Noisy neighbors are a common complaint for apartment tenants. However, if you complain about your noisy neighbor, it’s likely that they say the same thing about you from time to time. Even if you have carpet flooring, sometimes you need to take additional steps to keep your apartment soundproof. If you tend to listen to a lot of loud music or play motion related video games, it might be essential for you to limit your sound and stay on your neighbor’s good side. Here are a few tips on keeping the noise level down in your apartment: Read the rest of this entry »
‘apartment decorating’ Tag
There are two kinds of renters who need an interior designer: those who want an apartment that looks stylish and put-together but don’t know the first thing about how to get there, and those who have a vision in mind and need help executing it. There are some relatively affordable options for either type of apartment dweller, and they are actually fairly distinct from each other. To keep your apartment redesign from looking like a home makeover show gone wrong, think about these tips as you hunt for your perfect interior designer.
If You Need Ideas…
If you are an interior-design newbie and what you need is a vision for your home’s redesign, start by finding a designer that fits your overall sense of style. The best way to make sure that your designer fits that category is to look at the work they have already done. If you can find a designer that has a website and a portfolio, that can be an easy job. Think about the things you already like about your apartment’s design, and look for those traits in a designer’s portfolio. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you’re expecting a baby or are in need of a redesign now that your infant is growing older, there are plenty of things you can do to make your apartment more kid-friendly. From furniture changes to finding a whole new apartment, think about these things as you start to redesign a family-friendly apartment.
Start with the floors.
After all, this is where your baby will be spending the most time—and consequently, so will you. Invest in a good, easy-to-use vacuum if you don’t have one already; get comfy, stain-resistant rugs for the living room and bedroom; and consider putting a few floor pillows down for your own comfort when it’s time to play.
Think outside the apartment.
Since many apartments don’t have a private yard or patio, you can always take advantage of your apartment’s playground or other communal area. Read the rest of this entry »
Almost every apartment kitchen has a space for bar stools these days, and finding the right set of stools can prove to be a difficult task. Even though the process can be daunting, going through it is well worth it when your friends and family are able to join you in the kitchen. However before you start your search, there are a few things everyone should know about bar stools.
Types of Bar Stools
The first thing you must know is that when it comes to bar stools, there is more than one type. In fact, “bar stool” is an umbrella term for three different stool heights:
A counter stool is considered to be standard sized because it pairs nicely with a 36-inch standard height kitchen counter. Counter stools usually measure anywhere between 24 and 26 inches in height.
When a kitchen counter has an attached raised section that is the height of a real bar, you can use a standard bar stool. This counter height is about six inches taller than your standard sized counter, so it’s typically about 42 inches in height. At this counter height, if you go with a bar stool that has a seat height of 30-inches, it usually fits perfectly.
This type of stool is sometimes referred to as a “stadium stool”, and it’s known for being 34 to 36 inches high, which is significantly taller than the other styles because it’s supposed to fit comfortably under a table or counter that is 48 inches tall.
Getting New Bar Stools
Bar stools look great with the counters they’ve been designed for, but problems can arise when moving into a new apartment if your new counters are a different height than your old ones. To avoid this issue, we recommend doing one of two things:
1. Buying Adjustable Stools
If you move frequently, or just don’t want to purchase new bar stools after every move, you should look into adjustable bar stools. With this solution, one size fits all, no matter if you need taller or shorter stools.
2. Renting Bar Stools
Another option, and perhaps our favorite, is renting bar stools. This is a great alternative because you’ll not only save money, but you’ll be able to get brand new bar stools that fit your new counter’s dimensions every time you move.
Now that you know the bar stool basics, you should feel comfortable picking out some fabulous new furniture for your new apartment.
- Did the 60s call and ask for your shag carpeting back?
- Are your walls so white your living room looks like an artless gallery?
- Are you sitting on the oldest couch known to man, courtesy of a college dumpster diving mission?
- Is your furniture collection so sparse it looks like you’ve been robbed?
- Have your friends taken to calling your lamp-less living room “The Batcave”?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you may have fallen victim to It Doesn’t Matter I’ll Be Moving Out Eventually Anyway Syndrome. Many renters have succumbed to this unfortunate plight, feeling that since an apartment is only temporary, personalizing the whole place just isn’t worth the effort. But there is a cure. There are plenty of ways you can improve apartment life without the help of an interior designer or an expensive trip through a Swedish “furniture” maze. Roll up your sleeves and start with these guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to an updated apartment for half the price.
First things first: a DIY apartment requires a budget. Set a décor budget limit and decide which projects you want to tackle based on that number. Evaluate the things you most want to change about your apartment before beginning. Are you tired of your bare walls? Want to get rid of the old coffee table? Wish you had more color in the kitchen? Now it’s time to start getting creative. Think about where you can shop to save. Hit up local garage sales and flea markets, give rental furniture a try, and check out consignment stores to start.
If you’re not into doing a total overhaul just yet, focus on changing the little things in your apartment. Adding a dash of color here, a patterned throw pillow there, some framed art, new lighting, a couple of houseplants, or even a coat of paint on one wall can make a big difference in the way a room looks. You could start by getting a throw rug to cover up that shag carpet.
Work with What You Already Have
If you truly don’t want to go out and buy décor, spend a fraction of the cost to change the décor you already have. Get creative by thinking about what you can change with the application of just a few bucks and a little elbow grease. Start with these ideas:
- Update your worn-out dresser with a new color or a classier finish by using a little sandpaper, primer, and a coat of paint or stain.
- Put a slipcover over an unsightly couch.
- Re-upholster an old chair yourself.
- Get a new duvet cover for an instant bedroom update.
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Frame and hang posters or old records.
Use Free DIY Resources
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to DIY apartment décor. There are hundreds of sites (including, of course, the ApartmentSearch.com Apartment Life blog) that can help you take your apartment from “eh” to “excellent” with a little, bitty budget. Try these to get started:
- DIYnetwork.com – This site is home to thousands of projects for the home. The DIY Network is a channel dedicated to home improvement and landscaping, so you’ll find everything from painting tips to full-on remodeling advice here.
- Instructables.com – You can find everything from cookie recipes to cabinet remodeling on Instructables. All projects are user-submitted, and new stuff is being added all the time.
- Design*Sponge DIY Projects – Design*Sponge is a popular interior design blog that can offer apartment decorators great DIY ideas. Find lighting ideas, accent projects, and even upholstery tutorials here.
- The Design Confidential – The Design Confidential provides guides for construction projects, DIY design, décor inspiration, and more.
- ApartmentSearch Blog: Apartment Decorating – In the “apartment decorating” category of our blog, you’ll find tips for everything from living room feng shui to kitchen downsizing to patio décor.
Share Your DIY Apartment Decorating Tips
As both Earth Day and Arbor Day approach, so too does warmer spring weather and the inspiration to get a little closer to nature. There’s no better time than this to act on your dream of bringing more nature and greenery into your home. Here are a few creative ideas to kick-start your homegrown green revolution:
- The most obvious place to start is with live plants and trees. Whether indoors or outdoors, take the time to visit a local florist or nursery and pick out some fresh spring florals. Plants like desert succulents are great for adding a pop of color to décor without breaking the bank or requiring a huge commitment to care. While some families may have a lush backyard with enough room to welcome a new tree – apartment living does not always afford the same option. Instead of making an investment in a large tree for the backyard, small bonsai trees or potted Meyer lemon trees can thrive indoors or on balconies.
- For those with less of a green thumb, there are plenty of natural accents that don’t require arduous upkeep. A centerpiece, for example, could be as simple as some bare branches in a modern vase or as lush as a tin pail filled to the brim with sumptuous greens and blossoming florals.
- You might feel inspired to revamp your décor altogether. A nature-inspired rustic theme could be a great way to incorporate more plants into your home sweet home. Ferns, a staple in rustic greenery, are hardy, easy to maintain plants that could stylishly reside in a vintage watering can or in old tin cans on the windowsill.
- Backyards and outdoor patios can always use a little love, too. Start by clearing the clutter from your outdoor space to see how much room you have to work with. If you have children, get them involved too. A favorite activity like making bird feeders out of pinecones dipped in peanut butter and bird feed will bring even more nature to your outdoor space. Lastly, consider replacing old and broken outdoor furniture with simple, wooden furniture.
To read more about spring and summer decorating styles, follow our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!
Apartment living is fraught with décor-related difficulties, not the least of which is incredibly boring design in the bathroom. While the look of your bathroom might not be at the top of your list of apartment living gripes, everyone can agree that apartment bathrooms in general could benefit from a little TLC. Lack of storage, ugly tile, harsh lighting, and dreary colors are all repeat offenders in bathrooms when it comes to apartment living, making them not very functional and, quite frankly, a little impersonal. But you don’t have to suffer your bathroom boredom in silence just because you’re a temporary tenant. There are plenty of ways to add a personal touch to a bathroom without damaging the property and incurring the displeasure of your landlord. Spruce up your space with these apartment living tips, and soon you’ll have a bathroom that makes getting ready in the morning a pleasant process rather than a depressing daily ritual.
Add More Storage
If you’re blessed with a bathroom that has multiple spacious cabinets, then you’re among the lucky in apartment living. If not, there are still several things you can do to store your bathroom belongings. Opt for hanging storage by installing hooks for towels on the wall or behind the door, use a shower caddy for the showerhead to maximize space, put a small shelf or chest of drawers in the corner, or even install some floating shelves.
Improve the Lighting
More often than not, apartment bathroom lighting can be pretty unforgiving. Apartment lighting fixtures have often been there for a while, and the bulbs might be too bright, too dim, or even burnt out. To combat this, add some shades to the lights, change out the bulbs to make sure they’re of the right wattage, or even replace the lighting fixture altogether (with your landlord’s approval, of course).
Liven up the Walls
There’s nothing like a dull paint color to make an apartment bathroom an eyesore. Get the go-ahead from your landlord and put on a fresh coat of paint to bring your bathroom to life. If you can’t paint, consider temporary wallpaper or “tile tattoos”… just peel and stick to jazz up your bathroom, and remove them with no mess when it’s time to leave.
Bring in Furniture
Although the bathroom might seem like an odd place to have furniture, it can actually be functional and make the space much homier. Put a small plush chair in the corner, add a storage chest that doubles as a bench, or maybe just place a stool or cushy ottoman in the corner. You can use your new furniture pieces as seating or as aids in reaching that elusive top shelf.
More Apartment Living Tips
How have you personalized your apartment’s bathroom? Give us your apartment living tips by finding ApartmentSearch on Twitter and Facebook. And for more everyday apartment living tips, keep checking the Apartment Life blog!
You can brighten up apartment living with a few quick and inexpensive decorating ideas to prepare your space for spring and summer.
Pattern: Throw rugs, pillows, curtains, and table runners are all inexpensive ways to make a big impact. Simple stripes or polka dots look good in both seasons or try something a little bolder with a bright floral print. Be sure to choose fabrics that are light and airy, especially for curtains.
Color: Spring and summer are bright season and so your apartment living décor should reflect that. While spring colors are usually more muted and pastel than vivid, saturated summer colors, there are a few that work well across the seasons. Try sunshiny yellow, sky blue, and bright shades of green in your apartment. Living in an apartment with a color scheme that clashes with brights? White is a safe bet because it’s neutral and can brighten up just about any space without clashing.
Theme: These seasons are all about nature so bring some into your apartment. Living plants are a great way to do this. Fresh floral arrangements are beautiful but can get expensive quickly. Save some money by getting creative. Choose potted plants and put them in unusual containers like colorful pitchers and milk pails around your apartment. Living flowers in singles or small bouquets look sweet in teacups, glasses, and bud vases. Kitchen window gardens are both pretty and functional. No green thumb? Succulents and cacti are easy to keep alive. So are realistic silk flower arrangements.
Fruit is also a great way to bring a pop of color and life into a room. Display it in bowls, baskets, or glass vases. Choose fruits in bright seasonal colors like limes, granny smith apples, lemons, and kumquats. You can display real fruit or purchase long-lasting artificial fruit depending on your apartment living décor preferences.
There are other inspirations that can be taken from nature and applied to your apartment living décor. Celebrate spring with birds’ nests or a birdcage filled with sinuous ivy plants on the mantel. Bring in summer with a beachy centerpiece by placing seashells in a tall vase or adding sand, a few small shells, and a couple of candles to a glass bowl.
Earlier this week we focused on designing the entryway of apartments. To lead us into the weekend, we are divulging our favorite Halloween decor tips for your entryway. If you live in an apartment community that celebrates Halloween and supports a parade of pint-sized Trick’or’treaters, its time to make some room for decorations and fun!
The classic Jack-O’lantern: Nothing says Fall like a display of pumpkins by your front door. Decorate and illuminate one of your favorite gourds by following these instructions. If you are lighting by candle, be sure to keep the pumpkin off the floor and away from costume sleeves and trains. If you are using electricity to light your bulb, scatter hay around the area to complete the look.
Candy serving ideas: You continue the pumpkin theme by creating a candy bowl out of one half of a hallowed and dried pumpkin. Another idea is to use felt pieces to create a white felt “ghost” bag with the mouth as the opening. You can find a ton of Halloween candy dish ideas for apartments at HGTV’s Halloween Ideas website.
Mood lighting: Change the “welcome light” bulb outside of your apartment to create a festive mood. Black lights create a spooky vibe and illuminate bright costumes. You can even hang some fake cob-webs around the light fixture and around the door to add to this look.
Inside your apartment: Be mindful of your front door area and clear away any clutter to make room for a stool or table for candy. Indoors, you can also incorporate mood lighting with colorful bulbs. If you have a dog or cat, be sure to keep them away from the front door. Visitors in costume may startle or overexcite a pet or a fearful child. If you are worried about apartment safety, sit outdoors for the evening and visit with people in neighboring apartments.
Have a fun and safe Halloween from ApartmentSearch.com! And as always, if you need to find an apartment, our comprehensive search tool is just a click away. We can help you find great apartments in your desired neighborhood, and we offer renters rewards. Now that’s service!
Our friends over at green design blog Re-Nest compiled a list of their top 25 small apartment living strategies for maximizing space, getting organized and de-cluttering. Many of these ideas were contributed by blog readers who have plenty of real experience living and decorating in smaller homes. We’d like to share and discuss a few of our favorites from the list.
The idea of installing wall-mounted shelves might sound scary to those of us who aren’t exactly skilled at handyman activities, or those who aren’t planning to stay in a current apartment for long. But if it makes sense for your situation, you would be amazed at what shelves can do in apartments. Install them above furniture, doorways, or in those particularly cluttered areas that you tend to have a hard time keeping clean. With your stuff off the floor and off countertops or furniture, an illusion of spaciousness is achieved.
On that note, choose furniture with legs that provide at least a little bit of floor clearance for open air flow. Also try hanging various-sized cup hooks anywhere you can think of to help keep things off the counters and floor. We also love the idea of removing doors (even cabinet and pantry doors) for an open layout. You can always opt for curtains where privacy is needed.
Here at the apartment living blog, we’re always telling our readers to get rid of possessions they no longer use, need or love. De-cluttering isn’t the only way to make your living situation the best it can be, but it’s an important step toward that. Getting organized is a whole lot easier when you have a manageable amount of stuff to work with. Before you do buy something new, be discerning and think about where it will physically fit into the scheme of your apartment.
Maybe you’ve resigned and decided the space you’re in is just too tiny for your needs. To find an apartment that will open up interior decorating options for you, count on ApartmentSearch.com. We’ll help you search for Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments, Seattle apartments, and others in your city.