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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!


Get to Know Clearwater Creek Premier’s Energy Efficient Kitchen

Our brand-new luxury living community in Elmwood, Clearwater Creek Premier, is loaded with state-of-the-art features and apartment amenities you won’t find anywhere else in the Greater New Orleans Area. One of our goals for this new development was to provide energy efficient options in every single one of Clearwater Creek Premier’s living spaces.

Cooking Up Savings

At the center of this effort are the electric convection range and double-ovens located in the kitchen of each residence. The range uses radiant heating elements on its stovetop, which is significantly more energy efficient than its generic electric coil counterparts. Radiant coils are similar to traditional coil burners, but instead of protruding from the top of the range, they sit under a smooth and flat ceramic surface. Heat is conserved better under the ceramic top, which allows for faster heating times and higher heat outputs. Plus, it’s easier to clean!

Four heating elements, a warming element, and two ovens? Now we’re cookin’!

Just under the range’s sleek stove are two, that’s right, two ovens! The ovens on this range utilize a dual element baking technique, which combines the efforts of the baking coil and the broiling coil for comprehensive cooking. The smaller top oven is ideal for warming or short cooking times, while the larger, convection-style oven offers delay bake and audible preheating capabilities.

If you’re ready to enjoy all of the perks of your Clearwater Creek Premier stovetop and range, put on your chef’s hat and try your hand at a few of our favorite seasonal recipes below!

Corn & Crab Soup for the Winter Soul

Warm up when there’s a chill in the air with this rich and creamy Corn and Crab Soup recipe from Bon Appetit:

Elmwood has its cold days. Stay toasty with this savory soup! (Photo via Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

  • 1 16- ounce bag frozen petite white corn (do not thaw), divided
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 8- ounce bottle clam juice
  • 4 tablespoons sliced green onions, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 4 ounces cooked crabmeat, flaked

Instructions

Reserve 1/4 cup corn. Bring remaining corn and milk to boil in medium saucepan. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Puree mixture in blender. Add clam juice, 3 tablespoons green onions, and 1 teaspoon ginger; puree again until almost smooth. Return puree to saucepan; bring to simmer. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add reserved 1/4 cup corn; sauté 1 minute. Add crab, 1 tablespoon green onions, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 3 teaspoons lemon juice; stir just until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls; mound crab mixture in center.

 

Chili-Roasted Black-eyed Peas for a Lucky New Year

Good luck starts by pre-heating your state-of-the-art oven. Munch on this recipe from My Recipes:

Crunch your way to good luck this year. (Photo via MyRecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 (15.8-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until crispy and dry, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

 

Become a King Cake Connoisseur before Carnival

Mardi Gras will be here before you know it! Parade your new oven’s capabilities with this popular Mardi Gras King Cake recipe from Epicurious:

We can’t think of a better place to cook up some king cakes!

Ingredients

  1. For the cake:
    • 1 cup lukewarm milk, about 110°F
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
    • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup melted butter
    • 5 egg yolks, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
    • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
    • Several gratings of fresh nutmeg
  2. For the icing:
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup condensed milk
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • Purple, green, and gold decorative sugars
    • fève (fava bean) or plastic baby to hide in the cake after baking

Instructions

  1. For the cake, pour the warm milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a heaping tablespoon of the flour, mixing until both the sugar and the yeast have dissolved.
  2. Once bubbles have developed on the surface of the milk and it begins to foam, whisk in the butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the remaining flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a large rubber spatula.
  3. After the dough comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl, shape it into a large ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
  4. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a draft-free place to let it proof, or rise, for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough between your palms into a long strip, making 3 ropes of equal length. Braid the 3 ropes around one another and then form the braided loaf into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Gently lay the braided dough on a nonstick cookie sheet and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
  6. Once it’s doubled in size, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the braid is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  7. For the icing, while the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, condensed milk, and lemon juice in a bowl until the icing is smooth and very spreadable. If the icing is too thick, add a bit more condensed milk; if it’s a touch too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.
  8. Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle with purple, green, and gold decorative sugars while the icing is still wet. Tuck the fève or plastic baby into the underside of the cake and, using a spatula, slide the cake onto a platter.

Tour Clearwater Creek Premier Today!

If you’re looking to make moves in 2018, consider visiting Clearwater Creek Premier today! Not only will you enjoy the cost-saving benefits of our kitchen appliances, but you’ll gain access to a multitude of other living amenities that will make you feel like you’re living in a luxury resort.


The Best Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Home

Essential oils have become a popular addition to self-care regimens, but they’re also useful for a number of household needs. So, what is an essential oil? According to Wikipedia, they’re “concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants.” Essential oils have been traditionally used for aromatherapy, but more and more people are incorporating them into their day-to-day lives. The great thing about these concentrated liquids is their versatility. They’re also a great natural alternative to chemical cleaners.

Essential Oils To Use

Lavender is one of our favorite essential oils for cleaning our homes and healing our skin!

There are dozens of essential oils you can choose from, but there are a few specific options that are ideal for home use. According to Keeper of the Home, they are:

  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Frankincense
  • Tea Tree
  • Oregano
  • Wild Orange

Lavender is a staple scent, and you can find lavender perfumes and house sprays at almost any home goods store. It’s a soothing scent, but it’s also a great topical agent for fresh cuts. It acts as an antibacterial serum when applied undiluted. Burned yourself cooking? Apply lavender to ease the pain. Heading out to walk down one of our garden paths? Use it to ward off insects as a natural repellant.

If you combine 5 drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops of tea tree oil to a 16-ounce water bottle, you have a mold-fighting bathroom spray that smells great. Lemon oil disinfects quick, which can prolong the life of your dish sponges, and it disintegrates stubborn substances like wax, sticker residue, and gum.  Peppermint can keep bugs away from your home. Use a cotton swab to brush your windows and doors with the crisp, minty oil and those flying pests will stay away.

You can find essential oils in pharmacies and supermarkets across the area. There are also boutiques that create proprietary oils if you prefer an immersive experience.

Tea tree oil has a lot of great topical uses, but it’s also an amazing antifungal and antibacterial cleaning option. Mix it with water and lemon oil to clean your high traffic areas with ease. After you’re done fighting germs, soothing burns, and stopping bugs from invading your space, take your favorite scent and diffuse it for a relaxing end to your essential oil home improvement project. You deserve it!


Rental Resolutions

New year, new resolutions. For 2017, why not focus on where you live? These five rental resolutions will make your apartment feel like home.

Apartments in New Orleans

Five Rental Resolutions for 2017

Make your bed.

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.

Take time to tidy.

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.

Invest (within reason) on home decor.

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?

Hang curtains.

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!

Add greenery.

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.

 

A touch of greenery added to our Fox Run Apartment!


Outside Activities in Metairie and River Ridge

There’s never a bad reason to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but with Earth Day (April 22) in mind, we’re counting up our favorite outdoor spaces in Metairie and River Ridge. Pack your picnic gear or maybe just a football to toss around — here’s your chance to soak up the sun!

lafreniere park

Shady trees, a paved walkway, and water features are all part of Lafreniere Park in Metairie. (Photo courtesy ExperienceJefferson.com)

Top 5: Places for Outside Activities in Metairie and River Ridge

Lafreniere Park — We profiled this sprawling park not long ago, taking note of its picnic areas, landscaped greens, hills, running trails, and so much more. This is one of the best spaces in the heart of the city to enjoy peaceful greenery all around, whether you opt for a jog along the running trail or a birding excursion on the park’s Marsh Island. 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie

Longue Vue House and Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens. (Photo via NewOrleansOnline.com)

Longue Vue House & Gardens — Though it technically falls under a New Orleans address, Longue Vue House & Gardens is located just off Metairie Road. The landscaped gardens feature fragrant blooms like Confederate jasmine and Mexican primrose, all first landscaped by Ellen Biddle Shipman, a prominent female landscape architect, in the 1930s. The gardens, inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, also feature large fountains and walkways, all anchored by a historic mansion built in the classic Revival architecture style. Tickets are $12 for adults and include access to both the mansion and grounds. 7 Bamboo Rd., New Orleans

The pool at Bella Ridge

The pool at Bella Ridge, complete with in-water tanning ledges!

Bella Ridge Pool — OK, we’re a little biased here. But we spent so much time planning and perfecting the pool at Bella Ridge that we truly believe it’s an outdoor space worth adding to your list. Contact us today about how you can become a Bella Ridge resident and enjoy the pool all through the season! It features thoughtful details like tanning ledges and lush landscaping that transport you to luxury resorts, all right outside your door. 1101 Dickory Dr., River Ridge

Cleary Playground — Tucked away in a quiet part of Metairie, this small, clean playground features open fields and playtime equipment ideal for kids (or kids at heart). Picnic tables and shaded areas are perfect for adults — pack a snack and get going! 3700 Civic St., Metairie

KOA Campgrounds — If you’re really ready to immerse yourself in nature, you can visit the KOA Campground in River Ridge. It’s the official campground for New Orleans West and features campsites for both RVs and tent camping. No pets are allowed, so be sure to find a petsitter for your pup (and send them to these dog parks while you’re gone!). 11129 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge