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Apartment Storage Ideas: Vertical Space + More

A common challenge for renters is space constraints. It may seem like your apartment can’t fit all of your stuff, but there are ways that you can make everything fit comfortably with the space available that you may not have thought of. Enter these awesome storage ideas.

Maximizing the space you have is key. One of our favorite solutions for storage in a small apartment is making use of vertical space.

Storage Ideas for Apartments

Vertical Storage

It’s easy to use up the available horizontal space in your apartment, but often times there is a lot of leftover vertical space that can be utilized. Here are the best ways to use vertical space in your apartment.

Free standing shelves and bookcases

Free standing shelves are not only portable, convenient, and rental-friendly, but also a great space saver! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used in any room in the apartment, including the kitchen for extra dish or appliance storage, the bathroom for towels and toiletries, as bookcases, or in the closet to store shoes or clothes that won’t fit in drawers.

ladder-style leaning bookshelf. photo credit: Woodstock Furniture Outlet

Punctuate a blank wall with a leaning, ladder-style bookshelf. (Photo via Woodstock Furniture Outlet)

A ladder-style leaning bookshelf can be an easy, modern way to add some extra storage furniture to a bare wall – use it to display decorative items or store books.

Under shelves

Another great way to use vertical space especially in your kitchen is with under-shelf storage baskets. If there is a lot of room between the shelves that are already built in to your cabinets, simply attach an under-shelf basket to create more storage space for additional items.

Under-shelf baskets are a great way to harness vertical space and add more storage. (Photo via ApartmentTherapy.com)

Under-shelf baskets are a great way to harness vertical space and add more storage. (Photo via ApartmentTherapy.com)

If you need more space to store glassware, there are also under-the-shelf stemware holders that are a convenient solution.

Wall space

One thing we sometimes forget is that we have plenty of space on our walls for storage. This can be easily and safely used by placing shelves along the walls to use that vertical space to its capacity.

Hidden Storage Solutions

There’s more to storage than meets the eye with these clever items.

Risers

Give storage a lift when you use bed risers — they’re affordable, easy to use, and add valuable inches to store items under your bed. Adding height is also a great way to give the illusion of more space: your bed will look and feel more regal, and you’ll benefit from the added storage beneath.

Storage Beds

Storage beds have built-in storage within a hollow portion of the bed frame. Many feature drawers along the bottom for a look that is both attractive and incredibly functional. Use the added space to store bedtime essentials like blankets or pajamas.

Storage Ottomans

Ottomans are a great addition to a living room — you can bring in new colors and prints at an affordable price, and if you choose a storage ottoman, you can also add a little more practicality. Storage ottomans are hollow on the inside with a removable lid for easy access. Stock yours with living room items like games, remotes, or blankets.

Looking for a new apartment? We have many excellent and spacious choices for metro New Orleans apartments and in Mississippi!


Home Decor for Small Apartments

Though we think even our studio apartments are spacious (and full of awesome amenities), space is always a concern. You don’t have to sacrifice style for space, though! Read on for a few easy ideas for home decor for small apartments below.

Home Decor for Small Apartments

Try a folding chair. You might think of this piece of furniture as one suited only to outdoor spaces, but think again! These folding chairs are ideal for small spaces and look so gorgeous you might not even want to fold them up and put them away. Whether you use them at the dining table or as extra seating for surprise guests, folding chairs are a chic space solution.

folding chair

Who says folding chairs are for outdoors only? This beautiful chair from Anthropologie looks great in a bedroom or living room. (Photo courtesy Anthropologie)

  • Ikea Terje Folding Chair — Under $20 and in a recent Pantone Color of the Year shade, Marsala? We’re sold on Ikea’s Terje folding chair. Perfect in the living room, kitchen, or patio, the chair also works as a decorative element – place it in a corner and stack a few favorite books on the seat for a bohemian look.
  • Crate & Barrel Spare Folding Chair – Clean lines and a soft dove gray color create a sophisticated yet romantic look. We imagine pairing this folding chair with a faux-fur white pillow perfect for the bedroom. Crate & Barrel also offers the chair in a lovely shade of mint plus classic black and white.
  • Ballard Café Folding Chairs (Set of Two) – Add European flair to your space with these classic bistro chairs. Extend the Parisian influence when styling – we like the French blue shade. Francophiles will also like the…
  • Ballard Louis Folding Chair – Bringing a regal, vintage aesthetic, the Louis folding chair has elaborate cane weaving and lovely carved details. It looks great with a linen cushion (sold separately), but you don’t need one.
  • Anthropologie Terai Folding Chair – The price tag is high, but this chair makes a huge statement. Built-in cushioning provides extra comfort and the graphic pattern (available in a range of subtle shade differences) creates a dramatic focal point.

Let there be light. Opting for decor in light hues like white, cream, or rose quartz creates an optical illusion that a space is larger. Since the walls at our 1st Lake Properties are already painted in light hues, we’ve already assisted with half the battle!

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Incorporating mirrors into your home decor for small apartments is an easy way to create the feeling of more space. Mirrors — particularly full-length mirrors — add dimension to a room and are an interesting visual focal point.

Raise the roof. Try hanging floor-to-ceiling decorative curtains to create a lengthening, heightening effect. You can also use this same approach for a DIY curtain headboard.

 

 

 


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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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.

 


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.