What We are Working on Now ….. PART 2….. *** Current Interior Design Projects *** “Swarthmore Project”

We are back for another week of the behind the scenes action at DM.  I’m glad to hear a lot of you enjoyed these progress posts!  One thing I really try to do on this blog is “keep it real.”  It’s not all about glitz and glamour of the after shots.  There is a laborious process behind it too.  My hope is by sharing a bit of the development I might inspire or help others with their homes.

Last week we talked about a large decorating project in Malvern, this week we will talk a bit about our plans for a family room renovation in Swarthmore.  I’ve shared just a few peeks of this project on instagram under the hashtag #swarthmoreproject.  I also talked about inspiration for this project this post on denim and stripes.  If you read that post, you know we are planning a blue and white striped sofa.  But how did we get there and what are we building around it?  Read on!

BEFORE

family room before

FAMILY ROOM before 3

From an architectural standpoint it was a great room to work with.  It’s a nice size- 18′ x 21′- which is good because we need to fit both a sitting area AND a table for casual meals.  While the ceiling isn’t high, the thick wood beams add character without closing in the space.  And the floors are beautiful wide planked wood.  The space feels a little bit rustic country, yet also traditional at the same time.

After to talking to my client and getting a sense of her style – lover of all things blue, open to pattern, bohemian touches, pretty much anything Design Manifest (yay!)- I began to build a vision for the design.  Since the architecture was so rustic, I knew I wanted furnishings that complimented it but didn’t feel too “farm housey.”  We needed to add classic traditional elements with a few more modern pieces.

bronchetti textile

{A textile scheme at mid-way through design.  Close, but not final.}

Early on I got a big hit that this room needed to have the streamlined feel of traditional Ralph Lauren Americana mixed in with some bohemian touches.  Denims, stripes, leather, braided jute rugs would be the base of the room with a great pillow mix thrown in.  Color was definitely welcome, but layered onto a neutral base instead of a color explosion.  The overall feel needed to be edited, classic and comfortable.  Comfort and Practicality.  Aren’t those two the most important things in a family room?  This space will be for a family of 6 including young children, so that was always on the forefront of my mind when creating the design.

With every project, we start with the floor plan.  After reviewing and editing a few options we ended up with the plan below.  You can see that it’s similar to the arrangement they already had, only I tweaked placement to allow for a larger table and larger loveseat for additional seating.

swarthmore family room layout

With the plan finalized, we started paint and minor construction.  I knew the walls had to lighten up.  It’s amazing how much brighter and crisper the space feels now that the room is white.  The ceiling beams really pop now.  It’s such a great neutral base to build our room.

family room painted

The built-in bench was also installed early.  We upholstered it in a Ralph Lauren denim which we had treated with a fabric protector.  It should hold up well to abuse from kids and adults.

window bench

Next week we are installing the room and I cannot wait to see it come together!!  I’ll leave you with a few of the pieces we will be putting in the room…

swarthmore furnishings

What We are Working on Now ….. PART 1….. *** Current Interior Design Projects ***

Depending on which manner of social media you follow Design Manifest, you end of seeing different aspects of of our work.  I tend to save the blog for the Before and After’s featuring dazzling professional photography and larger scale photos.  On instagram however, I’m much more prone to share jobsite photos, mood boards and progress shots. The result is that the projects I “tease” on instagram and twitter end up taking months (occasionally years) to make it onto the blog and portfolio.  Today I thought I’d bridge the gap a little and fill you in a few of the decorative projects we are designing right now.

If you follow me on instagram (@designmanifest) than you know that I often name projects with a hashtag, so you can follow along and see all of the pictures in the progression.  The three main interior design projects we are doing right now are #malvernreno #swarthmoreproject and #stationroadproject.  Each is a completely different type room, style of architecture and decorating style.  Really the only thing these client’s have in common is that they are awesome and trusting.  I honestly feel so lucky to be able to work with such great people on such varied designs.

#MALVERNRENO

malvern reno textiles

The Living Room Rug with a few Textiles we May or May Not Use

“True Fans” (just can’t say with a straight face) will recognize Malvern Reno because this is the 3rd time I’ve worked on this house in as many years.  What started as a very styling hall bath moved onto a complete master suite renovation last year.  This year we are tackling the formal living room, dining room, foyer, office, possibly now powder room, probably soon family room and kitchen… I’m never leaving Malvern.  (Ha!  kidding C ;)  Seriously though, someday this house will be finished and professionally photographed and hopefully splashed across some fabulous magazine.  Until then, I’m just sharing pieces and enjoying the process.

living room wide

Living Room, Before

The jumping off point for this project was the under-used formal living room.  Umm, does anyone really use a traditional formal living room?  We are hoping to re-invent it as a lounge, a cozy TV watching space, and place to entertain with a few couples.  The goal is to make it much more casual, but still totally elegant and stylish, of course.

In an effort to make the space more intimate and cozy, plus to better serve the furniture layout, we ended up altering the openings from the foyer and into the dining room.  This allowed us to add built-in bookshelves and a fireplace along the former sofa wall.  This is going to be such a welcoming entrance and focal point!  By reducing the doorway to the foyer (still a generous 4′ opening) we will be able to tuck a sectional sofa along the stair wall.  We are having this custom made in a rich, soft caramel leather and I am very excited to see it in 8-10 weeks!

belgian track arm leather sectional

Our Inspiration Sofa

From the start I had a strong vision for the overall feel of this space.  We would bulk up the traditional feel of the home through architectural elements, mouldings, built-ins, fireplace mantel, but then balance the room out with more modern furnishings and a few classic vintage mid-century pieces.  As my client has worked with me, I’ve watching her tastes grow more and more modern, but I felt maintaining traditional elements were necessary to tie into the rest of the house and provide some depth to the more contemporary furnishings.

living room in progress

Living Room, This Week

So last week we started working and its been mouldings, mouldings everywhere.  (I think my Dad may think I’m nuts.)  I’m very excited that we are doing full height picture mouldings in the living room.  We even matched the cabinetry doors to mimic the same style.  The whole room will be the same gray as the cabinetry, Benjamin Moore CW715.  It will provide the perfect neutral backdrop with just enough moodiness.  As much as I love an all white room, this room just doesn’t have the right lighting for it.  So light gray with just a little bit of taupe was the winner.

CW-715

This is the sofa/sectional wall.  The holes in the walls will be wall sconces.  We will hang art right over the upper mouldings.  Still figuring out what the perfect piece will be….

living room mouldings

Another big part of the architecture is the lighting.  We are doing two sconces over the sofa and two more sconces over the bookshelves.  The center of the room will have a chandelier.  We decided to mixed brass with oil-rubbed bronze. I enjoy this mix and it will continue into other parts of the home.  All brass is beautiful, but it felt just a bit too trendy and matchy to us.

malvern reno lighting

Living room fixtures plus the dining room chandelier.

We will be doing TWO of the bottom right over the table!

What’s better than a chandy?  A double chandy.

albed pink rug 2

As I showed above the rug is the gorgeous patterned pale violet wool number.  We will be using color judiciously in this room. Only where it makes a maximum impact and layering the rest with a great mix of neutrals.  We are striving to make this space feel “undecorated” which definitely has its challenges.  Honestly it’s so much easy to pick a inspiration fabric and pull colors from it and make it all coordinate nicely.  Here I’m trying to take it a step further.  Pairing things that aren’t expected and colors that don’t necessarily match.  Hoping it all comes together seamlessly and beautifully.

One piece of the puzzle got dropped off at my house today.  Vintage Milo Baughman Parsons armchairs that we we had recovered in a green velvet.  I’m loving that pop of green.  That is one of the colors that has been carried throughout the house and helped with continuity.  Bonus- They are really comfy.

milo baughman chair before and after

I’m very much looking forward to about 3 weeks from now when all painting is done, dining room paper is hung and floors are refinished.  That will give us a great sense of the new spaces and allow us to make some final decisions.

Woof, I was supposed to talk about three projects, but just the bit about the one feels like a full post.  I think I’ll continue this next week where you guys will see either a behind the scenes into #swarthmoreproject or #stationroadproject.  Each has an install happening in the next month so its a busy time for us!

As always, thanks so much for reading and your continued support of our work.

 

Project Wayne Fabulous: The Foyer

It’s time to get Fabulous.  Project Wayne Fabulous.

I went back and did a little review of the blog and I noticed I’ve been heavy on kitchen and bath posts the past several weeks, so I figured it was time to share another decorating project.  We do a lot of interior design at Design Manifest in addition to kitchens and bathrooms!

The room below was an extremely fun and rewarding project we completed this spring.  The first-time clients called me in to work on the house and after some discussion of timing, budget and logistics, they decided to spread out their projects and really do them right.  The first room they gave me could perhaps be viewed as the tester; the foyer.  You might think it’s an easy room, as its quite small in size, but it also has the task of setting the tone for the home.  We set out to create a vibrant, fun, colorful space that still felt appropriate in an old, traditional-style home.  The clients were an absolute dream to work with… open to my crazy ideas, willing to take risks, trusting and just so damn nice.  I CANNOT wait to work with them again soon :)

THE INSPIRATION

colors

I will never forget our first meeting.  My client brought out this juice box container and told me she loved the colors.  Honestly I was a little worried.  Sherbet and pink and blue…. how could I make that classy and fun?  But I kept it in the back of my mind and used it for inspiration.

THE FOYER

Once we were given the GO, we focused on the foyer, which is actually is split into two teeny-tiny spaces.  When you walk in the front door there is an extremely petite vestibule and once you pass through that space there is a hallway that leads to the various rooms on the first floor.  Our task was to give these two spaces style, function and a whole lotta fabulous.

BEFORE {The Vestibule}

vestibule before 1

BEFORE {The Vestibule}

vestibule before

Let’s discuss:  Teeny tiny space.  How could we use it functionally without easily overcrowding it?  The brown tiles had to go.  My client was down to make a statement with pattern and color.  The idea of going bold definitely excited me, yet I also wanted to maintain some traditional elements to tie into the architecture of the home.

vestibule before 2

I decided the best way to tie into the traditional bones was to select more classic flooring and light fixtures and get funkier on the walls.  I found this fabulous marble mosaic that had a bit of a deco feel and was a great scale for the space.  I loved how the multi-colors (white, brown and black) made a graphic statement in the small room, yet still maintained a neutral feel.  Luckily the client agreed, so we said bye bye to the big brown tile!

tile floor

Swoon.

vestibule light

For the vestibule light we chose a classical globe lantern.  It’s just enough fancy to dress up the space without overwhelming it.

Keep reading after the JUMP for the finished room and details!

(more…)

………….. What I’m Working on Right Now………….. Gladwyne Master Bath Sink Wall

We are working on a variety of projects right now, one of which is a master bathroom design in Gladwyne.  The owners reached out to me requesting a space with a little pizzazz.  You know, more than your builder grade master.  They were also looking to achieve a more modern style in the bathroom but struggled with how to blend it seamlessly with the rest of their traditional home and furnishings.

All of this is music to my ears.  I love working in special details in a bathroom.  Mouldings, Tile, cabinetry, fixtures and finishes… there are lots of ways to take design (and function!) to the next level.  As for aesthetic, I love my modern mixed with a little traditional.  Tailored, classic yet clean lined.  It’s been fun to work on.

Here are some of the rooms and details I am using for inspiration for the sink wall:

floating vanity between walls

Design by Erin Martin

There are a lot of elements that I love about the bath above.  The simple arch over the vanity.  I like enclosing this space a bit and making it more intimate.   (The bathroom we are working on happens to be large and could use a little intimacy.)  I also like the darker vanity and mirrors hung from chains.  Not sure if we will do that, but its pretty stunning.  The last element I like is the stone on the back wall.  This looks to be slab marble behind the mirrors.  We will probably do a marble tile instead of slab to save a lot of money.

vanity and arch detail

arch sides

Design by M E Beck

Here is another arched vanity top I liked.  This one feels a little more dressed up with extra and molding atop the arch.  My clients may actually favor the simpler style and that’s fine with me.  What I also like here is that the arch is stepped in from the vanity base, so it’s not quite so imposing.  This may be beneficial to our layout.

chevron wall

Design by Melanie Turner

My clients were pretty jazzed to do a floating vanity and I was happy to jump on that gravy train.  I like the combination of the floating vanity with the tiled wall above.  I like that the tile peeks out underneath the floating vanity.  The underneath portion is also a great place to tuck accent lighting.  Both my client and I were really into the idea of herringbone tile.  Ultimately I felt it made a better statement on the floor, with something simpler behind the sinks.

As for the actual cabinet style, its needs to be something clean, yet interesting.  We are still figuring that part out.

Should it be a mix of wood (or perhaps painted gray) drawers and metal?

floating vanity with wood and metal

designed by Juniper Tedhams via House Beautiful

Or have a thick stone apron and then standard drawers?

thick marble apron with drawrs below

via Riviera Fine Homes

I love the two-tone tailored look of the vanity below.  The drawer faces are parchment-clad.

tailored vanity style.peter-marino-08-master-bath

designed by Peter Marino

I may re-interpret a few designs we have used in the past.  I love this stepped drawer detail we did in this Gladwyne Girls Bath.  (I haven’t shared this reveal yet!)

stepped drawer- custom cabinet by design manifest

Design by Us, photo by Courtney Apple

I love the idea of a simple vanity trimmed with a little metal with some fabulous hardware.  Since we are discussing doing gray and chrome, I don’t think it will pop the same way it does as below with the stained wood and gold.

vanity trimmed with metal

source unknown

While we are still working out the exact style of the cabinets I’m pretty excited about the direction.  Arched wall with tile alcove, floating modern vanity with special details, gray paint, white marble (or quartzite) and low lighting.  Hopefully my client’s desire for pizzazz will be answered.  Wish me luck- I’m off to present final design ideas this morning.

 

Currently Obsessed With… Denim and Stripes

Well I’m feeling like a big ole pile of crap today, so no big reveals or long posts this week.  I thought I would share two themes/trends that I’m wanting to use everywhere in design.  1) Blue and white stripes, ticking or whatever and 2) Denim- faded, soft  and perfect.  All over upholstery everywhere.  Stripes and denim… preferably together in one room!

We are mixing the two finishes in our upcoming Swarthmore project.  We will be doing a striped sofa paired with a denim wingback chair and built-in window bench upholstered in denim.  I’m super siked to see it come together.  Here are some of the inspiration images we used to work on the design.

 

A lot of these rooms are by great designer, Sig Bergamin

sig bergamin 2

sig bergamin

sig bergamin 3

I found I was most drawn to sofas with a varied stripe- wide and thin stripes mixed together.

stripe sofa 2

And I love the look of striped sofas with layered textiles, like with this ikat below.

sig bergamin stripe sofa

We will be pairing our stripe sofa with this gorgeous vintage suzani.

vintage suzani

Get the look…

sl jameson indigo pinstripe sofa

this sofa… yum

Then there is denim.  I love the classic yet casual look of it.

denim look sofa

I don’t technically know if this is denim, but Damn I love the look!

tufted denim

amber denim sofa

jessica alba sectional

Mix in some leather, jute rugs, rustic woods, marble and a touch of colorful textiles and you have yourself a smashing room.

I’m calling it classic, All-American clean style but with a bohemian twist.

Obsessed.