Cool Design, Cooler Prices

Most people moving into their first apartment need to think creatively in order to furnish it with spending wads of cash. Some options include hand-me-downs and thrift store bargains.

The easiest items to acquire when moving into your first apartment are the items no one else wants. Your parents will have furniture they are happy to donate, as will your relatives and maybe a few friends.

You can then come up with a color scheme and paint the newly acquired furniture whatever color you want. If you are painting an old dresser, make sure you replace the knobs on the drawers to give it more of your own flare. If you are lucky enough to get a sofa but the color is less than desirable, simply buy a slipcover to fit over it in the design that you want and you suddenly have a brand new sofa.

There are items that are just easy and inexpensive to purchase, like kitchen chairs and stools, lamps, area rugs and bookshelves from retailers. Watch for clearance sales. And watch for neighborhood garage sales, always a great source of households items.

What’s the most creative and inexpensive decorating tip you’d like to share?

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Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Microwaves

Microwaves were invented by accident in the 1940s. An engineer named Percy Spencer was in the process of building radar equipment when he realized that a chocolate bar he had in his pocket melted. He then realized that microwaves can be directed at food to heat it up quickly..

There is some disagreement on how microwaves heat food. The most popular theory is that microwave radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that lies between common radio and infrared frequencies. Most microwave ovens hit food with microwaves at a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz. The belief is that water molecules in the food absorb energy from the waves and heat.

Microwaves are energy efficient ways to cook. However, this claim does depend on what you are trying to prepare, the “green friendliness” of your electricity, gas and other fuel. Typically the microwave uses less energy to heat food than conventional ovens. Energy Star calculated cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave saves as much as 80 percent of the energy needed for an oven.

With all of the good that microwaves have given us, it can also have a dangerous side. For instance, heating plastics in a microwave can be dangerous. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tested microwave-safe plastics and found them to release toxic doses of Bisphenol A, a toxic that could affect the prostate, brain and the development of fetuses, infants, and children, when heated in a microwave. The term “microwave-safe” is not regulate by the government, so it has no real meaning.

There is a long-standing debate over the possible effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation on living tissue. It is very difficult to test the risks we might be encountering with microwaves. The FDA limits the amount of microwaves that can lead from an oven throughout its lifetime. If you are worried about your own microwave, you can spend $20 on a testing kit to reassure yourself that there isn’t any radiation leaking from your microwave.

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New to the Area? Here are 3 Tips for Settling In

If you’ve just relocated to the area, it might take you some time to get adjusted to your new home.

What can you do to feel at home in your new apartment? Below, we offer some tips on apartment living that will have you feeling at home in no time:

  1. Accept invitations- Rather than spending evenings at home, take up opportunities to go out and socialize with coworkers. Your coworkers will probably be eager to welcome you to the area, so you’re likely to receive many invitations as a newcomer.
  2. Get involved- There are many groups meeting every day. Find people who share your interests by joining local groups and clubs.
  3. Be patient- It will take time to get used to your new home. To help you get through the transition, call friends and family once in a while to keep in touch with those from your previous city.

If you’d like to find activities taking place near your apartment, check out our social media pages. We’re on Facebook and Twitter!

Contact us if you’re in the process of relocating.

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Make Your Life Easier With These 5 Entryway Design Ideas

Guests at your apartments will get a quick first impression of you and your home by the entryway they see when they enter your home. If you’re looking for Atlanta apartment living tips to help you improve this important part of your home, consider the following five ideas:

  1. Personalize- Your entryway is a good place to show some personality with personalized decor features for all of the different members of your household.
  2. Streamline- The last thing you want to do is welcome visitors to your home with a mess of unsightly clutter. Cut back to the necessities to maximize space at your entryway.
  3. Offer hooks- Put some consideration into practical details by giving guests a place to hang their coats or belongings near the main entrance to your apartment.
  4. Choose practical flooring options- The most difficult floor space to keep clean is the floor around your entryway. Consider a sturdy, durable rug that’s easy to clean to keep mud and debris under control.
  5. Double duty- A bench that also offer storage space is a great piece of furniture to put at your entryway.

Get more great apartment living tips by following our community blog. If you’d like to share your own entryway ideas with your neighbors, leave your comments on our Facebook page.

Contact us with questions and inquiries if you’re interested in living at The Ashby.

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Save Money and Live Greener at Your Apartment

Sometimes it’s true what Kermit says about being green, but it’s not always the case. So for anyone looking for some tips to help you reduce your carbon footprint or otherwise live a little greener here at your Chicago apartments, here are a few tips to help you “go green” during this chilly winter season.

Heating
For everyone looking to cut back on their gas/heating bill, consider installing a Nest or like programmable thermostat. This would allow you to lower the temperature while you’re out of your apartment and raise it again before you get home.

Another idea would be to make use of a space heater. If you’re working in a particular room, you can run the space heater until you’ve got the room up to a comfortable temperature, and then turn it off. This will allow you to lower the A/C for your apartment but still stay warm.

Additionally, there is always the option of bundling up with lots of layers.

What are some “green living” tips you have? Let us know in the comments field below, or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Freshen Up the Kitchen in Your Apartment With These 3 Ideas

The gourmet kitchens at our apartments are stocked with top quality amenities, but there are always simple DIY projects you can do to freshen up your place. Check out a few apartment cleaning tips and ideas from the pros to make your kitchen feel brand new.

1. Purchase some colorful linens to brighten up the space. A tablecloth and coordinating napkins can bring new life to a boring kitchen table, while a set of lively towels add visual interest near the sink. The best part is that they’re easy to switch out when you want a change. You can even swap out linens seasonally, adding rich hues in the fall and bright colors in the spring.

2. Install new hardware on the cabinets and drawers. You can get a fresh look with minimal effort if you add elegant handles and drawer pulls around the room. Oil-rubbed bronze is a hot design trend and hardware in this metal shade will give your kitchen an updated look.

3. Don’t overlook the floor when you’re trying out a new look in the kitchen. Rugs are both beautiful and functional in busy rooms, and they make for a nicer feel underfoot when you’re cooking. Make sure you get an easy-care variety so spills clean up quickly.

If you’re eager to try out some apartment cleaning tips and ideas at our apartments, please give us a call. Our leasing specialists can tell you more about our top notch community amenities and lively neighborhood.

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Make the Most of Your Time in Your Apartment With These 4 Ideas

Spending time in your apartment should be a pleasant experience that helps to enhance your overall lifestyle. Whether each room in your home is set up exactly how you want them or not you deserve to feel safe, happy, content when spending time at home. Here are four apartment living ideas that will help you make the most of your time spent at home:

  • #1: Connect With Nature- Stay connected to nature while indoors by opening your doors and windows.
  • #2: Get Active- Give yourself natural energy for a day indoors by walking in place while you watch television or doing some yoga on your patio.
  • #3: Get Crafty- Spend some of your time indoors creating new décor for your home. Craft a painting or use paper mache to make a wall collage.
  • #4: Multitask- Turn on the music and dance while you clean, or let the dishes soak while you watch your favorite movie and iron. This will make tasks easier, more fun, and less time consuming.

Now that you know how to make the most out of your time spent in your apartment, schedule your errands so that you can be home more often to enjoy these tips and tricks. If you’re in need of a new home to try these apartment living ideas in, contact us today! We’d love to show you around our safe community and give you a tour of our impressive loft apartments.

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Create More Storage in Your Apartment’s Kitchen With These 5 Ideas

The better you manage storage needs at your apartment, the better you’ll be able to enjoy the spaciousness and luxury our apartment units offer.

If you’re looking for ways to increase storage space in your kitchen, consider the following five tips on apartment living in Midtown Atlanta:

  1. Create lists of contents- Develop a storage system that you’ll be able to keep track of by labeling cabinets on the inside of the door according to what items they contain.
  2. Place baskets in lower shelves- If it’s hard to reach down to a low shelf, consider putting a basket inside it that you keep items in. This makes items stored down low easier to access by simply pulling the whole basket out.
  3. Increase drawer space with inserts- You can optimize space in your drawers with an insert that divides space and creates added storage compartments.
  4. Install a lazy susans- Lazy susans are great for maximizing space in the corner of your cabinet fixture. They also make items in cabinets easier to access thanks to the rotating shelves they include.
  5. Look up- There’s often some hidden storage space in kitchens up above fixtures like refrigerators or cabinet units.

For more advice on apartment living in Midtown Atlanta, consult our community blog. Leave your own tips on Facebook to help out neighbors.

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Cleaning Tips for Your Apartment

Consider cleaning tips will help you do more than just mop the floor and scrub the toilet!

  • Go Green: A mixture of white vinegar and baking soda is a cheap and green way to clean. Adding hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice as appropriate makes this green cleaner combo even more powerful.
  • Health Checks: Replace your air filters and check the battery status of your smoke detectors. It’s also a good time to check/stock up on your battery supply for things like remotes.
  • Sink Cleaning: A place with more bacteria than your toilet! Use citrus fruits lemon or an orange in the garbage disposal to help clean and deodorize it. Wash/replace your scrubbies and brushes.
  • Hidden Dirt: Dust the top of things like pictures, door frames, behind refrigerator pull-out drawers, the tops of any ceiling fans, behind curtains and even vacuum out the inside of your computer. A lot of drain cleaners come with a plastic tool to help snag hidden hair trapped in the drain.

Contact us today for more apartment living tips, going green ideas, local events and other things to do.

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5 Decor Tips to Use for Your Apartment

Decorating your apartment isn’t supposed to be a task that makes you lose your mind. However, from time to time, decorating your space just doesn’t come naturally, especially if you’re starting from the ground up. While there’s no guide that will help you decorate exactly the way you want your space overnight, there are some tips that can help. Use these five to spruce up your space in ways that are perfect for apartment living .

  1. Add some color to your space. Pastels like pink and blue can make your space more vibrant and make it feel a bit larger than it really is. Use items like throw pillows and blankets.
  2. Spend some money on window coverings. Those curtains or blinds really finish off your look and give your space a bit more definition. It will also feel more like your own.
  3. Decorate with items from your travels. No matter where you’ve been you probably picked something up that can be framed or placed on a coffee table for a little visual interest.
  4. Make sure there’s plenty of lighting in your apartment. Floor lamps, table lamps and even wall sconces can spruce up your space quickly while making it more functional.
  5. Avoid cluttering your space. Instead of covering every each, let items really shine in your apartment. Everything will look more important and your space will look even more complete.

Contact us to learn more about apartment living in our community.

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