, rustic, elegant or glitzy?


 Photo courtesy of William Sonoma Home

What Color Is Your Chandelier?

Last but not least - make sure you have a photo of your dining room table and chairs to refer to while shopping. If nothing suits you, do not feel hopeless! The right chandelier is out there and the hunt makes the catch all the more worthwhile.

Oh and by the way, when you've found the perfect fixture, make sure it is installed between 30 and 36 inches from the dining table top.

Check back soon for the third in this series on Dining Rooms!

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.
M. A. Smith, Ltd., Interior Design
Allied Member ASID

A Nod and a Wink To Something New For Your Walls





Use then Lose Your Notes without damaging Walls
Photo courtesy of visibleproof.net

Wow, what a neat idea! Imagine never having to tell your kids, class, or employees to "not mark up the walls!!"  Or better yet, think about all the trees you could save by using Wink to post erasable notes instead of using Post-its on the walls.
(Keep Post-its for desk to-do's)

According to 'Wink' this product is "The clear, dry erase coating that lets you turn any paintable surface into a write-and-erase canvas. So let the true color of your wall show through, without the limits of a whiteboard."

Can't wait to use this on my next family oriented design project!

Notes: Wink is a clear substance applied over existing paint - see the link here for details on how you can use this and then order through your favorite designer. (hopefully me!)

http://www.wolfgordon.com/wink

M. A. Smith, Ltd. 
Residential and Commercial Interior Design
1288 Beauchamps Place, Toms River, NJ  08753
E-mail: masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
Board Member Kiwanis Daybreak of Toms River
Member Southern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
HouseZenGarden.com

Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York City for over Fifteen Years


One Of The Toughest Decorating Problem and The Solution



Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office

Part V - Of The "Five Most Common Decorating Problems that People Have in Decorating their Homes"

Wherever you go - Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, parties, meetings, family dinners, everyone is talking about their goals and changes they want in their home. 

We all may be different, but then we all have so much in common. One of those items we have in common is that we all have distinct ways we process change.

Change is a funny thing. It can be good or bad. It means different things to different people. Some people thrive on change. Others sense change as scary or intimidating - so much so that it stops them in their path of doing something new.

All of my successful decorating clients want change. Some need encouragement to go forward. Others need a second opinion in their decisions. 

But most of all, they realize that doing nothing means things stay the same. The living room will look the same, the kitchen will stay cramped and dated, etc.

The biggest problem in decorating to me is the decision to make a commitment to schedule a date when the home makeover will begin. 

You can talk about it, spend hours on Pinterest, read every decorating magazine on the newsstand. But, nothing will happen till you pull out your calendar, call your contractor, call your interior designer, or visit the kitchen showroom.

Lesson #5: Change is good!

Mary Alice Smith - 732 690-2030

M. A. Smith, Ltd. 
Residential and Commercial Interior Design
1288 Beauchamps Place, Toms River, NJ  08753
E-mail: masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
Board Member Kiwanis Daybreak of Toms River
Member Southern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce
http://masmithinteriordesign.com


Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York City






What's New In Bathrooms for Remodelers and Renovators

Photo courtesy of Kohler.com

How to Start your Day with a unique Experience in the Shower

Today you don't have to be a celebrity or win an Oscar to have a Hollywood type shower. In fact, if you just want to update and not totally gut your shower - Kohler has the goods to get you going.

You can upgrade your shower experience by adding 8" to 12" Rainheads, or a snazzy handshower.  Imagine the feeling of "big, luxurious water droplets" starting your day. Or, personalize the shower experience for your family with a multifunction handshower with four different sprayfaces.

One of my most memorable experiences as a child was playing in the pouring rain and feeling the droplets pour over me. To think I can have that experience every day without heading to LA - priceless!

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net
M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
Member of Southern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce
Member of Kiwanis Daybreak of Toms River
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York



 



Take Comfort! Take Control! Get This For Your Renovated or New Bathroom If You're Into Innovation

The Spa Like Water Closet for Today Lifestyle

Get Innovation in Your Bath For Your Unique Lifestyle!


Yes, it's true - the bathroom above has more 'Zen' appeal than most of us have in our homes or even our yoga studios. But it does give you a glimpse of the ever changing, improving trends in bathroom products. In 1904, old style toilets were made of enameled cast iron and featured a wooden tank! But today - today's toilets have features that will have your guests talking, if you add one of these tanks to your remodeling, renovating or building lists.

For starters, Kohler's Single-Flush Gravity models enjoy the "widest range of design, shape color or installation options." So, may the 'force' be with you while you save up to $99 per year on your water bill according to their brochure Bathroom - Toilets, Seats and Bidets.

If you really want to go all out on trends, the Numi Toilet is the one for you! Here are some of its features that get people talking:

  • Automatic open, flush and close
  • Self-cleaning wand
  • Precision air dryer
  • Deodorizing filter
  • Ambient lighting
  • Integral speakers
  • Touch-screen remote
  • Heated seat
  • Foot Warmer
If I had the Numi - I would never want to leave my bathroom!

Don't worry if the Numi is not on your list, you can still get innovation like you never dreamed of back in the day. As they say -you can never go back and in the case of the toilets, that's a good thing!

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden and Best Design Coach
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York



 


News and Notes on Kitchen Islands

Photo courtesy of +Christopher Peacock Kitchens

What's new in today's Kitchen when it comes to Kitchen Islands?

 
What's new in kitchen islands these days? Well, besides housing more than just pots and pans, today's kitchen islands incorporate a more classic 'furniture' style look. Also, their good looks not only hide the working parts of the kitchen or add more space for appliances such as microwaves, dishwashers - they have been known to feature special elements such as cushioned niches for the family dog! Through the use of expert design and innovative thinking, the kitchen designers of today keep pushing the boundaries in state-of-the-art kitchen design.
 
Great kitchen island designs incorporate ideas that make islands not only look great but work great from different vantage points. For instance, if your island will be seen as you enter the room, the end of the island can have more than just panels that match the cabinet doors. The ends of the islands of today may actually feature a banquette and its table attached, instead of a free-standing breakfast table.
 
Or, if you long for the look of a china cabinet (but have no room for one in your home), the end of the island can be finished with glass front doors and accent lighting to highlight and punctuate the island. To vary the side of an island, a corner can be finished with bookshelves as shown in the photo above.
 
The most important aspect of today's kitchen islands though, is that their design is made for today's unique homeowner. The island is a great place to set the tone for your style of living, cooking and entertaining. Islands of today allow you to make your home reflect your love of cooking and/or family for years to come.

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York



 
 
 


What Does Walking And Interior Design Have To Do With Your Home Renovation Or Remodeling Project?



One Step At A Time

What does walking and Interior Design have to do with Your Home Renovation or Remodeling Project? 

So now you're wondering what does the photo of a person wearing sneakers have to do with interior design or with you
 
Valid point. But as usual, I have a story to tell you that explains it all!
 
The person in the photo at left is of me on my daily walk. I walk to keep fit, to distress, and to listen to podcasts about Internet marketing and fitness. But what I'm really doing is the "process of keeping fit and the process of keeping knowledgeable".
 
All the worrying, thinking about or discussing how I want to get back into shape is useless, unless I commit to the "process" of getting into shape.  My process to get into shape for the season, is to walk every day for thirty to forty-five minutes at a fast pace. (Push-ups, sit-ups are sporadic but on my list too).
 
But yet here is the connection to interior design -  The connection is that when you work with an interior designer you have the commitment that they will do every thing they can to keep your project on track after the design phase. Designers use the " process" of  project administration - that's a trade term. Project administration is a fancy word for moving things along.
 
Do you have any worries about what to do next in your renovation project? If you have questions similar to the one's listed below, you are in good company. And just like the photo of my feet in motion, you can get your project in motion -  if you use the concept of seeing it as a "process" rather than as a dilemma.
 
 
 Questions or thoughts that you might have or worries that keep you up at night might be:
 
  • I'm not sure what to do next
  • Afraid I'll make the wrong choices
  • Everyone wants to put their 2 cents in
  • I'm not creative
  • Decorating scares me
  • We don't agree on how to decorate
  • I feel I need a professional opinion
 
 Maybe I missed a few worries! What is on your list today? 

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:

Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.

M. A. Smith, Ltd.
Interior Design
732 690-2030
masmith729@comcast.net
Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blog: HouseZenGarden
Serving New Jersey and Metropolitan New York




 
 
 




 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 



 
 
 


Maybe I Shouldn't Share This Story But...

Pillow courtesy of Thomas Baker

How To Keep Problems From Spiraling Out Of Control - The Easy Way

Round and round the discussion went. Should my client change the location of the chandelier in the Dining Room? Or, should she do without the chandelier and forget about the goal to have the chandelier centered over the table?

Would a smaller table help? Can you use two chandeliers instead of one? Obviously this was one of those problems where we needed to not be 'narrow minded' but instead, use one of my favorite concepts - narrow framing.

Narrow framing is a term I was reminded about as I read my newest favorite book, "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath.  In their book they talk about situations where you may look at a problem as a "Yes" or "No" scenario.

But the truth is as a designer, I often work on problems of this type. I actually enjoy situations like this because it challenges my love of "expanding opportunities". I take a step back from the problem then delve into alternate solutions, rather than limiting choices to 'this or that' decision making.

So, the answer to the problem was to move a large china cabinet to another room, so the table could be centered in the room where it looked best. Another plus was that the china cabinet enjoys a more focal point view in its new location than it ever had in the dining room.

For professional interior design for your home, office or commercial project call:
Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith, Ltd. - an interior designer serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore and metropolitan New York areas.
To schedule an appointment call: 732 690-2030 or email me at masmith729@comcast.net.
M. A. Smith, Ltd., Interior Design
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