Project Craftsman Kitchen Reveal

I’m so excited to finally share finished shots of Project Craftsman.  This was such a great project to work on because the clients are just the nicest people ever and they were down to try something a little different.  I’ve long wanted to try a “two-tone” kitchen with wood base cabinets and white wall cabinets and I think the results turned out so great.  It’s a great mix of practicality (stained wood base cabinets are more forgiving) and aesthetics (white uppers really help brighten up the space.)  We designed a custom 3 panel door for the wall cabinets.  I love that it dresses up a simple shaker door but is still clean and classic.  The DM team did a great job executing all of the finishing details and turning this once ugly duckling kitchen into the happiest spot into the home.

design manifest kitchen stained wood base white wall cabinets


Before & After: Project Modern Organic Bathroom

Today I’m excited to share a bathroom renovation by my father and I that I LOVE.  I’ve posted some peeks during the process, but now you guys get the real deal.  This was a repeat client (our favorite!) as we previously designed and remodeled their kitchen.  We love when clients come back to us with new projects because A) it means we did a good job the first time and B) I already have a sense of their style and personality so it makes the project so much easier.

My client is really fun.  She gravitated towards a more modern aesthetic, but also wanted the space to be warm and comfortable.  She wasn’t afraid to take a few risks which is always a thrill for me.  Pushing your comfort zone always creates the best results.  When I walked into the finished bathroom I was just floored.  The guys transformed the space into something beautiful (and functional!)  Most importantly, my clients love it.  Score one for the home team.

gray stain linen cabinet antique mirrored doors design manifest

An antique-mirrored linen cabinet provides plenty of storage, including two hampers.


New Kitchen Project

Thought I’d share a little before and after today of a kitchen we recently completed.  This job was of note because it wasn’t a full renovation.  95% of the kitchens we do are full gut jobs.  Usually they are old, cramped, and need a major overhaul.  In this case, the kitchen was pretty functional except for a broken range and a few dated materials.

Due to the extra depth of the range, we needed to re-work things a bit, so we decided to improve this whole side of the kitchen.  Cabinets and a custom hood were built to match the rest of the kitchen.  Florata granite, a new tile backsplash and updated hardware complete the makeover.

dm kitchen 3 range and hood

Unfortunately my before pictures are kind of lacking.  The old range jutted out from the wall on an angle.  There was a downdraft hood and not a lot of counter space on either side.

old range

Off the range was a raised eating counter that jutted further into the room on an angle.  It ended up created a bottleneck of traffic getting in and out of the room with stools constantly in the way.

old peninsula

We decided to rework the area, keeping it clean and simple.  The range is now straight against the wall with plenty of prep space on either side.  The eating peninsula comes out straight into the room, creating more space and easy flow.  We also kept the eating area at counter height.   Now it can double as an extra prep zone.  I happen to hate raised counters for eating.  I think they are uncomfortable, unsightly and break up counter space.

dm kitchen peninsula and hood

Open shelves are a nice place to store cookbooks and vases.  I like how the open space allowed us to take the tile all the way up the wall.

dm kitchen open shelves

Speaking of the tile, I Love the detail we created above the range.  Tone-on-tone with a pattern change is subtle, pretty and sophisticated.  This isn’t some trendy tile accent my clients will tire of in a few years!  (Such a common mistake in kitchen renos.)

dm kitchen 2 curved hood backsplash detail

Lighting is always a place to have a little fun in the kitchen.

dm kitchen black capiz shell pendant dm kitchen peninsula

Really happy with how this one turned out.  I hope my clients’ enjoy it for many years to come!

dm kitchen 1 white knotty pine floor

DM Project: Client W Living Room Before and After

Hey guys.  Today is a fun today because it’s the last Before & After Project for Client W.  This room- the living room- also happens to be my favorite room in the house.  We started with great bones; windows on three sides, great light and a fireplace.  

The real issue was the furniture arrangement.  With the sofa cross-wise in the space, it cut the room in the half and the beautiful back windows weren’t being enjoyed.  We decided to move things around, add seating, remove the television armoire and update the fireplace mantel.

Here is the room before… 

We moved the sofa to the long wall and made a slipcover for it to soften the modern lines.  The Barcelona chairs moved to the back windows.  This is now a lovely reading area.  I never liked the back of the Barcelonas at the front of the room, but the new settee has a lovely back and I think it fits well here.

My clients really didn’t care for the old fireplace.  The mantel wasn’t their style and the gas function didn’t appeal to them.

Since they have a working wood fireplace in their Family Room, we disconnected this gas fireplace and filled it will logs.  We also designed a new wood mantel.  Christiana Cabinetry made the mantel for us.  The mirror above was a vintage find.

One of my goals with the space was to mix traditional and global pieces in with my clients’ existing modern furnishings.  We replaced the low modern sideboard to the right of the fireplace with a vintage ebonized commode.  It took me months to find a piece that wasn’t crazy expensive but I’m so happy with the one we ended up scoring.

Here we see the French Settee with commode and foyer in the background.  The oil paintings were part of my clients collection.  When paired in threes they look three times more chic.  The middle pillow was one of the first fabrics I chose for the room.  I love it!  (Some of you may recognize that I used a scrap of this fabric in my own loft.)

As I mentioned above, it’s the same sofa as before, just covered with a slipcover and lots of fun pillows!  We continued the theme of yellow, pink and blue that we have going on in the contiguous foyer, powder room and dining room.  The rug is an over-dyed Persian.  It totally makes the room.

One of my favorite details is the vintage Blanc de Chine table lamps.  The iron end tables are pretty fun too, though.

The coffee table is a great weathered wood in a cross pattern.  No need for coasters here!  Actually the whole room was designed with my clients young sons in mind.  Even the white cotton slipcover can be pulled off and washed.

We added a tulip table between my clients Barcelona chairs.  Behind them is a vintage Asian console I stumbled upon while shopping one day in Philadelphia.  The fiddle leaf fig and driftwood floor lamp balance out each side.

One last look at the coffee table styling.  My clients gave me carte blanche and I had a fun time mixing in vintage and new items.

And that, my friends, is the last of Project Client W.  That is until we tackle the master suite.  Hopefully next year?  I feel so fortunate for having such amazing clients who totally get my vision!

I hope you liked the tour.   Get caught up on the dining room, foyer, powder room and family room.

Thank you to Courtney Apple for taking al of the lovely images

DM Project: Client W Dining Room Before and After

It’s Thursday and I have another project reveal for you! So far I’ve shown you Client W’s foyer, powder room and family room and today it’s the dining room.  We did a big transformation of the space and I really love the modern  bohemian feel.

We tackled the architectural elements first with wainscot and paint.

The walls needed some real attention in this room.  We were dealing with the same bumpy plaster as in the foyer, but instead of smoothing it out with a plaster coat, we opted for a flat paint in a dark gray color.  (Flat paint hides imperfections the best.)  The DM crew installed wainscot on the lower portion of the walls.  I love how the crisp white offsets the gray and the detailing makes the room more traditional and finished.  

Note: we painted the window mullions.  I like how they look like iron windows now.

3 gold stars if you remember me sharing this portion of the project forever ago.

Next we filled in with furnishings.  My clients like modern, but not too cold, so I thought the combination of the Panton chairs with the farm-style trestle table was perfect.  The family can eat at the table with no worries of scratching or denting the rustic top.  I love the chairs too because they can be wiped down so easily.  Perfect for a family.  The skirted head chairs were a nice softening balance.  I need to mix in some traditional with my modern.  The warm pink rug ties in nicely with the one in the foyer.  Flatweaves are great for dining rooms- easier to clean.  Oh and the chandelier?  I’ve had a crush on it for a long time and it was fun to be able to use it.  (

I should note though that when the lights are on the color is a little weird.  It wasn’t a home run for us.)

We had a little “moment” in the bay window.  The lacquer console by Jonathan Adler is such a great piece.  We paired it with two x-stool cover in yellow Chinoiserie silk.  I don’t have any good pictures of the stools!  So sad- they are really pretty.

I love the sideboard we used in the room.  It’s modern yet classic at the same time.  I like how structured it is compared the dining table.  It helps formalize things a bit without being stuffy.

This is just a terrible spec shot I took myself but I wanted  to share this angle of the chairs.  I don’t use a ton of mid-century pieces in my work, but it was fun to use these iconic chairs .  Oh and I love that mirror from West Elm.  It’s such an inexpensive way to add a little pizzazz to a wall.  (Great across from windows to reflect light!)

I’d say its quite the transformation.  I really love the space now and I know the family has been enjoying it.  Can I just say, I love when people actually use their dining rooms?  I think that’s cool.

Philadelphia Area peeps, we are for hire!  What can we transform for you?

Tune in next week, I am sharing my absolute favorite room in the house.  The living room.  It’s good, guys.