One Room Challenge {The Lounge} Week 1

It’s the most wonderful (stressful, exciting, exhausting, financially draining, rewarding) time on the year!!

Welcome to the season premiere of the One Room Challenge!  For six consecutive Wednesdays, twenty professional Interior Design bloggers will transform one room from start to finish updating you on our progress.  I am extremely flattered and excited to be participating in my third round of the ORC.  (You can see my first ORC Here and my second ORC Here.)  This time Linda‘s lineup of participants is INSANE.  Like seriously talented women with a broad range of  style.  I can’t wait to see everyone’s design process and of course the beautiful results.

ORC banner april 2014


A little about Me and the Client (Also Me)…

If you are NEW to Design Manifest, I just want to welcome you and say I’m so happy you are stopping by here to follow my room transformation.  I’m Naomi and I’m one half of the father-daughter design-build firm, Design Manifest.  We renovate houses, build custom kitchens, gut dated bathrooms and generally decorate our hearts out all over Philadelphia.  Well I decorate, Dad just likes to build.

The last round of the ORC was pretty smooth for me because I was decorating a client’s home, but this time I’m taking on a nightmare client; MYSELF.  The budget is small, the timeline is tight and this stupid bitch (ME) cannot make up her mind about anything!   I like A LOT of different design styles and I’m not totally sure what direction I want for my design scheme.   I’m paralyzed by fear of commitment, spending too much money and looking like a damn fool in front of you lovely readers.  This should be a very interesting 6 weeks.

The Room…

1 Design Manifest Lounge- front and side wall before

I will be tackling my 3rd floor; a finished attic space that I hope to transform into my “lounge.”  I would like to use it as a home office, a place to watch Television, and a retreat to relax or do yoga.  It’s pretty teeny- 8′ wide in most areas- and it has sloping roof lines that make it feel even smaller.  But what it lacks in space, it makes up for in charm!

The Lounge Beginnings… (September 2012-March 2013)

When I bought my cottage in September of 2012, the 3rd floor had maroon carpets, yellowish walls and no heat or air conditioning.  Below is the front, or the north side of the house.  You can see how the ceiling really affects the space.  Those half walls are only 4′ high.

2 design manifest lounge before

We went to task ripping up those ugly carpets and found pine floors underneath.

So. Much. Better.

2 design manifest lounge carpets ripped up

The back side was divided into two rooms with a miniature-person doorway in between.

(You can see my pug, Bailey, investigating the space on settlement day.)

7 design manifest lounge south wall before

This is the sunniest side of the house, so I decided to take down the wall and enjoy the light.

Below: One of our carpenters, Angelo, gets his demo ON.

wall coming out in 3rd floor lounge

Brightening Up…

I always knew I wanted this space light and bright.

Unlike the first floor, this isn’t a high traffic zone.

Practicality could take a back seat to style.

This was my lounge, my dream space.

So I painted everything WHITE-the floors, the walls, the ceiling.

design manifest lounge painted white

And I nearly died of happiness.

By doing everything the same color it  felt much BIGGER.

Unfortunately, my budget had taken a big hit gutting the whole house AND adding central air.

So this room never got finished.


All of that is changing now, thanks to the ORC.

The Plan…

I plan to divide the lounge into three areas.  The front/north side will be the work area with a table and chairs.  The middle will be the Television viewing area.  The back/south side will be my meditation/yoga zone.  Who knows if I will ever actually wake up early and go meditate (it’s a goal I fail at every day) but I like having a dedicated place to be peaceful.


3 design manifest lounge bank canvas

I’m thinking about adding wallpaper to the office nook.

I’m having a ridiculously hard time choosing the paper!

We will dig into that in upcoming weeks.

4 Design Manifest Lounge- daybed week 1

The stairs are too tight to fit a sofa, so I will be using this single mattress as a daybed.

I’m hoping to build in some storage below the mattress and make it look more tailored.

I would also like to add lighting and deal with the awkward windows.


8 Design Manifest Lounge- meditation nook week 1

I’m keeping the table and chairs and moving them to my office nook.

I may recover two accent chairs I own and put them next to the window.

Depends on the budget / timing / my ability to choose a fabric.


6 Design Manifest Lounge- Stair Wall week 1


I want to take advantage of the only big wall in the room by doing a gallery wall.

Hanging art over the steps should be super fun.  Sike.

Can anyone lend me some scaffolding?

I’m also hoping to switch out the stringball chandelier because it blocks the view too much and I’d prefer to use it elsewhere.

Of course, I want something custom made, so it may or may not happen.

Keeping it real, here.

5 Design Manifest Lounge- Stair Wall Alcove week 1

Ugg this area is just embarrassing.

Right now I have a 40″ TV on a live-edge wood end table.  It’s pretty hokey.

I need a longer TV stand.  I’m hoping we will have time to make one because I’m running out of money and custom furniture is more fun.















yea… I might be nuts.  Is there a magical medication that eases anxiety, gives you more energy AND makes you more creative and handy?

Next week… I’ll be sharing some inspiration for my design.  I’m hoping that will help me get clear on my scheme.


Be sure to check out the rest of my ORC compatriots below…

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


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

Week 6– Finale

  1. I love this space and will so enjoy watching what you do.

  2. Nichole

    Can’t wait to see this! Jealous of your space! And such a sweet story, love dad and daughter teams! 🙂

  3. Just found your blog. Can’t wait to see what all the rooms look like!

  4. This is going to be amazing, Naomi! What a fantastic space — I love the all white. If you find that medication, please share with me!??

  5. Veronica

    I love this space. All the wonderful nooks and crannies. I love that you did all one color. Can’t wait to follow along

  6. This is like a blank slate of goodness and I can see the angels singing and rejoicing. It’s a beautiful open space. looking forward to seeing the progress.

  7. Perfect white canvas to apply your painterly genius. That bachelor pad you did for the last round was prime time perfection. I have confidence that you will nail this one just like every project you do. Everything gets a little more interesting when ya got a little skin in the game like you do here with your own space. You’ll work it girl. Wish I lived closer so I could come watch trashy Bravo shows and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  8. Oh girl…I so feel your pain….I am the worst client and have had much angst trying to decide on things for myself because like you I keep changing my mind! And everyday I see something I like better and then of course throw in budget and all hell breaks loose. Crikey….first world problems as they say. I know it will all be fine…..breath in….breath out!

    • Naomi

      Hahaha so true Sherry. I love the way you put things 🙂

  9. SO jealous of your dream lounge! Loving the white too! Can’t wait to see how you style it up in here! Such a great starting point 🙂

  10. I’m so happy you are going to be your own client again! Seriously, even though we are all hardest on ourselves, it’s such a great insight into the design process, and the realities we all face when trying to pick something… anything… to just decide. Plus, this space is both tricky and luxurious. Very happy to follow along. Stock up on some wine, you’re gonna need it.

    • Naomi

      Thanks, Kati. So true! I’m a little overwhelmed by all of the decisions that need to be made and the time left to make them. But it will be good.

  11. carrie

    How exciting to have a meditation room! I love how much brighter and bigger it feels painted white. Can’t wait to see everything come together! 🙂

  12. Vel

    I can’t wait to see what you do with this space Naomi and your right, the ‘hardest client’ to please is yourself! Love the white paint, made me happy too. So giddy to follow along!

  13. I cannot wait to see this transformation! I still dream about that badass bachelor pad from the last go-round!

    • Naomi

      Thank You! I hope I can top it. Pressure is on 😉

  14. I have loved this space ever since you showed it when you bought the cottage. I love all white, but I know you can make any color work with anything. Looking forward to this.

    • Naomi

      Thanks, Linda! I’m debating just how much or how little color I want to add into the space. I’m attempting to use restraint.

  15. so we have all of the same problems (indecision, varied styles, pressure, and awesomeness). yippeeeee!!! let’s both go insane by the end!

    but, seriously, it’s going to be fun. and i’m finally going to come visit (read: invite myself to PA) when you get this done. oxox

    • Naomi

      Tobe, I would love for you to come visit!! Can you come like now and help me finish 😉 ?

  16. N- i hate you. Really I’m just jealous that you get to play with this space. Omg it is going to be so so good. Can I come work with you? 😉
    SO HAPPY to be doing ORC with you too. We need another Vegas trip btw.

    ps. in my granny chic room, totally instilling a bit of ‘naomi style’ in it. xoxo


    • Naomi

      I’m so flattered that granny is getting a little Naomi style!

      and, YES We So need another Vegas trip. xoxo

  17. Elisa

    LOVING all the white! This space is going to be fantastic. And I’m totally with you on the indecisive note with my own house. Being your own client is tough, I know you’ll come up with some great stuff though!

  18. I can’t wait to see how your space turns out and I love the concept of the One Room Challenge! I’m going to participate this year even though I’m not a design blogger. I’m going to do it just to keep myself honest about making progress on our house.

    • Naomi

      Jen, that is awesome you are participating! ORC is not just for design bloggers! It’s for anyone who wants to get it together and enjoy their home a little more.

  19. I’m so happy you are doing the ORC again because yours was amazing last round. You have done so much already! and it has so much potential. I bet when you are done you will never leave that room ever again. (good thing you have a bed there)

    • Naomi

      Hahaha! I may need to add a tempur-pedic topper to that mattress… Also, not toilet or fridge up there. Perhaps I should alter the plans? 😉

  20. I looooovee this space!!! It is so cozy and charming… the perfect retreat! And I love all of your fabulous ideas for how to utilize every inch of living space. The white paint has already worked wonders, and I cannot wait to follow along to watch as you continue to work your magic!

  21. The white paint is already such a huge game-changer – the rest is going to be gravy. Looking forward to it!
    alison g.

  22. You will rock it. I have no doubt. You never fail to knock my socks off.

  23. Best ORC intro! 🙂 You have me singing! It’s a fabulous foundation with what you’ve done already, I’m dying to see your inspiration and know it will come to life in no time!

    • Naomi

      Thanks Pam! I always try to be less wordy, but then I fail.

  24. Stop playin, it’s going to KILL. That’s a great room and I can sense the amazingness in store.


    • Naomi

      Thanks E! Be prepared to weigh in on my wallpaper indecision, please.

  25. The bones are fun and ready to go and now the fun begins. I so love your style so I know this space is going to look amazing. Can’t wait!

  26. Yippee!!! Can’t wait to see this space come together!! What great bones and light you have! Good luck!!

  27. Laura J

    Verrry ambitious! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the design stars align for you, because if you pull it off, it will be A.MA.ZING . . . . .

  28. What a fun space, I have no doubt it will be fun and chic when you are done! I bet that day bed would look fab hung with ropes if you had good studs in ceiling! I am sure you will do a cool nook for sure!

  29. Cathy

    What a fabulous space! Love where this is headed and look forward to seeing another gorgeous Naomi space!

  30. Kelly

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the daybed. We have a very eccentric house on the Atlantic coast and when the previous owner renovated, somehow the loft room, which has THE very best ocean views, got a 25” doorway that’s just 6′ tall. Can’t get a sofa bed up there, so we have two single mattresses as daybeds. But they look like two single mattresses more than daybeds. I’m counting on you, Naomi, for some inspiration!! Your room’s going to look great! (Wish I could paint my loft, but the 4 males in the family have vetoed painting the pine panelling.)

    • Naomi

      OH gosh, the pressure is on! Yea, I’m not sure yet, to be honest.

      And what is with males and stained pine! Ugh.

  31. Naomi,
    This space is going to be amazing. I cannot wait to see you transform it.


  32. Nancy

    Love the space Naomi and it will come alive with your color and style. Best of luck and at least you know it will get done with the ORC! Best of luck and have fun. xo Nancy

  33. Lisa

    Naomi, this space painted white already looks magical to me, I would love that! I can’t wait to see how you pull it all together and make it work for you!

  34. I love everything you design and I know this will be no exception. Starting with all white is killer on its own. You’ll knock it out of the park! Can’t wait. Abby

  35. I’ve LOVED following what you do every single time you take part in this challenge and literally DIE over how awesome this space is and how incredible I know it’s going to be when you’re done with it! xx

    • Naomi

      Thanks Love. I feel the same about you and your spaces!

  36. SUCH a great space!!! I love the idea of wallpaper in your office nook. And the daybed idea with storage is great. I can’t wait to see what you do! I love your style!

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