1st Lake Blog

Accent Walls Without the Hassle

Want to create an inspiring accent wall without the hassle of a hammer?  Check out these easy accent wall alternatives. 

 1. Rest an oversized, eclectic mirror against any wall you want. Not only will this be a great talking piece, but mirrors instantly create the illusion of a larger space because they reflect the natural and artificial lighting in your apartment. 

Wayfair Kael Full Length Mirror

2.  Install a plant stand. This simple addition to your space can go anywhere in your home, and the plants you use can add aesthetically pleasing health benefits like air purification to your apartment!

Bamboo Plant Stand with Hanging Bar from Gardener’s Supply Company

3. Set up an accent table with your favorite pieces. Rather than hanging your favorite art or plants on the wall, skip the nails and hammer and just place your pieces on a cute bench or table in your apartment.  

Tecoria Wood Storage Bench from Wayfair

There are plenty of ways to revamp your space! Share your accent walls with us and tag @apartmentsat1stlake on Instagram.

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Four Furniture Staples for Small Apartments

Sometimes a studio apartment is all you really need. But such small spaces can create bigger challenges when it comes to storage. 

So we did a little digging and found four furniture staples that will make your apartment ultra functional! 

1. Floor Lamps {with Storage}

Not only do floor lamps provide an additional source of mood lighting (which you can never have enough of!), but they can also be excellent sources of storage!  Let those vertical lines work for you by selecting a floor lamp with one, two or three tiered shelves. By stacking toward the sky, instead of side-to-side, you will clear valuable floor space and gain essential room for books, a laptop or a cup of coffee! Like what you see below? You can snag it here. 

Bed Bath & Beyond Catalina Floor Lamp

2. Wall Organizer 

The great thing is, no matter what size apartment you live in, you have walls! By adding a few wall organizers throughout your home, you’re guaranteed to gain more storage and up your organization skills. When it comes to placement of your wall organizer, our first go-to location is right next to your front door. By placing a wall organizer near the place where you enter and exit for the day, you give yourself the opportunity to load and unload your day’s essentials in one place. No more rummaging around the house wondering where you left your keys this time. Our advice: purchase an organizer with a couple of different functions — a hook for your keys, a basket for your mail, and a shelf for your wallet. This prevents miscellaneous, yet vital items from being strewn about your home. Want the wall organizer below? Click here.  

WayFair Hobbs Entryway Wall Organizer

3. Magnetic Towel Bar

This one makes us all giddy inside. Why? Because it’s a stroke of pure genius. For most of us, our bulky refrigerators don’t exactly scream stylish. BUT, many of us have funky, fun dish rags that do! That’s one of the reasons we love this nifty find. Just slap this magnetic towel bar to your fridge, neatly place your cutest hand towels over them… and voila! Not to mention, this tool actually keeps your valuable counter top space free for the other stuff you really need. Oh and one more thing: by having a place where your towels can hang, you also have a place where they can dry if need be. We think Wayfair hit the trifecta with this one. Find it here, if you agree!  Want even more storage? Take a look at this kitchen organization rack from West Elm.

Wayfair Magnetic Wall Mount Towel Bar

West Elm Magnetic Kitchen Organization Rack

4. Storage Beds

Who knew a bed could be even more than just a snuggly oasis for rest? We did! By purchasing a platform bed with built-in storage, your comfy corner of the world can double as a highly functional source of storage. Plus, these purchases can be more cost-effective than you may think. Or if the built-in drawers aren’t your thing, just simply getting a raised platform bed will give you the space to slide your own set of storage boxes under there. Want to search this bed and others like it? Here’s the link

IKEA BRIMNES Bed Frame With Storage

There you have it! Four ultra-functional furniture pieces for your apartment!  

Need a New Apartment for All This Great Furniture You’re Getting?

Visit our website to find one! 

Which Rug Is Right For You?

Anyone else been super obsessed with rugs lately? 

It seems like every time we scroll through Insta or Pinterest, there’s another rug company we want to buy from or a new design that we just need to have!

Whether you’re looking to add flare, funk or just a practical piece of foot-warming fabric, rugs will give your space an upscale upgrade. (And hint: they don’t have to cost an upscale price!)

What To Consider When Selecting a Rug

In Joanna Gaines’ recent blog, she said the three most important things to consider when selecting a rug are your style, your space, and your lifestyle.  

What Your Life and Your Rug Have in Common

While rugs obviously serve as a staple design element in your home, selecting a rug goes beyond physical appearance. We can’t stress this enough. You need to know yourself to know the right rug for your home. For example, if you’re married to a mechanic who comes home a tad dirtier than a desk-dwelling counterpart, you might not want that all white shag rug. Or if you have a furry friend with muddy paws, same thought process applies. In either instance, you may opt for a natural-fiber rug. While you won’t get that soft and fluffy feel, you will get a longer lasting, life-resistant rug. Sites like Rugs USA offer chic and tough styles! 

Now before we can move on, there’s something you should know: 

Perhaps the most basic thing you should know while rug shopping is a term called “rug pile.” The pile of a rug refers to the density of a rug’s fibers. A flat rug would be described as having short piles, while a shaggy rug would be described as having long piles. In this One Kings Lane blog , you’ll discover 5 useful tidbits to help you choose the right rug pile! In general, shorter pile rugs are longer-lasting than longer piles! Plus, cleaning and maintaining shorter rugs is much easier than maintaining your 70’s shag (mostly because your vacuum won’t get in a tug of war with those pesky long fabrics). 

Photo from Rugs USA

Now, maybe you’re super clean, don’t do much playing in the dirt, and don’t have any pets. You could definitely swing that white fluffy rug. But for real, if you’re looking for that lush feel, you may want to move toward Moroccan rugs. These rugs are experts at keeping your toes toasty, while also pulling in some plushness. As you may have guessed, these are considered high-pile rugs and are usually made of cotton or wool. Check out some of these Moroccan looks from West Elm. 

Photo from West Elm, Souk Rug

Get Inspired 

A rug is an important decision, so don’t take it lightly. There are virtually thousands of different styles you can choose. To make your hunt a bit easier though, here’s a great read: 10 Sources for Good, Cheap Rugs on a Budget from our friends at Apartment Therapy. So while you’re seeking the perfect piece, keep your eyes peeled for some design inspiration. Some of our favorite social accounts to follow these days are Loloi Rugs, West Elm and Apartment Therapy.

Still Need Tips?

You can find Joanna’s rug buying guide by clicking here. 

Need More Than a New Rug? Need a New Apartment? 

You can find our available ones right here!

Escape The Brr, Stream Our Fireplace

Create instant warmth in your home by streaming our cozy, crackling fireplace on your TV, iPad,  or smart phone.  You can stream directly from our blog or head to our Youtube channel.

Let’s get crackling!

Want your own apartment with a fireplace? See our list of apartments here:

How to Create More Space in Your Apartment

Whether you’re entertaining guests or just having a relaxing night watching Netflix, it’s important to feel like you’ve got space to breathe.

Even though 1st Lake’s apartments are quite spacious, there are plenty of ways to creatively and elegantly “open up” your home. Read on for a few tips on how to add depth and space to your apartment!

Monochromatic Colors

Implementing a monochromatic color scheme in your living space will immediately give it a sense of increased space and depth. According to Apartment Therapy, “Monochromatic schemes are more peaceful as a rule, as the eye can move easily around the room without abrupt interruption by other colors.”

Glass & Mirrors

Adding glass to doors and walls will create the sensation of added space by disrupting the continuity of wallpaper and paint, and mirrors create the perception that your space is twice as large as it actually is. Glass also adds a sense of delicacy to your living room or bathroom.


Studies have shown that the more furniture you put in a room, the smaller it appears. Try to limit your use of big furniture pieces, such as ornate couches, coffee tables, and chairs.

Try instead using open-framed chairs and tables to maximize visibility within your living spaces. Also, “fitted” furniture designed to hug walls and corners are preferable to pieces that aren’t suited to maximize movement within your living space. Mounted televisions and speakers free up lots of space compared to stand-alone units.

Natural Light

Make use of natural light by using light-colored fabrics and sheers for curtains, because they will pleasantly diffuse light.  

Brighter color schemes in your living space will be more reflective of natural or indirect light, giving your room a sense of spaciousness and fluidity.

Make Use of Storage Space

Take advantage of the spaces underneath your counters and inside your cabinets. Freshome says, “Don’t forget space on top of your cabinets, refrigerator, and back of the bathroom door. In the bedroom, take advantage of space under the bed, and over doorways.”

Also, finding ways to hang miscellaneous items within cabinets as well as using vertical bookshelves is a simple and extremely effective way of creating space.

Make Use of All the Space in Your New Apartment Today!

Contact us today for information on our private residential communities.