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Apartment Life: 5 Tips to Create Space for Your Guests this Thanksgiving

If you’re entertaining at home this Thanksgiving, it’s important to provide your guests with as much personal space as possible. 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 a list of tips for spatial optimization during the holidays. Read on to learn our favorite hosting hacks!

Think Vertically

Thinking vertically is one of our best tips for Thanksgiving. 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, use other flat surfaces as well. 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 instead of cramming your guests into 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.

Rearrange the Furniture

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 at any time of year, but during the holidays it can be 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 temporary storage units, leaving you maximum space for entertaining.

Get Creative with Miscellaneous Items

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.

Be Mindful of the A/C

A nice, cool space with proper air circulation will ensure that your guests are comfortable, even if your apartment is a little bit crowded.

Smaller apartments can heat up quickly with the oven going and extra guests mingling about. Keep everyone happy by being mindful of the A/C — turn it down a few notches and adjust accordingly throughout the evening!

Spend Thanksgiving in Your New 1st Lake Apartment

Contact us today to learn more about our private gated apartment communities!


1st Lake Life Hacks: Tips & Tricks for a Tidy and Purposeful 2018

Can you believe January is almost over? It’s amazing how fast this month has flown by! If you’re like us, you’ve been rocking your new year’s resolutions (Our’s was launching the beautifully built Clearwater Creek Premier community) and things are going well!  Keep up the great work! If you’re looking to add more purposeful initiatives to your daily routine, or need some inspiration for organizing your 1st Lake space, use this list to guide you toward achieving even MORE goals in 2018!

Well-Being Life Hacks

1. “Eat the frog.” According to Insider’s Lucy Yang, completing your hardest task first is the best way to overcome procrastination. Do you have an assignment at work you’re avoiding? Is there a closet full of clothes you’ve been meaning to organize but dread the task? Yang refers to Reddit as her source for this daunting, yet rewarding idea. “That thing you feel crummy about? That thing you’re dreading? That is exactly the thing you need to do […] You know you’re going to end up feeling bad if you procrastinate anyway […] [so] you might as well take the action that will improve your life.” – Reddit user, ParallaxBrew

2. If it only takes one minute? Do it right then! Think about how many times you’ve left dishes in the sink or tossed your jacket over your sofa or chair instead of hanging it up properly? If you’re avoiding a task that only takes a little time to accomplish, they’ll eventually pile up and come back to haunt you.

Rinse that cup out and put it in the dishwasher immediately! Done! Grab a hanger and put your coat neatly back in your closet! Done! You’ll keep your space tidy and feel significantly less stressed knowing there isn’t a pile of shoes accumulating outside of your closet door and a pile of dishes smelling up your beautiful kitchen.

3. Get an “anti-workout” workout in. If you’re not a fan of going to a gym or fitness class, that’s okay! There are dozens of other ways to improve your physical and mental health without leaving your 1st Lake home. Many of our apartment communities feature landscaped nature trails and walking paths you can use to get healthy.

Located in River Ridge, Citrus Creek East features beautiful fountains and walking paths throughout its community. Just put on a podcast and get walking!

According to Prevention.com, walking just 30 minutes a day can improve your mental well-being, your creativity, and help reduce your waistline. If that’s still too much, start small with 15 push-ups or crunches in your bedroom or living room. It’ll be 15 more than you did the day before!

4. Meditate. According to Insider, “It sounds too good to be true, but research has shown that meditation can help reduce stress and negative emotions, improve your memory and emotional control, and literally change your brain for the better.”

 

Home Life Hacks

1. Evaluate and donate unworn wardrobe items. Remember that “Eat the frog” tip from above? This is how you apply it. Stop putting this off and take some time on the weekend to really dig through your wardrobe. Not only will you free up space in your overcrowded closet and drawers, you could potentially make a little cash on the items you decide to sell to consignment stores. And in the long run, you’ll feel good about accomplishing this goal, making some money, and donating to people in need.

2. Store plastic grocery bags in a tissue container. This hack is pretty simple, but it can solve a very annoying problem. It’s great to repurpose grocery bags for trash bins and pet needs, but your collection might outweigh your frequency of use and that pantry looks like a plastic warzone! Head to your local home accessories store and pick up a few cute tissue holders. That way, they’re stylishly hidden, yet easy to access.

3. Donate towels and bedding to shelters. Refinery29 says, “…the best place to give them a second life is an animal shelter or vet’s office. “Animals often need to be bathed in these facilities — they’ll need tons of towels and blankets to find comfort in.” Here’s a list of Greater New Orleans area animal shelters.

4. Store owner manuals & toss cardboard packages. The first step in this home hack is to head to your local office supply store and buy an accordion-style file holder. Then, find all of the empty appliance and electronics boxes you’ve kept over the years, collect the owner’s manuals from the depths of those dusty cardboard containers and file them neatly in your new accordion filer! After you’ve assembled and organized every manual you have, pitch those space-sucking boxes. Not only will you have much more room for other items, you’ll be ridding your home of a dangerous fire hazard!

 

How’s Life Hacking?

This is a lot of information to absorb, and it may seem overwhelming. The best way to really start hacking is to single out one or two of the tips above to start with! Over time, you’ll be able to chip away at this list and accomplish more than you thought possible at the start of the new year! Which tips caught your eye first? Tell us on social media and share your progress with our 1st Lake community!


New Year, New Look: The Top Interior Design Trends of 2018

What better way to refresh your 1st Lake space than with some new and stylish interior design changes! Fresh color palettes, new furniture, and stylish wall art are just a few ways to transition your space into a vibrant, welcoming, and comforting environment for you, your family, and your friends in 2018.

Not only will you be on trend in 2018, updating your living space is a great way to create an inspiring sanctuary that encourages positivity in the new year. Get rid of that hand-me-down furniture, those dated decorative items, and that framed poster you’ve had since college. Use this guide to find the new looks you like, and transform your apartment home into a haven you just might not want to leave!

Indoor Gardens

According to NOLA.com, plant accessories are growing wild in 2018. “Expect to see more houseplants, indoor herb garden and even shower plants — that’s right, plants that live in your shower — this year.”

Grow it yourself and use it in your recipes!

Plants are a great way to bring nature inside, and their air purifying capabilities create a healthy living environment without the need for unsightly equipment. Herb gardens are also great to incorporate into your home-cooked meals. Check out our recipe blogs for ways to incorporate your herb garden’s bounty this year.

Sofa So Good!

There’s no stronger way to make a statement than with a brightly colored sofa. Bold, rich hues are in for 2018, and many of these loud sofas come in velvet and satin finishes, which gives them and extra level of shine.

A velvet, emerald-colored sofa adds a formal touch to an artisan-style living room. (Photo via The Only Girl in the House)

“A daring sofa color tackles two common design challenges: adding color and creating a focal point,” says Mitchell Parker of Houzz.com.

Woven Creations for Wall Art & Functionality

The artisan aesthetic has been in style for some time, but none are more prominent now than the woven accessory. Woven accessories can give your space an international feel and add a welcoming warmth to your rooms.

There are tons of area art markets and flea markets you can visit to find your woven match.

Visit a local art market or international market and pick out some pieces for functionality and style. Use a deep woven basket to store your living room’s throw blankets or assemble a medley of flat, uniquely-shaped weavings on the wall for an eye-catching global gallery.

Simple, Clutter-Free Bedrooms

There’s no need for busy and bulky bedroom furniture in 2018. Houzz suggests you eliminate the loud patterns and oversized items from your sleeping den and replace them with simple, utilitarian-style looks.

Awaking to soft, natural textures provides a more peaceful morning experience.

“Instead, a pared down, verging-on-minimalist look that incorporates soothing neutrals, soft fabrics and simple, functional pieces is the direction homeowners are heading.” If you really want to be on trend in 2018, incorporate soft, washed out lavender bedding into your look.

 How will you style 2018?

Did we miss a trend you’ve embraced for the new year? Have you already decorated with some of these trends and tips? Share your tips and interior looks with us on Facebook or tag your style updates on our Instagram so we can see how you’ve transitioned in 2018!


New Orleans Area Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkins are having a moment. They’re in lattes, muffins, pancakes, hummus (seriously!), brownies, pies, smoothies, and just about any seasonal treat you can think of— but pumpkins are just as important a design element as a recipe ingredient this time of year. What front step (or living room mantel) is complete without a jack-o-lantern?

Take a look at these pumpkin patches throughout the Greater New Orleans area. Whether you go to pick up a pumpkin or just snap a fun fall selfie, they’re a great way to spend a few hours.

Bonus: check out these free carving templates from GoNOLA!

pumpkins

Find pumpkins galore at these patches around the New Orleans metro area. (Photo via Pexels)

Pumpkin Patches in New Orleans Metro

New Orleans

City Park Pumpkin Patch

  • Where: Wheel Fun Rentals in City Park along the Big Lake Trail
  • When: September 30-October 22
  • More info: Ticket prices are $5-$9; enjoy pumpkin patch, hay ride, unlimited bounce house and inflatables, games, and picture stations. Other items, such as Surrey rides, pedal boats, snacks, and pumpkins are available for purchase.

St. Paul’s Episcopal School

  • Where: 6249 Canal Boulevard in New Orleans
  • When: October 7-31
  • More info: Pumpkins at this patch weigh up to 40 pounds! There’s also a designated photo area for pictures

Aurora United Methodist Pumpkin Patch

  • Where: 3300 Eaton Street in Algiers
  • When: October 16-31
  • More info: This patch hosts a family day on October 21 with food, games, and pumpkins for all

Metairie/Kenner

Plum Street Snoball Pumpkin Patch

  • Where: Lafreniere Park near the Splash Pad and carousel
  • When: October 6-31
  • More info: Pumpkins range in cost from $1 to $20; the patch can host birthday parties and field trips

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

  • Where: 2216 Metairie Road in Metairie
  • When: September 25 through October 31
  • More info: This location is collecting nonperishable goods to donate to Second Harvest

St. Augustine’s Pumpkin Patch

  • Where: 3412 Haring Road in Metairie
  • When: October 5-31
  • More info: This patch will also sell jewelry, crafts, baked goods, and different types of gourds

Mandeville

Jim’s Pumpkins

  • Where: Corner of Highway 59 and Florida in Mandeville
  • When: October 8-31
  • More info: The Knights of Columbus also sponsors this patch

Covington

St. Peter Parish

  • Where: 125 E 19th Avenue in Covington
  • When: October 15-31
  • More info: The Knights of Columbus sponsors this patch

Lagniappe

Stella Plantation Pumpkin Patch

  • Where: Stella Plantation in Braithwaite
  • When: October 22
  • More info: Tickets available here Make a to-do out of your pumpkin hunt at this event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which features hayrides, bounce houses, photo opps, and more.


Where to Shop for Furniture in the Greater New Orleans Area

Is your 1st Lake residence missing something? Are you looking to update your home decor? Luckily, a large portion of 1st Lake communities are in close proximity to the area’s best furniture stores. Kenner, Metairie, and River Ridge all have a great selection of furniture and home decor stores you can shop to find your new style. Unique, one-of-a-kind pieces? Antique or modern looks? Casual and traditional styles? The Greater New Orleans Area has your vision covered. Here are a few of our favorite furniture spots in the area:

Christian Street Furniture

You can find rustic and refurbished farmhouse looks at Christian Street Furniture. Photo via Christian Street Furniture’s Facebook

Christian Street Furniture is a locally-owned, family-run furniture store with two locations, one in Baton Rouge and one in Metairie. They carry a large selection of unique, reclaimed looks for the artesian aesthetic. You can customize a multitude of pieces from Christian Street Furniture, which makes it a fun place to piece together your perfect look.

Hurwitz Mintz

Metairie’s Hurwitz Mintz houses an expansive selection of fine furniture. Photo via Hurwitz Mintz Facebook Page

You might get lost in Metairie’s furniture megastore, Hurwitz Mintz, but it’s totally worth it. They don’t call it the south’s largest furniture store for nothing! Their Airline Drive location is two stories, which means you have plenty of furniture options to choose from. Hurwitz Mintz is another locally-owned store, and it’s been serving this area for over 90 years. They carry a large portion of traditional and timeless styles, so if that’s what you’re interested in, check out Hurwitz Mintz!

Cost Plus World Market

World Market carries furniture and decor from across the globe. Photo via Cost Plus World Market’s Facebook Page

If you’re going for the Bohemian look, head to Elmwood Shopping Center! Cost Plus World Market is a bright and bold furniture store with styles curated from countries around the world. Eclectic decor? Check! Eccentric artwork? Check! Eco-conscious furniture? Check and check! If you want your 1st Lake apartment to look like a fabulous hippy hideaway, snag some furniture from World Market!

Rooms To Go

Rooms To Go takes the ease out of filling an entire room. Photo via Rooms To Go’s Facebook Page

Rooms To Go is designed to make furnishing a space easy. Rooms To Go introduced the concept of “displaying and packaging furniture in complete room settings” all the way down to the accent items, which allows the shopper to literally pick the room they want. Instead of piecemealing your room together one purchase at a time, why not knock out the whole thing? That’s where the Metairie store comes into play!

Do you have a favorite furniture store in the Greater New Orleans Area? Share your tips with us on Facebook or Instagram!