Apartment Storage Ideas: Vertical Space + More

A common challenge for renters is space constraints. It may seem like your apartment can’t fit all of your stuff, but there are ways that you can make everything fit comfortably with the space available that you may not have thought of. Enter these awesome storage ideas.

Maximizing the space you have is key. One of our favorite solutions for storage in a small apartment is making use of vertical space.

Storage Ideas for Apartments

Vertical Storage

It’s easy to use up the available horizontal space in your apartment, but often times there is a lot of leftover vertical space that can be utilized. Here are the best ways to use vertical space in your apartment.

Free standing shelves and bookcases

Free standing shelves are not only portable, convenient, and rental-friendly, but also a great space saver! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used in any room in the apartment, including the kitchen for extra dish or appliance storage, the bathroom for towels and toiletries, as bookcases, or in the closet to store shoes or clothes that won’t fit in drawers.

ladder-style leaning bookshelf. photo credit: Woodstock Furniture Outlet

Punctuate a blank wall with a leaning, ladder-style bookshelf. (Photo via Woodstock Furniture Outlet)

A ladder-style leaning bookshelf can be an easy, modern way to add some extra storage furniture to a bare wall – use it to display decorative items or store books.

Under shelves

Another great way to use vertical space especially in your kitchen is with under-shelf storage baskets. If there is a lot of room between the shelves that are already built in to your cabinets, simply attach an under-shelf basket to create more storage space for additional items.

Under-shelf baskets are a great way to harness vertical space and add more storage. (Photo via ApartmentTherapy.com)

Under-shelf baskets are a great way to harness vertical space and add more storage. (Photo via ApartmentTherapy.com)

If you need more space to store glassware, there are also under-the-shelf stemware holders that are a convenient solution.

Wall space

One thing we sometimes forget is that we have plenty of space on our walls for storage. This can be easily and safely used by placing shelves along the walls to use that vertical space to its capacity.

Hidden Storage Solutions

There’s more to storage than meets the eye with these clever items.


Give storage a lift when you use bed risers — they’re affordable, easy to use, and add valuable inches to store items under your bed. Adding height is also a great way to give the illusion of more space: your bed will look and feel more regal, and you’ll benefit from the added storage beneath.

Storage Beds

Storage beds have built-in storage within a hollow portion of the bed frame. Many feature drawers along the bottom for a look that is both attractive and incredibly functional. Use the added space to store bedtime essentials like blankets or pajamas.

Storage Ottomans

Ottomans are a great addition to a living room — you can bring in new colors and prints at an affordable price, and if you choose a storage ottoman, you can also add a little more practicality. Storage ottomans are hollow on the inside with a removable lid for easy access. Stock yours with living room items like games, remotes, or blankets.

Looking for a new apartment? We have many excellent and spacious choices for metro New Orleans apartments and in Mississippi!

This Painless Pancake Recipe is Perfect for a Crowd

Whether you know a certain Tuesday as Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, there’s another name for it, too: National Pancake Day. In New Orleans, you’ll probably find us eating king cake or Popeye’s (or both) on Mardi Gras, but many people use the day to honor that humble, fluffy breakfast-time favorite.

Whip up a crowd-pleasing stack of pancakes in no time when you follow our pancake recipe. (Photo via Flickr user Caterina Guidoni)

Whip up a crowd-pleasing stack of pancakes in no time when you follow our pancake recipe. (Photo via Flickr user Caterina Guidoni)

Pancakes are an easy and affordable way to feed a crowd, and they’re also useful as a make-ahead breakfast — seal them in individual plastic baggies for a quick, grab ‘n’ go breakfast that heats up in the microwave in seconds.

If you’re looking for a delicious pancake recipe, take a look at one of our all-time favorites courtesy of Bon Appetit. It’s just as simple as using a boxed mix, but so much tastier! Craving something else to eat? Check out our other cooking tips on the blog.

Easy Pancake Recipe


  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (Don’t have any? See our note on DIY buttermilk below)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Vegetable oil or butter (for cooking)
  • Maple or cane syrup for serving


Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and melted in a separate, medium-size bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix! It’s OK for the mixture to have some lumps.

Next, heat up a griddle or large skillet using medium heat. Brush with oil or add a pat of butter to coat the surface. Cook the pancakes in batches by scooping small cupfuls (about 1/3 cup should do) into the skillet. Cook them until bubbles form on top — usually just about 3 minutes. Flip, and cook the other side until golden brown, which usually takes another 2 minutes.

Serve with syrup of your choice!

DIY Buttermilk

No buttermilk? No problem! Common buttermilk substitutes include watered-down plain yogurt or watered-down sour cream, but you can also make your own buttermilk using this easy recipe:

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Next, add enough milk until it measures 1 cup. Stir, and let sit for five minutes.

Home Decor for Small Apartments

Though we think even our studio apartments are spacious (and full of awesome amenities), space is always a concern. You don’t have to sacrifice style for space, though! Read on for a few easy ideas for home decor for small apartments below.

Home Decor for Small Apartments

Try a folding chair. You might think of this piece of furniture as one suited only to outdoor spaces, but think again! These folding chairs are ideal for small spaces and look so gorgeous you might not even want to fold them up and put them away. Whether you use them at the dining table or as extra seating for surprise guests, folding chairs are a chic space solution.

folding chair

Who says folding chairs are for outdoors only? This beautiful chair from Anthropologie looks great in a bedroom or living room. (Photo courtesy Anthropologie)

  • Ikea Terje Folding Chair — Under $20 and in a recent Pantone Color of the Year shade, Marsala? We’re sold on Ikea’s Terje folding chair. Perfect in the living room, kitchen, or patio, the chair also works as a decorative element – place it in a corner and stack a few favorite books on the seat for a bohemian look.
  • Crate & Barrel Spare Folding Chair – Clean lines and a soft dove gray color create a sophisticated yet romantic look. We imagine pairing this folding chair with a faux-fur white pillow perfect for the bedroom. Crate & Barrel also offers the chair in a lovely shade of mint plus classic black and white.
  • Ballard Café Folding Chairs (Set of Two) – Add European flair to your space with these classic bistro chairs. Extend the Parisian influence when styling – we like the French blue shade. Francophiles will also like the…
  • Ballard Louis Folding Chair – Bringing a regal, vintage aesthetic, the Louis folding chair has elaborate cane weaving and lovely carved details. It looks great with a linen cushion (sold separately), but you don’t need one.
  • Anthropologie Terai Folding Chair – The price tag is high, but this chair makes a huge statement. Built-in cushioning provides extra comfort and the graphic pattern (available in a range of subtle shade differences) creates a dramatic focal point.

Let there be light. Opting for decor in light hues like white, cream, or rose quartz creates an optical illusion that a space is larger. Since the walls at our 1st Lake Properties are already painted in light hues, we’ve already assisted with half the battle!

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Incorporating mirrors into your home decor for small apartments is an easy way to create the feeling of more space. Mirrors — particularly full-length mirrors — add dimension to a room and are an interesting visual focal point.

Raise the roof. Try hanging floor-to-ceiling decorative curtains to create a lengthening, heightening effect. You can also use this same approach for a DIY curtain headboard.




Pet Dog Costume Ideas for Barkus and Beyond

In New Orleans, you never need a reason to don a costume – and neither does your pet. Whether it’s Halloween, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade, or anything in between, here are a few pet costume ideas for your dog.

A dog dressed up for Barkus. (Photo via Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau on Flickr)

A dog dressed up for Barkus. (Photo via Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau on Flickr)

For Barkus

Each year, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus hosts a Mardi Gras parade just for the dogs. For 2016, the reigning king is Alex, a Weimaraner found in New Orleans who made headlines internationally for his miraculous recovery. We’re not sure what costume Alex will have on, but if you’re interested in marching in Barkus (happening Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.; you can register your dog the day of the parade) here are a few ideas:

Star Wars Chewbacca Dog Hoodie This fun costume is especially relevant with the latest Star Wars release and one of the city’s favorite micro-krewes, Chewbacchus. You can riff on both of these trends with a “Chewbarkus” costume for your pup. Find it at PetCo for $20.

DIY Red, White, and Blue Costume – The theme of the 2016 Barkus parade is “From the Dog House to the White House.” For an easy, DIY costume, you can bedeck your dog in patriotic colors using ribbons tied around his collar. Or, you can browse these patriotic costumes. Bonus points: they’ll double as costumes for the 4th of July!

Party City Costumes Party City’s online shop has dozens of pet costumes to choose from, related to pop culture, classic themes, pirates, superheroes and more. You can also visit the Party City retail store in the Elmwood shopping center right near our new Bella Ridge property.

Lagniappe: Cat Costumes

Your feline friend probably won’t be as willing to don a costume, but if you decide she just can’t be without a Mardi Gras getup, consider online shops like Etsy that sell handmade cat costumes. Just remember that Fluffy might be more inclined for a festive collar rather than a full-on costume – most pet stores have a wide selection of cat collars in fun colors and patterns.


Best Apartments for Young Professionals in New Orleans: Bella Ridge

With startups, medical hubs, and entrepreneurial opportunities, New Orleans is increasingly becoming a global destination for young professionals. Many millennials are moving to the city, and with a new move comes a new consideration: where should I live? We’re a bit biased, but think Bella Ridge is a great choice. We’ve already explored why renting is such a great option, but today we’re taking a closer look at three reasons why Bella Ridge is among the best apartments for young professionals in New Orleans. Read on for why these River Ridge luxury apartments are an ideal place to rent.

The cozy club room at Bella Ridge.

The cozy club room at Bella Ridge.


The city of New Orleans has dozens of iconic neighborhoods like the Garden District and the French Quarter, but longtime residents know that life in one of these historic sectors has both pros and cons. Sure, you’re living in a historic space, but that also means living in outdated confines without modern amenities. Other issues include no dedicated parking and sub-par road conditions. Conversely, Bella Ridge offers proximity to New Orleans – it’s just about 10 minutes from the French Quarter – without all the headaches. As a brand-new construction, Bella features state-of-the-art amenities and a dedicated, covered parking garage. It’s also spacious and energy efficient. In addition to being near downtown New Orleans, Bella Ridge also boasts close proximity to major shops and restaurants.


Living just outside downtown New Orleans gives young professionals a lot more bang for their buck. We recently compared a downtown property to our Bella Ridge property, and in terms of value, the results were staggering. Bella Ridge offered 100 additional square feet, better amenities, and free parking for nearly $1,000 less per month than a comparable downtown property. If you add in parking (which isn’t included in downtown apartments) the value differential increases even more.

Lifestyle Perks

We mentioned how Bella Ridge offers better amenities than comparable downtown apartments – but what exactly does that mean? First and foremost is free covered parking. You’ll never have to fight for a spot, and you’ll never get stuck in inclement weather. Our parking garage is clean, lighted, and a great way to add a layer of ease into your daily routine. Bella Ridge also features a beautiful outdoor pool with a built-in tanning ledge plus a state-of-the-art fitness facility. If you have a dog, you’re in luck: we’re big animal lovers at 1st Lake Properties, which is why we’ve included an on-site dog park called Bella Bark at our Bella Ridge property.

All in all, if you’re looking for the best apartments for young professionals in New Orleans, put Bella Ridge at the top of your list! Learn more today about specials and other promotions – we’d love to hear from you.

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