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 Sure, you’re living in a historic space, but that also means living in outdated confines without modern amenities.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

New Year’s Resolutions: Advice, Suggestions and Examples

Every year as January approaches we reflect on the year that passed. We boast accomplishments, regret missed opportunities, and think about the upcoming year. “What can I do differently? What can I do better?” This is usually when we decide to make a “New Year’s Resolution”. A resolution to eat healthier, drink less, exercise more, and so on.

In theory, New Year's resolutions are a great way to start a new year. The problem with resolutions is that we almost never stick to them. So how do we get ourselves to stick to our promises? Simple: pick the right resolutions, and make a plan to stick to them. We’ve put together a couple of tips to help you out.In theory, resolutions are a great way to promote a progressive new year. The problem with resolutions is that we almost never stick to them. In fact, only 65% of resolution-makers make it to February and only 46% will continue past June.

So how do we get ourselves to stick to our promises? Simple: pick the right resolutions, and make a plan to stick to them. This is easier said than done; so we’ve put together a couple of tips to help you out.

 

Choosing the Right Resolution

This may sound strange, but some resolutions actually are better than others. In order to follow through with a resolution, you need to be passionate, driven and internally motivated.

  1. Pick a resolution that will make you happier: Happiness is a huge driver in decision-making. If your resolution will bring you immediate, or even far-off happiness, you are more likely to follow through with it. Try planning more time with your family, or giving yourself more free time.
  2. Pick a resolution that is concrete: Too many people make abstract resolutions like “I will lose weight”. Instead, focus on specific goals like working out for 30 minutes 3 days a week.
  3. Pick a resolution that matches your style of internal motivation: Do you respond better to starting an action, or stopping one? If you are a “yes” resolver, add something positive to your life. If you are a “no” resolver, take away something negative.

Choosing a resolution might seem overwhelming, but don’t let it be! If you can’t choose just one, try out a couple of different resolutions. All that matters is that you are growing as a person.

Sticking to Your Resolution

Once you have chosen the right resolution(s), it’s time to put them in action. As soon as the ball drops, begin planning out how you will commit to your new promise.

  1. Write down an action plan: One of the most important aspects of resolution-making is accountability. By creating an action plan, you are making yourself responsible for success every day/week/month. Action plans will also help you record-keep and remind you of your progress.
  2. Change one behavior at a time: Many resolutions require several behavioral changes in order to be successful. Do not try to tackle all of them at once. If you want to lose five pounds, first drink more water, then cut fatty foods, and then begin exercising. Slowly changing behaviors will help ease you into your resolution and make you feel like you’re on an upward climb.
  3. Ask for support! Changing your day-to-day life is challenging, no matter what. Whenever you are feeling doubtful or lost, contact a friend. Chances are, they need a pick-me-up just as much as you do.

We wish you the best of luck in the completing your goals for 2016.

But we’re not only dishing the advice, we’re taking it too.

Here’s what we plan to achieve in 2016:

  1. Provide a beautiful living environment: At 1st lake, we pride ourselves on maintaining beautifully landscaped apartment communities with pools, exercise and recreational facilities, lush plantsm greenery, creeks, bridges and other outside features. We want your apartment lifestyle to feel like a vacation. So many of our apartment communities do such a great job grooming their grounds that we recognize the best of the best with quarterly Beautification Award winners. We’re committed to continuing our standard of quality for our residents in 2016.
  2. Provide specials and reduced rates: We often offer exclusive bonuses to our friends on Facebook and Instagram, like a chance to win a free iPad mini or flat screen TV for leasing at select communities as well as special reduced rates on apartments at featured properties. We vow to continue giving prospective residents of 1st Lake these unique opportunities to take advantage of!
  3. Provide new properties: A few years ago, we proudly welcomed the new Regency Club apartments in Baton Rouge. In 2015, we introduced the new Bella Ridge apartments in River Ridge. This year we hope to welcome many more properties to the 1st lake family.

So let’s all work together to make 2016 the best year yet. Happy New Year everyone!

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Holiday Gift Guide: What to Buy for Your First Apartment

If you’ve just moved into a new place, first things first: check out our First Apartment Essentials list and Moving Checklist. After you’ve sifted through these resources, your next step is decidedly more fun – it’s time to decorate! With the holidays coming up, we’ve put together a gift guide on what to buy for your first apartment. Share it with family members or use it yourself to help create a chic, inviting space at home.

For the Entryway

monogrammed-tray

A monogrammed tray is a great place to place mail and keys. (Photo courtesy West Elm)

Pretty storage. Ask for unique pieces like a monogrammed trayhooks, or a small side table so you have somewhere to place your keys and mail as soon as you walk in the door. Attractive storage helps alleviate clutter and create a streamlined – yet decorative – look.

For the Living Room

An area rug. Bringing color and comfort to your space is as easy as purchasing an area rug. Choose a neutral color scheme or pick a bright hue that complements your existing decor.

Artwork. Framed artwork instantly pulls your space together. Look for one oversized piece, or hang several together in a gallery-style arrangement.

Mirrors. Similar to artwork, mirrors provide that extra decorative pop on walls. The bonus? They’re much easier to gift than artwork – no mulling over which print to pick out or whether to choose something traditional or modern! Mirrors also maximize space by reflecting light, doubling their impact on a blank wall. Ask for a hanging mirror or a jumbo-sized one to lean casually against a wall (you may want to mount it for extra security, especially if you have pets or small children).

Throw pillows. Pillows are an easy way to add bright pops of color and texture; they can easily change the whole look of your couch or other upholstered items. As local interior designer Whitney Jones shared with us, “Pillows are a really good way to update a space and make an apartment look totally different without spending too much money.” Anthropologie, West Elm, and Target all have a wide selection of beautiful throw pillows.

For the Bedroom

Bedding. High thread counts are extra-sumptuous but can be pricey. Asking for high-end bedding as a gift helps cover the cost and treat yourself to something you’ll use every single night.

Throw pillows. For all the awesome reasons why, scroll up to the “For the Living Room” section!

For the Kitchen

kitchenaid-blender

KitchenAid blenders are a high-quality kitchen tool that will last for years. (Photo courtesy KitchenAid)

A blender. You can find them for $20, but when you have to replace them over and over, is it really worth the deal? Ask for a nice, name-brand blender, and you’ll be making smoothies and milkshakes for years to come.

Pans. Quality is key here. Non-stick saute pans from brands like Calphalon are expensive but will last and last. You can also look for a black steel skillet, which combines facets of cast iron and stainless steel into one seamless piece.

Knives. Just like pans, quality determines price. Extra-sharp knives do the work for you, tackling laborious kitchen tasks like chopping and cutting with ease. A chef’s knife and a serrated knife should cover most of your needs.

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