Occupants of small apartments are unique kind of urban dwelling animals. They know the life of compartmentalizing. The savviest of them have cool and useful ways of creating more space in a small area. Ideas on how to create more space for storage range from functional to creative. Why not mix both? Here are some creative and functional ideas to create more space within your abode:

Functionalmetal shelving unit

In many apartments, the kitchen has only the basic storage areas—the cupboards, the cabinets below and whatever can fit on top of the refrigerator. One idea is to design with a “garage-style.” An industrial metal shelving unit looks sleek, is sturdy and provides extra shelving for those extra dishes, bottles of wine and knickknacks that otherwise eat up more precious countertop space. These units are great for your candle collection or extra plants, as well. An added bonus is the fact you can use hooks to hang certain large utensils underneath the top shelves, too.

 

DIYers with a flair for function can take an old bookshelf, remove the top shelves and install hooks on the back of part of it to hang coats, scarves and hats. The bookcase can be painted to your liking. The bottom shelf can be a catch-all for gloves, keys, wallets and purses.

A functional way to make more room in your bedroom closet is to buy wrinkle-free shirts and pants. How does that save room, you ask? It’s simple. These wrinkle-free clothes can be stored away in totes and placed underneath your bed, freeing up more space in your closet to include extra jackets and seasonal storage items. There are totes of all kinds specifically made for being placed underneath the bed, which makes under area of your bed more useful than just collecting dust bunnies.

Effective furniture placement can also create more space. For example, if you can “float” your couch in a certain way in the room that leaves enough room to place a dresser and walk space, you’ve not only added more storage area but also allowed the room to flow. With the dresser, you can either leave the drawers in for storage or remove them to allow for big items storage like pillows and blankets.

 

Creative

For a chic and creative storage solution try decorating with an upcycled ladder. A wooden ladder can be used in various ways in a small apartment. One way is to make it into a hanging closet, where you can create extra closet space by hanging clothes from the ladder. Simply lean the ladder up against a wall in the bathroom and use it as a towel rack or place it up against the wall in the living room to hang plants or stack books on it. If you have a self-standing ladder, you can add platforms to it that you can set extra kitchenware on.

You can also make room under the sink in your kitchen and bathroom simply by using a shower rod. Put a shower rod underneath your sink cabinet and you can hang cleaning products on it. With the addition the shower rod, items can be neatly stacked away and can allow you to hang bottles off the floor, which provides even more space for toilet paper and or other cleaning items.

shower-rod-storage Many Aspen Square communities also offer additional storage closets in their floor plans, which will help to get rid of the clutter. Here are just some of our communities that offer additional storage closets:

 shutterstock_171551258

As you look for yet another new apartment, you are probably eager to get past the drag of haggling over  rent and deposits so you can think about decorating your new place. Although you may have stuff from your last place, a new apartment deserves a few new flourishes. And, if you like to be eco-friendly, take a look at a few of these green decor solutions:

Warm Up With Wool

Stay warm on cold nights without cranking up the thermostat by stocking up on a few wool blankets. As a renewable, natural resource, wool is one of the most effective ways to keep warm while respecting Mother Nature. Add a wool blanket to your bed and keep one near the couch to cuddle up with during your evening read. Heritage wool manufacturer Pendleton has an assortment of responsibly produced wool blankets that will work with most styles of decor. Opt for blankets from their Eco-Wise Wool collection, which features wool that’s recyclable and can even be composted. Blankets start at $109.

Buy Your Couch Locally

Instead of shelling out thousands on that dream couch that has to be shipped halfway around the world, think locally to save your wallet and the ozone layer. Scour local antique shops and estate sales for a vintage couch. Or, if the thought of someone else’s couch in your home seems gross, simply have it reupholstered in the fabric of your choice. It’ll likely be much sturdier than a modernly produced couch, and you’ll have free reign to still make it your own. Check out Craigslist for sale listings or an estate sale locator like estatesales.net.

Upcycle a Coffee Table

You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating a coffee table from repurposed goods. For instance, you can harvest a section of a recently fallen tree trunk. Simply cut the trunk in half from the top down, and add legs. Or, give unused bricks a good scrub, and stack them in a circle five or six bricks high. Secure them together with mortar, and top them with a round pane of glass. Another option is to use an old cable spool as a table.

Reuse Lighting

Industrial style has made a huge comeback in recent years, and some of the best finds are in lighting. From massive metal pendants to colorful and bell-shaped lights to repurposed lanterns, there are plenty of options that will match your home decor. The patina of reclaimed lighting adds an uncommon textural element, as well. If you don’t have the patience to scour antique shops and have lighting rewired for modern application, you can find an assortment of reclaimed lighting options from eco-retailers like Bambeco.

Roommates. We’ve all been there. At first, the idea of living together seems great; he or she (or they) are well-mannered, gainfully employed, nice enough and claim to typically keep to themselves, so when they say their pet cat won’t cause any problems, you believe it. But then…they move in and you realize “nice enough” is actually passive aggression and you’re pretty sure the cat is plotting your murder.

You just can’t seem to get in-sync with this person, which makes for a less than ideal living situation. Have no fear; here are five must-knows for making it work with difficult roomies.shutterstock_148931312

Get to Know Each Other

A little effort goes a long way. Plan a fun event for you and your roommate(s) and do your best to really get to know each other. Ask about his or her background, family, interests and make sure to listen and take note to the things you have in common and also what makes them unique. To ease the awkwardness, plan this outing at a wine bar, a painting studio or even go for a hike; just choose an activity you will both enjoy that offers moderate distraction so there’s no pressure to fill every second of silence.

Invest in a Whiteboard

The key to stress-free coexistence is communication. Get a dry erase message board for tracking bills, to-do lists and groceries; maybe even one day you’ll need to write down plans for a night out together! Use the whiteboard to help keep you both on track and to keep lines of communication open. But beware, while whiteboards are great for communication, they can easily turn into passive-aggressive-message boards, so don’t use it to leave notes like, “Sorry I was screaming for no reason and woke you up at 3AM.” In that case, you should definitely offer a sincere, face-to-face apology.

Respect Boundaries

Sharing a space means learning a lot about a person. If you and your roommate aren’t exactly best friends, it’s important to pick up on clues and respect boundaries. Does your roommate roll her eyes at you when you gleefully ask how her day was? Does your roommate spend weekends holed up in his room playing video games? You need to be aware of these habits. Perhaps she likes some space when she gets home from work; maybe he needs that time to clear his head without forcing conversation. Being respectful of one’s boundaries goes a long way in roommate situations and is often met with the same level of respect.

Quality Couch Surfing

When all else fails, summon the power of TV and movies. With streaming becoming the entertainment norm for Millennials rather than traditional cable or even satellite TV, inexpensive streaming devices like the Roku player are growing in popularity. Try turning on last night’s “Scandal” and bond over Olivia Pope and Fitz. Or watch old episodes of “I Love Lucy” and bond over Ricky singing “Babalu.” Or bond over the amazing love story of Pam and Jim from “The Office.” With literally thousands of options of what to watch, there’s no way you won’t find some common ground.

 

Many of Aspen Square’s student communities offer by-the-bed floor plans. Meaning, you will be renting out a room, as opposed to an entire apartment unit. In some of these communities, we offer roommate matching* where we can place you with roommates OR you can bring in your own! Check out some of our student properties with by-the-bed pricing below:

*roommate matching not available in all locations.

Halloween is approaching! Typically trick or treating and Halloween events are not common at Apartment Communities. However, at Aspen Square Communities across the nation, that is not the case! Our communities know how to have a spooktacular good time! Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you cannot be part of the Halloween FUN!

Christina, manager at Lakeview Estates in Tucker, Georgia says; "My residents love decorating their doors for various holidays! They always get competitive and extremely creative.”

lakeview-estates-door

Brittany, manager at Toledo Club Apartments in North Port, Florida says, “We have several residents who trick or treat! They meet at the parking lots and hand out candy from the trunks of vehicles. They call this trunk-or-treating”

toledo-club-car

Stacey, manager at Hidden Hills at Oakdale West in Bloomington, IN says, “We host a Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest for our residents!”

Hidden-Hills-pumpkin-carving

Jade, leasing manager at River Reach Apartments in Naples, Florida, has a nice trick or treating tip at their apartment community. She says, “Our residents can hang signs on their front door if they want trick-or-treaters to come the night of Halloween. The signs are printed on orange paper and read “Happy Halloween! Trick-or-Treaters Welcome!”

river-reach-sign

Do you do anything spooktacular at your apartment community for Halloween?

Summer is finally over and fall is the ideal season for apartment living for several different reasons. Picture yourself waking up on a calm chilly morning, with a cup of hot pumpkin spice coffee in your hand; looking out your apartment window at the scenic falling leaves. Fall is the perfect time of year for you to begin enjoying your apartment home and outfitting it with cozy fall décor and fresh fall aromas. Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season which runs from Halloween all the way through New Year’s Day.

Be sure to create a Fall Apartment Living Agenda to get the most out of the fall season. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

You’ve Got to Have the Right Décor:

fall wreaths

Get your apartment into the spirit! This is a time for a change up in your color scheme with reds, oranges, and olive greens. Wreaths are a super easy, budget friendly option for your apartment home. They are a MUST HAVE for the fall season and upcoming holidays! Also, nothing says fall like the aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon apple, and warm vanilla. Pinterest is always a go-to for creative and cheap decorative ideas! 

Take Advantage of Your Apartment Community Events:

Living in an apartment community has several perks when it comes to a sense of community. During the fall, most apartment communities host several different activities such as pot luck dinners, costume contests, door decorating contests, trick or treat festivities, etc. This is a great time to really connect with your neighbors and appreciate apartment living. Aspen Square Management takes pride in their resident activities at their different communities. At The Villas at Bon Secour in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the staff is showing appreciation to their residents this fall by hosting a pumpkin carving contest for residents.

villas-pumpkin contest

Host a “Friendsgiving”:friendsgiving

Friendsgiving is a new way to host a get together for your close friends in the luxury of your apartment home. It is increasingly popular and is commonly hosted around the Thanksgiving holiday. Your Friendsgiving can be as traditional or nontraditional as you choose. There are really no rules for a Friendsgiving; it is just a great time to enjoy delicious food with close friends. The key is to not overwhelm yourself and to make sure you have plenty of seating!

 

 

 

What are ways you like to enjoy the fall season in your apartment home?

Ample natural light is one of the most understated luxuries in real estate. The amount of natural light in a home can make or break it’s potential because it dramatically affects the mood of a space. If you find your home to be more cave-like than bright and airy, fear not, there’s still hope to let the light in. Here are a few easy to implement strategies to help transform any room into a light-filled, sunny space.

shutterstock_88161520

Refresh Your Windows

If you live in an older home and find that you prefer to keep your windows covered with heavy window treatments because you’re embarrassed of their condition, now is the time to give your windows a facelift. And if you think they look that bad, chances are their functionality is lacking as well, and you may be losing money in energy costs if heat loss is an issue. The windows on the market today are leaps and bounds beyond older windows when it comes to insulation. In some cases it’s worth splurging on new windows for the energy savings alone. Thinking of selling your house soon? New windows also increase the value of a home, so it is well worth the investment.

Install Light Tubes

Sure, the obvious answer is to add more windows or even a skylight. While that will certainly get the job done, it may be more construction than you had envisioned. However, the addition of light tubes, also known as tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), can make a similar impact with less cost and construction required. A light tube is a reflective pipe that is installed between the ceiling and roof, which draws light down into the room. A tubular daylighting device is essentially a miniature skylight that doesn’t require as much legwork to install, mainly because it takes up less room. This is an ideal option for rooms like a bathroom or walk-in closet that typically don’t have windows for the sake of privacy, yet could still benefit from more natural light.

Add Mirrors

Create the illusion of plenty of natural light by strategically placing a large mirror directly opposite of a window. Instead of using a large piece of art as a focal point on the wall, opt for a mirror set in an elaborate frame to make a design statement while brightening up the surrounding space. If you have a gallery wall of framed photos, try mixing in a few mirrors in quirky designs like a starburst as well as more classic silhouettes to add light in a more understated way. Or to reflect light around an especially expansive space, arrange a gallery wall of antique mirrors in various sizes, shapes and frames for the ultimate effect.

Rethink Window Treatments

If you have a penchant for heavy drapery or thick wood blinds that are more often closed than open, your natural lighting problem could be more of a window treatment issue. Sure, privacy is a concern, but there are many ways to protect your family from nosy passersby. For instance, sheer curtains are an ideal way to diffuse light discreetly without having to draw the shades multiple times a day. Or consider installing drapery on an auto timer so that window treatments are drawn automatically are predetermined times daily.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuting has increased almost 80 percent since 2005! And while working from home has many perks (hello flexible schedules and cutting commuting costs), there can be days where it’s very difficult to find the motivation and/or energy to get anything accomplished.

home-office

Below are a few ideas for boosting the natural energy (and mood!) in your home office.

Add a Gender-Specific Touch

Are you a woman with style? Bring a feminine touch to your home office with pastel-colored furniture and accessories. When you live in a small apartment, it’s important to utilize all the space you can, so try showcasing your favorite books on a vertical shelf next to an elegantly curved desk or go for attractive simplicity with just a computer and some good lighting. The key is to keep colors and textures balanced, while maintaining comfort.

On the other hand, if you’re a man, your office will likely double as a man cave. Include dark furniture with more rustic or deep hues like forest green or ashy grey. While, you likely don’t want to include any distractions such as a TV, you should surround yourself with images of fishing, hunting or other hobbies that you love.

Regardless of your preferred aesthetics, its not about pretending you’re in an office. Instead, take some creative liberties and make a pleasant and inspiring working environment where your dreams can become a reality.

Beautify Your Surroundings

Oftentimes, people get caught up in work and pleasing clients, but what about your own comfort, energy and mood? Take a look at your home office space: is it cluttered and dusty or neatly organized? Aside from a little tidying, consider adding personal touches like photos of your pets or family. If there’s a specific image or quote that you like, frame it. Then, bring the outside inside with flowers or other greenery, as having an office plant can boost creativity by 45 percent and productivity by 38 percent, according to a 2013 study conducted by by the Identity Realisation research group at the University of Exeter.

Go For a Walk

When you’ve been sitting in your office, eyes glued to your excel spreadsheet, it can be difficult to remember to get up and get the blood pumping every once in a while. One of the best natural energy boosters? The sun! Being outdoors helps reduce the levels of stress hormones we have in our bodies, while also increasing our levels of serotonin and energy levels, reports Mayo Clinic. Try scheduling two 10-minute blocks on your calendar every day, even if its just to sit outside and soak up the warmth.

Don’t Forget the Snacks

When your energy falls into the red zone, don’t just reach for caffeine. You don’t have to scrap your daily Starbucks run, but keep some alternative, out-of-the-box options stocked in your pantry.

  • Whole Grains: breakfast is the time for packing in some wholesome carbs. Consider eating whole-grain cereal and a slice of toast with breakfast. Just don’t OD in the grain department, more than six servings (even of the good stuff) can leave you sluggish.
  • Edamame or soybeans: these are high in energizing nutrients, particularly vitamin-B. Snack on a handful as a source of good fiber and protein, but try to limit the salt.
  • Trail mix: to avoid excess sugar, make your own! Just combine all your favorite nuts, such as pistachios, almonds or peanuts with pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. Add in some pretzels to pack in a few more fueling carbs.
29
Sep

Have you recently just landed your dream job, or maybe your spouse has? Or maybe you are just looking for a fresh start. Congratulations! This is an exciting time for you and relocating should be the least stressful as possible.

So the question is where do you start?

relocatingDoing your research is going to be fundamental. You are going to want to research new apartment homes, your finances, and ways to meet new people. Once you have accomplished that, everything else will be a breeze.

Finding Your New Home

Aspen Square Management manages several communities all over the nation. Be sure to visit our website to schedule a tour at one of our incredible apartment homes near your new city. If you are not able to find a new place with Aspen Square, no worries there are still several other amazing places to call your new home. ­­­­Before you start your search, be sure to write down what exactly is important to you in your new home. Try to avoid using a locater service that can be super pricy. Looking at online reviews can be a great tool for deciding on your perfect place.

Facing Your Finances

Big changes like this can be terrifying and a huge unexpected expense. You do not want to find yourself with empty pockets in a new city. The key words here would be: plan ahead! Make a spreadsheet of your anticipated new income and what you believe your new monthly expenses will be. This will keep you organized and able to decide what you can and cannot afford. Knowing the cost of living in your new area can be resourceful. Visit this site for more information: Living Wage Calculator

Meeting New People

The first step is learning to enjoy your own company and explore your new city on your own. There are several ways to meet new people; you just have to be willing to take that venture. Rather you are an introvert or a social butterfly, meeting people in a new city can be difficult. Do your research by searching local attractions or reach out to your new neighbors and co-workers. Once you have established a social network in your new city, you will begin to feel better about your new situation.

They say home is where the heart is but home can be anywhere you feel the happiest. Take time to really get to know your new area to appreciate it and learn to love it. Beautiful memories can come out of relocating.

 

Pine Lake Apartments in Palm Coast, FL was voted “Best Around” by the readers of The Flagler/Palm Coast News-Tribune for the Apartment Community category!  Pine Lake Award-Readers Choice We are committed to maintaining a standard of excellence and preserving Pine Lake as a place our residents are proud to call home.  Our always smiling faces and willingness to go above and beyond for our residents have paid off!  From the efficiency and talent of our maintenance staff, to the kindness and generosity of our office staff, we always strive to be the best at what we do.

It is sometimes as simple as picking up a rent check for a resident who isn’t feeling well, dropping off a package, or answering a late night service call.  We offer great opportunities for our residents to get to know each other such as our monthly community breakfast and summer “dive-in” movie. 

We like to ensure that all of our residents are comfortable and happy in their apartment homes by offering a helpful move-in gift, and following up to make sure everything in their apartment is perfect!  We appreciate all of our friends and residents in the community who voted for us!  We feel so honored to have won this award, and hope to win again next year!

Moving can be a stressful task, especially if you are not a routine mover. First you will need to ask yourself if it is really worth the move. A cardinal rule is that moving costs a lot of money but sometimes it is something that just has to be done. You might get lucky enough to find an amazing deal or you might find yourself with empty pockets after the move is over. Either way you want to plan ahead and make sure you are prepared for and if you’re not, just stay put.box face

Here are 7 useful tips that every renter should plan for before they decide to move:

1. Plan Ahead

If you are in the market for a new home, then you will definitely want to prepare yourself to start getting ready to move at least 30-40 days prior. Be sure to give the proper notice required by your current contract to your property manager to avoid costly fees.

2. Can you Afford to Move? Be Sure to Budget for Extra Costs

Moving sounds like a great idea until the costs start adding up. Sit down and calculate what your moving costs will be before you make that leap. We all know that things come up and stuff happens; you just want to be prepared to spend a little bit more.

3. Are You Going to be Happy in Your New Place?

Have you sat down and really compared the pros and cons of your new living situation to that of your current one? The last thing you want to do is move somewhere that you are not going to be happy at. This is not a decision about what you are going to eat for dinner; this is going to be your new home!

4. Do You Have a Moving Plan?

How will you move? Do you have family, friends, maybe even co-workers that could help you? If you are planning on hiring movers, www.movingguru.com is a great head start on figuring out how much you need to budget into your cost of moving for movers.

5. Find Free Moving Boxes and Pack Beforehand

Save some money by finding free boxes and start packing right away. Waiting last minute to start packing can be a major disaster. If you are paying hourly for movers, this can be a huge money saver. If you are having friends help, this can be a huge friend saver. Also, packing beforehand is the perfect time to get rid of what you do not need by donating or selling it online. Tip: Most package stores have free boxes for anyone to grab.

6. Calculate How Long it Will Take You to Move

If you are not someone that can fit everything in one to two car loads, you are going to need help moving. Be sure to have all of your moving arrangements lined up well in advance. If you are not hiring a professional moving company, it is imperative to make sure your friends are free for your big move.

7. Make a List and Check it Twice

If you are a list maker, that is perfect! If not, moving can be the best time to become one! Be sure to plan out your moving itinerary and try to stick with it. It will make everyone involved in the move less stressed and a smoother transition for you. PS—be sure to put in your change of address with the USPS.

Check with your local pizza delivery providers; some will even give you a free pizza coupon on your moving day. This would be a great treat for everyone to sit down and relax after a long day of helping you move.