Getting in the Mood the Old Fashioned Way

We’re taking a poll. Who used to cut their favorite pages out of magazines and tack them onto their walls?? Guilty as charged. Oh how many Teen Beats I destroyed! Thankfully I moved onto Lucky, Domino and Elle Decor. Even just a couple of years ago I was still saving boxes of my favorite tears. But now we’ve all become wholly subsumed by Pinterest and the digital versions of our favorite glossies. It seems the old school moodboard has fallen by the way side and that makes me sad. There’s something so important that comes from the physical act of compiling your inspirations, moving them around until it suddenly just fits!


That’s why I purposefully/forcefully/willingly/excitedly created an area in our Team Apartment 34 office redesign for a physical moodboard because, really, nothing beats it! No matter what kind of photo shoot or project we’re prepping for, we always feel more focused once we go through the exercise of creating our board. It’s also a fabulous way to get our butts out of our chairs and our eyeballs away from the screen!

But in the days of digital everything, we have to get a little more creative with our creative process. You may remember this outfit we posted last month. Well, the inspiration came from the moodboard below! Despite popular belief, we don’t just throw on an outfit and snap a pic or two. Wardrobe styling is taken pretty seriously around here. We always start with a a general idea or theme, but we focus in on the final look based on our compilation of design spreads and fashion editorials. It can be a pattern, a mood, color palette or texture, light, or even typeface. The only qualification we have is that it must make us stop and say, “omg- obsessed.”


While we still pull objects, fabric swatches and yes, occasionally tear from a magazine, now we print out our favorite inspirations! You remember those things- printers? If you’re a visual person, we highly recommend adding one to your home office. We’ve been putting our Canon Pixma Pro to serious good use. The photo quality images it prints out – even of our pins – is just jaw dropping. There’s something so satisfying about getting things off of a screen and into your hands. That way you can mix, match, tack and tape to your heart’s content! You’ll be amazed at what new life images take on when actually on paper!


After we’ve amassed a good stack of prints comes the fun part: bringing everything together. If your brain hasn’t already done so, it definitely will start to detect patterns as you begin taking things from the printer and putting them up on you cork board, wall or office door. We have a wire grid from the hardware store {you could use chicken wire for a similar look!} that we spray painted white- it’s our favorite place to clip our printed images and it only cost about $7 to make!


Some of our favorite sources for inspiration boards include:

> Hit The Pavement: Go outside, walk around the block and pick up feathers, rocks or any other flotsam and jetsam that catches your eye

> Play Photog: Snap pics of cool architecture and patterns – to print out on your Canon Pixma Pro of course

> Swatch It Up: Go to your nearest fabric store for free swatches and to get your crafty brain gears in motion

> Print from Pinterest: Print out your fave pins to really bring your pinboards to life

> Scan Old Magazines: don’t forget those 1990′s Vogue issues- their pages are packed with forgotten inspo. If you don’t want to tear, scan and print, instead!

> Bobbles and Bits: scour your office or home for anything that jumps out at you- a necklace, handwritten note, the latest business card someone handed you, etc

Et voila! You have inspiration that not only helps you execute a creative project, but a process that also gets you through any creative rut that may come your way- that is until you’re ready to take it down and start all over again!

While we’ve been focused on mood boarding, after our crazy travel season we’re excited to use our Canon Pixma Pro in a ton of other ways! How fun would it be to print out travel photos we’ve already forgotten about? Need some quick art for your gallery wall? Why not create your own by printing out your very own Instagrams! They’d look stunning coming out of this printer. Really, the possibilities are quite endless.

What are some of your favorite sources for finding inspiration? We’d love to know!


original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // styling by Bianca Sotelo 

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

Put A Prop On It: {Office Styling Revealed!}

They say your home is the museum of your life. I’m first to admit I can take that to a bit of an extreme. I’ve just always loved decorative objects. I find them on trips, the flea market, random boutiques. They always remind of the time and place where I found them.

Thankfully, with all the styling we do around here these days, my accessories collection now comes in very handy! We decided to kill two birds with one stone with the Apartment 34 office redesign: store all our props and use them for our own decor!


When it comes to styling shelves – especially when you’re working with a lot of accessories, the key is to keep things from getting totally overwhelming. In our case, there was editing involved {although you might not be able to tell!}. In order to avoid a hot mess, we styled the bookcases with a cohesive neutral color palette in mind: white, gray, creams and tans. A few pops of green, blue and bronze keep it from feeling too monotonous. Anything that didn’t work in our color scheme got stored out of sight.


Another shelf styling rule of thumb is to create vignettes in threes. Each shelf got its own mini-threesome {or two!}. We grouped bowls, candles, vases and the like. Be sure to always vary the heights of your accessories to create balance!

Stacks of books {and my never ending collection of Vogues!} also helped break up horizontal lines and offer additional texture. There’s something about books that immediately warms up a space.

We also incorporated a variety of our glass objects {vases, carafes & even a selection of my favorite wine bottles} to keep the shelves from feeling visually heavy. Adding in plants {we picked a rubber leaf and snake plant} injected the entire space with life {duh} but I also love their different shapes and textures.


We broke up the all the business we’ve got going on at our coworking desk by creating a distinct seating area on the opposite side of the room. It’s a lovely spot for group brainstorming sessions, magazine browsing and general decompression from screen time! I mixed a traditional sofa with more modern chairs and sweet white enamel side table. I used the art to inject the area with color.


Finally, you may remember our office supply closet DIY from last year. Well, now we get to fully enjoy it because we removed the supply closet doors! I was pleasantly surprised how much it opened up the room. Now all we see is all that great bright white space, styled desk supplies {yes you can be picky about your office supplies and it DOES make a difference.}

Even with all our details proudly on display the office feels more open, more spacious and really inviting. By keeping our edit tight and the floor plan spread out we keep the room feeling overtaken by stuff. Now when we’re working on our next shoot everything we need is right at our fingertips!


original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

Office Makeover Reveal: {Design Is In The Details}

Having the office done is Such. A. Relief. From day one, I set out to create a space that would really help get the team’s creative juices flowing. I wanted ideas to literally bounce off the white walls. But trying to stay minimal can be a bit tricky – design is very much in the details when every piece counts. And when you’re working on a budget making the perfect choices definitely took more time than expected!

But as promised, we’re breaking down some of those details today {and over the next couple of weeks!}, first focusing on the upgrades to the walls. We found affordable, simple and most importantly fun ways to really make the space feel brand new!


We spend the vast majority of our time glued to screens, so I really wanted to capture wall space for old school inspiration. I used to have boxes and boxes of magazine tears, people – that I moved cross country…twice!  As we worked on the redesign, we always kept our eyes peeled for new and interesting ways to display pieces of tangible, physical inspiration. That hunt became the source for our most economical DIY yet! Can you guess what it was??


We’d been seeing metal grates pop up all over our fave Scandinavian blogs, so we decided to try and make one ourselves! A simple trip to the hardware store yielded the perfect large scale wire grating for $7! To take it a little beyond junk yard chic, we simply laid it down on some cardboard and spray painted it white. Now it simply hangs from picture hooks. We call it our modern pin board and we’re all obsessed.

The grate is the perfect solution for an awkward wall space that needs some visual interest {it hangs on this weird blank spot right before you enter the bathroom!}. It adds texture and interest all on its own, but we use it to hang styling ideas for upcoming shoots, odd knick knacks and our favorite art for a seriously cool 3-D statement!


Since half of the team is facing a wall when sitting at our new co-working desk {the now iconic Strut Table from Blu Dot, btw!}, we needed something inspiring to look at there too. Instead of doing a typical gallery wall, we loved the idea of creating a rotating inspiration shelf. With acrylic clipboards from Muji {they proved more economical than these gorgeous ones from Russel & Hazel!} and a simple picture rail, we have a chic and quickly interchangeable moodboard to display our most recent magazine musings!


In our book, no office is complete without a bar and we wanted ours to be a highlight of the space! We started out by creating a black statement wall {painted with Flat Silhouette by Martha Stewart Living for The Home Depot}. Keeping with the minimal style, we floated a clean-lined Ikea console with white lacquer doors and Ikea-hacked it with a customized black surface {aka $10 black contact paper purchased on Amazon!} Then we brought in one major piece of artwork. This is an especially meaningful piece, as we commissioned our very own Editorial Director to make it! Bianca recently discovered this stunning hidden talent {you may remember the piece she did in her own living room here!} and her gorgeous abstract ink on canvas really brought the wall to life {inquire about your own piece here!}.

When it came to lighting, we didn’t have the luxury of installing a “major moment” over our new desk due to a concrete ceiling, so we figured out how to work with the tracking lighting that was already there. We used a simple custom brass pendant {made by studioPGRB!} to make a stunning, singular statement. We also added a monochromatic black wall sconce by OneFortyThree to instantly upgrade our lighting game!


Finally, we created a mini-gallery moment in our “creativity corner.” Still wanting to keep things as uncluttered as possible, we focused on four art pieces all with a similar color palette and gold frames. The two new ones are original works by fave artist Jennifer Ament and the last little detail is simply a hand-painted watercolor card that we slapped up, unframed, but it totally rounded out the moment. The fresh combo made us fall in love with our favorite art piece from the original design all over again – our Life Magazine image of Vegas showgirls playing chess backstage! J’adore.

That’s detail on just a few of our favorite mini moments around the office. We hope you can see how the simplest changes can have the biggest impact on a room. Next week we’ll break down the creativity corner, the supply closet {remember our most popular DIY to date!} and what’s on our prop shelves! Stay tuned.


SHOP the Office Makeover Sources

> Strut Table, Blu Dot

> Slope Chairs, Dot & Bo

> Black & White Rug, Lulu & Georgia

> Pendant light, studioPGRB

> Wall sconce, OneFortyThree

> Throw pillows, Designer Fluff

> Dipped natural wood tray, The Vintage Vogue


original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // moodboard image 1 via Lotta Agaton // 2 via Design Sponge // 3 via Style At Home // 4 via Trendenser // 5 via Stylizimo // 6 via Rebecca Centren