In 2012 I furnished our first loft in San Francisco. I was so proud of it then – a tad embarrassed by it now, but I thought it’d be fun to walk down memory lane with you! This is a reminder that your style is ever evolving (and hopefully in my case improving!!). So keep at it until you create the space you love (case in point).

I can’t believe it: the loft is on Design*Sponge today! Grace kindly featured our little ole’ loft as part of her Home Tour series and I’ve been overwhelmed by the kind responses. In all honesty,  I was really dang nervous to invite the masses to see what I still consider a work in progress, but it’s been really uplifting to hear what you think!

loft life throwback on apartment 34

I know the kind words are due to the stunning photography of Bonnie Tsang. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her. A dream come true, really.  And there was just so much good stuff that didn’t make the Design*Sponge cut, I couldn’t help but share a few more of my favorite images!

loft life throwback on apartment 34loft life throwback on apartment 34loft life throwback on apartment 34loft life throwback on apartment 34loft life throwback on apartment 34loft life throwback on apartment 34

Creating a home in San Francisco has been such a satisfying experience. I’m also so excited to tell you all about the process. I’ve got big plans, with things like before and afters, how-to’s, favorite resources and more in-depth looks at the decor details we’re really loving right now.  Those posts are all on the way!

In the meantime, I just have to give a quick shout out to some of my favorite resources that have help me make our loft a home! They include HD Buttercup, West Elm, LampsPlus and Rugs USA and amazing small shops and artists including, Pip and Estella, Stone Textile, Designer Fluff, the GRQP, Jennifer Ament Art, Birch SF and that’s just to start!

Thanks again for all the support luvies. This blogging community…there are no words to explain what it means to me!


When we first bought our 150-year-old house, sure, I was intimidated about designing a space from top to bottom – let alone a historic one. I was certainly worried about picking the right floors, the perfect tile and creating the right lighting layout. Sure I wondered if the perfect shade of white actually does exist (I would claim it does and I found it – more here). But it was upon demolition when the walls were opened and the trials and tribulations of renovating a century-old structure were revealed that I fully grasped what I was in for. Today, I’m partnering with NETGEAR to share a bit of what I’ve learned about modernizing a historic home.

how to modernize an old home on apartment 34

While an old home’s details may be charming and give you warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feels, they mask all the nasty that lurks just below the surface. Things like ancient pipes, hardly functioning nob and tube wiring and narrow insulation-less framing all hide beneath lovely plaster walls and charming antique archways. These hidden problems are just a handful of the discoveries we made upon embarking on our remodel – a few pics above for the proof (did you remember my dining room started out raspberry pink? Ironically, the same color as the original Apt34. Coincidence? I think not). Yes, I awe-struck by the 15-foot tall cedar 2x4s that have held up our home since the 19th century, but at the same time, we also discovered dry rot and termite damage, asbestos, and lead. If you’ve watched any HGTV show of late, you are familiar with the budget busters of which I speak. No wonder this house is the project that never ends.

how to modernize an old home on apartment 34

But I was determined to take the opportunity we had to preserve the home’s historic details while building a fully functional modern space from the inside out. So that meant all new wiring and all new plumbing, all new lighting and all new floors. It also meant installing solid core CAT-6 with RJ45 connectors for standard ethernet with a gigabit transfer. Or in real people speak; we installed nice fat internet pipes directly into the house. But once the walls are all closed up, painted and pretty, you still have to get the internet throughout the entire home.

how to modernize an old home on apartment 34how to modernize an old home on apartment 34

That’s where aesthetics come back into play. Throughout the design process, I worked to ensure we paid homage to my home’s amazing history by maintaining all of the crown molding, ceiling medallions and even the original hardware and glass doorknobs on our dining room’s French doors (swoon). I recently had the dining room fireplace reconstructed to replicate would have been there at the turn of the 20th century. It’s my current crowning achievement. I also love juxtaposing really modern elements against these historic details. Hence things like my new favorite shelving unit in the dining room. I can now display treasured pieces, have a place for both a mini-bar and my design book collection all while hiding some of my kid’s toys (#winning).

NETGEAR was also kind enough to supply their Orbi Whole Home WiFi System to ensure the house has modern function. The Orbi Wifi System has created such better connectivity throughout the house. The bonus? Orbi also comes with a much better design than your typical tech. Our house’s far corners (places like bathrooms – don’t lie – you know you bring your phone in there!) are no longer black holes and I haven’t had to sacrifice my design sensibility. There’s nothing I hate more than a lot of wires and cables running every which way, so I truly appreciate that Orbi Whole Home WiFi System has just one single plug-in. Did you even spy the wifi router sitting in my dining room?

If you’re planning on modernizing your home this spring you can update your look and modernize your connectivity without having to compromise on aesthetics. You’re going to really love having reliable wifi that gives whole home coverage yet is designed to look clean and simple.

how to modernize an old home on apartment 34how to modernize an old home on apartment 34how to modernize an old home on apartment 34

dining room sources: shelving / dining table / pendant light / art / design book / design book / design book / paint color

this post is in partnership with NETGEAR. All words and opinions are 100% my own. thanks for supporting collaboration that we are excited about and that have kept apt34’s doors open. to learn more about Orbi, visit NETGEAR’s website.

This post is in partnership with Capitol Lighting |

When it comes to finding the perfect light fixture, there are two ways to think about it. You can take a very utilitarian approach, focused solely on wattage or light direction, or you can embrace a flair for the dramatic. I approach lighting like you’d think of jewelry for your outfit. It is the dazzling, eye-catching decoration. The conversation starter. That is certainly the approach I’ve been taking for my house. In each and every room, I’ve tried to select the lighting to serve as the standout piece. The lighting is the wow factor.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

But this is no easy task. There are in fact many utilitarian details, such as scale and placement, that do need consideration and (as I’ve learned from trial and error!) professional expertise. Thankfully, I found Capitol Lighting | to help me add the perfect finishing touches to our house. Case in point, my bathroom sconce above. I searched high and low to fine the perfect piece for our guest bath. I wanted a light fixture that would balance the space, and compliment the my vibe and feel unique. I spent hours trying to find the perfect option.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

That’s why I’ve appreciated Capitol Lighting |‘s expertise. This isn’t just a warehouse experience of buying lights off a (virtual) shelf. Amazingly,Capitol Lighting | allows you to chat online or by phone with one of their highly trained lighting experts who will help you determine fixtures that are the right style and size for your space.

Not being a trained interior designer, I’ve always struggled with scale (just ask my husband about the number of times we’ve need to reorder something because the size was wrong – eek!).  We enjoy the blessing and the curse of having 11′ foot ceilings in our house. Love them for the drama, hate them for how hard lighting placement becomes.

When we were under construction, we had to create our lighting plan and have light boxes installed (all while I was six weeks postpartum) long before any rooms even had walls. That made it extremely difficult for me to figure out if lights were going to look right in the end. As it turns out, the placement in our guest bath was set very very high. I felt super stuck trying to figure out what could work to pull together the space between our round mirror (which I’m obsessed with) and the light box. Thankfully,Capitol Lighting |‘s helped me find the perfect sconce, saving me from ripping out drywall and doing things all over again. My pick, the Aerin Swing Wall Light perfectly connects the distance between the fixture and my mirror. Now  I can finally call my guest bath complete. But that wasn’t my only hole to fill.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

I had a similar challenge with our upstairs hallway. This space is a case study for making the details count. We had a spot for a flush mount light box installed in the hall ceiling. While we could have slapped something boring up there, I want every light fixture in our house to make me smile, so when you walk down the hall and peek up you see….

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

That gorgeous Kelly Wearstler flush mount shining down on you! Ain’t she sweet?! I love the perforated design and also that it’s square. You so rarely see square flush mount light fixtures. I couldn’t be happier with this gem of a find.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

The best thing about Capitol Lighting | is their selection. They don’t just offer gorgeous sconces and pendants but also accent lights. I’m so obsessed with the Clemente Reading Lamp I found for our living room. It’s got such a saucy little personality.

While lighting choices may seem like something small, light fixtures like these are proof positive that no detail in a house should be overlooked. Every pick is an opportunity to find something that brings you joy. And now is the perfect time to spruce up your home for the new year. I’d be thrilled to have any of these stunning options from Capitol Lighting | in our house. I hope you find something you love too.

how to pick the perfect light fixture on apartment 34

shop the post: 1 hudson valley wall sconce // 2 aerin charlton swing lamp // 3 kelly wearstler marble sconce // 4 kelly weartsler melange flush mount // 5 kelly wearstler flush mount // 6 halcon flush mount // 7 pythagoras pendant // 8 round pendant // 9 large pendant


photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

This post is in partnership with Capitol Lighting | Thank you for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.

If you’ve been an Apartment 34 reader for the past few – or coming on 10! – years (bless you), then you likely know that we purchased a 150-year-old San Francisco Victorian a few years back. Yes, it has been a few years. And no, there has not been a full before and after reveal of the house on Apt34 because a) it’s proven to be the most overwhelming and never-ending project I’ve ever undertaken b) I’m being crazy picky – dream home and all – and only want to share spaces that are truly done and c) I am still designing and decorating. The master bedroom holds…wait for it….a bed. And that’s it. My son’s room remains a partially finished nursery and he’s about to turn three. And I could go on. But as I looked back at 2017, it turns out I have actually shared A TON of bits and pieces of our house with you. So many in fact, that all these sneak peeks basically warrant a full home tour. So I thought I’d compile all those posts into a This Old Victorian 2017 in review.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

The first spaces we tackled upon move-in were function focused. But just because a room is built for utility, doesn’t mean it can’t look good too. Our little jewel box of a laundry room is the perfect example. From a lovely piece of art to amazing wall paper, I made sure to cram in as many things that make me smile as I could. All the details are right here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

There is nothing that made me feel like a fully functioning adult than getting a pantry. I’d never really had kitchen storage before. I worked with California Closets to create a storage-lovers heaven (it turned out so well you can see it in an ad for California Closets in Architectural Digest right now!). My favorite feature has to be my cookbook wall. The sad thing I have even more cookbooks then fit on there! Maybe I should switch to food blogging. For all the deets on the pantry click here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

I’ve probably been most coy with our kitchen. But you can gather a lot from these sneaks. Like our oversized counter tops, sky high backsplash, flat front cabinetry and open shelving. I’m working on the final details for this space in the coming weeks in the hopes that a full tour can happen. But you can get details here and here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34home renovation updates on apartment 34

Our dining room might be my favorite. From the original french doors that frame the room to our gorgeous dining table, I could just live in this room. Deets are here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

While you may have noticed a lot of white and bright going on in my house, I made an exception for our media room. The walls, the ceiling, the trim, the couch, even the buffet is dark dark dark. And I loooove it. When it’s not taken over by toys. If you’re looking for sources click here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

When it comes to the master bedroom,  things remain in a bit of flux. We do have a great master bed. If I had my druthers I might never get out of it. There’s still a long way to go with this room but it’s still a respite (when I keep it clean).

home renovation updates on apartment 34

And when I need to escape from daily stress my master closet is a pretty great place to hide. It’s pretty much my happy place. Click here to see why.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

When I want to escape from stress with wine in my hand then I can retreat to my bathtub!

home renovation updates on apartment 34home renovation updates on apartment 34

Our guest room has already gone through a few iterations but it might be the hardest working room in the house right now. When you live in San Francisco you get a lot of visitors! Deets on this room are here.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

If you’re ever looking for me, it’s likely I’ll be in that little home office corner right back there.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

I gotta say I love our guest bathroom. From my hombre hex tile floors, my floating vanity and round mirror (from ikea!) this room is always bright and happy.

home renovation updates on apartment 34

My kiddo’s room is on the top of my update list. I’m about to have a three year old on my hand and it’s time he had a room that reflects his fully fledged small human status. I’m excited to create a room that will carry him through the next few years!

When I see all the spaces together like this, I actually feel much better about myself! While I constantly feel like this house will never be done (and constantly feel guilty about not giving you guys the full, full tour) I realize I’m actually made so much progress. The bones of my design for every room are in place – now it’s about finishing things off with all the details that really make a space homey. So 2018 is all about collecting treasures, art and those last little gems that really inject the personal style.

I will finish this house in 2018 if it’s the last thing I do. Although I know it won’t be the last thing because we still have the yard to contend with! Send help.

You can see the early stages of our renovation HERE.

Peeks at before pictures are HERE.

What I’ve learned about renovations to date is HERE and HERE.

And don’t be afraid to hit me up with questions. Happy to share anything I’ve learned from this gnarly experience. Thanks for sticking with me through it all. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!

I have waited a long time for this day to come. After more than three years, we’ve completed the bulk of renovations on our house, I’ve designed (most!) of the spaces and I finally get to celebrate a holiday season in a house the feels like home. And while I still can’t quite do the full top-to-bottom reveal just yet, I can’t help but share a few sneak peeks of my favorite modern holiday moments I’ve created this year. First up is a mega sneak peek of my living room.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

I’m sure you’re not shocked to learn I’m not into very colorful holiday decor. It feels weird to me to take a bunch of red and green stuff, dump it all around your house for a month and then pack it all away again. I’m more of a “use everyday things to lend a festive spirit to your space” kind of person. Thankfully, I was able to turn to my friends at for all the super gorgeous finishing touches I needed to not only make our spaces feel holiday ready but also find some treasures I’m going still going to love come January 1. Case in point – so many pretties for my living room! It really is the finishing touches that set the tone for a space. Thankfully, I didn’t have to dash all over town or spend hours and hours searching for the perfect piece or even pay for shipping. I found my swing arm wall sconce, textured throw pillow, throws, a chic tray, candle holders and more all at Overstock. Rather than douse my space in literal holiday cheer, I love making a nod to the season through texture, layers, warmth and just a few light touches of obvious holiday decor (hello DIY wreath!! More on that to come tomorrow).

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

In this hectic tech world, it’s nice to have something soft and cozy to cuddle up with. I’ve long been obsessed with the jumbo knit trend (do you remember the master I met while in Australia a few year back??) and this gorgeous handmade throw is on Overstock right now. It adds immediate cozy yumminess anywhere you put it.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

Coffee tables are a great spot for a little holiday cheer. Using a tray as a mini serving area lets guests sit back and relax. I’m obsessed with this tray’s brass handles and marble insert. Perfect spot to place a holiday tipple. I also love breaking out a bit of crystal this time of year. A crystal decanter and glasses make even ice water feel special. The holiday season is all about glowing light so I tend to put candles just about everywhere. I’m obsessed with this brass candle holder set and I know I’m going to use them all year long.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

Even with my minimalist ways, I can’t resist a fun little layer of this gorgeous magnifying glass. It’s sturdy enough that I would totally let my kiddo play with it.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

Cozying up on the couch is probably my favorite holiday activity. A textured pillow adds that inviting (dare I say hygge) touch you crave this time of year.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

And then there is the mantel! I’ve longed for a fireplace where I can enjoy mantel moments again. But this year I’m craving a touch more subtly then over the top elaborate setups of years past (turns out the simpler route is also much easier to maintain than the ever-dropping garlands). I opted for a gorgeous magnolia wreath from Overstock (that’s faux but that can be our little secret). I also added this really amazing polished aluminum reindeer bust. Rather than wall mount him (still don’t have the heart to punch holes in my pristine plaster walls), leaving him on the mantel was the perfect solution. A few more of my prized candles and a little bowl of Christmas baubles completes the look. While I like my more clean vibe, if you wanted a playful take you could hang some Christmas baubles from Vixen’s ears (that’s what I’ve named her).

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

In my book, it’s not the holiday season without a bar cart moment! I broke out more crystal stemware to add to my cart but kept the rest of it nice and spare. A gorgeous peacock feather wreath adds a modern glam touch.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

If you are in the garland mood, Overstock has a ton of great options for that as well. For this look, I applied my holiday layering trick by starting with a (faux!) evergreen garland, topped with a string a Christmas balls. I then tucked a marble tray underneath as a little seat for some pillar candles (always candles) and a few more loose Christmas baubles complete the look.

modern holiday moments on apartment 34

But really, when it comes right down to it, the holiday season is about cuddling up with the ones you love most. That’s the number one thing on my to-do list between now and 2018. Thankfully, I have plenty of jumbo knits and my cuddly pup ready to help facilitate!

For more holiday decorating ideas, CLICK HERE

PPS: Sign up for our newsletter to receive all our holiday tips and tricks. It’ll be landing in inboxes tomorrow!

photography for apartment 34 by Leslie Santarina 

This post is in partnership with Overstock. All thoughts, opinions and content are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.  

If you caught last week’s No Makeup Home Tour, then you may have spied some major sneak peeks of my yet-to-be-finished living room. I’m embarrassed to say that my living room has sat stagnant since we moved into our house nearly 18-months ago. There are a multitude of reasons for that; prioritizing this room and this room and this room, budgetary limits (we’re renovating a 150-year-old house my friends – she’s got a lot of problems) and a bit of design paralysis are all contributing factors. But I won’t take all the blame! That’s primarily because we’ve also been waiting to complete the fireplace that is the main focal point of the living room space. But now, with the holidays and the arrival of many house guests looming, I’m in a race against the clock to get this room done. So I thought I ought to let you in on a little of my planning!

Here’s the floorplan for our living room layout.

apartment 34 living room design

The room opens onto the dining room to the south via two ah-mazing french doors (you can see here). It also is open to our kitchen (after the removal of some major walls) to the north. The door to the right opens onto our media room (which you may have spied here). The challenge is the living room’s long, relatively narrow rectangular shape. The ceilings also happen to be 12ft tall – I know, rough life – but it makes finding proper proportions very tough. We’ve finally landed on unifying the space with a large 10×14 rug – the final selection is in the works -, designing a custom sectional (more on that to come soon!), nesting three round coffee tables in front of the soon to be built fireplace and adding a lounge chair to the corner to create a little reading nook in the far corner. Phew. All that to get completed before my family descends for Thanksgiving. No stress.

I thought you might like seeing some of my inspiration images for the space.

living room design on apartment 34

This is our inspiration for the sectional. This being our living room, I want it to feel more formal than the TV room, but only slightly. I live in the birthplace of California casual living after all.

apartment 34 living room design

This is the primary inspiration for my fireplace design. Both the hearth and gas insert surround will be black and arched like you see above. The mantle will be shaped something like what you see above but in a travertine instead of marble. As you may recall from this post, bookshelves sit to the left which will be my primary place to house treasures and work on my never-ending quest for the perfect shelfie.

apartment 34 living room design

I also want to create a bit of an undone vibe, with singular accents and accessories that stand out like they were in a place of honor. We’ll see if I can succeed in keeping piles of legos at bay.

apartment 34 living room design

But where I find myself really struggling is the hunt for a good side chair. In the thousands upon thousands that are out there, it’s actually quite surprising how difficult it is to unearth a good one. Do I want something modern, something cozy, something unique or something vintage. I don’t want to fall into the trap of anything too trendy as I am not going to be to replace any furniture for quite a long time or the husband might kill me. But since it’s going to hold court in a corner all its own, I’d like the chair I pick to be a real conversation starter. You can just google that right?? Right. The struggle is real my friends, the struggle is real.

apartment 34 living room designapartment 34 living room designliving room design on apartment 34

So I’ve begun to round up some of of the best side chair options I’ve spied thus far. They range from the rattan trend (but can I convince myself it’d feel timeless in five years) to a bit art deco, to modern classics. I’d love to know which look you like best! Mama needs some advice.

living room design on apartment 34

shop the post: chair 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Have a favorite? Or a chair you just love that I might not have seen? I’d love your advice.

And if you’d like to catch up on my entire renovation saga (yes, it’s been going on for nearly two years now) CLICK HERE.

image sources 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Have you ever scrolled through social media looking for inspiration and come away feeling less than great? You’re not alone. Thanks to Instagram (let’s just call a spade a spade), we’ve been programmed to think we can only share the perfect. Even when divulging something deeply personal, a self-effacing caption must be accompanied by an eye-popping pic. Now, there have been a few movements to lift the veil here and there. #IWokeUpLikeThis and #NoMakeup have offered a nod to more realism in the land of social media. But that sentiment is particularly rare in the world of interiors. When it comes to our homes, it seems only the picture perfect need apply. And while the intention might be to offer inspiration through beauty, the edited version of life can leave you feeling not so great about your own.

So when Kyla, of House of Hipsters, suggested a group of  bloggers (myself included obvi) offer peeks inside our homes sans props, sans professional photography, sans hours of styling or waiting for the perfect light, I thought – yeah, let’s do it! Even though I pride myself on offering you aspiration and inspiration on the daily, I thought you ought to know that I’m often scrambling to live up to my own inspirational standard. Now, when Kyla suggested we share this less than perfect home tour she said, “offer your usual pretty pictures, just maybe with a toy on the floor or a less than perfectly made bed.” Well, I’m taking things a step further. Welcome to the biggest, dirtiest, most revealing sneak peek of my house to date.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

in this pic: west elm tripod floor lamp // cisco home sofa // random jar of diaper cream on the ottoman

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

 in this shelfie: my kinfolk magazine collection, baby pictures, pretty gerhard vases and a tray full of mini bubbles & animal stamps

no makeup home tour on apartment 34
currently in my living room: eames lounge chair // cisco home sofa // tufted ottoman (I’m selling if you want it) // arne norell safari chair // safari daybed

You haven’t seen a renovation update around here in quite some time, because as it turns out I’m a regular person! I don’t have unlimited funds, nor a magic wand. I’m juggling work and kids (and ideally friends and family and working out and a marriage but some of those things typically fall by the wayside). And renovating and decorating your dream home is actually really difficult. So while I wish my house looked like this or this or this all the time, it most often looks like what you see above and below. A constant work in progress. For example, my living room (above) continues to sit in a holding pattern as I design my dream fireplaces, deal with odd room dimensions and hold out to be able to afford my dream light fixture, among other things.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

spoiler alert – we created an open concept living room and kitchen which I love. You can see everything, which I also love, including all the stuff I wish I could hide, which I hate. You know, usual things you see in a house like your vacuum filter on your kitchen counter; a balloon left over from a birthday party that happened six months ago; a massive pile of who knows what on the dining room table and toddler toys virtually everywhere.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

the occasional moment of zen

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

when the toddler toys break free from their confines. My fantasy version of our media room is here. I usually achieve that version for about an hour before going to bed on Sunday nights.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

a typical saturday afternoon

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

the rare occasion when there isn’t a pile of laundry on my bedroom floor // bedding via parachute // table lamp // bed

So there you have it. While I attempt to have my sh*** together everyday, I often fall short. But I will not beat myself up about it and neither should you. Because our homes are not still lives. They don’t come with a prepackaged set of filters. While I love when I achieve the picture perfect moment, it’s like trying to hold onto air. It just slips through your fingers. Turns out, life happens in the mess.

Peek into the real lives of some of your fave bloggers with this amazing No Makeup Home Tour series below

jojotastic | anne sage | bre purposed | the diy playbook | house of brinson | francois et moi | oscar bravo home | simple stylings | bigger than the three of us | house of hipsters

no make up home tour on apartment 34



How does one develop their sense of style? Are you born with it? Do you try a new style on like a spring coat, shrugging it off again when it no longer suits? Do you cultivate your style over years? There are, in fact, thousands of influences that impact how our style evolves and crystallizes, but you cannot discount your childhood’s impact on how you approach the world today.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, and now a mom myself (is it normal that it still feels weird to say that), it’s fun to reflect on my childhood home, and how my mom’s style influences are showing up in our house. I’ve partnered with some of my favorite power mamas, Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide and Jen Pinkston of the Effortless Chic to share how our moms influence us today. Oh and you’ll want to keep scrolling because there’s details about a $1000 GIVEAWAY below!

A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34

At first pass, the connection to my mom’s style influence didn’t seem obvious. Our aesthetics are vastly different – I prefer a monochromatic, modern look while my mom has a more eclectic mix and match style. I love mid century classic pieces while my mom’s home is made up of a mix of antiques, family heirlooms and a few holdovers from the 80’s (sorry mom). I’m rather color phobic, while my mom embraces it. But as I looked around the Victorian and examined the direction the design is taking, it dawned on me.

A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!

No matter how hard I try to maintain a minimalist hand in my designs, I cannot help but accumulate little collections (or big ones as the case may be). When it comes to beautiful objects, I’m like like a moth to a flame – just like my mom. Now her’s tend toward the natural, like houseplants and beach stones, while I have a weakness for home goods; glassware, vintage bottles, bowls of all shapes and sizes. Every time I purge, it seems a new collection springs up in the newly emptied spot. In particular, my mom instilled in me an endless love of both wooden bowls and ceramics. I am a child of the 70’s after all. When I see a piece that calls to me, I just cannot help myself. Occasionally vintage Tibetan bells in a little beachside tourist shop also catch my eye, but you’re always allowed outliers.

A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!

But there’s a reason! Just look at how pretty they are. Natural pieces are the easiest way to add gorgeous texture and warmth to any room.

A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34 + $1000 Giveaway!A lovely collection with Anthropologie on Apartment 34
shop the story woodland nesting bowl in mango wood / woodland nesting bowl in gray / marble stacking pinch pots / farmhouse potter silo bowl / ceres serving bowl / garden route platter / emerson vase | rachel comey jeans / jenni kayne slides / similar top

And while some might find a collection superfluous, if an object brings you joy, that’s all the reason you need to have it in your life. When I close my eyes and picture my mom’s house, I can see all her little collections – on a bookself there, on the kitchen counter there, in my mind’s eye. I like the idea that my kid might be able to do the same one day.

Have you thought about how your mom has influenced you? Have you ever thanked her for it? Well, we have a fun a little surprise to go along with this story. To help you both treat your mom and perhaps yourself, Anthropologie is giving away $1,000 gift card to one very lucky winner!


1. Follow Apartment 34, Glitter Guide, the Effortless Chic and Anthropologie on Instagram

2. Check out THIS Insta for all the entry details!

The contest will end Thursday, May 11th at 6pm PST and the winner will be announced on our Instagram accounts on Friday, May 12. Open to US Residents only.

And be sure to check out Taylor’s story on Glitter Guide and Jen’s on The Effortless Chic!



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original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

Like many of you, I’ve had daydreams of the ultimate closet dancing around in my head for a long time. I lived for years with clothes strewn on the floor, stuffed into every available corner, slowly creeping into one-quarter, then one-third, then a half of my husband’s closet (he was not pleased). So when we bought the Victorian, I was determined to create the closet of which dreams are made. And I’m so excited to hear what you think of the final result! Today you get to see my complete closet before and after.

Lifestyle blogger and design expert Erin Hiemstra reveals her dream closet

Above is the closet mid-construction. Drywall is in. The floors are down. While it looks like a relatively simple job, this space was once actually a bathroom! The only upstairs bathroom to be exact. The room is a decent size, but not huge by any means. This was an 1850’s bathroom after all. But the space does feature a lovely window and those glorious 11″ ceilings. Thankfully, we could relocate the bathroom so I got to snag this space for my own little oasis that now looks like this…

dream closet on apartment 34

Ta-da! I call this my closet miracle – a space where everything has a place, where I can actually see my clothes and I know what I have to wear. It truly is a game changer (check out how I rediscovered my own wardrobe in this post).

When it came to creating my dream closet, only one place came to mind: California Closets. They work with you from point A all the way to point Z to create a fully custom solution to meet your exact needs. The process started with my kickass designer Paige (it’s always fun when someone you work with becomes a friend) making a house call to our loft to do a personal closet assessment to determine my storage requirements. It wasn’t too challenging to identify the top priority – as I have probably 3x as many shoes as I do clothing! After years of cramming shoes onto little racks and having stacks and stacks of shoeboxes piled along the wall, I was really excited about the idea of finally having all of my little shiny ponies on display.

dream closet on apartment 34 dream closet on apartment 34

So Paige helped me devise this genius design above. The columns of shelves offer tons of shoe storage. We optimized the spacing and design based on the number of heels vs flats in my collection – though post-baby that number has shifted heavily in the flats direction! I love that I can now see exactly what I have without digging through mounds of boxes. I created a few more open sections to house bags, my denim and a few folded items like sweaters and tees. The center console houses my unmentionables, clutches & small bags as well as a velvet lined jewelry drawer. Swoon. The large bottom section hides laundry! Have I mentioned genius?

dream closet on apartment 34

One the opposite wall we installed a double-stacked hanging section for shirts, jackets, and blazers as well as a section for long items. I’m not a big dress person so that’s pretty small. And of course, there’s also more shoe storage on this side. The addiction is real people. Those 11′ ceilings came in very handy here (yes I need a step stool to reach the tippy top).

dream closet on apartment 34

Of course, I had to add a few original touches to make the closet truly feel like me. I selected a light gray finish for the built-ins and while we didn’t grab a good shot you might spy my black ceiling in the pics above. Obsessed. The dark ceiling makes everything pop. To further customize the look, I found amazing brass and lucite hardware on Etsy (you can check out the shop right here). I had them made in a smoke color – so good. I also added a floor-length drape from The Shade Store for some additional texture. Draperies really take a space to a whole new level.The room also features a pocket door on the (rare!) occasion I want to hide the space. Et voila – dream closet achieved.

Having a functional, organized closet is amazing for all kinds of reasons but three things really stand out. Number 1; general sanity and adulting. It’s refreshing to walk into my bedroom and not have it remind me of my sixteen-year-old self (or 27 or 35-year-old self for that matter!).  Now I only feel overrun by children’s toys rather than clothes. Number 2; I want fewer things. I don’t want a cramped closet so I find myself purging a lot more often. When the space starts feeling too full, I know it’s time for a closet clean out. And number 3; I shop way less and with a lot more intention. Shopping used to be a way to pass the time or I’d buy something “cute” on a whim. Now I know exactly what I have and can easily identify what I need. A pair of white denim to round out my jeans collection. A little camel bomber jacket for cool San Francisco evenings. A new flat sandal. But I keep the edit tight and the pieces timeless and classic. I actually just did another purge as part of my spring cleaning regime (have you checked out my tips here??). It’s the perfect way to make space for one or two pieces that will make my wardrobe feel fresh and new for Spring. I’ve included my current wishlist below.

dream closet on apartment 34closet reveal on apartment 34

SHOP:  tote / earrings / ring / jacket / shirt / jeans / clutch / sunnies / bucket bag / booties 



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I’d love to hear your thoughts on the final design and if you have any closet organization secrets up your sleeve. I’m always looking to add to my arsenal.


Check out all the updates on our renovation HERE

For more spring style ideas, CLICK HERE


original photography for apartment 34 by michelle drewes


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