Hey friends. Did you feel like this week was really the start of 2018? Me too. I’m fully back in the saddle, jumping into some exciting projects and tackling some personal ones as well (watch Instagram for more on that this weekend!). But I’m already really digging this year’s vibes. How about you?
There’s certainly already been a ton of gorgeousness all around the interwebs. Did you know 2018 marks Apartment 34’s tenth anniversary? Yup. This little spot has been here for a long long time. But that means I’ve known so many of my internet friends for that long too and they never cease to inspire me. I think they’re probably why I’ve stuck around this long.
The following links definitely caught my attention this week.
I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV. Name one show that just won a Golden Globe or a series that all you people are frantically binge-watching and nope, I haven’t seen it. Likely haven’t even heard of it (more about why is right here). However, I do love to decompress in the evenings with a dose of HGTV. I’ve always been a fan. When our first San Francisco loft ran on HGTV.com, I almost lost my mind. It’s kinda my crack. But I’m the first to admit that the design taste offered on most many shows leave a lot to be desired. Enter Leanne Ford. Are you watching her new show, Restored by the Fords? It comes on after Fixer Upper. And while I’ve been a fangirl of Leanne ever since her own home ran in Domino and was reblogged 18,000 times (I restrained myself), but she’s quickly sucking me into her design universe and I love it.
Some of the reasons for my obsession are obvious. Ford works in my favorite color palette (no color). She’s a bit of a minimalist. She likes to use a lot of black accents. But she’s also a whiz at mixing vintage pieces into modern settings – something I need to work on more. Bertoia chairs, noguchi lamps, T-Chairs by William Katavolos and lots of rattan are her go-to’s.
These images are of the project that just debuted on HGTV the other night. The house itself was designed by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, hence the open concept, wood paneling and clean lines, but it was very stuck in the 70’s. Think dark, carpeted and an untouched kitchen with avocado green counters. I love how Leanne added totally contemporary touches that make the house feel like it could have been built today. Her mix of current trends (hi curved sofa – one of my fave 2018 design trends!!) and timeless pieces (hi Cherner chairs) works perfectly if you ask me.
She also talks on the show about how she loves warm, off-whites. She discussed how she usually picks just three colors for her projects and all pieces must fall within that palette – but in any kind of texture. Her creamy aesthetic is definitely calling to me. While I’m usually a bright white person, her creamy tones are definitely super inviting. These rooms feel bright but not stark.
The images below are from of Ford’s other projects. They have a more vintage farmhouse feel but I also think their design will feel relevant and livable for a long time.
This space certainly leans more heavily on the industrial vintage side of things, but I love it. Those open shelves help it feel modern as do the soaring ceilings. While I’d probably nix the retro appliances, I’m so into that kitchen island and wish I knew more about it. Is it vintage? Did she make it? Where can I get one (we need an island to finish off our kitchen).
So I’m curious. Are you watching this show? Are you into it? Do you love Leanne (she’s rurl good on TV and that is no easy feat – fans of the original Flip or Flop back me up on this one)? Are you into this vibe? It certainly isn’t represented anywhere else you look on TV right now. Here’s a few pieces that would definitely add the Leanne Ford style to your home.
Have you ever had grand plans? Good intentions? Were totally ready to crush that big project, nail that presentation or even just get up on time in the morning until one domino falls and it all goes to hell? That would be me after a blissful unplugged weekend in the middle of nowhere Montana – only to miss a flight and spend 12 hours in airport purgatory. But this where I can relate this post back to design (that is why you came here right??). Zen-like design can help soothe. I’m the first to admit that (apparently!) like catching an airplane, the minimal design holy grail can be hard to acheive, but it can be so good for your physche when you do. Just check out the spaces below.
My heart rate mellows and my breath softens when I see spaces that are sophisticated in their simplicity. They bely the fact that each detail is meticulously chosen. They’re like their own mini-medititions. That’s why I so often champion this kind of paired back approach to design (even though I know, it can be really really hard to maintain in real life). The color palettes are muted and consistent. I can only imagine how much calmer I would have felt this morning if I’d woken to spaces like these. Edited. Refined. Without excess layers. Focus on space to move and breath and be. So as I attempt to play catch up, while the inbox overflows and the to-do’s pile up, I’m going to mentally step into any one of these rooms and take 10 deep breaths. There. That’s much better. Now you try it.
I talk a lot about design trends around here, but I’m switching things up for our first Idea to Steal of 2018. It’s catching been catching my eye for awhile, but I think it’s official. Pampas grass is now a thing.
I mean, just look at this pampas grass cloud! What was once a dusty old grandma plant that often sat for decades in an urn the corner, suddenly has a totally new, really modern life. This stunning installation created Mary Lennox for Our Food Stories certainly takes tablescapes next level. Might not be the most practical idea for an at-home application, but I now want to throw the most epic dinner of all time just so I can attempt a version of my own.
I’ve also seen pampas grass popping up in a lot of wedding related scenarios, including lining aisles, in bouquets, surrounding alters and such. But this fun floor based installation would be dramatic in an entry you were feeling particularly daring.
Because I cannot quit this pampas cloud, especially in this moodier iteration.
Pampas grass looks purdy just laid down as a table’s centerpiece. It pairs beautifully with other branches and greens.
While I spot the classic pale pampas grass on the side of the road all over the Bay Area, you can actually buy dried pampas online and in a variety of colors!
But if you want to keep things a simple and attempt an easy, realistic pampas grass application, consider adding a handful to a dried flower arrangement. It looks stunning on the mantel above, juxtaposed with branches and simple white berries. In the right environment it totally ditches its dated past and instead feels boho and modern and cool. I for one am totally on the pampas grass bandwagon.
Apartment 34 offers inspiring ways to add sophisticated style to your everyday life. We share unique finds and creative ideas related to modern décor, classic fashion, must-make food, wanderlust-worthy travel; all the details that make life a little better.
Even though probably half the country is already sick of the bitter cold, we’re headed to Montana later this week and I could not be more excited to spend a few days in the snow. Since we (never!) see that in San Francisco, I have to remind myself what cold weather dressing looks like. But I don’t want to just go head to toe puffer jacket. It would be nice to maintain a touch of style. The following looks are giving me some major inspiration.
You can’t go wrong with a jumbo scarf. They’re a statement maker. They dress up any basic. And they’re easy to peel off in warm spaces. You can go monochromatic – everyone should have both a black and camel scarf in their repertoire – but I love a good eye-catching print.
Turtlenecks my friends. They are no longer reserved for college professors. Yes, it’s a bit of 90’s throwback, but I’m so into it. Layered under button-downs, sweaters, and ankle skimming coats – you’re going to look elegant and stay cozy all at the same time. I, for one, am stocking up.
And while it can be a little hard to look particularly stylish while actually on the slopes (wind burn anyone), I’m excited to get my aprés ski on after some good runs. A super cute fitted ski sweater, a good hat and some kickin’ snow boots are a great place to start. Ok, I think I have my list in hand. The packing bonanza begins now.
For more of our favorite winter fashion ideas, CLICK HERE.
Back in the day, what I like to call my PK period (pk= pre-kid), I was huge on the new year’s cleanse craze. Be it the Goop cleanse, the Food & Wine cleanse, Whole 30, paleo, juicing – if there’s a clean eating trend, I’ve tried pretty much all them. Fast forward to today, and I’m happy if I just get a chance to eat during the day. That being said, I have been making a concerted effort to get back in the kitchen and away from my food delivery apps. Which brings me to my first recipe post of 2018.
Cooking for me these days requires three things: ease, speed and family friendliness. Thankfully, this amazing soup meets all three criteria. There is no time for massive meal planning, hours prepping all these “clean” recipes with crazy ingredients and certainly no dry January. I need some wine to look forward to in the evenings! But this soup contains only five ingredients (plus spices) – all of them I already had in my pantry or fridge – and took less than 30 minutes to make. This soup is creamy and filling without a spot of dairy or a lick of gluten. It has a touch of heat courtesy of cayenne. Seriously, you’re going to love it.
DETOX CARROT LENTIL SOUP
(adapted from tone it up)
1 T olive oil
1 yellow large yellow onion (or two small)
3 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup red lentils
1-inch ginger, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
⅛ tsp. cayenne
5 cups vegetable broth
Salt & pepper to taste
Dukkah spice blend for garnish
Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes being careful to stir regularly so they turn translucent but don’t brown. Add carrots, lentils, spices, and salt. Saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 20 minutes. Carefully pour into a blender (or use an immersion blender – my fave) and blend on low until smooth. Spoon into bowls and top with Dukkah – a traditional middle eastern nut, seed & spice blend that adds a deliciously warm savory flavor.
If you are looking to add some more “clean” recipes to your repertoire, you might like the following:
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Hi friends! Welcome to 2018. I hope everyone had a wondrous holiday and are excited about what’s to come. I certainly am. I have very high hopes and big expectations for this year. It’s Apartment 34’s 10 year anniversary after all! But I’ve decided to ease into things, taking time…
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