If I didn’t know, I would never believe this home sits on a university campus. This elevated, classic space features a beautiful mix of mid-century design icons, modern updates on traditional shapes and subtle art, all in a creamy neutral color palette that makes my heart melt.

This oversized living room is the perfect spot for large intellectual debates. This space also perfectly exemplifies how natural materials and a variety textiles can play oh so nicely together. Leather, stone, steel, linen, wool and wood all play harmoniously to create a tranquil, sophisticated seating area.

Eva chairs by Bruno Matthson add a cool vintage vibe to a seating area. The vintage elements also help balance out the modern gas fireplace.

Traditional elements, like a rolled arm sofa with caster feet, feels fresh when paired with the clean-lined set of four coffee tables and a minimalist leather bench.

Simple wood and leather hooks create a great landing place for coats.

The kitchen offers lovely contrast with a bleached oak table and pops of black accents.

I love a kitchen with a bit of open shelving. It’s your opportunity to inject personality into what can be a kind of ubiquitous space.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such lovely hidden storage. It’s almost a shame its behind a closed door!

Is that another black coffee table I spy? I’m telling you friends, this is a great way to make a bold statement. That BDDW credenza is also major goals.

The simplicity in this guest bedroom is pure genius. The tufted mattress and simple walnut bed frame are showstoppers in and of themselves. The art is bold and geometric but its cream and blush tones keep it from overwhelming the room.

More vintage and BDDW goodness elevate all the functional elements of a bedroom.

I spy an iconic Fritz Hansen Series 7 chair amidst an office full of found vintage treasures.

This bedroom features a traditional American craftsman pieces in a calm, minimal style.

This home is a perfect example of making wise investments. You don’t need to overwhelm a home with a ton of stuff. If you make the commitment to bring in timeless style, you won’t feel the need to swap things out nearly as often.

Ok, I’m off to go edit all the cheap sh** out of my house now. How about you?

For more inspirational home tours, CLICK HERE.

design by thea home, inc. , photography tessa neustadt 

It feels a little painful to type the word fall on July 19, but with a kid starting school in less than a month, fall season does feel a little around the corner. Hence why, as much as I might resist, I do love the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. For those new to this game (all two of you that are left) the Anniversary Sale puts new fall styles on sale now – like when you actually want fresh stuff, rather than waiting until season’s end. Genius, I know. The sale opened to the public today, and while I feel like either it gets a little less stellar every year (or maybe I’m just getting extra picky in my old age) there are a few gems that I’m definitely scooping up and I thought you might be interested in them too.

You will find my tightest of tight N-Sale edit below. But shop fast. The super cute pair of Levis I was planning to get already sold out. Grrrr.

Apartment 34 on Instagram

I’ve talked before about how motherhood kinda stole my fashion mojo, but as I planned my month long sojourn in Italy, I was determined to inject a little style into my stay. I deemed it my vacay persona – aka not how I dress in day-to-day life, but rather the best vacation version of myself. Being very intentional about what I what I wanted to wear also meant I put a ton of time and planning into packing – so much so that I was able to carry on over three week’s worth of wardrobe. Now that is a travel miracle.

But don’t you worry, I’m going to share exactly how I did it!

How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34

While I usually only wear jeans, I decided Italian summer heat required dresses. Given that they’re a complete outfit all in one, a dress is actually very practical for travel. The last thing you want to do is waste time worrying about putting an outfit together. A dress does all the work for you. This classic button down tank dress was the perfect piece to dress up with a statement earring and heels or dress down with simple sandals. It’s also crazy affordable and I wore it constantly.

How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34

One of my favorite finds for this trip was this two piece look from Apiece Apart. Made from super lightweight poplin, this outfit became my go-to look for wandering the smoldering streets of Rome. I could also swap in a simple white tank top or tee to create three different looks while hardly taking up any precious cargo space.

How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34

I think I would officially live in a linen shift dress. This one is by Rachel Craven. The midi-length and sleeves were ideal for visiting Italian churches where modesty is often required. The sandals are Zara from last year and the bag a good amazon steal! II used zip pouches for essentials like sunglasses, sunscreen and my wallet.

How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 

I scored this sweet linen shirt dress from my friend Em’s new enterprise Encourage Vintage. It reminded of what someone might have worn while shopping the local Italian village’s Sunday market in decades past. I modernized the look with a woven belt bag – my new go-to travel accessory. I have sworn off carrying a bulky bag ever again!

How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34 How to Pack for a Month in a Carry-on on apartment 34

This lace and cotton dress was the perfect mix of drama and complete comfort in the crazy Italian heat. Pairing it with a pair of wrapped sandals (this pair is similar to what I’m wearing) and a cute woven bag offered just the right amount of dressiness I was looking for on this trip.

But now, how did I fit all of this (and more!) into a carry-on?? Becoming a pro packer is actually pretty simple.

Step 1, meticulously plan your outfits. This way you will be sure to not overpack. For 27 days of travel, I created the following packing plan:

  • 8 dresses
  • 2 jumpsuits
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of pants
  • 3 tops
  • 1 set of PJs
  • 1 robe
  • 3 pairs of sandals
  • underwear
  • 3 swimsuits

Combined that created 16 outfits. I simply did laundry throughout the trip or washed my underwear in the sink! I planned to shop if I got really sick of my choices, but I never had to.

Step 2, get yourself some packing cubes stat. Packing cubes are a gift from the travel gods. These little cubes allow you to compress your clothes into the smallest cubic inches possible. This is your primary goal – maximize all the space you have. Additional pro tip – roll your clothes and put them in the cube, rather than fold and stack them. You’re able to fit a lot more in each cube that way.

Step 3, take the time to get all your favorite beauty products in travel size. It made sure I had minis of all my necessities – toothpaste, haircare, skincare, all the things. You can still have all your favorites at the ready SpaceNK was my go-to for hair and makeup. Additional pro tip: there is so much amazing skincare in Europe (and the EU bans 1,328 chemicals from beauty products while the US bans just 30) so instead of weighing your suitcase down, scoop up as many goodies as you can while there.

Step 4, wear all your warmest, bulkiest clothes on the plane. Sneakers, jeans if need be, jacket, sweater, etc. You know it’s going to be freezing anyway.

Step 5, wear your sun hat on the plane too. You can usually find room for it in the overhead bins on international flights as so many people still check their bags.

A few other little tips – look for wrinkle resistant fabrics if you can. Wrinkled dresses drove me a bit crazy, but luckily I could get an iron almost everywhere we stayed (details on that coming next week!). Also avoid synthetic fabrics. I had one poly-blend dress and it made me sweat like crazy! I also packed my belt bags in a large, but light purse that served was my “personal item.” Things like my camera, computer, makeup pouch (I only used make-up items, are you interested in what they were??) and my travel wallet.

If I, a consummate over packer, can be reformed, so can you. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer travel essentials below. If you have any failsafe travel or packing tips, please share them in comments. I just booked my next international adventure and I want to do even better on the next trip!

photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas creative

After being away from home for a good stretch, do you ever come back and look at your space with fresh eyes? It’s almost as if you’ve stepped into someone else’s space, suddenly able to appreciate all the good things, and really notice all the trouble spots. I’m definitely in the throes of decorating self doubt right now.

My first target? The guest room. Ironically, I’ve shared this room and its various makeovers more than any other room in This Old Victorian. And it is perfectly lovely space. But it’s just a little…unremarkable. After sleeping in beautifully elegant bedrooms throughout Italy, I want to make my guest room feel more…special. The easiest way to elevate a space quickly is to bring in truly special pieces that immediately inject personality, history and a distinct point of view.

A great place start is with your bed.

European beds always seem to have such stunning headboard or frames. Granted you have much easier access to a plethora of stunning vintage options across the pond, but I’m determined to add some of that collected, old world feel to my space.

While a dramatically ornate headboard would immediately catch the eye, I’m not convinced that I have to find something overly ostentatious – though I certainly appreciate the look. I think all I really need is a little more height, some interesting curves and perhaps a pretty detail or two.

 Unless I go upholstered. A lush fabric could be a good way to go too…

I love the look of this cane bed. It’s very of the moment, but also timeless.

Finding the perfect look for a show stopping bed is a little bit of a needle in a haystack type of hunt. While I have a dream antique bed on my wishlist, I’m also a decorating pragmatist, so I’ve started hunting for beds I can get right now,. I’ve rounded up a collection of my favorite finds below. Spoiler – a bunch of them are actually from Target and crazy affordable.

Are there are that you particularly love?

images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

I may be back in the office this week, but an overabundance of jet lag, emails, photos to edit and a general denial that my summer in Italy is over has made it a bit tough to get back on my blogging game. For that, I apologize. I’m determined to chip away and get eager to share all my Italy travel guides, the myriad of design updates I’m working away on and so much more. Sadly my brain works faster than fingers on the keyboard. So for now, I’m just going to keep chipping away, but then I spied this bright and cheery kitchen that stopped me in my tracks and made me smile, so I had to share immediately as I thought it might brighten your week too.

A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34

It just so happens that this lovely space belong to my amazingly talented friend Rosy, so it’s no wonder the design is picture perfect. I actually shared this kitchen in this post after I hosted this event in Rosy’s beautiful home. The change from this kitchen’s previous look is rather dramatic. As someone who very publicly eschews the use of color, I don’t know that I would ever think to paint my kitchen peach, but after seeing the affect of this amazing makeover I’m all for it.

A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34

The secret to success when using a hue like this, is to use it as a pop of color. I actually did something similar, albeit with a dark hue, in the Sunset Bungalow project. Using color as an accent gives a room an extra dimension and a jolt of interest. Imagine if the kitchen niche was simply white. You’d hardly even notice it at all. I also love the addition of shelf, painted in the same peach hueIt adds another layer of texture and it quite practical in a kitchen. You always want a (good looking) kitchen tool or two at the ready.

A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34

While certainly a touch feminine, the dark woods and mix of terracotta tones keep things from tipping too girlie.

 A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34

I spy the perfect amount of terrazzo with that nicely placed tray.

A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34A Peach Kitchen on apartment 34

I don’t know about you, but this is the midweek pick-me-up that I needed!

For more color inspo, CLICK HERE.

photography by seth smoot for domino magazine

Hi friends! It’s been a hot second, but after nearly a month in Italy (did you follow along on Instagram??), I’m finally back stateside. Now I must admit it was never my intention to abandon the blog while I was traveling, but la dolce vita just kind of swept me away and I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down at a keyboard. This has been, in fact, the longest break I’ve taken in this site’s 12-year history. I definitely missed the blog and you – I have the innate need to share whatever cool thing I see when I see it – but the time away also gave me some great perspective, some amazing brainstorming time and ultimately clarity about how I want this space to be unique and truly helpful moving forward. More to come on that later this week, but for now, I’m diving back into my design to-do list, which is actually quite long. I am committed to completing our house by summer’s end but there’s still a ton of work to be done there. And since I’m a glutton for design overload, we’ve also decided to completely redo our yard this summer and construction starts in a just a few short weeks. I’ll be diving into that project on the site later this week as well.

But since it is an extra long lazy weekend and only 72 hours ago I was still strolling the streets of Rome, I’m going to maintain vacation vibes today. While this home tour is not from Italy (it is actually located in Spain), it feels cool and relaxed. But its details- classic pieces of furniture and beautiful art – elevate everything. Take a look and see what I mean.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

Home to art director Gabriel Escámez, the house features the architectural style of the 1970s but is furnished with timeless vintage pieces by European designers that date from the ’40s through the ’60s.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

The rough edge striation on the marble kitchen island creates unexpected texture.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

Much of the furnishes are made with plaster, while woven elements (like classic Pierre Jeanneret chairs!) really inject that vacay feel and the tonal color palette is incredibly soothing.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

I firmly believe all homes should come with built-in sofas now.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

Design classics like a Cesta lamp mix perfectly with a vintage headboard and Zara Home bedding, as yet another reminder that you can combine styles and price points to great effect.

Home Tour: Vacation Vibes for Life

Is this the most child-friendly, family home? Probably not. But I’ll happily daydream about whiling away the rest of summer’s long afternoons here. Because summer is for dreamers.

If you want to keep on daydreaming, hit up our home tour archive HERE.

photography by pablo zamora for AD Spain

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