Edit V


We’re at a really exciting spot over here at Manor Designs. We are kicking off our second flip, which means the plans and designs are so close to being finalized.

And this house has me super excited. It is much more “my style” than Haverford was. While Haverford Manor had a classiness and timelessness to it I think the character I’ll be bringing to Woodvale Manor suits my personal style a bit more. Plus it fits the exterior facade perfectly, which is always a good thing! And this go around I’ve decided to share more of the design + concepts through the process instead of waiting until the end. I’ve already posted a bit on the exterior, and plan to share lots more in the future. But in the meantime, here’s an exclusive look at a few designs I’ve got so far!



We’re actually finishing up the framing in the coming week, so I’ll be anxious to share those updates and give you a walkthrough of the addition.

Now, on the personal side, I’ve been doing some shopping :-/ I feel like I finally felt the confidence to truly clean out my closet and lean into my true style. I haven’t been throwing money out the window but at 34-years-old I do feel like I finally know my style, my personality when it comes to fashion, and able to know that each piece that I am buying are not only ones that fit that personality 100%, but also pieces that I can and will be wearing for the long haul.

What have I been buying? Stone colors.

I’m not going to call it beige because that word gets a bad rap for being boring. I prefer the term ‘stone’. I’m realizing how much I love dressing in neutrals and how when you have the right ones, wearing each piece together to assemble your outfit is even easier!




I’ve also been lucky enough to join the Ambassador roster with The Container Store which has meant getting my house truly organized. I mean every last closet, corner and drawer! No one is safe.

In the past I have truly left certain boxes unpacked because 1. I didn’t want to deal with it 2. I figured I was going to have to leaf the stuff in a box in the closet anyway. Well? No more. Now that we aren’t moving so much I am finally unpacking those boxes, getting rid of stuff that needs getting rid of, and getting those areas organized like we plan on staying for a minute.

The first project? My closet, which I got some lined baskets for my shelves to not only keep everything in its place, but also keep each of those categories down to the necessary quantities. I’m no longer stuffing my shelves with things that I keep buying and never even reach the bottom of the pile.




The upcoming projects? We’ve got some on-the-go pieces that are perfect for your summer trips and everyday chores, as well as reorganizing my desk to hopefully optimize my office space. So stay tuned for some great projects and lessons in organization.





The plans for Woodvale Manor are officially here!! And we’ve even already submitted for permits so we are well on our way with Woodvale Manor.

I’m really excited about these plans because while we had an architect help us with the final drawings, they were off of my initial designs, so seeing these ideas come to life will be so gratifying. While Haverford Manor had such a workable first floor plan, this was a little trickier, but I think we made the best of it. Adding a good 2,000 feet of livable square footage to the footprint, we were able to get a great flow from the garage to the mudroom to the kitchen and living area. Because I loved the flow from Haverford Manor so much with the easy access to the pantry from the garage, that I incorporated a similar concept in this house.

With a large mudroom right off the garage, and immediate access into the kitchen, we had enough room to add an opening into the pantry as well. So instead of walking the groceries all around the kitchen to access the pantry, it’s right there off of the garage for a quick drop off!



A fun detail about upstairs is that the front two existing bedrooms are going to stay as is! Well, kind of. One is going to get a little bigger, and they are both getting en suite bathrooms. Then we have a super private “guest wing” as I like to call it, which is a large guest room with an en suite bathroom and walk-in closet above the garage. It’s super private because you have to walk around the hallway to access it. With that and the primary bedroom with vaulted ceilings and walk-in closet, this house is turning into a 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath!

Not bad…



A few of my favorite details?

– the nook in the kitchen was super intentional, not only did the bump out in the footprint allow for a much bigger pantry too, but having a little sitting area for every day was a must-have and I’m so excited we were able to fit it!

– the dedicated office is small, but the perfect size for a desk and chairs. Plus we are going to include some built-ins on both sides of the pocket doors for some storage + character.

– the bathroom in the guest wing has the vanity in front of the mirror and I’m actually super excited about that. We’ll be able to fit to sinks in that vanity and for a touch of character + function I’ll get pivoting mirrors to put on the walls. So what might look like a bad idea on paper is actually going to turn into a unique design moment.

Ready for the really exciting part? Here is your exclusive look at the 3D rendering of the exterior. I’m so glad I did this to be able to visualize the outside, not only did it help with finishes and colors but it also is an amazing resource to reference in the coming construction months.

Plus, it’s like, really exciting!



And don’t worry, we aren’t losing the courtyard! That sloped brick half wall is still there, and the fence line will get a bit of an upgrade but there will still be a beautiful little courtyard off that side entrance. And I’ve even brought that slope detail into the back porch as well! Adding a beautiful punch of style to what could have been a simple back porch. Not that there was anything wrong with the original screened-in porch, but now we’ll have a covered sitting area with an extended uncovered patio with stairs leading to a walkway to the garage + rough-in for a grill!


Stay tuned on social media for concepts and designs coming soon!




Yup, we did it again!

I had been on the hunt for months before finding this cutie and instantly fell in love with it. To be honest I was really unsure we were going to be able to find another one after we lost a historical find that I loved, but this one has its own beautiful charm. Built in the 1930’s, it has great bones and is in shockingly great shape for its age!

Plus, the view from the front is absolutely adorable.



This courtyard had me swooning, and thankfully we are able to make updates to the footprint without losing it. While it currently stands at under 2,000 square feet, we know that for a better resale we need to make it closer to 4,000 square feet. Right now we’re thinking we can make it almost 4,200 by adding on to the back, and attaching a two-car garage.

It already has a cottage feel to it and I want to stay true to that in the renovations. And with over doubling the space I’ll have plenty of opportunity to enhance that with finishes. But, we actually closed back in August so not only have I had tons of time to think over the concepts but we have already made some progress on it that I’ll be excited to share soon.



Like I said, so much character! To give you a little idea as to what’ll be doing…

  • the front will stay pretty much the same! While she’ll need a coat of paint and new windows, the biggest change will be the location of the front door. Instead of hiding it to the side (like it is now) we’re going to bring it front and center!
  • The footprint will actually change drastically! Taking down the detached garage and adding an attached 2-car garage with space above it as well as bumping the back exterior wall out quite a bit. Unfortunately that means losing the darling screened in porch, but hopefully we’ll make up for it with a great new outdoor space.
  • Because we are bumping the back wall out we’ll be making room for a great kitchen and living space. While the house will be bigger and still feel completely different I really want to lean into the cottage feel on this one to enhance its original character.
  • That living room pictured above will get enough of a facelift to feel like a new space but honoring what is existing. Keeping the fireplace mantel but upgrading it with a new paint color and surround. I also think we need some fancy lights in here too, what do you think?

Up next? We’ll be sharing more of the plans that we worked on super diligently to make sure that we maximized the space but also made it feel like the floor plan was always planned that way and felt familiar, but also completely different. That doesn’t sound too hard, right?

Stay tuned!





Everything that I am loving for Summer this season, from crucial SPF to new beauty, these are some covets that will make it into your rotation throughout the rest of the year.





Having a full season of gardening this year has brought so much joy for me! The combination of working outside and growing my own vegetables has been so much fun, and quite the learning experience. And one of the biggest lessons is that each season will teach me something different! I didn’t expect to know everything going into this year, but I definitely expected to have some failures. Here are some things that I’ve learned so far this season:




I started some seeds inside the first week in January! And while that might seem a little aggressive, I did the math back from our last average frost date and followed the instructions. There isn’t much you can start that early, especially depending on what zone you live in. But I started some shallots and onions then and they are still looking really good!

If you’re planting everything in your garden when it’s consistently warm out, you’re probably a little too late.


To be honest, I don’t know the difference between good and bad soil but I got what seemed like really good soil and compost form a local spot in Nashville and I think that really makes a difference!




Just because you don’t have a huge garden doesn’t mean you can’t plant things! Some of my favorite items this season have come from a planter, like these cut and come again blends. If you have a big enough planter, you can put the whole bag in it!

I also particularly love container lettuces, like this small buttercrunch lettuce. One harvested is the perfect amount to make a big individual sized salad.


Again, I still have so much to learn, but I have the perfect story to show you just how important fertilizing is. I had planted two cauliflower and broccoli plants and they were getting huge, like growing out of the garden box huge! But, there was no actual head of broccoli, just the large surrounding leaves. So before I gave up completely I put some fertilizer around the base of each of them, and you’ll never believe that no more than two weeks later I had two cauliflower and broccoli heads growing! That’ll teach me not to forget to fertilize.

Each vegetable requires a different NPK level, so make sure you do your research before throwing some fertilizer in your soil.




While I wish you could grow whatever you want, whenever you want, plants are particular. Lettuces for example hate the heat, they will “bolt” and essentially stop growing. So I made sure to plant tons in March so that I could harvest through until June, then stay away from growing any cool season plant between June – mid August.

Some plants like the heat though! I know tomatoes grow in the warm season, and I’ve got 6 tomato plants that I am dying to start harvesting from, so fingers crossed they keep doing well.

Two of my favorite resources for seeds is Botanical Interests and Renee’s Garden, and check out this post for a few of my staple garden tools + accessories.


MDW Holiday Weekend Sales 2023


Here is a breakdown of some of my favorite retailers and the best sales we have found for the holiday weekend. Personally my favorite thing to do during big sales are:

1. Big purchases: if you’ve had your eye on something for the home? Now is the time to get it!

2. Staples: things like white tees or even pajamas! I have several pieces that are just worn out and need to be replaced, this is the time that I do that.

3. Organizing + cleaning: if you have a closet or room that you’ve been wanting to reorganize? Get those things now! Huge savings at The Container Store, but also on cleaning products. Again, a great time to shop for staples.


Jenni Kayne

20% off with code MDWEVENT 



25% off through 5/30 with code LONGWEEKEND 

Scout & Nimble

Up to 25% off!

The Container Store

30% off sitewide

Abercrombie & Fitch

20% off everything!

Visual Comfort

20% off


40% off your purchase plus an extra 50% off sale items with code WEEKEND

Serena & Lily

20% off with code SPLASH



It’s that time of year that Pinterest board is full of exterior landscaping from the Hamptons and Nantucket. I’m talking wood shingles, hydrangeas and boxwoods, soon followed by the urge to watch every Nancy Meyers movie ever made. From all of this we can only make one conclusion…

It’s coastal grandmother season!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it was an aesthetic defined a few years ago as a ‘clean and classic of women living in luxurious oceanfront properties set in the Hamptons’. Glamour describes it as

“Being a coastal grandmother means wearing loose, breathable fabrics and doing strength training by shifting a full glass of Sauvignon Blanc from hand to hand. It means shelling peas on a chaise lounge, or getting up at six to drink coffee with local cream in the still, cool promise of the morning.”

I mean, what doesn’t sound absolutely lovely about that?




There are three pillars to this aesthetic, and they are:

1. Neutrals

2. Linen

3. Classic + Timeless

I love any excuse to wear a beige sweater over my shoulders and if you’ve been following my Instagram stories the last month you will know that has been my go-to move. And to be honest I think a draped sweater is a power move in the coastal grandmother handbook.

Let’s review the staples of this look and just how easy it is to accomplish this aesthetic:




Whether you are wearing these as a cover up with a swimsuit, or maybe pairing them with a neutral stop and sandals for a stroll through the farmers market, these are not only so comfortable but great pieces to transition from spring to summer because of the breathable fabric.




An oversized white linen button down is a real strong coastal grandmother move. Go with cotton and you can pair it with jean shorts and a straw bag for a fresh + stylish vibe for Summer.




You can’t go wrong with these styles all year round. And did I mention I like to drape them over my shoulders yet? The perfect outfit for when you’re a little chilly on the beach in the Hamptons 🙂




I actually love these styles for this time of year no matter what aesthetic you’re going for. And the idea of filling them with produce for a farmers market, then walking to your beach house afterward makes me want to pick up and move pronto.




Another piece so crucial to a comfortable spring/summer wardrobe. And dare I say, a great piece to pair with a sweater draped over your shoulders?!








I don’t think I realized how crucial light fixtures would be in a flip before I built Haverford Manor. The character and details have to appeal to a large demographic so while I’d like to do trim and wallpaper all over the house, that’s not exactly the best route. So the light fixtures not only have to stand out in regards to design but also the ability to envision the furnishings and complete picture. And every single light fixture selection in Haverford Manor was intentional and thought out, so I thought we’d take a closer look.




The overall designs of the house was warm and neutral and we accomplished that with warm finishes like brass and gilded iron. There are several different finishes in bathrooms like polished nickel and some iron accents but in general stayed with brass.

And I wanted to make sure that even the small areas were taken care of. I didn’t want a whole wall of cabinets when you looked back from the living room, so instead of inserting the hood between those cabinets, I opened it up and added more lighting with these sconces. Kitchens are a naturally colder place because of the appliances and countertops so I wanted to make sure the lighting counteracted that, creating a warm place to gather as a family.




Then there were other areas like the mudroom (or as we called it the Boot Room) where I got to have a little fun. Sure we could have thrown a ton of recessed lights in here and been done with it, but that’s too boring. And since this area was a nice size, I was able to incorporate several different styles, including the library light pictured above. And when we hung the flush mount (in size grande) my GC said “now that’s a statement”. Add that with the vintage artwork and portrait light above the sink and you have a glorious mudroom!




I spent so much time designing the bathrooms, mostly because it was an amazing opportunity to show off some style! And lighting was a huge component of that. Once I had the tile selected, next was the lighting. While every bathroom is a little different, there is a consistent transitional and classic style to each of them. I brought the same fixture from the kitchen as a focal point in the primary bathroom, but with frosted glass. It paired so beautifully with the custom shades we had installed and we were so pleased with the end result.






And last, but certainly not least, are the exterior lights! I certainly hope people don’t think of these last because it can be such an easy way to elevate your curbside appeal. I wanted a focal point above the front door, and matched them with the wall lanterns above the garage doors as well as the ones above the patio doors. Fun wall sconces or even gas lanterns are an amazing way to instantly elevate your exterior game, and it illuminates the beautiful exterior of your home! Making everything pop. I mean, just look at that lantern/house number combo!






So if you’re wanting to redo something in your home, but not looking to do any big construction, start with your light fixtures. A room that relies solely on recessed lights is going to feel builder grade and colder than one with a beautiful light fixture. It can be a focal point in your room and bring together all of your beautiful furnishings and decor.




I mean, there are so many reasons to love and shop vintage, but I’ll try not to write a novel about it.




People have been catching on to the love of strolling through an antique store and finding a unique piece that no one else has. And to be honest, I resisted it at first! My own sister will tell you that when I was in my early 20’s I used to make fun of her for shopping for antiques. Chalk that up to another time she knew more than me. But vintage shops picked up in popularity a ton in the last few years as well when the cottage core aesthetic gained in popularity. And the resourceful folks out there realized it was a much better way to shop than waiting for 2 years for something to make its way through the supply chain.

And as I have slowly developed my own style and dream of our own forever home, I’ve realized how these unique one of a kind pieces really do set my home apart from the rest. I was watching one of my absolute favorite Instagram accounts the other week and their stories of adventures through their local antique stores and a few recent finds they got for their new house. And the last few slides were a light fixture that they made, and a chair they are getting reupholstered with the captions “if you can’t find it, design it yourself”, and that really hit me! Why would I just settle for what retailers are offering?





Which leads me to my first point about why everyone should shop vintage; the character. To find a piece of furniture with that perfect amount of patina, or maybe that set of Harvard Classic books to decorate a bookshelf, or a set of vintage glasses for your bar cart are the perfect ways to bring timeless character into your home. There is a depth to vintage that you can’t get by buying new. It’s a depth to its story and its wear that will expand across your home. Our sitting room shelves are full of almost all vintage items, as well as a sideboard from Chairish and a soon-t0-be-received Louis XVI Buffet turned bar cart as well! By layering these pieces with neutral upholstery and new items brings that balance of old and new but enhances the timelessness of these older pieces as well.



This is one aspect that I don’t think I have ever talked about on here, but have recently been loving! I first experimented with this with a 6 foot camelback sofa that I got reupholstered for the dining room settee in Haverford Manor, and let me tell you, the transformation was lovely! So it got me thinking about all of these vintage chairs that I see on Chairish and 1stDibs and how amazing they would be with new upholstery or maybe even a new finish. This is exactly what Josh Young was talking about in his stories, ‘if you can’t find it, design it yourself’, and I think I’m going to take his advice. I’ve got my eye on two vintage Martha Washington chairs that would look just lovely in our sitting room with new striped upholstery.




Unfortunately cheap + fast furniture is just as damaging to the environment as fast fashion, and unfortunately loads of it ends up in the dump anyway! So instead, shop local with something that has already been made! Use a beautiful piece that has already been handcrafted and sitting down the road instead of trying to get something cheap that you’ll end up throwing out in a few years anyway because it will likely break after two seconds.



Again, no need to wait 2 years for a custom piece of furniture when you could get something with just as much character that is ready to go! Now, I still advocate for refreshing a piece when it needs it, but I waited for our coffee table for almost 10 months! And while I love custom pieces because I think that they also can elevate your home, I also know that they are pricey, and take a very long time. So you can get something that also elevates your home and style, but without the long lead times.




So if you’re looking for a special piece for your home, start at some local vintage shops. And if you don’t have any great ones around you, be sure to follow Chairish and 1stDibs which are both amazing online vintage retailers.


Weekly Edit III


A new season, a time for change, sunshine, and new beginnings.

Spring in particular feels like such a fresh start at the beginning of the season. Especially here in Nashville where it does actually feel like Spring this time of year 🙂 and we can get outside and start to come to life again. The trees filled in last week and the grass is looking so green giving me this fresh new feeling of life.

With closing on Haverford the beginning of March it feels like a whole chapter of my life and business came to an end. I’ve honestly found myself confused, having lost my daily trips to the house to check on the progress of things. It was such a habit, and with a few signatures, that’s all gone! But now that I’ve had a few weeks to settle back into the new routine I feel like I’ve embraced the change and ready for new growth as well. On to new projects!




One big thing that I changed this month was my office. Originally in the formal sitting room right off the front door in our home, I felt like I needed a more dedicated space without distractions. We have a small guest room upstairs that we barely use (to be honest we have almost never used all of our guest rooms at one time…) that I thought would be the perfect spot. It’s the smallest of the guest rooms, has some built-in shelves and is right next to a large closet that I can use, which means our entryway will no longer be cluttered with all my stuff.

While I would love to “finish” this space into a perfect office, but as I’ve been brainstorming I realized that I wanted to finish it to be able to photograph it and share it instead of intentionally completing the space for my needs and aesthetic. So, I took a step back and decided to wait. Not only do we not know how long we’re going to be in this house but I’m hoping to always need an office/dedicated space, and I want the pieces that I put in here to be the ones that stay there. So, this space may feel empty and undone for a while now, and I’m okay with that if that means designing it intentionally and meaningfully.



I feel like all I have been talking about lately is porch and patio furniture, and I love it! We absolutely love our porch and spend so much time out here but the one thing that I felt like was missing was a little coffee area. There have been so many times I have wanted to sit under the covered area at a little table with my coffee or laptop to start the day but I didn’t want to make it a huge investment. Inspired by the RH Courtyard restaurants I got a cheaper version of their bistro tables and used two chairs from our outdoor dining set up to have here on a regular basis. I’ve already used it a ton and know that this table will be an easy one to fold in if we ever changed the arrangement.




I felt like I hadn’t given a ton of information about the designs at Haverford Manor, so I started doing posts along with the social media reveals. Obviously everything has been revealed on the portfolio, but the videos and photos on social are more in depth and give you a better look at each space. So I decided to go even further with a post detailing the room: the floor plan, the design elements, and even links to shop similar items. So far this month we’ve done the guest room, the dining room, and the living room. I’m hoping posts like this will be informational as well as interesting when looking deeper into the flip.

But now for the fun stuff! I’ve been dedicating more time and posts to fashion lately because I felt like I had neglected that area for a while. I’m still not promoting hauls or overbuying but I am sharing more of my staples and the many ways that I wear them. I did take spring cleaning to heart this year and cleaned out a ton of my closet that I felt I had been hanging on to for a while. You know those pieces, “well, I haven’t worn it in a while, but I might!”. I feel like my wardrobe is finally down to my essentials that I can and do consistently wear, and I have to say it feels so much better that way. Check out some essential Spring finds below as well as one of my new favorite Coastal Grandmother outfits!







I cannot tell you how much fun I had with this space. I know I’ve said it a million times already but I love designing utility areas. There is so much character you can get from the finishes, cabinetry, and flooring and it is so much fun putting it together. But beyond it looking nice, these rooms in particular have to be functional, so this post is going to cover the five essentials you need when designing a great mudroom.

I know from personal experience how annoying these spaces can be when they aren’t designed well. Ours for example? Just a drop zone, not any closed storage, and completely visible from the living room! So when you hang up your coat, put down your bag, or throw off your shoes, you can see it all. The laundry room? The door opens inward covering up over half of the cabinetry. It’s so annoying.



We had plenty of space to work with at Haverford Manor so I was lucky enough to have plenty of room to get creative as well as to fit all the essentials


I don’t think having open storage below the lockers is an awful idea, that’s what we have and I fit large baskets but it is a little messier. Having closed drawer storage for shoes keeps things much tidier.


Having a spot to hang your bags and your everyday coats is a no brained and the easiest thing to incorporate. But one thing that people don’t think about is tall coat storage. If you can’t put it in the mudroom itself, try and put it close by. If you’re anything like me you have coats of all kinds of lengths and you don’t want to have to walk all around your house to get them every time you want to wear them.




And no, durable tile doesn’t have to be boring! These herringbone brick panels were a huge hit and to be honest they looked even more beautiful when they were installed + grouted. We went with an over grouted look to really play up the rustic vibe. But most importantly, we sealed them first. You want to make sure that they are styles that are easy to clean but also can handle when you are stomping around in your boots, or when your kids drop their bag of sport equipment.


For me, this is an essential. I think that to have a spot to clean gardening equipment, shoes, or maybe even your kids craft stuff!


This one is definitely a luxury, but I do find it helpful. It can serve as a drop zone to store your keys or drop your mail even if it’s just a little extra space next to your sink. We were also lucky enough to have the space for an entire separate drop zone right at the back door of Haverford Manor so that’s where they will drop their keys. But I would kill for the separate counter space in the mudroom to go through the mail, or maybe store all the returns that we constantly pack up.



If you’re looking for a design consultation on your own mudroom design, book a consultation or a discovery call to chat through your space! Our virtual design services can put all of the room finishes together and help plan out your cabinetry design with your cabinet vendor. We’re here to help!




I think this is my favorite transformation of the entire house, let me explain.

This room stayed the exact same in size and location. Seriously! We knew the size of the room was plenty for a great living area and that the flow into the covered porch would work beautifully with French doors. Sure we could have had more square footage by continuing the second floor above this room, but come on, those vaulted ceilings? That’s a dramatic moment I didn’t want to miss. But let’s just do a quick side by side shall we?



Ya, loads better. And that’s not even to mention the horrible smell of dog from the carpet.

What you can’t see from the before picture is that the photo was taken from the old dining area, now the kitchen. And while that flow worked well for us, it was closed in a bit with walls and a large cased opening going into the living room. It was amazing how much bigger the whole space was when we simple opened up the entire opening to the room, taking down that drywall and cased opening. It completely opened up the space to what is now the kitchen making it flow much better and an open concept floor plan.

Because we added on the attached garage we lost the a set of windows, therefore a good amount of natural light. But by adding the French doors we kept that natural light and even enhanced it a bit. Plus with the vaulted ceilings everything feels lighter.



While I love wooden beams, I know they aren’t for everyone. And I felt like this house was a bit more on the traditional side to stylistically fit wood beams. So, as a compromise we ceiling beams in the same paint and finish as the ceiling. So there was still some dimension to accentuate the tall ceilings. I love how they turn out and think they really add a design element to the room, even when it’s empty.

And one of my favorite parts about this area? Is the view from the kitchen. I worked really hard to get the range and sink centered on the fireplace so that when you are washing the dishes, you have a direct line into the living room. And while I would have loved to have done a cast limestone fireplace surround, we went with Taj Mahal Quartzite. Definitely on the expensive end of materials but it was neutral enough to fit the space but nice enough to be a real accent in the living room. I added the 3 inch ledge around the outside to again, add dimension but to also give a little big of a ledge.



I absolutely love this transformation. It proves that you don’t need to completely change a floor plan to get a big new house. I’m so glad we were able to accomplish what we wanted to out of this space and so thrilled with the result.

Sofa + Chairs

Coffee Table

Jute Rug

Mirror vintage c/o Gaslamp Too

Chandelier c/o Visual Comfort & Co.

Floor Lamp c/o Visual Comfort & Co.

Ottomans c/o Canterbury Antiques


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