Cottage Update: Moving Day

Today is the day.  I’m not gonna claim we are ready.  The kitchen isn’t done.  The painting isn’t complete.  I haven’t even gotten to see the wood on the first floor properly revealed (they are still covered in paper) but nevertheless, the furniture is moving in.  I’m probably crazy, I’m definitely stressed, I’m just desperately trying to take it all in stride.  Wish me luck, Lovers!

cottage move inThe Cottage, around 3:30pm Yesterday

ORC Fave Week 1

So tell me the truth, did you get to check out all 20 participants for the One Room Challenge?  I did and I’m pumped for all the various projects!  It’s always interesting for me to see how other people approach design- from budget, inspiration, color pallete, or the way they go about putting the room together.  My own spaces are never a straight line.  I have to go through a little design adventure to discover and create the finished room.  I’m off to work on the house now.  So much to do before Tuesday (move-in) and Wednesday (ORC week 2 post.)  Heaven help me.

Anywho I thought it would be fun to do a teeny recap each week on my favorite ORC makeovers.  Lot’s of bloggers caught my eye and a few totally cracked me up and I’d like to highlight other people’s great work.  Week 1 I’m really excited about Elizabeth‘s plan for her daughters’  room.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good mood board.  Especially one with a great mix of color, pattern and antiques.  Do you have a project (besides DM) you are really pumped to see transformed?

LittleBlackDoorGirlsRoomOne Room Challenge Mood Board by Little Black Door

Scenes from Mexico

Mexico was amazing.  Pure Heaven.  The first two days, in typical Me fashion were purgatory.  I was totally sick and the weather was cold and rainy and let’s just say my spirits weren’t high.  (Literally, I couldn’t drink while my whole fam took advantage of free unlimited cocktails.)  But then the sun came out and I got a strong Mexican decongestant and had a perfect 5 days.   I flew on a trapeze, climbed a sacred pyramid,  swam in pristine waters, kissed fat baby cheeks, ate dessert every day and just tried to soak in the beauty as much as possible.  I love my family so much and it was such a treasure to spend time with them in this relaxing magical setting.  I got back last night and am ready to dive back into LOTS of work, but I hope I’m able to hold that peaceful Mexican spirit in my heart just a little longer.

scenes from mexico

I tried to embed a dorky video of me on the trapeze, but I still don’t quite understand this wordpress site.

You can see it HERE if you want 47 seconds of acrobatics.

Going on a trapeze has been one of those random Lifelong dreams for me.

Since I’m a former competitive gymnast, I thought I would kick ass, but I was surprised at how terrified I was to do it!

Sadly, I won’t be running off to join the circus, but at least I stuck the landing.

DM has a New Home!

Hey Guys.  I’m checking in from (mostly) sunny Mexico to say goodbye!!
Ok not really goodbye, but this is my last post on Blogger.
From here on out you can follow Design Manifest on our new site.  
Too see it, please click the link below

Today I’m talking about changes in the bedroom and I have another piece of exciting news.  So please go check it out!  Thanks Loves.  See you at our new home.

About Free Stuff and My Character

Last week someone left a comment about me on another blog along the lines of this:
 (I may be paraphrasing as the comment was deleted by my friend before I had a chance to see it.)


“I’d be careful about promoting DM. She gets an awful lot of stuff “leftover from another job”. Because material houses do not give away their product, that means that the job it was ordered for paid for the excess. I wonder how happy they would be to find the material they paid for going in this chick’s house.


I’m not one to promote negativity, so I could have just chosen to ignore this comment, but as I feel it defames the character of my company, I felt I had to address it.  First of all, my father and I run an honorable company and in no way do we take advantage of our clients.  In the history of this blog, I believe I have used leftover materials twice- my shower tile and my black and white goddesses pillow. 




Design Manifest is a full service design-build company.  This means we manage every aspect of the renovation project for our clients- design, material ordering, installation and waste removal.  For tile, the industry standard is to order 10% extra to allow for breakage, irregularity and tile cuts.  Sometimes we run out and order more tile (at OUR expense) and sometimes we have extra leftover.  Tile excess is offered to our clients, but many do not want to store random small quantities in their basement.


(UPDATE:  Just wanted to mention we always leave clients with at least one box of tiles for repairs plus grout color.  Grout is typically the most important thing you will need after a tile project.)


In the case of my shower tile, it came from a kitchen we installed 5-6 years ago.  There wouldn’t have even been enough to do a full shower, but since mine has a window in it, we lucked out.  I don’t think my client would be upset to learn that her waste went into my home.  Actually I thought it was pretty cool I was able to recycle a product that would have otherwise went into a landfill.


I pieced together scraps of fabric waste to make this pillow


What upsets me, more than just a single mean comment, is the thought that more of you might think I’m “freeloading” off of my clients.  We absolutely love our clients, and I’m pretty sure they love us too.  Many read my blog and enjoy following along in the Cottage process.  (Hi!)


The fact of the matter is, I do enjoy certain privileges and advantages by working in the construction industry.  I have my own carpenters to do all of my labor.  My subs (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) did my work at half the retail rate as a favor to us.  (We give them A LOT of business.)  In essence, my cottage is a little showroom for us.  I understand why some people may be jealous of this, but I certainly hope no one thinks I’m doing something wrong.  I think we all have certain benefits in our own industries.  Hell Bloggers get a ton of product for free just to talk about them.


My niece, Eliana, feels upset and so do I


Anyway, I don’t want to drag this out or defend myself any further.  I know putting myself out there and being really honest opens me up to being judged.  It hurts, I’m not gonna lie, part of me wants to stop sharing at all.   But I aint gonna let those haters win.  Back to work.  And back to happy tomorrow on the blog.


Thanks for listening.