Retail Therapy: {Le Labo, San Francisco}

You know us- we’re always on the hunt for new visual eye candy. That can sometime require a little manual labor…ok, by that we just really mean getting off our butts and out of the office,  but the effort is always totally worth it. One of our favorite things to do is to just walk a neighborhood to look at new window installations, check out the latest collections and  scope out any recent additions. Recently, Team Apartment 34 decided to take a trip Fillmore Street, to not only rejuvenate our minds, but also our senses!

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Amidst all of the beautifully decorated shops that line Fillmore, Le Labo, a boutique fragrance store, not only catches your eye with its gorgeous interior, but also lures you in nose first with the delicate blend of delicious smells. We’ve popped in and out of the store before, but this time we went with a mission of finding a signature Apartment 34 fragrance – that everyone on the team would love!

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Immediately walking into Le Labo, you’re met with sensory overload {in the best way possible!}. First the interiors- delicate bottles of tiny fragrances line the tin tile-covered walls {making up for a perfect #shelfie shot!} and the natural light by the window floods into the rustic chic but homey decor. Mixed materials, industrial lighting, a cardboard coffee table and the awesome campaign-esqe sofa are just the right mix of industrial charm and contemporary craftsmanship!

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Our main goal for the day was to pick out a signature Apartment 34 scent. We learned all about the intricate process behind Le Labo’s art of mixing fragrances- from the necessity of “human touch” behind the products {they pick each rose and hand pour each candle!}, down to the naturally compounded perfumes and individualized labeling that each customer receives. The label was the easy part- we’re packaging obsessed. But choosing a fragrance for one person is hard enough- so imagine the struggle we faced with an entire team- six different noses, trying to decide on a single favorite!

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Here’s what the tally came down to:

-We loved the Rose 31 {btw, the number indicates how many “ingredients” are in each fragrance}, a feminine-meets masculine scent named for- you guessed it- the Centifolia rose! Romantic and mysterious- it smells amazing.

-Santal 33 is another one of Le Labo’s iconic scents and a major customer favorite. It was no wonder that we all gravitated towards this one. With notes of cardamom, iris, ambrox, sandalwood, we definitely felt the “American west” vibes.

-Ylang 45 was a strong, darkly floral scent. We liked this one for its sharp, woodsy notes.

Pin 12 is a sophisticated and subtle blend of pine and amber – a perfect unisex fragrance.

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The verdict? We narrowed it down to the Santal 33 home candle and the Pin 12 fragrance. Being home decor obsessed, in the end, we found a way to get the best of both worlds- Pin 12 home scent- a light and woodsy breath of fresh air for any pillow or rug. We now keep it in the office and spray the sofa in our reading corner to refresh the air every time inspiration is getting stale and senses could use a re-boost!

Le Labo is the ultimate luxury, whether you’re treating your body or your home, it’s amazing how confident and sophisticated you’ll feel walking out of there with such a mature and luxurious scent on your skin. And if anyone ever tells you different, riddle them this: “Beware of those who have no weakness for women and perfumes.”

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

How to Wear Color This Fall

A couple of weeks ago we talked stepping outside of the fall fashion comfort zone of black, tan and navy, but we still didn’t stray far from neutral territory. There’s something that just feels so right, and if we’re being truly honest with ourselves, so easy about sticking to a basic fall uniform. So, when I made a recent pop-in to my local Nordstrom Rack, I was rather surprised to find myself bypassing all the black. It just felt a little bit been there, done that! Shockingly, everything I was drawn to had color! Real, legit, full-on color!

I started by grabbing this ah-mazing Akris top. I immediately gravitated to the chic jewel-toned color-blocking. I also love that it had long sleeves that nip at the wrists. It’s a great transitional piece for before sweater weather sets in. I also think it’s incredibly versatile because you could rock this top with so many things. It would look great paired with dark jeans and heels for a dinner date on the town, but you could also take it to the office with a pair of trousers, or even use it to make a standard old business suit really pop!

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As I continued my hunt through the racks my next find was this ah-mazing pair of cobalt blue trousers. I cannot stress enough how worthwhile an investment an amazing pair of pants will be. I unearthed these beauties by St. John and I will be hanging onto them for a very, very long time. That’s the thing about an amazing, well-tailored pair of pants: They last forever, they don’t lose their shape and they boost all of the right assets if you know what I’m sayin’! I also think this blue can be its own version of a neutral, while also helping me stand out from the all-black everything crowd.

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The final step is to throw in a few classic accessories (that I would argue you should always have on hand!). My favorites are a flannel pump, a statement necklace and a fab fall coat. Once combined, you’ve got a great look to rotate into your regular fall schedule. I for one am excited to hit the town in this outfit.

What do you think? Are you a fan of color for Fall??

original photography for Apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // wardrobe styling by Erin Hiemstra

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Rack. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open! 

Idea to Steal {25}: Instagram Place Cards

One of our favorite details from our Andiamo SF dinner party was a very special part of the place settings! You see, the entire dinner was very secretive- guests really had no idea what to expect walking up the dimly lit, unfinished stairwell into a newly opened event space. They hadn’t even fully grasped what the event was all about, let alone know who’d be sitting next to them at the table.

In order to continue the elusive {and fun!} experience going {which we were enjoying WAY too much btw!}, we wanted to stay away from the expected. We searched and searched for interesting ideas for every event detail. After rounds of brainstorming, we had a particularly fab ah-ha moment {an Idea to Steal, if you will!}. What if we could print out Instagrams and use them as incognito place cards?? Thankfully, with companies like Origrami, now you can!! So keeping with the travel theme, we raided our guests Instagram feeds to find images from their recent travels and Origrami printed them beautifully.

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To turn them into place cards, we simply tied each stack together with leather cord {from the fabric store – hello DIY!} and instructed each guest to look for something “familiar” around the table! It was such a simple and elegant way to assign seats. It looked great, the leather made it sexy and it was so much fun watching guests “find” their spot! The best part was that the guests got to take their “place card” home as a memento. We even hung our own on our wall in the office!

Having these Instagrams was not only highly personal, but they were also a great way to conjure up funny travel stories. We had our guests write their most embarrassing travel memory, throw it in a basket and we shared them with the group anonymously – then we had to guess whose story it was!  We made sure to do this after the drink had been flowing and it was hi-larious!!

So for your next party, skip obvious name cards and have fun choosing multiple sizes and themes {our favorite? the retro print!} to print your Instagrams on from Origrami.  They’re great quality, affordable and Origrami offers free shipping worldwide. Rest assured that the prints will spark up your festivities – plus it’s just so cool to see your Instagrams in “real life” rather than on your phone. Now, there’s an Idea to Steal!

original photography for apartment 34 by Katie Newburn // Instagram prints c/o Origram. All thoughts and opinions are our own. We only talk about products we truly support!