Owning A Design Firm, The Beach Home & TBH Interiors

Joanne Marino, Founder, The Beach Home, and TBH Interiors, Lavallette, NJ


Joanne is the Founder of The Beach Home and TBH Interiors, based in Lavallette, New Jersey. She grew up visiting the iconic furniture department at Bloomingdale and Ralph Lauren store inside the Rhinelander mansion, envisioning a beautiful and comfortable environment as she appreciates the people who brought life to these designs.

Get inspired as Joanne shares her insights and experiences working in various trades and why designers are more than people expect them to be.

Owning a Design Firm

Joanne’s life inspiration has always been her mother. She inherited her mother’s appreciation and passion for art and design. Her mother believes that home is made up of whatever you can contribute to it, and as a self-proclaimed designer, she put as much as she could into fabrics on their weekend home in Rockland County. In awe of the designs seen in Kips Bay Showhouse every year birthed their overwhelming desire to craft art they can call their own.

However, Joanne’s journey to owning a design firm was heavily influenced by her time as a real estate manager. Seeing the top brand interior designers in a closer view, how they make an empty white apartment into something spectacular, showed what path she wanted to take.

After the devastation brought by Hurricane Sandy, Joanne was reluctant to pursue her dream as people had different needs at the time. However, with the support of their community, Joanne and her husband decided to realize their vision and help people who want to take their homes to the next level. Even without certifications, just from pure and raw experience, Joanne was able to build her firm into what it is today.

“As a homeowner, you want your home to be comfortable, and you want it to represent you. I realized that I was actually able to achieve that with my customers.”


Styling and Photography to the Next Level

Styling is not as simple as adding flair to things without intent. Every additional detail should result in a better-looking scenario, even if it is as minor as adding a lemon. Joanne shares that styling is necessary, but you will never know if you have missed something until you thoroughly look at the scene through your lens.

“I don’t know that something is missing until you hone in on it and when you look through your lens.”


The Lens of Expertise

Joanne collaborated and experienced working with various trades, architects, builders, and project managers. Due to this wide range of experiences, her lens of expertise allowed her to incorporate new ideas and consider other aspects. Joanne describes the stages:

  1. The Blueprint Stage – Clients have their own version and view of their homes. Having a blueprint as a designer can help you encapsulate that vision without getting in the way of others.
  2. The Costing Stage – At what point do you think the design justifies the cost? Joanne emphasizes that you should always be mindful of the cost of your designs.
  3. The Engineering Stage – If you have a working blueprint, then be mindful of how you do the design without getting in the way of lighting and HVAC plans. In fact, you want to collaborate with them to ensure that no hitches go along the way.

Planning is important in everything that you do. However, not all plans go along the way you wanted them to. Joanne shares a story of this:

“I sat with my architect, and we envisioned a beautiful open floor plan. When I arrived, I saw a vent and grill. And I thought, “Oh, boy.” What did I learn from it? I learned that you can make changes, and some things can be hidden. But, there is a short window.”


Joanne learned that new clients who are building new homes should be a “squeaky wheel”—Allow the designers to step in front of you because building a beautiful home cannot be realized unless you give them the chance to do their creative work.

“There is an answer for everything, and there is certainly always a beautiful design response for everything.”


How did Professional Photography, Presence, Portfolio, and Getting Published help your Brand?

It is not easy to thrive in a competitive market. Having an established brand means a lot to Joanne. It provided her a tremendous boost of confidence because she believes in what she is capable of – except for the fact that she lacks the marketing to spread her creative work.

Joanne feels gratified to have her work validated and recognized by the New Jersey Home in a 10-page spread magazine – which furthered their means of becoming a seasoned interior design firm. Getting published means having a broader audience to showcase what you are capable of. Many people see designers as “just there to decorate,” but that’s not it! Through the power of photography, online presence, and a solid portfolio, it is a no-brainer to think that you are more than “just” a designer!




The Journal


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *