Design 5 Swoon Worthy Things:

Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra

We’re always down to talk design, but with Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday we’re especially excited to delve into the world of fellow modern design blogger, pal, and mum-of-toddler Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34. Erin has a way of creating contemporary, sophisticated interiors that still feel approachable — and repinning her warm, streamlined images on Pinterest is a regular activity ‘round these parts.

Aesthetics aside, we’re also drawn to Erin’s site and Instagram account for her healthy dose of realness. As we’ve followed along with her down-to-the-studs home renovation these past couple of years, she’s let us in on the final designs in all their updated-Victorian glory while treating us to posts like the “No Makeup Home Tour”, and “Realness Wednesdays” on Instagram Stories.

As you’ll see ahead, Erin’s thoughts on motherhood are equally as inspiring — and honest. Read all about ‘em, snoop the five items she’s coveting for her abode, and learn the approach she just took as she completed her son’s decor transition from nursery into a “big-boy” room. Ooh mama, it’s good.

Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra

NAME: Erin Hiemstra

PROFESSION: Founder of Apartment, a.k.a. jane of all the things.

HOME BASE: San Francisco, the beautiful city by the bay.

ENDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH: Chic storage solutions. I have a toddler, after all. Credenzas, baskets, boxes – I’m always looking for a good-looking solution to tuck away clutter!

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: Less is always more.


DESIGN TREND YOU LOVE? Return to things with workmanship; ceramics, weaving, woodwork, metal work. You appreciate a piece so much more when you understand the painstaking hours that went into making it.

ONE YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY? I’m really not vibing with the terrazzo craze. It just reminds me of airport floors.

Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra
Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra

COLOR OR NEUTRAL? Always neutral, except when it comes to lip color. Then red.

WE WILL NEVER SEE anything overstuffed IN YOUR HOME.

HOW AND WHERE YOU SHOP: These days I shop very sporadically. Treasure-hunting usually takes place at flea markets or at Elsie Green, 1stdibs, and Chairish, or via artists I find on Instagram. Last-second needs for a photo shoot or tabletop come often come from CB2, Consort, or One Kings Lane.

DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIGN ICONS? While I don’t point to single icon or inspiration I’m constantly drawn to design work coming out of Australia. The Aussies are so good at creating a sophisticated, modern aesthetic that’s still approachable and welcoming. Maybe I need to relocate!

WHAT DOES A PERFECT MOTHER’S DAY LOOK LIKE? I’ve been thinking about this one for a bit. Really, a perfect Mother’s Day would be spent alone in a hotel room with a good bottle of rosé, perhaps a bubble bath, and really trashy TV. No one would need anything, want anything, or be asking me any questions. It would be a totally indulgent veg-out sesh.

Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra

WHAT DO YOU WANT MOST FOR YOUR SON? The best thing I can hope for my son is that he finds happiness in being his truest self. That is the definition of freedom.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PARENTING STYLE? I am a pretty go-with-the-flow parent. I try not to let much faze me – and I like to hope I’m the fun one!

BEST PART OF BEING A MOM? I revel in simply watching my son turn into a tiny human before my eyes. Every day more of his personality shines through and it’s just fascinating to discover who he is.

HARDEST PART OF MOTHERHOOD? Sleep deprivation. I am not a morning person.

VISION FOR YOUR SON’S NEW BIG-BOY ROOM? I wanted to create a space that was childlike but still incorporated gorgeous design and fit with the overall aesthetic of our house. It was a fun challenge to take my aesthetic and put a playful spin on it.

Apartment 34: Erin Hiemstra
  1. Allied Maker Concentric Sconce: “I continue to put finishing touches on the renovation of my Victorian and this sconce is calling my name. I’m obsessed with the texture.”

  2. Kreten Concrete Side Table: “The Kreten Concrete Side Table is a classic that will never go out of style. I love the movement and organic feel of this piece.”

  3. Nicolette Johnson Ceramics: “I am always looking to add to my ceramics collection. Nicolette Johnson’s vases are sculptural works of art that also offer function.”

  4. Ariele Alasko Woodwork: “I discovered woodworker Ariele Alasko on Instagram and have been coveting one of her ah-mazing wood sculptures ever since. Her pieces are chunky and tactile yet refined – and rarely come up for sale so you have to follow her work closely!”

  5. Jayson Home Zaha Chair: “I’m obsessed with this leather and steel chair. It has a vintage mid-century vibe and will age beautifully.”

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