Styling, Rugs, and small transformations

Oh man.  I’m back from Puerto Rico with so much to say and the blog gods are just not smiling upon me right now.  I’ve been working on 4 different posts to share with you and none of them are coming together at the moment.  The hour is turning later and later and I’m really just starting to hate the internet and computers in general.  So please forgive the post with lack of thougtful words and grainy pictures, but I’m just shooting from the hip here.

This is a little bit of Design Manifest, unfiltered.

Yesterday I finished another room for a longtime client.  It is a this small pass-through room that connects this living room…

1 living room- wide

(image by courtney apple)

with this family room

11 familly room - wide

(image by courtney apple)

Challenge number 1 is that these two rooms are pretty different,

so the middle room had to somehow tie the two together.

Challenge number 2 is that the room is small, with lots of openings.


study before 1

study before 2

The window opening above looks onto this table and chairs in the family room…

13 family room- table

(image by courtney apple)

Small space needed a little drama, and my client was down for some color on the walls.  The common color in both the family room and living room is blue, so we chose a bold hue to unify the three rooms…  {Don’t have a source for the blue, sorry!}

study empty

This room needs to function as an office and also a bar/ staging areas for gatherings.

We decided on minimal furnishings- a glass desk and a bookshelf.

Why overcrowd a small space?

With clean modern selections for furnishings, I knew I needed to find the perfect statement rug.

Luckily, my client shares my passion for gorgeous rugs.

These are the rugs we have sourced and purchased for her house.

design manifest rug sourcing- tribal, overdyed, flatweave

Oh baby.

For the office, I found a vintage tribal rug in the most exotic pink tone.

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This modern bookshelf does a nice job of filling the one long wall.

bookshelves empty

I sourced a few accesories for my client and also shopped the house to fill in the blanks.

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We also filled in with a few accessories in the bedroom.  It just didn’t feel finished with out them.  Sometimes its really subtle, but the right accessories can really make a difference in a room.

Lonely, naked console table

bedroom console no styling

Console table with a few pretties

bedroom console styled


Lonely, naked dresser

bedroom dresser no styling

Dresser with a few pretties

dresser styled

dresser top

bedroom 4

Sometimes its just a little thing, like a basket under a nightstand to hide wires and messy stuff.

green and blue bedroom design manifest

Sorry for the cruddy pictures.

I’m curious if you enjoy these “real life” decor updates, or if you think it is more impressive to wait see the finished the professional shots.

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 if you would like to purchase!

see more details –

Guest Room Overdye Rug Review

Yesterday I posted a picture of my guest room rug on Instagram and it generated a lot of interest, so I thought I would pop over here and give a little review.  Overdye rugs have been popular for a few years now, but sometimes I forget that they are still new to some people, or hard to find for others.  The most beautiful ones are vintage handmade silk and wool turkish rugs that have been dyed brilliant colors and are wildly expensive a serious investment.  (See ABC Carpet and Home.)  Others are new, machine made, quite reasonable but definitely not as cute.  That would be my rug.  The 5×8 violet beauty was all of $290.  But don’t get so excited yet- it has its pros and cons- and I’ll quickly break them down below.


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NuLoom Colour Series Genisa Overdye

(Looks to be sold out, check here or here.)

Machine Made- 100% Polyamide

violet overdy rug detail 2


It’s cheap!

Since its machine made, and essentially plastic, its super durable and easy to clean.

You could hose the damn thing off.

It doesn’t shed.

violet overdye rug detail


It’s Fake looking!

It’s not woven and you can tell.

The pattern looks printed on up close.

It’s not as soft underfoot… a little plasticy and rough.  Still softer than a flatweave, though.

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Overall, I’m happy with it in my guest room because it is half covered up and adds a nice richness to the room.

It’s not the focal point, it’s just a vibrant accesory.  Plus it helps the space feel warm underfoot.

I wouldn’t like it in my living room where are of the finishes are nicer. It’s fakeness would stick out like a sore thumb.



Guest Rooms


A space where you have already invested in fine pieces or vintage pieces.

(It will bring the whole quality of the room down.)

So basically the rug will be perfect for some, and not right for others.

Hope this little review helps.

Creating a Layered Look with Antiques

Today is my first post as a contributor for Meg Biram‘s fabulous new site!  Please hop over to see me share my favorite ways to add in antiques or vintage pieces into a room design.  I don’t think I realized how often I go vintage in my design work until I compiled the ideas into one post!  For me,  layering in antiques is essential to create a room with depth and soul.  You can just feel it when you walk into a space and its all spanking new… something is just lacking.  

Not wanting you all to live in soulless sterile interiors, I’ve quickly whipped up a few vintage finds to help you get that Design Manifest Layered Look.

1 / 23 / 4 / 56 / 7 / 8 / 9
PS- That inlaid elephant table is nearly identical to my own!