Apartments Living

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards

Oh hi friend, just popping up for air between homeschooling and well, I guess I’m not getting air because the entire west coast is on fire and the air quality is some of the worst in the world. Did you hear that the presidential election is now less than 50 days away. Have you registered to vote? Ensured you’ll receive your mail-in ballot? Have a voting plan? CLICK HERE if not.

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards

But I digress. As you might have seen last week, I have new project that is distracting me from impending doom – the Hood Canal Coastal Cottage and I have been diving deeeeep in design this past week as our timeline to get this baby done is mega short. Like six weeks short. But I’ll dig into all those details once we actually close and I can walk you through everything.

For now, let’s have a convo about bedrooms, shall we? We spend a lot of time in them right? I tend to work from mine late into the wee hours. One of the biggest trouble spots I’m running into with the Coastal Cottage are the bedrooms. I think bedrooms are my achilles heel (as was evidenced by our guest room in This Old Victorian. And the main bedroom. But who’s counting.) It just feels impossible to come up with something that seems interesting (without resorting to majorly expensive finishes or design elements and we are on a budget here people! More on that discussion to come as well).

Living spaces are my jam. I can walk into any type of living space and visualize what it needs almost instantly. Maybe it’s because bedrooms are usually just a box, and often a pretty small one that limits my thinking. I just have the hardest time coming up with innovative solutions for bedroom design. But one idea has been catching my eye in all my late-night scrolling – so much so that I just had to whip up this post for you.

My latest Idea to Steal (and the one I’m trying to convince the husband to let me do in the Coastal Cottage) is wall-to-wall headboards.

Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34Idea to Steal: Wall-to-Wall Headboards on Apartment34

You might also call this look a bed ledge. The utility of wall-to-wall headboards are endless. It’s an easy way to inject another color, wood tone or texture to your bedroom. You can also use the wall-to-wall headboard to house bedside tables and lighting, saving floor space and keeping things minimal.

But I also love that the bed ledge offers the perfect spot to display pieces you love. From artwork to plants, vases or ceramics – you have a spot to add life and personality to your space without adding additional furniture to your room.

The challenge is with the wall-to-wall headboard is actually creating one. This isn’t an off the shelf solution. You’ll likely need to employ a carpenter or be very industrious with your DIYs to create something that works. I’ve seen very simple pine and even particle board versions that don’t seem too intimidating. But slatted wall-to-wall headboards or versions with more design detail could require a pro. I would argue the investment is worth it.

How about you? Maybe if this post gets enough comments, my husband will be convinced!

For our entire Idea to Steal archive CLICK HERE.

images the local project / leibalstudiomk27 / barnabylane, cultiver

Published at Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:03:07 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Keep Your Las Vegas Home Organized: 10 Creative Decluttering Ideas

How to Keep Your Las Vegas Home Organized: 10 Creative Decluttering Ideas

Right now, many of us are spending a lot of time at home working remotely or simply limiting social contact. With all this time spent inside, your Las Vegas home could probably use a once-over. Between mail, books and other household items, clutter is quick to pile up. Your busy living room and kitchen may send you into a frenzy to restore order and organization in your home.

Decluttering might seem intimidating at first, but there are a few steps you can follow to help you take control of your home:

1. Start with a Decluttering Action Plan

Any efficient project starts with a plan, so why not apply the same principle to decluttering your home? It is up to you to determine the time commitment and the pace of your plan, but having one in place will help you track your progress. The first step is to create a checklist of all the home areas you need to work on. If you’re using the Becker Method – which follows a room-by-room decluttering system – you’re probably better off beginning with the room that gets the most traffic and then proceeding with the rest. Your goal is to purge your home of the misplaced and redundant items, so make sure to stick to the organization scheme you put in place as you declutter.

2. Get the Right Supplies

Every room you declutter requires organizers, storage bins and other supplies. Once you get started, you will have a better idea of what sort of supplies you need. Some common supplies include trash bags, brown bags for recycling paper, hanging sweater bags for closets, or drawer dividers. Before you run out to the store, make sure you truly need the supplies you intend to buy.

3. Reorganize the Entryway Purposefully

As the busiest area of the home, the entry area usually collects shoes, sports equipment and different bags which make it difficult to find your keys when you’re in a hurry to leave the house in the morning. Adding a bench with storage to hold keys and other items might just be the solution to that pesky morning chaos! For bags, jackets and backpacks, a coat rack or a couple of hooks are helpful to keep these items organized. A mail organizer is not a bad idea if you’re constantly battling strewn envelopes as you make your way out of the house. As a general rule, make sure that each item has its dedicated space.

entryway in a home

4. Decluttered Living Room: Use Drawers, Shelves and Baskets

If your goal is to keep clutter at bay, then the living room is the trickiest room to do so. With fewer traditional possibilities for storage, your remotes and blankets are more than likely migrating from one spot to another. To make this room inviting and pleasing to the eye, use baskets to store extra throws, magazines or even children’s toys that make their way to the living room. Go for decorative boxes that best complement your home décor for a more personalized touch. Additionally, make sure to keep the coffee table free of the usual items like candles, books or flowers. If you do enjoy a few decorative items in this spot, why not incorporate a tray that can accommodate them? You can easily remove it in case you have guests and decide to use the coffee table to entertain.

5. Give Your Closets the Organization Treatment

Your bedroom closet is where most of your wardrobe resides. Start decluttering this spot by getting rid of everything you haven’t worn in the past year. If you’re not sure which clothes you still wear, hang your clothes on backward hangers in your closet. As you wear the items, rehang them facing forward. The hangers that stay backward are probably not your favorite items. It’s time to relocate them to the donation box. If your home is not large enough to make room for all your seasonal clothing and other seasonal items, self-storage can come to the rescue. Financially speaking, you’re better off renting a storage unit in Las Vegas than moving to a larger home with more space. Apartments in Sin City have an average of 884 square feet, ranking 40th among the top 100 cities with the largest apartments in the U.S, well below the national average, which is 941 square feet.

organized closet

6. Make Use of Underbed Space

If your closet is too small to house all your clothing, under-the-bed storage can be a lifesaver. Bulky items and accessories can be placed in vacuum storage bags safely under your bed. Make sure that any items you decide to store in this way is in good condition.

7. Home Office Desk: Stick to Bare Necessities

The top of your desk is home to pens, highlighters, staples and more. Besides your computer and a landline phone, try to keep only three or four items on the desk. Other knickknacks can be placed on a nearby shelf. Store most of your office supplies inside drawers using various bins and caddies to keep things organized.

8. Keep Cords Tidy

Your desk can feel like a jungle of lamp cords, laptop wires and other cords. You can secure them in a cable box to keep them all tidy, or you can opt for a shelf equipped with ports. If, on the other hand, your desk has fewer cables, a decorative container might easily do the trick.

9. Less is More with Kitchen Counters

Kitchen counters tend to become overcrowded with many kitchen gadgets and utensils that may or may not see frequent use. Instead, keep most of them in pull-out trays inside the cabinets. This trick allows you to easily access items all the way in the back of the cabinet and makes the most of this storage space. For the essential small appliances that have to stay on the countertop, you can use baskets and boxes to hold them. As you reorganize your countertop items, add some of them to the donation box if they see very rare or no use at all.

pull-out kitchen drawer

10. Say Goodbye to the Junk Drawer

The catch-all junk drawer feels good to have around, but it only causes more clutter – unopened mail, scissors, rubber bands and other little odds and ends that don’t seem to find their spot wind up here. The easiest way to a clutter-free drawer is to simply move everything into their designated spots in the kitchen. If, on the other hand, you can’t give up that easily on your junk drawer, using a drawer organizer might be the answer.

11. Bathroom: Toss Expired Cosmetics and Medicine

You might have tried a wide slew of cosmetics over the years, but not all of them turn out to be favorites. Now is the time to sift through your collection and dispose of old lotions and shower gels that never see the light of day. Apply the same principle to your medicine cabinet. It’s time to look at the expiration dates on medications and safely get rid of them.

12. Use Under-the-Sink Storage

Being short on closet space isn’t a new problem. We could all use a little extra space to store household items. Why not use your under-the-sink space to bring your everyday bathroom linens on-hand? Use wicker baskets to store bath towels – it’s practical, and stylish too.

bathroom storage

13. Enlist the Help of a Professional Organizer

If decluttering becomes overwhelming, don’t lose heart. It’s time to call in the professionals to lend a helping hand. It’s easier than ever to hire a certified organizer in Las Vegas. HateClutter, White Tie Organizing and Organized by Ginger are some of the professionals that can help bring back the Zen to your Las Vegas home.

Did we help you declutter your home? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Published at Thu, 03 Sep 2020 16:14:19 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Remove Wall Decals

How to Remove Wall Decals

Is there a child in America who hasn’t put a sticker on a piece of furniture despite being advised not to? There’s something about those colorful, tacky little pieces of paper just asking to be settled on a chair arm or desk. As grown-ups, it’s no wonder we still get the sticker bug, and in recent years, there’s been a resurgence of wallpapers and fun decals to deploy on the walls — inspirational quotes, life-sized sports figures, flowers and birds.

Some decals are labeled “repositionable” or “removable” and easily come off when peeled without damaging the wall. Yay! Lucky you. But other decals, particularly older ones, may not give it up so easily. When it’s time for a change, how do you remove wall decals

Decal, sticker, what’s the diff?

First off, the word “decal” has a fancy pedigree, derived as it was from the French décalcomanie (Latin calcare, meaning “to tread on, press”).

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A decal has three parts — a backing paper, the actual sticker art and a transfer surface layer. A sticker, on the other hand, is just an adhesive design that you peel off the backing paper and adhere to a surface. With their three parts, decal designs can be really intricate because the transfer layer allows you to put the sticker on a wall with the same spacing as the original design.

Stickers and decals are usually made from PVC-vinyl for its elasticity. Some eco-conscious companies like Made for Sundays, make stickers from paper with PVC-free backing and decals made of recyclable polyester vinyl.

removing wall decals

Easy ways to remove wall decals

Here are the tools you’ll need to remove decals from your walls:

  • Hairdryer
  • Tweezer
  • Warm, soapy water
  • A residue remover of choice (see below)
  • Patience

Step 1: Use a hairdryer to heat up the decal

Hold the hairdryer about six inches from the decal and blow warm air over it for a minute or two. If it’s a large decal do one area at a time.

Step 2: Using a tweezer, slowly pull away from the wall

Channel your long-lost skills from The Operation game and do this gently. Don’t tug the decal at a 90-degree angle, sort of roll it away. This will keep you from tearing the decal and leaving residue or possibly peeling away paint.

Step 3: Remove leftover residue

Any residue left on the wall should come off with warm soapy water. If that won’t cut it, try Goo Gone, Krud Kutter, WD-40, rubbing alcohol or even nail polish remover — but you might want to test a small area first, like in the back of a closet to make sure your remover of choice doesn’t ruin the paint.

glow in the dark stars

Removing glow-in-the-dark stars

Yes, the constellations were amazing at night as you gazed up at your ceiling from your bed. But now they’ve got to go. You’ll need more than a hairdryer to get rid of these suckers. Aside from a ladder and possibly a friend to hand you materials while you’re trying not to get a crick in your neck, gather the following: cotton balls, white vinegar, a cleaner like Goo Gone or Krud Kutter, nail polish remover, WD-40, rag, dish soap, warm water, scraper (old credit card will do) and possibly an ice cube.

Once you’ve assembled your arsenal, choose one of your liquid attackers, and using a cotton ball, dampen the edges of the star stickers. Wait two to three minutes and test to see if you chose correctly and can peel away the star sticker with your finger.

If not, try another liquid. Hit up the edges with WD-40 for good measure. If you can’t peel the star sticker away with your fingers, scrape it off with the old credit card. Eventually, the stars will come off the ceiling.

Some stars have a kind of putty-like adhesive. Try putting an ice cube to it and then use the credit card to scrape it from the ceiling.

Once the stars have been removed, you’ll likely have to tackle the residue. This should come off with a little scrubbing with your rag dipped in soapy water. Don’t oversaturate the ceiling and scrub so hard that you weaken the drywall.

Decals gone, walls might need some TLC

With the star stickers, in particular, you’ve likely scored yourself a new project — painting. Just make sure the walls or ceiling are dry before you begin and you’ll be able to restore your apartment to its original blank canvas status.



Published at Mon, 31 Aug 2020 19:20:13 +0000

Apartments Living

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now

While it can feel a bit odd to get excited about any kind of shopping during these intense times, it’s clear we’re going to continue to need to stay home for the foreseeable future – I’m about to start homeschooling a kindergartner woohoo – and so there’s no better time to upgrade your space however you can. Thankfully, a couple of new furniture collections are making that much, much easier. I’m officially drooling! Scroll to get some much needed inspiration right now.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

First up is the stunning new collection that launched on Anthropologie late last week. Called the Artisinal Modern Collection by Lemieux Et Ciethis truly chic mix of everything from chairs, sofas and coffee tables to accessories, rugs, art, and even wallpaper is the brainchild of one of my longtime favorite designers in the home furnishings space, Christiane Lemieux.

Lemieux was the founder of DwellStudio – a collection that launched an iconic bird print bedding set – among a number of other items. DwellStudio was sold in 2013 and Lemieux has continued to have a hand in the home furnishings space – but I am so excited to see this comprehensive collection take a store like Anthropologie in a more elevated, elegant and design-savvy direction. As I scrolled through, I wanted virtually every single piece. I’m sure that was influenced by the beautiful editorial images you see here – I just want to dive right into this home. But that also doesn’t surprise, as Lemieux tapped my favorite stylist Colin King to style this beautiful shoot.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I was just sitting in my dining room last night thinking I need to add a rug to anchor and soften the room. This dining room has officially convinced me. I think this handwoven Tukar rug would be perfect!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

The rounded sofa trend is here to stay and I am so happy about it. The look is the easiest way to elevate a room. This sofa is a beautiful option. I’m coveting that vintage-looking vase as well!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34 Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Her sculptural pieces in this collection are reminiscent of Brancusi – and I am completely smitten.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

While I would gladly add virtually any piece from this collection to my house, I’ve picked a handful of my favorites for you to shop below.

It appears Zara Home has also gotten the timeless modern design memo, as their newest collection has equally lovely neutral pieces photographed in yet another stunning space.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

I’m particularly loving the warmth of this space. The creamy walls, mix of wood tones and natural materials transports me to the countryside of Spain or France.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Obsessed with this chunky kitchen counter – and the accessories from Zara are cute too!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

Did you notice the arched doorways throughout this house, painted with a black accent? Officially banking this idea for a future dream project.

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

This is an absolute dream bathroom situation!

Two New Furniture Collections You Need to Shop Right Now on Apt34

If I could add a piece or two to my house that would make me feel transported to a space like this, well sign me up! Here are a few of my favorite finds.

images courtesy of anthropologie and zara home

Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:59:26 +0000

Apartments Living

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

As I stare down the barrel of facilitating online kindergarten (lawd help me), my mind is wandering to any and all escapes. While I sadly cannot exit our current reality, I can dream about a far-flung destination. At some point during a mindless scrolling session, idyllic images of a beautiful sun-soaked location kept cropping up in my feed and I had to know more.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

These incredible pictures are of a townhouse nestled in the village of Sóller on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Designed by Berrow Projects, the Canoneta Townhouse was built in 1910 by Parisian architects and Berrow has painstakingly updated the property to meld beautiful old-world bones with contemporary details and finishes that make this home feel both timeless and contemporary. All I know is that I’m totally smitten.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

Every detail of this island home is picture perfect. This custom kitchen features cement floors with radiant heating and a beautiful mix of custom oak cabinetry and honed stone countertops. The views out of those french doors have me swooning. I can see myself enjoying a morning matcha at that island right now.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The house’s dining room offers a perfect indoor/outdoor feel with those large picture window french doors and oodles of natural light. I spy built-in bench seating at the end of the space. And I’m always a sucker for built-in shelving too.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

This townhouse has six bedrooms and six bathrooms! A main bedroom features a cast concrete soaking tub and a beautiful mix of concrete and geometric tiles to mimic carpeting. The continued use of warm oak softens the space. And again the views! What a dream.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

I love the cross hatch caning on the custom wardrobe cabinets.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The bathroom is a beautiful, smooth homage to minimalism. I love the single basin for the double sink.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34 Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

But let’s talk about this home’s incredibly garden. It features a lap pool and spa, sunken seating area and covered outdoor dining table along with an expanse of yard and established orchards of orange, lemon and other fruit trees. The townhouse gets its name, Canoneta, from the native orange variety that grows here and brought prosperity to the region in the late 19th century.

I think I could stomach homeschooling and a really uncertain future if I was sitting next to that pool, a Spritz in hand.

How about you?? Did I mention this house is for sale?!!! I have officially found my exit strategy.

For more Daydream Destination inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of berrow project

Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:28:40 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Remove Permanent Marker From Any Surface

How to Remove Permanent Marker From Any Surface

Permanent markers are essential in every craft room and household.

They are great for creating lasting memories through artwork, writing labels on metals and plastics to help keep your home organized and even covering up scuffs on shoes.

Although the name suggests otherwise, if you accidentally get permanent marker on a surface you didn’t intend, or one ends up in the hands of a very young, but very inspired creative, there are ways to remove it.

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Permanent marker can be removed from a variety of surfaces using basic household cleaners and materials. So grab an old towel or washcloth that you don’t mind the strain potentially transferring onto, and follow the instructions below to learn how to remove permanent marker from any surface.

How to remove permanent marker from plastic

writing leftovers on plastic container with permanent marker

If you had used a permanent marker to label a plastic item and now want to alter that label, you can use a dry-erase marker to remove the writing. A dry-erase marker works well for getting permanent marker off of plastic because it contains rubbing alcohol.

Follow these steps:

  1. Color over the permanent marker with the dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away
  3. Repeat the process if needed

How to remove permanent marker from clothes

using hairspray to remove a stain from a shirt

If you got a permanent marker stain on one of your favorite clothing items, don’t fret. There are a number of different methods you can use to get it out of different clothing fabrics. Below are tips for removing permanent marker stains from cotton, leather and wool.


Hairspray is an effective way to remove permanent marker from cotton. Be sure that the hairspray contains alcohol, as not all hairspray products do, and this component is critical for removing the stain.

Follow these three steps to clean your cotton item:

  1. Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  3. Put clothing item in the washing machine without other items in case the stain bleeds
  4. Run on warm with detergent


You can remove permanent marker from leather, without damaging the fabric, using white vinegar.

Follow these three steps to clean your leather item:

  1. Dab vinegar onto the stain with a cloth
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes
  3. Use the same cloth to wipe off the stain using a circular motion


Hairspray is also an effective way to remove permanent marker from wool. Instead of tossing the item in the wash after setting the stain with hairspray, you can handwash it to prevent damage to the item.

Follow these steps to clean your wool item:

  1. Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  3. Hand wash the item with cold water

How to remove permanent marker from wood

removing permanent marker from wood with toothbrush

Not only does toothpaste fight stains in your mouth, but it can also fight stains on your wood furniture or floors. The abrasive quality of toothpaste helps to gently remove the dye without dissolving it. It’s best to use a baking soda toothpaste, but if you don’t have one you can simply mix baking soda with the toothpaste you have. Skip the gel toothpaste, it won’t work.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Apply toothpaste to a cloth or you can even use an old toothbrush!
  2. Rub into the wood, going with the grain
  3. Repeat as needed

How to remove permanent marker from skin

using hand sanitizer to remove permanent marker from hand

It turns out that hand sanitizer not only can clean your hands of germs but also can be used to remove permanent marker from your skin:

    1. Squirt a dab of hand sanitizer into your hand or on a cloth
    2. Rub directly into the stain
    3. Wipe away with a cloth

How to remove permanent marker from other surfaces

putting rubbing alcohol on a cloth

If permanent marker ended up on one of your upholstered furniture pieces, a stainless steel appliance, wall, carpet or glass item, you can remove the stain using the techniques we breakdown below.


Use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker from upholstery. It’s best to blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing as it’s possible to actually massage the stain further into the fabric.

Follow these simple steps using rubbing alcohol:

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
  2. Blot the area
  3. Wash away the remaining rubbing alcohol using a clean damp cloth


Similar to plastic, dry-erase markers work well to remove permanent marker from metal. So if permanent marker ends up on one of your stainless steel appliances, follow the steps below. Keep in mind, you may have to repeat this process a couple of times to fully remove the stain.

  1. Color over the stain with a dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away


Toothpaste for the win, again! Toothpaste also works great for removing permanent marker from walls without causing damage. As previously mentioned, skip the gel toothpaste and ideally choose one that contains baking soda. Then follow these steps:

  1. Apply toothpaste directly to the wall stain
  2. Allow it to sit for 5–10 minutes
  3. Scrub the mark in a circular motion
  4. Wipe the remaining toothpaste away with a damp cloth


To remove permanent marker from the carpet, just like with upholstery, you can use rubbing alcohol. Remember, blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing so you don’t rub the stain further into the carpet. Follow these steps below:

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
  2. Blot the area
  3. Using a damp, clean cloth, wipe away the remaining rubbing alcohol


If permanent marker ends up on one of your glass items, such as a window or mirror, you can remove it with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol by doing the following:

  1. Apply remover of your choice to a cloth
  2. Rub the strain
  3. Use a clean cloth and a multipurpose or glass cleaner to wipe away

Dry-erase boards

In addition to working well to remove stains from walls and plastic, dry-erase markers can be used to remedy a situation where you may have mistakenly used permanent marker on a dry-erase board. In two steps, you can pretend as though nothing ever happened:

  1. Write over the stain with a dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away with a clean cloth

Few things in life are truly permanent

You may have to repeat the steps laid out above a few times to be successful, but with a little effort and patience, you can remove most permanent marker stains. For additional cleaning hacks, be sure to check out our cleaning and maintenance tips.



Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 13:21:29 +0000

Apartments Living

Book Storage in Seattle: 10 Ideas for Your Tiny Apartment

Book Storage in Seattle: 10 Ideas for Your Tiny Apartment

You’ve recently moved into your first apartment, and things look quite challenging space-wise. Yes, we all know Seattle rentals are rather small, with average square footage ranging around 711 sq.ft., even lower than that of Manhattan or Chicago. Fitting your possessions into a studio or a 1-bedroom would probably not be an easy feat – but it can be done, with a little creativity.

For all those bookworms out there wishing to bring that large book collection with them as they transition to Seattle living, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help them organize their books with style and functionality. Check them out below!

1. Make Use of Narrow Hallway Storage

Think your narrow hallway space can’t possibly help with storage? Think again. You can install a thin wall-long shelf for book storage. We are sure this DIY project shouldn’t be too challenging, but if you don’t feel up to the task, a carpenter would be your best bet. More than just a practical solution, your book collection can also serve as a decorative item without overcrowding the small space.

2. Frame Doorways With Bookshelves

Your doorway is untapped real estate that can be put to good use. Extend the ledge above the doorway to allow for book storage. You can sort books by color for a gorgeous decorative effect. This storage idea will surely impress your guests!

3. Incorporate Books Into Your Décor

Your home already has pieces of furniture that could house other objects, so why not use that space to showcase your book collection. Add books under your coffee table or even under your couch if you have room. What’s more, you can bring some titles from your reading list onto the coffee table. Having your favorite reading matter under your nose will spark joy in your everyday life all the while adding a personal touch to your décor. It’s actually the same principle that led many bookstores in Seattle to add coffee shops to their services, as often reading and coffee breaks are complementary.

books incorporated in decor

4. Turn Your Space Divider Into Book Central

If you’re already using a space divider so that the living room doesn’t abruptly turn into your bedroom, why not add some books to this storage space? You can place the divider behind the couch to create the illusion of privacy without compromising too much space.

5. Keep Your Favorite Stories Close

There’s no reason why you can’t go to sleep surrounded by your favorite books, be they mysteries, love stories, or fantasy tales. Your bed is probably one of the biggest pieces of furniture in your home, which is why it’s the ideal spot to squeeze in some extra storage. Instead of the traditional foot-of-bed bench, add shelves to create a mini-library or store books above the headboard. Additionally, if there is enough room, you can install small shelves in the space under your bed, which allows you to spread out your book collection even more.

book storage above bed headboard

6. Turn Nooks Into Bookshelves

Sure, tiny apartments might be less than spacious, but you can still find some unused space that can house books. Look for a niche in the wall or a nook where otherwise a small piece of furniture like a chair wouldn’t fit – that’s where a makeshift bookshelf could be placed. Your home will be cozier and, let’s face it, we do feel better when we can turn a practical home décor solution into an aesthetically pleasing one!

7. Befriend Book Storage on Floating Shelves

We get it, you’ve tried to fit all of your books into all the nooks and crannies of your tiny apartment, but there just isn’t enough room for your growing pile of books, right? Instead of letting your apartment sink into chaos with books strewn all over the place, think of using floating shelves to store some of them. For an elegant and functional look, install them above a sofa, the window, or even your bed.

8. Take Your Books a Notch Higher

When living in constricted quarters, you might need to make even more use of that vertical space. Go beyond floating shelves if those aren’t enough to house your books and add a shelf in the space closest to the ceiling area. Your books will thank you for this design choice: They can neatly stay there organized, safe, and out of the way. Additionally, higher shelving invites the eye upward and creates the illusion of a roomier space. As some of us are true bookworms, even this storage solution will not suffice to make all those novels fit. Tiny apartment renters in the Emerald City can look into self storage units in Seattle to store those extra books or simply to move other items into storage if books are closer to their hearts.

book storage on tall shelving unit

9. Turn the Back of a Staircase Into a Library

Some tiny apartments come with a loft accessible by stairs. Take advantage of that unused space in the back of the staircase to decorate it with books. It’s definitely a storage idea that hasn’t been explored much, and it can help you hold on to more stories you love in the already limited space in your apartment.

10. Go for Wheeled Cart Storage

You can choose a metal or wooden wheeled cart to store some of your books. This storage solution is appealing because you can move it around as you see fit. Besides, think of your little wheeled library as a temporary placement station for all those books you’ve just taken down from the ceiling shelf.

Did we help you store your books in your tiny apartment? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:47:19 +0000

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

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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