How to Add Style to Your Space with Books 

Gone are the days that books are doomed to gather dust on lonely library shelves. These days books are to be both celebrated and sprinkled all over the house – from the kitchen to the coffee table!  Everywhere you look a lovely book is enticing people to open the pretty pages. We aren’t afraid to admit we’ve certainly buy books for their covers. So when you find a title that is just as inspiring and beautiful on the inside as it is out, it’s a total win win!


So we’re rather jazzed to be over on the Anthropologie blog today sharing tips on how to style books in your home. After all, they are such a fun way to add personality to any surface. Think coffee table, nightstand, kitchen counter – even your beach bag! We’re also dishing on books we’re reading now and other fun book moments – like books on a bar cart {this vignette can’t be missed!}. So if you’re looking for more book recs to tide you over until fall, as well as some interesting ways to style them once you’re done reading, you’ll want to click here!


But first, here’s a few novels, magazines, and even cookbooks on our never ending list of books to read this summer {or let’s be more realistic, fall!}:

> How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are
> The Girl On The Train
> Beautiful You
> The Gentlewoman
> Eat Drink Nap

Have you read any good books as of late? We’re always looking to add titles to our library!


original photography for apartment 34 by emily scott / styling by bianca sotelo

This post is in partnership with Anthropologie. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep apartment 34’s doors open.

Loft Reveal: {The New Nursery}

Apparently, our loft has nine lives. Just when you thought we couldn’t redecorate yet again – I got pregnant! My first thought upon hearing that le bebe was on the way {after the initial shock wore off!}?? How the heck would we cram a baby in our loft! With our new/old house months away from completion, I knew we had to find a way to make our 1-bedroom space work for our suddenly growing family. Thankfully, I think we’ve managed to do it, and quite well if I do say so myself!

In order to make way for baby, we did have to say so long to the Apartment 34 Studio {wah!!}. It was in the only room in our space that has a door that closes {other than bathrooms of course}. I also decided climbing up and down from our loft bedroom to the nursery two flights below would be less than ideal – so we decided to combine the two. I’m rather thrilled with how our bedroom + baby room turned out – but quickly, here’s a reminder of where we started:


And here’s how the room is looking NOW!


If we’d had room for a separate nursery I would have been all for it, but since we had to go with co-sleeping, I set out to create a combined master bedroom/nursery that was functional for baby, but also aesthetically pleasing for us grown-ups! The key was to keep the space from feeling too childlike. This was accomplished in three ways: 1) sticking with neutral color palette, 2) using black as our accent color and 3) relying on modern pieces throughout the space – even the stuff for the baby.

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The room really started around the alphabet print above. We stumbled upon it in a shop in St. Helena. I immediately loved the muted tones and unique animals {narwal anyone?!}. Confession: we actually originally bought it as a baby present for some friends, but then one thing led to another and it never got sent! Whoops! So it became the main inspiration for our color palette and overall vibe.

I was also thrilled I could repurpose many of the existing design elements in the room, including our floating Ikea shelves that once served as our office bar {as you may have noticed in the before pics above}. They are now our changing table. Carter loves looking up at his Ladies & Gentlemen Chime from his changing pad. Diapers and all other changing accoutrements are at arms reach but incognito in the woven basket. Everything else – wipes, onsies and burp clothes are all tucked neatly away. Fun side note:  I’ve had that felt Mariners mini-pennant since I was about six!


My favorite creative idea in the room? Using a chic modern towel ladder designed by Norm Architects to hang swaddle blankets {you go through a ton!} and display modern books and toys. My killer woven leather basket that used to house my magazine collection organized, now holds all of Carter’s little stuffed friends. I used sheepskins throughout the room to add warmth and a cozier feel – since we have a concrete floor!

I also tossed some DIYs into the room. Yes I said DIY! For example, rather than hang faux stuffed animal heads or a baby-themed gallery wall above the crib, I found a set of geometric metal sculptures on Amazon. I simply spray-painted them white {with one left black to pop} and tacked them to wall. It’s a completely malleable art installation that cost less than $25! I love that it gives some visual interest without being overbearing.

I did have to say good-bye to one of my favorite DIYs –  our gorgeous gold bookcase {see the before image for reference}. It was just entirely too girly for my hubby – and even for me these days. So back to bright white the bookcase went. Instead of office supplies, I styled out the shelves with a mix of grown-up elements like design books and my collection of Kinfolk Magazines. I combined those with some childhood treasures like my collection of Mariners bobbleheads and my husband’s Boy Scouts rally car. I can’t wait to see Carter play with it one day!


Sure, there are a few whimsical touches in room. My clouds and stars mobile by Baby Jives came from my similarly themed baby shower. Yes, there are some overly sacchrin stuffed animals in the room. But other than that, we intentionally kept the baby decor as paired down as possible. It is only temporary after all. And it’s amazing how quickly things you “must” have for baby can accumulate. But now that we’re almost three months into this whole parenthood thing, I’ve narrowed down my newborn nursery must-haves to the absolute essentials. When you’re dealing with a small space, I highly recommend sticking with the basics. Baby stuff will take over if you’re not careful! Thankfully, I found quite a few of my favorite well-designed baby accessories from Munchkin. Carter particularly loves their Latch bottles – which was great because I surprisingly had a lot of anxiety about bottle selection. They even make a travel bottle warmer, making naps on the go so much easier! So many new things to worry about as a lady with a baby… But I digress.

Here are the rest of my nursery faves. I think they’re as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional!



> Latch Bottle by Munchkin
> Nuna Leaf baby Lounger
> Wipes Warmer by Munchkin
> White noise, Baby Log & Wonder Weeks iPhone apps
> Diaper Pail
> Video Baby Monitor
> Crib
> Latch Pacifier

So do you like?? I bet you didn’t think we could switch things up any more {after this office makeover, and then this one, and this living room makeover and then this one} but I was determined to make the loft as functional and fantastic as I could for the short time that we’ll continue to be here. A space I love is SO critical to my sanity. And let’s be real – I’ll jump at any excuse to redecorate! I’m dying to hear what you think of the space! And if you like what you see be sure to come back. We updated what was our bedroom and made a few changes to our living room too. I’m going to be revealing those spaces next week!

Nursery/Master Bedroom Resources:

west elm platform bed // cedar & moss sconces // h&m linen bedding // jm generals wool bed throw // original art by bianca sotelo // stokke mini crib // aden & anais baby bedding // jessie black felted sheepskin // baby jives mobile // menu towel ladder // serena & lily stool // sheepskin rugs // vintage turkish rug & felt rug pad // ladies & gentlemen studio chime // onefortythirty wall lamp // pottery barn kids nesting floor baskets

Original photography for Apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick

This post is in partnership with Munchkin. Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.comTargetBabies’R’UsWalmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things! All opinions expressed in this post  are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and keep the Apartment 34 doors open!

Idea to Steal: {Layering Rugs}

If you’re like us, you’re constantly looking for fresh ways to give your space an updated look. But unlike clothing, the whole “out with the old, in with the new” approach isn’t as practical or realistic when it comes to room decor. That’s why one of our go-to room makeover tricks is to play with rugs. We’re always adding or swapping them, but recently we’ve been kind of obsessed with layering them!


There are a few different approaches you can take when it comes to rug layering. First, there’s the tried and true combination of a bold patterned or textured rug with a neutral base. Layering also works when you take a more organic shaped piece {like a cowhide!} and pair it with a traditional rectangular rug {love this one!}. Another option is to choose rugs of various sizes and patterns, but that are of the same general color palate–like what’s happening in the image above. So good. 

If you’re craving even more design tips and tricks, click HERE!

Copy by Editorial Intern, Ali Hartwell // Image via Yatzer