One Room Challenge {Petite Kitchen} Week 1

ORC-Participant Fall 2014

Welcome to the One Room Challenge!  Hellooo old and new friends.  I’m Naomi and I am pumped to be back again for the 6 week decorating extravaganza.  This season features the 20 superstar design bloggers you see above.  We will each transform a room from start to finish and update you every Wednesday on our progress.  You can also count on sneak peeks and mini-updates from me on instagram (designmanifest) under the hashtag #oneroomchallenge.

This is my 4th time doing the ORC.   (Thank you Linda for organizing this event and inviting me back yet again!  I fancy myself a regular in this series.) The first time around I did my own bedroom, and then a client’s living room and dining room (lovingly dubbed the Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad,) and last time I transformed my attic into a lounge.  This time I’m taking you behind the scenes with Dad and the construction crew  of Design Manifest…

We are gutting and renovating a kitchen.  

In 6 weeks.  No Big Deal.  

I hope.

(Continue Reading HERE)

(more…)

The Textile Selection Process {Malvern Reno}

One of the biggest elements when pulling a room together is the textiles.  Sometimes developing the textile scheme is quick and easy.  The vision is clear, favorites are chosen and we move on.  Other times it needs to develop organically and evolve over time.   The latter has been the situation one of our current projects, Malvern Reno.

For those who follow DM on instagram, you may recognize the hashtag #malvern reno.  This has been a big construction and decorating project the boys and I have worked on for several months.   We first tackled a big master bathroom and dressing room reconfiguration and renovation and then I began the process of redecorating the bedroom.

We started completely from scratch in the master bedroom with my client wanting to take a departure from her typical style.  (Typical style being elegant, traditional and mostly neutral with green.)  I always welcome the chance to take clients out of their comfort zone, but when decorating a single room its important to not go too crazy.  Afterall, the bedroom has to tie into the rest of the house.  You don’t want to walk into this space and feel like it belongs to someone else.

Processed with VSCOcam{A peek of the wallpaper in the master water closet}

Blue was chosen as a driving color for the room.  We chose a wallpaper with blue in the water closet and decided to paint the dressing room walls a rich blue, so it was a logical choice to continue it into the bedroom.  Green pairs so well with blue and is used throughout the house, so we agreed that would be our secondary color.  The room wanted to feel soothing and elegant, but also hip, collected and fresh.  Other than that, I was free to suggest what I liked.  Color was fair game, as was pattern, but overall it needed to tie into the neutral feel of the house.  And with that, I began playing with textiles and developing the scheme.

The first thing I did was choose a wallpaper behind the bed.  My dream paper:  Nakai by Pierre Frey.  We would go bold on the back wall and keep the rest pretty quiet.  The tobacco colorway of Nakai has so many great colors- blue, green, coral.  We could easily pull from those to select fabrics for the chairs, bench, pillow, bedding.

nakai repeat in bedroom(our inspiration: Nakai on the walls of a bedroom designed by Chloe Redmond Warner) 

We were ready to place the order for the paper and then I ordered a memo sample from the mill to see the current stock.  And let me tell you …. it was ALL wrong.  The colors were totally different.  There was purple where it should be white and neither myself nor my client loved it anymore.  And we made the command decision to scrap the paper and start all over again.

Yikes, right?

I told my client this was a sign from the decorating gods that we were meant to go in a different direction.  I asked her to trust me and promised her she would love the result.  We would find a way to incorporate the colors she loved with the paper only in a whole new translation.

I started with fabric samples I had in my studio, pulling blues, greens and a few pinks…

scheme 1

And then I went to the design center and pulled more fabrics and wallpapers.

scheme 2

 

As we began to finalize the details of the bed- an commanding steel canopy bed with a curved upholstered headboard- it became clear to me that the bed should be the star of the wall and that we didn’t need a patterned paper behind it.  What we needed instead was to spread out the interest to other corners of the room.  We needed statement curtains to flank the bed and highlight the front wall.  Once I got my client on board  (it took a little coaxing as patterned curtains made her nervous,) we went in hot pursuit to find the perfect curtain fabric.  A trip to Chairloom led be down the rabbit hole of gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics…

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Hello, dream fabrics.  But what happened to the green?  And was this my client, or was this more Naomi?  Every room I design is going to have some Naomi by nature (isn’t that why you hire me?) but it also needs to reflect YOU and the rest of your home.

We decided we needed to make a few key decisions and let the room come together from there.  My client trusted me with the statement curtains and we ordered a gorgeous blue magnolia pattern from Lauren Liess Textiles.  We also selected a subtle shimmery natural linen for the headboard and a green woven textured fabric for the chairs.  The curtains were installed a few weeks ago and they are so fabulous!

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And the canopy bed went in.  Here is a peek of the curved headboard in shimmery linen.

malvern reno headboard

We these elements installed we were able to finalize our scheme and order the rest of our furnishings, pillows and bedding.  Here is where we are now.  Note… all the pink is gone.  We may work it back in with chair pillows, or in art.  Or perhaps we don’t need it after all!  This is definitely feeling like my client now.   It’s pushing her limits and having some fun, but still “her.”

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So that is the long story of how one room’s textile scheme came together.  We are waiting on our final pieces to come in, but I cannot wait to see this room completed!!  I hope you guys enjoy these process posts.  My job is a lot of pretty afters, but mostly it’s figuring out how to get there first.

Bathroom Renovating- Planning a full gut job versus a partial remodel

When we do bathroom remodels we typically do gut jobs.  Most are over 20 years old and we remove everything: the tile, fixtures, plumbing, cabinetry.  With the room completely empty we are able to renew the mechanicals, improve the layout and built a completely new bathroom with no limitations.  Occasionally though, we are faced with the challenge of the partial bathroom remodel.  Such was the case with our recent project, Berwyn Bath.

Our clients originally called us in to install floor heat.  The thought was to tile right over the existing tile and leave the rest alone.  And then we began discussing the bathroom and it’s function and look.  The original bath was nice- large, unoffensive with a scheme of white a blue.  There was a door at the end of the bath that connected to a second bathroom.  My client actually liked this door as she used it as her route to the laundry room.

berwyn bathroom from frontView of the original bathroom looking at the door to the 2nd connecting bathroom.

One major CON for me was the shower size.  Itty bitty for a bath so big.

berwyn bath original shower

Another problem was the under-used vanity area…

vanity makeup

The two sink bases were OK, but the corian tops were a little tired.  As for the cabinetry, the white color wasn’t a problem, but the big sink cabinets and lack of drawers weren’t very functional.  Also, the tri-plex medicine cabinets, while full of storage, were creating seams in all the wrong places.

original bathroom vanity

After reviewing the PROS and CONS of the bathroom we explored SEVERAL different layout options.  In some versions we kept the cabinetry, in some we changed it.  We looked at expanding the shower, removing the tub, and even building a whole linen armoire.  We really kicked the tires to explore our options and provided cost estimates to our clients’ to help them decide which plan was best for them.

berwyn bath original floor plan

THE ORIGINAL FLOOR PLAN

large tub, small shower, toilet and bidet, door to 2nd bathroom

***

berwyn bath plan 1

OPTION 1: EXTREME MAKEOVER

Large shower, close off door to 2nd bathroom,

2 new vanities (1 in new location under window,)

built-in linen cabinetry.  remove tub

privatize water closet with toilet and bidet.

***

berwyn bath plan 2

OPTION 2: MEDIUM MAKEOVER

Large shower, close off door to 2nd bathroom,

keep sink vanities as they are and replace countertops

built-in linen cabinetry.  remove tub and replace with make-up vanity desk

Keep toilet and bidet in original locations.

***

berwyn bath plan 3

OPTION 3: SOME BIG CHANGES, SOME THINGS THE SAME

Large shower in new location, Keep door to 2nd bathroom,

keep sink vanities in their locations but update cabinetry and countertops

Keep tub.  Built-in Linen cabinet in location of old shower

Remove Bidet

***

We had several discussions with our clients to determine what was really best for them and what they needed.  Ultimately we came to a few big decisions… 1. The door to the 2nd bathroom could go, but the bidet needed to stay.  2.  The expense of removing the tub and replacing it with something else wasn’t valuable to them, so the tub would stay.  3.  Built-in linen cabinetry was beautiful, but more than they wanted to spend at this time, so we would do a furniture armoire instead.  4.  Vanity cabinetry would be updated and tailored to their specific storage needs.

This is the final plan…

berwyn final floor plan

With the space planning figured out, we were able to finalize the fun stuff: tile, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, hardware and paint colors.  Then I handed over the reigns to the construction team and dad and the boys went to work turning our plans into reality…

Day 1

berwyn bath day 1

2nd week

shower framed

3rd Week

shower tile begins

4th Week

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The bathroom is done now and let me tell you it is fabulous!

But we couldn’t have gotten there without figuring out the floor plan first.

Full Reveal Coming Soon!

Project Profile: Chestnut Hill Living Room.

Today I wanted to share my own thoughts on a recent project; the living room in our client’s Chestnut Hill Home.   This project was featured on Style Me Pretty Living back in April and I have been slowly working my room through each room sharing details.  This home was one of my first major decorating projects and challenged me to create a space that was much more neutral and traditional than my own style tendencies.  I’ve been delighted with the results and relish the opportunity to tackle more neutral spaces.  I find pushing my own boundaries really help me grow as a designer.

I wish I could call this post a Before and After, but sadly I have no “before” photos of our Chestnut Hill Living Room Makeover.  Just imagine an empty white room with high ceilings, crown moulding and no furniture.  We tackled this room after previously working with our clients’ on several projects including the family room, powder room, bedroom and dining room.  By the time we got to the formal living room I knew my client’s tastes quite well and this one came together harmoniously and quickly.

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Living Room wide

The room is a smaller square space and our first challenge was working out a floor plan.  When thinking of space planning I always ask how a room will be used.  In this case, they wanted a more formal, yet cozy space to read the paper, entertain, have a glass of wine and relax.  We opted for four chairs around an ottoman as it felt more intimate.  My client’s husband’s main request was that he be able to put his feet up on the ottoman.

1 Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project Living Room

With the ottoman as the driving factor in the room, I knew it needed to be special.  I sketched up a custom octagonal piece and presented it to my client.  The legs had a slight Moroccan flair and the faux snakeskin fabric had definitely attitude.  My client could have easily said “NO” or “that’s too bold” but instead she told me she was scared, but trusted me.  Boy am I glad she did, because we absolutely LOVE the result.  When doing a neutral space you need a few surprising elements and some interesting textures!

3 chestnut hill living room ottoman

Keeping consistent with most of the first floor, we used bound sisal rugs and off-white walls.  This flow from room to room really tied the rooms together and created a soothing effect.  Each space has it’s distinct feel yet you also could swap pieces from room to room and they would look great.  I love creating flexible design.  Some people never shift rooms around.  I will walk in a year later and everything is exactly how I left it.  Others evolve in their spaces and continue to tweak.  Neither is wrong.  Your home, your happy place.

black bamboo armchair with cushion- design manifest

Keeping that airy feel, we opted for creamy sheers.  They are stationary panels-not functional- just a little something to add softness to the space.  The shutters provide all the privacy they could need.  (Side note- loving shutters right now and I just want to use them everywhere!  Well at least at my house.)

For additional seating, I found these vintage bamboo chairs and had cushions made in a Kelly Wearstler weave.  I love a little black, a little eclectic and a little old in every space so these chairs checked off quite a few boxes!

living room wingback lounge chair

For the main seating, we used 4 wingback lounge chairs from Lee Industries.  I love how they are super cozy, elegant yet not too massive either.   The proportions were just right for the room.  We let the chairs curves do the talking and used a quieter simple linen.   The pillows provide just enough pop.

My client used personal pieces for art on all four walls.  Above is an antique rutter found on the Cape.  My client’s vacation up there and it feels very “them.”  I love that it is not traditional art, but is still beautiful and tells a story.  I think its so important for a room to have these little bits of personal character.

vignette on vintage tea table

Besides seating, we filled the room with two tables.  Above is an antique tea cart that sits between the two front windows.  Below is a wood console table that fills the long empty wall.  While it’s not an antique, it matches the tea cart quite well.  By limiting the finishes in this room it felt softer and more serene.  Sometimes I feel like in an effort to be layered rooms can have texture overload.  Wood, metal, stone, lacquer, rope, lucite, animal print…. it can all be lovely mixed together, but sometimes less is more.  (And sometimes more is more.  It’s personal ;)

wood console table flanked by floor lamps- design manifest

For the console table, both my client and I were in sync with our desire to flank the table with floor lamps instead of placing them on the tabletop.  This was great for two reasons.  1) It filled in this long empty wall nicely and 2) it left room on the table for collectibles and plants!

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Living Room sideboard detail

My client commissioned the painting above the console table.  It is based on a vintage family photograph.  I just love that!  As for the fab lamp shades, we added the black trim ourselves.  I love the little bit of definition it adds to the lights and the wall.

There was this framed moulding above the fireplace that was a little bit perplexing.  We discussed filling it with paper, art, paint, even taking it away.  We ended up mounting antique mirror inside the frame and floating a piece of art over it.  In my opinion you can never have too many mirrors in a room- I love the brightening and expanding effect.  (When done in a tasteful way.  Scary 80’s plate mirror would be an exception.)

art hung over mirror- design manifest

A couple of white pierced garden stools do double duty with providing a little visual texture AND a place to plop that glass of wine.  I like the mix of shapes and lines we used in this room: round, linear, curved, octagonal… it helps make the square room flow better.

white pierced garden stools as side tables

And that is my two cents on the Chestnut Hill Living Room design.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!  You can see the whole project HERE.

Images by Courtney Apple

If you live in the Philadelphia area and would like to discuss your own home project, please contact me at naomi@designmanifest.com

Amateur Work: My Yard

I am by NO MEANS a gardener, but I’ve been getting great joy out of designing and working in my yard recently.  Previously a city gal for the past 10 years, I now feel a little overwhelmed with both a front AND back yard.  It will probably take me years to get the whole area together.  The back  is particularly full of challenges.   In typical Naomi/George overzealous ambitiousness, we’ve discussed a deck, adding a fence, an outdoor living room, tiered vegetable garden beds, a shed/workshop, a fountain, a firepit.  The truth of the matter is, I don’t see this as a forever home, so it’s probably crazy to do so much work.

For now, I’ve been mostly focused on upping my curb appeal and making my front yard a little less embarrassing.  I’ve trimmed down ugly bush trees and completely removed the grass.  Since the space is so small I’d prefer to have mulch and plantings.  The idea is for it to be a cutting garden, with something or other blooming throughout the warm seasons.  I love having fresh flowers in my home and having them come from your own yard is even more special.

When I first bought the home in September 2012, my front yard looked like this…

front yard on closing day
And now in June 2014 we have progressed to this…

Cottage Front Yard June 2014

I know, I know, I have a long way to go and I’m not exactly winning and curb appeal awards yet.  Would you be more impressed if I told you the yard looked like this on May 31st?  Not even exaggerating.

4 Weeks Ago

yard from front june 1

yard from side june 1

And Now…

Left side on June 21

A little less terrible.  Not done weeding.  (Does it ever end?)  Need to re-mulch.

I half mulched the right side and it makes me feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

right side half mulched

right side detail

Container Garden

I know this isn’t very impressive.  I’m mostly posting to hold myself accountable and keep it real.  Gardening is hard work!  I’ve gotten a lot of help from my Mom so far and hope we can make some headway in the next few months.

GOALS:

- paint fence

- add second section of fence on left side

- hide recycling/ trash cans

- finish weeding

-finish mulching

- tackle front porch

That’s it for me today.  Wish I could go outside and play right now, but it’s work time.

How are your gardens growing?  Are you into plantings or grass?  And do you have any tips for me to help me pull my front yard together?  I’m all ears!