Santé to Summer: A Must-Do Beach Celebration

When we looked at the calendar last week, we were shocked that it’s already the middle of the summer. Holy****, how did that happen?! But what’s worse than realizing over half the year has gone by? Realizing you’re smack dab in the heart of your favorite season and have YET to actually spend a day at the beach. And you can’t quite call it summer without some sand between your toes, right? So in celebration of San Francisco finally hitting temps that actually feel summer-like {hello, 80 degrees this weekend!}, we wanted to set the scene for the perfect ode to the season – a chic gathering on the sand, perfect for toasting to a summer well spent or, in our case, a summer that is just unfolding!


Sure, you don’t need to over think a day under the sun, but there are definitely some things you can pack to make an escape to the beach feel pretty special. For our set up, we started with a home base – a place to cool off and protect ourselves from the sun. We love this Sombrilla cover – think super cool umbrella tent. It provides a lot of shade – you can easily fit a group of friends under its chic roof, and once it’s pitched you’ve got a place that feels secluded from the crowds!


Once the Sombrilla was up, it was all about creating the ultimate place to lay back and relax. Rather than eat off our laps, we set up a “table” that we made out of a couple of planks of wood. It’s a nice way to elevate things {literally, ha!} and bring them out of the sand! A piece of plywood would even work. We threw down woven blankets, Turkish towels and beach rugs and made things extra comfy with soft floor pillows. Things were quickly starting to look like the perfect setup for a glass of wine and a good book! We could have easily lay there for hours!!


To get ready for our beach buddies, we set out beautiful ceramic plates, antique silverware and vintage glasses to dress up the eating area {all from a local company called Mrs. Peasy, where you can rent out everything you need for a beautiful party!}. We could have opted for paper items, but oysters and rosé are way more enjoyable with the real deal on hand – don’t ya think?! And with drift wood straight from our surroundings, some non-traditional beach themed decor like these ceramic bells, lanterns and some candles, things were pretty much perfect! With the ambiance just right, the fun was sure to go way past sunset.


It is such a treat to be able to gather friends and enjoy amazing weather and beautiful views. With just a little bit of effort, you can put together a day everyone is sure to remember for a long time. Thankfully, we all have a few more weeks of sun to enjoy and we certainly can’t wait to get our toes in the sand again and again. Honestly, we plan to just keep our Sombrilla and beach towels in the trunk of the car, so we’re ready for any spur of the moment beach day!

Looking for more summer entertaining inspiration? CLICK HERE

original photography for apartment 34 by emily scott

This post is in partnership with Hollie & Harrie. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.

Designer’s Take on our Living Room: {Jacquelyn Clark}

It may seem a little silly to talk about living room inspiration so soon after revealing my latest {and last!} loft makeover, but as soon as I finish one project I’m already off to the next – at least in my head! And the living room in our new/old house is probably one of the projects I’m most excited about. It will be the heart of the home. That’s why I was particularly tickled that Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen fame agreed to throw in her two cents. I love everything about this girl’s style – she has impeccable taste after all!

For a little construction update, here’s what our living room currently looks like!

Yes, it’s certainly a hot mess at the moment, but once dry wall is finished, it’s painted and we put in the historically accurate fireplace, I cannot wait to start working on our final design scheme and floor plan. Connected to our kitchen, dining room and media room, this space will be the hub of the home – where we relax, where we hang out, where we entertain. It’s really where we’ll spend the majority of our time as a family, so the layout and final design choices will be key. I strongly suspect influence from Jacquelyn’s inspiration is going to show up in my final design!

As you may know, Miss Erin Hiemstra has gone and landed herself a gorgeous old Victorian home in the heart of San Francisco. While the exterior is picture perfect in every sense of the word, the interior is in need of a little TLC. And while Erin and her husband are busy tackling this massive project in real life, I’m going to be over here pretending this beauty is mine! My focus: that living room!

Since launching my own interior design business in October, I’ve been lucky enough to land quite a few pretty amazing projects. But in truth: this home right here is the one my designer dreams are made of. So when Erin and her team asked me to take part in this guest series, showcasing how I’d design one room if given the opportunity, my head began swimming with ideas. 

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When it came down to it, there were two things I knew for certain: this living room was begging for the slightest hint of glamor, and those Victorian bones needed to take centre stage. So with that in mind, I’m channeling my inner Catherine Giudici and calling this round-up “grown sexy.” It’s understated and elegant, all while remaining functional. The best part: the clean lines and modern elements add interest and contrast, which really allows those Victorian mouldings to shine.


  1. Sofa
  2. Chandelier 
  3. > Wall Art
  4. Accent Chair
  5. Coffee Table
  6. > Gold Mirror
  7. Rug
  8. Walnut Buffet

Grown sexy? Jacquelyn, you had me at hello! I’m all about striking that balance between warm and elegant, sophisticated and livable. It is all about creating the perfect mix of statement making pieces and the work horses of your room. I particularly love Jacquelyn’s white linen sofa selection {yes, I would scotch guard the hell out of it!} and that geometric coffee table. Now that is a show stopper! So many ideas are dancing around in my head right now…I’m curious – if you had this living room, what would you do?!

For the rest of our Designers’ Takes on our 140 year old Victorian CLICK HERE

Image 1 vai Lark & Linen // 2 via Studio Karin // 3 via Dust Jacket Attic 

Final Loft Reveal: {My New Office!}

In rearranging our loft to make way for little Carter, I may have given up the Apartment 34 Studio space, but I definitely still needed somewhere to work! We also still needed a spot for guests to stay. And I dreamt about how nice it would be to have a little quiet retreat to escape to…So to the upstairs I went. What was once our bedroom has now been transformed from this….

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The first thing I did after our bed headed downstairs was paint the walls white! The lofted room only has 7ft ceilings so I needed to do something to make the space feel as expansive as possible. I’ve been a sucker for Benjamin Moore White 01 paint for quite some time. It’s the perfect soft white. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for you!

While the upstairs feels much bigger now, actual square footage is still very limited so I had to hunt out as many space-saving solutions as I could. The first score was my adorable mid-century inspired desk. It’s just big enough to hold my computer and that’s all I really need. Sure, I loved all my gorgeous office accessories, but really, when is the last time you used a stapler – even if it is an acrylic one?!


I also wanted to create a little reading nook for the few spare minutes of relaxation I can grab between naps, so a set of picture rail shelves now serve as my magazine rack + place to display personal photos. I love how I can swap out titles to completely change the look. Two black and white botanic art prints from Buddy Editions, framed beautifully by Simply Framed add a nice contrast to the neutral color palette. They really ground the space. Carter also likes to come up and hang out with mama while she may or may not be catching up on email!

All in all, I’m really pleased with how this room turned out. It’s mult-functional, it maximizes every available square inch and just feels inviting. Now the husband often has to go looking for me because I’m tucked away up here!

If you missed the rest of the loft makeover, check it out right HERE.


home office resources: west elm floor lamp // west elm mid-century mini desk // gold speckled cowhide rug // american leather sleeper sofa // jessie balck throw pillows // simply framed custom frames // buddy edition art prints // gap bag as basket // pottery barn kids activity gym // heath ceramics bud vase // diptyque candle



original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick