Apartments Living

Here’s What You Should Know Before You Buy Oversized Wall Art

Here’s What You Should Know Before You Buy Oversized Wall Art

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

There it is: your blank wall. You’ve been thinking about what to do with it—how to make it a stunner, a focal point in your home. While gallery walls have been the thing for quite some time now, oversized art can and should have its moment in the sun, too. Of course, evaluating, buying, and hanging a large piece of art is a herculean task that can definitely be intimidating and almost certainly will be pricey. So to help you out in your search for the perfect piece, I asked a few design pros for their tricks of the trade, and here’s what they had to say for each step of the oversized art buying process.

How to scout an oversized piece

If you’re gonna go big, go big. “If you’re trying to place one piece of oversize art on a wall, make sure that it’s substantial enough to make an impact,” says Alessandra Wood, VP of style for e-design company Modsy. “When you hang the piece of art, if it looks like many additional pieces would fit on the wall with it, it’s likely too small.”

While wall dimensions can differ greatly, a good rule of thumb is to look for a print, canvas, or textile that’s bigger than the typical poster—think around 40-inches square or 30-inches by 40-inches if its more of a rectangular piece, give or take a bit. Odd-shaped items should have diameters in that same neighborhood of measurements, too. The point is to find something that will truly anchor whatever furnishings you place in front of it, so your ideal piece should somewhat spatially relate to (or at least hold its own against) the size of your sofa, headboard, bench, or whatever kind of furniture you choose to decorate with—that is, if you are truly going for a dramatic, oversized look. For best results, keep the rest of your decor minimal to make sure the focus is on the art.

Buying an oversized piece

Unfortunately, the oversized art itself isn’t the only thing you need to budget for—framing and installation can up the costs as well and should definitely be factored into your bottom line. “When buying a large piece of unframed art, you’ll likely need to have a custom frame made, which can be pricey. But the frame and matting style can also make the piece look and feel bigger, which is great when you’re trying to create a statement wall,” says Wood.

Noah Davis, an art specialist at Christie’s in New York, agrees, and notes that, pending the piece, you’ll need to make sure that the frame works to keep the integrity of the art intact. In other words, is the frame a part of the piece? Then you’ll need to factor that in. “You need to be clear and honest with yourself about the investment that you’re making—not just in the artwork but in all the logistics to get it up on the wall,” he says.

If you’re buying an especially pricey piece that’s not available for local pickup, Davis says you’ll want to seek out professional art shippers or handlers to get it to your home. A real trick of the trade? Davis suggests asking whether a piece can be unstretched and safely rolled for transport. This could save you a lot of headache and hundreds in shipping costs, and then you can have it professionally stretched onto a wooden frame or framed in glass once you have it in hand.

Hanging an oversized piece

As Wood notes, you’ll need to think about whether the piece should be installed vertically or horizontally. This sounds simple, but there is some strategy involved. “On large walls with tall ceilings, you’ll want a vertical piece to draw the eye upward,” Wood says. “With a long, blank, horizontal wall, you could leverage a low, long credenza with a large piece of horizontal art above it.”

For Davis, ground clearance, which refers to knowing where the art is going to hit on a wall for not only aesthetics but also for safety, is an important consideration. If you have kids or you’re often entertaining, higher is better—but you never want to mount something so high that it looks awkward. In general, it’s a good idea to keep your oversized art away from the ceiling and corners of your room, too. Leaning your oversized art against a wall is another option, but again, this isn’t a great idea if you think kids, pets, or anyone else will bump into it.

Don’t know where to start with placement? Christie’s just launched a new augmented reality tool, where people can scan a code with their phone on their website, and you’re able to actually “place” the paintings on the walls of your home to see how the scale would look. Modsy also has a new app to get a feel for the scale of pieces like artwork. 

“You’ll want to have a very clear sense of what it’s going to feel like installed in the space,” says Davis. “Because [art] can really change the personality of the room in a fundamental way, and that can be great or it can be terrible.” Moreover, sometimes the bigger the art, the heavier, so make sure you have the right screws and anchors for your particular type of walls. Use a level and don’t be afraid to make marks with a pencil to help you find the best mounting spot. You can always remove them with a Magic Eraser before you put the piece up on the wall for good.

Published at Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:00:07 +0000

Apartments Living

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Partial‌ ‌or‌ ‌No‌ ‌Kitchen‌

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Partial‌ ‌or‌ ‌No‌ ‌Kitchen‌

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day. 

Some people living in small apartments may struggle with properly storing their belongings and groceries in tiny kitchens. In bachelor apartments, a traditional kitchen stovetop and oven are absent, sometimes replaced instead by a hot plate or a small electric range. In other apartments, there is no kitchen at all, just a bedroom and bathroom (and perhaps enough space for a small living room). Though apartments with a partial or just no kitchen are rare, they’re certainly not unheard of – here are the pros and cons of no kitchen or a partial kitchen in an apartment. 

Pros cons no kitchen

Pros of no kitchen or partial kitchen in an apartment

Lower rent

Apartments with no stovetop or kitchen tend to be cheaper – in some cases, far cheaper – to rent than their traditional kitchen-boasting counterparts. Compounding the lower rent is that, with no stove or oven, your utility bills will likely be lower too. 

Fewer to no grocery runs

If you don’t like taking the time and effort to make grocery runs, you may find yourself needing to do so far less often when you live in an apartment with a partial or no kitchen. A partial kitchen will at most have a mini-fridge and a few cabinets, inherently limiting the amount of food you can store – and, in turn, mostly cutting grocery runs out of your life.

Less mess

Kitchens can be among the messiest parts of an apartment (though bathrooms certainly give kitchens some competition in this category). When you have a partial or no kitchen, you have to contend with far fewer grease stains, stovetop and floor food scraps, and potentially food-loving pests.

More creative cooking methods

Just because you don’t have a kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t cook at all. You just have to get creative about it. Electric appliances such as slow cookers, pressure cookers, microwaves, convection ovens, and hot plates can give you plenty of cooking capacity if you use them safely. You can also make all sorts of meals in slow cookers and pressure cookers that wouldn’t be as easy in a traditional kitchen, so a partial or no kitchen can be an unexpected portal to new culinary experiences.

Cons of no kitchen or partial kitchen in an apartment

Fewer cooking options

Of course, an apartment with a partial or no kitchen gives you far fewer cooking options unless you choose to buy appliances. You thus might be limited to meal options such as salads, microwavable frozen dinners, or simple one-pot recipes such as pasta. Your favorite oven casserole recipe will have to wait until your next apartment. 

Less space for food prep and storage

If you do go the salad or pasta route, you’ll still need some counter space for chopping vegetables or a sink for draining your pasta. Of course, your bathroom will have a sink, but walking all the way from your kitchen to your bathroom sink might get old quickly. And if your counter space is devoted to housing your kitchen electric appliances, your salad prep routine might prove tough.

Challenges with dishwashing

In a partial kitchen, you might have a sink, but this isn’t always the case. Without a sink, not to mention ample counter space for a dish drying rack, you might struggle to wash and dry your dishes and other food prep items. And when delivery and takeout aren’t constant options, lacking proper dishwashing abilities can be especially stifling.

Reliance on delivery and takeout

In an apartment with a partial or no kitchen, relying on delivery and takeout can become almost inevitable. While certainly convenient, delivery and takeout tend to be much more expensive than buying groceries and making your own food. If you’re considering a kitchen-less apartment primarily for budgetary reasons, you may want to consider the impact of relying too much on delivery or takeout on your finances as well.

Would you live in a kitchen-less apartment? If you’ve lived in an apartment with a partial or no kitchen, how did you make it work? Share your stories in the comments!

Published at Thu, 23 Jul 2020 13:23:26 +0000

Apartments Living

How To Plan (And Stick To) A Food Budget

How To Plan (And Stick To) A Food Budget

Life without food wouldn’t just be literally impossible – it would be really boring. Three good meals a day aren’t just vital to your health, but a good meal can also be a highlight of your day. Not everyone, though, can easily afford the groceries involved in making an extravagant dish – or buying one from a nearby delivery or takeout spot – for every meal. That’s why it’s so important to plan a food budget: You can’t forgo food, so you need to know your limits for preparing it or ordering it. Here’s how to plan a food budget and stick to it.

plan food budget

Set an income-based limit

Experts recommend capping your food budget at about 10 percent of your disposable income. This budget includes not just grocery purchases but dining out: According to one study, the average American spends six percent of their budget on groceries and another five percent on dining out. Although the total of these two percentages is 11 percent, many experts recommend using 10 percent for food budget calculations since this number is far easier to work with, not to mention a tad bit more conservative.

That said, calculating your 10 percent monthly food budget isn’t as simple as just taking your monthly income and moving the decimal point one digit to the left. Instead, to plan your food budget, you’ll need to first subtract your other monthly expenses – rent, utilities, health insurance, student loans, and any other bills you know you need to pay – from your monthly income. The difference between your monthly income and expenses is your disposable income, from which you can then calculate your food budget.

Plan your food budget based on previous spending

After you calculate 10 percent of your disposable income, you can compare it to your previous food spending. If you realize that, in previous months, you’ve spent only eight percent of your disposable income on food, then you can easily stick to the recommended 10 percent. However, if you find that you’ve previously spent 12 percent of your disposable income on food, you have two options. 

The first option is to commit to your new lower 10 percent budget, which you should divide into six percent for groceries and four percent for dining out. Alternatively, if your finances haven’t been strained by your previous levels of spending, you can keep going at your 12 percent food budget. The main point to keep in mind is that, though 10 percent is a widely recommended suggestion, you can be flexible with it. 

Plan your food budget by week

Although you’ll plan your food budget based on your monthly income, you may find it easier to determine what food you’ll need for meal prep (or how many meals per week you expect to dine out for) on a weekly basis. Consider setting up weekly allotments for specific groceries and meals, and be sure to indicate the quantity and price of each item you expect to buy. A spreadsheet may be helpful for ensuring that your weekly purchasing plan keeps you within your budget.

Be smart at the supermarket

An easy way to overspend beyond your grocery budget is to go to the supermarket without a plan. Experts recommend showing up at the supermarket with a grocery list that you’ll strictly adhere to instead of just impulsively grabbing items you think you need. Additionally, a grocery list that prioritizes healthy foods, individual ingredients used to cook whole meals, and a variety of tastes and styles may feel more satisfying, in turn preventing you from overspending on items not on your list. 

You should also be sure to take advantage of sales and coupons, though be careful not to overstock. You may also save money by knowing when to buy store-brand versus name-brand. While at the supermarket, don’t be afraid to spend ample time comparing prices – especially two items’ unit prices instead of their total prices – to get the best deal possible. You have all the time in the world to find the best deals – it’s your wallet where you might be limited.

Published at Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:13:09 +0000

Apartments Living

Survey: Renters Spent 110 Hours Gaming During Quarantine, “Call of Duty” Tops List

Survey: Renters Spent 110 Hours Gaming During Quarantine, “Call of Duty” Tops List

Many of us strived to put the time we spent in Covid-19 quarantine to good use. But it’s no secret that we also indulged in fun indoor activities to get our minds off of all the bad news happening in the world. Among renters who had to spend most of their time inside their apartments, video games were especially popular. And, because 2020 brought us a new Doom and Animal Crossing, a Final Fantasy remaster, and a free-to-play version of everyone’s favorite online combat game, Call of Duty (sorry, Fortnite fans), we had plenty of options to entertain us. 

To find out how renters spent their free time during the quarantine, we recently asked visitors to our website about their gaming habits during the lockdown. The 4,750 adults who participated shared their favorite games, as well as how much time and money they spent on them.  Notably, people of all generations admitted to spending a lot more time playing games than prior to the pandemic. 

Renters spent a full workday playing video games each week

Click the arrows below the image to see all the slides

Overall, survey respondents spent about 110 hours per person gaming during the quarantine or about 14 workdays’ worth of time during a two-and-a-half-month period. Essentially, they spent 60% more time gaming between mid-March through May than they did before that timeframe. Participants admitted to gaming 8.5 hours per week on average (or more than a full workday), as opposed to 5.3 hours before the pandemic. A significant number of people invested more time in gaming, with the share of people who played more than eight hours a week doubling during the quarantine (from 19% to 38% played over 8 hours/week). 

In a surprising twist, it was Gen X-ers (41 to 55 years old) who turned to gaming in droves. This generation experienced the biggest increase in time spent on gaming, 74% more, up from 4.5 to 7.9 hours weekly (see slide 2 above). The youngest age group (Gen Z’s, 18 to 25 years old) came in second, spending an average of 62% more time gaming, and the largest amount of time, 8.7 hours per week.

Candy Crush and casino-type games challenged FPS games in popularity 

Click the arrows below the image to see all the slides

Most respondents said warfare FPS games were the types of games they played during the quarantine. Casual single-player games — long disregarded by the gaming community — followed closely, proving that they still have a strong fan base. And with casinos closed due to the pandemic, online casino games added a major boost to the popularity of single-player games.  Meanwhile, simulation games came in third, largely powered by Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which made a huge splash since its launch back in March (and also led to what will go down in history as the notorious 2020 Nintendo Switch shortage).

Who drove Candy Crush-style games to the second top spot? The over-40 crowd: Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, it was the Gen Z-ers and young Millennials (under-30) who put combat games at the top of the list (See Slide 2 above). The appeal of battle royale games like Fortnite decreased with age but less pronounced than that of FPS’s. 

Call of Duty twice as popular as any other game

Click the arrows below the image to see all the slides

By far, the Call of Duty series secured its position as the most-played game during quarantine. In fact, the share of players who chose COD was twice as large as that of the next game, Animal Crossing, according to the survey. The universally beloved Animal Crossing series came in second, followed by Fortnite.

When broken down by age (see slide 2), Call of Duty came in first in all age categories below 40 but was dethroned by Candy Crush for Gen X, and by Solitaire among gamers older than 56. Surprisingly, Fortnite, long seen as a game for younger players, is also popular among most age groups, securing third or fourth positions in all categories under 55. Meanwhile, GTA V is still among the top five most played games among all respondents under 40, even though it launched back in 2013, proving that its pivot to an online gaming business model has been effective across generations.  

What’s more, Gen Z and younger Millennials both share a love of the critically acclaimed Animal Crossing. At the same time, the influence of sports simulation games on Millennials’ early gaming experiences is also visible, as NBA 2K20 earned third place in the 26-30 category and second place in the 30-41 age group. Finally, older gamers clearly prefer the casual mobile experience, with Candy Crush and Solitaire reigning supreme in the 40 and over age groups. Casino Games were the second favorites for both Gen X and Baby Boomers. 

April 2020 sales data from NPD confirmed the findings — the 2019 Modern Warfare remake continues to top sales charts, while Warzone (the free-to-play version) was launched earlier this year. Call of Duty, Animal Crossing, GTA V, and NBA 2K20 are among the top five best-selling games of the year so far. 

Those younger than 30 spend more money on gaming 

Click the arrows below the image to see all the slides

Only 28% of respondents didn’t spend any money on gaming during the quarantine. The majority, 72% did spend money on this activity, mostly on video games (32%). Hardware spending registered the fewest responses.

Young Millennials (26 to 30 years old) were the most likely to spend money on gaming (81% did so, see slide 2), alongside 18-to-25-year olds. Meanwhile, respondents older than 56 were the least likely to make any gaming-related purchases (only 32% did so), in line with their preference towards free-to-play casual games.

The quarantine video game boom is also visible in sales data, as game sales increased by 73% compared to April 2019. In fact, according to NPD Group, hardware sales also went up 163%, most likely due to an overwhelming demand for Nintendo Switches and hardware upgrades driven by PC gamers.

There’s no doubt that this Spring’s quarantine gave gaming as a leisure activity a huge boost, not unlike the streaming industry. What remains to be seen is what role video games will play going forward, and if this boost is here to stay. Core social practices have been changing in the past few months, and many discovered gaming for the first time during the lockdown.


  • This analysis was compiled by RENTCafé, based on a survey conducted on between June 4 and June 9, 2020. 
  • The survey had 4,750 respondents who were asked about their gaming habits during the quarantine period, defined as mid-March-May 2020.
  • Questions about the types of games played, individual games played, and video game spending allowed for multiple answers. 
  • The most popular games/franchises ranking took into consideration only games and franchises that totaled more than ten answers.
  • Age and time averages were calculated using midpoint coding and were subject to rounding. 
  • The NPD Group provided industry sales data. April sales data was used as it best illustrates spending during the midpoint of the quarantine.
  • All third-party data and images are published with express permission. 

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Published at Mon, 06 Jul 2020 17:10:43 +0000

Apartments Living

The Best Neighborhoods in Portland for Coffee

The Best Neighborhoods in Portland for Coffee

As Seattle’s coffee rival, Portland has made a serious play in java beans.

The city is actually known for its coffee houses, in addition to its eco-friendliness, outside activities and microbreweries. It’s also a big cultural center with a healthy improv and theater scene.

Nicknamed Stumptown, Portland earned the rights to this moniker back in the mid-19th century. The city grew so fast, trees were cleared too quickly to remove the stumps. Eventually, there were so many trees, people used to jump from one to the next to avoid muddy roads.

Today, the nickname still pops up, even on the storefront of a coffee shop. Come check it out along with some of the best Portland neighborhoods for coffee lovers.

5. Goose Hollow

Fehrenbacher Hof Coffee Room, Portland, OR

Source: Facebook/fehrenbacherhof

A unique name for a neighborhood, Goose Hollow was once an area of Portland where residents let their geese run free. A local hub for sports fans and college students, this neighborhood is a popular hangout for Portland State University students. Two soccer teams, The Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers also call this area home.

Kickoff your day with a cup of coffee at Fehrenbacher Hof, a coffee house that feels like home because it’s literally in a house. Living in this energetic part of town costs $1,832 per month, on average.

Apartments for rent in Goose Hollow

4. East Portland

Stumptown Coffee, Portland, OR

Source: Facebook/stumptowncoffee

Known as the heart of the city, East Portland is the epicenter of underground culture. A hip mix of restaurants, bars and nightlife, you’re never far from a special experience.

This neighborhood is also home to the headquarters of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. In a city known for coffee, that’s big news. Public tastings are available if you want to go to the source of this passionate roaster. They also have multiple coffee shops around town. To call this eclectic part of town home will cost you $1,098 on average in monthly rent.

Apartments for rent in East Portland

3. Old Town Chinatown

Simple.Local.Coffee, Portland, OR

Source: Facebook/ILClinton

Portland’s original downtown area, Old Town Chinatown is home to the famous Saturday Market. This arts and crafts extravaganza is the largest continuously operated outdoor market in the U.S. You can also find one of the world’s most famous doughnut shops among the historic attractions and landmarks. Voodoo Doughnut is an experience onto itself, known for unique flavors like Grape Ape, The Homer or Viscous Hibiscus.

You’ll definitely need a cup of coffee to wash these down. Grab one with your doughnut or walk a few blocks to Simple. Local. Coffee, a cozy coffee shop with a big name.

Apartments for rent in Old Town Chinatown

2. Alphabet District

World Cup Coffee, Portland, OR

Source: Facebook/WorldCupCoffee

Also known as Nob Hill, the Alphabet District is full of repurposed Victorian homes, restaurants and boutiques. Located in Northwest Portland, this area offers an authentic urban lifestyle that attracts singles, families and a lot of out-of-state transplants.

Swing into World Cup Coffee for a nitro cold brew that’s available on tap or a matcha latte. Then, divide your time between shopping and exploring nature at either the International Rose Test Garden or Forest Park.

Apartments for rent in the Alphabet District

1. Skidmore – Old Town

Either/Or Coffee, Portland, OR

Source: Facebook/EitherOrCafe

Designated as a National Historic Landmark, Skidmore – Old Town is where the city of Portland began. Its namesake comes from the Skidmore Fountain, which was originally built to provide drinking water to people, horses and dogs. Today, it’s another stop as you wander through the area, which is full of restored buildings.

Don’t forget about your coffee as you explore. Check out Either/Or, a coffee shop by day and cocktail bar by night. Indulge in a coffee mocktail or swing in for something a little stronger during happy hour. Its eclectic menu includes many Asian-inspired dishes, as well.

Apartments for rent in Skidmore – Old Town

Grab a cup in this coffee town

Portland is a legitimate coffee town. “Seattle coffee might have more muscle, and San Francisco coffee might have more mystique, but Portland’s coffee scene is arguably the country’s most intimate,” writes Oliver Strand in The New York Times.

Check out the scene yourself and see how it stands up to these other attractive cities for coffee lovers. Is your hometown on the list?


To determine the best neighborhoods for coffee in Portland, we scored every neighborhood on Apartment Guide by business density (coffee shops divided by land area) and coffee shops per capita (coffee shops divided by population). Each score was weighted at 50 percent and combined to come up with an overall coffee score for each neighborhood. The neighborhoods with the highest combined score were determined to be the best neighborhoods for coffee in our quantitative study.

Neighborhoods with fewer than five coffee shops and 500 residents were excluded.

Coffee shop totals come from commercially licensed business listings and my not reflect recent openings or closures. Population and area come from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory from June 2019 to June 2020. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.



Published at Mon, 06 Jul 2020 18:55:14 +0000

Apartments Living

Staub Is Having a Massive Cookware Sale (Up to 65% Off!)—These Are the 5 Deals You Can’t Afford to Miss

Staub Is Having a Massive Cookware Sale (Up to 65% Off!)—These Are the 5 Deals You Can’t Afford to Miss

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

What’s better than a summer cookware sale? A sale from a brand whose heirloom-quality items will carry you through summer and beyond! Such is the case with Staub’s cookware event, which offers up to 65% off some of their cult-classic pieces (cocotte, we heart you), as well as gorgeous items from parent company Zwilling’s other brands, including Demeyere. Staub’s cookware is typically a big investment, but since everything they make is so versatile, these will be your go-to pieces no matter the season. We’ve rounded up five must-have kitchen finds below, but you can check out the full sale here! Free shipping is offered on orders over $49, and items ship in 1-2 days, so you’ll barely have to wait to use your new cookware!

1. Staub Cast Iron 10-inch Pure Grill

We love grill pans at Kitchn, and while they’re not a replacement for an actual gas or charcoal grill, they do let you mimic the grilling flavor we all love without stepping outside. This gorgeous 10-inch grill pan is available in four colors, and its ridged, matte surface is great for creating flavorful and beautiful grill marks on meats, paninis or vegetables. Use it to cook delicate items that may otherwise collapse or fall through grates on a regular grill, like ripe peaches, halved tomatoes, asparagus or shrimp—you get the idea! The pan is safe to use on all cooktop surfaces and is oven proof up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Buy: Staub Cast Iron 10-inch Pure Grill, $100 (normally $229)

2. Staub Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish Set

If a better baking dish set exists for making all of the fruit crumbles, cornbread and layered dips on tap for this summer, we’d like to see it! These stackable rectangular baking dishes are the perfect size for summer roasting and baking, but can also be used to marinate meats before grilling or for serving foods you’ve taken off the grill, like corn or chicken breasts. When the weather cools, use them for comforting lasagnas, warm desserts and roasted veggies. Staub’s ceramic stoneware is known for its heat retention, and since it’s glazed in beautiful enamel, it can go right from the oven to the table.

Buy: Staub Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish Set, $50 (normally $120)

3. Staub Cast Iron 5.5-qt. Round Cocotte

Staub’s cocotte goes on sale often, but this is a great deal on their all-purpose 5.5-quart model (44% off!). While cocottes are often associated with cold-weather cooking, there’s a lot you can make with them in the summer, including pulled pork for sandwiches, small batches of chowder or even this beautiful one-pot ratatouille. Many of us are still making bread every week (I don’t plan to stop anytime soon!), and a cocotte is one of the best methods for getting soft centers and crunchy crusts. The cookware’s heavy construction heats evenly and retains a steady temperature, so it’s perfect for slow-cooked braises. The inside of the lid has small spikes that release condensed liquid back into the pot, so food stays moist and full of flavor. Whatever you’re making, Staub’s cocotte is an indispensable kitchen tool 12 months a year!

Buy: Staub Cast Iron 5.5-qt. Round Cocotte, $260 (normally $464)

4. Staub Cast Iron 12-inch Round Steam Griddle

One of the most impressive items in this sale is the 12-inch steam griddle, which is a whopping 65% off! If you’ve ever tried to pan fry a chicken breast or a burger, you know it can take a while to fully cook the center, often causing the meat to dry out. This griddle has Staub’s signature textured black matte interior, which is praised for its ability to develop incredible browning and flavor. But the key is the domed lid, which allows you to add liquid like stock or wine to finish the cooking. Food will retain its natural moisture and pick up additional flavor from the fond that releases from the pan during steaming. The griddle’s roomy capacity is also great for searing and steaming vegetables, potstickers and braising greens. It’s a perfect pick for anyone trying to cook with a bit less fat.

Buy: Staub Cast Iron 12-inch Round Steam Griddle, $130 (normally $371)

Published at Tue, 30 Jun 2020 13:15:00 +0000

Apartments Living

Pure Collected Living

Pure Collected Living

I have always loved finding gorgeous homes to share with you. Someone’s home tour, ie how others are actually living, is always one of the best ways to find inspiration for your own space. However, I’ve come to realize that I have done a terrible job taking conscious action to share work by BIPOC designers, makers and artists. This stops today.

As I’ve been listening and learning these past few weeks, I’ve discovered a bevy of designers whose work is speaking to me – and I think they’d speak to you too. For the next week I’m going to sharing some of my favorite finds. Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Pure Collected Living. Her vibe; calm, restrained and elevated is so soothing and exactly what I’m gravitating to at the moment.

Pure Collected Living

Fun fact about Kelly, she’s a four-time Olympic athlete for her native country of Tobago! While she now resides in Florida, you can see how her global travels competing all around the world influenced her style, creating an appreciate for the perfect balance of modern and vintage. In fact, Kelly has sourced a vast majority of the pieces in her own home from thrift stores!

Kelly uses one of my favorite juxtaposition techniques, combing a classic Saarinen-style table and chairs with a traditional hutch. The effect is warm but minimal at the same time.

Pure Collected LivingPure Collected Living

I spy more foraging! You really can never go wrong with a lovely branch in an equally striking vessel. I’m also obsessed with Kelly’s pleated lampshade. I’ve been searching for options for our bedroom, but I strongly suspect this one was thrifted along with that amazing lamp.

Kelly’s consistent color palette brings cohesiveness to her whole house. It’s her mix of natural materials, wools, ceramics, linen, glass, wood and metal that keep everything from feeling too monotone.

Styling tip: do you notice how Kelly’s art is off-center above her console table? This asymmetrical design allows her to create balance with the vase of branches. I also love how the round side of the folding table mimics the round shape of the rings that sit atop it.

You know I’m obsessed with different ways to make a bed. I love the Euro look Kelly used here. The duvet folded back and the simple crisp sheet is so inviting. But what I really love about Kelly is her insightful advice she’s sharing on her site Pure Collected Home. Her posts include great tips, inspiration images and round ups of her go-to products. She regularly champions the mix of high and low, traditional and modern, vintage and new. I think she’s created the perfect combo of all of the above in her own space. I highly recommend you give her a follow!

Published at Thu, 11 Jun 2020 19:00:34 +0000

Apartments Living

Home Tour: Old Hollywood Glamour Made New

Home Tour: Old Hollywood Glamour Made New

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

I remember bookmarking Brigette Romanek’s house after I spied the climbing wall she built in her daughters’ room in Arch Digest. Thankfully, I never showed it to my son because I know that’s all he’d beg for till the end of time. While Brigette’s home is actually a piece of major Hollywood rock n’ roll history (apparently it was a recording studio at one point and every musician you could possibly name has once partied here), it’s the first place Romanek put her unique design perspective to work and it launched her business, Romanek Design Studio.

That’s why it doesn’t surprise me that this self-taught designer’s business is flourishing. In less than two years, Romanek has been name to the AD100 List and is currently juggling more than a dozen projects across residential, commercial and hospitality. She designed the first LA boutique for clothing brand The Great and Chef Ludo’s restaurant Petit Trois and even a home for Queen Bey and JayZ, among many other projects.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

But I’m particularly enamored with Brigette’s own abode. It’s another amazing example of how you don’t have to let your space’s architecture limit your style. You might think a house this grand has to be traditional, formal and stuffy. Instead, Romanek has created a perfect mix of vintage and contemporary design pieces – think Jean Royère, Apparatus Studio, Pierre Jeannert, Knoll, Faye Toogoode and more all mashed together with modern art and functional pieces that can really be lived in.

The sunroom is a beautiful bright space to enjoy breakfast.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34 

A relaxed sectional, vintage rug and Apparatus table lamp are a great mix of casual and elevated styles.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

I also love how Romanek uses color in subtle, yet striking ways. Her book collection is the means to add vibrancy to this otherwise neutral library. The pops of blue and pink mimic the colors you see in the artwork dotted throughout the rest of the house.

Like the colorful vintage abstract painting serving as the focal point in her formal dining room.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

There’s an art to Romanek’s mixing that could end up jumbled and too disconnected in the wrong hands, but she does an amazing job connecting tones, lines and textures that pull disparate pieces together.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

But what I really love about Romanek is that she’s self-taught. Less than 7% of all interior design degrees are going to Black Americans, but Romanek did not let that stop her. Instead, she pursued a passion and champions constant learning and self-improvement. Too often women use a lack of experience or formal education hold them back from starting their own businesses – a concern that doesn’t seem to hinder men nearly as much. Brigette is a wonderful example of simply jumping in and trying – obviously to great success. This is a great article about her journey.

Tour this house filled with Hollywood history on apartment 34

I’m certainly getting a ton of inspiration from this house – from wanting to add a more eclectic mix of art to This Old Victorian, coveting an impressive indoor tree and considering starting my own jumbo crystal collection!

I’m excited to watch where Romanek Design Studio goes from here.

For out entire Home Tour archive, CLICK HERE.

images by nicki sebastian for jenni kayne

Published at Tue, 16 Jun 2020 15:50:13 +0000

Apartments Living

10 Desk Lamps That are Perfect for Your Home Office (Or Reading Nook)

10 Desk Lamps That are Perfect for Your Home Office (Or Reading Nook)

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Who else got yelled at all the time as a kid for straining their eyes to read in the dark? If you’re anything like me, you grew up fearing permanent eye damage if you didn’t have adequate lighting. While that might not be the whole truth, it is important to have strong, direct lighting while you work to save your eyes strain and ward off headaches, especially when you’re putting in long days at your desk. So whether you’re working from home or need something small to illuminate a reading corner, do your eyes a favor and invest in one of these stylish, quality desk lamps. 

2. Mid Century USB Task Lamp

This lamp is as stylish and sophisticated as it is effective. Sleek lines combine with touches of glossy gold for a mid-century piece that really shines—and we mean that literally. From the long curved arm to the wide, angled shade, this task lamp provides bright, targeted light right where you need it and nowhere else. Oh, and don’t sleep on that handy USB port at the back of the base! 

Buy: Mid Century USB Task Lamp, $159 from West Elm

4. Simple Designs Reading/Desk Lamp

Looking for something a little less traditional for your desk? This semi-modern, semi-industrial lamp from Bed Bath & Beyond will add instant personality to your space. The wide U-shaped rod and vertical hanging light gives the lamp an eye-catching shape, while the transparent shade gives off a nice glow for nighttime work. 

Buy: Simple Designs Reading/Desk Lamp, starts at $36.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond

8. Hampton Bay LED Desk Lamp

Keep things nice and simple (and affordable!) with this basic but effective Home Depot lamp. There are no special bells and whistles to it—just a tall black lamp with an adjustable gooseneck to allow maximum flexibility. It includes an LED bulb for constant, efficient lighting. 

Buy: Hampton Bay LED Desk Lamp, $29.97 from Home Depot

9. Cylinder Task Table Lamp

Is it weird to call a lamp classy? Maybe, but this one really is. The matte steel construction with shiny brass accents make this two-tone piece fit for a handsome library, but it works just as well on your desk—especially with the built-in USB port at the base. 

Buy: Cylinder Task Table Lamp, $249 $199 from Rejuvenation

Published at Tue, 09 Jun 2020 17:00:00 +0000

Apartments Living

Rent A Home And Buy A House To Sell


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Author writes for hud homes, austin home and house sales.