When I started Apt34 (more than 12 years ago!), the primary purpose was to gather and share inspiration created by people much more talented than I. It’s still my favorite thing to do and the primary reason I’m still here after all these years. Hence why I have a little end of the year gift for you today – a tour of what has to be my new favorite home shop in San Francisco – The House by Tracy Simmons Design. 

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34 A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

You might think that San Francisco is awash in amazing home decor stores, but that’s actually far from the truth. The gems are few and far between which is why The House feels like a breath of fresh air. Chic, swoon-worthy fresh air.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Every item in The House is hand selected by owner and highly accomplished interior designer Tracy Simmons. Many of the items she’s carrying are custom designs made exclusively for the shop. There are a variety of lovely ceramic collections speaking to the on going handmade trend, but the pieces in The House are an elevated take on the look. The ceramic fruit bowl by SIN that typically has a rustic or boho vibe in other contexts, feels elegant and refined when paired with FRAMA soaps, Aieul candles and the crisp modern fine art photography collection by my dear friend Bess Friday.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Everything from the the yummy cashmere throws by Teixidors to the 100% non toxic fragrances from LA-based Fiele are luxurious but approachable. The custom designs from Sheldon Ceramics and one-of-a-kind vessels created by ANK Ceramics beg to be to touched and admired up close. All of the textures are so warm and inviting.

A New Gorgeous Design Spot - The House on apartment 34

Tracy and her team also use the space as their design studio, which almost makes the environment feel like you’re in someone’s home – where you want to drop by and stay for awhile! They always have a cup of tea or a little bubbly to offer you – and who am I to say no?!

The House is a fantastic addition to the San Francisco design scene and I feel lucky it arrived in time for holiday shopping – even if all the shopping I’m doing is for myself! With a soft opening this month, The House will celebrate its grand opening on January 16, 2020. I have a strong feeling only more gorgeousness is going to be added between now and then and I for one am so excited to have The House on my regular design shopping rotation.

The House by Tracy Simmons Simmons Design is located at 3307 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, California. The store is open from Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For our entire Retail Therapy archive (featuring stores all around the Bay Area and beyond) CLICK HERE.

photography by bess friday

While #MondayMotivation is all the rage, there’s no reason to think it’s too late to get on the you-can-do-it bandwagon. Inspiration can strike at anytime and everyday presents the opportunity to be your best self. I’m certainly feeling like I need to get my sh** together after getting a peek into my friend Lauren Nelson’s newly finished interior design studio. As someone who either works from the couch or squeezed into a tiny desk in the corner of my guest room, I’m owning all the envy of her seriously gorgeous work space, recently featured on Lonny.

Equal parts functional and beautiful, this office has all the comforts of home, but a perfectly designed one. For example every workspace should come equipped with an elevated kitchen! You won’t find any microwaves crammed in into the corner of a dark room around here. That stone backsplah is next level and I love the injection of a dusty blue with the cabinetry. The wood shelf keeps the space from feeling too fancy, and makes your morning coffee all the more fabulous.

I will never tire of art leaned against walls. Black frames and black accents add a strong punch as does that piece of killer photographic art.

Lauren’s conference room uses two Blu Dot Strut tables and a mix of vintage chairs to create a a bright and airy space to walk through her team’s always stunning design ideas. Definitely need to improve my moodboard game!

A co-working desk allows for easy collaborative conversations.

A simply chic bathroom features another of my current favorite trends – a sideways sink!

I’ve long loved Lauren and her work. We’re currently cooking up some fun surprises related to This Old Victorian that I’ll be sharing with you quite soon!

To learn more about Lauren and her stunning workspace, check out the feature on Lonny here.

photography by bess friday

There’s almost nothing I love more than discovering a killer new home decor shop and today I have a real find for you.

Contrary to popular belief, shopping for good design in San Francisco is a little….tough is probably the kind way to describe it. But things recently got a little easier thanks to Prevalent Projects, the brand new Mill Valley based home decor store that is all kinds of good.

For starters, Prevalent Project’s vibe is minimal, yet warm and with a healthy dose of cool on the side. The shop features a combination of clean Scandinavian and Japanese designs with some Californian ceramics, beautiful photography and unique textiles mixed in. Every piece in you see in Prevalent Projects, from the turned wood light fixtures to the clean-lined home furnishings, is highly curated and well thought out.

But an added bonus to this refined California vibe now at San Franciscans’ fingertips? Everything at Prevalent Projects is sourced with a focus on sustainability. They are making a point to only feature brands that use sustainable, nontoxic materials and production techniques. They’ve even gone a step further, making their own furniture pieces when what’s already on the market didn’t live up to their high standards. Their in-house furniture line is handcrafted in California from FSC certified rift sawn white oak with a nontoxic finish. I also hear a wool rug collection is in the works!

It makes sense that this shop has such a specific point of view and a keen sense of style. The founders recently decamped from LA after working for 25 years in photography and film production. And I’m thrilled they’re now sharing their discerning eye with the Bay Area.

While perusing the Prevalent Projects space in the heart of Mill Valley is quite the pleasure, you don’t have to be in San Francisco to get your hands on their finds. The store has just launched online sales. If I was going to do some recommending, I’d point you toward the incredible Sun at Six side chair, the classic Lostine Table Lamp and a candle they swear smells like Big Sur.

I’m certainly thrilled to welcome Prevalent Projects to the scene! I know I’ll be stopping by frequently!

Prevalent Projects
Open Tuesday – Sunday 10AM – 6Pm
61 Throckmorton Ave.
Mill Valley, CA. 94941


For our entire Retail Therapy archive, CLICK HERE.

I’m often asked about the “secret” to finishing a room. Well, if I knew, my house might be done by now! But in all seriousness, I actually do strongly believe that the way to complete a room is with treasures. You know, the treasures that life acquires – through travels, through discovery, through happenstance. That is where your personality and a room’s personality meld into one. But this process takes time. A lot of time. As well as plane tickets to far-flung destinations to find the antiques, vintage, flea markets finds, art and artisanal craft that sets a home apart. I’m certainly not hopping a plane any time soon. Are you?

where to find good french vintage on apartment 34

Thankfully, there are some hidden gems out there that help you inject those amazing found pieces without actually having to spend years on the hunt. That’s why I’m over the moon that one of my favorite Bay Area treasure troves, french vintage gold mine, Elsie Green, has just opened a brand new shop just north of San Francisco. And friends, this shop, she’s a beaut.

where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34

Elsie Green is stocked sky high with pieces procured on annual trips to Paris, the south of France, and I suspect highly coveted secret sources. They come back with stunning pieces of furniture, amazing vintage cookware, tableware, linens, accessories and more. So much more. A trip to Elsie Green’s original Concord,CA location is like a bit of a treasure hunt in and of itself, but the store in Sebastopol, CA is like walking through an amazing collector’s home, but at this place you get to take the spoils with you.

where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34where to find good french vintage on apartment 34

Would I define my style as french country? Certainly not. But I know how killer vintage Marcel Breuer chairs would look in my dining room. I know a few antique candlesticks can warm up my shelfies. And I’m all about some vintage art, as evidenced by this guy in my kitchen. Whenever I I go to Elsie Green, I always want all the things, but I also realize a single piece or two will add that one-of-kind feeling my home – and that’s exactly what I’m going for.

So if you find yourself in the Bay Area, I strongly recommend you get thyself to 6770 McKinley Street in Sebastopol, California. Just plan to give yourself plenty of time to oogle all the pretty. For everyone else, Elsie Green has a beautiful website too. These are just a few of the pieces I’d gladly take home with me!

where to find good french vintage on apartment 34

For our entire Retail Therapy archive, CLICK HERE.

images by kendra smoot & elsie green c/o elsie green

The latest edition of our Delicious Space series is a seriously stunning new wine bar that I’m thrilled to report is in my own backyard. Bay Area readers, take note. Famed chef Dominque Crenn has just opened a new and seriously beautiful space in San Francisco’s Marina district. Situated next door to her two-Michelin starred flagship restaurant Altier Crenn, the small, intimate and lush Bar Crenn is intended to be a place to gather over classic French food, amazing wine and hopefully stimulating conversation. This isn’t your run of the mill pick up spot. Bar Crenn is meant to be like a home away from home for a wine and design enthusiast.

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I have long admired Chef Crenn and my girl-crush only grew after I watched her on Chef’s Table (yet another show you must watch). While an amazing chef (best female chef in the world in 2016 in fact), Dominique goes beyond her dishes, taking a very creative approach to both her food and her restaurants. She is driven by her vision and the holistic experience she wants to create for her patrons. Bar Crenn is an awesome example of this.

When concepting her bar, Chef Crenn was inspired by 1920’s Paris – when the city was a cultural, literary and art epicenter. She wanted to recreate that salon-like environment where luminaries would gather and discuss the day’s pressing issues. When I first walked into Bar Crenn I could immediately image Gertrude Stein holding court in the corner. I would gladly wile away hours in this space.

delicious space: bar crenn on apartment 34delicious space: bar crenn on apartment 34

Decorated by Dominique’s friend, Karan Brady, the room is shrouded in thick green velvet curtains, shielding the space from the street and giving the feel of the private club. Even the entrance is down a walkway off the sidewalk so you almost have to know its there to find it. Seating is limited to luxe settees and Louis VXI armchairs clustered around green marble-topped cocktail tables to further foster conversation. This is not a space where you pack shoulder to shoulder. This is where you come to sit, relax and enjoy. Everything in the room has a vintage patina like you stepped into the Nashville filter. Crystal stemware line the back bar and antique chandeliers dot the ceiling. Sheepskin topped stools line the bar. There’s a hint of femininity in the old world glamour, but it also doesn’t feel overly girly.

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Bar Crenn’s menu centers around timeless french dishes that Dominique actually sourced directly from her directory of famous French chefs like Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy. Must be nice. Plan to get a real education on French wines. Glass pours will range from $14-$50.

I was lucky enough to preview Bar Crenn and taste test its menu in conjugation with a special event hosted by American Express Platinum. Last year American Express launched their Global Dining Collection – exclusive partnerships with a team of Platinum Card Members’ favorite chefs from around the world – think José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Stephanie Izard and Thomas Keller – to provide Card Members with exclusive access to one-of-a-kind dining experiences and events.

American Express hosted an exclusive dinner with Dominique at Bar Crenn the week before its grand opening and apparently they offer other events throughout the year. I’m going to add all the dishes I tasted to my Instagram story archive so you can see all the amazing bites we enjoyed. And I guess I better start paying better attention to my email to be sure I know when Platinum offers these crazy cool dinners. But I’m just thankful I can head down to Bar Crenn any old time.

delicious space: bar crenn on apartment 34delicious space: bar crenn on apartment 34delicious space: bar crenn on apartment 34

Bar Crenn is an elevated, curated and thoughtful addition to the San Francisco food and bar scene. Dare I say this is a bar for grownups (yup, I’m officially SO old). You can make reservations for table seating up to a month in advance (apparently the first month sold out in the first 10 minutes reservations opened up online,) but they will also reserve half of their seats for nightly walk-ins. Reservations for the month of April will open up on March 20 at 11AM. I know I’m going to be clicking refresh to get myself a table.

3131 Fillmore Street
Open Tues – Sat 4:30pm – 12:00am

For our archive of Delicious Spaces – aka rurl prudy restaurants, CLICK HERE


original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas / portrait by jessica chou

Today’s edition of Delicious Spaces might look a little familiar to a long-time Apt34 reader. I’ve been a major fangirl of brunch at Dona Tomas since my days of pregnancy cravings.

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I’m also a fan of the simply chic decor in Dona Tomas’ dining room. Tucked next to Oakland’s Temescal Alley, Dona Tomas keeps things clean and classic. Creamy white walls are dotted with authentic Mexican tapestries and candelabra sconces. Gorgeous ironwork separates the dining room from the exterior patio. Vintage Mexican posters, jumbo grass pendants and floral tablecloths on outside tables are colorful touches. But this pared-back setting is the perfect way to let Dona Tomas’ food and cocktails shine.

delicious space in oakland on apartment 34

And if you’re in the Bay Area, I have an extra special treat for you. Dona Tomas is offering their first cocktail class at the restaurant this weekend! The class will focus on three unique cocktails off their brunch menu: the Celorita, Bloody Maria, and Coco Mocha, described below. You’ll learn how to make each of three cocktails, from the mixes and syrups, where to find the ingredients and tools, how to measure, shake and stir, and get answers to any questions about tequila and mezcal.

Celorita —
habañero infused Vida mezcal, agave & lime, pineapple, cilantro, cucumber & celery

Bloody Maria —
Cimarron Blanco tequila, tomato juice, lime, horseradish, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper

Coco Mocha —
Flor de Caña dark rum, chocolate liqueur, coconut milk, iced coffee, piloncillo-canela syrup

delicious space in oakland on apartment 34  delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34delicious space in oakland on apartment 34

If you’re in the mood to spice up your cocktail skills, or a simply in the mood for a fun afternoon of great food and amazing drinks you should seriously consider taking this class. I’ve included all the details below.

What: Dona Tomas Mexican Brunch Cocktail Class
Where: Dona Tomas, 5004 Telegraph Ave, Oakland CA PHONE: 510-540-0522
When: Sunday, Feb 25th, 2pm
Cost: $30 per person
Details: Call to purchase your tickets! 510-450-0522

images for apartment 34 by aubrie pick

Summer is pounding down the door! Are you excited?? It’s currently brought unusually warm temperatures t0 San Francisco, which is sending the entire city scrambling for ways to cool off. It so rarely gets warm here no one has air conditioning (seriously!). So when I heard there is a new shop serving up authentic Italian-style gelato in San Francisco, I had to make my way there stat.

authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34

Meet Coletta Gelato. It is a welcoming peach of a shop, and not just because of its welcoming peach color scheme. There’s bar-top seating and a nice sunny spot to enjoy your treat outside. The daily rotation of flavors are hand written on the butcher paper menu. At the counter, you find said flavors ready for scooping, but you won’t find any of those prototypical mounds of candy-colored ice cream that you might associate with gelato shops in Italy. That’s actually because those gelatos are filled with stabilizers and fillers to get them to stand up like that. Sadly, a lot of Italian gelato is made from powder these days! I know, I’m horrified too.

authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34

But Coletta founders, Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspühl are purists. The two share a childhood love of gelato, growing up with Italian grandparents, but they did not meet until they were getting their Masters of Management in Food & Beverage in Milan. While there, they fell in love with the idea of making the best gelato they could create. So they attended Bologna’s Carpigiani Gelato University to perfect their craft. Luckily for us, they decided to bring their gelato to the US. As Antonio explained, the decided San Francisco is the ideal location because the abundance of amazing ingredients in the Bay Area allows them to make a product that is a cut above.

At Coletta, they make their base from scratch daily. It’s a long, laborious process that includes mixing milk (that they source from local Clover Dairy), mixing it with sugar and raising the mixture to a precise temperature. Then there are the unique flavors – Coletta offers classics like Pistacchio, Gianduja (chocolate + hazelnut) and Tiramisu, but also more local-influenced options like Gauva sorbetto, fresh Peach or Mint Chocolate Chip. All of their ingredients are selected for their quality and freshness and are organic.

authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34

Coletta is also putting a foodie twist on their gelato, creating infused flavors, such a basil and chai. They even let it slip that they’re working to perfect a low-sugar option in the future! But what really sets gelato apart for me is the texture. Real, beautifully crafted gelato is light, airy and oh so creamy. You don’t feel gross after eating it. That might by why I was known to indulge as many as 3x a day when I was in Italy (eek!).

There a number of contributing factors to this. For one, unlike ice cream, gelato is made with milk and only milk. Ice creams are made with a mix of milk and cream as well as eggs. This makes gelato a lot lighter (and often half the calories!) of ice cream. Also gelato is made and kept at much warmer temperatures than ice cream. That makes it much more flavorful. Gelato also isn’t meant to be stored for a long time. It’s intended to be enjoyed the day it is made. Coletta doesn’t keep any gelato more than two days to ensure the highest quality and freshness.

authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34authentic italian gelato in san francisco on apartment 34

After living in Italy and visiting many times since, I’ve spent years sampling gelato anywhere I see it pop up in the US, hoping to replicate the memories I have from Italy. It’s very rare that I’ve found gelato that lives up to those expectations, but Coletta actually surpasses them! The texture is perfect, the flavors are amazing (I was particularly impressed by the almond topped with coco powder) and the space is just the cutest.

But if you can’t make it downtown, fear not! Coletta has also imported roving gelato carts straight from Italy. Bike powered and totally adorable, it’s going to be popping up around San Francisco this summer. I will certainly be stalking it. Follow them on Instagram to find out where they’re popping up.

For now, head to 685 Harrison Street to get your gelato fix. Coletta is open Tuesday-Sunday 12pm – 9pm.

For more of my favorite San Francisco gems, CLICK HERE

original photography for apartment 34 by andrea posadas

It’s so easy to get stuck in our daily routines. Whether we’re chained to a desk literally or figuratively, it’s rare to break out of the norm – the ebb and flow of day to day life tends to sweep you away. You frequent the standard coffee shop on the daily or head to your weekly brunch spot without blinking an eye. As we rely on old standbys, time seems to blur, days blending into weeks, weeks slumping into months. But what if, every once in awhile, you were free to to kick the standbys to the curb?


When Clorox asked me to share some FluFOMO – what you might be missing out on if you’re unfortunate enough to catch the flu this season – I decided it was high time to break out of my routine. Since I’ve done my best to keep the flu at bay this season (you can see how I kept from catching the stomach flu from my kid right here). Sure there are thousands of trendy spots in and around San Francisco that would check every hipster box you can think of, but I wondered what might be out there if I looked a little past the usual.

I recently took the opportunity to enjoy a crisp January day ditching my routine entirely and instead, hitting the road excited to discover what Hwy 1 might bring my way – no set itinerary, no set agenda, no Instagram stalking beforehand. Just a sense of adventure.


Upon snaking up the coast, I stumbled upon the charming little town of Bolinas a little less than an hour north of San Francisco. Nestled against the Pacific and beloved by surfers who hate crowds, the one-street hamlet, pop. 2,000, feels like a throwback to a bygone era. You can belly up to the bar at Smiley’s Saloon, the oldest bar in California, or lunch on oysters plucked only miles from Coast Cafe, the town diner. But what I love most about places like Bolinas are the people. Also quick to smile, happy to share a kind word and eager to tell an interesting story, it’s a wonderful reminder of the power of human connection. At Smiley’s, I was regaled of the celebrities that often come through Bolinas as they explore Marin – often unsure of what to make of town residents who really couldn’t give two sh***!


an artist community still thrives in bolinas


a quiet stroll on the beach soothes the soul


When the world seems to spin a bit out of control, a little time spent breaking free of the usual is the perfect way to reflect on what matters most. You never know what you might be missing out on until you simply get out there and explore.

Have you missed out on some adventure this winter due to the flu? Click here to share your story and be entered to win a Clorox prize pack!

For more getaway ideas, CLICK HERE


original photography for apt34 by emily scott

This post is in partnership with Clorox. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that I’m excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open

One of my favorite things about San Francisco is how this city celebrates the holidays. This town goes all out. Nearly every street glows with twinkle lights. Christmas trees shine in row house windows. And when you get downtown it’s like a holiday wonderland. Skyscrapers are all outlined in red and green. There are giant Christmas trees on nearly every corner and shop windows are decorated to the nines. You can’t help but get in the holiday spirit.


But the getting downtown part can be a real problem. A couple of years ago, we actually tried to do a day of Christmas shopping, but after sitting in gridlock motionless for 45 solid minutes, we simply turned around and headed home. This year however, I was determined to soak in the holiday atmosphere. Online shopping just doesn’t quite do it. Thankfully, I could turn to Uber to make the experience much less painful!

Rather than worry about traffic, circle endlessly for parking, I simply hopped in an Uber. I love UberX – it’s super affordable and there’s usually one available with very little wait. The busy holiday roads were no big deal since I could blissfully do email while someone else worried about the road ahead.

I headed to Ghiradelli Square first. What was once a total tourist trap has been revitalized with locals in mind. There’s some great food including a spot by celeb chef Jonathan Waxman and wine tasting rooms including one of my favorites, Bluxome Street Wines. And of course you can still pick up tons of Ghiradelli chocolate for all your stocking stuffer needs.

what I’m wearing: isabel marant jacket / levis redone jeans / freda salvador boots / jumbo scarf / celine box bag 

When I was done I just used my Uber app to grab a car to my next destination – Maiden Lane off of Union Square in the heart of downtown San Francisco. I love that I didn’t have to hunt for parking or worry about leaving gifts in my car.


Maiden Lane is a hidden gem right off Union Square. A pedestrian-only, tree lined lane allows you to escape the crowds of downtown San Francisco’s main shopping arterials. Filled mall boutiques and specialty shops and cute cafe seating it’s the perfect place to find something special.


An afternoon of soaking up the festive sights and sounds of city makes it impossible to deny the magic of the holidays. I’m so excited to impart that feeling to my little kiddo this season. He’s just old enough to really begin to understand it all. And there’s really nothing better than the holidays then through the eyes of a child. I’m just thankful I could experience it stress free thanks to Uber.

photography by ashley batz

this post is in partnership with uber. all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and have kept apartment 34’s doors open.

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