New year, new resolutions. For 2017, why not focus on where you live? These five rental resolutions will make your apartment feel like home.
It’s easier said than done — but carving out time to make your bed each and every day makes a big difference in making your space feel like home! It’s meditative time for you in the morning, and when you get home from work, imagine how nice it will feel to come home to a made-up bed. Purchase fun throw pillows or linen spray to really amp up the homey feel.
At some point every day, make it a point to put away or clean up ten items. That could mean stacking up your magazines on the coffee table, loading a few lingering items into the dishwasher, or wiping down the counter. Don’t plan to spend more than 20 minutes doing this: the idea is to clean day by day and help mitigate time-consuming deep cleans on your Saturday.
Renters often feel like it doesn’t make sense to invest in their space since they’re only renting. We firmly disagree! If you move, you take your decor with you, just like you would clothes and personal items. So why not allocate a little bit of money toward home decor?
Curtains add instant polish to your space and help define windows, which are natural light sources and a focal point for the eye. Go for full-length curtains to help create a sense of height. Whether you opt for a bold color or simple neutral is up to you!
Pantone named “greenery” the 2017 color of the year! Our suggestion for getting green? House plants. They add life to your space while also offering added health benefits. Take a look at our guide to indoor plants here.
Fall fashion is always a favorite – this is the time of year when we can pull out our sweaters and boots (or perhaps buy some new ones!). But what about your apartment? Keeping a tight budget in mind – so you can splurge on that new sweater – we’ve collected a few great fall decorating tips from our 1st Lake Properties designer for fall decorating. Follow along to learn how to spruce up your place for the season. The results are easy on the wallet full and of aesthetic impact!
One of the easiest ways to update your apartment for fall is to keep an autumn color palette in mind. Our designer suggests incorporating yellows, golds, browns, grays, and oranges as accent colors using items like vases, dishtowels, tablecloths, and plates. Thrifty options to find seasonal accent pieces include stores like TJ Maxx and Amazon. Or, you can literally thrift! Goodwill is great for bargain hunting: try this Goodwill locator to find a thrift store nearest your apartment.
Bring in the same colors mentioned above, or create a more earthy and textured look by using clips and a painters cloth. You can purchase painters cloths at a store like Lowe’s for less than $15 a piece. Use curtain clips (order them on Amazon!) to hang them.
As the temperature cools down, you can add warmth through color palette and texture. Items like pillows and blankets are a great way to create varied textures and add a cozy feel to your space. Pumpkins and gourds are another great way to add texture and create a natural, autumnal affect. Our designer suggests throwing some white pumpkins into the mix to create a cohesive look. Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin farm? Here’s a link with pumpkin farms around the area.
Candle warmers can be found for $15 or less at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond (Goodwill, too!). Purchase a scent like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or maple so your apartment smells just as cozy as it feels.
Floral arrangements always look beautiful inside apartments, but you can up the ante during the fall by incorporating rich colors and other types of vegetation: sunflowers, gourds, and grains of wheat (fake or real!) create an autumn harvest aesthetic.
We’ve already mentioned some of our favorite affordable stores like Goodwill, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby are two other bargain-friendly stores located close to many of our apartments. Plus, you can use Hobby Lobby’s weekly 40% discount coupon. Happy fall!
It’s easy to personalize nearly every room in the house while you’re a renter — just ask local interior designer Whitney Jones. But one room is a little more difficult to customize: the kitchen. While we’re pleased to offer spacious, modern kitchens within our 1st Lake Properties, we know custom kitchen redos just aren’t in the cards for renters. However, with a little creativity, you can apply modern kitchen trends to your space. See a few of our favorite tips and tricks below.
Mid-Century Modern Accents — The mid-century modern resurgence has been a huge trend for the past few seasons, and by choosing pared-down shapes and palettes, you can ensure that these vintage-inspired pieces will continue to look fresh. We love the look Eames-style bar stools and a retro bar cart, which can serve as extra storage.
Texture — Another trend in kitchen decor is texture: think textured tile, countertops, and patterns all together to create a layered look. Accents like woven placemats are a great and affordable way to incorporate texture.
Soft Color Palettes — Both the mid-century and textural trends lean on soft color palettes as an underlying theme. By choosing light tones, you’ll create the look and feel of more space. Opt for light-colored accent pieces and appliances wherever you can for a fresh, on-trend look.
Smart Storage — When incorporating decor, plan to add pieces with function. Wire baskets add a chic, industrial feel and are perfect for storing utensils, packaged food, linens, and more. You can also purchase a standalone island for added counter space and a pop of personal style.
Open Kitchen/Living Spaces — Many of our properties feature joint kitchen and living spaces. Remember, it’s easy to transfer between properties at 1st Lake if you’re interested in moving to one of our properties with state-of-the-art kitchens.
Utilize rugs — Rugs are a great way to add color and texture to the kitchen. Opt for a pattern, if possible, to mitigate any visible stains (hey, kitchen mishaps happen!).
Add a mirror — Mirrors create the illusion of more space while also reflecting light. The kitchen probably isn’t the first place you’d think of to add a mirror, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Incorporate a temporary backsplash — Peel-and-stick tiles or vinyl decals are an easy way to customize your rental kitchen. Take a look at Apartment Therapy for some ideas!
Swap out hardware — Update pieces like drawer pulls, cabinet knobs, and even light switch plates. Just remember to make note of where all the original hardware was prior to removal, and keep it all in a safe spot! You’ll need to change everything back before you move.
Bring the outdoors in — It’s amazing what a simple plant can do. Add easy-care indoor plants to your kitchen for increased oxygen and a splash of color.
One of the greatest aspects of the technology revolution is the increased ability to work from home. But how do you stay as motivated at home as you do in the office? To produce at the same rate as you would at work, you need a space that is designated solely for your job. You need a home office.
These bonus rooms can easily be converted into offices, making it easy to work from home. Before you start furnishing a home office or workspace area in your apartment, use this checklist to make sure you have the best, most useful, office decor and supplies.
The desk and chair are the most essential pieces of furniture in your home office or workspace area. You will be spending the most time using these items, and they need to be both practical and comfortable.
When choosing a desk, consider one that maximizes space. The Container Store’s Java Linea Leaning Desk leans up against the wall, taking up minimal floor area while still allowing for plentiful work space.
Chair shopping should be centered around comfort, but you can still make room for style! This swivel chair from Target has a fun look at an affordable price.
For an at-home office space you’ll actually want to work at, consider blending form and function. Our 1st Lake Properties interior designer has a few great tips to personalize your desk in a way that looks beautiful and helps facilitate workflow:
Have a good lamp for task lighting — In addition to sufficient overhead or ambient light, select a desk lamp with a movable head to spotlight your work as needed. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate metallics or color for a personalized look.
Keep papers and pens in check — Rather than a bulky file system, our designer suggests a simple letter organizer to place on your desk to keep papers neat and easily accessible. For pens, use brightly colored multi-purpose holders (a favorite mug, for example) to hold them all in one place.
Consider a glass desk — If you can only dedicate a small corner of a room to your workspace, opt for a glass or translucent desk to help the room appear larger. Light (both natural and artificial) can also pass freely through this material, creating a brighter, cheerier ambience for your workspace.
Just add greenery — Orchids, succulents, and air plants are all great choices for a desk: they’re low-maintenance yet still offer a pop of life and color.
Keep it neat — Books and magazines are usually part of any desk space, but you can maintain a cohesive look by organizing them by color and size. The color and size rule works well for everything else on your desk, too — sticky notes, highlighters, pens, you name it!
A hands-on approach — If you’re right-handed, keep all of your pens, notebooks, etc. on the right side of your desk. Vice versa for lefties!
Remember, no home workspace is complete without the personal touches. Your office should reflect you as a person. Hang pictures and photographs that keep you positive and driven. Add a chalkboard for daily notes or inspirational quotes. Decorate in a way that will make you happy and excited to work.
When developing the floor plan of your home office, you need to consider two types of storage: bookshelves and file cabinets.
Bookshelves are obvious storage options for work-related literature, workbooks and manuals. They also offer additional storage for decorative items. When choosing a bookshelf, remember to remain space-conscious. Consider a ladder bookshelf that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
One of the hardest parts about working from home is staying organized. Though bookshelves are great for bound documentation, any loose or private paperwork should be filed away. If your desk doesn’t have a built in file cabinet, try a portable rolling one that will fit right under your desk.
Most office work is done electronically, so a computer or laptop is a necessity. If you are looking for a cheaper option and don’t plan on moving around much, buy a desktop. If you want to be able to take your work with you, consider a laptop.
If you want both, you can hook up an extra monitor to your laptop giving you the feel of a desktop with the convenience of a portable computer.
Now that you’ve got some ideas about how to decorate your office, go out and start collecting supplies! Here are our favorite office furniture and supply stores in the city:
CORT Furniture allows you to rent chic, of-the-moment furniture for reasonable prices — they also have a great clearance section full of deals!
5035 Bloomfield Street
Jefferson, LA 70121
Doerr Furniture offers a classic approach to home decor with several wooden desk designs.
444 Port Street
New Orleans, LA 70117
Modern Market takes a modern, sleek and minimalist approach to its furniture.
3138 Magazine Street Unit C
New Orleans, LA 70115
Box Paper Scissor designs one-of-a-kind office supplies.
3638 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
If your home office is unorganized, and is more a source of stress than productivity, it’s time to tackle that space. Your work space should help you get work done, not hinder it! Read through this list of free ways to create a more organized desk and workspace:
How would you describe your apartment? Is it a little bit of everything? An Oriental rug with a leather chair, perhaps? Stark, elegant flowers on a rugged coffee table? Different eras and periods all coming together to create one happy home? If so, you probably lean toward an eclectic design style. We’re exploring exactly what is eclectic home decor — plus a few tips on how to achieve it.
If your apartment hones in on some of the following characteristics (or if you’d like it to!), you probably prefer eclectic interiors.
The Furniture: Eclectic furniture tends to be a mix of pieces from different eras, like a mid-century modern sofa paired with opulent, leather club chairs, for example. Antique pieces and modern designs play together nicely in an eclectic home. However, all the mixed furniture shares a unifying feature: the same color palette. Typically, eclectic design styles favor neutral hues for furniture and brings in dazzling color through fabrics and accessories. On that note…
Fabrics and Accessories: Eclectic home decor features a wide variety of fabrics ranging from patterned, textured, trimmed, or all of the above — there’s truly room for everyone in an eclectic design scheme! Again, color palette is important. Use shades that go well together, whether you keep it in the same color family and play with textures or opt for complementary colors.
Finishes: Do you like wearing mixed metals for jewelry? If you have no qualms pairing a gold necklace with a silver bracelet, you’re probably a good candidate for embracing eclectic home decor. Because the furniture often comes from different eras in an eclectic style, so do the finishes — bronze, brass, nickel, and iron are all welcome!
The Takeaway: Eclectic home decor is all about mismatching — but there’s a method to the madness. Remember to choose a unifying color scheme to tie everything together.