I am a firm believer that the details make or break any space. In the world of kitchens, that means things like hardware, the backsplash and perhaps most importantly, lighting. Lighting is the too oft-forgotten jewel of the kitchen. It’s way too easy to be like, ‘OK, I’ve got the countertops figured out, the cabinet color is on point and the appliances are perfect.’ Yes, we all loooovee a good island. But then you can lose steam by the time it comes to choose your lighting. In this case, specifically pendant lighting.

As many decisions as there are to make when remodeling a kitchen, don’t let your exhaustion tempt you into an expedient lighting choice. I’ve been there (trust me I agonized over each and every decision I made in our kitchen and I’m still constantly tweaking). I know it feels easier to throw the first thing you see in your shopping cart and call it a day. But with a little patience and a visit or two to Pinterest, you’ll find the sexy pendent lighting your new kitchen deserves. To help you get started (see, it’s getting easier already!), here are seven examples that really knock it out of the park.

sexy pendant lights on apartment 34

This first one is a perfect example of how a statement pendant takes a brutalist kitchen to the next level. This space is  minimal to the Nth degree with nothing but clean lines and sleek, hard materials, but the pendants’ bronze color and unique shape offer the juxtaposition that this space desperately needed.

sexy pendant lights on apartment 34

Pendants are also the perfect way to create contrast in your kitchen. With so many kitchens going all white these days, you can throw a daring matte black light fixture in there to mix things up and stand out. The pop of black on the stools’ legs is a nice tie in. I might have gone for a black faucet though!

sexy pendant lights on apartment 34

Or maybe instead of using color, you go for an unexpected geometric shape or some much-needed texture. This is still one of my favorite kitchens of late. Those sconces are seriously works of art (as is the whole house btw). I love that the geometric shape relates to the geometric tile backsplash.

sexy pendant lights on apartment 34

Pendants are the perfect way to change up the vibe of a space. This kitchen would look like virtually any other until you add in those wood basket pendants – and suddenly you’re on vacation. This kitchen could be on a tropical island somewhere!

sexy pendant lights on apartment 34

A set of simple globe pendants keeps things clean and classic.

And in contrast, a geometric cord adds a truly unique design interest that takes both an ordinary cone pedant and the standard kitchen in which it resides to the next level. I’m particularly loving this look.

What are your thoughts? Are you convinced that your kitchen pendant lights are the end-all be-all? That’s a smidge dramatic, but surely it’s clear how they can pull your kitchen together.

Here’s a tip: Before pulling the trigger on anything, give yourself three to five options and recruit opinions from friends and family. You don’t have to listen to said opinions, but they will help you make a more intentional choice.

For more general kitchen inspo, CLICK HERE.

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mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34

After a weekend of soaking up summer fun, friends and family, I feel like I’m emanating a warm, creamy glow. So rather than jump head first into Monday, I’d prefer to ease in, with dreams of golden sandy beaches, sun-washed destinations (like Puglia – seriously considering a trip next year!) and vacation vibes warming my bones. There’s something about a rustic pueblo look, a bit of Georgia O’Keefe in the desert mixed with seaside breeze that feels so delicious. While I’ve yet to finish my own house – though I’m trying desperately people – I promise – I now have a dream vacation home percolating in the back of my mind. Would you care to join in my daydream? Continue to scroll!

mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34mid-summer moodboard on apartment 34a home full of subtle style on apartment 34

For more moodboard inspiration, CLICK HERE.

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Apartment 34 on Instagram

friday finds on apartment 34

Now that we’re nearly halfway through July, I’m reminded to really dig into the summer feels. Long afternoon picnics. Days at the beach. Copious amounts of rosé. I want to soak in each and every ounce of vitamin D (properly covered in sunscreen of course) and try to lounge just a little bit more than usual because I know the back half of summer is going to go way.too.fast. I hope you get some good time to enjoy the slow this weekend.

Below are a few of the links I hope you can sit back and enjoy this weekend!

Speaking of picnics, this outdoor party is goals.

And so is the brand new furniture line launched by my long-time online friend Will of Bright Bazaar. I still remember when he was a teeny tiny blogger newbie – and now he’s brightening the entire world with his charm and style. Check his new collection out here.

What I’m making for dinner this weekend.

I’ve been watching a ton of stand up on Netflix recently, but Nanette by Hannah Gadsby blew.my.mind. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and if you’re really lucky you might be a slightly better person after watching it. I felt like I was.

A cool, stylish way to display photos of your kids.

Victoria’s trip to Spain is giving me serious wanderlust.

Scratch that, maybe I should keep up my staycation streak.

One thing I will certainly do this weekend? A teeny bit of shopping – I’ve gone ahead and picked out the ten things I want to snag during early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder you can shop their biggest sale of the year an entire week earlier than the rest of the general public. Might as well get while the gettin’ is good. You can see my list below and shop all my picks throughout the sale right HERE.

A classic pair of Vans ($39) for the win.

Some good summer stripes.

A clean and classic pair of denim.

And a good ripped and worn pair of Levis($85!).

A fedora perfect for when temps start to dip again.

A cute white Nike ($55). Yes, there’s a sneakers theme going on.

The coat I’m going to want to wear all fall.

And the top I’ll use to dress up those pairs of jeans.

A badass Alexander Wang bootie.

And the hoodie I’d like to hang out in all weekend.

Till Monday friends!

You know what they say, if you can’t do, teach. Well – I’ve never been a creator – at least not with my hands – so artists have always fascinated me. Where do they find their inspiration? How do they transform their ideas from simple thoughts into tangible works of art? How do you even pick a medium??

Thankfully, over the years I’ve met many an artist through this whole blogging gig and I’m lucky enough to call some friends. You’ve met amazing people like Windy Chien and Rebecca Atwood on this site. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Tina Frey Designs. Her new San Francisco studio is officially my new happy place.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

Tina Frey Designs is known for its brilliantly simple and modern designs in resin, but her expansive new studio in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood had me at hello. Featuring Tina Frey Designs, along with vintage finds personally curated by Tina, the studio encompasses a retail showroom, shop, Tina’s personal studio where she hand-sculpts each piece, and a warming hut where Tina’s team puts the final touches on each and every piece before they ship.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

Housed in a gallery-like space that doubles as the company’s headquarters, the space’s interior offers a deceptively simplistic and modern design with clean white walls, lightly-toned wooden furnishing, and pops of color that are seamlessly complemented by subtle greenery and artful florals. Newly installed skylights allow for ample natural light.

Tina is genius that she creates pieces intended for every day use – serving pieces, cups, bowls, champagne buckets, troughs and trays but something about the material she works in – resin – and the unique matte finish give them a luxe feel. Many of Tina’s products serve as statement pieces in the studio just as they would in your home.

In addition to being a retail showroom, the atelier’s upper level serves as Tina’s quaint work area. The “mezzanine creative space,” as she affectionately calls it, is an open-layout studio for bringing Tina’s colorful ideas to life. Each product is personally handcrafted by Tina – beginning with a clay mold that is sculpted into a unique design, then cast into a one-of-a-kind resin vessel specialized by color, before being hand-sanded to completion in the warming hut, sequestered in a corner of the studio.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

I’ve loved Tina’s work for such a long time – so I’m thrilled I recently got to sit down and pick Tina’s brain about how she made the move from finance(!) into working as a full time artist whose work is sold all over the world, is in Moma and featured in Michelin-starred restaurants. Goalz. Read on to get

What was your path to becoming an artist/designer?

I have been doing creative things my whole life and this always came very naturally for me. However, I came from an unconventional background since I studied biology and chemistry, and followed by a business degree in accounting/finance before switching careers. I am mainly self-taught. Although I had art and art history classes in school, I never seriously pursued it as a profession initially since I thought my profession had to be hard and challenging. At some point in my career, I felt that I needed to pursue my passion for creativity. That was 11 years ago now and I have been following my dreams since.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

You have such a strong and recognizable look. How did you hone your aesthetic?

The look came about spontaneously. I love making things that are functional with the imperfect wabi-sabi nature. I also like simplicity and minimalism. I like to sculpt the pieces initially in clay and this worked well in translating the aesthetic to the final products which is in resin, and also some designs in metal. I like the resin material since it is rather unexpected and can take on a different look, depending on whether it is cast in a solid color, a translucent color, or make colorful. I like the idea of pieces being functional, yet decorative, whether they are placed in a grouping, or by themselves. I try to stay true to this philosophy when creating the pieces.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34
tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

What has been the hardest thing about growing your brand/business?

I went into this without a much initial planning about the brand or the business. When I started out, I was learning so much as I went along. You don’t really realize how much is involved until you are really into it and how much work it is. Much of it is just rolling up your sleeves and wearing many hats while trying to grow the business.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

Where do you turn for inspiration?

I have always loved travel and find seeing new places, cultures, people, architecture, design, and nature so inspiring. There is inspiration wherever you look.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

Where do you turn for mentorship? 

Since starting, I have discovered there are so many like-minded people who also started their own creative companies and it is a great network of supportive people and camaraderie and this has been the most fun and rewarding! We encounter similar challenges along the way and it is a great way to share our experiences and support each other in the process. They are all my mentor along the way.

tina frey studio tour on apartment 34

What would you tell your 25-year-old self?

Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams and think outside the box.

What piece of advice would you offer to other aspiring artists/designers/creatives?

Be prepared for hard work and perseverance. Always be creative with your own ideas, make good quality products, have great communication, and timely delivery to your customers, and you will be fine.

Tina explained that her intention is for her new studio to become a San Francisco destination where designers and design-lovers can experience and shop her pieces in person while discovering an ever-evolving collection of unique works by talented new and established makers. Well, I’m sold. You’re going to find me at her space on the regular.

If you’re in San Francisco, Tina Frey Designs’ new studio is located at 1485 Bancroft Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124, and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more and shop Tina Frey Designs, visit www.tinafreydesigns.com and follow along @tinafreydesigns.

To meet more inspiring designers and makers CLICK HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas creative

Hello there, summertime. I’ve missed you and love you oh so much. Sunshine, beach time, warm night. But actually one of my favorite things about this time of year is the food! I count down the months until peaches, berries, watermelon and cherries pack the market shelves. So today, I’m celebrating the season delicious summer-inspired smoothies. You know the smoothies I’m talking about. The ones filled with fresh produce from the farmer’s market—so fresh you can taste it in every slurp of the straw. Is there any better way to enjoy  summer? I think not. (And there’s also no better way to detox after an over indulgent fourth of July week! I’m talkin’ more about the cleanse I’m currently trying on Insta-stories right now btw).

To make sure you’re armed with the best smoothies fruit (and in some cases, veggies) can make, I rounded up five of the most delicious—not to mention beautiful—recipes the great interwebs have to offer.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I have a major crush on blood orange everything. Every time I see the item included in the recipe, I’m instantly attracted, and this Blood Orange, Berry and Spinach smoothie is no exception. Filled to the brim with citrusy goodness and superfoods like chia and hemp seeds, your day will be off to an amazing start with this in your to-go mug.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

Ah, the classic green smoothie. In this case, the Green Goddess smoothie. It’s loaded with all the goods—spinach, apple, banana, chia seeds, almond milk and for an extra creamy twist, avocado. Your belly will be nourished and full for hours.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

This Wild Blueberry Zucchini smoothie is, first of all, a very pretty color. Second, it’s extremely intriguing because I’ve never thought of zucchini as a smoothie veggie. But if this thing tastes even half as good as it looks, I’m sold.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I feel like a good strawberry smoothie is a cult classic as far as blended fruit goes, but this one is actually a Strawberry & Mango Coconut Water smoothie. I love a good coconut essence, so this is one I’m definitely going to add to my weekly rotation. Plus, there’s also a handful of spinach mixed and I always appreciate a little hidden green.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I never thought I’d be one to add whole nuts to a smoothie, but this Mango, Banana & Cashew smoothie recipe has me rethinking everything. Turns out when you soak or boil and then blend cashews, they’re marvelously creamy. Not to mention a healthy dose of good-for-you fats.

If you weren’t a smoothie drinker before, I bet you are now, yes? These all look so mouth-watering. Prefer to chew rather than sip your breakfast? Then you might enjoy our equally healthy and rather gorgeous smoothie bowl recipe. Smoothie lovers, this one is dang good too.

If you’re looking for something a little stronger than a smoothie, find all the margarita recipes you’ll ever need right here. Cheers!

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If you caught our last home tour, you were as probably as delighted by the deliciously light and bright vibe (and alllll the Apparatus light fixtures) as I was. It’s as if that house just exudes a warm glow. But then I spied the beauty of a home I have for you today. This one takes an equally neutral color palette in a very different direction. But I’m equally as in love.

living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34

While this home is also light and bright, it is decorated in a gray-scale that offers a more stark, cool feel. But I am definitely feelin’ the minimalist, highly curated vibe.

living in shades of gray on apartment 34

One of the biggest differences between our previous home and this is the floors. This home’s white washed floors – the classic mark of Scandinavian style – create the monochromatic envelope upon which everything else sits. All the dominate furniture pieces are in shades of black and gray. The accessories, like vintage African cloth-covered pillows and antique stoneware, are in warm shades of brown create a soft contrast to the home’s hard lines and cool tones.

living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34

While the house is choca-block full of mid-century classic designs (Bertoia, Flos, Saarinen and Eames have all come out to play) its wide plank floors, beamed ceilings and rough edges offer a more rustic vibe.

living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34living in shades of gray on apartment 34

I love how this house mixes typical mid century Scandi-style with global pieces. The mix of aesthetics is unexpected but totally works. All the vintage makes the pieces relate to one another.

You’ll also notice there are very few small tchotchkes in this home. The owner, a Swedish interior stylist and boutique owner, talks about how she prefers pieces with a grand scale, explaining that small things just mess and disturb a look. As I steep myself in these rooms I’m beginning to agree. I feel a major purge of my house coming on! If you’ve got the scale, you might as well go big.

While I love both homes, I’m always a sucker for this Euro aesthetic! Are you into it too?

To check out the most inspiring homes, CLICK HERE.

photography by birgitta drejer for bo bedere

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