Hi friends! I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of vacation and summer break. We just returned from our first family beach trip in South Padre Island and it was fantastic. True, it’s never easy to truly “vacation” with kids, but this was as smooth a trip as we could have asked for from start to finish. It’s been so long since I’ve been to the beach and truly relaxed outdoors. While I was there, it got me thinking about paradise and how I wish I could escape there more frequently. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live closer to the crashing waves of the ocean and the cool sea breeze? Then, it dawned on me. Paradise can be found right at your own home. Will it be exactly like your experience the beach? Probably not, but there is so much that you can do to make it your own personal paradise and sanctuary. Inspiration from your favorite places can easily make it into your decor, making paradise more accessible in your every day life. When I began redesigning my blog a few months ago, I was dreaming of green, metallic, natural, peaceful. I ended up with the palm theme and am so happy with how it turned out. What would I Dream of Pretty Things look like as an apartment or home? I’m pretty sure it would look like guest blogger Jane Weinberg’s amazingly chic San Francisco apartment. (Check out her bedroom and you’ll see why!) If you love interior design and beautiful places and spaces, I know you are going to enjoy today’s guest post.
I first met the fabulously talented Jane Weinberg back in college, when she would make trips up to good old Greencastle, Indiana to visit my bestie, Sarah Wurzburg. Yes, the same Sarah Wurzburg who took us on an insiders tour of Brooklyn just a few months ago. Jane fit right in with our group of friends and there was always fun to be had with her around! It’s now ten years since we graduated college, a couple thousand miles between us, but thanks to trusty social media and updates from Sarah, I’ve managed to keep track of Jane and all of her cross-country adventures. A Chicago native, Jane has called Melbourne, Australia, Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California, home at one point or another. Though these places are very different geographically, they all have one thing in common: Jane’s fabulous apartments. Seriously. They are swoon-worthy, magazine ready, IG- no filter needed, gorgeous. I remember visiting her (and Sarah) after graduation at their incredible Lincoln Park area apartment in Chicago and was struck by how adult and sophisticated, yet totally comfortable and cozy their place was. At the time, I was living out of two suitcases as a consultant, so I didn’t have a piece of furniture to my name. I was, however, taking notes for the future and I remember thinking “I want to be like Jane!” I’m not sure I’ll ever have the same sixth-sense design super power that Jane does, but the tips that she shares with us today, give me a really good idea on how to create my own paradise in the future. A social worker by day, a younger more hipper Martha Stewart at night, there’s really nothing Jane can’t do. She travels the world, cooks beautiful dishes, enjoys home design and styling, and a good book. Please join me in welcoming Jane. I know you’re really going to love this beautiful tour of her apartment and all of her practical advice.
I Dream of Pretty Things
by Jane Weinberg
Hi there! I’m Jane and I’m excited to share some easy and helpful home design tips that will help you create a welcoming and beautiful space unique of your own. I’m not a professional interior designer, just an avid hobbyist obsessed with design and styling. I recently had to define my style for an Apartment Therapy feature and I settled on “Happy Californian Danish Mid-century Golden Girls Greenhouse.” I think it’s important not to commit to any one design aesthetic, era or finish and I think you’ll find that my San Francisco apartment really embodies this philosophy. As you think about your own vision, remember that homes that combine complementary pieces (rather than matching ones) still have continuity and look finished while avoiding the look of a showroom, catalog or hotel.
Welcome to my apartment. I hope it helps you visualize all of my tips put into practice.
In any room or home, it’s important to identify a starting point. Some people like to start with a rug, a paint color or wallpaper or a piece of furniture. Often, you’re not starting from scratch so a large furniture piece is a great place to begin. From there, I like to identify the feeling I want the room to elicit, like cozy, happy or relaxing. This will determine how to proceed especially with colors and textures. Every room, regardless of style or feeling should include some black and white, wood, metallic, something textural (like a sheep throw, a tweed pillow, a braided jute rug) and lastly, some greenery. Combining these elements will make for the most complete aesthetic space.
Once all the big pieces are in place, it’s time to style! The amount of objects one displays is a matter of personal preference. While some like clean, minimalist surfaces, others prefer being surrounded by pieces they’ve collected and curated from traveling, family heirlooms and (if they’re anything like me) unhealthy obsessions with antiquing. Regardless of your preference, there are a few main tenets to follow when you style your home. As I already mentioned, greenery is important. Start with adding plants in decorative planters or using bowls, cups or other vessels you may already own. Next, arranging pieces on trays keeps items from appearing cluttered. And when you arrange pieces, (on trays or off) try using odd numbers as much as possible. Odd arrangements look more natural as does arranging objects slightly askew rather than lining them up perfectly. Any surface grouping should also include pieces of varying heights and ideally varying textures and colors (unless you’re displaying a collection).
Don’t be afraid of displaying things unconventionally. Lean art on bookshelves and credenzas, and add a framed picture or paperweight on top of a stack of books. One of my favorite pieces in my home is a framed 2×3 banana rug. If you find something you love, whether it’s a rug, a scarf, a piece of fabric, a map…frame it! I have some neoclassical bronze busts that belonged to my grandparents. My parents had them sitting in a box in the basement for ages because they didn’t fit their aesthetic. As I mentioned earlier, it’s okay to mix styles. I have them displayed with both modern and mid-century items and I love the way they contrast.
My Favorite Sources
I find treasures in many different places, from flea markets and antique malls to high-end retailers like Restoration Hardware. If you’re looking to explore new sources to find your next gem or special piece for your home, I recommend you check out the following:
In alphabetical order
Thank you, Jane, for inviting us into your abode and sharing your best tips for creating a beautiful and personalized home with all of us at IDOPT! I was totally loving the green palm wallpaper and the metallic accents. Green and gold is one of the color combos I gravitate to most (duh, new blog design!) and so it was really such a special treat to see how Jane used these beautiful colors in her gorgeous apartment. If you’d like to see more of Jane’s stunning apartment, keep an eye out for an updated post from Apartment Therapy, coming soon.