Petite Hall Bath Makeover

Hello Lovers!  As you read this I am in the midst of a week-long Puerto Rican Vacation with my beau.  This is a much needed break for the both of us and I can’t wait to report back on what I hope is a fabulous adventure.

Here’s a quick little post for you.  Courtney Apple snapped a few photos of this teeny bathroom we remodeled last year and I never got around to sharing.    Remember the petite master bathroom I revealed several weeks ago?  Well this is the same house and this bathroom is even smaller than the last.  There were no new layout options, so we simply updated fixtures and mechanicals.  New wallpaper, lighting, tile, faucets and fittings and boom! its a fresh new space.  Sorry for the lack of angles- this room is just too small.


guest med cab

guest sink

Here’s the plan I showed my client…

petite hall bath

I started with the wallpaper- a delicate ginko -

and then layered on some extra green with a Ming and Thassos basketweave marble tile.

We lightened up the walls with a classic white subway tile.

We added a border of ming marble on the walls for a little intrigue.

A mix of brass fixtures and lighting warm of the crisp room.



hall bath with paper up

hall bathroom wall sconce- design manifest

faucet detail design manifest hall bath

I typically like a widespread faucet, but in a sink this small, a single handle faucet allows for more counter space.

guest tub and window wall

floor and wall detail hall bath design manifest

Small bathroom, short story!

See you next week… hoping to keep the reveals coming : )

Petite Master Bathroom BEFORE & AFTER

Happy Hump Blog Day!  That sounds a little weird right?  I’ll have to come up with a more catchy term for blogging Wednesday.  This week is a busy one for us and the next three days are looking to be long ones.  Now that we’ve fully recovered from the holiday season we are diving full force into the first of the new projects for the year.  I’m REALLY pumped for what we are working on right now.  I feel lucky to have clients with such a diverse variety of  taste and wants.   We’ve been having lots of fun with tile (mostly marble,) wallpaper, fabrics, rugs, leather, wood, metal, lighting, lighting and more lighting.  It’s a droolfest over here between me and my assistant, Rachael.

Speaking of drooling, today I have a little treat for you.  My favorite teeny bathroom yet! Design and built by Dad and me!  And No I don’t say that about all of them.  This is a project we completed last year that I teased a few weeks ago.  Calling it a master bathroom is kinda funny because its the size of a postage stamp, but alas Philadelphia is full of old houses with teeny bathrooms and we have to do the best we can to steal inches and make them as efficient as possible.

Here are a few BEFORES.  Be warned, they ain’t pretty…

master sink

mast med cab before



Year in Review // What We Built

Hello, 2015!  I’m back!!!  On the blog.  Ready to take this year by the horns.  Lots of good things to come and one my resolutions is to share more with you.   Can I keep my resolution?    I’m thinking realistic goals will be the key to any kind of blog consistency success.  Once a week.  Every Wednesday.  Will you join me in some fun?

For my first post of the year, I thought we’d look back… to last year.  Last year was epic.  Lots of projects.  Amazing clients. Tons of custom creations.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  And proud.  Damn Proud of what we’ve created at DM.

Here’s a little review of what we built in 2014

JANUARY // Custom Wingback Chairs

We found these old chairs and made them over for a client.  New steel base, new fabulous patterned fabric takes these chairs from grandma to chic.  I love statement head chairs in a dining room.

wingback chair before after design manifest

FEBRUARY// Dream Master Bath

We began this master bath renovation that includes lots of delightful details like waterjet tile in the shower and floating mirrors in front of windows.  That’s just the start of the good stuff in here.  Cannot wait to photograph this house properly.

malvern bath details design manifest

MARCH // Hip yet Traditional Living Room

We designed and installed this living room that featured a custom metal and stone coffee table.  We reupholstered an old bergere chair with a stripe down the middle.  The rest of the upholstery is new including a delicious green velvet sofa.

wynnewood hip traditional design manifest

APRIL // Preppy Bohemian Bedroom

We brought this previously empty bedroom to life with a mix shapes, color, pattern and textures.  My client was game for an eclectic mix that included mid-century pieces and chinoiserie touches.  The suzani bedspread is vintage.

preppy bohemian bedroom

MAY //  An attic becomes a Lounge

We transformed my 3rd floor into a delightful lounge space complete with reclaimed wood daybed and wallpapered nook.  The TV stand is a custom Coldren Design creation.

lounge design manifest

You can see full detail and sources for this room HERE

JUNE // Shades of Gray in the Kitchen

Love this kitchen we started in May.  The base cabinets are charcoal gray, while the uppers are a light gray.  Brass accents provide a nice pop.  The island is made from reclaimed wood.

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JULY // A Tapered  Fireplace

We added a gas fireplace to a previously blank wall in a bedroom.  The mantel is a textured cement.

custom fireplace design manfiest

AUGUST // Custom Steel Upholstered Canopy Bed

Love this custom creation we built in collaboration with Coldren Design!  The curved upholstered headboard juxtapose perfectly with the clean lines of the modern canopy bed.

custom steel upholstered canopy bed design manifest

SEPTEMBER // Bathrooms, Bathrooms, Bathrooms

We designed and built a ton of bathrooms this year.  From clean and classic to contemporary each had unique custom touches.

custom bathrooms by design manifest

OCTOBER // Family Room Facelift

Amazing what paint, a slipcover and new textiles can do to a space.  We kept key pieces like the sofa, but refreshed the rest of my client’s family room.

familly room refresh design manifest

NOVEMBER // Petite Kitchen Renovation

We renovated a small, dark kitchen into this hip beauty with custom range hood, mosaic gradient backsplash and waterfall island.

petite kitchen by design manifest

You can see full detail and sources for this room HERE

DECEMBER // A Living room with custom touches

A 4′ x 4′ custom designed patchwork cowhide ottoman anchors this living room we installed just before the end of the year.  We also completely re-did the fireplace mantel and sourced all of the furnishings included the faded pink vintage Turkish rug.

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All images shown are rooms / cabinetry / furniture custom designed and built by Design Manifest (ie Dad and myself.)

We frequently collaborate with Coldren Design to bring these pieces to life.

Please contact us if you would like something custom built for you.


I have linked to two of the rooms that feature full details and sources.

The rest of these rooms have not been professionally photographed yet and blog posts with sources have not been compiled.

Stay tuned for more pictures and sources in months to come.

One Room Challenge {Petite Kitchen} Week 6 FINALE

Welcome to the  final week of the One Room Challenge!  If you have been following along from the beginning then you have seen me and  my father completely transform our client’s kitchen over the past 6 weeks.  If you are just tuning in today, you are in for a big treat because I’ll be sharing those requisite Before photos along with our super sparkly After shots courtesy of Courtney Apple.

Courtney was such a trooper and stopped by this Monday afternoon to photograph the kitchen.  We were literally cleaning up paint cans, fastening electrical plates and pulling up masonite (wood floor protection) right before she showed up.  We could not have timed this puppy any closer.  Truth be told, we aren’t completely done; the wood floors need their final (3rd) coat of finish and so we did not move the dining room furniture back into the space.  My clients have also not filled in the new cabinets with all of their kitchen goodies.  I brought over a few of my own stuff to do a little shelf styling.  Overall though, I think you’ll get a good sense of the new space.

{Need to Catch Up?}

WEEK 1 / WEEK 2 / WEEK 3 / WEEK 4 / WEEK 5

Before we renovated the kitchen it was a dark, cramped space.  At 8’7 by 14’8 not only was it not very functional to work in, it was impossible to photograph!  (Helllooo how can I show a proper Before and After if I can’t even photograph the room?)

View from the Dining Room Before

kitchen from dining room- before

It took a little convincing, but our clients agreed to let us remove the wall between the kitchen and the dining room.

View from the Dining Room Week 3

walls and floors out in petite kitchen

Now, with the wall gone, it is a completely different.  Open, bright, and incredibly inviting.  Actually words don’t do it justice,

without further ado, check out the space today…



The Textile Selection Process {Malvern Reno}

One of the biggest elements when pulling a room together is the textiles.  Sometimes developing the textile scheme is quick and easy.  The vision is clear, favorites are chosen and we move on.  Other times it needs to develop organically and evolve over time.   The latter has been the situation one of our current projects, Malvern Reno.

For those who follow DM on instagram, you may recognize the hashtag #malvern reno.  This has been a big construction and decorating project the boys and I have worked on for several months.   We first tackled a big master bathroom and dressing room reconfiguration and renovation and then I began the process of redecorating the bedroom.

We started completely from scratch in the master bedroom with my client wanting to take a departure from her typical style.  (Typical style being elegant, traditional and mostly neutral with green.)  I always welcome the chance to take clients out of their comfort zone, but when decorating a single room its important to not go too crazy.  Afterall, the bedroom has to tie into the rest of the house.  You don’t want to walk into this space and feel like it belongs to someone else.

Processed with VSCOcam{A peek of the wallpaper in the master water closet}

Blue was chosen as a driving color for the room.  We chose a wallpaper with blue in the water closet and decided to paint the dressing room walls a rich blue, so it was a logical choice to continue it into the bedroom.  Green pairs so well with blue and is used throughout the house, so we agreed that would be our secondary color.  The room wanted to feel soothing and elegant, but also hip, collected and fresh.  Other than that, I was free to suggest what I liked.  Color was fair game, as was pattern, but overall it needed to tie into the neutral feel of the house.  And with that, I began playing with textiles and developing the scheme.

The first thing I did was choose a wallpaper behind the bed.  My dream paper:  Nakai by Pierre Frey.  We would go bold on the back wall and keep the rest pretty quiet.  The tobacco colorway of Nakai has so many great colors- blue, green, coral.  We could easily pull from those to select fabrics for the chairs, bench, pillow, bedding.

nakai repeat in bedroom(our inspiration: Nakai on the walls of a bedroom designed by Chloe Redmond Warner) 

We were ready to place the order for the paper and then I ordered a memo sample from the mill to see the current stock.  And let me tell you …. it was ALL wrong.  The colors were totally different.  There was purple where it should be white and neither myself nor my client loved it anymore.  And we made the command decision to scrap the paper and start all over again.

Yikes, right?

I told my client this was a sign from the decorating gods that we were meant to go in a different direction.  I asked her to trust me and promised her she would love the result.  We would find a way to incorporate the colors she loved with the paper only in a whole new translation.

I started with fabric samples I had in my studio, pulling blues, greens and a few pinks…

scheme 1

And then I went to the design center and pulled more fabrics and wallpapers.

scheme 2


As we began to finalize the details of the bed- an commanding steel canopy bed with a curved upholstered headboard- it became clear to me that the bed should be the star of the wall and that we didn’t need a patterned paper behind it.  What we needed instead was to spread out the interest to other corners of the room.  We needed statement curtains to flank the bed and highlight the front wall.  Once I got my client on board  (it took a little coaxing as patterned curtains made her nervous,) we went in hot pursuit to find the perfect curtain fabric.  A trip to Chairloom led be down the rabbit hole of gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics…

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Hello, dream fabrics.  But what happened to the green?  And was this my client, or was this more Naomi?  Every room I design is going to have some Naomi by nature (isn’t that why you hire me?) but it also needs to reflect YOU and the rest of your home.

We decided we needed to make a few key decisions and let the room come together from there.  My client trusted me with the statement curtains and we ordered a gorgeous blue magnolia pattern from Lauren Liess Textiles.  We also selected a subtle shimmery natural linen for the headboard and a green woven textured fabric for the chairs.  The curtains were installed a few weeks ago and they are so fabulous!

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And the canopy bed went in.  Here is a peek of the curved headboard in shimmery linen.

malvern reno headboard

We these elements installed we were able to finalize our scheme and order the rest of our furnishings, pillows and bedding.  Here is where we are now.  Note… all the pink is gone.  We may work it back in with chair pillows, or in art.  Or perhaps we don’t need it after all!  This is definitely feeling like my client now.   It’s pushing her limits and having some fun, but still “her.”

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So that is the long story of how one room’s textile scheme came together.  We are waiting on our final pieces to come in, but I cannot wait to see this room completed!!  I hope you guys enjoy these process posts.  My job is a lot of pretty afters, but mostly it’s figuring out how to get there first.