Cottage Update: The current state of the Living Room

My living room is one of my favorite rooms in the house even though its not intentionally decorated.  It’s just a mix of stuff that I already had placed together.  It’s simple enough: a neutral base, black trimmed curtains to add a little formality, a mix of textiles to add a little color and fun, vintage pieces to add a little soul, and family heirlooms to add a little heart.

It’s not my vision, its not some kind of design thesis statement, but its a happy comfortable space.  I didn’t style anything when I snapped these pics- this is literally just the way I live.  So if it doesn’t look perfect, like something out of a magazine, you’ll just have to understand that I’m not going for that.  It’s all just a work in progress that I tweak and move around on a continual basis.  But for now, here is my living room, plus a few snaps of what it used to be.

Neutral Boho living room Design Manifest

My sofa, with its mid-century lines, isn’t sink-into-it comfortable, so I replaced my coffee table with my ottoman/bench.  Putting your feet up makes everything more cozy.  I’m pretty anal about damaging the delicate La Fiorentina upholstery, so I layered a vintage suzani over it.  I like the look and the practicality of it.

DM living room sofa end table art DM living room embroidered pillow DM living room wood brass end table DM living room art

On the right side of the sofa I mixed Caitlin Wilson’s coral fretwork pillow with an embroidered steal from Urban Outfitters. (No longer end available.)  The end table is a great brass/wood/white mid-century piece that I won at an auction awhile ago.  (I used to be obsessed with furniture auctions… I guess I still am, but no longer have the free hours to stalk.)  The Indian piece of art is one my favorites- it’s actually 3D, with fabric and beading embellishing the piece.  I like to mix brass, gold and silver and you can see that clearly in this vignette, with the brass elephant (a thoughtul gift from Miss Tobe,) silver tray, brass sconces etc.  I like that it feels more collected.

living room before

living room before with door

The original living room was quite teeny: 10×15 with the front door opening right into the space.  When we removed the half walls it felt so much more open!!  The front store is still right there, but it works.  It’s cozy.

DM living room corner

DM living room black front door and sofa

I painted my front door black.  I love it.  When in doubt, paint it black.

DM living room round end table DM living room pillow detail chinoiserie pink fretwork DM living room black trimmed curtains la fiorentina ottoman

The left side features a vintage round table loaned to me by my sister, Megan.  My family is often rotating furniture around among ourselves.  I traded this piece for my wicker stools.   The pillows are different over here, but balanced out by the use of the coral fretwork again.  I have a few general rules for pillows- 1.  Don’t match patterns exactly- ie do one the same, and one different.  2. Don’t match the quantity of pillows on each side.  I lean towards the 2-3 combo.

DM living room front door and fireplace

On the other side of my front door is the fireplace.  It has yet to be used, but I’m really hoping I light her up this winter!  I gave myself a few coat hooks and built-in some shelves in what used to be an awkward alcove.  I keep my keys, dog stuff and various trinkets right there.  It’s pretty handy.

naomis fireplaceFireplace Before

DM living room fireplace alcove shelves

Fireplace After

Ain’t it great what a coat of paint can do?

DM living room fireplace wall

I was extremely insistent that a mirror go above my fireplace instead of a television.  One, because I wanted to reflect the light from the windows and two, because I didn’t want the TV to be the first thing you saw when you walked in the door.  So I mounted it just to the left instead.

DM living room fireplace tv art wall

I surrounded the TV with art.  Just stuff I already have.  I’m still tinkering with this area, particularly what’s on the bar cart.  It’s kinda lame right now… but I’ll get around to it when I feel inspired.  Maybe I’ll add art, maybe I’ll take some away.  I like that many people don’t notice the TV at first… that was the idea.

DM living room television art wall

Wide shots kinda suck in this format, but here’s a better perspective of this wall’s before and after…  Ugly old fireplace again:

naomis fireplace

New configuration with half wall gone, stairs re-built, fireplace painted and shelves installed.

fireplace wall wide

And that’s the end of my tour!  This space will continue to evolve for sure.  I still want to find or refurbish to chairs to go to the right of my sofa.  I do entertain quite regularly and there never seems to be enough seating.  Fingers crossed that I stumble upon something good that works with the space. xx


Hope you enjoyed the long post.  I’m finishing up a vacation and it seemed the easiest time to share something.  What do you want to see next?


xo Naomi

Cottage Update: Kitchen 90% Done

Ugggg.  I pulled my back out this weekend.  I think the universe is trying to tell me I’m taking on too much.  In preparation for my first house guests next weekend, I’ve been furtively trying to finish up the One Room Challenge early AND pull together the entire house.  Too many rooms, too little time, money and physical strength.  It ain’t gonna get done.

The idea of entertaining without things being perfect kinda tweaks me out.  It’s hard sharing a design mid-process, whether it be on the blog, or in person.  I’m fully aware that it’s my own expectations that are too high and my friends will not judge me so harshly.   Ultimately, come Friday, I’ll let out a big sigh, pour a glass of wine and relax with my besties.  But until then, its obsess, work, and spend my evenings making magic happen.

The good news is the kitchen is functional and 90% complete.  My old cabinets are painted and in place, my island is assembled, my countertops are down and tools and food are put away.   The dishwasher is broken, (thanks a lot, previous owners,) but at least the sink is working.  I still have some finishing touches to do: lighting,  hardware, stools, shelf styling,and the whole back wall.  Overall though, it’s looking good and functioning well.

 kitchen- blue cabinets- open shelves- microwave on refrigerator

I did this kitchen on an extreme budget.  The cabinetry, appliances, sink and faucet were re-used from the original kitchen.  I hope to be able to upgrade in a few years, but at least I don’t have to live with ugly in the meanwhile.  Isn’t it impressive what a coat of turquoise paint can do 80’s laminate cabinet doors?  The paint is Benjamin Moore Deep Ocean.   

kitchen before

Need I remind you what this wall used to look like?

PS- all you need is a good primer.  Ask your paint specialist.

I did a mixture of open shelves and closed cabinetry on the sink wall.  I have a great collection of glassware- mostly from my Nana- and I wanted to enjoy seeing it.


The shelf brackets are Ikea, sprayed gold.  Still need to fill the screws.

The shelf below my wall cabinet is my mug shelf.  I plan to only stock it with blue and white mugs.  More on that soon.

For countertops, I did the cheapest thing possible; White Laminate.   I like that its clean and simple- it’s not the focal point in this kitchen.  Obviously laminate is not great function-wise.  I can’t put down hot stuff and its not good to let water sit on laminate counters.  Eventually I’d love to have quartzite counters, but for now, it’ll do.

The microwave looks a little lonely hanging out above the refrigerator.  It was the best place for it as I definitely didn’t want it on the counter or above the stove,  Still, I think I may need to add a shelf above it or utilize the height some how.  Also, the dish strainer… the bane of the kitchen.  Hoping to come up with something more chic, but at least it functions.

kitchen- black island- blue cabinets- open shelves

While my perimeter cabinets are blue, I decided to paint the island black.  I think it helps the kitchen feel more classic and not too saturated or juvenile.   The cabinet and the wood top are stock Ikea pieces.  The feet are supposed to be stainless, but I spray painted them gold.  The hardware will be brass.  No stools yet, so I’ll share them on the next update.

kitchen-black island

I love this island!  This is where I do the majority of my prep work.  It has great storage.  The wood top sucks though.  It needs about two more coats of polyurethane.

kitchen-tribal rug

 From day 1 I knew I wanted my favorite pink and blue tribal rug (a vintage find at a local thrift store) in the kitchen.

Here’s my new range wall.  I re-used all of my appliances but I did buy a new hood from Ikea.  I love a black hood.  Stainless was never an option for me.  I don’t mind it for a range or even a refrigerator, but for the hood I wanted some clean and classic that didn’t compete with my brass and gold accents.  Black is forever.  Plus it goes with my island.

kitchen-black range hood- black island- tribal rug- blue cabinets

Did you notice there is no backsplash tile, just drywall.? Of course I’d love subway tile here, but it doesn’t make sense right now.  Since this is a cheapo-temporary kitchen, we didn’t want to put it up and then rip it down in two years…and take all the new drywall down with it!

The DM team hung shelves in the deep window well.  I haven’t organized this area yet.  I think it will be a mix of snack in glass canisters, cookbooks, and a few plants. I love that everything here will be in easy reach, but won’t junk up the counter.

kitchen-shelves in window


I have something special planned for the back wall, but right now its naked.  I’m also saving my pennies to replace this door with a 15-lite glass door.  This is the south side of the house and it gets great light.  I want to brighten up the first floor and enjoy the view of my little back yard.

kitchen wide shot in progress

And that is the kitchen, so far.

I’m planning a post on storage  and function soon.

 What do you guys think?

See the floor plan HERE.

And full before shots HERE.


Hood / Island / Wood Countertop / Cabinet Color (Blue)

The State of Things

Mornin’… Monday already?  This was my first weekend living in the house.  I expected a quiet weekend spent at home unpacking, nesting and relaxing.  Unfortunately the social side of me won out again and I ended up out both nights and much of the days.  How is a girl supposed to decorate and have a life?

Last night I pulled up all of the drop cloths to reveal my new wood floors.  It was a exciting moment to see them in all their glory as they were covered up as soon as they were installed.  Budget was a big factor here and I did quite a bit of shopping around to find a a suitable brown stain in my price range.  I went with Mullican’s St Andrew’s series in Oak Dark Chocolate.  The wood is prefinished and I did 3″ wide planks.  We painted to the baseboard black for a little drama.  I love the contrast of dark floors, dark base and white walls (BM Swiss Coffee.)  I can’t wait to fill them with art!

first floor empty

That’s my new kitchen island you see in the back.  More on that soon.

Things are really moving along, though and I have so much to share.  It’s just a matter of photographing and deciding the best way to reveal spaces.  This is where you guys come in.  Do you like the weekly progression- similar to how I am sharing the One Room Challenge for the bedroom makeover?  Do you want me to stick to one room at a time?  What room do you want to see next?  Or do you like random updates about everything?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.

I also just wanted to take a moment to address the state of this blog.  In the past, I have done product round-ups and shown a lot of room inspiration on top of my own work.  Recently, with business being so busy (thank goodness!) and the cottage renovation in full swing, the blog has pretty much been dedicated to Cottage updates along with an occasional project reveal.  I simply cannot make the time to come up with other content.  I hope you guys will forgive my singular focus.  Actually, I hope you really enjoy it.  Certainly when the Cottage is complete, I will return to a more well-rounded blog, but until then, this is what I can offer you.

Thanks, as always, for following along.  Toodles…

living room before

The First Floor, Before.

See more of the original space here.


Cottage Update: 3rd Floor Lounge ready for its makeover

When it comes to the Cottage, I’m all over the place.  Due to the One Room Challenge, I’m committed to finishing my bedroom, but after that I don’t really know what room I’ll do next.  I don’t have the budget to do my living room properly right now, so instead I think I’ll focus on my 3rd floor lounge.  I’m re-using pieces up there and its going to have a really loose bohemian feel.

My dad hung my string ball chandelier this week and I was just so excited I had to share a little snapshot.

string ball chandelier design manifest

Here’s how it used to look in the old loft.  (Note about loft pictures- I’m still getting that page set up but you can see all loft related posts through this link or the tag on the left “Naomi’s Place.”)

dining room naomis loftimage: Courtney Apple Photography

Also, if you missed it on instagram, here is the lounge all painted.  Well actually the floor needs another coat, but you get the idea.  Remember way back in October I was debating between refinishing the wood or painting it white?  Well I went against what most of you voted for and did what I wanted.  And I love it.  With all the angles in one room I really just like the walls, ceilings and floors being the same.  This is going to be where all the cool kids hang out.

3rd floor lounge painted white design manifest

PS- I must say that instagram is really my favorite form of social media.  I’m so often on the run and don’t have time to compose long blog posts, but its really easy to share updates and pretties this way.  If you don’t follow me, you really should.  Wink Wink.  (DesignManifest)

3rd floor 2

Let’s not forget where we started.  Don’t miss that carpet one bit.

That’s all for me guys.  Happy Thurzday.

One Room Challenge, Week 3: The Curtains

Dayum, Guys, I’m not going to lie: I impressed myself this week.  With some serious  help from my amazing mother, I took some simple white Ikea curtains, fuschia Greek key trim and made myself some custom window treatments for my bay window.  I just love love love the way they frame the windows and soften the room.  The white is the perfect crisp pop against the teal walls and the little bit of pink is both girly and tailored.

orc week 2 curtains

There are three windows in the bay and 4 curtains.

Yes, they are functional, but I may just use the shades.

orc week 3 curtains closed

The curtains have Greek Trim on both long sides, but not on the bottom.

(I felt that would be too busy.)

My mom sewed the trim.  She is so awesome!

orc week 2 greek key curtain detail

Speaking of the trim, I’m OBSESSED!

I told you the room would be a little preppy and a little bohemian.  This is one of my preppy touches.

orc pink trim detail

First of all, I need to say that I was totally inspired by this blog post by Emily A Clark.  She also has bay windows and her curtains look fabulous.  Armed with the information she shared, I headed to Ikea to buy curtain rods and bendable corner units to go in between windows.  I went with the thinner rods in black.  In my opinion curtain rods should always be thin and always be black.  Finials at the end should be petite as well.  I actually don’t have any ball finials yet, but I’ll probably add some to keep the ends of my curtains in place.

window components

Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the rods I used (it was the thinnest one) but above are the other components- brackets, rings and Racka corner units.  The rings come with clips and hooks and I opted to use the hooks for a cleaner finish.


We used 4 brackets and then attached the three rods and two corner units.

windows with hardware up

For the middle curtains, I put half the rings on one side of the bracket and half on the other.  This way I can open and close the curtains.  Also, I used 7 rings per panel.  I could have used 10, but I would have run out!

For curtains, I used Ikea Ritva.  I absolutely love these curtains.  They are 100% cotton and $25/pair.  You really can’t beat that.  Since this curtain comes in 98″ length, we also had to cut them and add a new hem.   We used Stitch Witchery which is an easy no-sew option to shorten the hem.  I won’t bore you with the details on that- I’m sure a million other crafty blogs have given that DIY.

curtain trim detail

I ordered 30 yards of THIS trim in deep pink from M&J Trimmings.  (PS- for 6 panels I had JUST enough.  I would recommend getting yourself an extra yard or two.)  I ironed the panels and cut the trim into curtain length sections (plus 2″ to fold over edges) while my wonderful Mama did the heavy sewing.  Had I done this alone it would have taken me days and been a crooked ugly mess.  I’m very fortunate to have a helpful family.  I could never do my DIYs without them!

orc week 3 curtains and nightstand

I did steam the curtain after I hung them, though I may go back again and hit the edges.  See how they don’t lay totally flat?  It bugs me, but its not too bad for a DIY.

I haven’t finished the set for the 4th window yet because I’m not super human and my mom had to watch Downton Abbey.   I’ll share it if we finish it up.  Or maybe I’ll just never share that wall again.  I kid, I kid.

And that, my friends, was a busy week!  Be sure to check in with my friends below.


Chinoiserie Chic

Classic Casual Home 

the Cottage Mix

Cottage & Vine

Design Indulgence

Everything LEB

Hodge Podge

Kim Macumber Interiors

Little Black Door

Matters of Style

My Crafty Home Life

Nicole Scott Designs

Pacific Family Homes

Pawleys Island Posh

the Peak of Tres Chic

the Pink Pagoda

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Coming Up Next Week:
Honestly I have no clue.  I be tired.  But I promise to pull something together
Previous Bedroom Updates