Finding a Little Zen this Holiday Season

With holiday season steamrolling its way into town, it can all get a little overwhelming. The decorating, the gift buying, the entertaining – all the stuff involved can really start to pile up. That’s why I’m making a point to create a calm, quiet respite somewhere in our house this season! In this case – it’s my desk. I revealed my mini office back when Carter was born. While I still miss the Apartment 34 studio, this little corner has continued to be my {tiny} happy place.

To help maintain my holiday sanity, I decided a few early gifts for myself were in order. I love the ultra modern pieces that the Moma Store carries. Their HAY Collection has such cool, minimal accessories. A sleek tray and a couple beautiful new notebooks are all I need to keep my seasonal to-do’s straight. And I let out a blissful sigh of minimalist relief every time I plop down at my desk. I’m all for making the festive season merry and bright, but sometimes this mama just needs a break. And you thought babies were the only ones who can get overstimulated!

If I had a touch more space, I would gladly add any one of these beautiful elements to my home office.



1. Hourglass Colorplay
2. Cube Clock
3. Muji Pencils
4. Pencil Holder
5. Stendig Calendar 
6. Hand
7. Tivoli Radio
8. Lamp
9. Porcelain Mug

Thankfully, I now have my shopping list for the new house is ready to go!

This post is in partnership with MOMA. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

Idea to Steal: {Artfully Styled Bookshelves}

Bookshelves. Let’s talk about how great they are for a sec. Obviously, they’re entirely functional—so that’s fantastic. Second of all, with the right styling, they can easily become the prettiest thing in the room. And lastly, like a personal mini-museum, they’re the perfect way to bring personality into a space – a mix of interesting artifacts and books help tell a story of where you’ve been and who you are. That’s why when we came across this bookshelf styling technique, we did a major double-take!


This ain’t your average bookcase! Not only is it filled with tons of delightful treasures, we’re totally digging the idea of featuring a large piece of framed artwork anchored across two shelves smack dab in the middle! This daring placement draws attention to the art itself and also adds dimension and variation to what could otherwise easily be a traditional hohum bookshelf. With a killer piece of art on our hands and a strong velcro tape attached to the backside of the frame, we’re so dying to try this idea!

What are your thoughts?

For more theft worthy decor ideas, click HERE!!

photography by Michele Andersen

One Room Challenge: The Reveal!

Well, it’s here. The sixth week in the One Room Challenge – alla reveal day! So I’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is that our media room design is complete! The bad news is that it’s only done in my head. Apparently, the old adage in major home renovation is quite true: things will take twice as long { and always cost twice as much!} as you anticipate. Since we bought this 145 year old house nearly a year and half ago and started construction back in February(!), I thought there might be a chance for our renovation would be complete in time for the end of our challenge. Alas, we still have quite a long way to go.

But I would never leave you high and dry! I can see the final media room in my mind’s eye, so I thought I’d do my best to show you everything I’m seeing. Remember when we were trying to pick a paint color? The crowd favorite in this post was actually Benjamin Moore’s Almost Black.


Well, we were able to get our future media room painted. Here’s how things are looking at the moment:


Can you tell which color we selected?? We ended up going with the Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray in flat. It’s a bit hard to tell in a photo, but it turned out to be a richly hued gray – it has a navy undertone that I absolutely love. It’s dramatic but it doesn’t feel ominous. The room’s base boards and molding will also be painted the same color, but the 145 year old trim needs quite a bit of TLC before it can be painted. Professionals have been called in for that.

The floors have also been installed. We laid down white oak that will be stained a Scandinavian inspired light gray, but they’ll remain covered until construction is nearly complete. Right now, the media room is actually serving as the prep area for our kitchen cabinetry. But the kitchen will be another post for another day!

I did want to give you a clear sense of what the room will look like eventually, so I’ve had an illustration of my final vision drawn up!

court Media bw 1Apt34_ORC_MediaRoom

If you’ve been following along with my inspiration posts, then you’ve seen how I wanted to create a space that’s comfortable – perfect for movie nights – but also a elevated and a touch dramatic. I think this final design and product selection is going to help me do just that.

The space is a little tight, the room is only about 10 feet across, so the Clad Home Custom Couch is the perfect solution. I’m not typically a fan of the chaise style, but with limited space it’s the perfect way to create a cozy place to snuggle up. The three nested  Pottery Barn Coffee Tables will sit in front of the sofa. They have solid marble tops – aka make them much hard for a baby to knock over or pull down. Plus they’re just so handsome.

Of course the media storage is a big sticking point with the hubby, but we both agreed that the Blu Dot Console is modern and chic, but understated. I’m trying to keep the attention away from the ginormous TV as much as possible {wish me luck!}.

While this is technically the man cave-esque room, I couldn’t help but slip in a couple of more playful pieces. I’m obsessed with West Elm’s vintage inspired Floor Lamp – it’s how I’ll inject my pop of metallic into the room – and the Anthropologie Palmistry Chair just puts a smile on face. I can see Carter clamoring up and to sit in it, hugged by that funny hand. It’s all about the photo opp after all!

With little room for side tables or other lighting, I’m going to hang a classic  George Nelson Cigar Pendant in the far corner of the room. It’ll give the space a nice golden glow. It’s all about ambient light people.

Since we’re likely to have a little dude toddling around by the time we finally move in, I’m going to keep our accessories pretty minimal. I love this Mirror from ABC Home. It has such a cool texture, it feels like a piece of art. The small fiddle leaf fig tree that currently lives in our loft will get a new home and offer a little life to this room. A few choice pillows and a luxe throw are really all we’re going to need to make the space feel homey. The gorgeous Arhaus Rug will pull all the blues and grays together beautifully.

So there you have it. I’m disappointed I’m not actually plopping down to relax and watch Scandal in my beautiful media room just yet. Thankfully, I can report that we may only be a couple of months away from completion though {renovation gods, do you hear me?!}. And this whole One Room Challenge process has been so fun. It forced me to actually design a room from top to bottom – an exercise I definitely need to do for the rest of the house!  I’m thinking I should share the construction status of the rest of our space with you too. Would you be interested?? In the meantime, be sure to check out my inspiration board for our remodel right HERE. And you can catch up on the entire six week One Room Challenge HERE.

And of course you have to check out everyone else’s big reveals! This is the ultimate in interior inspiration. I feel lucky to have been involved in such a great group.

Apartment 34 | Arianna Belle | Because It’s Awesome | Coco+Kelley | Design Darling | Design Indulgence |Design Manifest | Christine Dovey | The English Room | Vanessa Francis | Hi Sugarplum | Honey We’re Home | Jojotastic | The Pink Clutch | The Pink Pagoda | Simplified Bee | Style Your Senses | A Thoughtful Place | Kimberly Whitman | The Zhush |