With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend and the official start of the summer travel season, it’s time to get ready for guests. Thankfully, creating a tranquil visitor-ready space is much easier than you think. Even if you don’t have a lot of space (or are just getting settled in your new house!) just a few thoughtful details came make your visitors feel like they’re getting the royal treatment. Oh and this is the very first sneak peek of our new house!

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Even though we’ve barely gotten our footing, I’m excited to host our first guests. After living in less than 1,000sq ft, having a guest room feels like such a luxury. Yet my guest room, like the rest of the house, is not even close to being “done.” That’s going to be a loooong process. But if you get creative, you can pull together a totally inviting space.

Obviously, the key to a good stay anywhere is an excellent night’s sleep. If there’s thing you should always invest in, it’s your bed. For our guest room, we went with the Wyatt bed from Room & Board in a soft gray velvet. It has a hotel bed look, which I love. And our Cocoon by Sealy mattress is already getting rave reviews. But it’s how you make your bed that will make visitors feel extra special. I’ve been a bit obsessed with the various bed making styles. My current favorite: sheets tucked in nice and tight, layered blankets folded down almost to the bed’s foot to expose all the colors and textures and then a good stack of pillows. I like just two decorative pillows for a crisp clean look.

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Since we don’t have much furniture yet, I had to get creative to make the guest room functional. No bedside tables? No matter! A pouf and a cool decorative ladder (ladders are having a moment) are all you need to give your guests a spot for a glass of water, their phone or a book. This were I also put two of my other key ingredients for a the perfect guest room – fresh flowers and good smells. A lovely candle, or in this case my favorite room spray from le labo, is a luxurious touch.

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I repurposed our floor lamp to serve as a bedside light, at least for now. A basket for extra throws is always nice should your guests get cold in the night.

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I also think it’s a nice touch to offer your guests a supply of toiletries. A toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, lotion and even shampoo and condition. I’m notorious for getting things (since I’m usually rushing to catch my plane) and this way your visitors don’t even have to ask to borrow something.

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Finally, leave out some good reading material. It’s always nice to read a little something before bed and this way you guests to have to sit under the goal of their phones. That is not conducive to a good night’s sleep!

And there you have it. If you add just a few thoughtful details you can have the ultimate guest room. Warning: you may end up waiting to sleep in a room like this yourself.

Room sources: Throw pillows, pouf, ladder, leather basket, throws, p0mpom coverlet, floor cushions Jessie Black / Wyatt bed from Room & Board / Flaneur sheets / West Elm floor lamp / Morgan toiletries  / florals by Natalie Bowen Designs 

In case you’re curious about details of our house here are a few: paint is Benjamin Moore in White Whisp, switches & wall plates are legrande, emtek glass door knobs 

 

original photography for apartment 34 by suzanna scott

This post is in partnership with Cocoon By Sealy. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations I’m excited about and have kept apartment 34’s doors open.

 

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t IKEA reserved for college apartments or placeholder pieces while waiting for your actual furniture to show up. In many cases I would answer yes, but if you pay close attention you score some Swedish gems. Case in point, IKEA’s new limited edition capsule collection, Viktigt.

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The collection was created in collaboration with award-winning Swedish designer Ingegerd Raman. The collection of seating, lighting, tableware and accessories are stripped down to their bare essentials to turn the ordinary into the exceptional. As Ingegerd describes her work; beautiful on their own, the pieces are all intended to work beautifully in your everyday life. Sounds right up my alley.

Ingegred Raman’s inspiration for this collection was to go back to the center, to the essence of things. The design are just that – pure, simple and functional. Ingegerd also incorporated a variety of materials into her designs. In addition to the ceramics and glass she typically works with, she added furniture and accessories that feature natural materials like water hyacinth, rattan, bamboo, and sea grass. These were all made by craftsmen in Vietnam who Ingegred worked with directly.

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I particularly love the neutral color palette (obvi), but also the woven baskets with their jumbo weaves, the striking angular shapes and bold patterns and the lovely use of black. I actually want one of her flat baskets (the one leaning against the wall in the pic below) to hang on the wall of the new house. And the bamboo cutting boards, with their thick cuts and beautifully angled edges? Love. I definitely could use a good basket or two as well. You can never have enough right?

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I think I officially need to run, not walk to Ikea this weekend. Since everyone will be gone for Memorial Day, it won’t be crowded right? Yeah right.

But since this collection just launched this week it’s worth the risk. I don’t think it’s going to be around for very long! What do you think? Will you be snatching up a piece or two as well?

images via ikea

Apartment 34 on Instagram

At least this juice will. Ok, ok, I don’t have actual proof that this elixir will cure all that ails, but Sarah’s fresh juice recipe certainly can’t hurt and it tastes amazing. I particularly enjoy it the morning after I may have over served myself in the wine department! 

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To get ready for summer, I have the perfect veggie juice loaded with health promoting nutrients to enjoy as part of your wellness regime. In one easy to make drink, you can give your body a gentle cleanse, an immune boost and a big hit of antioxidants for glowing skin. I have carefully selected these ingredients based on their powerful health benefits:

BEETS

Listen up ladies, drinking beet juice before a workout has been shown to enhance your performance by giving you longer lasting energy and endurance. Beets taste a little earthy yet delightfully sweet. They support Phase 2 of your liver’s detoxification process and help to purify your blood. Beets also assist in the healthy functioning of your immune system due to their high Vitamin C content, while the potent phytonutrients that give beets their deep red color help to ward off inflammation and illness.

GINGER

Ginger has natural anti-microbial properties keeping undesirable microbes out and the beneficial microbes thriving in your GI tract. As a natural anti-inflammatory, Ginger helps with pain relief, especially joint pain, menstrual pain and headaches. Ginger is also great for revving up your metabolism and encouraging natural weight loss. Lets not forget about how great it is for our immune system when fighting a cold or the flu.

CELERY

Celery is one of the most alkalizing foods you can consume helping keep your body balanced and healthy. It’s the perfect summer food as it is rich in water and electrolytes and has a cooling effect on the body. It has the ability to fight inflammation, treat nasty colds and clean out your digestive system. You can add as much celery as you desire to your daily juice.

CUCUMBERS

Cucumbers are mostly water, hydrating your body in the summer heat and allowing you to detox naturally. They are a great natural weight loss aid and are amazing for boosting the healthy appearance of your skin. Cucumbers are a fabulous way to add liquid volume to your juices.

LEMONS

Lemons are natural detoxifiers, energizers, weight loss and digestive aids, skin health enhancers and are loaded with Vitamin C for an immune boost. As I like to say, “a lemon a day helps to keep the doctor away.” Hot tip: when you make a green juice, adding lemon counteracts the bitter flavor from the dark leafy greens you use, making your juice taste much better.

APPLES

Apples are low sugar fruits that contain antioxidants that detox and alkalize your system (similar to celery, balances your body). They are the ideal fruit to add to your veggie juice for a little touch of sweetness.

CARROTS

Carrots are loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially the powerful antioxidant Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. This shot of Vitamin A boosts the immune system and gives you radiant skin. Carrots add a lovely sweet flavor to this juice.

RECIPE: CLEANSING BEET JUICE

INGREDIENTS (all organic where possible)

1 medium sized red beet, washed thoroughly
1 inch piece of ginger root
2 stalks of celery (use more if desired)
1 large cucumber (use more if desired)
1 lemon, peeled and pith removed
1 green apple, cored and cut into wedges
1 carrot

DIRECTIONS

Wash and prep all of the ingredients.
Run them all through your juicer (editors note: I love the hurom juicer)
Stir the juice and serve into 1 large glass or 2 small glasses for sharing.
Drink immediately for maximum freshness and nutrition, or store in the refrigerator in an
airtight mason jar and enjoy within 24 hours.

For the rest of our healthy recipe series CLICK HERE!

photography by joe lee // styling by sarah hawthorne

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Mondays are never easy to face, but it’s always better when you have a inspiring space to work. Now that we’re getting settled, I’m turning my sights on my home office. I guess I should call it my home office to-be since the space is completely empty currently. I’m typing this sentence from my couch on my teeny tiny laptop. And this just cannot go on any longer!

I’m definitely suffering from home office envy.

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There are a few key things I’m coveting for my new work space. I’ve got a major crush on trestle desks at the moment. Inspired by architects drafting tables, they’re utilitarian but chic at the same time. Keeping a desk drawer free also forces you to keep clutter to minimum. Because no one really needs staplers or paperclips anymore!

I’m also loving the look of warm woods mixed with monochromatic accents. It feels timeless. There’s been a bit of an acrylic, gold and white glut in home offices of late – bouquet of peonies included of course. I’m in the mood to take more understated approach with classic pieces that I’ll love right now, five years from now and even twenty years from now.

I’ve long been a fan of picture rail shelves. They offer a unique way to create a moodboard of sorts. You can mix art, magazine tears and your favorite objet. I’d just have to keep myself from rearranging on a daily basis. I’m not sure that’d be great for my productivity.

Finally, you can add a shot of individual personality to your work space with your office chair selection. I prefer a-typical office chairs. Vintage pieces, old dining chairs, a funky side chair. This is where I really want to spend time treasure hunting. You just want to ensure that you select a chair that is high enough to give you proper posture and comfortable enough for you to sit for long periods at a time. Trust me, I made the mistake of prioritizing aesthetics over proper alignment in the past and paid the price.

Now that I’ve got a vision for my new office, I’m off to pull this space together! If you have any favorite sources for great office pieces please send them my way. Of course I’ll be sharing what I find in my search.

Find reams and reams of home office inspiration right here.

images 1 waiting on martha / 2 dust jacket in the attic3 my domaine / 4 lark & linen5 tumblr /6 stil inspiration / 

I’ve long had a love affair with Italy. I traveled there for the first time at 17, studied Italian all through college, lived abroad in Siena and have made multiple return trips, including road tripping through northern Italy on my honeymoon. But that was six years ago. To say I’m craving a little la dolce vita right now is an understatement. And it doesn’t help when I find gorgeous hotels straight out of Roman Holiday – like this one.

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Located in a 17th century palazzo building in Piazza Pasquino off of Rome’s famed Piazza Navona, this little gem of a hotel features only 10 rooms, all of which are uniquely designed and beautifully appointed. They’re actually like mini-apartments as they all feature separate sitting areas off of each bedroom, many have terraces & mini kitchenette areas. The furnishings – all selected in homage to early 20th century Italian furniture designers –  is juxtaposed with the centuries old rustic features of the building like its original frescoed walls, tiled bathroom floors and exposed timber beams. Hence the hotel’s name, G-Rough.

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But this please does not feel rough at all. It looks perfect. I love that each room boasts a different theme and color palette, killer light fixtures and spectacular art. The penthouse even has a private terrace that gives you a stunning view of the Sant’Agnese dome in Piazza Navona. The hotel lobby features a bar and lounge that regularly showcases local artists. And apparently the hotel even offers a “Lifestyle Manager” that can hook you up with exclusive behind the scenes types of experiences throughout Rome like design tutorials, private dinners in picturesque places and exclusive VIP access to historic sights throughout Rome. Done and done!

Va bene, I’m in. Who’s ready to hop a plane and head to Rome me?? Ciao ciao!!

For even more wanderlust-worthy destination ideas CLICK HERE.

 

photography courtsey of g-rough // spotted on travel + style

 

Now that we’re in the middle of May it’s that time. To say ta-ta to the carbs. I know, I loved them all winter long too, but I’m in the mood for fresh lighter fare these days. This cucumber noodle salad, our third installment of your get ready for summer recipes, is totally satisfying. And did you know sesame seeds have more calcium per serving than dairy? Yeah, neither did I! Thank goodness we have my girl Sarah her to school us all. 

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Cucumbers are the ultimate summer food! I have incorporated them into this light and tasty “noodle” salad to cool your body down after hours spent by the pool or better yet at the beach! Cucumbers are one of the most hydrating vegetables on Earth, keeping your organs and skin cells happily nourished. Eating or drinking cucumbers helps to flush unwanted toxins from your delicate system and aids in natural weight-loss. Winner!!! You also get a hefty boost of valuable vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber to keep you insides clean and regular.

Hot tip: turn your home into a relaxing day spa by adding some cooling cucumber slices to your eyes to eliminate any puffiness and throw some in your water glass for a delightful flavor kick.

But wait, there are other super foods added to this simple salad to give you a health and beauty boost this season. Carrots are loaded with beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A, which boosts the immune system and gives your skin a natural glow. Sesame seeds are one of the richest sources of calcium on the planet, so ditch the dairy this summer which can trigger acne, seasonal allergies, inflammation and GI distress  in some people. So go ahead and go for these small yet mighty power seeds instead.

Last but not least, cilantro is one of the most detoxifying herbs you can use regularly as a garnish for any savory dish to reap the endless benefits of its cleansing and purifying properties. So there you have it, so many great reasons to love this Asian inspired summer salad.

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SESAME CUCUMBER NOODLE SALAD

recipe inspired by Willow Arlen from Will Cook For Friends

Time to make: 20 minutes
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS (all organic where possible)

SALAD
2 large English cucumbers (straight from the crisp air of the refrigerator)
2 large / thick carrots, optionally peeled

DRESSING
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (optionally include some zest as well)
2 tbsp. raw honey
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Crushed red pepper, to taste (start with a pinch)
A generous sprinkle of black and white sesame seeds (1/2 – 1 Tbsp.)

GARNISH
Sliced green onion, to garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Make quick and easy cucumber and carrot noodles with your spiralizer, jullienne peeler, or by simply using a sharp knife to slice them thinly.

Place the cucumber noodles into a strainer or onto a piece of absorbent paper towel to allow any excess water to drain thoroughly for approx. 15 minutes. After, use additional paper towel to pat dry and soak up any remaining drops.

In a little bowl, mix together all of the dressing ingredients.

Add the cucumber and carrot noodles to a large salad bowl with 2-3 Tbsp. of the dressing mixture. Toss to coat. Serve and garnish with green onion and cilantro. Best enjoyed fresh after making.

photography by joe lee foto // styling by sarah hawthorne 

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