Hi there! Welcome to my corner of the internet. My name is Jamie Lyn Smith and I want to take you along on the journey of how Smith Home Studios came to be. I have always had a love for home design, although it took me a long time to turn my passion into a business. I started SHS in my forties after a winding career path that eventually led me here.
If you ask my mother, she would say I have always been a designer; rearranging the furniture, changing out the bath towels, painting the walls. One of my happiest memories from childhood was when I was allowed to redecorate my bedroom for my 12th birthday. I spent hours in our local Laura Ashley store, looking at all the floral fabrics in every product imaginable. I was drawn to the different coordinating patterns and how they all layered. I fell in love with a pink and purple tiny floral print, offered in two patterns, one with a small rose bundle and the other, individual buds. I decided to layer the prints in every way available. I wallpapered the walls, made valences over the windows, layered the comforter, sheets and throw pillows. I was able to complete the look by purchasing a locally-made four-poster bed of whitewashed wood with a hand-painted mural of roses on the headboard. Oh, how I loved my bedroom. To this day, my heart fills with joy just thinking about it.
Even though I continued to decorate and redecorate my many rooms and homes I would know over the years, I found myself a career in environmental policy at National Audubon Society. My environmental work focused on the protection of the Everglades and I ended up becoming an “expert” on smart growth practices in South Florida. Walkable cities that contained the growing population of Florida outside of the wetlands is still one of the most important methods for ensuring the vitality of that wetland ecosystem.
This interest in walkable communities led me to an Urban Planning masters at New York University. I thought I was on the path to become a developer of environmentally responsible buildings until the housing bubble busted and all construction screeched to a halt. After a short foray into foreclosure prevention with Fannie Mae and two kids later, I found myself a stay-at-home mom living in Montclair NJ, a pretty awesome walkable community with a substantial local development industry.
I rejoined the workforce helping a local developer renovate some awesome townhouses built within an old metal refinishing factory. I got to work on other construction projects and a hotel, and it was here where it dawned on me how much I really love fully designing spaces. I loved having a vision of what space could be, working with the contractors to fully execute, and then furnishing the space to bring it to life. Would a new family moving to our town need a designer with a project management background and lots of local connections with contractors and architects? After some discussion with friends and realtors, it seemed like the answer was a resounding, Yes! And so, Smith Home Studios was born. It took all those circuitous stops along the way to get me to this place. And I couldn’t be happier.