Design Breakdown No.1

Design Breakdown No.1

Hello all! For my first Design Breakdown I wanted to choose a space that I feel reflects my style and the things that I’m loving right now.

This is a fun, colorful living room designed by Naomi and Andrew Stein of Design Manifest, a Philadelphia based design firm. The large doses of color paired with the white walls and white sofa were the elements that originally drew me to the space. After first discovering this beautiful living room on Pinterest, the most addicting thing since the creation of Ben and Jerry’s, the cellular phone, and Breaking Bad, I have been truly infatuated. I find myself pulling this room up on my phone frequently throughout the day just to covet its beauty. Yes ladies and gentleman that is obsession with interior design at its prime. Welcome to my life.


Every week I plan to pick a different space and analyze the different interior design techniques and styles used to construct it. I love looking at a space and taking away my own ideas and inspiration from it so I’m sure you will too! Progression by Design is a way for me to learn and practice while sharing my growing knowledge, skills, and tips with my readers. So I invite you to come along for the ride on my educational journey.

My favorite spaces seem to be the ones that achieve the “thrown together” look while still maintaining symmetry and basic design principles; hence my undying love and adoration for this living room.

Design Breakdown #1  (Your Favorite Spaces Broken Down By Design Element, AMAZING tips) | Progression By Design


Design Manifest

1. Focal Points At first glance, the eye is immediately drawn to the bold, minimalist art piece on the focal wall. I mean how could it not be? All white with a large splash of blue? It just screams “You… yeah you… look at me!” The next component my eye was drawn to was the single black and white pillow placed in the middle of the pillow arrangement on the sofa. By placing this darker patterned pillow in the center of the sofa, it effectively achieves its purpose: to capture your eye like Bradley Cooper lifting weights.

Ahem. I digress.

  • Design Tip: Create a focal point with an unexpected pop of color in your space. Dictate the first place the eye travels to upon entering the room. Use a large piece of art, a bright pillow, or another statement piece to catch the eye.

2.  Mixing Fabrics– I commend anyone that can take completely bold fabrics in varying colors and tie them together with the space in a bold, cohesive way. To me, these sofa pillows really achieve this look. The designer maintains a look of symmetry by placing two blue pillows and two black and white patterned pillows on opposing sides of the sofa. The “wow” effect is furthered by throwing in some seemingly wild card pillows with accenting colors into the mix.

  • Design Tip: By choosing a large neutral furniture piece for the room, it allows the designer to pair the piece with a bolder, funkier choice of pattern and color in decorative pillows or in other areas of the room. This is a safe option if you’re not as confident with injecting  pattern or color into your space. The color palettes are endless with these neutral base colors!!

3. Distributing Color– After my initial jaw dropping reaction to the beautiful pillow arrangement accompanying the sofa, I immediately noticed the rug. This gorgeous blue velvet rug pulls the blue accents from the wall art and sofa pillows down to the floor. If this rug lovingly adorned my apartment floors, I most certainly would be destined to live the quiet lives of the individuals featured on Febreeze commercials: cheeks to carpet, soft caresses, looks of peaceful contentment. There’s nothing wrong with loving your floor coverings more than life itself right? RIGHT?!

  • Design TipRepeating colors or patterns sparingly through out a room creates a more cohesive, finished look.

4. Decorative Accents– The large piece of white coral on the over sized coffee table adds texture and visual interest. I love carefully chosen doses of coral in a space. Coral is beautiful and looks great in varying styles of spaces. A coastal theme certainly doesn’t need to be present in the room to place these little guys on a traditionally styled shelf or vibrant bohemian coffee table.

  • Design Tip: Don’t necessarily limit yourself to decorative accents that remain in the rest of the room’s color palette or “theme” if you will. The coral on the coffee table gives the room unexpected texture and interest.

5. Anchoring the Space– The dark console chest next to the sofa, anchors the space with its darker colors. The black pillows and black lampshade tie in with this anchor piece to further the room’s already pleasing color balanced aesthetics.

  • Design Tip: Furniture “weight” if you will, impacts the look and feel of a space. For example, a coffee table with thin metal legs would create a different look than if replaced with a large wooden coffee table. Using furniture with a lighter visual weight can enlarge the overall feel of your space.

All in all, this room is just gorgeous. Everything ties in with one another without appearing “matchy matchy.”  This is a prime example of organized chaos, my favorite look.


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    Hi Marie!

    I’m officially caught up on your blog – I like your writing style and blog layout. It’s a pleasure to read!

    I especially like the design breakdown. More of those please!!!

    Glad to have you in Cafe Blogger!


      Marie Huang

      Thank you so much I really appreciate it! And I’m glad you liked it, I wasn’t sure how people would respond to that kind of post! It’s good to get some feedback. I will work on getting some more of those posted!
      Thanks again!

      Marie H.