I know this is supposed to be the year of big bold color. I’ve even espoused being brave with color a couple of times myself. I’ve been pinning a ton of color too. But as much as I love a courageous design decision, there’s something about a timeless palette that will always look of the moment. Case in point, the combination of black, white and wood that I just cannot quit.

timeless color palette on apartment 34timeless color palette on apartment 34timeless color palette on apartment 34timeless color palette on apartment 34timeless color palette on apartment 34timeless color palette on apartment 34

This classic color palette is a calm, cool and refreshing respite from life’s noise. It offers the space for your day-to-day to add the color rather than objects that surround you. But this palette isn’t one note. There’s actually a ton of variety to play with.

You can decide between cool whites or warm. You can mix and match a huge range of wood tones. For example, walnuts feel rich and sophisticated. Light maple feels airy and bright. Wood floors add warmth to all white walls. I’m obsessed with the patterned floor above although herringbone is always a good choice too. It’s a lovely old world look. But I also love the modern vibe of a white floor too.

It’s the hits of black that modernize – a black focal wall adds drama, pops of black like a light fixture or faucet offer places for your eye to land and black furniture feels chic. Black will always elevate with its sleek edginess. I recommend putting something black in virtually any room.

So while I try to conduct a bit of a spring purge, I’m looking to both pare back the colorful clutter, and instead, add just a few subtle layers to my world. Any of the 18 black, white or wood objects below would definitely do the trick!

shop a black, white and wood color palette on apartment 34

SHOP: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 /17 /18


What do you think? Do these subtle yet striking rooms speak to you as much as they do to me?

For more color palette ideas, CLICK HERE.



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You know the first time you see something unusual and you think oh no, that’s a crazy idea. And then you see it a little bit more and little bit more and it grows on you. That certainly happened with me and mom jeans (I’m praying it won’t happen with the skinny sunglasses thing). But it has also happened with the fuzzy chair trend. Have you seen these guys yet? I’m super curious what you think about them.

idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34

I’m talking about the teddy bear-esque easy chairs that have been showing up all over my Pinterest and in virtually every design magazine you pick up of late. Covered in wooly sheepskin and usually curved like a cozy little nest, turns out this idea is not new. Of course, it is in fact mid-century modern.

idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34

The most recognized fuzzy chair, called the Tired Man, was created by Danish furniture designer Flemming Lassen in the 1950s.  But the Tired Man chair is actually being produced again today (which is good since vintage ones on 1stdibs are running about $24,000). But the new ones come with hefty pricetags too.

idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34

The newest version the scene are literally called the Papa Bear and Baby Bear armchairs by Pierre Yovanovitch. They’re a bit cutesy for my tasty but would be the most expensive chair for a kids room possibly in the world.

idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34 idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34 idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34idea to steal: fuzzy chairs on apartment 34

A lot of peeps are simply finding cool, mid-century style armchairs and simply reupholstering them in the wooly sheepskin. I just love the texture the look adds to a room. In a house with wall to wall hardwood floors and stark white walls, I think a fuzzy chair would be the perfect way to soften a room. I’m seriously considering adding one to our dining room.

What say you? Are you feeling these fuzzy chairs? Or have I just been staring at them for too long?!

Check out our Idea to Steal archive RIGHT HERE.

images via vipp hotel / lassen / Pierre Yovanovitch / Vogue /Pierre Yovanovitch / 1stdibs / Pierre Yovanovitch / lassen / 1stdibs

Today I have another installment of our 2018 Design Ideas series. I am so excited to bring you one of my favorite interior design dynamic duos, the husband and wife team behind Homework DesignHopefully you caught the tour of Susan and Ben’s own crazy gorgeous San Francisco home (right here). Today they’ve tipped their hands to share the inspirations driving their innovative, bold designs right now.

go bold or go home on apartment 34

lighting by anna karlin / styling by sarah de beaumont / popham tiles /cubes & cylinder house by town and concerete / dynamic geometry by ahaa architecture 

Susan and Ben are known for taking their projects to the next level. They’re always on the cutting edge with an inventive new use of pattern, color or detail that feels totally unique and totally stunning. So naturally when Susan and Ben offered to share their advice for 2018 design, I was all ears.

“This year we’re excited to go big or go home! Out with white, light, and minimal- and in with maximalism and over the top! We’re talking pattern on pattern (on pattern!), complementary color combos, and obtuse angles. Oh, and cement tiles, statement lighting, and the color pink are here to stay.”

While I might not be jumping on the uber-bold pink bandwagon or be willing to let go my attempts at minimalism right away, I am certainly warming to a more intense use of color, especially when its tone on tone. And if I could add some geometric tile to our house I totally would (oh isn’t how funny what a year or two later brings to the design table). But if you need to ease into some of this trends, the pieces below should help!

go bold or go home on apartment 34

GET THE LOOK: anna karlin pendant // cle tile // set of bowls // lounge chair // ceramic vase// object // pink sofa  // art print // throw pillow // ombre rug // faceted vases // standing mirror

For our entire 2018 Design Ideas series, CLICK HERE.



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If you’ve ever remodeled or redesigned a house, you’re going to relate to this post. If you haven’t, consider this a little peek behind the curtain. You go in thinking everything will just run smoothly, that you will be able to find everything you need and get it when you want it. Alas, the world of home design does not work that way my friends. There are a litany of variables, any of which can trip up your entire design process. Perhaps a trade is unavailable (for the next six months!). Perhaps your dream tile is back ordered (for at least six months). Or perhaps you have a vision that is tough to actualize. This is the case for one of my favorite design ideas for our house: steel doors.

black steel door trend on apartment 34

One of the key design features I want in our house is steel doors separating this room from the rest of the communal space. Steel doors are stately. They add such drama. They don’t block light. They’re black. And added bonus, they’ll tuck away our TV so as my kid has movie nights with friends (many years down the road – have you read my thoughts on kids and tech??) us adults can enjoy the living room with the doors closed.

black steel door trend on apartment 34black steel door trend on apartment 34

That said, actualizing these doors is easier said than done. It’s very hard to find sources for custom work. While I’ve found many a resource if I want some steel doors for my bathroom (this Apartment Therapy story is a good one), but crafting a set of 11.5 ft door has proved to be exceedingly challenging. But look at all this pics. The vision is just too good. This design element must become a piece of our house.

So if you happen to have a line on someone who would want to create the prettiest set of doors that you ever did see, I’ll take any and all recommendations!

For all the latest on our remodel, CLICK HERE

image 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 unknown

A few days ago I Instagrammed the bookshelves in my house and IG (in spite of the algorithm) went wild. And while I love that moment, looking at those shelves got me thinking about the art of the shelfie. We’ve definitely talked about it here ad nauseam. But as I work on my home’s finishing touches, I feel an immense pressure to have everything picture perfect immediately. I suspect I’m not the only one.

slow playing the shelfie on apartment 34

Walls filled with art. Shelves stacked with layer upon layer of treasures (or crap depending on your personal taste), side tables and consoles perfectly accessorized. But what if we stopped chasing “the collection.” What if the goal of decorating your home wasn’t about filling it with objects, but instead filling it with meaning? Even as I push myself to finally “finish” my house, I’ve begun to reconsider my perspective. Rather than look at blank spaces as unfinished, I wonder if I can instead find wholeness in the holes.

slow playing the shelfie on apartment 34 slow playing the shelfie on apartment 34

Sure, things will creep in over time. But that’s the operative phrase – over time. I’ve only lived in my house for just over a year. We only completed some major construction just before this past holiday season. And while I love my blogger and stylist friends who shop and pull until the cows come home, whipping up a “completed” home in time for the afternoon’s photo shoot, I’m wondering if I can just step out of the race entirely.

slow playing the shelfie on apartment 34

Instead, I want to create beauty from the one thing, maybe the two things that truly give me joy. I want to reveal in that negative space. I want to be filled up by the openness because our lives are already crammed full of so much stuff (and in my case legos). I want to have room to breathe. I think each shelfie in this post exemplifies this idea.

slow playing the shelfie on apartment 34

Yet you often hear disparaging terms applied to this idea. Sterile. Impersonal. Cold. But I just call it real life. There’s no need to swing by Target or CB2 every two days for some new thing. Instead, find an art fair. Take time to walk through your local gallery. Hit the flea market when the mood strikes, but take home only the “I can’t live without it” piece.

I’m pleased to report that I can name the source of everything currently on my bookshelf and there’s not a big box store to be found, but I actually want to edit out even more. I want to try to open up as much blank space as possible and  see how the years will fill it. And I want that to feel more than good enough. I want it to feel like home.

For more of our best ideas to steal, CLICK HERE.

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Since I’m still basking in the glow of the Kauai sun, I’m taking a cue from my tropical location for today’s Idea to Steal: hanging hammocks as wall decor.

idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34idea to steal: hammocks as decor on apartment 34

I’ve talked about hammocks in modern spaces before. I even incorporated one into the den I designed for Sunset Magazine a few years back! But as woven wall hanging remain all the rage, I love the idea of switching things up a bit and using a hammock as your wall decor instead.

Famed Tulum hotel Coqui Coqui is most likely the originator of this look, and some copy the vibe verbatim which is fine by me. It’s a damn good idea. Hammocks look great in living spaces or above a bed. But there are some original twists on the hammock as wall decor too – like Sarah’s idea to put a mini one over a fireplace in her Palm Springs a-frame. Genius. I’m particularly obsessed with the dramatic look of an all black bed with a striking black hammock draped above. Not sure where one would find an all black hammock, but I just might be adding that to my wishlist for the Victorian. Talk about some seriously sexy decor drama.

What say you? Are you into this look? It definitely has a laid back vibe but I think you could put a sophisticated spin on it. I think I’m gonna try.

Inspired? Click HERE for our entire Idea to Steal archive.

images: stories by sarah sherman samuel // lonny // cerruti draime // domino // domino // cerruti draime // the now // 

This week’s Idea to Steal is perfect for sipping a summer drink, relaxing with a book or hiding out from the world. Right now I’m loving the look of a niche. They are perfect tucked away places to sit, sleep or simply hang.

idea to steal: the niche on apartment 34

This deep outdoor alcove is the perfect place to lounge, read or take a nap! As the sun moves it would also be a great spot to hide in the shade.

idea to steal: the niche on apartment 34

I love the idea of a tucked away nook. Whether you use it as a bed or a simply a cozy place to relax, it’s both fun and in the case of this minimalist example, extremely chic.

idea to steal: the niche on apartment 34

A more rustic take on the nook is similarly inviting. It’s also the perfect solution for awkward small spaces that you don’t quite know what to do with.

idea to steal: the niche on apartment 34

This lovely exterior niche is the ideal spot to sip rosé. And did you spy the wood-clad ceiling?!

idea to steal: the niche on apartment 34

If you’re lucky enough to have the right architecture, a bedroom niche is secluded, seductive and seriously sexy. Yes you have to crawl over one another if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, but sometimes killer looking design isn’t about practicality!

I’m kinda wishing we had put a niche somewhere in our remodel. What say you? Are you into it too?


For our entire Idea to Steal archive, CLICK HERE.


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I know I’m not the first to jump on the rattan bandwagon, but I’m partial to a modern (rather than vintage-y) spin on the trend.

modern rattan trend on apartment 34

This dining room is a prime example! The round dining table is made of mixed materials giving off a chic, contemporary vibe. The oversized pendant adds serious modern drama. The neutral color palette is punctuated with all the black accents. And the variety of natural materials – stone, metal, wood and ceramics creates a ton of texture. This room feels global and summery. It could just as easily be beachside as it could be in an urban loft, but the design would be a breath of fresh air all year round. I’m officially looking to add a cool piece of rattan in our house somewhere. Consider this idea stolen.

Here are a few of my favorite modern rattan pieces.

modern rattan on apartment 34

pendant / swing / basket chair /snug chair / venice chair



For the entire Idea to Steal archive, CLICK HERE


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photography casa cook via est living 

While I’m always partial to neutral interiors, there’s something striking about adding a bold hue into an otherwise mellow color palette.

Idea to Steal on apartment 34idea to steal on apartment 34

Right now I’m loving a punch of royal blue. Especially when it’s blue velvet. The color takes on a sultry, chic vibe in a luxe fabrication. When surrounded by creams, browns and touches of black, the pop of blue doesn’t feel too in your face. Instead, it contrasts beautifully with wood pieces or metallic finishes yet still feels almost like a neutral itself.

What say you? Are you into this blue idea?!

For our entire Idea to Steal archive, CLICK HERE.


image 1 via the design chaser, image 2 by aubrie pick for apartment 34

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