Project Dream Kitchen Before and After

Last year we designed and built this amazing kitchen in North Ardmore.  This was our second time working with our lovely client, having done two bathrooms and a few decorative projects the year before.  Most of our clients are repeat clients (or referrals) and we find the more we work together, the easier the process is and the more beautiful the result.

Hopefully by now you have seen the feature in Lonny Magazine from last week.  (Thanks to all who left sweet and supportive comments!!)  Today I wanted to talk a little about the design process behind the kitchen and share before photos.

The before kitchen wasn’t so bad, but the cherry cabinets were about 20 years old and had started to come apart.  We took the opportunity to refresh, tweak the layout, improve the quality of cabinetry & appliances and make the space better suit my client and her family.  When you enter from the dining room you see long back wall of the kitchen and kitchen island.

cooktop and island

Before there was no real focal point.  We decided to add an industrial range and statement range hood.  We also moved the sink from the corner into the island and added pendant lights and seating at the island.  The back wall felt very boxy with all of the those wall cabinets, so we broke it up with some open shelves.

design manifest kitchen in lonny magazineimage via Lonny Magazine

Design Manifest Kitchen Black and Brass Hood Lucite Pendantsimage by Design Manifest

After careful research we selected a 48″ blue star range.  My client loved the powerful burners and I loved that we could do it in black and brass.  We both agreed that we were over the stainless craze in kitchens (hello finger prints!) so we used very little in this kitchen.  Vogler Metalworks made us a custom black hood with brass strapping.  It definitely sets the tone for the kitchen- classic yet bold and updated at the same time.

black and brass hood by design manifest image via lonny magimage via Lonny Magazine

design manifest kitchen hood

image by Design Manifest

Functional storage is even more important than looks in the kitchen, so we made sure to fill this space with all the necessary bells and whistles.  A pot filler in matte black finish means my client doesn’t need to carry her heavy pots from the sink to the range.  We built in two “garages” to hide away small appliances to keep the countertops clean.  We also placed a spices, cooking utensils and pots and pans conveniently close to the cooktop.

design manifest kitchen spice drawerimage by Design Manifest

BEFORE- The sink was in the corner (I rarely like that,) the eating area was raised to bar height (I never like that) and an awkward structural post sat on the counter.

kitchen with post

AFTER- Sink moved to island, counter height lowered to open up the space and we were able to move and conceal the post into cabinetry.  I don’t usually love countertop garages, but in this case it was functional for storage and to hide the post, so it was definitely a win.

design manifest kitchen with corner garage concealing postimage by Design Manifest

To balance out the heaviness of the black range and hood we opted for white cabinets (painted in BM Decorators White.)  The base cabinets are a standard shaker with ogee bead at the inner edge.  For the upper cabinets, I wanted a something a little more special.  I sketched out a clean, yet more intricate pattern and Christiana Cabinetry brought them to life.  I call it the Design Manifest Door and I love it.

Design Manifest Cabinet Door- Detailed stepped shakerimage by Design Manifest

We searched high and low for a backsplash tile that would compliment the soft blue gray accents in our quartzite counters.  We ended up Quemere subway tile in the Ash color.  It’s subtle and so pretty.  The 2×6 size is classic yet also a little different.  The quartzite is Namibian Sky.

lonny shootimage via Lonny Magazine

BEFORE- the kitchen counters wrapped the corners at the end of the kitchen.  I hate short stumpy corners.  No one uses this area to work in and they become junk collectors.

kitchen before 2

AFTER-  We eliminated the corners, allowing for a longer island and more straight counter space.  Note the second storage garage on the left.

lonny shoot horimage via Lonny Magazine

BEFORE- To the left of the dining room door were the double ovens and a stupid little corner.   This area was neither very functional or pretty.

ovens

AFTER- Our double oven is now part of the range, so this wall was turned into the refrigerator and snack zone.  I always like a dedicated section of the kitchen for the toaster, microwave and coffee maker to live.  They should be out of the main work area.  We used a 42″ Kitchen Aid Refrigerator and added panels to make it a little softer.

design manifest kitchen paneled refrigerator and snack zoneimage by Design Manifest

This area also has a bread drawer and baskets for snacks!

design manifest kitchen snack zone

image by Design Manifest

You may have noticed the soffit on the left side in the image above.  This kitchen had several structural issues we had to work around.  Besides the post I mentioned earlier, there was also a structural soffit we could not remove and the roof line cut into the ceiling of the kitchen.  We concealed the issues with cabinetry the best that we could.

BEFORE-  The previous kitchen designer kept the wall cabinets short to avoid the sloping roof line.

kitchen before with roofline

AFTER- Dad and our carpenters took those cabinets up to the ceiling.  This was no easy task as we had to cut out the backs of the wall cabinets to cope them to the roofline.  Note that the hood had to be cut on an angle too.  These details might not be as glamorous, but I feel like they really help the kitchen feel finished and luxurious.

Design Manifest Kitchen with black and brass hood and industrial rangeimage by Design Manifest

The island was a fun moment. You may have noticed the black and white doors.  Christiana Cabinetry hand painted the white accent on the inner trim of the doors.  I love how its tailored and bold yet still feels classic.  Notice a theme here?  We really wanted to do something different in this kitchen yet not have it be too outlandish.  It’s tough to take risks in kitchens.  They are very expensive, so most people don’t like to overly personalize the space.  I’m so proud of my client for taking a few design risks.  I think it paid off well in this space.

design manifest kitchen island doorsimage by Design Manifest

The hardware on the island is vintage and was found on ebay.  My client polished each piece herself.  We did a double laminated counter on the island for extra thickness.  It’s a single eased edge elsewhere.

lonny cabinet detail

image via Lonny Magazine

Sorry for the terrible pic, but I wanted to show the foot detail.

I love little things like this… they add so much to the cabinetry.

island foot detail

The faucet at the sink is the one place we chose to do stainless.  It was practical, durable and just felt right.  Not everything in a kitchen needs to match.

design manifest island sinkimage by Design Manifest

Besides the sink, the island also houses the dishwasher (its paneled,) a pull-out trash and recycling bin,  a bookshelf and additional bonus storage.  But let’s be real, the real star of the island are the statement pendants- the Alpine by Hudson Valley.  They were a bit of a splurge but they provide excellent light and are so stunning in person!

Black and White island doors by Design Manifestimage by Design Manifest

Now instead of that stupid raised bar outside the kitchen proper, the island has seating for two!  People actually sit at islands.  I feel like no one sits as raised bars.  That’s why I’m such hater about them.  PS- I love these stools from Ballard Designs.

design manifest kitchen island stoolimage by Design Manifest

BEFORE- The refrigerator was cramped to the right of the dining room doors.  There was also NO dedicated pantry in this kitchen.

ovens frig

AFTER- Since we moved the fridge to the left of the dining room doors, we were able to make the right side be a full pantry.  This kitchen is a dark space and we wanted to bring light however possible, so we opted to add mirrored fronts to the pantry.

design manifest kitchen island with mirrored pantryimage by Design Manifest

lonny pantryimage via Lonny Magazine

We also updated the eating area which is open to the kitchen.  Before, the table was a little large for the space and it felt crowded.

BEFORE

eating area

We lightened up the walls with Ben Moore’s Horizon, removed the window treatments and started fresh with furniture.  A 48″ round table fit best in the space and was big enough to fit the family.  We mixed a cozy tufted banquette with french Louis XVI square back chairs.  The floral pattern on the chair backs provides a nice hit of pattern in the otherwise neutral room.

AFTER

Design Manifest Breakfast room with banquette and pattern backed seats

image by Design Manifest

design manifest kitchen chair detail

image by Design Manifest

BEFORE- Dad taking notes on the first day of our design interview.

from eating area

AFTER

design manifest kitchen 10

The Floor Plan

dream kitchen floor plan by design manifest

And THAT is project Dream Kitchen.  What a dream it was to design and build it!

I want to thank my client for trusting us with her home and allowing me to share the results.

Clare, You are awesome and I hope you continue to enjoy the space.

Design Manifest in Lonny Magazine!

Pinch Me.

Today one of my dreams has come true; a Design Manifest project is being featured in Lonny Magazine.  Last year Dad and I had the pleasure of designing and building a beautiful kitchen for the sweetest family ever.   Custom touches were used throughout and each detail was planned with care.  From the black and brass strapped hood, to the two-tone island to the custom cabinet doors, working on this space was truly a dream.  In fact, I shared a few peeks last year on instagram which I dubbed #projectdreamkitchen.  Today, finally, I am so thrilled to share the results.

You can see the article HERE.

design manifest kitchen in lonny magazine

(image via Lonny Mag)

I want to thank Lonny Magazine for the pleasure and honor of gracing their online pages.  Working with photographer, Genevieve Garruppo, art director, Wendy Scofield and writer, Mackenzie Schmidt was such a thrill.  I’ve never had one of my projects shot by magazine before so it was very very cool.

I hope you all love the space.  Kitchens are my absolute favorite rooms to build.

 

Chestnut Hill Family Room Before and After

Here’s the design story of our Chestnut Hill Family room renovation.

When our clients first came to us their family room furnishings were a collection of randoms and hand-me-downs.    An old sofa, an assortment of uncomfortable chairs  and a rug that didn’t suit their style were all given the boot.  We also didn’t like the television over the fireplace.  It’s the first thing you see when you walk into the room.  We needed a better focal point.

family room before

My client’s have a family of 6 and wanted a space that was elegant yet comfortable, kid friendly yet chic.  They favored neutrals, but weren’t opposed to  pattern or a the use of selective color.  The goal was clean, bright classic, beachy but not beachy.  “Hip traditional” is how I like to think of it.

The room is pretty large with high beamed ceilings and two sets of french doors.  We wanted to keep the walls white, the windows bare and beef up the architecture in the room.  Here’s what we came up with…

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Family Room built-in bookshelves

We built white bookshelves along the empty wall that previously housed the American Flag.   The television was relocated from the fireplace to the bookshelves.  I love placing the TV amongst books and personal items… it’s such a good way to “hide it.”  Now this wall gives us great storage, display and TV viewing.   Oh and the built-ins provide for that stronger architectural presence we wanted.  Quadruple winner.

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- bookshelf detail

While the walls are an off-white, we did the back of the bookshelves in a very soft blue.  It’s pretty and subtle and adds a cheerful touch in the room.

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Family Room bookshelves

You might be thinking that a sofa facing away from the Television is not very practical.  Don’t worry there are two sofas!  While TV watching definitely goes down in the room, we also wanted a space that was conducive to conversation and socializing.  We placed two sofas facing each other in front of the fireplace.   This is the heart of the family room.

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Family Room fireplace

 I love the look of two sofas with an ottoman in between.  So classic.  The stools in front of the fireplace are the perfect cherry on top.

BEFORE

family room before 2

AFTER

12 family room 3

There are a lot of neutrals, woods and irons layered in this room.

Linen Sofa, tufted linen ottoman, sisal rug, cowhide, reptile velvet  stools… ALL neutral.

Yet it interesting and rich.  I believe it’s because all all the textures and finishes.

ottoman with rugs

family room sofa ottoman stools

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- End table detail

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Family Room sofa detail

I really enjoyed selecting my neutral pillows!

Luckily my clients were down with a a little chinoiserie and greek key.

Who says you need color to have fun?

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Project- Family Room Chest

Speaking of neutral and beautiful, I’m still in love with this chest we selected for under the stairs.  Hexagon antique mirror on wood.  It’s really a special piece!

paisley bergere chair by design manifest

Just because the room is neutral, doesn’t mean it’s boring.  We went bold on the bergere chairs with a black, white and caramel paisley.

I love black, white and caramel.  I could do that scheme over and over again.

Design Manifest Chestnut Hill Family Room

I just love how this room turned out.

It’s such a happy, beautiful space.

I know the whole family uses it and enjoys it too!

What a fun one to work on.

I’m hoping there are a lot more hip traditional projects in our future.

***

Thank you to Courtney Apple for the beautiful pictures.

Sources for this room can be found on the Style Me Pretty Living Home feature.

My short window solution

Hey guys!

First of all, a belated THANK YOU(!!!),  for all the praise and support for my Lounge Makeover.   You guys give this girl a big head.  Luckily the rest of my house looks like crap, so I stay humble.  The One Room Challenge is such an awesome experience and I’m just so honored to participate.  Did you see all of the finished rooms?  Nutso beautiful makeovers.

Oh my gosh it’s been so crazy around these parts.  At DM we are in the midst of two major renovations.  I’m keeping Dad and the guys VERY busy.  If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed our current projects, #malvernreno and #villanovakitchen.   Malvern Reno is a master suite that includes a master bathroom, dressing room and bedroom.  We are doing really special elements like floating mirrors, plaster fireplaces, gorgeous water jet marble,  envy-inducing lighting fixtures, wallpaper, a steel canopy bed.  I could go on and on… it’s awesome.  Villanova kitchen is going to be stunning.  We installed custom cabinets in a selective mix of charcoal and light gray.  There will also be tumbled mosaic marble, quartzite counters, reclaimed wood tables and gorgeous light fixtures.  In kitchen and baths it’s the lighting fixtures that takes a space from “pretty.” to “INCREDIBLE!!”  Can I get an amen?

Speaking of my instagram (designmanifest,) in the past few weeks Philadelphia Magazine AND Philadelphia Style have dubbed Design Manifest as a top Philadelphia Instagram to Follow!!!  Thanks for the brotherly love o city of mine.  Local love truly tastes the sweetest.  I’m flabbergasted and honored and just hope you guys continue to enjoy my work and photo adventures.  Spoiler alert: there are occasionally bad pug selfies.

Annnywho, I’m blogging today because I wanted to share a favorite little design solution I used in my Lounge.  The problem:  Awkward short windows.   Paired with the sloping ceilings this whole space felt dwarfed.

lounge short windows

I needed to add HEIGHT so I hung my woven wood shades 9″ higher than my window frames.  The valance visually extends my windows and make the space feel taller and larger.

Design Manifest Lounge Meditation nook with fake out shade

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

I suggest you try it at home.

***

That’s all for me!  I’ll try to blog again soon.

What do you guys want to hear about?  Projects, our design process, how-tos, my place?

 

One Room Challenge {The Lounge} Week 6

Congratulations, you have made it to the finale of the One Room Challenge!  I don’t know about you guys, but these six weeks have FLOWN by.  It seems like just couple of weeks ago I was staring at my third floor in total disgust.  And then I hatched an ambitious scheme  to completely transform my attic into the hippest lounge ever.  Today,  I enjoy the fruits of my labor as I recline on my new daybed to write this blog post.  I am totally in love with the space.  I never want to leave.

Naomi on her lounge day bed 2

Oh look at me… I completely made over my lounge in 6 weeks.

No big deal.

 I also tackle DIY projects in heels.

HAH.

***

Have you caught up?

Week 1- Before Pictures and Plan

Week 2- Inspiration

Week 3- Furniture Pieces and Textiles

Week 4- chair makeover and barn wood wall

Week 5- Art selections and wallpaper options

***

If you’ve been following along week to week then you know this challenge has not been easy for me.  Rushed decisions led to mistakes.  Indecisiveness forced down-to-the-wire deadlines.  My To-Do list would have been steep for my whole Design Manifest team to do as a “real job”, but it was near impossible for my boyfriend and I to tackle on nights and weekends.  I had moments of sheer panic, stress and exhaustion where I was sure we would not pull this room off.  When I left you last Wednesday the lounge looked like this…

room messy 2

Later that same day I came home to discover my basement filled with sewage.  I’ll spare you the pics (they are on instagram) but it was gross, scary and dangerous to our health.  We lost our paint, our work space and a night’s worth of labor.  Certain people thought I ought to delay the room and deal with real life.   What’s was the big deal if I shared the room a few days late?

Shudder.  

I was certain I wouldn’t let a pile of poisonous shit rain on my parade.

So we kept going, pulled in incredibly long hours and late nights. We cried, we laughed, we bled, we ached, we spilled wood stain on our Ugg boots.  (Insert expletive of choice here.)  George deserves some kind of metal of honor for endurance, craftsmanship and compassion towards me and my complete design mania.  I would not be standing here a triumphant decorating champion without him.  Thank you, Georgie- this room is yours too.

The point is, 7 days later, the same spot looked like this…

Design Manifest Lounge with barnwood daybed and chinoseirie wallpaper

Hey awesome room.  You so sexy.

The biggest architectural element / home run/ sentimental favorite would be the built-in daybed and barn wood wall.  As soon as I discovered these reclaimed planks in my father’s garage I knew I needed them in my life.  Then my parents told me the wood came from the barn they were married in and I knew it was destiny.  I love how the installed effect is modern and masculine yet also organic and really cozy.

Reclaimed Wood Wall Built In Day bed - Design Manifest

George expertly engineered and built me a daybed that has a ton of storage and is damn sexy.  We clad the drawers and end tables in the same barn wood for a clean and seamless effect.  We painted the end tabletops in flat black paint for a little calm moment amongst all the wood.  I still need to add pulls to the drawers but I totally love the whole wall.  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better result.

Design Manifest Daybed pillows and sconce

Brass Sconce on Reclaimed Wood Wall- Design Manifest

Brass tray coffee table

BEFORE

daybed wall before

AFTER

Design Manifest reclaimed wood wall

Daybed end table with wallpaper

Hey there’s my secret wallpaper!  I absolutely love how it compliments my barn wood.   A little feminine mixed with the masculine.  The paper I chose is Eleonora by Zoffany and it was finally installed this Friday and Saturday.

Chinoserie Wallpaper with covered vent

I decided to go with a winding pattern of birds on branches to compliment my wood wall.  I love that it is neutral yet colorful, traditional yet organic.  It captured my original inspiration colors of green and coral (ok, pink) yet it wasn’t so colorful that I would tire of the palette.  I knew I would love it now and 5 years from now.  It’s my little treehouse… perfect for my work area.

Design Manifest Office nook with chinoserie wallpaper and mid century furniture

I love the dichotomy of the more traditional wallpaper against the modern table and chairs.

Vintage chrome and leather chairs

One of my biggest complaints about this side of the room is that the right wall was broken up with unsightly HVAC components  There was a trap door to my heater, a large return duct and a vent.  It felt broken up and way more functional than pretty.

design manifest lounge pink desk white room

I knew wallpaper would mask these issues and really designate the office as a separate area from the other zones.  I love how my paper hanger Keith, was able to cover my vents and outlets.  Never have I enjoyed HVAC ducts as much as now.  Just put a bird on it.

Design Manifest bird wallpaper and vent cover

 

I had no proper lighting in my office area so I picked up this plug in fixture for some quickie lighting.  You can see the wire running down the wall by the ceiling.  That’s the ugly truth of plug-in features.  But you know what?  The piece is cute, it was cheap and the wire doesn’t bug me too much.

Office nook light

The TV Stand

The final big piece hanging from last week was the TV stand.  I mentioned how we scored this amazing live-edge cedar from my dad.  Our plan was to make this boxed live-edge cedar base that would be wrapped with inset metal legs.  It was going to be very gorgeous and complicated to create.   Alas, we ran out of time to finish it properly before the shoot.  Whoopsies.  I want to give a huge shout out to my dad who worked tirelessly for days on the piece.  We WILL finish it together and it will be awesome!

boxed cedar frame live edge wood- design manifest

Love you, Dad!

Around noon on Sunday it became apparent to me that we would not be able to finish the TV stand I’d planned on, so I turned to George and asked him to make me something really simple with wrapped metal legs.  He carried this upstairs to me on Monday morning just in time for our photo shoot.  Baller!

Design Manifest Lounge custom TV stand

Design Manifest Lounge custom TV stand (2)

Design Manifest Lounge TV stand and Art wall side

I love the simple, chic combination of white and brushed gold.

It balances out the warmer elements like the wall and this croc danish chair.

Design Manifest Lounge crocodile danish chair

This chair is so comfy and has such beautiful lines.

It was built by my furniture-maker beau, so it has a little sentimental value too.

***

And then there is my art wall.

It only took me three versions and several nail holes, but I really love the result.

I mixed personal pieces like a picture of my dog, a silhouette of my niece and  LOVE sign gift from a friend with modern and vintage prints, drawings and collages.  My inspiration started with the cactus print and was added upon by two prints from our generous sponsors, Minted.  It was a little scary to stand on the railing and hang the pieces, but I’m glad I went for it.

Design Manifest Lounge TV stand and Art wall

Design Manifest Lounge Gallery Art Wall

design manifest bench with mudcloth

I’m loving my bench from our sponsor, Lamps Plus.

It’s such a great multi-function piece.

Right now it greets you at the top of the stairs, but it will definitely be used as an ottoman for the daybed and seating for the table.

Design Manifest Lounge TV stand and Art wall with bench

I love how my meditation nook turned out.

I’d say there is 50% more chance I may meditate there some day.

Design Manifest Lounge Meditation nook

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Design Manifest burnt bergere chair

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The burnt bergere chairs turned out pretty snazzy.

We just used a basic white vinyl for the upholstery.

I’m super sad that buttery white snakeskin leather didn’t work out, but my wallet is not.

Design Manifest Lounge

Design Manifest Vintage gilded bamboo Bar Cart

Design Manifest wood planked wall with bar cart

I hope you enjoyed the tour and like the space.

I’m certainly glad it no longer looks like this…

1 Design Manifest Lounge- front and side wall before

Cause this is much more my thing…

horizontal shot of lounge by Design Manifest

Thanks so much to my family, my DM crew and most especially George Coldren for helping turn this little room from a fantasy to a reality.

And of course I need to thank Courtney Apple for the beautiful photography and coming out to shoot my space while suffering from bronchitis.

And lastly thank YOU for following along and supporting me.  It’s been an awesome ride.

***

Linda, thanks so much for including me again.  The One Room Challenge seems to get better and better every season.  Now I’m off to check out what this incredibly talented line up has created.  It’s sure to be a good show!!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

***

sources:

rugs- ebay * daybed- coldren design * sconces- schoolhouse electric

lumbar pillow- pottery barn (discontinued) * mudcloth pillow- design manifest

coffee table, bar cart, chrome and leather dining chairs- vintage

table- Ikea * wallpaper- zoffany * light over table- Urban Outfitters

 danish chair -  coldren design * TV Stand - coldren design

Feather print, Butterfly Print- Minted * Cactus print- Sarah Eisenlohr * Mushroom and flower prints- vintage

pug, silhouette and Love sign- personal collection

bench- lamps plus * bergere chairs- design manifest/coldren design * lamp- arteriors

dress (on me) – Free People, designed by my incredibly talented sister, Megan

photography- courtney apple

***

PS- everything in this room is for sale or can be made for you.

Please email us to inquire about pieces. (naomi@designmanifest.com)