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Design firm helps newly single dads’ houses feel like home

marriage’s demise is a painful time for everyone involved, but two Westchester women aim to alleviate at least part of that stress by helping the newly single begin a new chapter in a new home.

Targeted toward men who are going through a separation or divorce, SimplyHome2 is a lifestyle and design company founded by Patty Frischman and Tanhya Schimel, residents of Bedford and Armonk respectively, that coordinates the logistics of settling into a new home.

“We know how it can be difficult to get a house ready on your own, plus going through a divorce and separation, we figured this service would be a huge asset,” Schimel said.

SimplyHome2 aims to assist in that transition and take some of the headache out of the moving-in process by making a client’s new residence less of a bachelor pad and more of a home.

“Oftentimes they’re coming with a suitcase and a laptop and very few belongings,” Frischman said of her newly single clients.

But the pair is quick to point out that their company is not merely an interior design firm. Available to clients in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, the company handles everything from stocking homes with kitchen and cleaning supplies to hiring contractors and coordinating with outside vendors.

“If the cable (company) is coming, we’re there to meet them,” Schimel said.

SimplyHome2 also places a strong focus on easing the transition for their clients’ children and focuses on making their new second home as warm and welcoming as possible.

“Through the client, we really get to know the kids and what their interests are,” Frischman said.

From there, Frischman and Schimel can then stock game rooms with favorite toys or stuffed animals, make sure there are air mattresses or linens for sleepovers and take into consideration any favorite colors or sports teams when decorating bedrooms.

“It’s those little touches and those types of little things we do that make it feel really comfortable, so they really enjoy going to dad’s,” Frischman said.

Frischman, a mother of three who went through a divorce of her own, said the idea for the company began forming when she “was part interested, slash, kind of concerned about what it was like at dad’s.”

“I didn’t want them to feel that suitcase kid syndrome,” she said of her children. “We had a very nice comfortable home and I wanted that to sort of be an extension at Dad’s of their home and their comforts.”

Frischman also noticed a trend of newly divorced men who were “moving from their large, beautiful homes and were living like minimalists.”

The duo, who met through their significant others roughly four years ago, say this new company combines their strengths: Frischman’s eye for design and Schimel’s planning and organizational skills.

Prior to starting the venture, Schimel, who has three stepchildren and a daughter on the way, worked in finance for six years before serving as the executive director of A Little Hope, a children’s bereavement charity. Frischman’s background lies in the fashion industry, where she held various positions from retail analyst at Guess to spearheading a new juniors clothing division at J&R Wholesale.

A self-described word-of-mouth company, SimplyHome2 relies largely on word-of-mouth referrals from former clients, matchmakers and real estate brokers.

“Divorce attorneys are a huge resource for us,” Frischman added.

In addition to a typical upfront cost of $5,000, SimplyHome2’s fees vary based on the size and scope of the project, Frischman said.

While many of the company’s clients are able to afford high-end decorators, the pair said the variety of services SimplyHome2 offers sets it apart from other interior design firms.

“The high-end decorators don’t want to deal with the nitty-gritty, little things,” Schimel said.

“It’s not like (the clients) have to delegate and tell their assistants or whoever, ‘I need this, this and that’ when they don’t even know what they need,” Frischman added. “We are one step. We do it all for them. They don’t have to think about anything. They can focus on work, they can focus on their kids, focus on whatever else they’re going through.”

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