Jersey City Interior Designer Shamika Lynch of Maximizing Tiny talks about gratitude and her approach to design for small spaces.
Maximizing Tiny is a Jersey City based design firm recently featured on Apartment Therapy for her genius creation of hidden storage in small square footage. We asked founder Shamika Lynch about her inspiration, design tips, and plans for 2021.
What is your name?
What do you do?
I specialize in helping people make their small spaces function beautifully through interior design, decor, and space planning.
What led you to be involved in this business?
When I became pregnant with my first child, we lived in a one bedroom apartment with one closet in the entire space. Anyone who has had a child knows how much STUFF they come with, but I hate clutter, so I was determined to create a space for my family that functioned well and maintained a clean aesthetic. I did extensive research and figured it out down to a science. I started helping friends with their small spaces and then decided to pursue it officially in 2019 by starting Maximizing Tiny.
How old are your kids now?
I am a parent. I have 2 energetic kids: my eldest who will be 3 next month and my little one who is 15 months.
What's your favorite part about what you do?
My favorite part is when my suggestions start to actually click for my clients. I can almost see the gears turning and it's like I've given them the missing piece to their home design puzzle. Even better is when the items I've selected for their home begins to arrive and they are so excited about having a space that brings them joy. It makes my heart dance and is SO validating for me.
What's one thing that you tell every single client?
Make your space work for YOU. It doesn't matter what the design 'rules' are or what someone else would do in the space. If it works for you, that's all that matters. It's YOUR home.
What's a common misconception about what you do?
I think design feels very unapproachable for a lot of people. Sometimes we watch these design shows and it feels unrealistic and unattainable to have a home that is both beautiful and functional, but I'm determined to show people that that's not the case.
Favorite item from Hazel Baby? Had to ask ;)
My son loves the big play table by the register at the location downtown. He can spend a full hour rearranging the little figures on the big play table, but for me, I love all the Plan Toys and the Green Toys.
What did you learn from 2020?
I went into 2020 vowing to practice gratitude regularly. After having my second child in October of 2019, I was faced with figuring out how to recalibrate our family and found myself constantly stuck in my head trying to figure out the future. For me, practicing gratitude keeps me grounded and helps with anxiety. When we were hit with the pandemic, I realized even more how important it was to practice gratitude as a way to combat stress and anxiety. There are so many unknowns, that's uncontrollable, but there is still so much to be grateful for.
I was also hyper-aware of the fragility of life in 2020 for so many reasons, which reminded me just how short life is and how important it is to be grateful for what you have and pursue what you love.
Have you set intentions for 2021? What would you like to see different?
Practicing gratitude worked well for me in 2020, I plan on bringing that into 2021. As far as what I'd like to see different, I'd love to see this country take better care of its people as a whole, especially underserved communities.
What's one simple swap you'd like to make, or see your clients make, in the new year? (IE: Swap this for that, this quality for that quality.)
I would encourage my clients to swap impulse purchases with intentional purchases in the new year.
If you are currently planning for a nursery or re-designing a space at home, we highly suggest perusing Shamika's beautiful design boards for inspiration. Her work is also showcased on Instagram @maximizingtiny and for more information you can contact her via her website at www.maximizingtiny.com.