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 - 732 608-7583

M. A. Smith Interior Design 
Residential and Commercial Interior Design

E-mail: masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 

Allied Member ASID

Member of Kiwanis Club of Greater Toms River 
Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce

Website:  http://masmithinteriordesign.com


Serving Coastal New Jersey homeowners and businesses for twenty years






Are you stuck with your renovation project's to-do list? 


It's true - somethings never seem to change - like your to do list. But if you're like many of my clients, there comes a time when you just have to go ahead and get your project going.

But where to start? You can start here by reading a few posts written for people just like you.

A little confirmation helps you to know you are not alone. So here are some ideas for you to read to get you started. The link below is a short piece about the need to block out time and make a commitment to get started. It might start with contacting a contractor, builder or architect or you might start by visiting home centers and kitchen and bath stores. 

Start here first

Great, now you're warming up to moving ahead. But you still have questions or concerns about building or renovating. The more you understand the building process, the better you will be when the time comes to find your kitchen and bath cabinets, plumbing, appliances, tubs, etc.

If you're in a coastal area, you want to make sure that your home will be built for longevity.

Now read this

It's really that simple. Once you understand what's needed in the construction process, you can jump to the fun part - design and decorating. However, before you head back to Pinterest to get ideas, let's take time to discuss how you plan to use the room you are building or renovating.

This part will make you relieved and ready for a great change

In the end, your project is about creating your vision of the best home. Home should be a place to be comfortable in with everything that pulls at your heart strings. And by the way, I value this quote from The One Thing book that says "Perfection gets in the way of what is possible". In other words, it's okay to want something wonderful, but don't let the fact that it isn't "perfect" (nothing is here on earth you know) keep you from enjoying all the wonderful things about your home. 

If you're still frozen, consider calling an expert to help you make decisions and who values the things that you love. 


Mary Alice Smith - 732 608-7583

M. A. Smith Interior Design 
Residential and Commercial Interior Design

E-mail: masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 

Allied Member ASID




Serving Coastal New Jersey homeowners and businesses for twenty years

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 your renovation successful: 

Collaborate: Getting along with everyone is a win-win attitude. (Being pushy or demanding will only render a lot of push-back = slow 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 all involved in your renovation 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. So having an 'open attitude' is the key to success. 

It's simple!

After years of working on interior design projects, I've noticed that having a ‘yes’ attitude makes all the difference. 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 Interior Design - interior design company serving New Jersey, New York and Connecticut 
To schedule an appointment call: 732 608-7583 or email me at masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 
M. A. Smith Interior Design 

732 608-7583 

Allied Member ASID
http://masmithinteriordesign.com
Blogs: The Coastal Confidante and Best Design Coach
Serving Coastal New Jersey 

3 Ways to Add Style to your Dining Table

Just about now you're trying to decide on a new look for your dining table area.

With all the Spring festivities like holidays, barbecues and also birthdays, your table will be the center of attention. 

Maybe your table needs a little accessorizing. Like jewelry, it's the little things that pull an 'outfit' together. 

Where do you start? What can you add that doesn't 'break the bank' or require major overhaul?

Here's what interior designers do that you can do today to change out and create a beautiful dining area:


  • First - take a photo of the dining area. It's a great way to see how the space looks so you can focus on the area in question. Is the table bare? Could you add some perky candlesticks and/or a centerpiece to add interest?

  • Look at the area in the photo. Do you need a more interesting chandelier? Would a touch of glamour, a touch of sparkle or a hint of industrial chic create focus with a new chandelier?

  • Add color! Use a bright color for placemats or a runner. Or add a pale shade for placemats in a color to contrast with the table top. It's contrast that makes a table interesting. 

It's all about layering, adding contrasts, color and sometimes some whimsy. I know you can do it!

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



Call Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith Interior Design - serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 608-7583 or email me at masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 


M. A. Smith Interior Design
Allied Member ASID

How to Change Your Dining Room from 'Blah' To Beautiful - Part 1

You've seen amazing dining rooms on Pinterest or TV. But if your dining area looks more blah than beautiful - start here first. 


While the trend these days is for 'open plan living' versus a separate dining room, we all have the same dilemma. The dilemma is how to enjoy our dining table and chairs and keep them looking fresh and new.



So, do you have a Dining Room chair or Dining Room table dilemma?



We may have children, or grandchildren enjoying meals or it could be just the two of you - or just you. Either way, the table and chairs get a lot of use over the years. So, there are a few things to consider when looking to refresh or purchase your dining furniture. Let's start with the dining chair fabric. 


Here's my quick and easy 'cheat sheet' of suggestions for Dining Room chair fabric:



  • Look for fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. If you have a boatload of kids or messy adults, consider using Sunbrella or other outdoor use fabrics. Kravet Performance Fabrics 's Soleil fabrics offer not only durability but a great variety of patterns in scrumptious colors.

  • Consider the shape of the Dining Room chair cushion and the design of the chair back when choosing a fabric pattern. For instance, if the chair is simple in design, perhaps the fabric could have a bold pattern or lively and lovely fabric color as shown below.

  • Not sold on outdoor fabrics for your Dining Room? Go ahead and take a chance on that gorgeous fabric, but make sure it can keep it's good looks by adding Fibreseal protection.
Chair courtesy of Maine Cottage



In my own home, our Dining Room chairs have a Robert Allen fabric that is woven with a fabric protectorant. Even after years of use, a quick wipe with a damp sponge or a spray foam application of Scotchguard keeps the fabric looking as good as it gets!

In Part II, we'll talk about dining tables and the why's and wherefores of selecting one type of table over another. 


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



Mary Alice Smith of M. A. Smith Interior Design - serving New Jersey, including Ocean and Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore.

To schedule an appointment call: 732 608-7583 or email me at masmith@masmithinteriordesign.com 

M. A. Smith Interior Design
Allied Member ASID

Why Just One Step is the Best Way to Get Your Renovation Going


Schumacher's Monarch's March 

"Spring ahead" they say. Yes, Spring with all its promises for warmer temps, daffodil and tulip bulbs sprouting gives us a new outlook. Butterflies will return to your gardens. As well as to-do lists.

Ugh - those dreaded tasks to get the house ready for the seasons ahead. Where to start, what to do first? Trust me, I'm there with you. If you own a home it's guaranteed that every season "Somethings Gotta Give" you frustration. So many lists, so little time.

In our home, we've got a list for every room. We have busy days and mostly weekends left for our to-do lists. So this weekend instead of moaning the lack of time to get a project done, I looked at it with a new perspective. I think I've found a way to make this work for our project and hopefully for yours too.

Instead of looking at how 'much' you need to accomplish, do this. Look at the smallest one thing that needs to be done. For us, it was to remove the doors on our built-in TV cabinet. Next, I emptied the contents and either threw away the old papers, etc., moved items to another room, or moved the items to be dropped off and donated to places like Habitat for Humanity.

And by the way, that's how it works in new construction or any renovation project. It's all done in little steps. 

You can do this! 

Feeling Discombobulated Lately? Join our De-Cluttering Challenge Today

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful and Ikea

More Clothes and Less Space?

After the holidays were you given wonderful new outfits, purses, scarves, etc.? All is well and good till you try to add them to our already cramped closet. 

Or, maybe you threw yourself into cooking over the holidays and have added spices, new pots and pans to your cramped pantry. 

While Architectural Digest is not coming to inspect your home, you know you'd feel better, more in control and even lighter if you could organize your spaces. 

 Enter this year's challenge. Pick one space you would be so happy to see organized.

Schedule it in your calendar to tackle. 

Tell us your plan or challenge. 

Send us photos when you are done and you will have more praise than you've received in a long time.

What's your organizing challenge?