A September State of Mind

Hi friends. So sorry to go completely MIA on you. Between attempting online school with a five-year-old, much of California burning to the ground, and the general state total chaos in which we find ourselves, getting to the computer for any length of time has been a bit of challenge, to put it mildly. And then I blinked and summer is officially over.

But I had to finally get on here as I have big news for you!

They say you shouldn’t make major life decisions during times of extreme stress, right? Well, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and instead have purchased a coastal cottage in Washington State! Apparently a global pandemic, homeschooling a kindergartner and the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime wasn’t enough to keep me busy.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

In all seriousness, if the past seven months of Covid have taught us anything, it’s the importance of friends and family and so we decided to create a gathering place that can bring together those we love most for years to come. Nestled within the myriad of inlets and islands that dot the Puget Sound north of Seattle, the cottage enjoys sweeping views of the Olympic mountains and Hood Canal. I consider it my official respite from the impending doom. Sadly it looks nothing like the inspiration images I’ve collected here.

Instead, it is going to take a LOT of work to get our little coastal cottage visitor ready – and in a very short period of time. Over the coming weeks, I plan to take you along on the entire design journey. I will be sharing everything with you – from the cottage’s current state, to all of my design inspiration and through the remodel process. If all goes according to plan, I’ll share a major before and after reveal in time to spend the holiday season with our family rather than more than 800 miles away.

coastal cottage mood board on Apartment 34

Trust me, we’re going to have plenty to discuss, as I have to pick an entire household’s worth of things – from paint colors and kitchen cabinets down to dishware, bedding and everything in between. No design decision will be left unturned. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly daunting. These mood boards are just part my first ideation session for my dream vibe.

I’m hopeful sharing this process with you will offer you some fresh design ideas and positive inspiration as we all hunker down to weather what will undoubtedly be a stormy fall – be it literally or just politically. It’s been a rather dark year and I feel like this might be a way to share a little bit of light. I know I am very happy for the creative distraction. I hope you are too.

I can’t wait to share more very soon!

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Source: apartment34.com

How to Style Shelves | ApartmentSearch

Home office deskAhh… Shelves! Not only are they a great storage solution for books and framed photos, but, when styled right, they can also serve as a statement-making display. Read these styling tips and learn how to style bookshelves with knick-knacks, books, and other decorative objects to create a cohesive look that puts the fun in functional.

Shelf Styling Basics

  1. Creating dimension is at the top of bookcase styling tips 101. Mix and match type, size, texture, and tone to create a beautifully styled shelf. Group two to three objects of varying height and style for different areas of each level and distribute items with the same accent colors evenly throughout.
  2. Decorate bottom to top. Heavier objects should go on the bottom, and the delicates should be farther down. Larger items will help physically and visually anchor your shelving unit (if it’s a standing one).
  3. Take the time to plan and be selective in what you put on your shelves. Stand back and assess the whole picture as you decorate. Play with the groupings and placement until you’re pleased… and stop there. Resist the urge to keep adding objects or turn your shelves into a catch-all.

Color Rules

  1. Be thoughtful about the color palette of your shelves. Just like any room in the house, it’s essential to keep the color scheme consistent or the space will feel messy. Make sure the palette you choose for your shelves compliments the rest of the room.
  2. Pick a base, two accents, and one metallic. Though this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it is an easy formula for a color palette that’s stylish but safe! If you’d rather go neutral, choose monochromatic accents with different textures — like wicker, glass, and ceramic.
  3. If you’re not happy with your shelves, try a new coat of paint. Painting or wallpapering the inside wall of built-ins can also be a fun way to add a pop of color.

Creative Ideas for Books

  1. Turn books backward, so their spine faces inside. This creates a unique but uniform look and is especially helpful if you want a monochromatic shelf.
  2. Create a book gradient. Make the most of colorful book covers and organize your books by color for a stunning ombre effect. Take a peek under book jackets as well — the plain cover may work better for your desired look.
  3. Use books as bookends. Stack some books flat bumped up against standing books. This not only makes your shelves a little more interesting, but it also provides pedestals to exhibit other objects and help with the height factor.

Tips for Frames

  1. Layer your frames strategically. Shelves are a great way to display framed photographs and artwork without damaging the walls (and incurring that annoying fine when moving out of an apartment). Layer larger frames behind small frames or objects or set a small frame on top of a stack of books to balance the shelf’s height.
  2. Use the same filter for your printed photos. The quality and type of photographs can vary, resulting in an undesirable medley of color and style. Printing all your pictures in black and white can help bring uniformity to your shelves. Display them in simple white or black frames for a classy, monochromatic look.
  3. Frame unique things. From children’s artwork to your favorite magazine covers, framing unique items, you can add character to a room and keep your best memories in clear view.

Other Creative Things to Put on a Bookshelf

  1. Try candles! Candles don’t just fill the air with a pleasant fragrance—they’re perfect for bookcase styling! You can find gorgeous ceramic candles and elegant candlesticks that are more art than object.
  2. Give vintage china a whirl. Not sure what to do with those one-of-a-kind ceramics or various decorative dishes you love to pick up at estate sales? Rescue them from the back of the kitchen cabinet and display them on your shelves.
  3. Give plants the green light. Display simple greenery for a natural element or fresh flowers for pops of color. Place little plants on stacks of books and perch trailing house plants on the top shelf and let the vines spill over the edge.

Now that you know how to decorate bookshelves, you need the right place for the perfect shelfie! Find apartments with built-in shelves (or apartments big enough for all your bookshelves) with ApartmentSearch. Filter your search by zip code, rent, amenities, and more!

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Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

5 Alternative Wall Decor Ideas | Apartminty

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5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas

Guest Post

 

So you’ve just moved into your new place, or maybe you’ve actually been there for a while now, and there is that one wall that is just staring at you every day; blank, boring, screaming out for something different! Perhaps you are a little intimidated by the emptiness of it, you don’t want to do the wrong thing and be stuck with it. Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve been there! We have you covered with some great ideas that will take your walls from bland and lifeless to bold and interesting! 

 

Gallery Walls

Gallery walls are far easier to achieve than most people think and allow you to mix and match your styles. The key to a great gallery wall is a solid theme followed by a diversity of products and textures. When we say “theme” what do we mean? Well, it can be as simple as “orange stuff” where you can feature various different pictures with orange hues, orange fabric bunting, maybe some orange tiles, or some faux flowers. Or perhaps you want your place to feel beachy, then that would be your theme and you would gravitate toward nautical themed pieces, a dimensional Nautical Wood Map, textural rope knots, perhaps even some sculptural driftwood. Industrial? Mixed metal frames, old tin advertisements, wire baskets, even metal bike frame can look amazing as part of a gallery wall. Don’t be afraid to try things out, even if the intention of the product isn’t meant for a wall at all – there’s a raffia dining placemat taking pride of place on my wall right now because it fit the theme and provided great texture. A quick tip is to map your wall on the floor first, take pictures and measurements, then when it feels just right you can start hanging on the wall. 

 5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries-motivation-gallery-walls

5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries-motivation-gallery-walls

 

Paint

This might sound like a no-brainer and not at all alternative, but it’s how you use it that makes the difference! Paint is such a versatile way to take your plain wall to another dimension and really can be exciting and innovative. Whip out the painter’s tape and go wild! Horizontal stripes make a room feel longer, vertical can make ceilings feel higher. Try a chevron pattern, or maybe color-blocking. You can even ombré your wall by taking a damp sponge and blending painted stripes together! There are myriad stencils available now too that can give you the look and feel of a wallpaper at a fraction of the cost. You could do a full mural if you’re feeling brave (or have talented friends)! There’s so much more to do with paint than simply a solid accent wall, it is a wonderful and extremely cost-effective way to make a real splash in your room.

 

 

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Speaking of wallpaper, it is HUGE right now. We are not talking about the faded yellow fruit and vegetable prints that are clinging to the walls of your grandparents’ kitchen, we are talking modern, bold-patterned, multi-dimensional, textured wonderfulness – oh yes, wallpaper nowadays can be utterly CHIC! They’ve even managed to modernize the toilet for goodness sake! What is even more fabulous about the wallpaper of this decade is that there are wonderful companies that offer DIY options that you simply peel and stick. This is a godsend for renters, who can make their house feel like a fabulous home and then simply peel it right off when they move out, leaving absolutely no damage or residue behind. It would take us a full year to round up all the wonderful options available, but a good rule of thumb with wallpaper (including the peel and stick kind) is to get as many samples of your faves as possible. Tape them on the wall, live with them for a few days, and then make your cuts, because inevitably what looks great in perfect light online may look very different in your own home. 

 

 

Decor as Motivation

We all remember the poster of the kitten clinging to the branch in our guidance counselor’s office, imploring us to “hang in there!” That’s not exactly the kind of motivation we’re talking about! Grown-up, sophisticated, affirmative artwork looks more like this. Subtle reminders (or not so subtle if that’s your jam) for your everyday environment that starts to sink into your psyche and change your attitude toward your space and your life. Consider the positivity of art that combines inspirational quotations and vibrant imaging that can provide guidance and joy on a daily basis. If you’re looking to make an even bigger impact, framed wall pieces that feature a single inspirational quote are much more overt and direct in the messaging.  Select the quote or words from wise men and women that can help to impact not only your outlook but the outlook of everyone who visits your home. 

 5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries-motivation

5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries-motivation

 

 

Fabric/tapestries

Using fabric and tapestries can be a really cost-effective way of making a big impact. Peruse your local fabric store or search online, you can buy fabric by the yard for a very reasonable price and it can cover a lot of real estates while being as colorful or neutral as you’d like. If you’re not looking to cover a whole wall, simply get a couple of yards and frame it – not only will it look super stylish, but it’ll add a great textural pop! If the repetitive nature of the most patterned fabric isn’t your thing, go for a tapestry or tarp instead. Available on most online retailers, tapestries often feature large scale imagery, motifs or text that, again, cover a decent amount of area without a lot of fuss – a tack in each corner and you’re pretty much set! 

5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries

5-alternative-wall-decor-ideas-tapestries  

 

Don’t be afraid to combine several of these ideas! Paint then hang your gallery wall over the top! Include pieces with affirmations, an innovative timepiece, a square of your favorite fabric – so long as they’re things you love then space will not only feel like you but bring out the best in you too!

 

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5 Alternative Wall Decor Ideas
Article Name
5 Alternative Wall Decor Ideas
Description
We have you covered with some great ideas that will take your walls from bland and lifeless to bold and interesting! 
Holli Beckman
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Apartminty
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Source: blog.apartminty.com

A Cozy New Rug Collection

Hello friends! Praise be, the election is over and I just marked my birthday over the weekend – my official holiday season milestone. Whenever the calendar passes November 8, I feel like I can finally turn 100% of my attention to all things holiday. Obviously, the holidays are going to look and feel very different than years past. Perhaps instead of the holiday season, we should start referring to the next few months as the hunker down season. Because that’s what holidays in the time of Covid are going to require of us. But I’m not entirely mad about the idea of holing up at home. I’ll take a very valid excuse to look for ways to make my home as cozy, comforting, and beautiful as possible.

Enter the new rug collection from Beni Rugs, designed by my style soul twin, Colin King.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

Called the Shape of Color, this new rug collection offers eleven Moroccan style rugs. Each rug features shocks of color inspired by Tangier and Marrakech. The hues are deeply saturated in simple geometric shapes or big bold stripes.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

While I typically eschew color, rugs are a wonderful spot to inject something fresh into a room. I used a bold colored rug in my own living room. The particularly nice thing about a rug – it’s an easy way to reenergize a space without really having to change anything else.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34 A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34 A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

There are a few secrets to picking out a rug. First, you want to think about size. A common mistake is getting a rug that is too small. You want all (or nearly all) your furniture in a space to sit on your rug. That helps a room feel anchored and like everything is working together. A too-small rug will actually make a small space feel even smaller!

Next, you want to think about foot traffic. If you’re looking to put a rug in a high foot traffic area, you’ll want to ensure any rug you select will withstand an onslaught of dirt and use.

Finally, when adding a colorful rug to your space you don’t need to “match your decor. You just want to keep everything in the same design family. Do you decorate with mostly warm colors or cooler tones? That will help you pick your colors.



 

If you’re looking to upgrade the coziness of your home before the holidays hit, I definitely think one of these rugs would be a great way to do it. I’m already debating which one I might add to our house. I do have a home office refresh in the works! If I pick out one of these rugs – I’ll be sure to share.

How are you planning on sprucing up your spaces for the holidays?

images c/o beni rugs

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Source: apartment34.com

How to Organize a Small Room with No Closet | ApartmentSearch

Woman sitting on her computer in a room full of boxesWhen you first saw the place, you thought having a room without a closet was “charming.” Now that you’ve unpacked your whole wardrobe and have nowhere to stuff your stuff, it doesn’t seem charming at all! Don’t worry, though — you can have the apartment you dreamed of with just a little creativity and organization. Try these tips for organizing your place with no closet space.

Purge Your Possessions

You knew this one was coming and were probably dreading it, so let’s get it out of the way. Even if you got rid of items before the move, go ahead and “Marie Kondo” your clothes as you unpack. Do the same with smaller décor and knickknacks — too many tchotchkes will just end up cluttering your apartment. If you need more direction on decorating, we’ve got some more tips to avoid decorating mistakes.

B-Y-O-Closet

If your apartment is missing a closet, just bring your own! Find a free-standing wardrobe or clothing rack that’s both sturdy and stylish. One with a hanging rack and shelving is ideal since it can hold anything from button-downs to boots. Just avoid anything too large for your space. Over-the-door shoe racks are great space savers, also — and a must if you can’t bear to part with your favorite pairs of sneakers.

Rotate Seasonal Clothes

You won’t need that down jacket in July, and sandals won’t keep your toes warm mid-winter. In the warmer months, store your tanks, shorts, sandals, and sundresses in the front of your closet space and drawers. When the cold weather rolls in, swap out those clothes for your jeans, sweaters, boots, and jackets. Layers you’ll wear in any season, like tees and cardigans, can stay easily accessible year-round. Move the out-of-season items to hidden storage (like under the bed as mentioned above) to minimize the clutter.

Don’t Let Any Space Go to Waste

Utilize multi-functional furniture and hidden storage. Loft your bed to create space for storage underneath it or purchase a bed frame with built-in drawers. If you want a bench or ottoman for extra seating, look for one that doubles as a trunk. These are great places to keep things you only need every so often, like out-of-season clothes or bed linens. And the right shelving can maximize your storage space while maintaining your apartment’s aesthetic. Vertical and open shelves will keep a small space from feeling smaller but requires good upkeep.

Look for Simple Storage Solutions

Invest in decorative baskets or fabric bins, and plenty of them! Of all the small space storage ideas, these are possibly the easiest and most functional. They can store anything from socks or jewelry to t-shirts or blankets and can sit on a shelf, slide under the bed, or stack (neatly!) in a corner.

Now that you know what to do if you don’t have a closet in your new apartment take your space from small to stunning with high-quality, affordable storage solutions from your nearest furniture outlet. And if your wardrobe is still spilling out, turn to ApartmentSearch to help you find a place with enough square feet for all your stuff!

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Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Moving from New York to DC: 5 Things You Never Thought of | Apartminty

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Moving-from-new-york-to-dc

Guest Post

Moving from New York to DC is a big decision. It may just be a zip along the coast from one city to another, but it is a long-distance move—which always has the potential to be stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, by gaining as much knowledge as possible about where you are moving and what to expect, you can ease some of your moving anxiety and make the best possible moving decisions. 

Whether you are simply thinking about a long-distance move from NYC to DC or have already started packing your home in the Big Apple, here are 5 commonly overlooked things to consider.

1. It’s Not That Expensive

DC is an expensive place to put down some roots. But it has nothing on New York. 

When the topic of moving to DC comes up, many will be quick to tell you how expensive it is to live there—and they certainly aren’t wrong. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of DC will cost you, on average, $2,350 per month, while buying in the same area will run you around $6,529 per square meter (10.7 sq. feet). 

However, in comparison, renting a one-bedroom apartment in New York’s city center costs $3,275 per month on average. Then there is buying which is over double the price, coming in at $14,946 per square meter (10.7 sq. feet). The verdict? With the cost of rent being around 25% cheaper and buying costing 50% less in DC, you can save a lot of money or finally get that housing upgrade you’ve been dreaming about.

How do food prices compare? Also favorably! Staples like rice, bananas, and potatoes cost approximately 50% less in DC, while onions, eggs, and bottled water are 25% cheaper. 

SOURCE: Numbeo 

 2. Double the Snow

Prices aren’t the only thing that gets doubled in New York—on average, New York gets almost twice as much snow as DC. 

DC may not be the best choice if you are a snowman aficionado or love the look of fresh snow. On average, New York will get around 25.1 inches of snow in a year, while DC boasts only getting a little over a foot, 14.5 inches. However, you will find that the temperature across both states is highly similar. 

SOURCE: Current Results

Pro Tip: If you are thinking about moving in winter, keep in mind that snow can be a hindrance. Bad weather on moving day can be a recipe for disaster with unfavorable road conditions, soggy boxes, and wet shoes. If possible, hold off your move until spring or consider hiring professional movers that are accustomed to dealing with hazardous weather.

3. There’s a Dress Code 

Dust off your formal and business attire if you want to fit in with the DC crowd.

New York is known for its diversity, and that certainly extends to the clothing you see on the streets. However, DC is another story. The influence of the government in DC is very apparent, especially around The Hill, with formal and conservative attire being the norm. It is the unspoken way of the land and if you want to blend in, you should adopt the same style. Nothing will make you stick out more than sore thumb like unprofessional or unkempt attire—it is how you can spot a non-DC native a mile away. 

Have an interview in DC? Opt for a more formal outfit than usual to err on the safe side. Chances are your idea of formal and DC’s differ, so kick it up one notch higher than you normally would. Going for a night out? Upscale bars and places with fine dining in DC may turn you away if your attire isn’t up to par. Be sure to phone ahead of time and ask about dress codes of establishments if you are unsure.

 4. Cleaner Public Transportation

Sitting on DC public transportation might not leave you feeling like you need a hot shower with extra soap. 

It is no secret that NYC subways don’t exactly have the cleanest feel, so you’ll be thrilled to hear that DC’s Metro system is much cleaner. Mind you, there is a bit of a trade-off as it covers less ground and is less efficient. But don’t let that deter you. In conjunction with the subway, DC also has a great bus system, the DC Circulator, which covers most of the city.

Want a more private commute? Those familiar yellow taxis are also available. Alright, they aren’t as yellow, but their fares are comparable to NYC.

 5. Taxes are Different

DC sales tax is lower than New York’s, but there are a few other taxes to consider.  

With New York’s sales tax averaging 8%, DC’s is a bit lower at 5.75%. Plus, medication, groceries, and utilities are exempt. The downside? Liquor, car rentals, and restaurant bills are taxed at 10%. While parking will charge you 19% and hotels will tax 14.8%.   

Flipping back to the positive side of DC taxes, did you know if you are an individual making 50% or 60% of the area median income (AMI), you may qualify for a tax credit apartment? Also known as workforce housing. Finding a tax credit apartment in DC can make living much more affordable, so it is worth looking into if you think you qualify. 

DC is filled with a rich history and many opportunities, so don’t let its differences from New York deter your move. If you are considering a move to DC or are about to embark on one if you do your research, make a moving checklist, and plan ahead, you can make sure your move is a huge success. Before you know it, you’ll be settled into your new home! Will you start cheering for the Washington Nationals instead of the Mets? Well, that’s a whole other story.

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Source: blog.apartminty.com