Designing Homes for Single Dads

Two local businesswomen are helping divorcees and separated husbands get a fresh start

SimplyHome2 is a business catering to dads who are either divorced or widowed who want to create a home that is comfortable for them and their children. Here, owners Patty Frischman and Tanhya Schimel, who reside in Bedford and Armonk, respectively, explain their process and differentiate between designing for men and women.


What is the premise of your business? 

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“The premise of SimplyHome2 is to make dad’s house feel like home so when the children of split families are traveling between their parents’ places, they feel comfortable, safe and included in both—no matter the address or zip code,” says Patty Frischman. 


What made you decide to start this type of business? 

“We both have children or step-children that are going back and forth between two houses,” confides Schimel. “Thus, we understand the impact this can have on the kids.”

“Creating a warm and welcoming environment for kids is important to us as mothers, compassionate women, and business owners,” adds Frischman. “We want to minimize the ‘suitcase kid’ syndrome that so often comes with a separation or divorce.”

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What do your clients come to you for? 

“We found that most men don’t have the time, inclination, or wherewithal to design and create a comfortable home from scratch,” says Schimel. “They come to us to set up their homes with everything from decor to every household item and appliance imaginable; everything needed to fill a home. We simplify their lives so they are able to go to work and focus on their jobs and children.”


What are the biggest mistakes your clients make?

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“Living in very sparse-like surroundings that lack warmth and comfort,” says Frischman. “The walls are bare, there is no carpeting or rugs on the floor. The details that make a house a home are missed, which is where [we] come in.” 

We solve this issue by adding decor, accessories, and other items that make it comfortable for themselves and their guests,” adds Schimel.


What part does style and function play in your designs?

“Function is as important to us as style,” says Schimel. “Our main objective is stylish modern decor and functionality.”


What is your best advice for someone looking to create “manly” decor? 

“Use a darker palette with rich textures that work well with big, comfortable pieces,” Schimel suggests. “We recommend staying away from more delicate furniture and prints and lighter colors.” 


What are some essentials for most of your projects? 

“Framed photographs, either as a gallery wall or in other areas throughout the home, as well as art that speaks to and reflects their personal style and budget,” advises Frischman. “Lacquered or shagreen trays are a decorating essential. We love them for serving drinks or to add a pop of color on a coffee table or bedside table. They are also great to house small items that would otherwise go astray.”


How is designing for a dad ultimately different than designing for a mom? 

“Many men tend to have items, art, or other collectibles, whether from their college-dorm days to post-bachelor life,” says Frischman. “We find that they often want to incorporate these items as well as their hobbies into the decor. Beyond this, most women like to be involved in the design decision making, while most men want very little involvement and just want it done!” 


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