Favorite Finds of the Month- Soft, Sweet and a little Exotic

I tend to vacillate between a few design moods- loving bold,dark and exotic, favoring neutral, layered, and textural, etc.  This month I’m really feeling color, but in a very soft way.  I want pale pink, coral, soft blues, grays, maybe just a touch of yellow.  I like the sweetness of pastels balanced by touch of global influence: a bench that looks like it belongs in Morocco, a gilt mirror with an Italian flair, a chandelier with an exotic shape.  Pastels can get so girly and that’s just not my thing.  You need to throw in something rough, patina, something not so perfect.  Finish off with a few modern and masculine elements and you have yourself a winner.

Here are a few pieces that I am totally crushing on this month.  They all fall into this soft, sweet spot I’m loving with interiors.

DM faves soft and sweet

pillow / chandelier / painting

rug / bench / mirror

And a few rooms I’m feelin’…

colorful melbourne home

{Miranda Skoczek’s home}

nuevo estilo space pastels

{Nuevo Estilo}

soft pink boho room skona hem

{Skona Hem}

ellen pompeo trailer

{Ellen Pompeo’s trailer}

Goes so well with my fave vintage flatweave rug we have for sale on our instagram (@designmanifest)

armenian vintage flatweave rug design manfiest

striped multi-color vintage flatweave rug- design manifest

38″ x 102″

$400 with free shipping to US

email naomi@designmanifest.com if you would like to purchase!

see more details – http://instagram.com/p/yX1hRPmHS2/?modal=true

One Room Challenge: Bachelor Pad Edition Week 6 Finale

Woop Woop its time!  I’m both incredibly excited and nervous to reveal the finished Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad.  This project was an awesome challenge for me and sharing it with you guys over the past 6 weeks has been incredibly fun.  Not gonna lie, there were a few moments of sheer terror, but mostly it was fun and  rewarding.  I’m so lucky this is my day job.

The goal was to create a space that was modern, masculine, layered, warm and most importantly, family-friendly.  You see, I’ve been touting this place as a “bachelor pad” but the truth of the matter is, it’s a home to a father and his two sons.  My client’s focus and priority from the beginning was to create a comfortable home for his kids.  My priority was to meet his needs and make it pretty.  I think we both succeeded.

Prepare yourself for picture overload.

If you’ve been following from the beginning, you know it started with a chair

Gentleman's Bachelor Pad by Design Manifest- Black wall eames chair colorful accesories

The Eames lounge chair set the Mid-Century tone for the home.

The Jim Dine lithograph established the color story.

Gentleman's Bachelor Pad by Design Manifest: Black wall shelf stylilng

Brass and gold is sprinkled throughout the accessories, lighting and hardware.

Old, new, patina, polished… I love how it all works together.


With this being a rental, we relied on paint, art and furnishings to transform the space.

Perhaps the black wall was the biggest game changer.

Remember how we started?

gentlemans bachelor pad before and after by Design Manifest


The Tale of a Credenza Bookshelf Thingy

Hey guys.  Thanks so much for all the supportive and sweet comments about the custom furniture we created for the Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad.  Part of the reason I love blogging so much is for the feedback and general cheerleading other design lovers generously give.  I actually learn more as I share my own process.  So thank YOU for helping me grow as a designer and giving me a big head while I do it.  Wink Wink.

A lot of you have asked about the custom pieces, so I thought I would share a brief behind the scenes glimpse.  Today it’s the credenza and I’ll break down Dad’s coffee table after the big finale on Wednesday.

I have never been as intimately involved with a piece of furniture as this bookshelf credenza.  I saw it from conceptualization, to scaled drawings, material selection,   welding, sanding, more welding, staining, delivery and finally styling.  Let me be clear- I in no way built this shelf- that was all George.  But I got to be involved in the process every step of the way from weld placement to stain thickness.  I think you respect a piece a lot more when you know where it came from and all the decisions that went into creating it.  That’s the truth for me, at least.  So here is a brief tale of the credenza bookshelf thingy.  Can you tell I don’t know what to call it?

conceptual rendering of credenza

pile of steel

cutting steal


Creating Custom Furniture Pieces

Recently we’ve been dabbling more and more with custom furniture in our interior design projects.  There can be be many reasons to go custom, but mostly I love it for its unlimited options.  With the right artisans I can create a piece that is just the right size, just the right finish and just the right function for my clients.  I’m not limited by a manufacturer’s specifications, lead time or price.  I’ve been really happy with the results so far and look forward to creating more custom furniture in the future (and hopefully in my own home!)

Here are a few of my recent favorite pieces we have had built…

Custom Bench

custom ikat bench metal x legs design manifest

Earlier this summer we teamed up with Chairloom to create a custom bench for our clients’  upper hallway.  We wanted a piece to anchor a family photo wall.  We designed a double X-bench base  that was finished in a distressed gold.  The upholstered top is a gorgeous ikat by Jim Thompson.  This whole house is a study in mostly neutrals and its really stunning.  I can’t wait to photograph it properly and show it off!

Custom Sideboard

custom wood brass credenza

Christiana Cabinetry built  this custom credenza for a client’s family room.  This sits on a long wall that has a television and a “window’ into th kitchen.  We designed a long piece that could span the whole space and make a statement.  It serves as a TV stand, a storage unit and a display piece all in one.  The weathered wood is really chic, but my favorite elements are the brushed bronze legs and ring pulls.

Custom Etagere

gold and wood etagere glass shelves coldren design

Recently we teamed up with Coldren Design for the design and fabrication of an etagere for our Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad.  I had a specific vision for this piece and was able to work closely with furniture maker, George Coldren to see it transform into a reality.  I decided on a brushed gold frame to contrast against the solid wood back.  This bookshelf is going against a black wall (see floor plan here) so I really wanted it to pop.  The glass shelves and open sides help it feel light.  My hope is once it is styled, items will feel like they are floating on the piece.  In the image above the etagere is sitting in my living room, but for the One Room Challenge on Wednesday we will show how it looks in my client’s space.

And for those of you who are curious as to how a pile of this 1″ square steel tube stock…

pile of steel

Can turn into this fabulous etagere…

brushed gold wood etagere with glass shelves

Well you are in luck because here is a quickie progression:


Shopping for Vintage Wood Credenzas

*Note:  This post relates the space I am decorating for the One Room Challenge.  To get caught up from the beginning, check out this post. *

After doing my initial evaluation of the soon-to-be Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad, I knew an essential piece in the living room would be a credenza.  Some thing super handsome will lots of storage.  It would be the first thing you see when you walk in the door so I wanted it to set the tone for the home.  This is the wall where it will go…

credenza wall before