Cottage Update- Graphic Kitchen Wall

Now that our PureWow video is out (see it here!) I thought I would share some easy/colorful updates we did in the kitchen.  I’m still a ways off from doing a proper kitchen remodel, but I was sick with living with an ugly-unfinished mess in the meanwhile.  So we whipped out some tape, some paint and re-hung some shelves and now I’ll be good to go for a few months.

Here is the embarrassing BEFORE.  We lived in this state for SO many months.  Random pink paint swatch.  Two shelves taken down to accommodate the new-to-us larger fridge.  (A cast-off from a client who upgraded!)  The dishwasher was another client acquisition and the maple wood panel stood out like a sore thumb.  Random stuff clogging up the shelves and an array of mess in the open cabinet over the fridge added to the disorder.

kitchen before

Once I learned PureWow would be visiting my home and filming it I had a fire under my ass the pull this corner together.  I was about to be gifted a Delta Trinsic faucet and I there was no way I could show it next to this sad mess.

So we made a To-Do list and went to work sprucing up the kitchen.

1. Paint wall behind sink.  Something colorful and geometric.

2.  Re-Hang shelves.  We had to cut them narrower to fit next to the fridge.

3. Paint dishwasher panel to match cabinets.

4.  Make and Hang door for cabinet above fridge.

After just one week of manic work, the space turned into this…


It’s bold, playful and best of all not-permanent!



I love how the Pink striped wall turned out.

Pink was a no brainer for me for this wall because …

A) I love pink and blue together

B) My gold accents and faucet POP brilliantly off the pink wall

C) It’s just paint!  Why the hell not?

Now I’m not an artsy person at all.  Seriously, I can’t draw a straight line.  So how did I pull off this relatively easy DIY?  Keep reading after the jump for my step by step process.


PureWow, Delta Faucet and Naomi- Catch my First ever Video!!

I’m bringing you a special Friday Blog Post because we have an exciting announcement!!

We are thrilled and honored to have partnered with Pure Wow and Delta Faucet to participate in their Passion Project Series.  It’s a really fun 90 second video that shows you a little behind the scenes look at my life as a designer.  You get a sneak peek of my studio, kitchen and a client project install.  I share a little about how my life and work can be a total #happimess.

passion projects design manifest delta faucet pure wow

It was extremely exciting and flattering that PureWow chose me as a tastemaker.  The day of filming was really fun and I think they did an awesome job editing it down to a minute and 18 seconds.  Watching it is super surreal.  My voice!  My mannerisms!  Why am I so awkward!?  I’m trying to just enjoy the moment and be grateful for the experience.

Watch the video below and let me know what you think!!




See the original post HERE.

Sponsored by Delta Faucet

………….. What I’m Working on Right Now………….. Gladwyne Master Bath Sink Wall

We are working on a variety of projects right now, one of which is a master bathroom design in Gladwyne.  The owners reached out to me requesting a space with a little pizzazz.  You know, more than your builder grade master.  They were also looking to achieve a more modern style in the bathroom but struggled with how to blend it seamlessly with the rest of their traditional home and furnishings.

All of this is music to my ears.  I love working in special details in a bathroom.  Mouldings, Tile, cabinetry, fixtures and finishes… there are lots of ways to take design (and function!) to the next level.  As for aesthetic, I love my modern mixed with a little traditional.  Tailored, classic yet clean lined.  It’s been fun to work on.

Here are some of the rooms and details I am using for inspiration for the sink wall:

floating vanity between walls

Design by Erin Martin

There are a lot of elements that I love about the bath above.  The simple arch over the vanity.  I like enclosing this space a bit and making it more intimate.   (The bathroom we are working on happens to be large and could use a little intimacy.)  I also like the darker vanity and mirrors hung from chains.  Not sure if we will do that, but its pretty stunning.  The last element I like is the stone on the back wall.  This looks to be slab marble behind the mirrors.  We will probably do a marble tile instead of slab to save a lot of money.

vanity and arch detail

arch sides

Design by M E Beck

Here is another arched vanity top I liked.  This one feels a little more dressed up with extra and molding atop the arch.  My clients may actually favor the simpler style and that’s fine with me.  What I also like here is that the arch is stepped in from the vanity base, so it’s not quite so imposing.  This may be beneficial to our layout.

chevron wall

Design by Melanie Turner

My clients were pretty jazzed to do a floating vanity and I was happy to jump on that gravy train.  I like the combination of the floating vanity with the tiled wall above.  I like that the tile peeks out underneath the floating vanity.  The underneath portion is also a great place to tuck accent lighting.  Both my client and I were really into the idea of herringbone tile.  Ultimately I felt it made a better statement on the floor, with something simpler behind the sinks.

As for the actual cabinet style, its needs to be something clean, yet interesting.  We are still figuring that part out.

Should it be a mix of wood (or perhaps painted gray) drawers and metal?

floating vanity with wood and metal

designed by Juniper Tedhams via House Beautiful

Or have a thick stone apron and then standard drawers?

thick marble apron with drawrs below

via Riviera Fine Homes

I love the two-tone tailored look of the vanity below.  The drawer faces are parchment-clad.

tailored vanity style.peter-marino-08-master-bath

designed by Peter Marino

I may re-interpret a few designs we have used in the past.  I love this stepped drawer detail we did in this Gladwyne Girls Bath.  (I haven’t shared this reveal yet!)

stepped drawer- custom cabinet by design manifest

Design by Us, photo by Courtney Apple

I love the idea of a simple vanity trimmed with a little metal with some fabulous hardware.  Since we are discussing doing gray and chrome, I don’t think it will pop the same way it does as below with the stained wood and gold.

vanity trimmed with metal

source unknown

While we are still working out the exact style of the cabinets I’m pretty excited about the direction.  Arched wall with tile alcove, floating modern vanity with special details, gray paint, white marble (or quartzite) and low lighting.  Hopefully my client’s desire for pizzazz will be answered.  Wish me luck- I’m off to present final design ideas this morning.


One Room Challenge

I’m gonna keep this post short and sweet today and instead suggest that you check out the One Room Challenge rooms being revealed today.  If you read this blog consistently then you know that I have participated in the 6-week makeover several times.  I’m not involved this season and it’s a good thing because there is NO way I could have juggled it.   I’m looking forward to seeing what the 20 design bloggers have come up with this time!  The list of participants can be found on Calling It Home–> HERE.

Some of my favorite spaces have been designed for/along with the One Room Challenge.  Here are just a few pictures of rooms I have designed in past seasons.

blue greek key rug sputnik chandelier mid century blue and white dining room by design manfiest

tribal rug layered over jute- design manifest

gold etagere with wood back and glass shelves by design manifest


Design-Manifest-Kitchen-Waterfall-island-Quartzite-countertop 1500

Curved-White-hood-gradient mosaic backsplash by design manifest- 1500

Tree and Flower Wallpaper in white office space by Design Manifest

Design Manifest Lounge with  barn wood day bed

Design Manifest wood planked wall with bar cart

In the past few months my lounge has evolved into our full-fledged design studio.

I will have to show updates soon!


All images by Courtney Apple

Vintage Furniture- Recent Auction Acquisitions

Yesterday was a busy, yet fun day shopping at the furniture auction.  I brought my client along and we scoured pieces for her home as well as a few finds for myself.  In the end we did well in the case-goods department.  When it comes to purchasing furnishings, I love sourcing dressers, credenzas and sideboards from vintage sources when possible.  Often times you can get great deals compared to new pieces.  Also, vintage pieces tend to be better made- quality construction, made in the USA or Europe- vs stuff at a similar price point today.

For my client’s dining room we scored an Ello mirrored credenza.  I’ve long coveted this mid-century stunner and I’m super pumped to incorporate it into her design.  I love how its modern, yet very tailored so it works really well in traditional/ transitional spaces.  It’s gonna add a nice bit of glam to the room and we will mix more organic and traditional pieces with it.  Truthfully, we are still figuring out the design!  I’m very much in the thick of it right now.

ello mirrored credenza at auction

image via our instagram

ello credenza ken fulk

It won’t be nearly as glam as this room by Ken Fulk, but I still enjoy seeing it in a room setting.

mirrored credenza with chinoerie

And while I love chinoiserie (and think it would pair beautifully with the Ello) we will not be going this route in the dining room.

Somewhere more in-between traditional and modern.

While my client’s piece is nice quality and only needs a few minor touch-ups, I bought a piece of crap.  A Lane Mosaic Brutalist piece of crap.

brutalist dresser at auction

image via our instagram

Let’s discuss the positive.  It was cheaaap and I got two pieces: a wide dresser AND tall dresser from Lane.  Also, this is another style I’ve coveted for awhile that looks amazing when lacquered white.  Pristine versions of them can also fetch top dollar.  The down side is that they are REALLY beat up.  It’s gonna take George a lot of time to clean them up.  He was not very happy with me when he came to pick them up.  I probably should have just spent more money on another piece that required less work.  I have ’em now so its too late this time.  (Muhahahaha all part of my evil plan.)

white brutalist mosaic dresser

Fancy lacquer version via 1stDibs

If all goes well, we will use this piece in the staging of my condo.  I think it would be a perfect television credenza.

So big news in my personal life is that we are fixing up my old apartment and hope to sell it!  I will be sure to share some of the remodeling progress and decor updates.  We also scored two beautiful chairs we will showcase there.  Stay tuned :)