Shamika Lynch from Jersey City is an interior designer and mother of two young boys. Shamika knew so many people who were trying to make the most of their small spaces, so she decided to start her interior design business to focus on smaller areas. Shamika has the ability to optimize spaces to maximize functionality, while having a beautiful aesthetic. She wants everyone to know that you can live small while still having a big life, big style and big joy.
Hoboken girl: How long have you lived in Jersey City and what inspired you to move here?
Shamika Lynch: I have lived in Jersey City for three years. Before that, we lived in Bayonne for four years, but spent most of our time in Jersey City, so we decided to live in Jersey City.
HG: What prompted you to start optimizing small spaces?
SL: When we lived in Bayonne our apartment was a 1 bedroom with 1 closet throughout the house. Shortly after renewing our lease for the 4th year, we found out that we were expecting our first child. Immediately everyone told us we had to move and that there was no way our house could accommodate a baby, but I knew I couldn’t be the only person trying to have a baby in. a one bedroom apartment, so I scoured the internet for solutions. There weren’t a lot of resources available, so once I figured out how to make it work for my own family, I was inspired to try and make it work for other dwellers of small spaces.
HG: Tell us about the mission and general services of Maximizing Tiny.
SL: Our mission is to create optimal solutions that allow small (and bulky) spaces to perform wonderfully. We offer everything from consultations that allow clients to make present and future design decisions in their homes independently, to large-scale design that includes renovating a home to create aesthetic and functional solutions. Many of our clients fall in between, with room transformations that include a complete layout overhaul to optimize flow and function as well as custom design selections that reflect each client’s style.
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HG: What was the most difficult small space to transform?
SL: Each space has its own challenges. The funny thing is that the nature of our doghouse mostly attracts difficult spaces. Each space requires personalized solutions, especially in this area with the old houses and their many unique doors, fireplaces and mysteries. I love challenges because they always inspire creative solutions.
HG: What three tips would you give someone who has a small apartment to maximize their workspace?
SL: Declutter! You don’t need more space, you need less stuff. Refine your color palette. The eye needs to see coherence in order to pass through space. By creating a cohesive palette, you are telling your eye where to look. A consistent color palette helps the eye to travel through space effortlessly. Finally, versatile furniture. There is no place for lazy furniture. It’s simple: you want to take up space, you must have at least two jobs. It is imperative! So before you buy anything, think about its purpose and location in your home.
HG: Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
SL: My clients! Every client I work with makes me a better designer. I am perpetually inspired by the challenges my clients face to create personalized solutions and to be even more creative each time. The challenges feed me.
HG: What are your goals for this year?
SL: One of my main goals is to feature my designs in a publication. I am also working on the launch of a course for residents of small spaces.
HG: What does a typical day look like for you?
SL: I drop my children off at school / daycare and then start my working day. I usually meet clients virtually or in person while the children are in school or daycare. Right now I’m finishing a kitchen remodel in the heights so I like to drop by and check on the progress and meet my contractor. I try to structure my day into blocks so that I can handle meetings in the morning and then come home to work on the computer a bit before the kids come home. My favorite part about having clients in the Jersey City / Hoboken area is the short commute and the ability to walk to most places, especially since I have not owned a car since 2015.
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HG: What has been the highlight of your career / life so far?
SL: Be featured in Therapy Apartment at the start of this year it was a game-changer for my business!
HG: Do you have anything else to share on Maximizing Tiny?
SL: I also do commercial spaces. In fact, two of my residential clients have opened businesses that I have had the honor of working on.
HG: What’s your favorite restaurant in Hoboken or Jersey City?
SL: Frankies for regular meeting evenings + Brunch. Cooking stage for festive dinners with friends. B18 and Light Horse Tavern for a family brunch.
HG: What’s your favorite store in Hoboken or Jersey City?
SL: Love locked!
HG: What do you like most about Hoboken / Jersey City?
SL: I love the small town vibe of Bergen-Lafayette. It’s rich in culture, in love for small businesses and in family.
HG: What’s your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?
SL: Walking! The walk is unbeatable.
HG: Tell us about another company in the area that you admire.
SL: The Grind Trifecta: Grind Cafe, Grind General Store, and Grind Outpost. Mike Clark is slowly but steadily taking over Bergen-Lafayette and I love to see black-owned businesses win.
Also, Tia Planta. I love Shayla Cabrera and we’ve worked together quite a bit. Every time I get a plant for my client’s house, it comes from Tia Planta. Fun fact, I took myself for her more than once. I’ll take it as a compliment!
HG: What’s your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken or Jersey City?
SL: Love walking the boardwalk near Paulus Hook Marina.
HG: Where is your favorite place to train in Hudson County?
SL: Ballet at the Jersey City Ballet although I haven’t been there for a few weeks.
HG: Where do you hang out with friends in the area?
SL: Usually Frankies for meals or Lackawanna on Grove for coffee.
HG: What do you think has to come to Hoboken or Jersey City?
SL: My neighborhood is in desperate need of a grocery store!