ONE ROOM CHALLENGE ~ The City Condo ~ Week 6

Party Time!  It’s finale day of the One Room Challenge and the condo is done.

The condo is actually DONE.  You have NO idea the feelings that come up when I say that.  Giddy exhausted disbelief.  I don’t think I can properly convey just how hard George and I have worked, or how much stress I have felt over this renovation.  I have poured my heart, soul and sanity into this project.  Despite my many doubts, we survived and our reward is a gorgeous, updated, furnished apartment.

Instead of the One Room Challenge, I took on the One Condo Challenge.  I know I “broke the rules” a bit here, but I had an empty, half-renovated apartment that needed to be finished, and QUICK.  I’m so grateful to the Linda  for inviting me to this ORC and giving me this amazing opportunity.  Without the 6-week structure, the audience and the sponsorships there is no way we could have taken on a project of this magnitude.

We saw a chance, we had a dream, and we went for it.  I said in week one, if I decorate it, They will come.  Who is THEY?  We hope it’s YOU.

More on that below, but let’s get to the reason why you are here…. the pictures!

(See Week 1 / Week 2/ Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5)

Welcome to our pied-à-terre.

modern neutral eclectic living room - Design Manifest- One Room Challenge

This is the living room, but perhaps the proper way to give the tour is to start when you walk in the door…


Hello and welcome to Philadelphia!  Our guests are greeted with this gold foil map of our fine city.

Philadelphia Gold Foil Map on grasscloth in city entry foyer by Design Manifest

before-entry- CONDO

Out went the green tile floor (yay!) and damaged wallpaper (sads.)   In went a whole lotta awesome.

Condo Entry with gray grasscloth gold sunburst mirror walnut live edge shelf and turkish rug- Petite Entry

The walls of the teeny entry are swathed in a gray grasscloth.  After an initial shock, I’ve embraced the grasscloth and can now say it’s one of my favorite elements in the unit.  Yes, I’m just going to confirm right now that I am my craziest, most difficult client.

Entry Details- One Room Challenge

Being a city apartment, space needed to be maximized, so we set up our entry to be both pretty and functional.  The mirror is a place to check yourself before heading out the door, the live-edge walnut shelf (made by Georgie) is the perfect key-drop spot, and coats and bags can tuck inconspicuously below.

before- early wide shot

The apartment is open concept and once you pass through the little entry you enter a bright living/dining area that is also open to the kitchen.  An open space is a blessing and a challenge.  When I first moved in 8 years ago, I filled it with bulky, too-large pieces that made the apartment feel small.  Ugg, I’m grossed out by the image above.  Except Bailey.  Love you, puggy.

before living dining

After our most recent tenant moved out, we re-evaluated the space and selected finishes and furnishings that would really make the space pop.  This is just a basic apartment- no high ceilings, no beautiful millwork, so we needed other elements to make our place feel special.  Dark floors were really key here.  They make the space feel cozy and modern at the same time.

Small Living Dining Area with zebra hide, lucite ottoman, tulip table, black and white neutral aparment

If you have followed along, you know I ran into a few challenges furnishing this space- most notably my sofa not fitting through the front door.  My last minute replacement- the white tufted Ikea sofa- actually works pretty well in here. It’s clean and modern and let’s other elements be the star.

modern neutral eclectic living room - Design Manifest- One Room Challenge

 I had initially planned a much simpler art arrangement above the sofa, but when my main piece arrived smaller than I anticipated, suddenly the scale felt all wrong and I was scrambling to fill in the blanks.  I really wanted a CLEAN yet collected look and that can be hard to pull off!  Especially when you have about 8 hours to pull it together.

Sofa Textile Detail

With the art wall being more eclectic than anticipated, it solidified my decision to keep the pillows pretty neutral.  Confession- I purchased about a dozen pillows to test out in the space.  I love a pop of color, but every time I added one in, it felt like too much.  Instead, I prefer the mix of textures, pops of green (a neutral in my book) and a fun colorful pillow on our lounge chair.

White Leather Sofa with zebra, art wall, fiddle leaf fig, lucite ottoman, danish chair

We swapped out our auction-find chair for George’s lounge chair.  Thank goodness we hoard chairs because reupholstering the first guy would have broke the bank.

Design Manifest Condo Makeover- Art Wall, White sofa, Zebra, Mudcloth

Wanting to maintain a clean, modern feel wherever I could, I opted to leave the TV wall very simple.  No art above the rosewood credenza, just the grasscloth and a few favorites.  While I never been a minimalist, it’s been fun to push myself a little.  Besides, the grasscloth provides so much warmth and depth, I didn’t want to taint it.

rosewood credenza with chrome base- TV Stand- grasscloth wall

Design Manifest Condo Makeover- Living Room and Entry-

My dining room feels complete now that I have my statement chandelier.  I love seeing it reflected in our glamorous new mirror.  And the new dining chairs?  So comfy!  My requirement for dining chairs is that I am able to sit indian-style in them.  These pass the test.

Design Manifest Condo Dining Room- Tulip Table, Black Eiffel Chairs, Tiered gold globe chandelier

Chandelier and Mirror Detail- Design Manifest Condo



Our kitchen has seen major improvements in the past week.  We finished painting the island cabinets and George came up with a great solution to my island countertop dilemma.  He built me a hot-rolled steel sleeve that fit right over the green granite.  The stone top is completely protected, but in the meanwhile I get a cleaner, more contemporary look.

Condo Kitchen Makeover- Coventry Gray cabinet Hot rolled steel countertop

He used natural hot rolled steel and welded the edges to look thicker than a standard granite counter.  It will patina over time and I think it will keep looking better and better.

natural steel countertop

Kitchen Island with steel top

You may have also noticed I swapped out my kitchen light.  I know its like musical chairs with lighting in this place.  I have always wanted this gorgeous Crystorama flush mount fixture but didn’t think my budget would allow it.  Thankfully, Crystorama came on as a sponsor and I decided to upgrade at the last minute.  It makes me giddy every time I see it.  It puts out surprisingly good light as well.

Design Manifest Condo Kitchen- Coventry Gray cabinets, Absolute Black Granite, White subway Tile, Tribal Rug, Brass hardware, Gold light


before bathroom

Marble, wallpaper, subway tile, art, graphic shower curtain.  Neutral, but certainly not boring.

Condo Bathroom Makeover- Marble Herringbone Floor, white subway tile

condo bathroom mirror



condo master bedroom

A custom headboard and pillows mix in with some great budget finds like these nightstands and these lamps.

White Cubist Brutalist dresser with wallpaper- condo bedroom

LOVE my wallpaper.  I may have to do the rest of the room at some point.

And the mirror is perfect in here.  I love the oversized scale.  George and I reviewed a ton of options and this one both managed to pass our taste-tests.  Clean and not too girly for him.  A touch of gold for me.  Everyone wins.

BEFORE master bedroom

condo master bedroom- stepped headboard- suzani lumbar pillow, black and white hotel bedding


condo guest room

I just wanted the guest room to be a serene, comfortable space.

The lamps and lumbar pillow add just enough softness without being overly girly.

This room gets the best light.  Definitely a good napping spot.

Guest Room Detail- Design Manifest


So now that we’ve remodeled and furnished the apartment, what the heck are we going to do with it?!?

Well, something funny happened while we were renovating… I fell in love with the apartment.  It is so serene and chic and cozy.  I feel so happy being there.  And then I step outside and I’m right in the middle of our fabulous city.  I miss this action, I miss this vibrancy!  I’m just not ready to let this place go.

But I have another home/ home office in the suburbs and I’m not in a position to move my life and work downtown at this point.  So how do we have our cake and eat it too?

Share our pied-à-terre with others!!


If you plan on visiting our glorious city (Philadelphia, duh) and want to stay in a clean, comfortable, high-styling two bedroom apartment in the center of town, then should you definitely check out our listing. I’d be so excited for you to enjoy the condo too.


One Room Challenge Fall 2015 Participants

ORC PARTICIPANTS- 20 top designers/bloggers have been invited to this Challenge and today we are all sharing our reveals.  Prepare yourself for some amazing makeovers.

Apartment 34 / Arianna Belle / Because it’s Awesome / Design Darling / Design Indulgence / Design Manifest / Christine Dovey / The English Room / Vanessa Francis / Hi Sugarplum / Honey We’re Home / Jojotastic / The Pink Clutch / The Pink Pagoda / Simplified Bee / Style Your Senses / A Thoughtful Place  / Kimberly Whitman  / The Zhush  / CIH



I promise full posts breaking down each room and component, but it is getting very, very, very late, so this source list will focus on sponsored items and other major pieces.

I also recommend you check out our Pinterest Board.

KITCHEN – Sponsored by Lowe’s

Cabinetry color- Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore



Subway Tile

Steel countertop by George Coldren

Ceiling Light by Crystorama

Counter Stools

Kitchen Rug- Ebay


Grasscloth from DecoratorsBest

Rosewood Credenza- Vintage

Sofa- Ikea

Chairs, Rectangular end table- Vintage

Art- Woman “Canali” – Citizen Atelier

Art- Feather- Citizen Atelier

Hexagonal End Table

Chair pillow- Etsy

Furry Black Pillow

Plant Stand


Chandelier from Bellacor

Mirror from Basset Mirror

Dining Chairs- out of stock, will source something similar


Live-Edge Walnut Shelf by George Coldren


Gold Foil Philadelphia Map

BATHROOM– Sponsored by Lowe’s


Subway Tile

Shower Head and Valves


Medicine Cabinet

Wallpaper from DecoratorsBest

Curved Double Shower Rod

Towel Bar



Headboard- custom by Design Manifest

Shams- custom in Rebecca Atwood fabric


Nightstands from Urban Home

Lamps from Lowe’s/ ATG Stores

Wallpaper from DecoratorsBest

Brutalist Dresser- vintage

Mirror from Bassett Mirror

Art- abstract- from Minted


Lumbar Pillows from Arianna Belle

Nighststands from Lowe’s / ATG Stores

Lamps from Bassett Mirror


Abstract Art from Minted






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  4. Sara

    Loved following your One Room Challenge this fall — your condo looks amazing! Quick question: do you have source info for the olive living room pillow? It’s the perfect color!

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  9. Love what you’ve done and great photos too! The art wall with the deer head looks similar to my wall of natural history. I’ve collected bugs to hang with it. This wall inspired a collection of paintings of insect specimens for people who don’t want real bugs in their living room. Here is my decorating experience

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  18. Amy

    We rented in this complex while renovating a house nearby! I was looking at your photos and kept thinking the layout seemed very familiar 🙂 You did an amazing job.

  19. Cara

    Wow! You have some serious TaLenT!! I’m your newest follower!

  20. Beautiful! There’s so much I love about what you did.That duvet cover in the guest bedroom is beautiful, and I love the mirror in the master as well as the painting. Great job to you guys! Makes me wish I could pack up and make a trip to Philly to stay here. 😉

  21. Naomi!!! I always love your work and of course love this! I can’t even believe you did all this in just 6 weeks! It is spectacular and so cozy. I hope I need to get to philadelphia so I can stay there 🙂 Love the art, the grasscloth ….and that lighting over the dining table. BRAVO!! love, love!

  22. I have no clue how you do it, superwoman! The space looks fantastic, I love the entry table George made, and yes – that grasscloth is a favorite!

  23. Holy awesomeness is right! its the one room challenge, not the whole house challenge, way to raise the bar lady:) I seriously can not get over each and every room’s amazing transformation, I love everything you did and the way that you dealt with the granite kitchen island is beyond genius! You need your own show on TV with this stuff, so GOOD! xx

  24. Mindi

    I can’t even describe how amazed I am. Seriously you outdid your selves!! It looks simply stunning on all levels and in every single room! Love it all! And I thought just doing my boys room was hard…

  25. Sarah

    WOW each room is just STUNNING and amazing to see how much sweat, blood and tears you put into this reno! I always love seeing your work, especially in ORC, and you impress and inspire me! What a beautiful transformation! BRAVO on a job well done! XOXO, Sarah

  26. Ivy Lane

    BRAVO! Every room is perfection! Air BNB is a great idea!



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  28. Missy

    Wonderful! Do you have a source for the barstools?

  29. Amazing – I can’t believe you guys were able to make all this happen! And I love that you are keeping the place. I know where I am staying if I come to Philadelphia!

  30. Jessie

    You did a marvelous job! The condo looks so chic and beautiful! I particularly love your gorgeous wallpaper, fabulous entryway mirror, glam bar stools, stylish bathroom tiles and zebra rug. Well done!


  31. Can’t believe you did this in such a short time! Kudos! Where do I start? Well, that kitchen is pretty perfect and I so wish I had my own George (well, I have a lovely husband but he is the opposite of handy!) The entry is perfection as is the bathroom – love both wallpapers! Great job Naomi! I’m sure you have been celebrating!

  32. I love it! So glam and chic.The entryway wallpaper is one of my favorite elements. I want to visit Phily just so I can stay at your gorgeous place!

  33. Wow, there is so much here that sticks out to me as amazing! I love the colors, the finishes, textures. That wall paper is gorgeous! I love the kitchen cabinet colors, this is truly stunning!

  34. nancy

    You are AWESOME!!
    Everything so thoughtfully detailed.
    Always a great story too.
    Hugs Cousin! xoxo

  35. you totally pulled it off and it’s gorgeous! where do i start? Love the walnut shelf George built and the rolled steel countertop. Love all your selections too – the mirrors, chandelier and wallpaper. love, love, love.


  36. Well done! It looks terrific and to pull it off in 6 weeks is SO impressive. Yay!

  37. I think you might’ve outdone yourself on this one. I think this is what the ORC is really all about – not necessarily the outta the atmosphere budgets and renovations, but making something great with innovation, and just damn good design. The countertop sleeve is particularly brilliant. Love it all. Cheers to another ORC in the tank!

  38. Wow just wow, I can’t believe you did all that in such a short amount of time! It all looks fabulous. I’m bookmarking your listing in case we ever visit Philadelphia.

  39. Robin

    You: Post gorgeous apartment
    (packs bags immediately)

    Well done m’lady.

  40. Anneke

    Oh my goodness girl!! It is all around STUNNING! I hope you’re taking the next week off to rest and enjoy all your hard work!!! Great job!

  41. Shut your damn face girl…you nailed it. I mean for real I do not know how you got all of this done. If you don’t mind I am in love with George….he can do it all! That top for the granite countertop was brilliant. And the barstools….yum yum. I hope I have a need to come to Philly someday so I can stay in this swanky place! I am glad you like the entrance now cause I love it!

  42. Chic. Chic. Chic. The transformation is amazing! The kitchen is stunning!

  43. Dying over the whole thing. The gallery wall is the best. I feel lazy just doing 1 room. Bravo!

  44. You my dear knocked this project outta the park! Fantastic job! The sofa is absolutely perfect! Great choice! The white is excellent. Wonderful transformation. Virtual high five =)

  45. Holy cow what an amazing transformation. That gallery wall is such a stunner! I hope you get some rest now. You deserve it!

  46. Wow! I’m sure you’re wiped out, but y’all did a fantastic job! It all looks wonderful. I’m SO impressed with the DIY counter sleeve. Great work!

  47. I have been watching along with bated breath, unable to comment before now as I’ve had my hands full with my own space. But OH MY GLORY. Girl, this deserves a Standing O. Your eclectic mix is absolute perfection! I adore the pillows and gallery wall, the crystal bulb fixture over the Saarinen table, and your overall intense hustle to get this entire space complete under the gun. All making me bite my lip with satisfaction. You are, unequivocally, a superstar. xx

  48. Jordan

    i guess now i have to come to philly so i can stay in this AMAZING apartment! you have outdone yourself. i love the mix of everything and the subtle yet bright colors. the kitchen looks fantastic. love it all!!!

  49. Liz

    I declare you the hands-down WINNER of the ORC! I love love love your condo. I know it was a lot of work. But gee whiz golly girl…you are good. You have very good taste. Execution is perfection. I would stay there in a heartbeat. Might not ever leave. 🙂 Well done. You are going places.

  50. so gorgeous! where did you get the bar stools?? i want something JUST like that for my loft.

  51. Standing on my chair clapping. I knew you would do it. Great job, stunning condo, take a nap. You will need to keep me updated about the airbnb experience.

  52. Katie Larsen

    That kitchen makeover in itself is bananas! The whole space is so chic, no wonder you love being there!! Great job, you’ve outdone yourself AGAIN!

  53. Vel

    Super chic and absolutely fabulous Naomi!!! Hard to pick a favorite spot, although the wallpapers are smashing!

  54. Kirsten

    No words.stunned. Damn girl. So so so so good. The entry and kitchen are my absolute faves.

  55. Jessica

    Love EVERYTHING! You seriously killed it! I’m not sure what’s my favorite part… the island “cover” made by George, that mirror in the entry or the fabulous art in the clear frame!

  56. Absolutely nuts! Every room is amazing. Love the bathroom wallpaper and the grasscloth, too! So striking–easy to see why you want to keep it!

  57. Megan

    I’m a big fan! OMG what a transformation and such vision. The whole thing is fabulous!

  58. Joy S.

    I almost never comment (although I always come back to your blog because you’re my design spirit animal) but this is so freaking amazing! I’m always in awe of what you come up with. And I love that you were so willing to share when you were second-guessing some of your choices. I mean, even I was questioning that white sofa at first but look at it, it fits perfectly. And that grasscloth is seriously everything. Congrats on a truly amazing job!

  59. Oh my goodness, stop it. This is PERFECT! Congrats! I would stay there in a heartbeat!

  60. Robyn

    OMG this is 100% incredible and bananas. You must have superhuman powers. It’s fabulous and I cannot wait to stay here for our next visit to Philly!!! xox

  61. Sarah

    Naomi, you are an absolute pro. It’s always such a pleasure to follow you in these challenges because you execute with such excellence. What an amazing transformation! Congratulations on a beautiful job well done.

  62. Oh, wow! You’ve been busy! It all looks absolutely amazing! Love the grasscloth walls, and the bathroom and kitchen renovations turned out great!!

  63. I crown you queen. Amazing. The end.

    (except now I have a place to stay when I visit you YAY!)

  64. Andrea C

    First time commenting…wowsa! I love your work! Philly native here..where did you get the gold love signage over the sofa? Love it!

  65. patty blaettler

    You are insanely talented.
    The kitchen looks fantastic. Genius fix on the counter. And the entry table is perfection. Please pass along to George… You two work well together!

  66. Doreen

    Stunning!!! I love everything especially the mirror and shelf/console in the entry.

  67. This condo is KILLER! What an amazing transformation – I love the luxe details and the eclectic mix. The result is so polished and sophisticated!

  68. You of course, knocked this out of the park my friend! I’m soooo in love with the grasscloth- it’s the most perfect warm grey and in combo with the wood credenza, it’s just total heaven. I also love the mix in the living room with your textural pillows and mix of art/pattern/colour…you always do the later so so well and this space is no exception. And the kitchen…the grey is perfect and holy shizzle on the counter solution- your man is a genius because it really couldn’t be better and you’re right, as it patina’s, the colour will just be sublime. I think my favourite room might be the bathroom- that shower curtain is divine and I love how it works with your art and wallpaper. All of this is just so beautiful and I still can’t believe you managed an entire 2 bedroom apartment…simply amazing. Bravo!!!!!

  69. Joy

    Wow Wow Wow!!! The condo looks fabulous! Dying over the entry table- what a perfect addition. So excited that you can keep this jewel and share its gorgeous self with others! I guess it is time to come see Philly for the first time! 😉

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  71. stephanie kraus

    SIMPLY STUNNING!! I will have to study this space for hours to even comprehend the amount of gorgeousness in this space! LOVE IT! Amazing job… lets get coffee and maybe I could see this space in real life… would be a dream! congrats!

  72. Arielle

    I mean, are you kidding me with this? It looks so so good! The entry and kitchen are killer, and that olive pillow is my favorite color of the fall. Congrats on finishing!

  73. mallory

    giiiiiiirl! I have NO idea how you pulled this all off, but you’re truly outdone yourself!!! Each space is so perfect and so chic….I want to move right in!

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