Temps are dropping (slowly, but surely…), and the season of fall gatherings is officially upon us! I firmly believe that the whole point of having friends over for dinner is to make everyone feel at ease – yourself included. That’s why I was so excited when one of my fave home collections,The Citizenry, asked me to create a fall inspired table with their newly launched table linens collection. All of their linens are so lovely I actually couldn’t just set one table – I had to set two.

Scroll below to see how you can create two different fall entertaining vibes by simply swapping out your napkins (and a few other choice details) along with some of my best entertaining tips.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Setting a lovely table makes a meal feel a little special, but creating it shouldn’t have be complicated. A simple white linen tablecloth is my go-to foundation. It offers a nice blank slate. A few wrinkles – or even a big fold or two are no big deal. I love how it gives everything a more Euro-rustic vibe.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

There’s no need to have a collection of fancy china. Simply create layers with your daily dishware. I love to mix and match dishes in different colorways to add extra dimension. And I will always approve of gold flatware for everyday use – there’s no reason to make them wait for a special occasion. It quickly makes any table feel a bit more festive.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Adding flowers to your setting also doesn’t have be stressful. You can let your creative juices flow, combining whatever fits into your color palette. A fall arrangement can mix all kinds of greenery – everything from lambs ear and grasses, to cuts of leaves. A few dahlias give you that plucked straight from your garden look. But if creating your own centerpiece feels overwhelming, head to your local flower mart or corner florist. The talented ladies at Marigold SF put together these stunners. There’s no shame in putting a pretty arrangement into your own vase. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I created two different fall tables by only swapping out a few simple things. I like to stick to 2-3 colors on the table to keep things from getting overwhelming. This first table features a set of The Citizenry’s subtle Onam napkins and tablerunner in blush. You can fold the the napkins to highly their mustard gold threading or camouflage it to keep the look really light, neutral and airy. The Citizenry’s set of Dasar bronze trays make the perfect serving dishes. I added white oak candle sticks and warm golden taperd offer a light, feminine touch.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

To quickly and easily change this tables look, I simply swapped in pops of indigo and chambray to create a slightly bolder, high contrast look. The Citizenry’s Chera napkins feature hand stitching, but are made from durable cotton – meaning they’re machine washable! Hits of black – candlesticks, the Citizenry’s black marble cheeseboard and our dining chairs elevate the look. I’m also obsessed with The Citizenry’s new Ba Lai glassware. Matte gray on the outside, with a high gloss glazed interior, they’re seriously so good.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I’m struggling to pick a favorite between these two looks so I’m thinking I just have to throw two parties to put both to the test. Do you you have a favorite??

See the rest of my favorite fall entertaining tips on The Citizenry blog here.

florals by marigold studio / photography by andrea posoadas

This post in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that keep our doors open!

If you’ve followed Apt34 for awhile, you might have noticed that I’ve slow played the completion of our house. A lot. While your typical blogger is usually in a rush to give you all the before and after shots we can, I’ve taken a different approach with this home. That is because I have been committed to finding unique, interesting and well designed pieces for each and every nook and cranny. This is my forever house people! This is no longer the dress rehearsal. This time things need to be make it for the long haul.

best kept shopping secret for your home on apartment 34

I am constantly searching high and low; scouring local boutiques, estate sales, and many an online resource, but one of my tried and true treasure troves for both something special and a good deal might surprise you – I’ve purchased many a piece for my home on eBay! This includes everything from current desk chair in my home office to a gorgeous Kaare Klint safari chair for my living room, to pretties for my kitchen. I just scooped up a set of Heath Ceramics plates. In this day and age it is the small things that bring you joy.

best kept shopping secret for your home on apartment 34

A few bonuses about eBay shopping. Yes, you can score cool vintage finds – I love looking for old portraits, kitchen accessories and those iconic mid-century pieces, but there are so many brand new items for sale as well. One of my favorite best kept secrets is the eBay DWR Outlet store. I stalk it for good deals on timeless designs constantly. This Knoll bar cart is currently taunting me, begging me to bring it home. The best part is you can often buy things right away – no bidding required and thousands of items ship free.

best kept shopping secret for your home on apartment 34

It can be really hard to commit to pieces for your home. It is easy to start small. A piece of art. Maybe a vintage set of glassware. But then you just might find that piece that you’ve long coveted (my current hunt is for the perfect antique mirror for over our dining room fireplace) at a great price. That’s the beauty of eBay – you might find just what you were looking for – or discover something you didn’t even know your home needed.


[show_shopthepost_widget id=”3293199″]

this post is a paid collaboration with eBay. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open. 

Yes, it is true. I’ve been working on the restoration and design of my historic Victorian home in San Francisco for nearly four years now. But even as a blogger, I’m still a normal person my friends. We didn’t win the lottery. I’m not a professional interior designer. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not getting everything for free. And this house is a beast! But I have actually shared quite a bit of my progress – with the hopes of a full before and after to come this fall, but my laundry room makeover has been the most popular reveal I’ve posted to date. In case you missed it, check it out below.

Everyone always wants their house to be pulled together. I’m no different. But since I can’t make couches or rugs magically ship faster, I’m making progress wherever I can. Case in point: Our laundry room! I’d neglected to actually design the space before we moved into our house. But after just a few quick fixes, I got the room all dressed up nice and I can actually smile while folding clothes!

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

You may have caught the before pic of the space in this post. But in case you missed here it is again.

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

The room was essentially nothing more than a tiny box with a giant washer & dryer in it! When it came to actually adding some design into this space, I focused on three main goals.

1. Make it Functional: In the rush of completing construction, I never put any thought into the laundry room other than creating one. I knew I wanted a front loading washer dryer for their ease and capacity. But I got mine and just plopped them in there. I didn’t spend anytime thinking about how to optimize space, storage or really make the room actually work.

2. Add Storage: Now that I’m mom, I’m dealing with every kind of laundry dilemma under the sun. So the amount of stain boosters, whiteners and laundry pre-treaters have exploded. I needed to create space in our laundry room so there would be room for it all.

3. Make it Really Really Good Looking: Utility spaces can look just as good as any other room in the house. A few design tricks can make even highly functional spaces chic.

And if I do say so myself, I think I was able to achieve all three of my goals – though I’ll let you be the final judge.

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

Let’s talk function first. I selected the LG SideKick washer and dyer for my laundry room. I adore them, but they are pretty big! They both sit on pedestals making them nice and tall and easy to load and unload. But they are also rather deep. I nestled them into the wall as much as possible, but the laundry room is already relatively narrow. To get the storage I was craving, I had a custom shelf built that just fits over the two units. That shelf allows me to have everything I use daily – detergent and and laundry boosters et al at arms reach. I like that I don’t have to open any cupboards or move things in and out. Everything is right at my finger tips.

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

I was also able to capitalize on storage built into the LG Twinwash washer/dryer system itself. For one thing, the washer pedestal actually conceals an additional mini washer! That lets me do a quick small load, wash delicates or soak stained items in my favorite pre-treaters without needing an additional tub or bucket. Winning! The dryer pedestal is also actually a storage drawer. That’s where I house all extra detergents, stain fighters, essential oils, linen sprays and the like. I love that it keeps all the packaged goods tucked away where I don’t have to stare at a hot mess of labels. Major decorating secret. Decant anything you can and hide everything else to help decrease the appearance of clutter Again, winning!

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

The design elements of the room are where the design and function really come together. I started by installing beautiful Erica Tanov wallpaper to create a dramatic feature wall at the back of the room. I’m in love with the gold foil. It’s the perfect backdrop for my storage system. I worked with local organizing guru Bliss Haus to design a beautiful laundry supply storage system. Every cleaning product I need is decanted into glass jars for a clean, uniform look. There are even jars to collect dryer lint and lost socks! The custom print labels are so cool. It really took the room to the next level. A modern white and wood metal Japanese basket holds other key cleaning solutions like white vinegar, water and scented room spray. Because sometimes laundry rooms just get funky.

laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34laundry room makeover reveal on apartment 34

I also used jars with natural wooden lids from Jenni Kayne to mix in a organic modern touch to the design. To create even more texture and save my bare feet on cold days, a vintage Moroccan dhurrie rug from St Frank was added to the floor. The golden tones warm up the room and tie in with the Erica Tanov wallpaper’s golden hue.

My favorite design idea in the space might have to be the Meghan Shimek weaving I found at local San Francisco boutique The Podolls. I needed something to conceal our electric panel! The wall hanging does the job perfectly. A fiddle leaf fig and white textured planter from my favorite local florist Flora Grubb adds life and a pop of rich color.

All these elements come together to create my dream laundry room. I can do loads and loads while loving my surroundings. One more room down. Many many more to go!

Check out our entire archive of house updates and all the rooms completed to date HERE.

For more of my favorite house tours, CLICK HERE.


original photography for Apartment 34 by aubrie pick 

The alternative title to this post could also be “an embarrassing sneak peek into my filthy master bathroom.” While I regularly espouse an ideal way to move through life, I’m the first to admit that I often fall short of practicing what I preach. Because #reality. Case in point, my master bath. After years crammed into tiny loft spaces with even tinier bathrooms, I thought I’d stepped into heaven when I finally created my dream master bathroom.

But sadly, I let the expanse of space get the best of me. Slowly but surely my dream oasis transformed into a hotbed of clutter, grit, and grime. The problem with drawers? You can hide all your problems in them! However, I’ve got the spring cleaning fever and so last week I decided to get down and dirty, dig out all the clutter, fully deep clean my vanity and return my master bath to its dream state – as nature and my design originally intended. I was so committed to this project that I even decided to make a video documenting the entire thing! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check it out.

For those who do prefer to read, I’m also recapping my process below. I hope it inspires you to deep clean the trouble spots in your house.

Here’s the Before of my vanity. #Nojudgements

And now the after. Ahhhhh.

How do you think I did with my spring clean??

I took three very simple steps to tackle my mess and I wanted to share them with you today because this makeover is proof positive that cleaning a seemingly overwhelming mess is not only possible but oddly satisfying.

STEP ONE: The Purge. I went through each vanity drawer and ditched anything that was old, unused or no longer wanted. Turns out I’m a bit of a hoarder! I was also ruthless about what I kept. That face mask sample I got that some Sunday night I’ll finally try? Out. Random deep conditioner for my hair that I’ve used once? Gone. The multivitamin I swore I’d start taking that’s probably three years old? Ta-ta. If I wasn’t using it on the daily or hadn’t touched it at least once in the last three months – it had to go. I won’t sugar coat it. Sorting through all my stuff did take a couple of hours, but for those of you who don’t hold onto seven year’s worth of makeup (no joke), you should be able to get through the purge stage much quicker.

STEP TWO: Deep Clean. With the vanity completely empty, I got down to the task of deep cleaning. Thankfully Clorox® made it super easy with their Disinfecting Wipes. I was able to deep clean each corner and crevice, not only of my drawers but also of things like my toothbrush holder, trays and drawer organizers easily removing the unwanted germs and grime that may have been lurking there with one swipe. A thorough wipe down of the vanity’s exterior with Clorox® Scentiva Multi-Purpose Cleaner meant my counters, sink, faucet and even drawer hardware got the deep clean they desperately needed. Scentiva Multi-Purpose Cleaner has a custom-blended scent so my vanity was not only disinfected but also smelled of lavender. And this step took less than 15 minutes!

STEP THREE: Organize & Prioritize. This process starts with the removing of the things. Then there is the putting back of the things. Hopefully, if you’ve successfully purged, the number of things will be a lot less. I also highly recommend investing in drawer organizers. I more than quadrupled my number of bins and trays to keep makeup, skincare, hair stuff and all those other bathroom odds and ends corralled.

Then I grouped things strategically. Everything I touch each morning and evening either went into a bin in my top drawer or into a tray on my countertop (the place of pride for the pretty bath products – not where I put my stretch mark cream!). I finally organized my makeup so all my brushes were in one easy-to-access cup. My favorite products were all grouped together for quick access. And yes, I did keep a hand cream, face cream and facial mask (or three or four) but I made sure they each had a place – so I always know exactly what I have. If your bathroom is too crammed with products, you’re never going to actually use any of them. Now I know I’ve got a good moisturizing mask, a deep cleanser and an exfoliant that I can mix into my nightly routine every week.

So there you have it! I was able to make (relatively) quick work of getting my vanity back to its dream state and I’m committed to making sure it doesn’t slide back into that gross situation again. My Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes have their own spot in my vanity so I can whip them out and make sure those drawers stay clean on the regular.

Still not convinced you can do this too? Check out the video we made that breaks down how to tackle your spring deep clean (and gives you more of a tour of my bathroom!).

The Secret to a Seriously Good Deep Clean from Erin Hiemstra on Vimeo.

This post is in partnership with Clorox®. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

original photography & video production for Apt34 by Andrea Posadas Creative

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 | 1-800Lighting.com

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 | 1-800-Lighting.com 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 | 1-800-Lighting.com‘s expertise. This isn’t just a warehouse experience of buying lights off a (virtual) shelf. Amazingly,Capitol Lighting | 1-800-Lighting.com 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 | 1-800-Lighting.com‘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 | 1-800Lighting.com 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 | 1-800Lighting.com 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 | 1-800Lighting.com. 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!

This post is in partnership with Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open.

While I still might a have a bit of holiday shopping left, I’m so ready to put up that out of office message and settle in for a long winter’s nap. Anyone else with me?? Thankfully, we don’t travel during the holidays. But with a toddler and no babysitters in sight we don’t do much either. This year, I don’t mind one bit. Our house is finally, finally, finally coming together (did you catch this major sneak peek?). So this Christmas I’m fully embracing my homebody ways – especially now that I can tuck into my favorite holiday movies without a behemoth of a TV taking over my living room.

how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34
Yup, that gorgeous piece of art taking center stage over my credenza is, in fact, the Samsung Frame TV. This is a TV made for us – the design obsessed, aesthetically-minded out there (no shame in that game). Created in collaboration with designer Yves Béhar, the Samsung Frame is the most beautiful TV you’ve never seen (catch that pun!). The Frame challenges the traditional black box TV by integrating a beautiful design with the high-quality display we expect these days, especially my tech-obsessed husband.  Its customizable frame has the flexibility to perfectly complement any space, with three bezel options in wood, white or metal (mine is metal).

how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34

The Frame transforms into a beautiful work of art when you’re not watching TV by displaying a gallery of 100 professionally curated pieces of art from different genres. I love how the line drawing I chose pairs so nicely with my prints from Minted. It totally goes with my pseudo-Scandi holiday vibe. You can also upload and display your personal photographs of family and friends if you prefer. One of my favorite features is The Frame’s Brightness Sensor. It allows you to enjoy your art in any lighting, automatically adjusting the color and brightness to the ambient light in the room. The art always looks natural regardless of where it is or what the time of day. It’s a perfect feature for our moody living room (deets about the room are here).

how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34

Now that we have The Frame, I love curling up on our sofa with a few Christmas treats and a favorite holiday movie for at-home date nights. While the two-year-old sleeps, we indulge in oatmeal cookies (the liquid kind – details here) and a different movie each night. Required viewing includes White Christmas – love me some Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney – and The Holiday, Love Actually, The Family Stone and Elf. There are the Harry Potter movies too (fellow nerds out there??). Regardless of what we’re watching, the picture looks great thanks to the lifelike, crisp picture in 4K HDR Pro, which has amazing rich color and contrast with four times more pixels than full HD. That pleases the husband to no end (I think I can tell the difference). But I’m really thrilled that when TV Mode is off and Art Mode is on, the toddler has no idea there’s even a TV on the wall. To him, it’s just another piece of art. Now that’s a Christmas miracle.

how to have a cozy christmas on apartment 34

I’m curious – what are some of your favorite holiday movies? Old classics? Current movies? I still don’t get the tradition of watching Die Hard at Christmas. Can someone please explain it to me? I could add one or two new movie nights to our rotation. I’ll take any excuse to cuddle on the couch from now until 2018.

photography by leslie santarina 

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 Overstock.com 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.  

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