I thought you might enjoy this fun, modern playroom I designed for a dear friend and client. Liz, from The Lemon Bowlis a local and very well known food blogger who also happens to be my friend. Her family recently bought a fabulous home and I am honored to work with them to create an intentional design for how they really want to live. 

The Client Brief

*design for 10 years by creating a space fun enough for kids without being juvenile
*modern and colorful 
*a playroom for two boys
*enough space for many cousins to play
*drawing and board game surface
*sleeper sofa for occasional guests

First task was looking for inspiration.

I started with the rug! I was so inspired by the texture and modern vibe. This gives them so much flexibility for the future because it doesn't look like a child's rug, and has enough color that it could work in many other rooms in the future should they choose to move it.

Add a sleeper sofa that also looks awesome and adds a punch of color!
Plus a darling toy storage with added texture.

They also needed a piece to ground the TV and in a playroom, extra storage is always key.
Plus, the boys need a desk that has room for both of them, plus the little shelves leave room for storing papers and board games. I paired the table with two blue chairs. Did I mention we wanted color? ;-)

Finally, a teepee to call their own. Because two little boys need a lounge-y hideout. 

There you have it! What do you think? 
Is this a playful space you'd like in your own home? 

Do you follow The Lemon Bowl? If not, you are truly missing out. Liz shares awesome recipes and her Instagram is fan-ta-stic.

Thanks for reading! If you would like our help in creating an intentional home you absolutely love, click over to our design services page for more information. We'd love to connect!
You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.


What happens during a design consultation?

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors!
I'm so glad you're here. 

Have you ever wondered what actually happens during a design consultation? 

I've recently been making changes to my business, and developing more systems to make the client 
process more seamless. Let's walk through what you can expect from 
a design consultation with Abby Manchesky Interiors.

The first step in working with us is to answer a few questions here. We review your contact form and call you to answer any questions you may have. Then, when you decide to move forward with the consultation we schedule a two hour meeting in your home. An invoice is sent to you previous to this meeting that is paid up front. 

Here's why:

There are two types of consultations offered.

1) One Time Consult: You need a designer but you are simply seeking their ideas and prefer to do the work yourself. 

2) Project Consult: You want to begin a whole-room or whole-house project with Abby Manchesky Interiors.

Either way, the consultation process is the same! I arrive with a detailed spreadsheet in hand. I also have a paint deck, measuring tape, and calendar. 


*You'll need to block off two hours for this consultation. It may be less, but my experience has shown two hours to be the ideal amount of time. 

*Both decision makers must be present for the consultation.

*These two hours can be used to answer any questions you may have for the house.
-paint colors
-furniture layout
-design challenges 
-setting priorities for the future

*I will interview you regarding how you want to live in your home, what's important to you, what isn't working for you, what must stay, what can go, etc.

*Then walking through your home room by room, while taking detailed notes, I listen to you share your needs for each space. 
     -My notes are listed by room, item, description, and supplier/next steps.

I've broken down an example of what you would see in my notes.

Living Room | Lighting | chandelier doesn't fit the style of home or provide enough light. recommending they add canned lighting plus a more appropriate fixture | recommend they call their electrician for ceiling lights, shop circalighting.com, and shopcandelabra.com for new fixtures.

Living Room | Lighting | chandelier doesn't fit the style of home or provide enough light. Add canned lights & better fixture | schedule electrician for Trade Day & source fixture

There are typically many pages of notes by the time we walk through the entire home. As you can see, my notes for a project client are for me and not for my clients to keep. These are then saved into my computer and this task list is then turned into a tracking schedule and installation schedule. If this is just a one time consult, then I hand the notes over to you at the end of the consultation. 
Either way, many ideas, recommendations, and sources are exchanged.

Every designer operates differently, and some do not charge for the consultation. The downside is that many times they will hold back from sharing their ideas & expertise because they are waiting until they are officially hired. Charging for the consultation prevents this & provides full confidence that you are receiving all the designer has to give in this meeting. 

*I also review my process that I use to manage projects. Then you may decide if you'd like to move forward.

I've recently starting using this method in consultations and have found it to be incredibly helpful and awesome. What do you think? I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect from a consultation! If you would like to schedule a phone call to hear more about the design services offered, click here to go to my services page. We would love to work with you! 


A Family Friendly Living Room

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors!

I've linked to some of these pieces below for your shopping pleasure. Just click on the piece you'd like. 
These are affiliate links. 

Many of my clients love the look of a white sofa. It feels so clean and fresh. But many of them are nervous to try a white sofa with kids or pets. Here's the good news! The fabrics available, even at retail sources, have changed and they now offer durable stain-resistant pieces. For example, lines like Sunbrella and Crypton allow for your family to truly live in your home without the fear that someone might spill and wreck your investment. 

For large families, or clients that entertain a lot, I often recommend a bench seat on your sofa. This means one long continuous cushion without the cracks you'd get with a double or triple seat. This allows you to fit more guests on one sofa and it's very comfortable.

Another way to keep beautiful pieces family friendly is by adding pattern. Granted this can be tricky to do, but if you're really stuck I recommend reaching out to a designer. You want to coordinate your patterns by mixing scale. For example: a large floral, a small stripe, and a medium geometric. These patterned slipper chairs are a perfect way to add extra seating without the stress of keeping them perfect. 

My client isn't using this piece but I think it's so beautiful! 

I just recently discovered the line of lighting from Dana Gibson and am truly crushing on her. An interesting lamp can elevate a space to the next level. This one doesn't disappoint. 

What do you think of this plan? Is this a space your family could relax in? 


Q & A from The One Room Challenge

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors! I'm so glad you're here.

photos via Ashley Avila Photography

I am in the process of decorating our kitchen. I try to read as much as possible beforehand so I don't make any expensive mistakes. However, I find myself so confused as to the "do's" and "don'ts" along the way. I noticed that you used a bold color choice on your lower cabinetry and beautiful gold/brass hardware pieces throughout your space. In the past gold and brass fixtures were thought to date a space and we all replaced them as soon as possible. I love the look, but don't want to run the risk of dating the room if it is a trend that won't remain in fashion very long. Same with using bold colors on cabinetry. I feel forced into going with white for possible resale value, but I love color. How should one proceed with decisions such as these? I hate living for the possibility of what someone else would like if we sold the house. Yet I don't want to have the added expense of changing things to remain marketable in the future either. Perhaps I'm just over thinking everything....please help!

Dear Reader-

*You are smart to do some research on the "do's and don'ts" of kitchen design, but may I suggest you hire a designer for at least a one hour consult? This could save you hours of time and from the costly mistakes you're worried about. I will do my best to answer your questions, but what works in my kitchen is different than what may work in YOUR kitchen. We are different. Our homes are different. And most importantly our values are different--our goal is to stay in this home long term. You may want to move in 10 years. Hiring a designer helps you navigate what would be ideal for you and your family based on your goals and values.

*Yes, I used a bold color on my lower cabinets. Green. Steamed Spinach by Benjamin Moore to be exact. :-) But here's the important part--I've wanted green cabinets for more than three years. I did not select this color because it happens to be trending, but because I truly love greens and blues and it fits the context of our home. When you walk in it's not a jarring shock of color. It's more like "Oh, of course green cabinets." So questions to ask yourself for your own kitchen makeover:
1) What would make sense in the context of our home.
2) Do we plan to move in the next 10-15 years? If yes, then you may want to keep it the cabinets white and paint your island a color. For the love of all things design keep your back splash timeless. Subway tile has been around for decades and it's not going out of style. Your back splash is not the place to make a statement. There are countless beautiful subway tiles and different cuts to make them unique.

*Brass. Is it too trendy? Will it go out of style? Mmmmm...yes and no. But if you love it it doesn't matter. Brass, like subway tile, has been around forever. Granted, the brass we're seeing now has a more fresh look to it but it really depends on the context of your kitchen and home. Here are some general rules on metal finishes to help you.
1) Everything does not need to be the same metal. You can have a chrome faucet with brass hardware and black door knobs on your front door. Don't feel so locked in that once you add a piece of brass you have to change everything in your entire home. Mixing metals in 100% fine.
2) If you're going to mix them, then ideally you'd have more than one piece of each metal. This keeps it looking less like an accident and more intentional.

*Kitchens have a time stamp, even if they are a wood finish.  Oak cabinets to the dark mahogany of the 90's...you can usually walk into any kitchen and stamp a decade on it. This is why white kitchens work so well. They feel clean and they don't scream a specific decade. BUT if you love color, there are countless examples of beautiful blue, green, gray, navy, and white kitchens on Pinterest. You are the one that will live there. Do what you love. I would never recommend selecting colored cabinets because of a trend, but if you love color and know you want color on your cabinets, then go for it! Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Again, I'd recommend hiring a designer to help you select the color. Cabinets are an investment. Painting them is an investment. Color can go wrong quickly and you want to make sure it's correct.
2) Ask your painter to spray a sample door front for you so that you can see it in the light of your kitchen. Look at it in the morning...afternoon...evening. It will change color throughout the day and you want to make sure it works.
3) Will this color make sense with the rest of your home? Does it make sense with the style of your home? For example, if you live in a mid-century ranch you're not going to install a Tuscan style kitchen. Same goes with color.

*Make a list of your priorities. If resale value is your number one priority then I would go as timeless as possible. But select the most beautiful details you can that make you happy, such as the faucet, a fabric roman shade over the sink, hardware, lighting, even the hand towel and soap dispense that you use every day! If your number one priority is to love where you live and make it your own (this was our number one priority) then by all means do that! Don't make your decisions out of fear or what's trending, but based on what brings you joy every time you walk in the room.

A beautiful kitchen is marketable. Period. And no matter what, you can't make every future buyer happy. I hope you're able to love where you live soon!

This question was left on my blog's Facebook page. If you would like to join us there and have questions of your own, I'd love to connect with you. I'm also most actively on Instagram

If you would like my help with your home, click here for more information


One Room Challenge Reveal: A Grand Rapids Kitchen

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors! I'm thrilled you're here on this most fun day of the
One Room Challenge reveal.

Before you scroll down and skip all the words (I know how this works.) I want you to know that I'll be sharing a 'behind the scenes' post tomorrow detailing all the mishaps, miracles, and moments along the way that make this real life. If you have any ORC questions you'd like answered please post them in the comments below and I will address them tomorrow! Most importantly: THANK YOU! Many of you have been wildly supportive behind the scenes, especially on Instagram. I appreciate you. I'm also very grateful to the tradesman who made this crazy short timeline happen. I couldn't DIY my way out of this one and would have been drowning without their help. I'll be linking to them at the bottom of this post. 

Special thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for creating the One Room Challenge and to House Beautiful, her media partner. An incredible amount of work goes into pulling off this grand collaboration & we appreciate the work you do!

All of the after photos are from Ashley Avila Photography. We've worked together many times and she is crazy about the details, just like me. She is a pro when it comes to making my work look the closest to how it feels in real life. She is a delight to work with and I can't wait to do it again!

Below is our kitchen before the One Room Challenge began. Essentially it looked how it did when we bought our home six years ago. Honestly, there's nothing *wrong* with the kitchen the way it was. I think many people probably have a kitchen similar to this. But it didn't fit with the rest of our home. My personal aesthetic is more light and bright with a dash of the unexpected. As a designer I wanted our kitchen to be reflection of our family, not what someone else thought was appropriate whenever the kitchen was last designed.
My goal has been to transform this from workable to wonderful.

Here is the BEFORE view when you walk in our front door. We removed two feet of wall and the ceiling that came down and divided the kitchen from the dining room. We also removed the deep bulkhead from the kitchen, along with the upper cabinets. Like I mentioned above, I needed professional help from the trades on this one! Drywall, electrical, plumbing, tile, and paint were key.

This microwave niche never worked. I also didn't want the clutter of the microwave on the minimal counter space I have, so I asked to electrician to add a plug to the inside of my pantry and the microwave lives in there. Now I have the perfect spot for a coffee bar that is not only beautiful but incredibly functional. I have coffee filters, coffee grounds, and coffee pot at my fingertips. 

Nothing makes a greater impact on the style in your home than changing your lighting. Remove the hallway light that you don't even notice anymore because you've looked at it for years, and change it for something that's interesting and adds style to your home! I've gotten so many compliments on the different lights we've added to our kitchen and dining room. People love the sea urchin pendants because of the shadows and because they've never seen lights like this before. The candelabra pendant adds much needed texture to the dining room and sets a more casual tone. In contrast, our otherwise very casual kitchen got some sparkle by adding vintage lighting. I can't imagine our space without these key pieces. They truly make the design. 

Our home is was built in the 70s, complete with a huge sunken family room. This is just one corner of the space, but I love that it tells part of the story of our colorful home and gives context to the kitchen. It feels like it wanted to look this way all along. 

Here is an even older shot of our dining room, which shows the old buffet. We have since moved it to our basement as a TV console.

Let's talk about the buffet wall in the dining room.
Originally I spoke with a contractor to get an estimate for a whole wall of built-in drawers along the dining room wall. I didn't want any cabinets, just drawers. I needed extra storage and my dishes tend to get messier/lost in a cabinet. The estimate came back far more than I wanted to spend. We have other spaces in the home (basement, master bath) that we still need to finish and it just wasn't a high priority for their price. SO...I was at my favorite vintage store when one of their vendors, John Knox, asked me if I wanted to walk through his warehouse. YES! I kid you not, I found this perfect-for-me buffet that basically gives me a wall full of drawers and didn't need any refinishing. I loved the finish. Loved the hardware. And the price a steal.

Where did you put all your dishes? Do you really have enough space with open shelves?
Yes. My kitchen is only 12 x 12, so I've never had a huge kitchen and the luxury (or burden?) or keeping many items. If I want to stay organized then I need to keep things to a minimum. Our cereal bowls and ugly coffee mugs that we've acquired through the years are in a drawer. Otherwise, all our everyday dishes and serving ware are on the shelves. It's honestly been awesome in the short time we've been able to use it. Emptying the dishwasher is a breeze. No cabinets to open. 
Everything is within reach. 

How did you hang the art on the tile?
I intentionally planned on incorporating art into my kitchen and was thrilled to have a piece by Jennifer Flannigan. I measured so that it would be centered on the dishwasher. Then my Tile Installer, Scott Hoeksema, drilled a hole in the tile so that he could add a long screw to hang the art.

Only keep what is both functional AND beautiful. 
This may sound crazy to some of you, but my goal was to have beauty at every station of the kitchen. This faucet is sculptural and makes dishes bearable. Adding this custom vase next to the sink just makes me happy every day. I found the soap dispenser in the bathroom section at Target...feel free to use what you love and not be bossed around by how the stores define items. These pockets of beauty overwhelm me with gratitude. 

What does your family think of the space?
They love it. My husband takes a minute to like change and this was a *huge* change. But he's a big fan of how open it feels now and how the tiny lights over the shelves make everything sparkle. My youngest son is probably the most pleased. He's very impacted by his surroundings, just like his mother, and he keeps telling me how happy he is that our kitchen is "so beautiful." He recommends we open a restaurant. My tween just says "cool." which is really all a mother can ask. ;)

What have I learned? More than learned, I've been reminded that persistence is key. This has been a personal labor of love and given me renewed empathy for clients living through construction. It's not easy, especially with kids. It's a mess. We were living in chaos. But as I've told my clients countless times; good design changes how you live & feel in your home. Whether we walk in the front door or the garage door, we are hit with beauty. We can see the kitchen & the sparkle all the way from the other side of our sunken 70's-house living room. Your home can bring you joy! I'm so looking forward to having friends and family in our home. Our neighbors have said how inviting and happy it feels now. That's my prayer for our family and our home. 

Thank you so much for reading and following along in this process. Many sponsors made this possible and I am filled with gratitude. I've listed all the items used below, (some sponsored some not) but if you have questions please let me know in the comments.

If you would like to work together designer a home you truly love, click here for more information about my interior design services.

I would love to connect with you! You can find me here.

Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | abbyminteriors@gmail.com


Faucet | HansGrohe

Jade Vase | Jill Rosenwald

Cabinet Hardware | Emtek by Assa Abloy

Sea Urchin Pendant | Varaluz

Custom Art in Kitchen | Jennifer Flannigan Art

Cabinet Color | Steamed Spinach by Benjamin Moore

White Shelves | Rejuvenation

Brass Brackets | Rejuvenation

Lucite Pendants | Scout Design

4 x 12 white subway tile | Home Depot

Kitchen Runner | Target

Coffee Canister | West Elm

Butter Dish | West Elm

Bread Box | World Market

Clear Acrylic Serving Tray | World Market

Silver Tea Canister | Ana Bode, sold on her instagram

Vintage Lamp | Goodwill

Marble Utensil Holder | Target

Marble & Wood Cutting Boards | HomeGoods, but similar here

Hand Soap dispenser | Target

Three Succulent Planter | HomeGoods

Hand Towel | Tuesday Mornings

Dishes on the Shelves | Vintage, Target, or HomeGoods, but mostly vintage


Dining Table | AllModern

Dining Rug | Dash & Albert an Annie Selke Company

Chair and Pillow Fabric | Fabricut

Dining Room Art | Minted by Chelsea Scott

Pillow Workroom | Laura Taylor Studio

White Vases | Bellacor

Brass Wall Sconces | LampsPlus

Pendant | Candelabra

The Team

Electrician : VerPlank Electric is very friendly, professional, and made sure to take care of the mess that was my kitchen. I highly recommend Dave at VerPlank Electric. 616.447.8774
Bob's Drywall: Oh my gosh. He spent 43 hours on putting my ceiling and walls back together again. He put up with friends popping in and looking at the kitchen. Call Bob. He's great! 616.318.2586
Home Helpers 4 U: I've been using Dan for my client projects, including kitchens, for years. He sprayed the cabinets, walls, and ceiling. Our house wouldn't be the same without his magic on the cabinets.
Tile Installer: Oh man. He worked hard. The brackets and shelves involved a lot of math and effort. The short timeline/deadline meant there wasn't any room for error. Thankfully Scott Hoeksema did a wonderful job! Thanks Scott! 616.426.9886
Plumber: When we removed the bulkhead there was a dreaded angled pipe in my kitchen. Ken Bart came to the rescue! He also installed our stunning faucet that we were too nervous install ourselves. Thanks Ken! 616.437.1921
Photography: Ashley Avila Photography. Have I mentioned the tight deadline? This girl worked a crazy tight turn around to be sure I had photos on time to share with you. She worked through the night while managing a kiddo with an earache. Thank you, Ashley, for being a talented artist and great at your craft!
Clothing: Dear Prudence is a local store with a wonderful owner who generously provided me with my dress for this post. Please be sure to follow them on Instagram. They have the best unique pieces: both boho and preppy.

Please take a moment to click through the other 19 projects! So many designers have put blood, sweat, and tears into their spaces. I'd love to hear what you think! I know I have my favorites. 


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