How To Conquer The Fear of Remodeling or new Construction

Coastal New Jersey 

Like many of my clients, D. had a shore home that was the center of summer life at the New Jersey shore. And even though it was renovated after Hurricane Sandy, there were a few areas in the home that needed to be revised. 

For instance, the upstairs bedrooms were small and cramped. There was no en suite bath for the Master Bedroom. If there were to be changes inside the home like new windows and sliders, it would affect the exterior of the house as well. 

A renovation like that can take months. And, it all had to be accomplished in time for the summer season. The summer season is so important to families and there was no time for fear, hesitancy or indecision. 

When we first met to discuss the remodel plans I knew that the goal had to be achieved to have the home ready for summer family and friends. I also understood that there were important changes that must be made to the floorplan to make the project successful. 

However, one of the first decisions that needed to be made was the selection of siding and roofing. I implemented an app that allows you to see how a different siding, roofing or trim color will look on the exterior of the home. 

We used the existing house as a template and then applied various siding colors to see which selection would work best. Once the decision was made we followed a plan to check off the next item on the list.

First, we started with measuring the second floor existing space and discussed the addition of higher ceilings that would significantly enlarge the living area in the Master Bedroom. Within a few weeks, the floorplan was complete and now we were ready to obtain the approvals to begin the construction phase.

Throughout the project my client was available to communicate with all on a daily basis. In the meantime, her husband had assembled an expert construction crew. So within a few busy and productive months, the shore home was ready for the season. 

Any remodeling or construction project will be successful if you follow my prescription below:

  • Determine what is the most important feature/s to be changed
  • Have a concrete budget and time line to accomplish the renovation
  • Hire only licensed and insured contractors
  • Include a floorplan with furnishings drawn before construction begins
  • Encourage open communication with all involved 
  • Understand there will be problems encountered, but alternatives will often work better
  • Don't worry be happy and create a positive vibe throughout the process 
For additional information on renovations, and construction, visit my blog posts below. 

Kitchen Remodel           

The most important part of the project     

Are you overwhelmed? Read this first!

Mary Alice Smith - 732 608-7583

Residential and Commercial Interior Design

Allied Member ASID

Serving Coastal New Jersey homeowners and businesses for twenty 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 - 732 608-7583

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


Allied Member ASID

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


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


Allied Member ASID

Serving Coastal New Jersey homeowners and businesses for twenty years