Apartments Living

Book Report: the Neutral Home

Book Report: the Neutral Home

Some people say all-white design is boring. Or easy. But I beg to differ. Using white as your primary color palette actually requires the utmost expertise – so much so that there’s a beautiful new design book dedicated to working with a (nearly) all white palette. And I, for one, am here for it.

I highly doubt you’re bored by neutral interiors either, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to stick around Apt34 for this long, but this new design tome, FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of UK favorite, The White Company, captures pitch perfect use all my favorite soothing hues.

The secret to a compelling neutral interior is contrast. And there is stunning use of that throughout these homes. Deeply hued hardwoods pop against beautiful white walls.

White on white works when you use dramatic proportions. I love how everything in these homes feels big and eye catching – no bright colors required. Note to self, always add a dog that matches your interior.

Yes, I’ve hated on all-white kitchens in the past, but there is a reason why they’ll never go out of style. I do understand their classic appeal.

I love the mix of materials in this dining room. Modern, clean lined chairs mix with a farm style table and a stunning traditional built-in hutch. Definite display goals with that one.

A freestanding tub is also always timeless. This space is truly elegant.

But in my next dream house, I’d like a room dedicated entirely to my tub, thank you very much.

This is only one of the many gorgeous design books that have debuted this fall. I’m going to share sneak peeks of all of my faves through the month of November, just in case you have another design lover on your gift list!

Photography by Chris Everard, © The White Company.

“FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company, is available now from HarperDesign, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. For more information, visit

Published at Wed, 13 Nov 2019 01:33:58 +0000

Apartments Living

How to Retain Tenants in Your Houseshare or Houses for Rent

Experienced landlords know just how hard it is to find good and reliable tenants for their houses for rent. So once good tenants have been found, either for a househare or whole property it is important for landlords to retain their tenants for as long as possible. A few simple steps can really help to make sure tenants want to stay for longer.

The first thing to consider is why tenants leave. Some tenants will be forced to leave through a change of job or lifestyle and there is little that the professional landlord can do about this. However many tenants will leave simply because they feel their problems are not being addressed and think that there are better houses for rent available. If you are renting out room in a houseshare, tenants will also be very sensitive to price increases.

Looking After Your Tenant

Landlords who want to keep their tenants should look after them properly. Tenants should feel that you care about them properly and fix any problems quickly. This alone can often prevent tenants looking at other houses for rent.

If the tenant raises a problem with the house for rent such as a shower that has stopped working or a blocked drain then you should respond by phone immediately to let them know that you are aware of the problem and to explain what you are doing about it. You should always take action on the same day, even if the tradesperson might not be available until the following day. Make the tenant feel that you a dealing with the problem as quickly as possible.

In houseshares, the landlord usually has to check the property regularly as to make sure it is clean and tidy.  This allows the landlord to spot any problems and have them fixed.

Consider Rent Increases Carefully

If you have a good relationship with your tenant and they generally pay the rent on time and keep the property in good condition, then consider any increases very carefully. An increase can often trigger the tenant to immediately start looking at other houses for rent to check how your proposed amount compares to other properties on the market. As part of this price checking the tenant may very well see another rental property that he prefers to yours.

It is important to try and keep tenants staying in houseshares for as long as possible to reduce the time and effort it takes to find new flatmates. 

Just one month’s void costs can often be substantially higher than the additional letting income that you would have collected from your tenantArticle Submission, and your next tenant being so reliable. You should consider whether any proposed rent increase can be justified and whether the new rent would seem reasonable to the tenant.

Apartments Living

Studio Portraits in a Lounge

So I
progressed on to a 3ft umbrella with a SB800, SB600 and a couple of old Vivitar
flashgun on remotes which all work
great, usually!  The flash with umbrella certainly stopped the motion but
sent light everywhere and I struggled to light the background separately in such a cramped space.  You can see some of the
results of this on my  BlogWebsite

So, how to to
stop sending light everywhere? I now I
have a soft box attachment for the SB800 and find that I can
control the direction of the light a lot better.

I liked the umbrella with teenagers who wanted to bop around. It
seemed to light them pretty well no matter what angle they were at and the softbox was more useful for

used a flash, high up behind the
model to put highlights in the hair or to rim light them against a dark
blackground.  I
have also added a pringles tube, covered
in black tape, as a snoot, and foam cards
to act as flags to stop the flash at the back
from giving glare in the camera lens.

I found using the menu on the Nikon
D300 to control the flashes was cumbersome and now use the SU800 Commander unit which sits on the hotshoe
and is much quicker to use.

With all this kit I have enough to experiment with
and am constantly learning. It is beginning to amaze me just how tilting a light
this way or that way really affects
how the photographs look. I have read a lot but doing it in practise is
where I am really learning what I read

I am not sure what advantages studio lighting will give me  but I still have so
much to learn and explore with the equipment I already have.  If I need
more space then I will hire a local

Apartments Living

ZipRealty: Early Pioneer turned Zombie Company?

ZipRealty: Early Pioneer turned Zombie Company?

Posted on November 30, 2019 8:00 pm

Does anyone remember ZipRealty? Back in the Dotcom 1.0 era, they were among the first widespread discount real estate brokerage companies with a reasonably strong presence in the west coast. I have fond memories of using their saved search features to track listings prices through the 2004-2010 boom and bust!

Thanks to RealtyHop’s Public Record search, it is no secret that I made my first investment in a Redmond, Washington condominium for $130K (and amazingly held it for 13 years). ZipRealty sold in 2014, but my online profile is still intact, as well as my list of comparables I tracked over the years to estimate how my property was trending.

Unfortunately for ZipRealty, they came too early for its time. Despite having a strong technology, they were a discount brokerage that didn’t offer any compelling reason to transact using their agents other than the rebate. Coupled with dotcom paced growth, they self-selected for some dubious quality agents.

I remember getting a very angry call, very late at night, Boston time when I still in graduate school. The ZipRealty agent “assigned” to my account yelled at me, said one of her other clients had back-stabbed her by using another agent, and accused me of doing the same because “that’s what all the Microsoft new hires do.”

She said she was kicking me off the platform – of course I’m still half asleep and have no idea what she’s talking about. The next day I got an email locking me out of the account, so I promptly created a new account with username “leelin2”, still in use today.

Published at Sun, 01 Dec 2019 01:00:45 +0000

Apartments Living

Information You Need To Find Apartments For Rent Barcelona

Do you know why it’s hard to find apartments for rent in Barcelona? If you are planning to visit a friend or family, booking an apartment is sound advice. There are ways to find a good and affordable place to stay. This article will provide you some helpful tips to search vacation rentals in Spain. So, read this article.

With two of Europe’s principal ports, how hard can it be to find apartments for rent Barcelona or vacation rentals?

Barcelona is one of the greatest cities not only in Spain, but Europe as well. It has great contributions to both the country and continent’s economy. It is a recognized Global City that has the ability to compete in every social, political and economic aspect of global spectrum.

When it comes to tourism, this country is equally competitive. With its different historical, botanical, urban and forest parks form a total of 68 wonderful and spacious recreation areas. Of the largest park, Montjuic from Mt. Monjuic falls at the peak.

You can also enjoy the enticing Mediterranean water from the attractive beaches of this Spanish town. To be specific, Sant Sebastia and Barceloneta are the hotspots, not only because of the coastline, but also because they are the oldest.

Moreover, this beautiful city is also a proud town of culture, food, sports; architecture and engineering. With these attractions, tourists and adventurers would surely come knocking in vacation rentals.

There are plenty of great hotels in Barcelona. But since the place is an international destination, hotels and inns are quite expensive. Frequent tourists of the city know better than to spend money on luxury hotels. Instead, apartments housing or apartments bedroom are the practical alternatives.

So if you are planning to visit this town on your vacation, whether with your family, friends or alone, it’ll be great to book your stay in advance or you might run out of vacation rentals to stay in.

And to help you with your summer adventure, here is how you can find apartment for rent Barcelona.

1. Do your research. Before you can choose the best place to live in, you have to know your exact destination. This is the most practical tip is also the most logical step that every tourist is doing before embarking on trip.

By knowing something about your destination, you could easily narrow down your alternatives. Should you go for an upstate or downtown rent?

2. Find your apartment for rent Barcelona in an area or district that is close to the tourist attractions.

3. Look up for the most convenient “home-away -from -home” lease at apartments listings or rent listings. This step would also help you find the best place to sleep in while in other places. As an example if you want to visit Las Ramblas, then staying in a Las Ramblas apartment is a practical choice.

Online directories and listings allow forum postings. By checking the comments from other tourists, you would have upfront reviews to guide you. Doing comparisons would also help.

Moreover, these kinds of sites offer long list of hotels, hostels and transient houses to choose from. Most importantly, they also safeguard the security and satisfaction of tourists by listing only those that have good reputations.

4. Compare prices of the listed rental houses on the site. By conducting advance booking, you could then know the allowance that you have to set aside for your room. In this case, you can put your focus in budgeting for your trip.

Looking for apartments for rent Barcelona would give you ideas as to how great the city is. You can also find different alternative in terms of style, cost and location. NowBusiness Management Articles, ready for you Barcelonian adventure yet?

Apartments Living

Activists Dropped a Sinking House into a River to Show the Severity of Climate Change

Activists Dropped a Sinking House into a River to Show the Severity of Climate Change

Earlier this month, a half-submerged house floated down the River Thames in London. The house, which looked like the casualty of a flood, was placed in the river by climate protest group Extinction Rebellion to communicate the seriousness of sea level rise and flooding as a result of climate change.

“As the ongoing flood disaster in Derbyshire and Yorkshire has so starkly illustrated, our homes, businesses and families are at very real risk,” Extinction Rebellion wrote in a statement following the sinking house demonstration. “We are watching, in real-time, as people’s lives are destroyed around the world and in the UK. Unless action is taken to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero these tragedies are set to worsen.”

During the floods mentioned in the statement, “some parts of England got more rainfall in just 24 hours than they normally would in a single month,” according to The Guardian.

“Flooding is a political issue, disproportionately impacting our poorest and most vulnerable communities,” reads the Extinction Rebellion statement. It goes on to give context about the seriousness of rising sea levels, explaining that while the melting of floating sea ice won’t cause dramatic sea level rise, melting ice on land is another story. If all the ice on Greenland were to melt, for example, average sea levels would rise by seven meters, it says. 

At the same time, a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius would mean a sea level rise high enough to displace 280 million people, or four times the number of current refugees worldwide.

Katey Burak and Rob Higgs, who built the sinking house explained the thought process behind the demonstration: “…When I hear the facts about climate change my brain can scarcely comprehend them, they are vast and scary. We wanted to make something that people can visually connect to, whilst leaning on the government and the experts to make the changes that need to be made. Until they make the big legal and financial changes, it’s very hard for people like me or you to make significant changes to protect ourselves and the world around us.”

Extinction Rebellion’s demands are that the government declare a climate emergency, work with other institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and “create and be led by” a citizens’ assembly on climate justice. Read more about the sinking house project and Extinction Rebellion’s mission here.

Published at Sat, 30 Nov 2019 21:47:46 +0000

Apartments Living

Salt lakes and fantastic vistas in your Torrevieja apartments for rent

Visiting your
apartments for rent
50km south west of Alicante’s International airport. Either by
following the main motorway route from Alicante or the more panoramic
coastal road there are some tremendous views from the coast road and
not forgetting some small attractive towns like Rojales and Guardamar
to visit, on your way through.

That is if you have
some spare time discover some of the beauty of this area by road.

Torrevieja is the
border region separating not only the Costa Blanca from its neighbour
Costa Calida but also marks the border from the Valencian community
to the Murcia one, The last town that marks the southern point of the
language line between the traditional valencian or catalan language
in the north of the costa blanca and the Spanish wide castellano in
the rest of Spain.

Further to the south
you go the more you will find more and more “Spanish only”
speaking people,

while the region of
Torrevieja and upwards is bilingual (valencian and Spanish). Visit
some of the smaller urbanizations like La Zenia, Playa Flamenca or
even the well known Villamartin, are regions that are definitively

The region around
Torrevieja and Orihuela is famous for its salt production. The two
huge salt lakes surround the road coming down from Alicante.

It is impressive and
fascinating every time to see the huge salt mountains that produces
annually more than half a million tons surprisingly do not expect to
find any of it on your dinner table, most of the salt mined from
Torrevieja is destined to be used on the roads during heavy snow
storms through out Europe. Never the less you should spend a little
time around the Salt parks as they are natural parks filled with a
few wild birds, and flamingoes, migrating through from Africa.

The name of the town
comes from an old tower (old means vieja and tower equal to torre),
was first mentioned around 1800. It became famous in 1802, when the
oldtower took over from the Orihuela producing Salt mines and the
Administration process.

Tourism and fishing
keeps the harbour is surrounded by many Torrevieja hotelsBusiness Management Articles, although
because of an old by law introduced after Torrevieja’s last
earthquake the hotels are only a maximum of 4 floors high. The port
is also home to around 300 fishing boats and over 900 private yachts.
A wonderful view especially when the sun sets.

When visiting your Torrevieja
apartments for rent
and to
see the town in all its glory it is best to wander the streets by
foot starting at the harbour. Pass by the Church of “la inmaculata
conception” and a visit to the museo del mar y sal (museum of sea
and salt) and the fish market.

Apartments Living

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Festive decorations are as much a part of the holiday season as the jolly, fat man coming down the chimney delivering presents. Decorating is especially fun for apartment dwellers.

But before you start picking out decorations and creating your own winter wonderland, it hits you — you have to pay for your own decorations? Well, fear not. Here are some inexpensive DIY decorations even the Grinch would love.

1. Mason jar snow globes

mason jar snow globe

Source: Mason Jar Crafts

Sometimes, the small details are the best. This DIY snow globe from Mason Jar Crafts is easy-to-make and adorable. You likely have the main component, a mason jar, in your cupboards already. And the other elements are easy to find and won’t break the bank.

Go to a toy or craft store, get a selection of small toy cars, buy some fake snow, mini pine trees, twine and you’re set! Once you’ve made your mini snow globes, place them on the window sills, kitchen counter or coffee table. These decorations are trendy, cute, and can fit anywhere inside your apartment!

2. Popsicle stick snowflakes

popsicle stick snowflake

Source: Simple MOM Project

Do you live in a city where you hardly ever see snow? Are you missing out on a traditional white Christmas? If so, these DIY snowflakes are the perfect craft to create a white winter wonderland, no matter the weather outside.

All you need is glue, white paint and some popsicle sticks. Make as many as you’d like and create the perfect snowy apartment for this holiday season.

3. Pinecone Christmas trees

pinecone Christmas trees

Source: Lauren J Photography on Babble

Have you ever wondered how to use a pinecone as a decoration? Sure, they smell good and can be used as potpourri, but can you make them festive? Yes, you can. Next time you’re out for a nature walk, pick up some pinecones to transform them into miniature Christmas trees for your apartment.

While a big Christmas tree is great, it’s sometimes not feasible for the size of your apartment. So, these DIY pinecone trees come in handy. Gather your pine cones, spray paint them green and glue them to corks for a base. Scatter them throughout your apartment and you’ve got yourself a whole forest of Christmas trees.

4. Coffee filter wreaths

coffee filter Christmas tree wreath

Source: How to Make a Burlap Wreath

Apartments come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the size, they all have front doors (if they don’t, you should probably move). While you may have limited space to decorate inside, you can always spice up your front door with a festive wreath. If you’re looking for a fun DIY project, consider making this wreath out of coffee filters.

All you need is coffee filters and a foam core center and you’ll bring Christmas cheer to your apartment complex’s hallway. It’ll have all your neighbors knocking on your door asking where you got it. The best part is that you can get everything you need from your local grocery store. It’s just as fun to make as it is cute.

5. Flat Christmas tree

flat Christmas tree

Source: Hildur.K.O

Some apartments won’t have enough space for a large Christmas tree. However, being that it’s one of the most iconic decorations, there has to be an alternate solution. Luckily Hildur.K.O has the perfect solution — the flat Christmas tree.

It’s a great way to save space in your apartment and have a tree to decorate and put gifts under. It’s easy to make and requires minimal items that you can purchase at your local craft store. Spend a December evening decorating the tree with ornaments without feeling cramped in your living space.

6. Decorated letters

decorated christmas letters

Block letters are always cute decorations. Luckily, Christmas has great phrases you can spell out and display to make your apartment more festive. From simple phrases like “Joy” to “Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” you’ll have plenty of options for this block letter craft. They’re fun to make and also inexpensive.

All you need for this DIY decoration is the block letters to spell out the word you wish to write, and what you want to decorate them with. You could decorate with candy-like peppermints or really do whatever your imagination wants. Whatever you end up with, you can rest assured you’ll end up with great decorations your neighbors will be envious of.

7. Mittens Christmas garland

mitten garland

Source: Craft Create Cook

If it’s not cold enough where you live to wear your mittens, repurpose them into an adorable garland to hang. Craft Create Cook has you covered with all the steps to make your perfect, unique garland.

This garland will make you want to cozy up in your apartment with a cup of cocoa and a great Christmas movie.

8. Christmas Tree advent calendar

advent calendar

Source: Michael’s

Advent calendars are a holiday favorite for many with the anticipation of waking up every day in the month of December to find a little surprise. Whether it’s waxy chocolate or little gifts from your mom, it’s exciting nevertheless.

If you miss this childhood favorite Michael’s has your back. Their Christmas tree advent calendar is every DIYer’s dream. It comes plain leaving it up to you to decorate it however you want. Think of all the possibilities you could put in those drawers. It could be fun to do with your roommate or if you live alone, to treat yourself for the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

Decorate for the holidays on a budget

Each of these eight ideas is simple, festive and inexpensive. You can have a beautifully decorated apartment without feeling guilty about spending too much money on decor. They’re also small so your apartment won’t be overcrowded and instead, it’ll feel like Santa’s workshop.

All of these DIY ideas are sure to make your apartment have a little more Christmas cheer.

Published at Fri, 29 Nov 2019 13:00:53 +0000

Apartments Living

Looking For Apartments For Rent Boston Should Be Considered

The city of Boston is renowned for its
beautiful surroundings and both modern and classic buildings. People who are
looking to live in this area will find that they have a choice that cannot be
found in many other cities due to the fact that a lot of the older buildings
are still standing today. There are also a lot of new developments and projects
going on all the time. Here are some apartments for rent Boston area choices.

Boston has a wide diversity of cultures and influences
throughout its city and this can be seen in its variety of properties.Moving
into the central city area there are a range of contemporary high-rise luxury
apartments for rent.These are greatly suited to individuals who live a fast
paced life and are looking to stay close to the city centre so they are not too
far from the nightlife and their place of work.Apartments for Rent Boston
nightlife and activities.The nightlife consists of many diverse restaurants
ranging from cultures all over the world.There are also a lot of activities to
do like going to the cinema and of course seeing some of the many large sports
teams that have a home in this city.Anyone who is looking some game time action
will be able to support their local team by visiting the Boston Celtics
arenaScience ArticlesPsychology Articles, the TD Garden.Here you will be able to see an NBA
championship team playing on a regular basis.If basketball is not yours cup of
tea then there are the New England Patriots who are an extremely good NFL team
and the Boston Red Sox if you are into baseball.For those who want to live in a
more classic style home there are a lot of brownstone homes which are still the
main type of property in the Back Bay area.Most of these homes have now been
converted into apartments and youll be able to find yourself a very nice living
quarters in a friendly neighbourhood.The prices in Boston can range from $500
going all the way up to $5000 per month.It depends on the type room that you
are looking for and obviously the area that it in.On average a contemporary
studio apartment can be found for around $700-$800 per month.This is an
extremely good rate for the area considering all of the local amenities that
are to hand.Boston is currently undergoing a lot of regeneration in many areas
and the Italian community have definitely seen a large change in the suburbs
where they live.This is attracting a lot more people to the area and is
stimulating the property market around.Before one does decide to make a move to
look for apartments for rent Boston is definitely an exciting place and should
be considered but one should do their research first.Visiting the areas that
you would like to live in is important before you put down a deposit.

Apartments Living

Banquet Halls are Ideal for Large Celebrations


Banquet halls are large rooms that you can rent. There are some that are very plain and basic, while others are very classy and beautiful. The places that are very nice will cost more to rent, but there are many advantages of these. If you want to throw a great party for your guests, this is the way to go. If you happen to be on a very tight budget, you may want to look for one that is very plain and basic. These are more likely available and cost much less. The difference is the quality. These places are not beautiful; they are very plain, but they serve the same purpose. When you rent a place like this, you will need to lock in the date well in advance. Really great banquet halls will book up a year in advance. If you are planning on renting this for a wedding reception, you will want to book it as soon as you have your date. If you wait too long, you will risk not finding a place that’s available.There are certain things that you will want to look for in a place like this. One of the main things to consider is the catering service. Most of these nice places provide the catering services. These normally cost a certain price per person. If you are having 100 people, you will pay for 100 meals. You must normally tell them in advance the approximate number of people that will be there. When the date gets closer, you must give them an exact count. You will have to pay for this number of meals even if everyone doesn’t show up. If extra people show up, they will charge you extra for these meals. These prices might even be higher than the quoted prices because there were more people than they planned for. You will also get to choose your meal for the dinner. Most places offer a variety of options. A lot of times you will get to choose three meats and two or three side dishes. You will pay more if you would like a salad included. They will also need to know how you would like the meal served. You can choose to eat by the plate, or buffet style, and the pricing will differ for each type. It just depends on how you want it served because this will help them know how many workers they will need to prepare and serve the meal.There are other things to consider too when looking at banquet halls. You might want to ask them about decorations. Some places will provide certain things on the tables, while others do not. If you are planning on having a band or DJ, you will need to make certain that this is possible. Some places are not large enough to accommodate these activities, but most places are. In fact, most places have dance floors and stages for this particular purpose.

Article Tags:
Banquet Halls, Very Plain, Most Places

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Grand Rapids banquet halls are a great choice for large celebrations, particularly weddings. Check some out at: