I’ve got exciting news for you today. After a bit of a hiatus in 2018, I’m thrilled to announce our Real Talk with Real Moms series is back! While I don’t talk about my tiny human around here that much – I find we can always talk about parenthood! And as I focus more and more on taking a very intentional approach to life, I feel like there’s no better time to trade as many tips and ideas as we can.

So over the course of 2019 I, along with a bevy of other powerhouse blogger mamas, will be diving back into topics that we suspect plague all you parents out there. Today we’re talking the ever-controversial screen time, but also play ideas.

Real Talk with Real Moms: Screen Time & Play on apartment 34

We actually tackled the technology topic about a year and a half ago. As we approach my kiddo’s fourth birthday (how is that possible???), I’m pleased to report we remain a screen-free household. Call me crazy, but I remain firmly against screen time for young kids. That means we still do zero TV,  no iPad games, no time playing with a phone. And I swear, it’s really not that hard.

Well ok, it’s a little hard. Plane flights aren’t my favorite. We don’t brave extended road trips. I have to do some major parental backflips to keep a pre-schooler engaged while trying to get dinner on the table. Yes, it is a bit harder on me. But I still firmly believe it is so much better for him.

Real Talk with Real Moms: Screen Time & Play on apartment 34

I talked about this previously, but in case you missed it, you should know that studies have proven that technology screws with our brains – but particularly the brains of children. There is article after article after terrifying article about tech’s detrimental effects. I’m sure you’ve read many of them. If not, click on one like this. Even tech executives are severely limiting or straight up eliminating their kids’ screen time.

Of course as my son has aged I’ve allowed the occasional exception to our zero-screen-time rule. A quick animal YouTube video here. Katelyn Ohashi’s perfect 10 floor routine there. Yes, we FaceTime with the grandparents. I’m not a barbarian. And don’t get me wrong. Of course I’m excited for him to experience Mr. Rogers. I can’t wait to have Friday family movie nights. But in due time.

The unintended consequence of limiting my son’s screen time has been the dramatic decrease in my own. Where TV used to be a big part of my world, I now only turn it on to binge the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I recognize my own phone addiction and am doing more to mitigate it (do you check your usage stats?? They can be scary).

Real Talk with Real Moms: Screen Time & Play on apartment 34

Now onto play ideas. I wish I could say I have some magic tricks in my bag, but I’m not the Martha Stewart of playtime. A lot of construction gets played. Lots of trains. Lots of art time. We just started board games. We turn a lot of home maintenance into “projects” and give him the opportunity to use a drill, a hammer or a KitchenAide mixer. We go outside. A lot.

One thing I’ve found that really helps keep things fresh is cycling toys. Put things away for a while. A month at least and then suddenly bring those toys back out and it’s like a whole new thing again.

Never underestimate how much fun you can have with a ball.

And then there’s “What’s on My Butt.” I can’t take credit for this. I heard about it from the podcast The Longest Shortest Time. This for the end of the day, I’ve got 30 minutes left before bedtime and I’m running on fumes time. You literally lay on your stomach, have your kid grab a household item and place it on your butt and you have to guess what it is. Just make sure they have to put it back! Bonus points if you can play with glass of wine in hand.

If you have any favorite activities for the 3-4 year old set, I’d love love love to hear your favorite ideas. For the rest of the mamas’ takes, click the links below!

The Effortless Chic || Studio DIY || Natalie Borton || The Life Styled || A Daily Something


For the entire Real Talk, Real Moms archive, CLICK HEREI hope you’re excited as we are it’s back.

images via anna truelsen, maison pomme frite and anna landstedt

Oh Pinterest, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. As much as all things blogging and social media constantly changes, Pinterest remains my favorite platform. It’s the place I always go when I need to discover something really really pretty. And apparently you do too, since sometimes as many as 10 million people see our pins on a monthly basis.

And I’m always super intrigued to see what our most-pinned photos were for the year. I have to say, I was a little surprised that in 2018 there was a fair amount of fashion pins!  So I decided to break up our top 10 pins into two categories – fashion and interiors. Because I rarely wear and certainly don’t post cute outfits as much as I used too, but I do constantly use Pinterest for wardrobe inspiration for those days I do get out of my work-from-home leggings uniform!

Feast your eyes friends, because our Top 10 Pins of 2018 are pretty stunning.

Kicking this thing off with the number five fashion pin. I love the idea of a sweater with a skirt. If I ever dare to show my legs in public again #almostforty.

Cropped wide leg pants took over the world in 2018, so it only makes sense they take the number four spot for top fashion pins of the year. I’m particularly loving that terra cotta color.

At number three, we have a photo that inspired my minimal fall wardrobe that was shared in this post. This duster is so good, right?

I live for fall style, so seeing this street style look at number two makes me very happy. And it makes me miss fall.

At number one for fashion, we have this very minimal-chic fall street style moment from my fall fashion inspo post this year. I still loooove this look. Reminder I need a cute baseball hat.

And now for the interiors you guys pinned and pinned and pinned in 2018.

I was a little surprised to see this Copenhagen coffee shop land in the top five, but knowing my readers and followers love European design (and coffee shops) and travel as much as I do made me feel very good.

This photo at number four came from my mid-summer moodboard when I was craving a warm creamy glow.

This copper backsplash and custom hood (see the full home tour here) is still circulating Pinterest like crazy, so it makes sense you guys pinned it non-stop, which put it at number three on this list.

Ah, I love that this photo came in at number two on this list! It’s from the post about my love affair with artful sconces. I’m so happy you guys enjoy a good sconce as much as I do.

And the number one interiors pin of 2018 is this stunning mantle. It’s styling is simple and timeless and makes me want to load up my house with all the vintage brass candlesticks – even after having bid the holiday season adieu.

There you have it! This has definitely shown me what you guys are vibing on for your Pinterest feeds and has inspired me for 2019. So much to look forward to in the new year!

If you’re loving these best of 2018 posts, be sure to check out our top five posts of 2018 as well.


Apartment 34 on Instagram

Can we have a heart to heart about Instagram? I must say, I have quite the love / hate relationship with it these days. While it’s the focus of almost…everyone, it also messes with your mind – and your analytics! With an ever changing algorithm, there’s not a lot of logic to what gets love and what doesn’t.

That said, I just can’t quit you Instagram – so I thought I’d share your top 5 favorite posts of 2018 (based on your likes and comments) but then my top 5 favorites too. Cuz I know there were some gems that I suspect Instagram just didn’t let you see.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

It’s no surprise that more than 2,300 of you also fell head over heels for my 2018 design crush, Leanne Ford Interiors. I’m holding out hope I might be able to employ her eye for a future, still not purchased as of yet, wine country house. #aimhigh

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

This home, tucked in a residential neighborhood of Amsterdam, is definitely a dream. Those double height windows, parquet floors, industrial lighting and the oversized sofa – it’s the perfect recipe for our fourth most popular Instagram of 2018.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

But I’m also happy to see you’re still enjoying sneak peeks at #thisoldvictoriansf. I had the immense pleasure of collaborating with Marigold Floral Studio to offer ways to dress up your mantel for the Thanksgiving holiday. My dream fireplace topped with dream florals – it doesn’t really get any better. I think we should do another round for spring, don’t you??

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

You know those “make you smile” moments in your house? My entry is definitely one of those and more than 4,000 of you agreed. I like a minimal entryway. It’s the spot where you dump your daily mess so why pack it with stuff in the first place? A black staircase, arched doorway and of course – the major entry light moment – they make a major statement without the need for a ton of stuff. You can find more inspiration to style your entry bench here.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

And this was the most liked pic on Insta last year! My dining room is incredibly likable, it’s true. And on this day I was setting the table for a celebratory brunch for my girlfriends. I’m excited to plan many a party for this room in 2019.

And now on to some of my favorite IG moments of last year.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

I was able to travel a bit more in 2018 and finally made it to my home decor mecca – Galerie Half in Los Angeles. It is my happiest place on earth. It’s easy to see why. If you haven’t oogled this shop before, you really should.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

I also got to explore my own back yard – aka wine country a bit more. My best discovery in 2018 was Sophie James Winery. This space is so special and their amazing rosé is only the tip of the iceberg. You can get all the details here.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

2019 goal: significantly grow my ceramics collection. The General Store in San Francisco is a good place to start.

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

I have major travel on the brain for 2019 and continue to bank dream destinations. Copenhagen – where the stunning Host Restaurant resides, tends to fall on the top of my list. What is on your travel itinerary for the year?

Our Favorite Instagrams of the Year on apartment 34

And probably the most personal Instagram last year was the story I shared about my motherhood journey. It hasn’t been the smoothest of roads and truthfully continues to be a struggle to this day. Turns out I’m not the only one who feels this way! You can see the entire motherhood piece I wrote for MyDomaine here.

Well, there you have it. A few of my favorite moments as documented by Instagram. This year I hope I can use Instagram to continue to spark joy, offer inspiration and give you a little peek into my day-to-day life, regardless of what those like numbers say. Because if we let go of that artificially addictive measurement and simply share what we love because we love it – I think can make Instagram the inspiring place it was originally intended to be. I’m in. Are you?

Still taking my sweet ole time to reflect on last year and set my direction for 2019. (Though I sneak-previewed my word of the year here). I’ve come to realize there’s really no need to rush. In fact, it makes a lot more sense to really take the time to review, reflect and set a course for the new year that leads to happiness, fulfillment and ideally tons of great content for you too.

I always love looking back to see what posts you particularly loved over the previous year. There are some obvious choices, but always a few surprises too. Last year was no exception. Without further ado, our top 5 posts of 2018

Our Top 5 Posts of 2018 on apartment 34

Coming in at number five, this gorgeous living room. While I shared it as inspiration for fall, I’m still loving the look in the heart of winter. You may already know I’m a big fan of dark moody walls – having put them in my own house! I’ve also got major fireplace envy. But what I really love is the mix of tones and textures in this space – it feels warm and welcoming but still chic and sophisticated. Aka: design & life goals. You can see the entire room by clicking here.

Our Top 5 Posts of 2018 on apartment 34

You put on your rose colored glasses for the 4th most popular post of the year, swooning as did I, for this pink marble and rose gold bathroom!

Our Top 5 Posts of 2018 on apartment 34

Your third favorite post of the, is actually a recap post of 2017 – our top 10 most popular pins of the year. Don’t worry, that round up is coming up later this week (it’s always my favorite too).

Our Top 5 Posts of 2018 on apartment 34

The second most popular post was from the One Room Challenge. Last spring I transitioned my son’s room from nursery to a big kid space. But interesting most popular post discussed my biggest design conundrum with the space, not the reveal! You can check out the entire transformation by clicking here.

Our Top 5 Posts of 2018 on apartment 34

And our number one post of 2018 is one of my all time faves. Putting art in your loo. And not just a landscape or a something abstract. But a striking, eye-catching portrait. I’m still very into this idea and am in fact on the hunt for a good for my own bathroom. And to all the readers from Cup of Jo who came to see this post, I hope you come back to see the new theft worthy design ideas we have for you this year! (our entire Idea to Steal archive is here).

I can’t wait to dive into a new year of fresh ideas, new projects and untold adventures. If you want to stay in the know on it all, click here to sign up for the Apartment 34 newsletter! Then you’ll get the latest and greatest sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s home tour caught me mid-Pinning. Yes, it’s a black, white and wood color palette (my fave), yes, it features a timeless mix of antiques. There’s an air of California casual-comfort combined with an old-world sensibility. While it combines elements I’ve long loved, it does so fully fleshed out, comprehensive way that elevates it to the next level. This home has a cool grown-up feel and I’m all in.

This particular home belongs to Who What Wear co-founder & CEO, Katherine Power. (I’ve had a style-crush for a while now). While it resides in Los Angeles, for a moment you might think you’ve dropped into the English countryside or perhaps the south of France. But a few classically American details give it away. The oversized linen sofa. A bright white subway tile in the kitchen. A pair of timeless vintage club chairs. I can immediately see this home in a classic Nora Ephron movie (do you have a favorite location – I think mine is Diane Keaton’s house in Something’s Gotta Give). But I’d really like to get my house to this level of done. 2019 goal set.


design by jake arnold / photography by justin coit for architectural digest

The parade of new year design inspiration continues today. After looking at what felt like so much of the same, same, same in 2018 (sorry Scandi design, but maybe I can quit you), I’m eager to get past homes that are nothing more than furnished boxes. I’m craving truly thoughtful, elevated design. Not that I necessarily know how to achieve it myself. This takes major skill people. But I certainly can appreciate it. And I can take major inspiration to push myself outside of my design comfort zone.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

Case in point, this exquisitely refurbished loft in East London’s Shoreditch neighborhood is a master class in incredible design. Yes – this space used to be an industrial factory, but there isn’t a single remnant of industrial chic in the final look. And I love it.

If this design feels a tad familiar, it may be because you caught our tour of this British cottage here. The designers of both spaces, Zoe Chan Eayrs  and Merlin Eayrs, have a few choice design techniques and remain loyal to a handful of preferred materials, but the effect is truly unique to this space.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

What was once a shoe factory is now a truly bespoke retreat, ensconced in cross-sawn oak used for all the custom cabinetry and wall panels, traditional lime plaster tinted a pistachio green and handmade traditional Moroccan terra cotta tile laid in herringbone and basketweave patterns across the floors to mimic rugs. Every room is bathed in light as there are large windows on all sides.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

There are no large white spaces here. Instead the color palette is a mix of earthy greens, teals and soft grey-browns and is 100% consistent throughout the entire home. Even the tubs are tinted in gentle blue and green.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34 A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

As in yesterday’s home tour, there’s more use of built-in niches and benches, recessed cabinets, and hidden storage that create a beautifully clean, but highly functional look. A mix of choice antique pendants and sconces, refurbished vintage furniture (I spy a stunning Mario Bellini sofa) and new, but traditionally crafted pieces from local British artisans furnish the living room, reading nook, and three bedrooms.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

The bedrooms continue the same look and feel, offering beautiful built-in, honed marble sinks and more thoughtful storage niches.

A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34 A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34 A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34 A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34A Loft that is Anything but Industrial on apartment 34

This home is a great reminder to make bold choices – maybe bolder than you’re initially comfortable with, but the risk most often pays off. Ditch your fear of color. Pieces made with true craftsmanship add elegance and will last a lifetime, not just until you next visit to Target.

While I probably won’t be dashing around painting This Old Victorian pistachio green anytime soon, I am excited to look around and find places where I can really make a statement this year. Both in my house. And in life.

For more fresh inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images via chan & eayrs and T magazine

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