Behind the Scenes with Design Manifest

I can’t remember when I first came across Naomi’s blog Design Manifest, and neither can I remember when she cemented her place in my head as a design genius. Was it the revamp of this boy’s bathroom that any girl would’ve gladly taken? This pretty unbelievable bathroom and closet overhaul (I can’t get over the difference between the before and after)? Or the fact that Naomi’s own (now former, RIP) loft on Design*Sponge was freaking amazing? I can’t seem to recall which of these projects had me obsessing over her talents…and I’m pretty sure you’ll find you’re in the same boat! I got a chance to meet Naomi in New York a few weeks ago, and we were both so tired and jet lagged, I made a mental note to myself that I really need to find another time to get to know this gal. Because even though we both almost fell asleep on a couch at ABC Carpet & Home, her sense of humor was right up my alley, and I knew I liked her right away. Take it away, Naomi!

Morocco-It’s a dream to shop there and learn more about the culture.
Bali – Want to go there to beach, do yoga and Eat, Pray, Love it up.
Australia– Hoping by the time I make it there my friend Gabby has moved back and I have a free place to stay. ;)
Barcelona– The architecture, the nightlife, ‘nuff said.
Los Angeles– Dying to shop La Ciniega Blvd and meet blog friends.

Parish Hadley: 60 Years of American Design – Because I am a constant student of design and aspire to learn from the best.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Admitted Self Help junkie.  Not ashamed.
The Talent Code – As the book says, “Greatness isn’t born, It’s grown.”  And I’d like to know how.
50 Shades of Grey – I held off on the wizard books, vampire books and war game books but I really just want to be able to join into the conversation at a cocktail party.

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In 5 years I hope to own a real house.  Something with a view and large glass windows would be ideal.  I also really hope to be happily married with a little baby.  And I’ll definitely need a gorgeous dedicated office space by then… with hopefully two assistants to boot.

(One) I’d love to get a new project published, so I am finalizing the last details, preparing a professional photo shoot and then plan to throw myself at the knees of the top editors and publishers.  They may bite, they may not, but some way or another I’ll be showing off a new project soon.
(Two) I very much want a home of my own.  I’ve been squatting at the ‘rents for a little while now and its getting old.  By the end of the summer I WILL have my own apartment or house and I can’t wait to start decorating again!

I would love to open a furniture store someday.  I’d want a mix of vintage and new stuff.  Lots of funky art and maybe a coffee shop on the inside.  Top of the bucket list!

Design Manifest is also my business’ name so it was an obvious fit.  Fun fact for those of you who haven’t followed me long (or don’t at all, tssk tssk)- I used to have two blogs.  DM was just for blogging about kitchens and bathrooms and my secondary blog, Thirteen and South, was where I got more personal, silly and talked about decorating and pugs.  At first I was afraid to be myself around potential clients.  After a year of splitting my time, I combined the two blogs and that’s when things really started to take off.  I realized that clients like learning more about my personality.  Plus if a client can’t handle the way I write, we probably aren’t a good fit anyway!

My older sister is a fashion designer and has always been a trusted guide.  She is great for brainstorming, a second hand when styling and was my personal therapist while decorating my own apartment.  Blog friends always inspire me, encourage me and fill me with invaluable advice.  Being so close to New York city makes it easy for me to fill up the inspiration tank.  All I need to do is walk the streets and hit the showrooms and I feel immediately revived.

It was pretty cool when my loft apartment blew up the internet.  OK, I exaggerate, but being featured on Design Sponge and then a dozen other blogs and Ezines was pretty exciting.  More so than the press, the hundreds of positive comments and emails really just blew me away.  Bloggers are the most wonderful supportive group of people!

My parents’ country house, which we have dubbed “Starview.”  A country house may sound fancy, but really its just a rancher on a few acres outside of the city.  We go there for sunsets, boat rides, archery, hammock time, bonfires, giggles and star viewing of course. It’s my happy place and my family is my rock.

I started in April of 2009 because I wanted to break into decorating and I wanted a platform to share my ideas and my style.  I had been designing kitchens and bathrooms for 5 years and was itching to take on more types of projects.  Luckily some people found me and gave me my first opportunities to prove I could design beyond cabinetry and tile!  I keep doing it because I’ve been blessed with good press and great opportunities through the blog.  I’ve been able to help my dad launch his construction consulting services.  It means so much to me to help him build something since he has given so much to me. There are days that I feel like no one is reading, days that I think no on will hire me, days that I just plain hate the internet.  Like any relationship, it has its ups and downs.  On a good day, the blog makes me euphoric, on a bad day I’m stressing over not being creative enough, not answering emails, or generally just half-assing it on an empty tank.  It’s a ton of work and right now, I’d really rather be sleeping than typing this post.  But honestly I can’t quit… I’m addicted.  I’d miss my blogging friends too much anyway.


Leave a Comment


  1. 6.6.12

    Loved learning more about Naomi!

  2. 6.6.12
    Eileen said:

    Major girl crush alert. And can’t wait to see her new project!

  3. 6.6.12

    Crazy crazy about Naomi! She is rad and has style for days. Love the feature!

  4. 6.6.12

    Thanks for having me over, Victoria! I agree, we did not get nearly enough time together in NYC. (And I nearly did fall asleep on that sofa.) I’ll be out in San Fran in the fall and plan to stalk you down!

  5. 6.6.12

    Wow – cool your choices!!

  6. 6.6.12

    Loved learning more about Naomi… We also met in NY and she is great! Excited to see your new project!

  7. 6.6.12

    a few things:
    1- i will go on all of those trips with you. we already know we can room together :)

    2- can i get in on this furniture store? or at least shop it online please?

    3- your fashion designer sister is amazeballs. you’re lucky i didn’t steal that beaded dress while you were sleeping.

    4- love you long time. ox

  8. 6.6.12

    Come to the West Coast immediately so we can all meet up!

    And I wouldn’t waste a minute on 50 Shades of Gray if I were you.

  9. 6.6.12

    I’m almost surprised Naomi wasn’t already a BTS feature. Ahhhh so happy LA is on her list of places to go. Hopefully she’ll cross that one off sooner than later.
    Per Tamra’s rec, I just started Fifty Shades of Grey last night.

    Thirteen and South – I totally remember that era!

  10. 6.6.12
    viv said:

    Naomi is definitely one of my favorites! Love her! And she’s so talented, warm, and funny. Only amazing things will come for her.

  11. 6.6.12
    Jessica said:

    I loved seeing her loft on Design*Sponge, and this pug-obsessed lady loves meeting other pug lovers too!

  12. 6.6.12

    Naomi is the bomb. Yes, that is cheesy and cliche, but oh so true.

    The end.

  13. 6.7.12

    I didn’t get to spend enough time with Naomi in NYC either. Hopefully another time! She’s got style in spades. Thanks for the behind the scenes feature!

  14. 6.12.12

    1- We all really need a blog girls weekend away trip.

    2- When I’m back in Australia, you, Tobe and Victoria are not only invited, you are required to come!

    3- Can’t wait to see your new place decorated AND shop the Design Manifest store!!

    4- Miss you and the #Firls :)