As we dive headlong into fall, I know the season is all about warm tones and tons of pumpkins, but this year I’m looking to create fall vibes without a gourd in sight (anyone else want to jump on this bandwagon? Just me??). Anywho, I will always, always come to back to gray interiors. They just make me happy. This is especially true in kitchens. Continue to scroll to see why.

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We all want our kitchens to be stunning, fabulous spaces so we actually love spending all that time in them, right? If we spend a third of our lives asleep, we must spend at least a quarter in the kitchen. Or at least moms do. Regardless, while utilitarian in function, gray puts the sexy back in kitchen design. The examples above are proof positive gray is the way to go (sorry not sorry white kitchens).

Can kitchens be sexy? I dare say they can! A dark charcoal gray color creates a sober, yet glamorous chicness in a kitchen that I just love. That uber-dark gray is warmed up with brass hardware and fixtures, while lighter gray walls and marble counters further soften the look and keep the space from feeling too cave-like. If you really want to get in the mood add those herringbone floors. You’re sure to swoon every time you step on them.

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Now, if you feel like you only want to dip your toe into the gray kitchen pool, a lighter warmer gray on your cabinets is a good first step. When paired with bright white walls and soft wood floors you still maintain a light, bright feeling. You’re living near the edge – just not quite teetering over it.

What say you? You down to go gray this fall?

For more kitchen design ideas, CLICK HERE.

kitchens 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

It’s been a bit since I’ve tackled a mom topic, but this go round the mamas are discussing kids and technology and I couldn’t miss my chance to chime in. Being in this blogging business obviously connects me to technology damn near 24/7. And after a decade of surfing those interwebs, seeing the tech shrink from my desk to the thing that I practically sleep with under my pillow, I definitely have a lot of conflicting emotions about what tech has brought to our lives.

how to manage technology and kids on apartment 34

So I’m going to be the square here and state right up front: I am firmly against introducing technology to young kids.

Harsh, yes, I know. Now, I don’t consider myself a hippie mom or a protect-my-kid-from-any-and- all-evils mom, but the evidence is just in your face that technology screws with our brains – but particularly the brains of children. It stunts their ability to form empathy. It rewires their ability to focus. Technology been shown to increase depression, insomnia and narcissism. It’s addictive. There is article after article after terrifying article about tech’s detrimental effects. I’m sure you’ve read most of them. If not, click on ones like this. Then there’s the anecdotal fact that I just quit social media cold turkey while on vacation last week and could literally pinpoint the dip in my mood when I started scrolling through Instagram again and saw what I’ve “missed.” But that’s likely a blog post for another time.

While I’ve got my own problems to deal with, I’ve done my best to limit technology from invading my son’s world. Granted he’s only 2.5 and still lives in our little bubble. But we’ve yet to introduce TV, there have been no iPad games, and while I have succumbed to using FaceTime and flipping through photos on the phone, I never feel great about it (and in fact, I’ve noticed my son only wants the phone more if we look at pictures too much. Time to actually print those photo books I’ve been meaning to make!). And I’ve survived! In fact, it hasn’t really been that hard. I thought for sure I’d need tech to rescue you me from some parental disaster or another, but I’ve yet to feel the need. Of course, I’m excited for the days when he can watch Sesame Street, and I wonder what his first movie will be (mine was Sleeping Beauty in the theater btw), but that’s mostly about reliving my own childhood than enriching his. He’d rather just play basketball, or trucks or sing a song. And I’m probably just lusting after the 20-minute break.

Does this mean we’ve had to leave a nice dinner when there was a meltdown? Yes. Does this mean that my six hour flights to and from a Hawaii were a bit more torturous? Yes. Do I miss watching sports on the weekends because we always keep the TV off? Sure. But limiting my son’s exposure to technology has also dramatically increased my awareness of technology’s invasion into my day. I recognize my own weaknesses and think about how lucky I was to not have to fight against them as a kid. I grew up with six TV channels and didn’t get a video game until I was 13. And yet I always wanted to sneak in more than my 30 minutes of allotted TV time.

Of course, I don’t miss the irony that I’m delivering this opinion via technology nor the fact that you’re probably reading it on your phone right now. But I also don’t miss the fact that my son notices every single time I pick up my phone. So now when he gets up from his nap, I keep my phone in a different room. I’ve turned off all notifications. I keep my laptop in my office rather than on my couch. If he doesn’t see my world revolving around tech, it won’t occur to him for his world to do the same.

 

So I’m going to keep trucking with this zero technology thing for as long as I can. I know as my son gets bigger and makes friends he’ll probably get exposed to TV. I know that there are some benefits to digital learning games and maybe at some point we’ll try them. I know kids will have to be fully fluent in technology to survive in today’s world, but developing that fluency is inevitable. I know I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but I read about this pledge: wait until 8th. It’s the idea that kids should not spend any significant time on smart phones until they are 14 years old. I’m into it.

Of course, I realize parents have to make their own choices about all of this and I certainly don’t judge. You’ve got to do what feels right for you. But the last decade has changed our own use of technology so dramatically, we’ve barely even had time to realize what it’s done to our relationships, our communications skills – our own health – let alone the long term effects it might have on tiny brains.

But I’m curious? What boundaries do you use with technology? How do you mamas with older kids deal? I would love to hear your thoughts. And be sure to check out the other posts from these mamas!

Ave Styles || The Life Styled || Design for Mankind || Natalie Borton || The Effortless Chic

 

For the entire Real Talk, Real Moms archive, CLICK HERE

image via my domaine

Apartment 34 on Instagram

While my personal style posts have been much fewer and farther between (thanks, motherhood and late 30s) this post from a few years back is a look I’d still gladly rock today (though I admit, the heels would probably be traded out for flats). But even years later, I’m loving this look and thinking I need to recreate it when I’m back from Kauai!

As fall officially creeps up on us,  it’s time to break out your favorite cool-weather pieces. But as I sifted through my sea of dark jeans, black coats and cream sweaters, things were looking a little too…shall I say predictable? Truth is, I’ve been dying to push my boundaries and try the new hot hue in town: oxblood.

Oxblood, maroon, wine, whatever you like to call it, it is technically not a neutral, but I’m here to convince you that it’s an incredibly wearable color that you’re going to want to get your hands on this season. I can attest, you’ll want to wear it with everything.

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When looking to make my first wine-colored purchase, I was thrilled when I came across oxblood waxed skinny jeans. Talk about an upgrade from your basic denim. These have just the right amount of sheen and their extra stretch makes sure they hug in all of the right places, making a super chic foundation for a sophisticated fall look.

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I liked the idea of pairing the oxblood with another great neutral: navy. The two dark colors together make a killer team. They have a similar depth of tone and a richness that really compliment each other well. There’s no harsh break for the eye, just one smooth color-blocked palette. And you know me, I love a good turtleneck.

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And of course, you have to top off the quintessential fall ensemble with a great coat. A classic peacoat shape, lush plaid pat, ern and fabric like tweed or harringbone will bring in texture and add a shot of sophistication to your style. Try the streetstyle du jour – draping it on your shoulders (no longer du jour, but I still do it all the time!) The architectural lines of a draped coat compliment the skinnies and make your stems appear to go on for days.

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get the look: oxblood skinny jeans // tweed coat // satchel // pointed toe d’orsay pump // navy turtleneck // sunglasses 

It’s official, oxblood is my new “neutral” this season. It’s totally breaking me out of my comfort zone and dare I say, I really like it! Who knew I would be turning my back on basic black and opting for a little punch of color this fall.

Now the question is, will you?

SHOP THE POST

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

Since I’m still basking in the glow of the Kauai sun, I’m taking a cue from my tropical location for today’s Idea to Steal: hanging hammocks as wall decor.

idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34

I’ve talked about hammocks in modern spaces before. I even incorporated one into the den I designed for Sunset Magazine a few years back! But as woven wall hanging remain all the rage, I love the idea of switching things up a bit and using a hammock as your wall decor instead.

Famed Tulum hotel Coqui Coqui is most likely the originator of this look, and some copy the vibe verbatim which is fine by me. It’s a damn good idea. Hammocks look great in living spaces or above a bed. But there are some original twists on the hammock as wall decor too – like Sarah’s idea to put a mini one over a fireplace in her Palm Springs a-frame. Genius. I’m particularly obsessed with the dramatic look of an all black bed with a striking black hammock draped above. Not sure where one would find an all black hammock, but I just might be adding that to my wishlist for the Victorian. Talk about some seriously sexy decor drama.

What say you? Are you into this look? It definitely has a laid back vibe but I think you could put a sophisticated spin on it. I think I’m gonna try.

Inspired? Click HERE for our entire Idea to Steal archive.

images: stories by sarah sherman samuel // lonny // cerruti draime // domino // domino // cerruti draime // the now // 

If you frequent Apt34 from time to time, you may have seen that I’ve been working on a toddler room refresh for my two and a half year old. Rather than get overwhelmed by trying to redesign the entire space at once, I decided to tackle it area by area. First up: the closet. Did you see the before I shared a few weeks back? The closet was just a hot mess and a missed opportunity to capitalize on very usable space. But now the makeover is complete and today you get to see the after! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

It did take a bit of elbow grease to get the closet looking this spiffy. First there was the getting rid of the things (yes, I forced myself to part with stacks of swaddle blankets and tiny baby outfits I’d been holding onto with a vice grip). Then there was the cleaning of the things. Funny how grungy a space gets when you don’t touch it for months on end!

Thankfully, a few quick swipes with Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes caught all the dust and dog hair that had accumulated in there. I love that they pick up allergens too. I followed that up with a thorough wipe down with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for a totally clean slate. The closet looked as sparkly new as the day we moved in.

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

After that good wipe down, I set out to transform this space into a little creative studio for my little guy. Now all his art supplies, legos, stickers and the like are within reach of his little fingertips – and out of my sight! The secret? Boxes on bins, on tubs, on boxes. For example, I found the perfect white bins that hide the (ever growing!) collection of legos. So happy about that.

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

The adorable ABC bins now holding favorite puzzles, blocks and balls are from Pehr Petit. I love that the bins still feel young and playful, but are a touch more elevated in the monochromatic color palette.

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

Despite my personal aversion to color, I had to pay homage to my kiddo’s creative side by displaying some of his masterpieces and his most-prized possessions on the closet wall – the banjo and ukulele. Now his instruments hang just like his music teacher’s – major bonus points for mama (though he’s probably more excited about the little men they’re hanging from then the display itself).

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

This little kid table is the perfect workstation for anything creative. I love that the stools can tuck in out of the way. And it’s actually pretty comfortable for me to sit at too.

a creative toddler room update on apartment 34

get the look: wall-mounted book bins // pehr petit alphabet baskets // children’s banjo // children’s ukulele // white storage bins // white washed wood storage bins // fabric storage bins // little buddy wall hooks // wooden elephant puzzle // retro wood car // maxi helly helicopter // baby letto lemonade play table // vehicles book 

Finally, I corralled our extensive book collection with wall mounted shelves that make it easy for a toddler to recognize book covers and grab what he wants to “read” for himself. I keep the nicer titles that are less friendly to rough and tough play in the upper bin. It’s the perfect way to make use of the vertical space.

With this little makeover, I accomplished two goals: dramatically increasing the amount of usable playspace in my son’s room and I gave myself way more storage and the ability to tuck away mess with the simple swing of a door. It was a win all around. I’m happy to report that my son is just as thrilled with his new space as I am!

For more peeks into our San Francisco Victorian, CLICK HERE.

For more kid’s room inspiration, CLICK HERE.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas 

This content was created is in partnership with Clorox. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that I’m excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open

Hi Friends. Since I’m currently extending my summer with a much-needed escape on Kauai (you can follow on Instagram and Stories with #apt34doeskauai btw), I thought I’d share a favorite post or two from falls past to help you get in the September mood. These posts will help me too because while I’m revealing in serious sun right now, I’m going to so ready for the fall nesting season the moment I step foot back in San Francisco. But for now: some major fall makeup inspiration for you and a major mai tai for me!

The world of makeup can be an intimidating (and expensive!) place in which to experiment. But with the obvious traps (I’m looking at you contouring!) also comes the dreaded makeup rut: sticking to “the same face” you’ve been wearing for years. You can and should, in fact, transition your makeup routine to meld with the current season. But you needn’t stray that far from the safety of shore. I’m obsessed with this super subtle yet equally enticing fall palette. Scroll below for proof that even for a novice, playing with makeup CAN be fun.

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Fall is all about going ever so slightly moodier with your makeup. This look is a step up from simply covering those dang under eye circles, yet still very easy to pull off. There’s no need to channel a pagent contestant. You can transition your makeup routine from summer to fall by simply going a shade or two deeper into the rose family for cheeks, lips and even eyes. Deep rose hues pick up your gorgeous summer glow (whether it be real or your faux it!) and can look stunning on every skin tone. You up the ante by smudging a subtle warm brown eyeshadow under your lower lashes and adding a toastier metallic on the upper eyelid to instantly give you a bit of drama.

You’ll also notice eyebrows are a key element to this look. Allow them to get a little thicker and more natural! The rule less is more does not apply here- hide your tweezers, but tame unruliness with this clear wax brow pencil. It’s sure to be your weapon of choice all season long. Finishing your face with a light rose lipstick and barely-there mauve cheek is what we’re calling THE face du jour. Did you know you can even do double duty by applying the same cheek color on your eyes?

So there you have it. With just a few additions to your makeup bag, you’re going to have totally refreshed face this season.

how to transition to fall makeup on apartment 34

Even now, I remain obsessed with this rose-inspired makeup palette. It makes me want to head straight to the makeup counter and stay a while. What about you?

GET THE LOOK:

Laura Mercier ‘Second Cheek’ in Heather Pink
Aerin Rose Balm Lipstick in Pretty 
Bobbi Brown ‘Raw Sugar’ Illuminating Bronzing Powder
Bronze and Gold Eye Shadow 

For even more makeup inspiration check out

> My favorite five-minute face
> The clean beauty products you should have in your bag right now

 

SHOP THE POST

image 1 via // 2 via Harper’s Bazaar 

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