Home Design: What Moms Want

Home Design: What Moms Want

Without a doubt, today’s working parents and their children are busier than ever before.

In fact, in a 2016 study released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61.1 percent of  married-couple families with children had both parents employed. Add these busy demands of working parents to the constant school, sport and play schedules of children, and it’s easy to see why some families are feeling the strain of keeping their lives balanced and their homes looking clean and organized.

So what would make life at home easier, we wondered?

To find out, we put local moms on the spot. We also crowdsourced this modern day dilemma to designers, including Jess Cooney, a national interiors expert who hails from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and specializes in helping busy moms and families implement smart and stylish design ideas to make home life operate more seamlessly from day to day.

Some families already implemented these design changes within the home.

But for others who might be mulling over future interior modifications, these ideas just might be the game changers your family needs.

Read More

A Designer's Advice for Buying a Second Home in the Berkshires

A Designer's Advice for Buying a Second Home in the Berkshires

Something has drawn you and your family to the Berkshires over and over.

You have stayed in our lovely inns or rented a home in the hills with your family many a summer. Maybe you went in on a ski rental with a group of friends for a few winters. Maybe you attended summer camp by one of our beautiful lakes and the nostalgia is still sitting with you.

Now, you are ready to take the next step and buy a home here. One that will truly be your home away from home.

You’ll join the ranks of poets and writers and actors that have come to the Berkshires and fallen in love with the dramatic seasonal landscape, the people and the culinary scene. You love the coziness of the small town with an influence of the big city in the arts and theater and mix of people that have settled here over the years.

So what’s next? How do you go about finding the perfect home for your family? How do you purchase, build or renovate something to have it be perfect for you and all your needs? This can be a daunting experience for many people. Our firm, Jess Cooney Interiors in Great Barrington, has been guiding clients through this process for the last 15 years. What follows is advice we give clients to help them along the way.

We hope this advice for all soon-to-be second homeowners will maximize your investment and avoid the pitfalls that can sometimes come with owning a second home.

Read More

TRANSFORMATIONS: A Place for Everything

TRANSFORMATIONS: A Place for Everything

As the saying goes, when mama is happy everyone is happy.

This is true in interior design, and specifically when it comes to smart storage for women. A large organized walk in closet or pantry will melt any woman’s heart.

A recent study at Michigan State University concluded what many of us moms have known for years: Women spend 10 hours more per week than men multitasking. It’s in our chemistry; if we are on the phone, we will take that opportunity to fold a few clothes or put away the dishes.

The design of the home plays a crucial role in a woman’s mental state. Order and flow help us keep up with the day’s demands. We feel better when our children have a place to put their backpacks and shoes, when there is a place for the bills and when the flow of the kitchen works well. We need systems to combat the chaos.

Read More

House on the Hill: Berkshire Magazine

House on the Hill: Berkshire Magazine

Upon entering the Cooney residence, visitors are greeted by clean lines and contrasts thathighlight an organic and contemporary space with a reverence for times past. Jessie and Joe, their three children, a massive Chesapeake Bay Retriever rescue dog named Buck, and an eccentric Rat Terrier named Roxie live in this renovated turn-of-the-century house on “The Hill” in Great Barrington. The home combines antique features with modern-day efficiency for a welcoming, warm, and playful space. 

The Cooneys personify Berkshire living. Jessie designs and decorates interior living spaces, bringing clarity, beauty, and ease to people’s lives. Her mastery is in resurrecting deteriorated homes and crafting spaces that work. “I like to think that I make sense of spaces and bring harmony to them while creating efficiency for busy families,” she says. 

Read More

TRANSFORMATIONS: Clearing Clutter

TRANSFORMATIONS: Clearing Clutter

Clutter is in our homes, our inboxes and our minds. How to edit what comes into our lives is the challenge of our times. Our inability to manage our “stuff” is a growing trend; we accumulate without realizing it, and usually without wanting to.

Yet finding ways to manage our things is stressful and time consuming. Enter the storage industry; they will whisk away your things before your very eyes and help you deal with that beautiful Oriental rug that you can’t find a place for, but cannot bear to part with, or your children’s bunk beds that they have outgrown. Tada! Your things can disappear into the void of the storage industry for a simple fee of $99 a month.

As a mom, I battle this every day. My kids come home with goodie bags from birthday parties, holiday gift exchanges, or a sale item we just have to stock up on that ends up sitting in our pantry for years to come. But the hardest situation is the loss of a loved one and the items people receive from that loss. These are sentimental items that take people years to go through and edit.

Read More