Finding your personal design style can feel like an impossible task. Sure you can find those that fit into easily defined boxes, traditional, modern, minimalist, craftsman etc, but that is touch boring. I know my style has evolved over years into what I’m now loosely defining as modern European casual. It’s a thing right??

But do you ever find that as the seasons change, so does your preferred design aesthetic? I can always spot the shift happening in my Pinterest feed. I go from loving clean, crisp interiors to spaces that feel a little more relaxed and rustic. But a “rustic modern” design doesn’t mean it has to have any less intention or sophistication. Case in point, This Old Hudson.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

If you haven’t managed to spot This Old Hudson on Instagram yet, you’re in for real treat today. Designed by the crazy talented Anthony Dargenzio of Zio & Sons – whose tile collection for Clé I shared last weekThis Old Hudson in upstate New York is a series of rentals Anthony has created. The initial spaces are smaller apartments that often serve as photo shoot locations, but Anthony has outdone himself with the addition of This Old Hudson Residences. These 3-bedroom spaces created to be longer term rentals bring vintage chic to a whole new level.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

While the original details of the Residences’ historic 1915 building remain intact, the design has a decidedly modern feel. Hence why I’m obsessed. Many of the things you see is in this space are in fact vintage, but its minimalist placement, use of black and abundance of negative space makes the design fresh rather than dated or dingy.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer EscapeHome Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer EscapeHome Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer EscapeHome Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

While I certainly wouldn’t gravitate toward this look for my forever home, there’s something about a vacation that makes you want to step into another aesthetic. It really helps make the vacation feel like you’re in another world. Spending sometime in a design style substantially different than your own is also a great opportunity to gather inspiration and new design ideas that you might never thought to apply to your own home.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

Vintage chairs are never a bad idea. They add character and the perfect amount of patina to virtually any time of space. It’s the use of restraint and intention that makes these room’s eye-catching.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer EscapeHome Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

I spy more Clé tile! I love it placed against shiplap and a larger, more contemporary oversized hexagon tile. The mix of tones, textures and finishes makes the monochromatic bathroom feel anything but boring.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to put boldly patterned cement tile in a bathroom with a turn of the century clawfoot tub, but I’m feeling it.

Home Tour: A Picture Perfect Summer Escape

Having officially hopped on board the “summering somewhere” train (are you currently tracking my adventures in Italy??) the idea of a future summer escape in the Hudson Valley certainly does sound tempting. Especially since the flight is much much shorter!

For details on how you can experience this gorgeous space for yourself, be sure to check out This Old Hudson.

For more awe inspiring home tours, CLICK HERE.

There are myriad opportunities to make a bold statement in your home, from bookshelves to artwork, lighting or flooring. But some of those choices can be rather expensive and permanent. It’s always nice to find opportunities for a quick change that will have major impact. Case in point, your coffee table. Everyone has at least one. But coffee tables are too often incredibly pedestrian, and if truth be told, poorly made out of cheap materials.

But your coffee table actually presents an amazing opportunity to have an eye-catching moment in the middle of your living room. Today’s Idea to Steal is all about oversized black coffee tables. I am totally smitten.

Idea to Steal: Black Coffee Tables on apartment 34 Idea to Steal: Black Coffee Tables on apartment 34

These black coffee tables are substantial and cannot be ignored. I love the huge scale of these tables. The chubby legs are grounding and they offer plenty of surface area for styling, but also for practical purposes – like eating dinner in front of the TV (#reallife).

Idea to Steal: Black Coffee Tables on apartment 34 Idea to Steal: Black Coffee Tables on apartment 34

If you’re feeling a little skittish about adding black to your living room, you can slow play it. Pair a smaller black coffee table to mix in other materials and soften the look. Consider options with brass, a smoke glass top or maybe a white oak. But I definitely love the look of those tables that are large and in charge. Sadly, I’m not sure where to find such oversized coffee tables. In all likelihood they’re something you have to have custom made, but the round table above is called the Offset Coffee table, designed by Philippe Malouin for Resident out of New Zealand. I always love a good excuse to go down under!

What say you? Would you swap out your coffee table for something this bold?

For more theft worthy design ideas, CLICK HERE.

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Apartment 34 on Instagram

I never really paid much attention to tile until I had to make so many decisions about it. I think we have seven different types of tile in This Old Victorian. Sure, you can go with your standard grade white subway tile and do ok, but why not grab the opportunity to do something really special in your space. Enter the newly launched collaboration between cult tile favorite Clé and Zio & Sons.

If you don’t know Clé, here’s a primer. What started as one of the first online tile shops in 2012, Clé has helped transform tile from being a functional backdrop to a more artful, provocative facet of our surroundings. Clé seeks out heirloom quality tiles from across the globe. Their inventory extends from classic moroccan zellige, glazed raku-fired tiles from Vietnam, rustic Italian terra cotta and carrara stone to thin clay bricks domestically sourced. I used Clé tile on my fireplace surround and couldn’t be happier with the result.

And if you don’t know Zio & Sons then you best get on Instagram stat. Everything Anthony Dargenzio touches turns to gorgeous. Anthony connected directly with Clé after he debuted his collection of rental apartments in New York’s Hudson Valley. When Anthony used Clé Tile’s Zellige design in the kitchens of This Old Hudson, the spaces just blew up on Instagram and a match in design heaven was made.

Through Clé’s Zellige tile, D’Argenzio discovered a material that was simple yet embodied both history and craft. These elements paired perfectly with his love of historical architecture and natural materials. Built to last, the brand new Zio Zellige + Clé collection is a classic yet simple design,” D’Argenzio says. “It was inspired by the Old World and driven by handcrafted texture that’s increasingly harder to find.”

Drawn upon the rich mosaic patterns of Moroccan design and working alongside Clé, D’Argenzio created an offering of two simple
shapes in four neutral shades: 4”octagons and 1” square “dots” (known as a bouchon). You can apply your own personal tastes and creativity to set a vibe all your own.

I asked Anthony the three things he loves most about this collection.

  1. Versatility: The timeless color palette and pattern really make this product accessible to be really be used just about anywhere. Suitable for commercial and residential use. Storefronts, Pool, hotel accent walls, you name it!
  2. Texture and artisan feel – each tile is hand crafted and unique, adding a sense of old world soul to your space.
  3. A one of a kind mosaic, right out of the box. Saving your installer time (cutting) and you money.
  4. Bonus: I got to visit Morocco which was so inspiring and beyond beautiful. You can see a few snapshots from that inspiration trip here.

And when I asked Anthony about what he he learned from creating his first collaborative collection his three pieces of advice were spot on.

  1. This opened my eyes to the world of product/ material design. I want to create so many things now! We already have a few things brewing. (and I cannot wait to see what they are!)
  2. Patience! From design to development these take time. Expect delays.
  3. Stay true to yourself, style and brand. No one else can replicate that!

Tile offers such an easy opportunity add major personality and personalization to your space. Break out of the white subway rut and try something truly unique, artisanal and timeless. I’m already plotting the next place I can put in some tile. Deets on that project coming to you soon!

I feel like I’ve been mighty quiet about the status of our house for quite some time now, but it’s because I’ve actually been a rather busy bee, determined to finish This Old Victorian once and for all (you can catch up on what turned into a nearly five-year process right here).

After attempting to problem solve my biggest design challenges over and over again, I’ve realized there are some design conundrums that are simply beyond my experience level. Or perhaps I’ve just been staring at this house for too dang long. Quite likely. Enter culprit number one; my master bedroom. Here is its current state again, should you need a reminder. Not much has changed….yet.

The current status of my master is lovely but a tad…plain. While it’s clean and calm, there isn’t really any wow moment. This house deserves some wow. I deserve some too dammit! As of now, my bedroom houses a bed, a sad Ikea dresser and….that’s about it. After being in our house for a good bit now, I’ve realized I’m really in need of a haven from the rest of the world. I’m looking for something with more layers, texture, and a good dose of sophistication. But this room is just really dang hard to figure out. All of its layout quirks has managed to stump me.

Enter my friend and interior designer extraordinaire Lauren Nelson. I’ve collaborated with Lauren to help create the magic this master bedroom needs to get to the next level and today I’m giving you a sneak peek into where we’re headed!

Our moodboard features a color palette of warm woods, dusty, earthy hues and lots of natural texture. I’m really love the vibe. But my biggest aha in trying to figure out this space was the realization that it requires custom solutions. Tricky dimensions, oversized windows, a fireplace (I know, rough life) mean off the shelf furniture just don’t make this room functional. This is why I needed to call in a true pro. Lauren created a custom bed design that will tuck perfectly beneath my extra low window casings. Built-in side tables will provide me with the functionality and the rich warm tones I’m craving. Lauren has added in little custom details will make it a truly one of a kind piece. I can.not.wait.

The other big aha was the need to amp up the room’s lighting. Being blessed with extra high ceilings, it’s was a shame not make sure your eye is drawn up. Enter YLighting – my absolute favorite lighting resource. My dining room pendant, media room pendant and so many of my flush mounts are from YLighting. They have options that fit literally every style and every budget.

I’ve set my sights on the Marset Ginger Pendant for our bedroom. Its unique shape features a mix of materials including an oak canopy and blackened aluminum frame. Its gorgeously oversized, making it impossible to miss and it will contrast with the walls and drapery so well. I’ll also be upping the ante in my master bathroom with a set of extended sconces made of bent wood and brass with marble backplate also from YLighting. Because sometimes you just cannot resist. They are going to be next level good. Here’s a little schematic of the pendant with my future bed!

While we’re still midway through the design process and I won’t be able to share the final reveal for quite some time, I couldn’t help but give you at least a sense of where we’re headed so…here’s a major sneak peek of the final design rendering with you!

In addition to the stunning lighting and awesome custom bed, we’re going to add a vintage Moroccan rug for a pop of print. I’m obsessed with the rug. Floor to ceiling drapes will add softness and a refinished vintage dresser will give me the storage I so desperately need and the style I crave (sorry Ikea, you’re just not cuttin’ it). We’re currently working on a dream mantel for the room’s fireplace and I have a few ideas for eye-catching art up my sleeve. It’s always fun when you get to dig into the details phase of a project like this.

Well, it’s not quite as fun install day – I’m counting down to the moment when the master bedroom of my dreams is actually mine.

Stay tuned!

To catch up on all things This Old Victorian (do you remember what it looked like when we started??), CLICK HERE.

this post is in partnership with YLighting. all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. thanks for supporting partnerships that have kept apartment 34’s doors open

I always love taking advantage of a fresh season to refresh a space in my house. But there’s no need to break out the big renovation tools right before you dash off on summer vacation. The bathroom is one of the easiest spaces to spruce up – and I would argue one of the most impactful since you use it everyday. I’ve rounded up five easy updates that will make your bathroom feel new in no time.

Give Your Bathroom that Hotel Feeling

There’s nothing better than soaking in a good hotel tub, am I right (especially if the grandparents are on kid duty)?? An oversized tub, super plush towels and total silence is its own little slice of heaven. While I sadly can’t escape to a hotel as often as I’d like, I decided to try to recreate the vibe in my own master bath by adding a fresh set of Hotel Collection Ultimate Micro
Cotton® bath towels. Created specially for Macy’s, the Hotel Collection Ultimate Micro
Cotton® might be the softest, most plush towels I’ve ever felt.

Added bonus; these towels are good for the earth, too. The towels are produced in an eco-friendly facility using green energy, harnessing the power of the sun and wind. 
They also have a Class A certification under OEKO-TEX® 100, meaning they have been tested and found free of hundreds of chemicals and known allergens meaning they’re great for kids. Not that I’d let these towels migrate to the kids’ bathroom. I’m going to keep these all to myself.

Five Easy Bathroom Updates on apartment 34

Add a Dash of Black

Black hardware in bathrooms continues to have a major moment. Yo can make an easy bathroom update by swapping out your faucet, perhaps your vanity mirror, sconce or better yet all of the above for a dramatic, modern, change.

Five Easy Bathroom Updates on apartment 34

Put Treasures on Display

Bathrooms don’t have to be entirely utilitarian. They can and I would argue they should have moments that are just pure pretty. Add a shelf or two to display favorite collection of treasures – I particularly love ceramics or vases like the bathroom above. A collection of personal objecst connects the bathroom to the vibe in the rest of your house.

Five Easy Bathroom Updates on apartment 34 Five Easy Bathroom Updates on apartment 34

Shop Outside the Bathroom Department

A piece of furniture, lighting or a rug not necessarily meant for the bathroom can take your space to the next level. Before you comment, yes, you might have to make a little extra effort to keep water from damaging said pieces, but I would argue the effort is quite worth the style upgrade.

Five Easy Bathroom Updates on apartment 34

Add Some Life

We all know house plants immediately transform the feeling of a room. A couple of moisture loving plants will enliven your bath and bonus – these are the houseplants you’re most likely to keep alive!

These updates are all quick and simple, but make such a big difference in how your bathroom can feel.

For for bathroom update ideas, CLICK HERE.

 

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this post is in partnership with Micro-Cotton. all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. thanks for supporting posts that have kept apartment 34’s doors open

If it feels like I’ve been a little MIA of late, there’s quite a good reason. One week from today I will be stepping on a plane departing for Italy – for an entire MONTH!

the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34

I know, it sounds insane. It feels insane. But it is happening. I’m packing the whole family, yes the four-year-old included, to have what I hope turns out to be the experience of a lifetime. I’ve been putting hours and hours into putting this summer vacation together, finding exceptional accommodations, planning itineraries, sleuthing the best local restaurants, getting an entire family packing down to a science (I’m attempting only one carry-on per person for four weeks of travel!) and now I’m just crossing my fingers that it all pays off.

the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34  the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34 the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34

We first head to Puglia. I’ve had a long obsession with this part of Italy (as documented here, and here). Nestled down in the heel of the boot, Puglia still feels slightly untouched and certainly very different from Tuscany, Venice or the more stereotypical Italian landscapes you typically see.

Dominated by Masseria (walled homes that were often former farms) and Truli-style homes, whitewashed towns like Ostuni and Lecce and stunning cliff-side beaches Puglia promises to be a magical place to both explore and relax. I can’t wait to taste the world-class olive oil, shop the famous ceramics and spend a good amount of time with an Aperol Spritz next to a pool. Don’t hate me too much.

While my focus is primarily on Puglia for this experience, we are also going to spend a week pretending we live in Rome and I could not be more excited.

the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34

While there are so many sights to see in Rome, I actually have little interest in playing tourist. I’m lucky enough to have had that experience years ago. My biggest goal is to simply try to experience the city as Romans do. With a child in tow, I suspect that will include a lot of cacio e pepe and gelato. But I’m hoping to get lost down little traveled alleys, stumble upon some parks, and spend copious hours people watching, a glass of vino in hand.

the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34the Ultimate Summer Vacation on apartment 34

So I hope you don’t mind a lot of travel content coming your way. I’ve been documenting my planning process, I plan to share tours of each of our rentals, I’m writing down all of my packing tips, all the things. Is there anything else you would like to know about this trip??

And of course, I would love your help too. If you’ve been to Puglia or to Rome recently I would be forever grateful for your insider tips. There’s nothing better than a good recommendation from someone who was just there. This will also be my first attempt at international travel with my kiddo and I won’t lie, I’m a touch scared – especially for the 12-hour flight. I will take any and all magic tricks to survive an overnight flight with a preschooler.

Italia here we come!

images via the style bungalow, masseria san giovanni and petite suitcase

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