Having a beautiful place to rest my eyes is essential to my happiness at home.

And since I have three school-age kids, I’ve had to come up with some creative ways to carve out spaces that are free from clutter.

I find it challenging to walk through the house and encounter chaos in every single space. So rather than constantly fighting with my family to clean up, I’ve learned to create spaces I can retreat to. 

For me right now, it’s the guest room. There are bookshelves and a cozy bed and that’s about it. I use that room to rest, read or write, listen to music or call a friend. It’s a great haven that’s easy to tidy.

The other essential practice that keeps me sane is choosing my essential spaces – one or two spaces that I intentionally keep tidy that give me the most satisfaction.

The piano is one of my 80/20 spaces. My kids know nothing is allowed to be on the piano. We keep that space free and clear so I can sit down, play and sing and relax.

And so I’ve learned that what I choose to engage in can clutter my brain, or not. There’s still chaos in the rest of the house – toys and books scattered everywhere, drawers and closets that are definitely not posters for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But as long as I have a  place to rest my eyes, I’m home. 

The couple we served in this week’s project highlight – a Jersey City apartment renovation – have a very minimalist aesthetic (which I love and secretly long for…). 

Minimalist, sustainable living is a core value of theirs, so even as their family grew it was important to them to remain in an urban environment and to occupy a small footprint. To that end, their goal was to make their one-bedroom apartment work for a family of three.

To create a functional nursery, our team is clearing out and reconfiguring a room that had been used for storage for the husband’s music equipment. 


Storage room before renovation (Jersey City)

We’re creating a new storage closet in the living area for the guitars and amps and new his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom (since the existing ones got absorbed into the nursery). These storage solutions aim to make the small space work.  


Jersey City apartment remodel closet mood board

We spent a lot of time during the vision and planning stage testing out different ideas in the space and discussing which changes would make the biggest difference in our clients’ day-to-day life. 

For example: one project we considered was upgrading the countertops in the kitchen. The couple don’t love the kitchen – and while new countertops would uplevel it a little, they wouldn’t make a huge difference.

Instead, the couple decided to prioritize other projects that would provide more satisfaction for their investment. To that end, we’re reconfiguring the bathroom to accommodate a washer/dryer – because babies require lots of laundry! Now they no longer need to use the building’s shared laundry area. 

Finally, our team is replacing the one-piece vinyl tub with a porcelain tub and tiling the surround. 


Bathroom before renovation (Jersey City)

The clients really hated the existing Jacuzzi tub (which was original to the apartment and more than 15 years old), so this upgrade will uplevel both the function and beauty of the bathroom.


Jersey City apartment remodel bathroom mood board

These choices – installing laundry and upgrading the bathroom – will make a huge impact in our client’s day-to-day lives. It’s a great reminder to focus on areas that will make the most impact for your investment. (In other words – when you spread yourself too thin, you don’t get the result you want anywhere! Like everything, this is true in home renovations and in life. 🙂

Stay tuned for the final product – we just finished up this project!


If you’re like our clients for this project, you’re ready to transform your space to make it work better for your family. We are currently accepting clients in the Jersey City area. Apply to work with us here.