Apartments Living

Six Fresh, New 2020 Decorating Trends

Six Fresh, New 2020 Decorating Trends

You’ve heard about new year, new you – now, get ready for new year, new apartment decor. After all, the way you decorate your apartment is an extension of your personality and interests! If you’re feeling sparse on decor inspiration, check out these six fresh, new 2020 decorating trends to get a jumpstart on sprucing up your apartment.

1. Vintage vibes

Say goodbye to your folding chairs and hello to non-collapsible seats with spindles, spooled legs, and other decorative flourishes that call older eras to mind. Metal-frame benches, wooden pallet shelves, and recycled side tables are just some of the many other ways you can bring vintage vibes into your apartment – and there’s no shortage of methods for doing it yourself.

2. Floral fun

Flowers die, but flower-patterned decor doesn’t. Whether you’re down for the effort that comes with putting up wallpaper or just want to hang some cute prints of hydrangeas and roses, flower patterns are among the biggest new 2020 decorating trends. Your floral decor options might best suit your bathroom or living room.

3. Canopy beds

Apartment life often means a full bed on a basic wooden frame (or, if you’re economizing for space, a frame with storage). One of the most unexpected new 2020 decorating trends, then, is the resurgence of canopy beds. Though long associated with luxury, these large, tall best frames first originated as frames for ensuring both warmth and privacy. Though they may seem extravagant, this might be one of the new 2020 decorating trends best equipped to keep you comfy at night.

4. Olive trees

Just as with yard sales, you don’t need a yard to grow an olive tree. Plant one in a vase near a west- or south-facing window in your apartment to add a verdant piece of timeless decor to your apartment. Make sure to buy a dwarf olive tree, though, because full-size ones can quickly grow to be taller than your apartment can accommodate. Follow these tips to properly care for your olive tree, and if you do an especially good job, your tree might even grow olives you can use in the kitchen.

5. Antique art

Paintings, prints, and other framed portraits have long been a leading category of decorations, but the art subcategory dominating home decor seems to fluctuate constantly. Trends for 2020 predict that antique art will lead the pack, in large part because its aged look and vague rendering of events quickly fascinate guests in your apartment. You can easily find antique art on e-commerce sites or at art galleries in your area, but keep in mind that antique art can be expensive.

6. Multi-seat bathrooms

If you have space to fit another seat in your bathroom, then 2020 is the year to make it happen. As bath bombs and other bathroom-based self-care treatments have become more prevalent, bathrooms have gradually become more communal spaces (though certainly not for all occasions), so buying small benches, window seats, stools, and other bathroom fixtures is among the freshest new decorating trends for 2020.

What decorative changes do you plan to make in 2020? Share your ideas in the comments!

Published at Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:19:27 +0000

Apartments Living

Studio Photography: Get Perfect Shots for Yourself

There are different elements that you need to remember because it is very much different outdoor shooting. You are the one who is doing the photography and so it is important for you to know about the setting which you want for the photographs to come out great.  Everything is under your control. It is also possible for you to make a false set for a shoot in studio photography.

Types of Studio Photography

Several kinds of shoots can be arranged inside a studio. Studio photography is very much effective for both formal and informal shots. Studio photography Johannesburg is possible for the following shoots.

With the massive use of social media and several messaging apps, everyone wants to look beautiful and cool on the platforms. The need to look good in front of others can be a vital thing for you. If you do really stick to the selfies and pictures, opt for the studio photography to get some of the best shots of your profile.

If you are a businesswoman and the product you are selling is lipstick, then it is a must for you to show some of the best shades that you have in your collection to let other people about them. Apart from the product photography Johannesburg of the lipsticks, you can simply wear them one by one and pose in front of the camera to show how beautiful your customers can look when they buy them from you.

If you love to click pictures of yourself, then it is a must for you to have some inside a studio. It may be for your work or just for posting on your social media handles. Studio photography Johannesburg for your portrait can be great fun. You can take one hour or more depending on your will.

You can also go for studio photography for your entire family. You might want to keep some pictures on the walls of your house which represent the unity among your family members. You can wear color co-ordinated clothes for making it simple and classy.

If you are a makeup artistArticle Search, it is essential for you to showcase some of your best makeup done to get more clients. Studio photography can be done for that matter. Product photography Johannesburg can also be chosen by you to tell what kind of makeup you use. Think of any theme for the makeup shoot to get some of the best pictures. Post the pictures on your social media and see the number of clients calling you!

Apartments Living

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

Who’s Getting App Fatigue?

There’s an app for that.  There seems to be an app for almost everything these days!  Then why do so many of us feel app weary or fatigued? Are these apps adding value to our lives? Why do we need all these apps?  With Central Media Solution’s new IVR call management system, Call Assist 247, no app needed. There is snap photo or video functionality using the native tools in our smart phones. The apartment resident calls in an after-hours service request and the maintenance tech on call, requests a photo or video getting image showing water coming out of the ceiling of an apartment. Seamless communication without an app. (Source: Vanilla plus)

I am blessed to be of an age where I can recall the excitement of getting a colored television. Soon we were playing “Pong” Pong was a table tennis sports game that was one of the first video games. How exciting it was to see the little white blip bounce along the television screen. Soon Atria and ColecoVision battled it out in the 80’s to bring the arcade experience into our homes. Then……this thing called the Internet. To access the world wide web, you needed to use a dial up router through your phone system. While you were on the internet, you could not make any outgoing or receive incoming telephone calls. But no worries because we had pagers to help us be accessible 24/7.

Fast forward to cordless phones that look like a small “brick” and paired with a pager, gave us the ability to be more mobile with our information. We jumped from razor and flip phones to the first Blackberry allowing us to read email and respond immediately. We can work from anywhere now!  But the release of the first iPhone in the UK changed our world forever. Because now we have smart phones and we are so much smarter.  To stay smart, we need lots of apps to help us do stuff better than ever before.

The average person could have over 100 apps on their smart phone. I thought this seemed high, so I checked the settings on my android phone and was shocked to see that I have 91 apps. How the heck did I get so many apps and am I using them all? What the heck is eBay Attribution? It’s even scarier that if I try to remove an app, I get a message effectively saying that “removing this app may disable my data”! Now I am anxious that I could break my phone.

Call Assist 247  understands that technology needs to be intuitive and simple for every generation. Having one less app for us to download makes Call Assist 247 a smart choice for your property management answering service and call management. We were built specifically for multifamily with the goal of helping your leasing and maintenance teams communication seamlessly with your valued residents. Our system allows your residents to send a video or photo of their maintenance issue while your residents receives a photo of the maintenance technician coming to make their repair. No app to download. Out tools work on every mobile phone. So, if you are app weary, we hear you!

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:48:14 +0000

Apartments Living

10 Things People Never Tell You About Your First Apartment

10 Things People Never Tell You About Your First Apartment

Whether you’re ready to fly the coop from on-campus housing, recently graduated or simply stepping off on your own for the first time, moving into your first apartment can be a wonderful and exciting experience.

It’s an opportunity to carve out and design a home that feels truly yours, and to physically manifest this new step you’ve taken. But because there are more than a few ways to get it wrong, here are 10 things people never tell you about your first apartment that will make you an “adulting” pro.

1. You have to be realistic about what you can afford

One of the most common errors committed by new and eager renters is the underestimation of monthly costs. When hunting for your new home, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking that the maximum price you’re able to spend each month is the amount you’re able to dedicate to rent.

However, renters would be well-advised to subtract their anticipated food, utilities, travel and other incidental costs from their total monthly budget before settling on a price range for an apartment.

2. If you plan to stick around, plan ahead


If you anticipate staying put for longer than one year and don’t want to stomach moving costs again any time soon, it’s helpful to know that your rent will likely go up when you renew.

If you push yourself up against your maximum possible rent in year one, you’ll be hard-pressed in year two. Leave yourself some room on your first lease or sign for longer than one year!

3. Higher rent may be worth included utilities

Like all rules, there are always exceptions and factors to consider. A rent figure which may be prohibitive at first glance may actually be worth it for a host of nonobvious reasons.

Setting aside community amenities, your sticker shock may actually be unwarranted if your rent includes what would otherwise be additional, standalone costs. Ask your property manager if things like cable, water or electricity are included before you dismiss a unit out of hand!

4. Know what’s important to you


More is not always better. Before you hunt, take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you in your new home. Is a pool critical? Do you have a furry friend who needs somewhere to walk?

The answers to questions like these will help you both select and eliminate properties. Just because an amenity is offered doesn’t make the property any more valuable to you in the long run.

5. Tour the unit

When it comes to apartment hunting, pictures are not worth a thousand words. Property managers will always put their best foot forward in digital marketing materials. The rooms will always look well-lit and the facilities will always look well-maintained.

Trust but verify. Remember that this apartment will be your home, and even something as subjective as the “feel” of a room can make a huge difference once you’re moved in.

6. Investing in a tool kit will pay dividends


You’ll be shocked how often this comes in handy. For everything from hanging pictures to measuring for furniture, buying your first real set of tools is absolutely essential in your first month and beyond.

And treat the definition of “tools” loosely. You’ll want to have batteries and mounting hooks on hand to go with your screwdrivers and mallets. The hex wrenches included with furniture sets are woefully insufficient, believe me.

7. So will kitchen trappings

I can’t stress this enough. When you first move in, it will be hard to fight the urge to treat your new living arrangement like a never-ending sleepover. But delivery adds up and the fridge will not stock itself.

Invest in a decent set of utensils, plates and glasses. Outfit yourself with pots and pans, and then learn to use them. What’s more worthy of your time and energy than food? I didn’t think so.

8. Cleaning has a whole new meaning


Alas, the days when a tube of Clorox wipes and a trusty Dust Devil were sufficient are over. It’s time to learn how to clean. Your new apartment will have more types of surfaces and will require more attention than you’re used to.

But it’s remarkable how cathartic cleaning your apartment will be once you accept that dust will remain without your intervention and that glass cannot be cleaned in the same way as your floor. A good vacuum is never a bad idea, and even sinks need a good scrub on occasion.

9. Pest control is a must

Your community may offer pest-control as part of your rent, on request or not at all. If either of the latter two is true for you, get and stay on top of it. Request pest control once each month or make sure you have bug spray and ant traps on hand.

There’s nothing worse than turning a light on in your new, beautiful apartment and watching little critters scurry away. And once it starts, it’s very hard to get under control, so a little prevention goes a long way.

10. Your new home should reflect your stage of life


Finally, remember that this move marks a beginning. This apartment is not a dorm room and it’s not your childhood bedroom. It should reflect who you are right now and who you plan to be.

One need not break the bank to design an apartment that’s both cozy and grown-up. Use online resources like Dwell and garage sales. Invest in durable furniture and accessories that make your new home feel truly yours. As a bonus, if you do it well, you shouldn’t have to re-furnish for many years to come.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:10:15 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

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How to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

If you’re struggling with how much space you have in your apartment, you’re not alone. Rentals are getting smaller across the nation, giving us less square footage to work with in new and old buildings.

Fortunately, there are plenty of small bedroom ideas you can use to make the room look bigger. Whether you’re moving to a new place or just want to upgrade your most intimate space, here are eight tiny bedroom ideas to get you started:

Apply light-colored paint

Light colors reflect light, while darker colors absorb it, making the space seem more constricting.


Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 11:32:26 +0000

Apartments Living

Going Dark on Social Media

Going Dark on Social Media

Going Dark on Social Media

Weidner Apartment Homes, the 15th largest owner of apartments in the US, announced in December of 2019 that it will suspend it’s use of Facebook to better protect the privacy and data of its residents and business operations. They will be looking at new in-house options that are safe, secure and easy to use. (Source: Multifamily Press) That’s why Central Media Solution added Call Assist 24/7 to their suite of print solutions for Multifamily.

Many companies are starting to “go dark” with their print marketing in the past few years. They believed that people would prefer using the internet versus reading a magazine. This was another example of a bold decision. Who takes the time to read any more? Lots of folks.  Print does not require another new password or leave a trail of cookies with every page that you turn. It provides a story through content and pictures.  Central Media Solution is a publisher of many targeted magazines such as Apartment Magz and  New Homes Monthly and their latest pub, The Vender Guide. People are craving for print once again. Especially our seniors who prefer print than Internet as the Boomer generation downsizes to look for an apartment home.

Fake news has been an ongoing concern and alternative facts are now accepted as commonplace. (Source: The Guardian) Facebook has suspended about 400 apps associated with developers.  Many people are returning to conventional venues for information such as newsprint, radio and TV. Weidner is looking for simple and easy to use solutions to communicate with their residents. But can we just disconnect from social media? And why are we as consumers so easily addicted to “likes” and “shares”?

Technologies improved our daily living.  It can be used to enhance our lives. Social media gives people a forum to express their opinions and connect with companies, family and friends. At first the multifamily industry was very cautious of social. Then we dipped our big toe in the Facebook ocean to see what would happen. Negative and positive reviews poured into our profile pages. These negative reviews were scary, but we learned that they are an opportunity to show how we respond to our residents and solve their issues. That’s telling a positive story. We focused on increasing our followers, post likes and linked our websites to channel our leads in-house creating SEO. Is Social media a monster to be tamed or another solution in our leasing toolbox?

Each company will have to NAVIGATE their way through the fake news and concerns of data safety. Is Weidner being a visionary by “going dark” on Facebook? Planning to look for simple, safe and easy technology is a very smart decision indeed. That’s why Central Media Solution has created Call Assist 24/7 . Its simple, easy call management platform designed with feedback from on-sites in multifamily. It has no Apps, snap photo feature and uses the native tools our cell phones to communicate in real time. And all info is easily updated and stored in the cloud. Call Assist 24/7 is a game changer for call management… just what you are looking for now!

Published at Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:51:22 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Hire a Real Estate Agent — and Be Their Best Client Ever

How to Hire a Real Estate Agent — and Be Their Best Client Ever

When you buy a home, your agent is effectively a business partner. You’re both working toward the same goal: Closing a real estate deal. That’s why it’s in your best interest to to know both how to hire a real estate agent and how to build a good relationship with them.

Because the better an ally you are, the better an ally your agent will be. Here’s how to pick a real estate agent and work well with them.

1. Know What You Want

A lot of home buyers dive into the house hunt with no idea what
they want, so the first and best way to be a good client is to know exactly
what you’re looking for in a house.

Ask yourself a couple of basic questions. What’s my budget? What type of house do I want, single family or town home? Is there a design style I must have? A neighborhood I need to be in?  

Knowing these specifics – and telling them to your agent – will help him find homes that match your criteria. Because neither you nor your agent wants to waste time looking at dozens of houses that aren’t even close to what you have in mind.

“Over-communicating your intentions and goals is a really good
idea,” says Ashton Gustafson, an agent with the Bishop Group in Wichita Falls,

Knowing exactly what you want can help you know how to pick a real estate agent, too. Some agents specialize in certain neighborhoods, and some specialize in old houses or particular architectural styles.

2. Meet Agents In Person

It’s fine to start off your relationship with an agent via email, text, and phone, but before you hire him to work with you, set up a meeting. Yep, do a face-to-face interview.

It’s a good idea to interview three agents before picking one. Here
are some questions you should ask:

  • How long have
    they been an agent?
  • What
    neighborhoods do they specialize in?
  • How many
    homes they’ve helped people buy in the last year?
  • How many clients are they’re currently working with?

Meeting in person can help both sides determine compatibility and establish
trust. To the agent, meeting them IRL is a sign you’re serious about buying.

“When I ask a question of a buyer, if I can’t see their face
(then) I can’t see their reaction, and I have no idea if I’m really getting the
emotions that are behind their answers,” says Jackie Leavenworth, an agent and
real estate industry coach in Cleveland, Ohio.

3. Set Up Expectations for Communication

Tell your agent how you’d like to stay in touch during the buying process.  Do you do prefer texts? Facebook messenger? Or do you like old-fashioned phone calls (Telephone calls: Still a thing!)

Tell them how often you expect to hear from them, too. Daily? Weekly?
And tell them the best times of day to reach you, too.

“My successful buyers ask what kind of communication they’ll have
with me,” says Thai Hung Nguyen, an agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real
Estate Premier in Washington, D.C. “My answer to them is always, ‘It’s totally
up to you.’” 

4. Be Respectful

Be mindful of an agent’s time. Don’t flake on showings. Be

If you disagree with your agent, respectfully tell them why. 

Resist the urge to freak out if the agent doesn’t immediately respond to a text or phone call. “People hire me because I jump through hoops, but I also need buyers to know that I have a life, too,” says Leavenworth, the Cleveland agent.

5. Get Organized

We told you communicating your wants to your agent was key. Here’s a good way to do it: Write them down. We recommend filling out our first-time buyer’s worksheet.

Give a copy to the agent. He’ll be better able to find homes that match your criteria. 

You should also have your financial records in order. This means getting pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval for a mortgage says you’re serious about buying a house and not just window shopping.

“Anything we do without a loan approval letter is pure
speculation,” says Marki Lemons-Ryhal, an agent and social media strategist for
real estate in Chicago. 

6. Admit What You Don’t Know

Real estate transactions are complicated. Don’t be embarrassed if
you don’t know what all the terms mean, or what to expect from each step of the

If you don’t know what escrow means, ask. If you’re confused about
the terms of an offer, say so. It’s totally normal to ask an agent for a little
hand-holding — that’s what they’re there for. 

Part of knowing how to hire a real estate agent is finding one you trust enough to tell you things you don’t know.

7. Don’t Play The Field With Other Agents

If you’re working with an agent who is hustling for you, don’t dally around with another agent. In real estate, just as in romance, that’s cheating. It can backfire by damaging your relationship with your agent.

If your agent finds out you’ve got other agents showing you houses, he may prioritize other clients. So a big part of knowing how to pick a real estate agent is knowing that you need to stand by your agent once you hire him.

In fact, it’s in both your interest and the agent’s to sign a buyer’s broker agreement for a set period of time. The agreements spell out the rights and duties of both parties, including exclusivity.

Related: Here’s How You’ll Know You Found the Right Agent

Published at Sun, 26 Jan 2020 15:47:42 +0000

Apartments Living

A Gorgeous New Design Spot – The House

A Gorgeous New Design Spot – The House

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

Published at Fri, 20 Dec 2019 17:02:07 +0000

Apartments Living

This Old Victorian Reveal: 2nd Floor, Before, Design & After

This Old Victorian Reveal: 2nd Floor, Before, Design & After

Finally, finally the full reveal of the before, design and after of the upstairs floor of This Old Victorian is here! Finishing the second floor – specifically our master bedroom – really marked the culmination of this crazy five year renovation project. And I couldn’t be happier with the final result. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Ahhhh, there’s the grown up master bedroom I’ve been dreaming about – basically for an entire decade. But let’s back up and start from the very beginning. Because it’s a very good place to start!

We actually did the more dramatic and extensive renovation of our upper floor, (as compared to the ground floor), if you can believe that. While the original layout featured four bedrooms, it actually left a tremendous amount of wasted space. And with only one teeny tiny totally insufficient bathroom, it really was not practical for how we live today. So we went to work. Nearly 24 months of work to be exact. The original floor plan for our upper level is on your left, the remodel on your right.

As you can see from the plans above, we accomplished three major things with our overhaul of the upstairs:

  • Removed the second set of stairs, reclaiming a significant amount of usable floor space
  • Created an entire new kid’s bath using the fainting room off the front bedroom
  • Built a master suite, connecting unused hallways, the original bathroom & the fourth bedroom

While our new layout did result in losing a bedroom, now there is not a single square foot of wasted space and I have the master of my dreams. So everyone wins! Now for those oh so glamorous Before shots.

This space was once…scary and then became our soothing guest room.

Our master bedroom had an auspicious beginning. We filled in that archway, created a second closet and obviously that fireplace (and the pink ceiling!) had to go!

There was nothing really masterful about the original “master bath.” But it made a great walk-in closet for me!

What is now my son’s room started off the same color as the original Apt 34. How’s that for full circle?

Can you imagine a lovely vanity against that left wall and a deep soaking tub under that window?? Nope, I can hardly envision it either. But keep scrolling to see how we got there.

Here is a peek at the 2nd floor in process.

Demo of what was to become my master closet and master bath. As I mentioned in the post about our first floor, we had to take everything down to the studs to replace all of the knob and tube wiring, add in modern plumbing, add insulation (the entire house wasn’t insulated) fix rot in the framing and floors…we discovered more problems as we went of course. A renovation is often like a pandora’s box of problems!

This view looks from the stairwell back into what would become the second upstairs bathroom.

We made sure to preserve original 1860s architectural details like the arched hallway transitions and the glass transoms above each door.

What lath and plaster looks like when scraped back to its bare bones. I actually think it’s quite lovely. I’m so thrilled we were able to save the original molding and window trim.

It’s alway a good idea to lay out your floor tile pattern as a test run before the gluing begins.

Once the new floors went in, I thought we were so close. And yet we were still so far.

My master bedroom looked like this 1.0 version for the better part of two years.

And here is the complete(ish) tour of our second floor!!

As you ascend the stairs from our entry, you turn right to find two doors facing one another. One leads to our son’s room, the other to our master. This bedroom was the last space completed as its design challenges plagued me for quite some time. You can see my documentation of my master bedroom saga here.

Figuring out this bedroom is where I ran up against my design novice limitations. The layout and scale of the space just stumped me. I finally realized I needed yet another custom piece to deal with the room’s unconventional window placement so enter Lauren Nelson Design. Lauren and her team’s custom bed & amazing custom fireplace finally helped me realize the bedroom of my dreams! Lauren also sourced the exceptional, pendant light, vintage rug and an amazing refinished dresser (which you can see here) to complete the space. While I never thought I’d put a bed below a window – supposedly it’s a no no – but that is exactly what this room requires and it lives so well now. I just lay in bed and gaze lovingly at that fireplace. Swoon.

Reno tip: know your limits – Learning by trial & error is both too time consuming and $$$. You’ll save yourself time, money & marital drama if you just hire a pro when you need one.

As you move from our bedroom area, you enter a short hallway en route to the master bath. There you encounter two more doors. On one side sits a pocket door for our WC. The other pocket door leads to what was the original upstairs bath (see the before above) and is now my walk-in closet!

dream closet on apartment 34  dream closet on apartment 34

I worked with California Closets to create my custom dream closet. You can see the entire story about designing my closet right here.

The end of the passthrough leads to our master bath. I won’t sugar coat it. A master bath the size of a bedroom is luxurious for sure. Two full vanities, a soaking tub and a massive walk in shower offer that spa like feel that I should probably work to appreciate more than I ever take the time to do. I think I over compensated for living in 800 sq feet with a baby and two dogs.

If you’ve been following along all this time, you’ll already know that my master bath was another ride on the struggle bus. Lighting is both my crowning jewel for this house, but also my nemesis. After multiple attempts, I think I finally got it right. You can see the story all about my major rookie lighting mistakes in our bedroom and master bath right here.

My son’s bedroom , while shoebox-shaped and smallish, still offers plenty of room for fun. Two windows allow natural light to spill in all day long. Wall-mounted shelving and a darling toddler bed from the Netherlands maximize the floor space to ensure there’s plenty of room to play – and keep the space whimsical!

The room’s curved wall long served as yet another major design conundrum, but Carter’s love of outer space finally sparked an idea. I found a set of constellation decals on Etsy and simply colored over the stars with a glow-in-the-dark marker. Now he has his own starry sky to admire as he falls asleep every night.

You can see Carter’s entire toddler room design (and his original nursery) by clicking right here.

Finally, there is our kid bathroom. I was rather disappointed that this bathroom did not make the cut for Domino, so I had to be sure to share it here. I so love this space. The floors, one of my first major design decisions for the renovation, are hexagon handmade tile by Fireclay set in an ombre pattern. They start dark at the doorway and transition to white as you hit the bathtub. While a touch difficult to see in this image, the tub is also surrounded by Fireclay tile, this time running in a vertical stacked pattern all the way to the ceiling to create a clean, modern look. The floating vanity really lets you appreciate the tile floor and helps the room feel a bit bigger. I intentionally did not install a backsplash for an extra clean, modern look. Three years in and the walls still look great. If I had to do it over I would do a thicker countertop slab though. Overall I just love this bright and happy space. This room is playful and young, but has the classic bones that will grow along with our four year old.

The only other upstairs space you do not see here is our guest room. In an ideal world every single corner of This Old Victorian would have been picture perfect for Domino, but real life often gets in the way. So instead the guest room served as my photo staging area – aka where I hid all my crap –  hence why it is absent in the feature. You can see our guest room here though. Although I’m now about to completely redo it. Cuz a blogger’s work is never done.

And there you have it. I hope this gives you a (more) complete picture of this epic renovation saga. There were many additional mishaps along the way. Like when our crawl space flooded and submerged our brand new furnace. Or the winter we had major rains and discovered some of the house’s windows still leaked when there was water running down our kitchen walls. I suspect such adventures are likely to never end. It comes with the 150 year old house territory.

I hope I’ve given you a realistic view into what a true restoration entails. I’ve certainly learned more than my fair share about all things interior architecture, renovation, restoration and figuring out how to turn a house into a home. I’ve leaned it’s not a quick and easy process, but really it isn’t supposed to be. Building a home that reflects both who you are and who you want to be takes time, commitment and a whole lot of patience.

But the end result is worth the wait.

For the complete tour of the first first floor of This Old Victorian,  CLICK HERE.

For the online feature in Domino magazine, CLICK HERE.

For the entire five year history of this renovation saga, CLICK HERE.

For my newest project – a complete redo of our yard CLICK HERE.


Master Bedroom
custom bed lauren nelson design /  bedding rough linen / lumbar pillow custom lauren nelson design / custom fireplace lauren nelson design / vintage rug tony kitz gallery / vintage bedside lamps almond & co / georg stool skagerakthe Marset ginger pendant ylighting / curtains the shade store / walls roman clay by portola paints /

Master Bath
tub & tub filler kohler / dancing pendant menu ylighting / walls white wisp benjamin moore / stool elsie green / tray skagerak / towel parachute / art cristina coral / 

Carter’s Room
LampsPlus Tides Pendant / Bitte Wooden Toys / Farrow & Ball Hague Blue Paint / PomPom at Home Pillow / Ferm Living blanket / Toddler Bed / Sloth print / eSale Striped Rug /  Woopsy Desk Lamp from LampsPlus / Pehr Designs Alphabet Bin / Overstock Wing Chair / Sutro Tower / Overstock Woven Basket / Room & Board dresser / Room & Board end table / Calico Corners Roman Shades  / Minted Art Print / Stacked Bookcase from Sourced By Good / Birch Coat Rack / Jennifer Ament print / custom framing Framed & Matted / Windy Chien Helix Light / Cork Globe / Throw Pillow / Lego Storage

Kid’s Bathroom
swing lamp / fireclay floor and shower tile / kohler tub and faucet / silestone counter top / custom vanity / ikea mirror  serena & lily dip dyed stool /

photography by seth smoot for domino magazine 
produced by kate berry
styled by rosy fridman

Published at Mon, 23 Dec 2019 06:53:24 +0000

Apartments Living

Louisville Kentucky: Baseball, Bourbon, and Horse Racing

Louisville Kentucky: Baseball, Bourbon, and Horse Racing

Louisville Kentucky: Baseball, Bourbon, and Horse Racing

When you like of Louisville, Kentucky, three things come to mind: baseball, bourbon, and horse races. Whether you are a long-term resident, new to the area, or just passing through, there’s plenty to do in Louisville.

Louisville Slugger

Baseball is America’s game and anyone who watches baseball knows that Louisville Slugger baseball bats reign supreme.  A must-see for any baseball fan, the Slugger Museum & Factory is a fun, interactive experience brimming with baseball history. Feel the difference between size and weight of the bats used by baseball icons, watch a bat get made from start to finish, and see a fastball thrown in real time. With artifacts dating all the way back to baseball beginnings, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a grand slam for baseball fans.

Bourbon & More Bourbon

A glass of nice bourbon is like a warm summer day; you can’t beat it. If you’re looking to do something without the kiddos, Louisville has got you covered. Home of Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, and a host of other bourbon distilleries, Louisville is a bourbon drinker’s paradise. As always, you should drink responsibly and never get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking. Louisville has got you covered; book a bus a tour for less than $100 and visit distilleries to your heart’s content, get an Uber or a Lyft, or designate a driver. And remember to eat. The bus tour provides snacks, but there are plenty of spots to stop and have a bite between distilleries if you’re going the Uber or designated driver route. Stay hydrated, trust your driver, eat food, and enjoy the heck out of that mint julep.

Kentucky Derby

You know what pairs nicely with that mint julep? The Kentucky Derby. Quite possibly the most famous horse race in the country, the derby is a fun outing for the whole family. The cherry of top of the two-week Kentucky Derby Fesitval, the Kentucky Derby is held the first weekend of May. Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been a staple in horse racing. The first leg of the Triple Crown, horses who compete and win the Kentucky Derby are treated like royalty. With the average race lasting roughly two minutes, you go more for the experience and the traditions than to see the actual races. It’s a Kentucky Derby tradition to wear a fascinating fascinator, so be on the look out for ladies in amazing hats. You cannot have a full Kentucky Derby experience without having a mint julep. This refreshing cocktail, made with Kentucky’s finest bourbon, is just what you need on a warm spring day.

If you’re looking for a fun family – or couples – vacation, place your bets on Louisville. It’s a shoe in.

Maybe you aren’t in the mood for a trip. There’s nothing wrong with a staycation.

Published at Fri, 05 Jul 2019 14:20:32 +0000