Today’s edition of Delicious Spaces might look a little familiar to a long-time Apt34 reader. I’ve been a major fangirl of brunch at Dona Tomas since my days of pregnancy cravings.

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I’m also a fan of the simply chic decor in Dona Tomas’ dining room. Tucked next to Oakland’s Temescal Alley, Dona Tomas keeps things clean and classic. Creamy white walls are dotted with authentic Mexican tapestries and candelabra sconces. Gorgeous ironwork separates the dining room from the exterior patio. Vintage Mexican posters, jumbo grass pendants and floral tablecloths on outside tables are colorful touches. But this pared-back setting is the perfect way to let Dona Tomas’ food and cocktails shine.

delicious space in oakland on apartment 34

And if you’re in the Bay Area, I have an extra special treat for you. Dona Tomas is offering their first cocktail class at the restaurant this weekend! The class will focus on three unique cocktails off their brunch menu: the Celorita, Bloody Maria, and Coco Mocha, described below. You’ll learn how to make each of three cocktails, from the mixes and syrups, where to find the ingredients and tools, how to measure, shake and stir, and get answers to any questions about tequila and mezcal.

Celorita —
habañero infused Vida mezcal, agave & lime, pineapple, cilantro, cucumber & celery

Bloody Maria —
Cimarron Blanco tequila, tomato juice, lime, horseradish, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper

Coco Mocha —
Flor de Caña dark rum, chocolate liqueur, coconut milk, iced coffee, piloncillo-canela syrup

delicious space in oakland on apartment 34  delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34

If you’re in the mood to spice up your cocktail skills, or a simply in the mood for a fun afternoon of great food and amazing drinks you should seriously consider taking this class. I’ve included all the details below.

What: Dona Tomas Mexican Brunch Cocktail Class
Where: Dona Tomas, 5004 Telegraph Ave, Oakland CA PHONE: 510-540-0522
When: Sunday, Feb 25th, 2pm
Cost: $30 per person
Details: Call to purchase your tickets! 510-450-0522

images for apartment 34 by aubrie pick

If you missed last week’s announcement, I’ve been working with my friend Chloe to whip her recently-purchased San Francisco bungalow into shape. It’s a charming classic San Franciscan home, but was left with the…shall we say “less-informed” design decisions of its previous octogenarian owner. We’re on a mission to unearth the coolness that this home could embody.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to do that is with your paint color. It doesn’t require breaking into walls or a crazy financial investment. If an industrious mood strikes, you can in fact do it yourself! If there’s one thing that will immediately improve a place (even if you rent!), it’s paint.

In case you didn’t catch our design board for Chloe’s home, we’re going in a northern-California inspired direction with her color palette. Think bright and airy white mixed with pops of earthy greens, a bit of ocean-inspired blue and sandy neutrals. Thankfully, Behr Paint is helping us to bring our paint color vision to life. Behr’s collection of 2018 Color Trends offer a gorgeous palette that makes injecting a little color into your home so easy.

picking paint color on apartment 34

While we have the bulk of our paint colors selected, we also have a couple out of the box ideas in our back pocket. We want to have a little fun with unexpected color placement. Ideas like half walls, solid blocks of color and painting unusual places.  Here’s a quick inspiration board to give you a better sense of our vision:

picking paint color on apartment 34

And while we have most of our color palette picked, we did want to get your thoughts on one of our more creative ideas! Keep scrolling for a major sneak preview and please weigh in with your opinion.


picking paint color on apartment 34

Chloe’s home features a charming bathroom. While small, it’s flooded with natural light thanks to an amazing skylight. But the piece de reistancé is the cutest little nook for Chole’s bathtub. The space feature’s the bathroom’s original 194o’s pink and white tile (which both Chloe and I still love). It also has an amazing archway over the tub that just cocoons you. This is where we want to highlight a major pop of color.


picking paint color on apartment 34

Our first option is Behr’s 2018 Color Trend hue, Positively Pink T18-01. This is a sweet, virtually matching option. It would amplify the room’s feminine vibe.


picking paint color on apartment 34

Option two is a really bold moment featuring Behr’s 2018 Color Trend hue Life is Good T18-05. The orange-gold adds some major warmth and would be a bright and sunny addition to the space.

What say you? Are you feeling the pink? Or are you into the bold gold? We’d love for you to weigh in! And do stay tuned as the final design will be revealed in the coming weeks!

This post is in partnership with Behr. All thoughts are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.

Apartment 34 on Instagram

On any given day Amanda Jane Jones – designer, mother, woman extraordinaire – may be working on packaging for a coffee company. Or graphics for a new print of Pride and Prejudice. Or rolling out the new Gathre play mats she designed. Or she may put all work aside, bundling up her two toddlers, daughter Jane and son Miles, for a day in the snow.

You may recognize Amanda as the founding art director of Kinfolk – the slow-living magazine that rocked the publishing, design and everything else industry. In the years since she’s moved to freelance, she’s taken on a myriad of jobs, including a heavy hand in the renovation of the Chicago apartment she calls home with her husband Cree, Jane and Miles.

We chatted with Amanda to get a glimpse into her life and home today, from the payoffs and headaches of renovating, to what makes her house a home, to her go-to decor shopping spots. Tell us everything, Amanda.

You and your family recently moved into a new home in Chicago. (Though not too far from your previous home.) Take us through the buying and renovation process – the ups, the downs, some more downs. Any memorable hiccups in the renovation process?

the modern

Yes! The apartment next to ours had been empty since the day we moved in 2013. It was dark and the windows were covered and there was a constant slow drip from the apartment into the shared basement which also caused concern. Basically it gave me the creeps. Our upstairs neighbors found the owner and bought it from them to flip. It was in worse shape than they even imagined; the walls were so moldy, it looked like cottage cheese in some places. The entire floor had to be replaced. So many things they didn’t foresee. After about ten months, they were really getting ready to be done with it and asked if we wanted to buy it from them and then we’d work together to finish it.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

It was the best case scenario for us. We could work in the evenings after the kids went to bed and we were able to make all the final design aesthetic choices before finalizing the sale of the home and even before moving in. Our sweet neighbors would never say so, but I’m sure I was super annoying. As you can probably gather, I’m very particular about how my home looks and is styled, and they were very patient with me – they didn’t even roll their eyes when we took out the kitchen laminate floor they’d just installed because I wanted hardwood.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

Cree and I took over the kitchen, all lighting and closets. (We turned Jane’s closet into a laundry room.) They’d installed Ikea bases in the kitchen, so luckily we were able to order cabinet covers from Semihandmade that snapped right on. Then we installed open shelving and hired someone to build us a white concrete countertop.

The whole situation really worked out perfectly! My brother and his sweet family now rent our old apartment and we feel pretty lucky to share walls with people we love and live in a space we love too.

What are the draws of your new home versus your previous place?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34
The new place has amazing natural light. It’s on the end of the building with no buildings blocking the windows, so the sun is basically direct from noon to sunset which has made our long, Chicago winters much more bearable.

It also makes for beautiful photographs. And since I take a lot, that’s been a plus!

The style of your home echoes that of your design work – timeless, quiet but with a playful wink – full of white walls, classic furniture and charming art. How would you describe your decor aesthetic?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34
I spend 95% of my time in my home. I work from home, I live here, I dream here, I create here, I love here – my life is here. And for me, in order for that to work for me, my personality needs peace and calm and organization. (As much as you can with two toddlers.)

I use calming colors and there is literally a place or bin for everything which helps keep our home tidy. The kids always know where everything goes so they can help clean and they can also get their own toys all on their own. We’re big supporters of independent play and finding them in their rooms surrounded by their toys and blocks and books and dress-ups is so fun.home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34


How has your style (and perhaps personality) changed over the course of settling into adulthood and motherhood?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34
My style used to be more thrifty/trendy and much brighter, but as we’ve settled into our style as adults, although still thrifty, we’ve been able to save for pieces that are a bit more timeless.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

I think that’s our goal now: to fill our home with styles and pieces we can picture ourselves loving just as much now as we will when we’re 72. So I guess we’ve ventured into a more classic and timeless look and that feels like a good place for our 30s.

You’ve moved across the country a handful of times – living in Kansas City, New York City, Ann Arbor and, currently, Chicago. (Any cities I’ve missed?) How has picking up and moving your life affected your connection with things?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

We also lived in Philly, Washington, D.C. and spent two summers in Switzerland! It’s taught me a lot.

1. That home is wherever your people are. We can make a home anywhere if we’re all together.

2. When you travel for longer periods of time, take a couple things from home that will help you feel settled – some favorite blankets, that small kitchen bowl you always put your fruit in. Little things like that, although small, make a home-away-from-home a little cozier.

3. Only keep it if you love it. I’m embarrassed of all the things we’ve moved across the country that just stayed in storage because it had some sort of sentimental value. It’s not worth it!

Speaking of those other cities, how was your room decorated as a teenager? Do you see any remnants of teenage Amanda in your style now?

Ha! When I was in the sixth grade, I had pink walls and a big wall covered with photos of the band Hanson. My mom, being the diplomat she is, suggested we decorate my room and that she’d match every dollar I contributed. So we painted my walls lime green. We bought some white inflatable furniture and a blue and yellow comforter with sheer curtains and painted picture frames of my family in a blue to match. I had so much fun doing that with and was grateful to my mom for giving me free reign.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

I will say, looking back, it was all done very simply. So I guess that’s the same and I kept my room very organized back then too. The colors, however, were quite a bit different though.

Your home mostly features white and neutrals. What’s your relationship with color?

I actually love color! I’m not in a financial position, however, to switch out the pieces in my home as the trends change, so we try to keep it as timeless as possible in hopes that we can keep our things around for years and years.

I’m trying hard though to save up for some colorful artwork. I just bought a piece by Ana Kovaces that I can’t wait to frame. It’s yellow! Shocker!

When you – or your kids, husband or guests – walk into your home, what vibe do you want your home to emit?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

I want them to feel peaceful, welcome and cozy. I want it to be a safe place for my kids and a place we all yearn for and look forward to returning to.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

What unfinished business, whether a renovation project or a blank wall, needs to be tackled next?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

I have a couple photos I need to hang. I also want to create a gallery bar down the hallway, but that’s going to take some time to organize.

Oh! This is gross, but the stain from the trim and the fireplace is seeping through in a bright pink. It’s terrible, but that’s a cost that will have to wait until next year, so until then, we have some hot pink highlights in the front room. Ha!

What’s one thing in your home that’s constantly changing?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

The artwork! I like to change our photos and move things around. We also are always adding little knick knacks from our travels.

…And one thing that stays the same?

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

Every morning starts with cuddles and ends with the same. Lots and lots of cuddles.

Name a few pieces that mean the most to you – the type of things you’d grab in a fire. Children and husband exempt.

home tour: monochromatic oasis on apartment 34

Photo albums. (Although, I just watched that fire episode of This Is Us and ugly cried the entire time and made Cree promise to let everything burn if our house ever catches on fire.) Journals, maybe my hard drives. (I should really backup on a cloud.) Everything else is replaceable.

What are you currently…
Avoiding? Sugar
Tripping over? Legos (ouch)
Looking to buy? Artwork
Struggling with styling? My gallery wall
Loving about your home? The wonderful natural winter light and the hiss of the radiators. It’s eight degrees outside!

Where are you most likely to shop for…
Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric
Shelving: CB2
Furniture: Hedge House and 57st design
Office supplies: Muji and Hay
Kids’ toys: Monroe Workshop, Milton and Goose, Olli Ella, Brimful Shop
Art: Schoolhouse Electric, Anna Kovaces, Slow Season
Goods from Chicago artists: 57st design, I wish I could afford a Chad Kouri piece! Love his work.

Let’s daydream. Imagine your ideal home. What does it look, sound and feel like?
Mmm…on Lake Michigan, a big yard for playing with a fun treehouse. A screened in porch for summer and a fireplace for the winter. Lots of windows. I’ve also always wanted a little studio out back where I could work, set up shoots and leave there at the end of the day. But that’s just dreaming.

I am certainly obsessed with Amanda’s dreamy aesthetic. How about you? I’m officially going to chuck so many of my kiddo’s never-played with toys right now. You can feast on even more pretty on Amanda’s instagram right here.

For more inspiring home tours, CLICK HERE.

interview by megan mccarty / photography by stoffer photography 

Gray kitchens have been having a moment, well…for much longer than a moment now. It’s about time some new kids come to town. And this is coming from someone who painted her dream kitchen gray. While black kitchens have been gaining ground and bright white kitchens remain the super safe bet, there’s a softer option for the color-phobes among us: I give you the clay kitchen.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34

Think of clay as gray’s softer, warmer cousin. It creates a beautiful, neutral backdrop that envelopes you like a hug of an old friend, but the hue still feels sophisticated and refined.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34

One of the great things about this color is its versatility. It can feel right at home in more rustic, country kitchens but also feels right at home in modern spaces. I love the look of clay lower cabinets contrasted against a lovely carrara counter and bright white walls in the kitchen above. The classic shaker style lends to a traditional feel, while the no-uppers is incredibly current. Little hits of dark in the sconce and staub pot are like drops of paint on a creamy canvas. It’s a gorgeous example of a kitchen design that will stand the test of time.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34

Clay looks just as gorgeous in an ultra modern setting. The tone on tone look of this kitchen is gorge. A concrete island and counters offer a cool contrast to the cabinets, warm wood floors and bar stools. A glossy white backsplash adds a little shine.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34

Floor to ceiling clay cabinets help the large scale of the piece blend in rather than feel overbearing.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34

This house carries the warm clay from the kitchen to its entry with beautiful effect. While this could look very Scandi if it were all bright white, this color offers a soothing alternative.

clay is the new gray on apartment 34clay is the new gray on apartment 34

While I’m never going to stop loving gray kitchens, I’m certainly developing a new kitchen crush. What say you? Are you feeling the clay? I’d love to know your thoughts.

For even more kitchen design ideas, CLICK HERE.

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This post is in partnership with Capitol Lighting |

When it comes to finding the perfect light fixture, there are two ways to think about it. You can take a very utilitarian approach, focused solely on wattage or light direction, or you can embrace a flair for the dramatic. I approach lighting like you’d think of jewelry for your outfit. It is the dazzling, eye-catching decoration. The conversation starter. That is certainly the approach I’ve been taking for my house. In each and every room, I’ve tried to select the lighting to serve as the standout piece. The lighting is the wow factor.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

But this is no easy task. There are in fact many utilitarian details, such as scale and placement, that do need consideration and (as I’ve learned from trial and error!) professional expertise. Thankfully, I found Capitol Lighting | to help me add the perfect finishing touches to our house. Case in point, my bathroom sconce above. I searched high and low to fine the perfect piece for our guest bath. I wanted a light fixture that would balance the space, and compliment the my vibe and feel unique. I spent hours trying to find the perfect option.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

That’s why I’ve appreciated Capitol Lighting |‘s expertise. This isn’t just a warehouse experience of buying lights off a (virtual) shelf. Amazingly,Capitol Lighting | allows you to chat online or by phone with one of their highly trained lighting experts who will help you determine fixtures that are the right style and size for your space.

Not being a trained interior designer, I’ve always struggled with scale (just ask my husband about the number of times we’ve need to reorder something because the size was wrong – eek!).  We enjoy the blessing and the curse of having 11′ foot ceilings in our house. Love them for the drama, hate them for how hard lighting placement becomes.

When we were under construction, we had to create our lighting plan and have light boxes installed (all while I was six weeks postpartum) long before any rooms even had walls. That made it extremely difficult for me to figure out if lights were going to look right in the end. As it turns out, the placement in our guest bath was set very very high. I felt super stuck trying to figure out what could work to pull together the space between our round mirror (which I’m obsessed with) and the light box. Thankfully,Capitol Lighting |‘s helped me find the perfect sconce, saving me from ripping out drywall and doing things all over again. My pick, the Aerin Swing Wall Light perfectly connects the distance between the fixture and my mirror. Now  I can finally call my guest bath complete. But that wasn’t my only hole to fill.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

I had a similar challenge with our upstairs hallway. This space is a case study for making the details count. We had a spot for a flush mount light box installed in the hall ceiling. While we could have slapped something boring up there, I want every light fixture in our house to make me smile, so when you walk down the hall and peek up you see….

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

That gorgeous Kelly Wearstler flush mount shining down on you! Ain’t she sweet?! I love the perforated design and also that it’s square. You so rarely see square flush mount light fixtures. I couldn’t be happier with this gem of a find.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

The best thing about Capitol Lighting | is their selection. They don’t just offer gorgeous sconces and pendants but also accent lights. I’m so obsessed with the Clemente Reading Lamp I found for our living room. It’s got such a saucy little personality.

While lighting choices may seem like something small, light fixtures like these are proof positive that no detail in a house should be overlooked. Every pick is an opportunity to find something that brings you joy. And now is the perfect time to spruce up your home for the new year. I’d be thrilled to have any of these stunning options from Capitol Lighting | in our house. I hope you find something you love too.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

shop the post: 1 hudson valley wall sconce // 2 aerin charlton swing lamp // 3 kelly wearstler marble sconce // 4 kelly weartsler melange flush mount // 5 kelly wearstler flush mount // 6 halcon flush mount // 7 pythagoras pendant // 8 round pendant // 9 large pendant


photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

This post is in partnership with Capitol Lighting | Thank you for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.

Even though I’m continuing to put (never ending!) finishing touches on my house, I thought you might be tired of seeing my guest room for the tenth time so I have an exciting new project for you today! It’s also nice to switch up your design focus every once in awhile. And I love helping out a friend. So when the lovely Chloe Roth asked if I might help her pull together her newly purchased San Francisco bungalow, I gladly jumped in. And we thought we ought to take you along on our design journey!

sunset bungalow on apartment 34

Chloe snagged the cutest little two-bedroom house in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood. Just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, the Sunset is well known for its rows upon rows of candy-colored houses built in the 1930s (check out a fascinating article about San Francisco architecture here). If you’re lucky, you can snag one of these houses with their charming period features still intact. While I’m thrilled we have some fun details like arched doorways and huge picture windows to play with, there is also plenty of late-90’s lighting, a builder-grade kitchen and really bad beige paint everywhere. It is definitely is feeling a bit drab.

As a creative director, Chloe has a very discerning eye and a clear aesthetic (her previous apartment was even featured in an interior design book), but it can be hard to look at the blank slate of an entire house and figure out where to begin. Thankfully, I’ve now had some major practice with that! We’ve been working to apply Chloe’s modern, minimalist style to this new beach setting and I love where we’re headed. With any project it’s always super helpful to create a mood board. It helps keep you focused and keep everyone on the same page. Below is our mood board for Chloe’s main living spaces (ie her living room, dining room, bedroom and office).
sunset bungalow on apartment 34
We’re going for a theme of soothing and serene. We’re playing with a color palette inspired by the beach: a combo of grays and natural wood tones that play homage to the color of sand and a few unexpected pops of deep saturated greens reminiscent of the cypress trees that dot the coastline. This will all sit against a bright white backdrop. There will be a mix of some yummy textures to offset minimal clean lines. Chloe is also a plant whisperer so we’re working on creative ways to incorporate living elements throughout the house. I cannot wait to share some of our best solutions!

Over the coming weeks you’ll get to see more of our inspirations, our best DIY projects, the paint color selection process and of course, the final before and afters. Be sure to follow @thechloeroth’s #thesunsetbungalow on the Instagram for all the updates. We’re going to have some fun!

For more interior design inspiration, CLICK HERE.

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