A Trip to L.A. to Admire Design

Design is in the details. That’s a phrase you might commonly associate within fashion. From expertly executed hand-stitched couture to a custom fitted suit, I know details make a world of difference in how you look and how you feel. It’s also something I pay very close attention to when I travel. I don’t know about you, but I’m always noticing what font a hotel uses on their soap packaging, or whether they offer a modern room key or a super cool alternative to those ugly floral comforters {do they ever wash those btw?}. But how often do we stop to think about design details elsewhere, like in a car? We certainly hadn’t until we were introduced to Lincoln’s new and most creative line of cars: Lincoln Black Label.

Instead of leading with discussions of torque or horsepower {because let’s be honest, those numbers really mean nothing to us!}, Lincoln has chosen to lead with design through four different themes inspired by four different moods: Modern Heritage, a classic and elegant sensibility focusing on clean lines without opulence; Center Stage, about dramatic, attention grabbing moments; Indulgence, with an emphasis on luxe sumptuous materials; and Oasis, inspired by a dream escape to the ultimate eco-spa. Taking the whole idea one step further, Lincoln decided to style a house in Los Angeles that further personified their design inspirations. A gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills? Now that was something we could definitely understand. And for attention-to-detail suckers like ourselves, we were intrigued to learn more so Bianca traveled to L.A. to see it all in person {and get a jolt of inspiration from the City of Angels – lucky gal!}.

lincoln-black-label-3The luxe black leather sofa and pop art prints of Hollywood icons definitely take “Center Stage” in this living room.

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34The patterned leather seat in the Modern Heritage car was so yummy – we wanted to turn it into a handbag!

While in LA, we sat down with Lincoln’s color and materials design manager, Janet Seymour, who talked us through the process of designing for Black Label. The four themes were designed specifically to attract different personalities. With an artisanal type of approach to design, the team has focused on materials and exploring creative ways to design a car around an experience and “creating a desire.”

Everything from exterior paint color and sheen, to grains and textures, to designer woods {did you know you can design the grain of a wood exactly how you want it?! So cool!} to leather and fabrics, the team has looked at trends in fashion, travel and food to really create the most detail focused car out there. “Subtlety through impact” is what Janet likes to refer to as the detail mantra. Whether it’s the mood you feel when you step in or how the leather feels against your blue jeans, Lincoln has thought of it all!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-2I would gladly have this chandelier take Center Stage in our new house!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-3The luxe black sofa takes Center Stage in the living room

When designing the Indulgence theme, the team started out with a piece of buttery, chocolate-colored leather. That leather  inspired them to look into chocolatiers in New York and Paris to garner more insight into smoothness, color and texture. The “Oasis” theme was inspired by a magical retreat to a super modern and design-focused hotel in Africa. “Center Stage” as the name lends itself, was inspired by the feeling and excitement of curtains parting on the opening night of a show. And “Modern Heritage” focused on a timeless color palette, classic design and sleek details, keeping in mind the person who loves travel, fine art and the good life. Hearing all of these stories and the process of selecting specific inspirations was fascinating. It really got us excited to not only travel the world and explore new places some more, , but it had us eager to hit the streets of LA to keep an eye out for everyday inspiration.

lincoln-black-label-apartment-34-Adding pops of red to a chic black and white color palette make the clean lines of this bar space pop

lincoln-black-label-apt-34I love the mixed materials of the brass and black leather chair in the Center Stage themed living room

Before we could do just that {more on the L.A. sites we saw, architecture we gawked at, and cute boutiques we shopped later!} we drove up the small and windy streets of the Hollywood Hills, where nestled amongst the trees and Hollywood Sign was a gorge house, styled by Evan Haslegrave of hOmE. When asked about how he incorporated the design of each of the Black Label themes into the home, he said, “we brought in certain moments “that are evocative of” the Los Angeles landscape “but also balancing it with richer, more luxurious materials that are more indicative of the car.” Everything from the sleek brass light fixtures {ob-sessed!} to the smooth, buttery leathers and crisp, modern color palette, we’d say he did an excellent job!

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-6We loved the understated elegance of this art deco fixture in the Modern Heritage themed dining room

apartment-34-black-label-6Bar area: Modern Heritage

How sleek and modern is this bar setup? Love the black and smoky glassware mixed in with just a couple of well designed {of course!} bottles of liquor. It’s color palette of black, white and red is simple and timeless – proof positive that you don’t need to fuss when it comes to styling vignettes in your home. Simply stick with really clean and curated design elements and the classic style will last for years.

lincoln-indulgence-roomThe sheepskin draped over those stools at the foot of the Indulgence themed bedroom literally make us drool

black-label-apartment-34-4Red certainly takes “Center Stage” in these corners of a bedroom

black-label-lincoln-apartment-34-5lincoln-black-label-apartment-34-2I’d gladly climb into this “Oasis” of a bed every night

What small design detail has inspired you today? Maybe it’s the way you’ve chosen to roll your sweater sleeves, or the subtle impact a gold bobby pin in your hair make over the plain ol’ black ones. Or did you decide to throw on red lipstick before you left the house this morning? It’s those little decisions that can make a major impact on how something is perceived. We are definitely paying more attention to details after our experience in LA!

original photography for apartment 34 by Joanne Pio // iimage 9 c/o Lincoln by Jared Chambers

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

Hey Now…

I realize the long weekend was supposed to be our official farewell to summer….


But I, for one, have never done very well with good-byes! So I’m going to put off the inevitable, at least for one more morning and ease my way into September gently. Slowly. I think a nap may need to be involved. Mad dash…I’ll deal with you later!

Who’s with me??

image via dustjacket in the attic


5 White Bedroom Ideas

Guys, I have an unhealthy addiction; with all white bedrooms! Pristine, crisp, beautifully impractical white bedrooms. I love the minimalist feel, the clean simplicity and soothing calm of the monochromatic space. White bedrooms feel spa-like, as if they offer a retreat from the mess of daily life. My Bedrooms Pinterest board runneth over.


The challenge, obviously, is to actually keep life’s messes from destroying your all-white room! I’ve actually always had a love affair with all things white. I still remember my mom trying to talk me out of white Keds circa second grade because she knew I’d want to accomplish the nearly impossible task of keeping them clean! And I’ve never met a white tee or button down that I don’t love.

While all white bedding requires similar amounts of work to keep stains at bay {especially with kids – of the two or four-legged variety}, there other other ways to accessorize with white! I’d gladly add any of these pieces to our bedroom!


I’m curious- do you dare stick with all white bedding or decorate mostly with white? We have for the past couple years and so I’m now the queen of laundry and am BFFs with Oxy-clean and the Magic Eraser. But I will still argue it’s worth the extra effort!! Collapsing into the fluffy white cloud of goodness each evening just might be the best part of my day! — Erin

Get Your Shop On:

> “White Afternoon” Print by Judith Gigliotti
> Carpe Diem Candle
> Scope Wall Clock
> Kate Spade “Odds & Ends” Tray  
> Ladies & Gentlemen Studio Chime 
> White Acapulco Chair 
> KAS Designs White Beaded Pillow 
> Rope Storage Basket
> Wilshire Table Lamp

image 1 via Duneha // 2 via Design Chaser // 3 via Pinterest  // 4 via Arch Daily // 5 via Varpunen