One of the most frequently used rooms in any home or apartment is the kitchen, but for many people, it can also be one of the most stressful. Sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough room to prep and cook dinner or store all of your dishes and pantry items.
Organizing a kitchen properly can not only make the kitchen neater, but more practical. By incorporating a few simple space saving hacks, you can create a much more peaceful and enjoyable kitchen experience.
Organize Your Pantry
If your kitchen pantry has no rhyme or reason to it, it can quickly get out of control if you’re not careful. When this happens, food items, spices, paper products and anything else you keep in your kitchen pantry can become disorganized, messy and hard to find. There are simple ways to tidy up the kitchen pantry and keep it neat so you never have to worry about kitchen clutter again.
Start by purchasing different sized plastic or metal baskets to sort pantry products. Use these to separate pastas, oils, cereal, rice and grains, pet food, tea and coffee, bread and anything else in different bins with labels.
First, remove all items from your pantry and set them on the kitchen counter or table while you wipe down the surfaces inside of the pantry. Throw away anything that is old, empty or that you’re not going to use. Then start sorting the items into the different baskets or bins, except for canned food. After placing the pantry organizer bins on the kitchen pantry shelf, make a spot for the canned food. It’s useful to not only organize items into bins, but organize the bins together by shelf.
After organizing, sorting, and labeling the goods in your kitchen pantry, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find food you forgot existed. No more thinking you don’t have any groceries in your kitchen when they’re clearly visible right there in front of you!
Keep Your Counters Clear
Keeping your counters clear is key to maintaining your kitchen sanity. Counter space is useful for all sorts of everyday kitchen tasks, from cutting vegetables to making a sandwich. A well-organized kitchen should include plenty of clean counter space.
Hooks are great for freeing up counter space. You can find anything from small hooks for coffee mugs to large hooks for pots and pans. If you have nice copper or stainless steel pots, you can show them off. Hanging your kitchen supplies is a great way to functionally decorate. But remember, these hooks can only be hung in our apartments with finishing nails!
There are several magnetic kitchen storage devices that can keep important items out of your way. Magnetic knife strips are a great way to keep knives easily accessible and off the counter tops. Try a custom wooden option like this one. You can also incorporate a DIY magnetic spice rack into your decor. These spice racks are fun, unique, and free up plenty of cupboard space.
If you find yourself needing more cabinet space, look for a cute bookcase or china cabinet to keep near the kitchen. You can use it to store items like pretty glassware, dry food stored in matching jars, cookbooks, and indoor plants. A bookcase can make for beautiful decoration while serving a valuable, space-saving purpose.
Streamline Your Drawer Dilemma
Kitchen drawers often become a place to toss all sorts of things, but with a little planning, your drawers can feel much more orderly.
Everyone has that wretched “everything” drawer filled with scissors, random envelopes, and soy sauce packets. Use utensil trays, small plastic bowls or baskets, and drawer separators to keep everything in its place and easy to find.
With an open floor plan like this one at Artesia apartments, you’ll want to keep your kitchen tidy and organized!
Enjoy Your Kitchen!
After you’re all done organizing your kitchen, get creative and pick a recipe you’ve been wanting to try out. Cooking with a clean canvas is always the best way!
Enjoy ample kitchen pantry space at 1st Lake’s apartment communities, like the Artesia apartment community in Covington. The modern, state of the art kitchens at Artesia feature energy efficient appliances with double stainless steel sinks, multi-tone granite counter tops, and custom cabinetry.
If you’re looking for a more spacious and modern kitchen to cook in and clean, check out the available metro New Orleans apartments from 1st Lake Properties!
After spring cleaning comes the fun part: redecorating! We’ve collected some spring home decor trends to incorporate into your apartment. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either: adding any one of these trends to your home can help freshen up your overall look.
Warm metals, indoor plants, and organic accents like glass and wood are all on trend for spring!
Spring Home Decor Trends
Shades of Green — Pantone’s 2017 color of the year is “Greenery,” so it’s no surprise this trend is in full bloom. Add accent pillows in rich, emerald tones, or create an indoor garden with house plants. Choose green accessories with undertones that suit your existing decor — a more yellow-green for warm tones and a more blue-green for cool tones, respectively.
Faux Fur — Fuzzy accents are having a big moment. In fact, texture in general (think velvet or chunky knits) are popping up all over home decor websites. Get into the texture trend with faux fur accents like shaggy accent pillows or faux sheepskin rugs. We love the look of layering a small faux sheepskin rug over a larger area rug or casually draping it over an accent chair. You can even add fuzzy stools that bring a fun dose of texture to your space!
Organic Materials — Playing off the texture trend, you’ll want to incorporate organic, tactile materials into your space. Add glass and wood elements for a calming, natural aesthetic.
Marble Accents — Some of our properties feature natural stone countertops, but you can amp up that look by incorporating marble accents. Don’t limit this to the kitchen — try adding marble details elsewhere at home, too! In the kitchen, we like marble pieces like cutting boards. Coffee tables and side tables with a marble (or faux marble) top look great in living rooms and bedrooms. We also are swooning over this removable marble wallpaper — wouldn’t it look great in a bathroom?
Warm Metals— Warm-tone metals like brass and copper are having a moment. If your fixtures are already silver tone, don’t fret: you can mix metals! Add copper and brass elements like lighting or storage to complement your existing metal finishes.
New year, new resolutions. For 2017, why not focus on where you live? These five rental resolutions will make your apartment feel like home.
Apartments in New Orleans
Five Rental Resolutions for 2017
Make your bed.
It’s easier said than done — but carving out time to make your bed each and every day makes a big difference in making your space feel like home! It’s meditative time for you in the morning, and when you get home from work, imagine how nice it will feel to come home to a made-up bed. Purchase fun throw pillows or linen spray to really amp up the homey feel.
Take time to tidy.
At some point every day, make it a point to put away or clean up ten items. That could mean stacking up your magazines on the coffee table, loading a few lingering items into the dishwasher, or wiping down the counter. Don’t plan to spend more than 20 minutes doing this: the idea is to clean day by day and help mitigate time-consuming deep cleans on your Saturday.
Invest (within reason) on home decor.
Renters often feel like it doesn’t make sense to invest in their space since they’re only renting. We firmly disagree! If you move, you take your decor with you, just like you would clothes and personal items. So why not allocate a little bit of money toward home decor?
Curtains add instant polish to your space and help define windows, which are natural light sources and a focal point for the eye. Go for full-length curtains to help create a sense of height. Whether you opt for a bold color or simple neutral is up to you!
Pantone named “greenery” the 2017 color of the year! Our suggestion for getting green? House plants. They add life to your space while also offering added health benefits. Take a look at our guide to indoor plants here.
A touch of greenery added to our Fox Run Apartment!
If you’re entertaining at home this Thanksgiving, be sure to check out some of our latest lifestyle tips, from prepping the guest room to capitalizing on oven space by roasting vegetables together. All of our apartments at 1st Lake Properties are spacious and modern, but we know how easy it is for your space to feel more stuffed than a turkey when hosting friends and family. That’s why we’ve put together another guide: how to host Thanksgiving in a small space. Take a look at our favorite hosting hacks!
Desks and consoles can double as dining tables, or you can rent one for the big day! (Photo courtesy ProFlowers on Flickr)
Rise to the top.
Thinking vertically is one of our best bathroom organizational tips, but it works at Thanksgiving, too. Maximize space on the dinner table by using tiered plates to hold appetizers and desserts. This trick even works for the turkey, too: carve it ahead of time and separate white meat, dark meat, and legs on a three-tier display.
Table your concerns.
If your dining table won’t accommodate all of your guests (or if you don’t have a dining table), rethink other flat surfaces instead. Consoles, sofa tables, and nightstands can all work as alternate eating spaces or food displays. This allows you to create intimate areas throughout your space rather than one giant table. Folding tables and chairs from a party rental store can also help you maximize space on a small budget. Whatever you choose, drape coordinating linens over mismatched tables to transform them into a cohesive unit.
We get so used to seeing our stuff in the same place, it’s easy to forget it’s not bolted down! Rearranging furniture is a fun, free, and instant way to transform your home any time of year, but at the holidays, it’s also a space-saving trick. Push couches against the wall, or move them to a different room altogether during dinner. Other rooms in your apartment can serve as storage so you’re left with maximum space for entertaining.
Teach old furniture new tricks.
Your ironing board works great for extra counter space, and a spare side chair positioned near the front door is ideal for letting guests set down their purses and bags when they come in. These two tricks help free up space and make the most of precious square footage at the same time.
Turn down the A/C.
Smaller apartments can heat up quickly with the oven going and extra guests mingling about. Keep everyone comfortable by being mindful of the A/C — turn it down a few notches and adjust accordingly throughout the evening!
What’s your best trick for maximizing square footage?
Fall fashion is always a favorite – this is the time of year when we can pull out our sweaters and boots (or perhaps buy some new ones!). But what about your apartment? Keeping a tight budget in mind – so you can splurge on that new sweater – we’ve collected a few great fall decorating tips from our 1st Lake Properties designer for fall decorating. Follow along to learn how to spruce up your place for the season. The results are easy on the wallet full and of aesthetic impact!
This fall vignette from Craftberry Bush features a variety of textures that bring the outdoors in.
Affordable Fall Decorating Ideas
Use cozy colors
One of the easiest ways to update your apartment for fall is to keep an autumn color palette in mind. Our designer suggests incorporating yellows, golds, browns, grays, and oranges as accent colors using items like vases, dishtowels, tablecloths, and plates. Thrifty options to find seasonal accent pieces include stores like TJ Maxx and Amazon. Or, you can literally thrift! Goodwill is great for bargain hunting: try this Goodwill locator to find a thrift store nearest your apartment.
Swap out your curtains
Bring in the same colors mentioned above, or create a more earthy and textured look by using clips and a painters cloth. You can purchase painters cloths at a store like Lowe’s for less than $15 a piece. Use curtain clips (order them on Amazon!) to hang them.
As the temperature cools down, you can add warmth through color palette and texture. Items like pillows and blankets are a great way to create varied textures and add a cozy feel to your space. Pumpkins and gourds are another great way to add texture and create a natural, autumnal affect. Our designer suggests throwing some white pumpkins into the mix to create a cohesive look. Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin farm? Here’s a link with pumpkin farms around the area.
Add a seasonal scent
Candle warmers can be found for $15 or less at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond (Goodwill, too!). Purchase a scent like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or maple so your apartment smells just as cozy as it feels.
Rethink your foliage
Floral arrangements always look beautiful inside apartments, but you can up the ante during the fall by incorporating rich colors and other types of vegetation: sunflowers, gourds, and grains of wheat (fake or real!) create an autumn harvest aesthetic.
Bargain hunting tips
We’ve already mentioned some of our favorite affordable stores like Goodwill, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby are two other bargain-friendly stores located close to many of our apartments. Plus, you can use Hobby Lobby’s weekly 40% discount coupon. Happy fall!