Saturday, April 20, 2013

Apartment Living: Making Your Space a Home

While living in an apartment, it can be difficult to make it personal. Most places do not allow painting or changing the space significantly. This makes it imperative to be creative. Use unexpected pieces to liven up your area. A few statement pieces can bring a space together. Currently, my living room has a green and blue color scheme. I have a creative lamp with a blue shade, and a collection of pottery pig banks with blue flowers. Along with some neutral shades of brown and green, these statement pieces really pop out. Here are some examples of d├ęcor that gets it right!
This apartment uses neutral colors to make the pink objects pop. Curtains, pillows, and flowers are inexpensive pieces that can be changed easily.
This living room uses mostly black and white objects to bring the room together. As you can see on the left, it has been made more personal with a collection of photographs, while there are some interesting statement pieces around the room. This is a very classy look, that isn't too feminine, if you are living with a male partner.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Apartment Living: Utilizing Small Space

In an apartment there are usually limits to space. Small closets, limited cabinet space and tiny bathrooms are some of the challenges. I'm going to give you some tips to maximize all of your space.

Clothes, clothes, clothes!
After living in a sorority house for a year, I realized just how many clothes girls have. Especially, with living in New England, a girl's closet can be stuffed full with sweaters, tanks, pants, blazers, etc. All of these clothes take up space. If you find your closet lacking, then the first step is sort through all of the different pieces. Decide if they are all necessary. I know that I have some clothes that don't fit well or just aren't appropriate for my lifestyle anymore. These can be donated to good organizations, such as the Epilepsy Foundation and the Salvation Army. These donations are tax deductible and will free up some space.

Now that you've cleared the unnecessary extras, you can organize your clothes. If your closet isn't big enough for everything, then you can use an extension for your closet, as pictured below, to double your space. These are inexpensive and an easy fix.

Chrome Double Hang Closet Rod, Commercial Grade
$14.99 Bed Bath and Beyond

Now that you have enough space, make sure you organize your clothes in a functional way. Here is a great article to give you some ideas for what might work in your space:

Kitchen/Dining Room
In most apartments there isn't the luxury of having separate dining rooms and kitchens. This means that you might have to use your kitchen as an eat-in space, or use part of your living room. Currently, I have a kitchen with a small nook for a very small dining room table, as well as a breakfast bar that doubles as an island. However, I don't have a ton of cabinet space or a pantry. You have the option of purchasing a Kitchen Island, but these can get pretty expensive. Another option is purchasing an inexpensive shelving unit.
 These can be found pretty easily. Walmart and Target both carry basic versions.

Another way to maximize space in a kitchen is to hide items that you don't use often. For example. I keep my coffee maker hidden away, because I don't drink any of it. However, most of my visitors and family do drink coffee, so it is still a necessary appliance for me to keep around. Other items, such as frying pans and silverware will need to be easily accessible, because they are used often. Reevaluating where items are kept every couple of months will ensure that you are using your space efficiently.

As a female, I have to say that having limited bathroom space can be very frustrating. Presently, I have fixed this only be choosing to do my makeup in my bedroom instead of in the bathroom. I only keep lotions, shower items and toothpaste in their. However, I find that decorating through utility is often the best way to use the space. I keep my hand towels in a rack on my toilet base and bath towels go on hooks on my door. Hand soap and toothpaste go on my sink, while lotions and medicine go in the cabinet. Other items go in the cabinet under the sink in little baskets. This is functional for me, but it might not be for everyone. Get in a routine and your space problems can be eliminated!

Good luck and make sure to set aside some space for a few extra books.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Apartment Livng: The Search

Searching for apartments is one of the most difficult things to do for recent grads. Last year, when I was searching for my first apartment on my own, I picked the first place that seemed like it would work in my price range. It's a nice apartment, but I could have found a better deal that was closer to my job. Now that I am searching for an apartment again, I have some hints for other seekers.
  1. Judge the Landlord If a landlord seems sketchy at all, then stay away! You will be dealing with them throughout the year, so you want to make sure that it would be an easy relationship. Some landlords will try to scam you out of your security deposit or they might not fix broken items in your apartment. I know people who had black mold in their shower, and it took months for their landlord to fix the damage. Be careful about who you want to deal with.
  2. Deal-Breakers There are some things in your apartment that you are going to want. I personally like hardwood floors in living space. Of course, this is a personal preference, but it could help you narrow down your choices. Things like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and state of the art cabinets may be benefits, but not necessary. Decide what is important to you.
  3. Pets Decide if you want pets. If you want or have them then this will be necessary for an apartment. If you don't want them, an apartment that allows them might not be the right choice. Think about things like your neighbors. You could have a neighbor with dogs that bark and could be annoying. When searching for an apartment, decide if this is important for you.
  4. Stuff How much stuff do you have? Do you have a lot of kitchen appliances? Is your closet flowing over? Do you need extra storage? These are all important things to consider when you are searching for an apartment.
  5. Price This most important thing is the price of the apartment. Make a budget for yourself and decide what your ideal price is and what your max price is. If you have trouble finding an apartment within your price range, then consider having a roommate.
There you have it. Good look with your apartment search and don't forget to make a little extra space for some favorite books!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Sorry I haven't posted in a long time. Work has caught up with me. However, I have recently became more organized and have rededicated time each week for the blog.

See you soon!