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.
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.
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.
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
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
Over the years, our Designer Files series has profiled everyone from renowned Faye Toogood to a rurl good Ikea collection. A Parisian apartment we featured as part of the series is one of the most popular posts in the entire Apt34 10 year history. But yesterday’s house tour has me in an all-things-european mood and thankfully, I’ve found the lighting to match. If you’ve been wondering who was going to be the next Workstead, well remember you heard it here first folks. All my lighting-loving-friends, meet the latest addition to our Designer Files: Wo & Wé.
This stunning collection of wall and ceiling mount pendants, sconces and swing-arm lamps makes my Serge Mouille-obsessed heart skip a beat. While this lighting feels as if it might be vintage, it is in fact being designed and made right now in a beautiful studio in the Lyon region of France. But the designs are timeless.
While many describe the collection as “industrial,” I see these fixtures as anything but. I think they work beautifully in even the most refined of settings.
The Anvers two-arm lamp is definitely one of my favorites.
The fixtures all come in customizable formations with a mix of shade options and can be either plug-in or hardwired. And ranging in price from from $480 – $1,000 you’re getting an insane amount of style for the investment.
There are still one or two lighting holes left in our house and I’m definitely trying to figure out how to fill one with Wo & Wé. For seemingly endless inspiration be sure to give Wo & Wé a follow on Instagram too.
For the entire Designer Files archive, CLICK HERE.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Having art on the walls of your home can help you feel settled, whether it’s a temporary rental or your forever home. There are many different methods to displaying fine art in your home. The traditional way of a hammer and a nail will get you pretty far, but you can elevate your design by incorporating some of the following ideas.
Buying fine art is just the beginning of the process. How you display your new art can make or break the impact it can have on your space.
Every person has a different taste in art, and it doesn’t matter if you are interested in impressionists or contemporary abstracts; there is a place for your art in your home. Artwork is meant to be enjoyed daily. It can bring together the theme of a cozy beach house or give a nursery an adorable feature for your baby to look at.
Here are eight unique and fun ways to display fine art in your home:
Gallery Walls up the Staircase:
If you have a set of stairs in your home, you likely trudge up and down them multiple times per day. It can be a fun reminder of good memories every time you march up to bed or come down for coffee first thing in the morning. Stairs are an excellent place to hang small prints that would look out of place in other rooms. Gather them together to make a feature wall.
Often, a gallery wall on the stairs contains family portraits that continue to grow as your family does. You can choose this method for a more conservative look or make it more interesting by using brightly colored frames and cataloging your vacations and everyday memories.
Hang Art From the Ceiling:
These days, nearly everyone hangs a frame from a nail in a wall or with sticky strips that don’t damage the walls. Add interest to your space by putting a hook in the ceiling and dangling your artwork from above. This can add depth to your room and draw attention to a unique ceiling feature, such as a reclaimed wood ceiling or a decorative chandelier.
Be sure to hand these frames close to a wall so they do not become a hazard when walking by, and use a strong string to prevent your art from being damaged. If you can’t drill holes in the ceiling, consider a gallery rod or a piece of picture rail molding to dangle your artwork.
Use Three Dimensions:
Framed art is often two dimensional, and while it adds interest to the space, you can make your display stand out even more by adding three-dimensional objects to your collection. You can combine these two to create a one of a kind art feature in your home.
Relate these objects to the painting or print to not distract from the original piece. A photo of a beach or the ocean can be combined with shells or sea glass mosaics to bring more life to the artwork.
Use a Bookshelf:
If your walls are full or you just don’t have any space to hang a frame on the wall, use your bookshelves to incorporate a few frames. These can be standard freestanding bookshelves, floating shelves, or you can lean the frame on top of your desk or dresser. Set your beautifully painted image of a garden next to your vintage copy of The Secret Garden.
Using frames, books, and objects will create interest and allow you to view your collections simultaneously. This method is also easily changed if you are the type of person that likes to mix up your decor now and then.
A bright-colored chair in a room or rug can add intrigue to the room. Multiply this by creating a small gallery featuring the same color as this object. It will help bring the room together and make it seem more cohesive. Use abstracts or simple pieces to draw the color into space.
Be sure not to overdo it and use moderation when using bright colors in a room. They can seem busy or hurtful to look at if there are too many. If the accent color in the room is blue, use different shades of blue to provide your eyes something easy to look at.
There is no law stating that your frames must be in line with each other and never be out of place. You are free to do what speaks to you by clustering small frames together or using one larger piece to keep it simple.
If you feel a little daring, offset your frames on the wall so they are not centered, drawing attention to a piece of furniture or a feature of your home. Eyes are drawn toward offset patterns, and it can create drama in the room.
Don’t Use Frames:
If you are unsure about the pieces, you have or are interested in a more casual display, skip the frames altogether and go with bare images. Without frames, a print can be more fragile, so it may be recommended to attach the paper to a stiff piece of cardboard. Otherwise, your prints will be blowing in every breeze and could be harmed.
Frames can also be expensive, and if you want to hang a large number of prints, it is cost-effective to go without them. Leaving your art without frames creates a bohemian atmosphere and can enhance your overall decor.
Use a Gallery Light:
You can highlight a single piece or collection of works by installing a gallery light over the artwork. These lights are relatively inexpensive but will increase the drama of the art. The lighting in our homes changes throughout the day, and you might not always be able to see your artwork.
There is a reason that artwork in museums is always adequately lit so you, the viewer, can experience it the way it was intended to be seen. If you have more than one piece, consider track lighting on the ceiling.
No Wrong Way:
In the end, it is your decision on how you want to display the artwork you have collected over time. You can use one or all of these ideas in a single home, but be sure not to overwhelm yourself and your guests with too many things to look at. Have space where the eye can rest, such as a wall with only one piece of artwork or an open space on the floor.
Before choosing where you want to place your artwork, ensure that it is the proper size for the wall or shelf, you are placing it on. If it is too small or too large, it can draw unwanted attention and distract from its intended purpose.
Make your home a place where you enjoy spending time and allow yourself to enjoy the small luxuries of getting that piece of artwork you’ve meant to put out on display.
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It doesn’t matter if you are interested in impressionists or contemporary abstracts; there is a place for your art in your home! Explore eight unique ways to display art in your home.
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.
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.
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!
If you checked in on our Sunset Bungalow update last week, you saw our first paint color dilemma in the bathroom. The overwhelming majority of you voiced your support for painting the back wall of Chloe’s bath with the color Positively Pink T18-01 from my partner Behr paint’s 2018 Color Trend palette.While we’re going to wait to reveal our final design decisions until the entire house is complete, the vote went so well we wanted to get your opinion yet again! Today we’re talking fireplaces.
Chloe is lucky enough to have a fireplace with a gorgeous deco-inspired mantel in her living room. I’m obsessed. But the fireplace is also a bit of a difficult design element. It sits on an odd angled wall tucked into the corner of the living room’s west side. You can’t center furniture around it. You wouldn’t put a TV over it. Instead, it has to be treated more like an art installation rather than a place to congregate. So we’re going to run with that.
As I worked on the living room design, I realized this was another great opportunity to insert innovative use of paint. When we fell in love with Behr’s 2018 Color Trend hue Equilibrium T18-20, we immediately wanted to add the deep, rich green to this spot. The image below is our current design inspiration.
Since Chloe’s fireplace isn’t functional, we decided it’s the perfect place to showcase her love of plants, as in the image above. Grounding the fireplace in Behr’s deep, sophisticated green will make a perfect backdrop for a mini urban jungle. But we would love your thoughts on one key choice.
Our first option is to simply highlight the chimney chase with Equilibrium T18-20. This options feels a bit more traditional and classic.
However, we’re seriously considering the idea of turning the corner with the paint color. By adding a second wall (per your questions in the comments, this wall is actually about 3 feet wide and abuts a doorframe), the effect is more graphic. It feels influenced by modern cubism. And like the inspiration image, it will create a little corner that can house both plants and possibly a little chair or stool.
So what say you? Are you feeling the bolder look of Option Two? Or are you more drawn to the traditional look option one. Please weigh in by commenting on this post as we would love to know!
For all the details about the Sunset Bungalow Project RIGHT HERE.
This post is in partnership with Behr. All thoughts are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept apartment 34’s doors open.
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.
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 youremember 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
As the tulips begin to bloom and the cherry trees bud out, I’m feeling SO excited for the arrival of spring! After a season of nothing of heavy jackets and heavier news headlines here’s hoping the new season tap dances in all airy and light.
While you’re probably being inundated by the “what you need right now” posts, rather than frantically try to incorporate this season’s “trends” into your world, why not opt for timeless, classic silhouettes, less is more design and quality staples that you’ll love for years to come. Refined style all the way baby.
The formula for classic style is fairly straightforward. Step one: pick a monochromatic color palette and run with it. White is my favorite pretty much all year round, but then comes camel, gray and maybe a touch of navy. Exciting? Not necessarily but you’ll never look at your closet nor your living room and suddenly hate what you see. I’m really loving a head to toe monochromatic look – or a tone on tone room.
And even though they’re called basics, minimal pieces – be they for your closet or your home – can be anything but. If you invest in high-quality materials – think cashmere, Japanese linen, good chunky knits, supple leathers – the craftsmanship is going to stand out in the fast-fashion (and fast everything) crowd. And the details don’t have to be boring. I’m obsessed with the oversized cuff of Anna Quan’s shirts. Levi’s and Citizens of Humanity are doing some very cool vintage denim. High waists, good tailoring or dramatically oversized pieces keep your look feeling fresh.
For your home, think about just going along and removing the top layer of crap. While stuff can add personality and texture to your home, it can also begin to suffocate the space. If you boil things down to what is truly essential or truly gorgeous, you’ll find you appreciate what’s around you more. When things get overstuffed I feel like our eyes don’t see them anymore. I love really architectural bowls or ceramics. A refined bench in a hallway or a large piece of art leaning against a wall catches your eye. And never underestimate the power of a good plant.
So as spring makes its debut, it’s the ideal time to whittle things back to the basics. Set aside the 5-10 things you actually wear and then gather everything else in a giant pile. Walk around your living room and look at anything you don’t ever use or enjoy looking at. Do you see yourself wearing anything in that pile in the next six months? Do you see yourself missing something from your space? If not, out it goes. Consign the good stuff and donate the rest. Then you can fill in any gaps with the aforementioned minimal basics. Trust me, you’ll feel ten times lighter and ten times happier every time you open your closet or walk through your house.
SHOP REFINED SPRING STYLE
images in order of appearance fitgny / neustadt / pinterest / pinterest / stairway /apt34 archive / sfgirlbybay / shaina mote
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 Design. Hopefully 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.
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!
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.