Best of 2015

Well just like that it seems the year is over.  Today is Dad’s birthday, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas then off I go to Morocco.  2015 has truly been a standout year.  The wallpaper alone has made it a magical one for me.

Thanks so much to our clients and supporters for letting me do what I love.  I feel so fortunate to work with such great people.  Sweet, cool, excellent taste, trusting… Our clients are the best!

I cannot wait to professionally photograph this year’s projects and show them off proper.  Until then, here is my best of 2015.

Best of 2015

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all.

See you in 2016.



Taking on Design Projects for 2016!

kitchen renovation experts

The holidays are fast approaching and while I’m looking forward to a little break (and my amazing trip to Morocco!!) I’ve also got my eye on 2016.  It’s looking to be a fabulous year of renovations!  We are starting to schedule our new design projects for January and February and still have spots left.  We specialize in several types of design- decorating, bathrooms, additions, but my favorite is kitchen design.  I LOVE me some kitchens and I think our plans and finish specifications are the best around the Philadelphia area.  For smooth, stress-free kitchen renovations, we recommend beginning the design process 6 months before you plan to begin construction.  So if you are planning to bring your dream kitchen to life this summer, this winter is the best time to begin the design process with us.


Here are a few of my favorite kitchen designs.  I’m really looking forward to taking on more fabulous kitchen remodels next year!


North Ardmore Kitchen by Design Manifest

design manifest kitchen featured in consumer reports

Villanova Kitchen by Design Manifest

Design-Manifest-Petite-Kitchen-Makeover-one room challenge

Havertown Kitchen by Design Manifest

Curved-White-hood-gradient mosaic backsplash by design manifest- 1500


Bala Cynwyd Kitchen by Design Manifest

What we do:

Space Planning Solutions: Re-working floor plans, removing walls, maximizing space.

Construction Documents:  Clearly specified drawings, Floor Plans and Elevations, Electrical Plans.

Cabinetry Specification:  Custom Design, Detailed/ Itemized Cabinet Plan,  Style and Finish Specification.  Cabinet Sales & Installation.

Kitchen Specification:  Appliances, Plumbing Fixtures, Flooring / Window / Wall Treatments, Countertops, Backsplash, Decorative Lighting, Cabinet Hardware to complete the room.

Project Management:  Assist clients in selecting qualified contractors.  Job site visits.

villanova kitchen 4

Villanova Kitchen by Design Manifest

Designer Tip:

Shallow pantries are my favorite!  I want to open the doors and have every item within eyesite.


Feel free to reach out to us at naomi @  or give us a call at the office 610-667-7711

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…



Quickie Tile Update- Gladwne Master Bath

Whoa, Wednesday, you snuck up on me fast this week!  Sorry guys, I did not make time to properly prepare for a blog post this week, so instead I’m posting some progress shots from the Gladwyne bath jobsite.  This is going to be our client’s shower and I’m already obsessed.  A subtle geometric pattern, marble baseboard, crown moulding, a “floating leg” bench… this one has a lot of fun details.  See more posts about this project here and here.

shower pre tile

Shower pre wall tile- You can see 2″ hex shower floor and wood-look porcelain outside shower.

bathroom floor

Another shot of the bathroom floor.  That’s porcelain tile.

design manifest shower bench

Shower bench gets set, plus starting marble base moulding below.

design manifest tile work- shower niche

Shampoo niche.

design manifest tile work- crown moulding

The ceilings are so high in here that we could run wood crown throughout the whole room without concerns about moisture.

design manifest tile work- patterened tile and basemoulding

Pretty, Pretty.

So that’s just a little something the guys have accomplished in the past few days.  As for me, some projects are starting to wind down, while new ones are going full steam ahead.  If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen my post about being super overworked and tired.  While our schedule remains quite busy,  I’m happy to report I spent 3 days of Labor Day weekend doing zero design work at all.  Instead I went to a football game, swam in a lake and sipped cocktails by the harbor.  It was awesome and reinvigorating.

On a note about busyness, Sometimes I do worry my transparency about work load and my own personal state may scare people away, but it’s the only way I know how to be.  I always try to conduct myself and business practices in the most honest and accurate way possible. I’m not interested in portraying some facade of perfection… I just don’t have the energy or interest in that.  For those who hope to work with us in the future, we ARE taking on new clients.  We are 8-10 weeks out … which is so worth the wait!  We try to keep our project load smaller to give our current clients the best possible service and attention.

Thanks to all of you who check in on this blog.  See you next week!

What We are Working on Right Now… Historic Gladwyne Renovation

It is extremely convenient that both of our major renovation projects right now are in Gladwyne (like 2 minutes apart) which happens to be a 10 minute drive from my house.  I talked about the master bathroom remodel we are doing two weeks ago (see this post here,) and today I thought I would share about our other project.   It’s a doozy.  A historic home… pretty sure the oldest section was built in 1690… in need of a complete gut job.   We have been working on designs for months and now demolition has begun.  It’s pretty awesome to work on this kind of project and I’m really looking forward to the transformation.


{The Oldest Section of the House}

As most old houses go, this one has seen a lot of renovations and sadly was stuck somewhere between the 80’s and plain dilapidation.  This is the kitchen.  Not exactly fitting for a historic home, right?

kitchen before

Before hiring us, our clients worked with a team of architects for several months on plans for the remodel.  Items to be revamped included a new grand front staircase, major wall removal (including a chimney removal,) kitchen, master suite and 2-3.5 bathrooms.  When we came to look at the project, the first thing I zeroed in on were the plans for the kitchen.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and my opinion its the most important room when remodeling a house.

Here is the original design plan.  Note where it says “New Door” A- that is the main entrance for the homeowners.


Reviewing other people’s design plans is always a little tricky.  I didn’t want to insult the architects or poop on a plan that my clients’ were really happy about.  But, the fact of the matter is that I thought I could design something better.  I thought the kitchen felt RRRRREALLY far from the family room.  Also there was no mudroom, no pantry and I didn’t like how the entry door split right through the work area- cutting into travel zone from fridge to sink to cooktop.  And then there was the breakfast bar… that eating area was also far from the kitchen.  The peninsula eating area with one  sided entry felt way too contemporary to me.  I would want a kitchen that had all of the modern amenities, but also felt right at home in a very old home.  Luckily my clients were open-minded to new ideas and they let me play.

Here is the future “Breakfast Area.”  The fireplace and wall will come out and open up to the family room.

breakfast area before

And here is my kitchen design that our client’s approved…

naomi's kitchen design for historic home

We plan to move the kitchen into the former “breakfast area” making it more centrally located and closer to the family room.  The back wall, which housed the range in the original plan will be closed off and turned into a mudroom/ pantry.

old house kitchen rendering

As I mentioned above, demolition began a couple of weeks ago.  The wall with chimney is now gone!  Hello family room.

kitchen demolition

Seeing the space opened up was amazing!!  Now our client is re-thinking a few things.  Do we relocate the bathroom above the kitchen to allow for a cathedral ceiling?  Do we spend the extra money to lower the kitchen floor to make it level with the family room?  Do we remove the back stair to allow for a slightly larger kitchen space?  These are all up to our clients, but we will be there to make adjustments as needed.

This project will take several months, so no quickie reveal anytime soon.  Nevertheless, it’s a fun one for me and Dad :)