They say that travel cures your wanderlust. Not for me! Once I start traveling, I don’t to stop. Case in point; though I’m currently soaking up all the sun and surf I can get in Maui (more on Stories if you want deet on my trip), I now desperately want to book my next trip to Portugal. It’s actually been on my travel wishlist for quite some time now, but after my fave roving reporter Megan McCarty returned with rave reviews and stunning photos, now I’m really read to hop another plane. Maybe Thanksgiving in Portugal would be nice! I’m not a huge turkey fan anyway. Anywho, keep reading to discover the place to stay in Lisbon.

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

Seems like everyone is going to Portugal these days.

And for good reason. The wine is cheap, the beaches are wow-worthy and don’t even get me started on the pastel de nata.

Despite Portugal, and capital city Lisbon in particular, being the locale du jour lately, there’s still a welcome grit to the country. Old women leer from above, their elbows hanging out of their second, third, fourth story apartments – the original neighborhood watch committee. Laundry, strung from windows, waves in the wind. The hills are steep and the cobblestone streets are not for the faint-of-rolling-an-ankle.

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

To feel like a local in the beautiful, buzzing city, book a stay at Baixa House. It’s not quite a hotel, but not an Airbnb either. It’s more than a bed and breakfast and definitely more than enough to convince you to pack up your life and live in Lisbon forever.

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

So what is it? Baixa House is a block of 13 full-service apartment rentals in the center of Lisbon’s historic Baixa (downtown) district, tucked between the Alfama and Chiado neighborhoods. It’s a home far, far away from home – a home in which someone else makes your bed. A full kitchen? Check. Laundry? Yep. Daily cleanings? The best. Fresh bread is hung on your apartment door each morning, while the fridge is stocked daily with breakfast goodies such as fresh squeezed juice, cheese, butter, yogurt and jam.

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

Like most things in life, it’s all about the details: fresh cut flowers brightening each room, fado music in the stereo system, a kitchen stocked with all the essentials. The gracious and knowledgeable staff go so above and way beyond to make you feel at home too. It feels like you’re visiting a friend’s place, a friend who has a beautiful, sun-soaked apartment and who is happy to call that restaurant you’re considering and who sneaks in during the day to wash your dishes. They know hospitality at Baixa House, which begins before you even arrive, with key tips on how to get a cab from the airport. (Note: nab one at the arrivals entrance, not the departures exit. There’s no line and the drivers tend to be more friendly.) Or if you’re arriving by car, Baixa House will advise you on the closest and most secure parking spots.

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34 You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

So what’s the story behind this wonderful place, so unassuming with no signage, no lobby? Take it back to the 18th century; the five-story Pombalino building was constructed in 1775 after an earthquake devastated much of Lisbon. What is now Baixa House is owned by landscape architect Jesus Moraime, who carefully restored the building to conserve as much history as possible. You’ll see this from floor (wide, wooden planks) to ceiling (beautiful original beams) and everything in between (doors, windows, tiles).

You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34You Gotta Stay Here: Baixa House in Lisbon, Portugal on apartment 34

Each unit is named after a garden in the city, and includes a photograph of the garden by Moraime, while the decor is so distinctly Portuguese, since Moraime spent years scouring area flea markets for furnishings that were just right. And they are just right, from the vintage furniture to custom rugs and green cabbage crockery, all locally sourced. It feels like home. Well done, Baixa House. You’re a beauty.

What a place, what a city, what a country. Now, when can I move in?

For all of Megan’s adventures, CLICK HERE.

 

photography c/o Baxia House and by megan mccarty

So I have a little secret. I’ve been carrying it around with me for more than 20 years now. But it’s time I think I finally come clean with you. I have terrible vision. Not just a little bad. Not kinda bad. Like I can’t see six inches in front of my face bad. But after the trauma of getting eyeglasses as a child in the 80’s – they weren’t cute my friends – I swore I’d never wear glasses again. And here I am, decades later still hiding my terrible eyesight with contacts.

But in the intervening years, it turns out eyeglasses have gotten way cuter, way less expensive and much less of a pain to get. Case in point, Zenni. Since discovering this amazing site, you can consider me a glasses convert!

Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34

Cute right?! I’ve always been convinced I just can’t look good in glasses, but Zenni has the largest collection of affordable glasses online. And their website has the coolest technology – you can upload a picture of yourself and actually preview what a pair of glasses will look like on your own face! So genius. After taking Zenni’s quiz to determine the ideal frames for my face shape, I flipped through a million styles, from ultra modern to uber hipster before settling on these cute round tortoiseshell frames in a chestnut hue. And I love them! I consider it an eyeglasses miracle.

Ordering my glasses through Zenni was so super easy too. It’s key that any glasses I wear fit and are well made cuz I really really need them to see. To order from Zenni, I simply inputed the prescription numbers my eye doctor emailed me, selected my picture perfect frames, and then I got to add a variety of the bells and whistles Zenni offers – every pair of their glasses come with a UV protection and an anti-scratch coating, but I nearly decided to get lenses that convert into sunglasses! Maybe on the next pair. The frames arrived at my door with their own case and cleaning cloth and I’m really impressed with the fit. These frames are super light and super comfortable. Nothing reminiscent of my childhood glasses nightmare.

What do you think? So good right?? I’m so feeling this new glasses look that I decided I needed to do a little shopping for a fresh fall outfit to highlight them.

Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34

Thankfully, just down the block from my favorite co-working space, the Assembly, (you caught my tour of it right??) sits one of another San Francisco gem – the concept boutique called Le Point. They carry super unique pieces, hard to find brands and local Bay Area designers. Plus the store is just real purdy. Added bonus.

Le Point boutique in San Francisco on apartment 34Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34

While I usually associate wearing glasses with hiding at home in my pjs, there’s something about these frames that make me want to dress a little smarter. A chic sweater. Maybe a midi-dress. Or a really really good coat. Ready to do some serious business.

Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34 Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34

I was loving how the warm caramel of the sweater played up my tortoiseshell frames and the balloon sleeve offered an interesting detail. I think I’d pair them with my favorite high waisted black culottes and a patent leather slide.

Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34 Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34Le Point boutique in San Francsico on apartment 34Why My Eyeglasses are My New Favorite Fall Accessory on apartment 34

I had so much fun day-dreaming about new looks in which to strut my new glasses-wearing style. Are you thinking I should add that yummy brown sweater to my options? Zenni’s eyewear selection if so affordable and they offer so many varying styles, I’m actually considering picking up another pair or two to create a whole slew of new fall looks! Do I hear a second?

For more fall style inspiration, CLICK HERE.

 

original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

This post is a paid collaboration with Zenni. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that keep Apt34’s doors open.

Apartment 34 on Instagram

I think it’s very important to hone your personal style. When working on something like a major remodel, that clear vision helps keeps you focused. Someone recently describe my vibe as approachable sophistication – which I gotta say might be the nicest compliment I’ve received in a long time. But, then there come that time when you get a little sick of your own atheistic and crave something fresh.

That might be why I immediately swooned over this modern, rustic, vintage, but most importantly seriously cool home in Amsterdam.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdam

What was once a warehouse in the 1800’s, the Dutch founder of the lingerie company Love Stories, has transformed this four story building, into a funky, stylishly nonchalant family home. Rough and rustic materials from exposed beams, reclaimed parquet floors, steel windows and white washed brick mix with a menagerie of house plants, vintage furniture and pseudo-industrial light fixtures.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdam

A child sized worktable is made out of an old door and some sawhorses. Genius.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdam

I’m loving this oversized sofa, and the fact that entire living and dining areas are all interconnected.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdam

I’m really into the stainless steel kitchen, and the fact that this home has windows for days.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdam

The children’s rooms sit under the homes eves and have that charming collected feel.

home tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdamhome tour: modern vintage in amsterdam 

The master bathroom floats in a glass encased area in the middle of the master bedroom. I kinda love.

I think what really appeals about this home is that is still within my go-to neutral color palette. Or maybe I just love it because I’m also Dutch and fantasy about escaping to Amsterdam myself one day. Regardless, while this home isn’t necessarily in my design wheelhouse I completely appreciate it. And might even work harder to add a bit more patina and vintage goodness to This Old Victorian.

What about you? Are you into this look?

For our entire home tour archive, CLICK HERE.

photography by marc van praag for vogue living

Temps are dropping (slowly, but surely…), and the season of fall gatherings is officially upon us! I firmly believe that the whole point of having friends over for dinner is to make everyone feel at ease – yourself included. That’s why I was so excited when one of my fave home collections,The Citizenry, asked me to create a fall inspired table with their newly launched table linens collection. All of their linens are so lovely I actually couldn’t just set one table – I had to set two.

Scroll below to see how you can create two different fall entertaining vibes by simply swapping out your napkins (and a few other choice details) along with some of my best entertaining tips.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Setting a lovely table makes a meal feel a little special, but creating it shouldn’t have be complicated. A simple white linen tablecloth is my go-to foundation. It offers a nice blank slate. A few wrinkles – or even a big fold or two are no big deal. I love how it gives everything a more Euro-rustic vibe.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

There’s no need to have a collection of fancy china. Simply create layers with your daily dishware. I love to mix and match dishes in different colorways to add extra dimension. And I will always approve of gold flatware for everyday use – there’s no reason to make them wait for a special occasion. It quickly makes any table feel a bit more festive.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Adding flowers to your setting also doesn’t have be stressful. You can let your creative juices flow, combining whatever fits into your color palette. A fall arrangement can mix all kinds of greenery – everything from lambs ear and grasses, to cuts of leaves. A few dahlias give you that plucked straight from your garden look. But if creating your own centerpiece feels overwhelming, head to your local flower mart or corner florist. The talented ladies at Marigold SF put together these stunners. There’s no shame in putting a pretty arrangement into your own vase. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I created two different fall tables by only swapping out a few simple things. I like to stick to 2-3 colors on the table to keep things from getting overwhelming. This first table features a set of The Citizenry’s subtle Onam napkins and tablerunner in blush. You can fold the the napkins to highly their mustard gold threading or camouflage it to keep the look really light, neutral and airy. The Citizenry’s set of Dasar bronze trays make the perfect serving dishes. I added white oak candle sticks and warm golden taperd offer a light, feminine touch.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

To quickly and easily change this tables look, I simply swapped in pops of indigo and chambray to create a slightly bolder, high contrast look. The Citizenry’s Chera napkins feature hand stitching, but are made from durable cotton – meaning they’re machine washable! Hits of black – candlesticks, the Citizenry’s black marble cheeseboard and our dining chairs elevate the look. I’m also obsessed with The Citizenry’s new Ba Lai glassware. Matte gray on the outside, with a high gloss glazed interior, they’re seriously so good.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I’m struggling to pick a favorite between these two looks so I’m thinking I just have to throw two parties to put both to the test. Do you you have a favorite??

See the rest of my favorite fall entertaining tips on The Citizenry blog here.

florals by marigold studio / photography by andrea posoadas

This post in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that keep our doors open!

After looking at all things design nonstop for more than decade it can be a tad hard to find things that surprise anymore (the resurgence of terrazzo might be an outlier). Things can begin to look very same, same, same. But then I caught sight of the Surface Sconce created but multidisciplinary designer Henry Wilson in Sydney. Jaw. On. Floor.

design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce

The surface sconce is both a sculptural masterpiece, but also a beautifully functional ambient light. Light glows between the piece’s two halves that have been cast from solid gunmetal. But really, it’s work of art. Each one is cast in small batches from natural, yet industrial materials, juxtaposing their hard composition with the sconce’s smooth, soft lines. Originally created in bronze, aluminum and brass, they are now available in natural stone. Oh the marble. Swoon.

design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce

While I really love the tabletop version, the design studio also creates a mountable sconce, seen here in the equally gorgeous Paddo Inn in Sydney. 

design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce design hunting: the surface sconce

The studio also makes amazing modern bookends, trays, handles and trivets. They’re chunky yet modern and totally luxurious, and beautiful. Sure you can find something cute at Target or CB2 – love you guys, mean it – but then there are pieces worth saving for. I think I officially need to add a surface sconce to the This Old Victorian. Time to return some of those Zara boxes.

For more of my favorite design discoveries, CLICK HERE.

So sorry leaving you hanging for a few days friends. My entire household came down with a nasty stomach flu late last week, but I must be on the mend because I finally woke up hungry today. While I’m limited to the BRAT diet today, I’m certainly drooling over both this modern rustic kitchen and the yummy fall recipe for roasted mushroom and polenta below.

cook here, eat this: mushroom polenta on apartment 34

This is a kitchen of my country-home dreams. First off, it has a mobile kitchen island – a concept I adore. You can shift it around to suit your needs. I also continue to adore that lack of upper cabinets, but the addition of the hanging rack here that exudes that rural vibe, but the modern well designed kitchen tools keep things from getting to folksy. Finally, all of the materials are elevated. Beautiful oak floors. A marble backsplash. A lovely cement pendant light. This space perfectly exemplifies how simple can still be really sophisticated.

I’m going to envision myself in this peaceful space, whipping up this seriously delicious looking dish.

cook here, eat this: mushroom polenta on apartment 34

RECIPE: Oven Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms and Thyme

Ingredients

1½ lb. mixed mushrooms (such as crimini, shiitake, oyster, and/or maitake), torn into 1″ pieces
4 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for serving
6 garlic cloves, smashed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup polenta
4 oz. Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt

Directions

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°. Combine mushrooms, thyme sprigs, and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat mushrooms, then spread out in an even layer. (Make sure not to crowd the mushrooms on the baking sheet; otherwise, they’ll steam instead of getting crispy.) Transfer to upper rack in oven and let mushrooms roast while you prepare polenta.

Bring 4½ cups water to a simmer in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter and a generous pinch of kosher salt and whisk to melt butter. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. (Gradually incorporating the polenta into the water is key to preventing clumps.) Return mixture to a boil, immediately cover pot, and transfer to lower rack in oven. Bake polenta, shaking baking sheet with mushrooms occasionally, until polenta is tender, 25–30 minutes.

Remove polenta from oven. Crank up oven temperature as high as it will go (but don’t broil). Continue to cook mushrooms until crisp around the edges, 5–10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, carefully uncover polenta and whisk vigorously, scraping bottom of pan, until polenta is smooth and thick. Gradually add 4 oz. Parmesan, whisking constantly until melted and incorporated; taste and season with more kosher salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm over low heat while mushrooms finish roasting.

Remove mushrooms from oven; drizzle with vinegar. Toss to coat; let cool slightly.

Divide polenta among bowls and top with mushrooms, thyme leaves, sea salt, and more Parmesan.

For more of my favorite fall recipes, CLICK HERE.

kitchen via ingredients ldn / recipe via bon apetit

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