Connoisseur: Naomi Stein’s Favorite Things

The owner of Design Manifest spills on favorite local products, where to score incredible antiques, plus her top Philly cocktail spots.

Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

Washington Square West resident Naomi Stein, owner of Design Manifest, has been dreaming up gorgeous interior design plans for local movers and shakers for years. She opened up her stylish new studio in the Bok recently. Here’s the scoop on everything she can’t live without.

Favorite Things

From left: Evelyne bag; Empire Petite Pavé Stiletto Pendant necklace .

Accessory: Hermès Evelyne bag in camel leather. “It leaves my hands free for a lifestyle of juggling samples.”

Piece of jewelry: Empire Petite Pavé Stiletto Pendant necklace by Realm Jewelry. “It reminds me to be fierce.”

Currently reading: The Power, by Naomi Alderman. “I’m reading it for my book club. It feels very timely. What would it be like if women had more of the power?”

From left: Texture Florals; Bailey Bartholomew.

Indulgence: Flowers. “My ideal splurge would be a weekly delivery from Texture Florals. I absolutely love Nicole Rossi’s creations.”

Workout: Pilates reformer at Freehouse Fitness in Grad Hospital. “Dana Auriemma is so great.”

At Home

Pet: “I have a senior black pug named Bailey Bartholomew. He’s my constant companion.”


Biggest obsession: “I’m having a moment with wallpaper. We’re doing at least eight different papers in a client’s Fitler Square home.”

On my shopping list: “I’m on the hunt for the perfect vintage dresser to turn into a sink vanity for my bathroom.”

Best advice I ever got: “My father, a retired contractor, taught me that form follows function. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is; if it’s not functional, it’s not good design.”

I collect: Rugs. “I have a thing for vintage textiles and vibrant patterns. I bought 10 rugs the last time I went to Morocco!”

Out And About

Irwin’s, in the Bok Building

Local hangout: Irwin’s, in the Bok. “It’s three flights of stairs above my studio. It’s a great spot to grab a cocktail and bite after work.”

Mode of transportation: Black Jeep Grand Cherokee. “It’s perfect for fitting oversize chandeliers!”

Gin fizz at Rex 1516

Drink order: A gin fizz at Rex 1516 in Grad Hospital.

Project I’m working on: A full house renovation in Fitler Square. “We get to transform every inch of a young family’s home. It’s going to be design bananas in the best way.”

On the weekends, you’ll find me: “At Sunday family dinner at my sister’s in Wynnewood.”

Place to shop: “I’ve found some amazing furniture scores at Uniques & Antiques Auction Sales in Aston.”

Next vacation: Culebra, Puerto Rico. “I’m looking forward to off-the-grid relaxation. I really need to throw the internet away for eight days.”

Published as “Connoisseur: Naomi Stein” in the January 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.