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.

Proximity

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 Sure, you’re living in a historic space, but that also means living in outdated confines without modern amenities.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.

Affordability

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.

Going Green: Home Décor with Plants

There are so many reasons to incorporate houseplants into your design scheme: they enhance oxygen and purify the air, they can improve attentiveness and focus, most of all, they’re just plain pretty.

Home décor with plants is stylish and easier than you might think – just see our decorating tips below.

Place an orchid in the bathroom -- it naturally soaks up the added steam and humidity. (Photo via Euphoric Feng Shui)

Place an orchid in the bathroom — it naturally soaks up the added steam and humidity. (Photo via Euphoric Feng Shui)

Transform a corner with an air purifying plant.

Large fig (ficus) trees are some of the most purifying plants you can bring into your home, and because of their size, they’re a great way to brighten up a corner.

Instead of placing an occasional chair in an empty corner, try a fiddle leaf fig tree in an attractive ceramic pot.

A Rubber Tree is another variety of ficus that looks great indoors due to its glossy, thick leaves.

Decorate a desk with succulents.

Have an at-home office space? Beautify it with low-maintenance succulent plants that require very little watering.

Depending on which vessel you choose to house the plant, you can achieve different types of décor. Try a rustic terracotta pot for a traditional look, or opt for a high-gloss, pure white ceramic pot for a minimalist and modern feel.

You can also make your own terrarium for a similar effect.

Make plants moveable.

We’ve already discussed how a large fig tree can bring life (literally!) to a corner – but what if you want to move it to another room later on?

A rolling plant caddy is an easy and affordable solution.

Beautify the bathroom with orchids.

There’s nothing quite like a long, hot shower at the end of a long day. Take advantage of all that humidity by placing a beautiful orchid in the bathroom.

Orchids love steamy environments, so they’ll thrive in the bathroom while also adding a pop of color.

Remember, these plants also enjoy light, so move them to a light-filled room from time to time if needed.

Try a topiary.

Rows of topiaries look great on the mantle, particularly for those who prefer a romantic or traditional design style.

Live ivy topiaries are affordable and reasonably low-maintenance – as they grow, they give off a whimsical, fairytale ambience.

You can also copy the look with faux topiaries (we won’t tell!).

P.S. What if you’re worried your thumb isn’t so green?

Check out our definitive guide to caring for indoor plants.

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Spreading Cheer through Charity at 1st Lake Properties

No matter what holiday you choose to celebrate this time of year, we believe that everyone can participate in the collective spirit of giving throughout the winter season. That’s why year after year at 1st Lake Properties, we partner with local charities to lend a helping hand to members of our community. This holiday season, we worked with the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans to host a toy drive benefitting the Metropolitan Center for Women & Children and Angel’s Place, a charity for families with children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. We also participated in an ongoing, yearlong campaign to fundraise for the United Way. All the results are in, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how much 1st Lake Properties employees and residents were able to help our community!

Our recent toy drive and United Way fundraising efforts were a huge success!

Our recent toy drive and United Way fundraising efforts were a huge success!

A Tower of Toys for Kids in Need

Our ongoing toy drive aimed to make the holidays memorable and happy for all children, even those living at a shelter like the Metropolitan Center for Women & Children or suffering from life-altering diseases like cancer at Angel’s Place. The toy drive allowed us to fulfill many holiday wishes for sheltered families and hospitalized children in the Greater New Orleans area, and we give thanks to all those who participated in the drive.

“These gifts represent the generosity of our team members and residents at 1st Lake Properties,” says Stacey Shane Schott, our senior vice president. We are grateful to share our blessings with underprivileged members of our community in hopes we all can enjoy a more peaceful and bright holiday season.

Uniting Together for United Way

Throughout 2015, 1st Lake Properties held an ongoing drive benefitting United Way, the global organization with a Greater New Orleans branch that aims to end the cycle of poverty. We are proud to report that we raised $9,776 for United Way through payroll deductions, cash donations, a raffle, and Jean Day, where 1st Lake Employees were allowed to wear jeans to work for a $5 donation. Our local chapter of United Way will use these funds to build a stronger support system for people in need, from education and career opportunities to health services and beyond.

How to Help

If you feel compelled to assist any of these amazing local organizations, please visit their websites at www.mcwcgno.org, www.AngelsPlaceNOLA.org, and rebuildnola.unitedway.org. Monetary donations, volunteer opportunities, and donations of goods are all welcome. We’ve found throughout 2015 that the old saying is true: it truly is better to give than to receive!

 

 

Decorate with Pantone Colors of the Year 2016

Each year, Pantone picks a new color bound to serve as inspiration for interior looks or even clothes and makeup. But for 2016, the international color-matching company couldn’t choose just one. For the first time, they picked two colors: Serenity, a peaceful, wisteria blue shade, and Rose Quartz, a pale and warm rosy hue. The two shades are at opposite ends of the color wheel, making them complementary colors. While they’re a little trickier to incorporate into design schemes than, say, the 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala, we still have some ideas on how you can spruce up your space with a bit of Serenity and Rose Quartz (sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?). They’re surprisingly versatile across any room in the house – just check out our guide below.

The Pantone 2016 colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. (Photo via Pantone.com)

The Pantone 2016 colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. (Photo via Pantone.com)

How to Decorate with Pantone Colors of the Year, Serenity and Rose Quartz

Kitchen

Serenity

Studies show that blue dishware can actually deter overeating, so think of Serenity as your big chance for a blue plate special. We love this pale blue dishware for so many reasons: it’s microwave safe and nicely fits both rustic and transitional design styles.

Rose Quartz

This subtle pink hue is warm and relaxed – exactly the way you feel when you’re in your home kitchen. We like this ethereal table runner, which would look beautiful across a countertop (and, frankly, even as a scarf!).

Living Room

The "Pink Moon" print from West Elm features both Pantone colors of the year. (Photo via West Elm)

The “Pink Moon” print from West Elm features both Pantone colors of the year. (Photo via West Elm)

Serenity & Rose Quartz Artwork

Why not get a two-for-one dose of the colors of the year with selected, affordable artworks that incorporate both shades? Because of their complementary positions on the color spectrum, they work with a range of existing shades and serve to really pop when paired together. West Elm has two affordable prints we’re loving: Pink Noise gives a graphic and modern feel while incorporating darker hues, and Pink Moon features painterly strokes and a splash of deep red (hello again, Marsala!).

Bedroom

Serenity

This blue hue is one of the most calming we can think of, which is ideal for the bedroom. Use it in bed linens like these, or add just a touch of color with a beautiful accent like this ombre velvet pillow.

This pillow is pricey, but features real, hand-applied quartz for a literal take on the trend. (Photo via abchome.com)

This pillow is pricey but features real, hand-applied quartz for a literal take on the trend. (Photo via abchome.com)

Rose Quartz

This hue is also well-suited to the bedroom, particularly if you prefer a romantic or rustic-country decorating style. Use these lush curtains from West Elm to add to the romantic look, or if you’d like to splurge, do it on one amazing piece: this pillow from ABC Carpet & Home features real quartz hand-pressed into it for a literal take on the trend (Urban Outfitters offers a similar style for a much lower price).

Bathroom

Serenity

Our top pick for where to incorporate this hue in the bathroom might be a bit surprising – a bath mat! It’s a bit deeper than the rose quartz hue, which means it hides stains better. It also extends a calming, relaxing, and eclectic vibe similar to a European spa.

Rose Quartz

Take the trend figuratively and choose rose-scented products. This multi-use hand and body soap has a bold, graphic pattern and a beautiful scent. You can also browse rose-scented products from L’Occitane and Bath & Body Works.

 

How to Dispose of Christmas Trees and Live Holiday Greenery

Seasonal greenery like fir trees and wreaths delight the senses with their wintry look and fresh scent. But after the holidays are over, disposing of these decorations can be a real headache. However, with a few pro tips, you can remove holiday greenery with ease – and even create new decorations for next year in the process. Here’s how:

tree branches

Read on to learn the best ways of disposing holiday greenery. (Photo courtesy waysideviolet on Flickr)

How to Dispose of Christmas Trees and Other Live Greenery

Removing the Tree

Don’t let your tree get too dried out before you remove it: the dryer a tree is, the more likely you are to be at risk of a house fire. Take care to remove all ornaments, tinsel, and lights, then remove the tree from its stand. If possible, you can break the tree down into more manageable sections, then carry the pieces to the curb. If not, use a tree bag or an old sheet to wrap the tree in, which will help prevent needle and sap transfer onto your floors as you carry it outside. Take the tree to the dumpster, and make sure it doesn’t obstruct any roads or sidewalks.

Cleaning Up

Once you remove the tree, you’ll likely have extra needles to clean up. We suggest using a broom rather than a vacuum at first because too many needles can clog vacuums. After you’ve swept, you can go over the area with a vacuum to pick up any stray remains. Also, check for sap or water stains – be sure to clean and dry these areas using color-safe carpet cleaner or floor cleaner.

Recycling

In Jefferson Parish, the Department of Environmental Affairs will recycle all trees collected to use for marsh restoration and composting. All Jefferson parish residents in places like Kenner and Harahan who place their live trees out for collection will automatically have them recycled as long as the trees are free of all lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments, stands, and plastic bags. The parish will collect eligible trees on January 7, 8, and 9, 2016.

Other Ideas

tree bark ornaments

You can create holiday ornaments using tree bark from a fir or pine tree. (Photo courtesy DesignMom.com)

Use parts of your tree as decorations for next year. You can carefully cut thin slices of the trunk or branches to decorate and hang on next year’s tree with a ribbon (use a bit of hot glue on the back of the wood or drill a small hole). You can also create coasters out of the wooden discs – seal them with a wood varnish first!

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