My appreciation for wine and my love of wine country has been well documented. But it’s rare to find a winery where you not only love the vino, but also get to meet and befriend the people who both grow the grapes & make the wine. It’s even rarer that their winery happens to sit atop one of the most beautiful vistas in all of Northern California wine country.

When those three things combine, you get what I call a little slice of wine country heaven otherwise known as Sophie James.

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

Sophie James started as a dream in 2011 when founders Sophie & her husband James (pre-marriage and babes) stumbled upon an amazing piece of property atop Sonoma Mountain. While Sophie had long day-dreamed of making wine while she worked as a biochemist, she didn’t necessarily think their dream would become a reality. But after painstakingly organically farming five acres of Pinot Noir grapes over the last six years, Sophie and James released their first vintage of rosé and pinot noir this year.

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

But I swear their wines taste even better when enjoyed upon the land from which they came. Sophie James has recently offered private vineyard dinners atop their mountain, catered by Michelin-star chefs, complete with the option to glamp overnight in tricked out Shelter Co tents. You can stroll their rolling hilltop property, rosé in hand, enjoying 360 degree views of the Bay Area. On a good day you can see the Pacific Ocean and all the way to San Francisco!

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

But what really sets Sophie James apart is the opportunity to watch a young family realize their dreams (and not just because I might harbor a similar one!). Sophie and James have not only produced delicious wines but also cultivated an amazing community – their Tribe – of passionate wine lovers, but also just really cool people that you actually want to hang out with. Bonus. Every time you visit Sophie James you can see the passion and the joy Sophie and her entire family have poured into making this place come to life.

While the Tribe is currently at capacity, Sophie James will be accepting new members soon so I strongly recommend you get your name on their waitlist right here. Perhaps I’ll see you up on the mountaintop sometime soon!

For more of my wine country favorites, CLICK HERE.

When I spotted sneak peeks of this Brooklyn loft floating around Pinterest, I was immediately smitten. The space injects a California-casual vibe into a historic building in the heart of Williamsburg. The juxtaposition couldn’t be more perfect.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

Originally a schoolhouse in the 1800’s, the building in which this apartment resides features soaring ceilings, arched doorways with original transoms and beautiful hardwood floors. But the period details have all be softened by the addition of modern, minimalist furnishings, and neutral color palette.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

There’s a gorgeous mix of high and low in this home as well. Cool vintage items like the set of woven dining chairs mingle with a timeless mid-century credenza, while the living room features sofas and shelving from CB2. But a gorgeous marble coffee table and Noguchi lights offer unique, individual style. When you mix and match like this everything is elevated.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

I love the rustic luxe mix in the remodeled kitchen. Sawkille Co stools mingle with a timeless  marble island and brass hardware (that are actually paper towel rods!), yet the kitchen uppers are simple raw open shelving. Yet, the black and white color palette of the kitchen accessories feels decidedly modern. It’s a very yummy combo indeed.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

A lovely ceramics collection and Bloc Shop prints hang in perfect harmony.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

The master bedroom is particularly minimal but also lush. The textiles and variety of materials – a paper lantern pendant, striped bed throw, moroccan rug and ceramic table lamps all blend beautifully. Everything is low slung, making it feel laid back and very relaxed, yet also refined.I really really love this look.

home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34 home tour: boho brooklyn loft on apartment 34

The children’s feature similarly muted colors, but tons of texture, print and pattern that make them anything but boring. Instead they feel cozy and fun.

Earlier this summer, I profiled the homeowers’ vacation spot in Montauk and I love looking at how these two homes both differ but also relate. While the laid-back style permeates both homes, I appreciate the more European feel of the loft’s architecture. It’s a great reminder that you can accentuate a grand home’s bones without having to fill it with precious, unlivable pieces. You can create a comfortable, family friendly space in this type of building. And now I’m more motivated than ever to finally finish my own!

What do you think? Do you think the grand and the casual mix well here?

For our home tour archive, CLICK HERE.

photos by nicole franzen, design by space exploration

 

Apartment 34 on Instagram

I have been a fan of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, from it’s earliest iteration – a simple email that landed in your inbox full of her chicest advice about where to shop, what restaurant to try, or her favorite new product. Fast forward 10 years and goop is now a juggernaut – it still offers amazing advice, but now you can find inspiring ideas about every area of life you can think of – fashion, beauty, wellness, travel, fitness, cooking, parenting, relationships. So it only makes sense that they finally dive into design. The new goop x CB2 furniture collection is pretty picture perfect!

new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34 new goop x cb2 collection on apartment 34

Someone once described Apt34 as approached elegance and I think that concept applies to this collection perfectly. This collections features a mid-century European sensibility that I’m loving. And not just because that style is a primary inspiration for our house. The curved sofa trend is in full effect and I’m 100% in support of that decision. A dining, coffee and side table feature similar curves and unique legs. They remind me of vintage pieces that I regularly covet. There’s also a Gio Ponti inspired mirror, a gorgeous vintage-esque wall sconce and a limited edition shearling covered chair – and I’m obsessed. It’s hard to pick a favorite piece but I’ve plucked a few that are on the top of my wish list below.

And I’m so excited to share that I’m partnering with CB2 to celebrate the collection’s launch THIS SUNDAY, September 16. If you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you can join us at the Berkeley CB2 from 9:30am – 11:00am for Wellness Comes Home – a special event inspired by the goop collection.

You are invited to indulge in closed-door, self-care event teaching you how to incorporate health + wellness into your home space. With guided meditations, DIY sage bundles and a little styling tutorial by yours truly, you will def get you “goop” on.

this post is in collaboration with cb2. thanks for supporting collaborations I’m excited about and that keep apartment 34’s doors open.

Today we have a travel installment from our sometimes roving reporter, sometimes relationship expert, always amazing contributor Megan McCarty. She recently took a trip to Phoenix – not a spot on the tippy top of my wanderlust wishlist, but her stay is giving me desert wishes and pool-day dreams. As we wave so long to summer, I’m going to take this guide and pack it away for safe keeping! I highly recommend you do too.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Phoenix, admittedly, was never very high on my Must Visit list. I figured I’d get there someday, probably in the dismal winter months when I’m willing to hop on a plane just to see the sun again. Well, someday came, right as my vitamin D levels were dropping dangerously low, and I’m so glad it did.

What I knew of Phoenix – the heat, the snowbirds, the golf – and what I now know of Phoenix – the design, food and art scene – combine to make for a perfect quick trip for the style-minded. (You, me.) So pack your swimsuit, wide-brimmed hat and not much else for a fall/winter/spring getaway of any kind.

Summertime? Forget about it. Leave desert summers to the professionals.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Valley Ho
…is about as historic as buildings in the western end of the new world get. Its mid-century art deco decor gives off a Palms Springs vibe – minus the pretension. The suite I stayed in featured a full kitchen, a balcony with mountains views and a bathroom that was bigger than apartments I’ve lived in. No Arizona stay is complete without lounging by a pool, and Hotel Valley Ho has two pools for two moods: the quiet and relaxing one and the not-so-quiet one with a bar and DJ. Your choice.

The Camby
If glitz and glam is more your hotel speed, stay at The Camby, located near the hubbub of downtown Phoenix. It’s cheeky art, sleek furniture and jewel tones add an air of elegance without taking itself too seriously. Be sure to look up, down and all around – the art is everywhere, including on the ceiling of your room. A rooftop pool doesn’t hurt the cool factor either.

Mountain Shadows
Can we talk about that pool view? What else is there to say? Oh, I suppose something about how Mountain Shadows, originally built at the foot of Camelback Mountain in 1959 and then rebuilt to all its modern glory in 2017, is a sleek, modern retreat. The neighboring mountains make for a shield against the rest of the world – the to dos, the emails, the anything that isn’t that pool – but a quick 10-minute drive will put you back into the buzz of the city.

WHERE TO GO
Agritopia
At first glance, Agritopia is a modern-day, environmentally conscious version of Pleasantville, a tight-knit community with an urban garden at the center of it all. At second glance, it’s still that, but so much more. Built in Gilbert, a half-hour drive outside of Phoenix, Agritopia is a planned community surrounding 11 acres of urban farmland, with Barnone – a one-stop shop with a brewery, letterpress shop, florist, you name it – at the heart of the neighborhood. My favorite stop was Garage-East, where we indulged in a wine tasting and gossip session with an amiable bartender over various Arizona vinos and a charcuterie board. If possible, take home a few cans of Garage-East’s Breakfast Wine, a delightful house-made concoction of wine white mixed with seasonal juices.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Desert Botanical Gardens
I somehow end up at botanical gardens in nearly every city I visit, and this one tops the list. Weave in and out of the 140 acres of cacti to get a sense of what survives and thrives in desperate desert conditions. The textures, the colors, the height and volume – it’s all glorious. Feeling small next to nature is one of life’s greatest kick-in-the-ass, and Desert Botanical Garden gave me that feeling on a whole new level. Go.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Taliesin West
I could talk about Frank Lloyd Wright all day – did you know his son invented Lincoln Logs? – and visiting Taliesin West, Frank’s winter home (the warm-weather counterpart to his home, Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin) and the main campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin, hasn’t done me any favors. Now I’ll never shut up about Frank! There’s a hushness at Taliesin West, knowing big, bold things have happened there, as if you don’t want to tempt the fates by speaking a titch too loud. Though rumor has it old Hollywood greats spoke a titch too loud at Taliesin West, during wild parties Frank hosted. The compress and release from one room to the next feel like little Frank hugs. See, he’s not the strict, rigid Old Man Architecture you thought he was.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Breakfast 
Start your day right at the Phoenix Public Market, where they host an open air market every Saturday and healthy, farmer-sourced fare inside the rest of the week. Plot your day over a cup of coffee, veggie-packed quinoa bowl and a house-made Pop-Tart, for good sugary measure, like I did. You could also satiate your coffee need at Press Coffee Roasters or Cartel Coffee Lab, both cool, caffeinated spots with locations throughout the Phoenix area.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Lunch
The Henry has a little bit of everything. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Coffee shop, seated restaurant and event space. It’s where you’d want to shoot off emails early morning, grab lunch mid-afternoon and belly up to the bar come happy hour. Its industrial components are brought down to earth with dad’s chic office decor. Think textured walls, horse paintings and a lush mix of hunter green and navy blue.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

What happens when a chef, an artist and a restauranteur join forces? Taco Chelo, that’s what. In the cool arts district of downtown Phoenix, chef Suny Santana, artist Gennaro Garcia and restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin recently opened the taqueria that gives equal attention to the menu as it does the interior design, making for the ultimate eating experience. (Especially when you add a margarita to the mix.)

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Dinner
Life motto: if Oprah loves it, I love it. And if Rachael Ray, Andrew Zimmern, Bon Appetit and Vogue all love Pizzeria Bianco too, even better. Getting a table at the tiny 42-seat restaurant may require some patience, but it’s worth the wait. While there stroll around Heritage Square, the oldest remaining residential block in Phoenix.

escape to phoenix on apartment 34

Hey Postino, how about adding 100 more locations across the U.S., eh? I’ve been thinking about their cozy patio and bruschettas ever since visiting. High fives to the Highland location for their wall of matchbooks (love), engaging server and letting me laugh a little too loud on the patio. I’ll be back ASAP.

And did you catch that Apartment 34 has been nominated for a Domino Magazine 2018 Design Blog Award – for best Lifestyle Blog! To say I was thoroughly shocked by this news is quite the understatement. It’s kinda like a Christmas, birthday and 10-year blog anniversary present all rolled into one.

But the final winner of each category is up to you. All winners will be determined by popular vote. You can vote for your favorites one time per day from NOW through Sunday, September 23. After the people have spoken, the 2018 class will be celebrated at a party at Hotel Zachary in Chicago, courtesy of the sponsor of the award, Tribute Portfolio Hotels, and each winner will receive a feature profile on Domino. No biggie.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE.

For more city guides, CLICK HERE.

When I’m looking for fresh design inspiration, I almost always turn to kitchens. The diversity in kitchen design is unrivaled. Hence why my “Kitchens” Pinterest board has over 2,300 pins! You can find a kitchen style to suit literally any taste (good, bad and ugly). The creativity you can inject into a kitchen is also essentially limitless. That’s why they’re my favorite source for fresh color palettes, new materials and inventive problem solving.

Case in point, my latest favorite new kitchen design idea: the round vent hood.

inventive round vent hood on apartment 34

We’ve talked about a myriad of eye-catching vent hoods over the years, from marble, to gold, to copper, but this totally new take recently grabbed my attention. And as soon as I spied one option, there was a second and then a third, leading me to believe a trend is a-brewing. I for one love how the dramatic cylindrical vent hood offers a totally fresh take on a kitchen’s typical focal point.

inventive round vent hood on apartment 34inventive round vent hood on apartment 34

On the one hand, this option adds a unique curve to what is a typically a very linear room. Conversely, the round hood doesn’t disguise what it is – a utility pipe – so it has a bit of an industrial edge too. The options above work particularly well because they designers choose to paint and lacquer their hoods, offering a much more sophisticated edge.

It so happens that all of these designs stem from Australia – so I don’t know if they have a leading cylindrical vent hood supplier down under or if the Aussie’s are just leading the charge on this new trend (as they often are for most of my favorite design ideas) but I’m all for it. In fact, it’s making me want to add a vent hood to our kitchen!

What say you? Are you into this totally unique look? It’s certainly encouraging me to play with new shapes in unexpected places in our house.

PS: Before you dash off, I have some rather exciting news. Apartment 34 has been nominated for a Domino Magazine 2018 Design Blog Award – for best Lifestyle Blog! To say I was thoroughly shocked by this news is quite the understatement. It’s kinda like a Christmas, birthday and 10-year blog anniversary present all rolled into one. And the honor is even more meaningful as so many of my favorite OG fellow blogger are nominated as well – Simply Grove, La Dolce Vita, Sarah Sherman Samuel, Jojotasic, House of Brinson, Paper + Stitch, My Paradissi, and even two who go waaay back with me, Bright Bazaar and my BFF Coco + Kelley, in the very same category no less.

But who is the final winner of each category is up to you. All winners will be determined by popular vote. You can vote for your favorites one time per day from NOW through Sunday, September 23. After the people have spoken, the 2018 class will be celebrated at a party at Hotel Zachary in Chicago, courtesy of the sponsor of the award, Tribute Portfolio Hotels, and each winner will receive a feature profile on Domino. No biggie.

I secretly hope it all ends in a massive tie. There’s got to be a way to make that happen right?! CLICK HERE TO VOTE.

PPS: For even more kitchen inspiration, CLICK HERE.

kitchen 1 by studio esteta, photography by tom blachfordkitchen 2 by lucy bock, photography by mark roper / kitchen 3 by gia bathrooms & kitchens photography by emily bartlett / kitchen 4 pinterest

It’s that odd time of year when shelves are crammed with sweaters, yet the day’s temps are still high enough to make you sweat. But no one wants to still be running around in cutoffs! But take heart, you can in fact break in a couple of your new fall pieces even as the mornings only just begin to cool. Here are 10 ideas to help you achieve a cool look during that awkward, hot shoulder season.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Toss a trench over a monochrome tee and jeans and suddenly you look rather put together. A fall must.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Yes, you absolutely can wear white after Labor Day – just accessorize it with a little black to suite the new season.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Rock a suit – but with nothing underneath the blazer – if you dare!

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Denim on denim with a closed toe shoe is a cool and casual way to inject a fall vibe into your wardrobe.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

A blazer over a cropped pant immediately says it’s not summer anymore folks.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Even if it’s still kinda hot out, rock that new killer fall coat – even if it’s just for your commute to work.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

Add a blazer and boots and to your favorite power combo of length jeans & tee and you’re immediately screaming it’s fall. A topper of plaid also helps bridge sandal weather with the new season.

10 Outfit Ideas to Ease into Fall on apartment 34

And if you really can’t wait to pull your new fall coat out the closet and it’s just still so dang hot – just turn that beaut into a dress! Eye-popping sandals not required.

What is your favorite outfit out of these 10 looks?

For more fall inspiration, CLICK HERE.

 

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