While Monday Motivation is all the rage, there’s no reason to think it’s too late to get on the you-can-do-it bandwagon. Inspiration can strike at anytime and everyday presents the opportunity to be your best self. I’m certainly feeling like I need to get my sh** together after getting a peek into my friend Lauren Nelson’s newly finished interior design studio. As someone who either works from the couch or squeezed into a tiny desk in the corner of my guest room, I’m owning all the envy of her gorgeous work space.

Equal parts functional and beautiful, this workspace has all the comforts of home but a perfectly designed one. Every office should come equipped with an elevated kitchen! You won’t find any microwaves crammed in a corner around here. That stone is next level and I love the injection of a dusty blue. The wood shelf keeps the space from feeling too fancy.

A casual seating area and dining table (made of custom bases and a left over stone slab) offer a spot to grab bit, another working area or a spot to flip through inspiration materials.

I will never tire of art leaned against walls. Black frames and black accents add a strong punch as does that piece of photographic art.

The conference room uses two Blu Dot Strut tables and a mix of vintage chairs to create a a bright and airy space to walk through Lauren’s always stunning design ideas. Definitely need to improve my moodboard game!

A co-working desk allows for easy conversations.

A simply chic bathroom features another of another of my current favorite trends – sideways sinks!

I’ve long loved Lauren and her work. We’re currently cooking up some fun surprises related to This Old Victorian that I’ll be sharing with you quite soon!

photography by bess friday

Happy Monday friends! Today I have a home tour for you that helps put last week’s black and white inspiration in context. While the color palette of this Australian home (I just can’t quit design from down under right now) is timeless, the design is bold, dramatic and thoroughly modern. It’s no wonder this apartment is nominated for the 2019 Australian Interior Design Awards. Scroll and you’ll see why.

This three-story townhouse located in Sydney’s Darlinghurst neighborhood was stripped down to expose the building’s original stone walls which were transformed into the primary design feature. As designer Tom Mark Henry explains this house focuses on “the interplay of texture, combining hard and soft finishes, contrasting matt and gloss surfaces, and light and dark to create intrigue and depth in an otherwise monochromatic palette. These quiet juxtapositions are an exercise in restraint, and the ultimate pursuit of balance and simplicity.”

Nothing in this house is generic. Every piece is selected as its own individual statement maker, but the uniform color palette keep the modern edge from feeling overdone.

Unique lines, dramatic angles, bold fabrics and one of kind art add continual interest in what is actually a sparsely decorated home.

This dining table, with its mix of a built-in bench and Thonet chairs is major goals.

As is this gorgeous pendant light!

The outdoor area connects with the kitchen and dining room seamlessly.

The kitchen is clean, minimal and understated, punctuated with simple, hardware free cabinetry. Black accents are brought in with the hardware, oven and countertop accessories.

I love the rich, muted texture of this stone.

The stunning stone walls carry through into the master bedroom. A unique piece of art adds a little whimsy to to the space while the curved lines of the side chair and side table, as well as all the textiles soften the room.

I shared this bathroom a few weeks ago for its square sink, but I also love this room’s vertical stacked tile, the gorgeous stonework and unique lighting. And do I spy a fireplace in the bathroom?? Swoon!

I spy another square sink in the second bathroom.

This home might be a little more sparse than I’m actually capable of pulling off, but it’s certainly something to aspire to. It’s also a reminder to look for pieces for your home that are filled with personality. Life is too short to be surrounded the generic.

For our home tour archive CLICK HERE.

design by tom mark henry

Apartment 34 on Instagram

Even though spring (and really we should say summer since we’re only a few weeks away!) is supposed to usher in the the season of light, bright spaces, colorful space, I always fall back to my happy place – all things black. Strong black moments add that gorgeous graphic punch in a space, but pops of black can still feel relevant to the current season. They can even feel like a vacation destination!

So don’t think you can’t add some hits of black to your world this time of year. Here are some of my faves.

images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Please live in this stunning Victorian townhouse near Bondi in Sydney, Australia? Pretty please? Home to the founder of Alexander & Co, one of my favorite Australian designer firms, this family-focused house is innovative, unique, bright, playful and choca-block full of design icons without an ounce of pretense in sight. I’m working to achieve this same kind of elevated, yet lived-in vibe in This Old Victorian. I’m taking all the notes on this house. Scroll to see why.

This multi-level house brings you on a seamlessly flowing journey. Similar materials and repeating colors bring cohesiveness to the four bedroom, three bathroom home.

The building’s lowest level houses the kitchen, dining and living areas, creating the heart of the home. I’m obsessed with the room’s sunken built-in sofa (look below). Leather-clad and with gorgeous custom oak millwork, this sofa is both stunning and really family friendly. It will weather beautifully with age and use. The leather sofa, along with the upholstered Gubi dining chairs, work to soften the rest of the room’s hard surfaces – marble tile floors, lime washed oak and white laminate cabinets and stainless steel counters and appliances. But my favorite moment might be the large, bright piece of art about the kitchen counters. We’ve talked about bold art in a bathroom, but putting it in the kitchen is also equally unexpected and stunning.

Did you also notice the two-toned cabinets? In the working area of the kitchen the cabinets are white, but transition to the a beautiful lime-washed oak as you transition into the living area. Another subtle but genius choice to warm up the room.

A more formal seating area at the front of the house has a soothing black and white color palette with accents of warm wood.

The family room features a perfect mix of vintage and contemporary designer pieces and deeply saturated hues. Is that a denim Togo sofa? So good. Exposed pine beams clad the ceiling, adding additional texture and interest. They carry additional continuity throughout the house.

Sculptural ceramics and vases displayed on across a bench add an artsy vibe to in-kitchen dining area.

Though the bathroom is monochromatic, a wall of penny tile adds depth and texture.

This home offers a really interesting mix of high and low materials, layers of texture, deeply saturated color and a playful hand, but maintains a really elegant feel. From the bright white walls and the flood of natural light, to the friendly yet still refined perspective, this home hits all the right notes.

For more home tour goodness, CLICK HERE.

Design Alexander & CO. | Styling Claire Delmar | Photography Anson Smart

It’s one of my favorite times of year – the San Francisco Decorator’s Showcase is here. If you’re not familiar, this annual event takes a home – let’s be real – an insane mansion, usually in the picturesque Pacific Heights neighborhood, and as many as 30 designers completely transform it, room by room. This year’s showcase is particularly spectacular. The house itself was completed in 1904 and is a replica of Le Petit Trianon, Marie Antionette’s chateau on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. The home is over 18,000 square feet, features 14 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, two kitchens, an elevator and a full ballroom. No biggie. Needless to say there was a lot for this year’s designers to work with (side note, the house was also abandoned for nearly a decade so it was also in total disrepair).

There is so much to see in this Showcase. Each designer has the liberty to put a highly personal spin on their assigned room. There were many a stand out space in this year’s house but I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite highlights for you.

NEUTRAL TERRITORY

living room by heather hilliard design

Probably no surprise, but I was immediately drawn to all of the spaces with neutral designs. The living room, by Heather Hilliard, was a nod to modern Parisian apartment. It features a mix of classic vintage, contemporary pieces and the first look at one of the many rooms featuring curved lines. Keep your eyes peeled. You’re going to see a lot of soft lines.

the oak room by sindhu peruri

In the Oak Room – or essentially the in-home bar and lounge – designer Sindhu Peruri gives us a built-in banquette, another of my favorite design trends, along with stunning custom cabinetry and geometric shelving. Also love the vertical tile backsplash in this space.

wabi sabi soak room by clara bulfoni, geddes ulinskas architects

And in the Wabi Sabi Soak Room (aka a bathroom sans toilet) by Clara Bulfoni, you get a beautiful breath of fresh air with warm woods, stunning handmade Cle tile (I used them on my fireplace and am obsessed) and yummy textured plaster walls. It has movement, it has tons of natural elements and is the perfect calming retreat.

PRINT AND PATTERN 

Recital Room by martin korbus design

Classically Modern vestibule by scott robert design

While white walls might be my personal mainstay, the Showcase is always all about drama. This year is no different. Everywhere you looked walls (and ceilings!) were papered, hand painted, lacquered or in the case of the downstairs hallway – adorned with flooring. It’s a great reminder to think outside the box.

GREEN WITH ENVY 

Balcony Garden by brandon pruett design

breakfast room by eche martinez

Whether it was an entryway, atrium or balcony full of plants or a room’s accent color, green is having a good moment in this house. I think the green safari chair needs to become a thing.

POWERFUL PINK

Houghton Hall Reimagined Entertainment Room by jonathan rachman

Daydream Believin girls bedroom by studioHeimat

Deep raspberry is another color de jour in this year’s Showcase. Ironic given it was the color I so desperately tried to get rid of in the original Apt34, but I love it in these bold concepts.

PAINTERLY WALLS

master bath suite by alexis humiston

Houghton Hall Reimagined Entertainment Room by jonathan rachman

Major statement wallpaper is biggest trends seen throughout this year’s Showcase. A number of designers partnered with De Gournay to create custom, hand painted wallpaper to compliment their designs. While I’m usually not a wallpaper person, I could certainly appreciate the ultra lush look.

While rooms in the Showcase might feel totally over the top or completely unattainable, that’s kind of the point. I love visiting to search for 90-bits of inspiration that I can translate in a more accessible, daily life kind of way. If you can get yourself to Washington Street before the end of May, I highly recommend it.

Btw, it’s also now for sale for a cool $30 million!!

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs until May 27. Tickets cost $35-$40 and proceeds benefit University High School.

images via decorator showcase and by Daniel Lunghi, Lunghi Media
Group for Town and Country

It can be hard to remember to call your mom sometimes but it can be even harder to remember Mother’s Day, especially when you are one! But the big day is this coming Sunday, so I thought I’d help you out by sharing some last second gift ideas that I’m 100% confident any mom in your life would actually want. You can consider this a not so subtle reminder that all the moms out there have enough mugs and candles already. If you’re a mom, feel free to forward this post to anyone in your life who might need a little hint!

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