Before and After: Villanova Modern Organic Dining Room

Recently a longtime client called us back to design her dining room.  It sat empty for the first few years of living in the home and she was finally ready to enjoy the space.  But she didn’t want your typical formal, no-one-ever-uses it, forgotten dining room.  Instead she was envisioning more a lounge space.  The catch was, while it DIDN’T want to FEEL LIKE A DINING ROOM, it still needed to be able to functionally sit 20 at holidays.  Huh?  How do you create a LOUNGE that can seat 20 people and doesn’t feel like a banquet hall?  Turns out, it just took a little creative floor-planning and one custom multi-functional table.

Let’s start with the space itself.  Pros: vaulted ceiling, nice natural light, french doors out onto a deck.  Cons: the red and gold color scheme, the lack of furniture.

BEFORE

before--french-doors-and-accent-wall

THE PLAN

progress--palette

We needed a focal point.  We chose a textural ledgestone for an accent wall in the dining room.  While the room would be mostly neutral, we opted for a little pattern in the seating area.  Natural materials are star of this room; stone, rustic woods, leather, bronze.  The scheme of mostly gray with a hint of teal/ turquoise felt just right.

progress-design

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Before & After: Berwyn Bathroom Renovation

Fun bathroom Reveal to share with you guys today.  Every bathroom project we tackle is different.  Our big challenge with this space was figuring out the function and layout  for the room.  Once we worked that out it was all about the tile, tile, tile.  My clients started with a bathroom that was very white and blue.  While it was a simple and clean design, it was both (a little too) colorful and a little stark at the same time.  My goal was to create a bathroom that felt light and bright, but also had a little more depth.  I still wanted to incorporate color, but in a more subtle, layered way.    After searching high and low for the perfect statement tile, we found a pretty arabesque-like mosaic and built the palette from there.  The result, I dare say, is really beautiful.

Before you check out the Before and Afters, I did an extensive post on the design of this bathroom.  We discussed how we chose the layout, what was saved from the old bath and a little behind the scenes of the design and construction process.  If you would like to learn more about that, you can read the post HERE.

Now onto the pretty pictures!

BEFORE

master wide

AFTER

berwyn bath by design manifest

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Before & After: Indian Creek Dining Room

Yay its finally starting to feel like Spring around here so I thought I’d share a fresh dining room makeover that feels very fitting for the season.

I was called to do this project after we successfully updated their family room last year. I find a lot of people like to give me a “tester room” and once that goes well, we move on to a few more. Most of my clients are working with an interior designer for the first time and it can be a little daunting. I have no problem taking it slow and learning how to best bring their design goals to fruition. In this case, I had a good sense of style and the design and the room came together quite smoothly.

My client wanted to remove the dated elements (carpet, wallpaper) mix up the furnishings a little (So. Much. Blond. Wood.) and brighten things up in here.  Another main goal find a dining table that was more conducive to entertaining.  The loose leaves were too heavy for her to lift when she needed to extend the table.  After reviewing options we decided to build our own and teamed up with Coldren Design and build our own self-storing extension table.  The metal base provides a nice modern touch to the wood top.  And then there’s the sideboard.  We decided to keep theirs but had it lacquered the most amazing shade of blue (BM Bainbridge Blue) and WOW what a difference it made!  Art and curtains complete the room and add a necessary dose of color and pattern.

BEFORE

dining room before 2

dining curtain before

dining room before

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Before & After: Bala Cynwyd Kitchen

Few things give me as much joy as re-working a kitchen layout.  It’s weird, I know, but I get this natural high for tearing rooms apart and puzzle-piecing them back together.  I like improving function and flow.  I delight in making a dark space seem brighter.  Think your space is too small?  Maybe my layout will make it seem bigger.

Our Bala Cynwyd clients needed all of this with a dose of pretty on top.  They called us in hoping for a little kitchen magic.  Their kitchen was starting to go (cabinet doors were falling apart left and right,) the layout wasn’t working for them and the look wasn’t to my clients’ taste.  We lucked out and were able to raise a window allowing for base cabinets to run underneath of it.  This was a total game changer as a previously empty wall is now a work horse in the kitchen.  The tight U kitchen was transformed into a Double L with much better flow between work areas.  No idea what that means?  Let’s have the floor plans and pictures do the talking.

BEFORE

Bala Before Plan

Someone packed a lot of appliances and cabinets into previous kitchen design.

I have to hand it to them, the U shape was creative.  Plus the long lower counter sat up to 6.

But the space felt so crowded,.  There wasn’t good prep space

Also the family room felt really cut off from the kitchen.

Continue Post HERE

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Styling, Rugs, and small transformations

Oh man.  I’m back from Puerto Rico with so much to say and the blog gods are just not smiling upon me right now.  I’ve been working on 4 different posts to share with you and none of them are coming together at the moment.  The hour is turning later and later and I’m really just starting to hate the internet and computers in general.  So please forgive the post with lack of thougtful words and grainy pictures, but I’m just shooting from the hip here.

This is a little bit of Design Manifest, unfiltered.

Yesterday I finished another room for a longtime client.  It is a this small pass-through room that connects this living room…

1 living room- wide

(image by courtney apple)

with this family room

11 familly room - wide

(image by courtney apple)

Challenge number 1 is that these two rooms are pretty different,

so the middle room had to somehow tie the two together.

Challenge number 2 is that the room is small, with lots of openings.

BEFORE

study before 1

study before 2

The window opening above looks onto this table and chairs in the family room…

13 family room- table

(image by courtney apple)

Small space needed a little drama, and my client was down for some color on the walls.  The common color in both the family room and living room is blue, so we chose a bold hue to unify the three rooms…  {Don’t have a source for the blue, sorry!}

study empty

This room needs to function as an office and also a bar/ staging areas for gatherings.

We decided on minimal furnishings- a glass desk and a bookshelf.

Why overcrowd a small space?

With clean modern selections for furnishings, I knew I needed to find the perfect statement rug.

Luckily, my client shares my passion for gorgeous rugs.

These are the rugs we have sourced and purchased for her house.

design manifest rug sourcing- tribal, overdyed, flatweave

Oh baby.

For the office, I found a vintage tribal rug in the most exotic pink tone.

Processed with VSCOcam

This modern bookshelf does a nice job of filling the one long wall.

bookshelves empty

I sourced a few accesories for my client and also shopped the house to fill in the blanks.

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We also filled in with a few accessories in the bedroom.  It just didn’t feel finished with out them.  Sometimes its really subtle, but the right accessories can really make a difference in a room.

Lonely, naked console table

bedroom console no styling

Console table with a few pretties

bedroom console styled

s

Lonely, naked dresser

bedroom dresser no styling

Dresser with a few pretties

dresser styled

dresser top

bedroom 4

Sometimes its just a little thing, like a basket under a nightstand to hide wires and messy stuff.

green and blue bedroom design manifest

Sorry for the cruddy pictures.

I’m curious if you enjoy these “real life” decor updates, or if you think it is more impressive to wait see the finished the professional shots.