Four Things to Avoid Before Moving into Your First Apartment

Moving into your own place can be a very exciting journey.  Being anxious is completely normal for significant changes in your life.  Change is essential for your growth yet we resist it because we fear to fail at adapting.  This fear can cause us to make irrational and rash decisions.  If you are moving into your very first apartment, there are several beginner mistakes you need to avoid.  Knowing what to avoid can help you successfully stay on the right path and make a smooth transition into your new living environment. 

Not Reading Your Lease 

Before you move into your apartment and sign you lease, make sure you thoroughly read and understand everything.  Things may be discussed verbally but not written in your lease physically.  This can be quite messy in situations.  For example, maybe the person signing you up says dogs can live with you for no charge; however, your lease is written differently.  You may be under terms to be evicted for failure to comply with your contract in a situation that you were under the impression that you were obeying everything just fine.  Your landlord may not be the one to sign you up and you may have a sales representative not being forward with you.  Make sure you read your lease and discuss any areas in which seem questionable to you. 

Buying Everything At Once 

Once you move into your apartment, it can be exhilarating, but be smart!  There are new living demands along with a new lifestyle of budgeting.  Do not go and buy everything at once.  You are not set on a mission to design the space the day you move into your new apartment.  It is important to prioritize what you need in your apartment versus what you want in your apartment.  As exciting as it may be to get artwork, rugs, and decor, it is important to take things slow and start with all your essentials.  Time will determine what a “need” is and what a “want” is.

Furnishing for Short Term Goals 

Be cognitive that you are not just furnishing for your short term goals.  If you can get inexpensive furniture or items donated to you, take advantage of the opportunity.  However, do not buy expensive furniture that is of value to your living space now.  Unless you plan on staying in your apartment for years to come, be wise in your investments.  Perhaps your bedroom can only fit a queen size bed, but in the future, you know you want a king.  Do not spend a lot of money on furniture you will not need in the future.  Be smart and consider everything that comes into your space.
 

Buying Everything “Cheap”

Understand what is worth investing in for your home.  If you know an investment is substantial, save and buy the quality version.  Do not put yourself in an endless cycle of buying “cheap” products that continually need to be replaced or refurbished every month.  Buying inexpensive goods is a great idea for budgeting, but quality can be quantity when you are frequently replacing products.  Be wary of over-furnishing your space as well.  Perhaps, you have a small space that can fit one couch comfortably, but there is a sale if you buy three sofas as a set. Remember to consider your space and not go overboard. 

Knowing when to be wary and what not to do is a great plan to help keep you on track for success.  Do not be stressed about living on your own.  This is an exciting time, and it will bring new adventures and opportunity! Remember to save, be cognitive of credit card debt, and consider renters insurance.  All these little tips can help you successfully be a new renter!

Real Solutions: Room Dividers

Open layout homes are becoming more common lately.  While the open space is great for creating an airy, free-flowing atmosphere, sometimes it is to your advantage to incorporate room dividers.  For example, studios without privacy walls have a bed technically inside of the living room. Maybe you do not own a studio and want to create more privacy in your home, but luckily, building a “privacy wall” does not mean you need to recreate the blueprints of your house.  There are several creative ways to create room dividers that can keep the open layout feel while providing a temporary or casual room division.  Here are some of our favorite room divider projects you can incorporate in your own home today. Let’s take a look!

Book Shelf

Adding a bookshelf to divide your space is an easy hack that can help create privacy.  Find a bookshelf that is accessible from both sides and turn it perpendicular to the wall.  These will not create a total barrier between the rooms but can still create a division.  Plus, it can help split rooms while allowing the open atmosphere to thrive still.

Frosted Glass

A great way to add privacy to a bedroom or bathroom area in a studio is by adding a frosted glass wall.  It still allows light to move throughout the space to feel open but can create privacy.  This is a great addition and can be a do-it-yourself project just by purchasing the glass and installing it.  You can even install rollers to allow the privacy wall to extend or contract.

Privacy Curtain

Incorporating a privacy curtain is great for bathrooms or even balconies.  Install a rail in which your curtains can hang.  Your rail does not have to be straight across but can be creative and have an arch or bend.  You also are not limited to just textile curtains.  Find a curtain style that enhances your atmosphere.  Metal mesh or wooden bead curtains are some the many different options you can consider including in your home.

Be creative in your room division.  Open layouts have many advantages and are an advantage for resell value.  Consider creating your own room divider in your home while allowing the space to stay open and spacious, and remember that these tricks are great for any size home.  For more great tricks and tips, be sure to subscribe to our email.

 

No Space? No Problem!

When designing a room, it can quickly become over-cluttered not feel “big” enough.  One of the most limiting factors in interior design is a room’s size.  Space is a luxury, hence why the larger the space, the large the price tag.  Unfortunately, we cannot all buy a home to accommodate the proportions we desire.  We can, however, change the perception of the space. To help you master your current space, we have created a must-read guide. Let’s take a look!

Portions vs. Perception 

Portions are considered the constants and the fixed floor plans.  You cannot alter the dimensions of your room easily; however, perception is our eyes’ take on space value.  Interior designers love to play with perceptions to give the illusion that a space is bigger than it actually is.  For example, hardwood flooring is usually put long ways down a hall to “perceive” the hallway as longer.  Our eyes take a 3-dimensional world and portray it to us in 2-dimensions.  Our brains then use perception tactics to convey size, height, and distance.  Stripes running horizontally on a long wall will give the make the wall seem longer and lines going vertical can make the wall appear taller. 

Lights, Glass, and Views 

Our eyes take or attracted to views.  If a wall has a picture on it, we would prefer to look at the picture rather than stare at the blank wall encompassing it. Who is not to say that a window cannot be utilized like a gorgeous portrait. When natural light comes in through windows and reflects on bright surfaces, it gives our eyes the perception that a room is bigger.  The more light in a room, the bigger it will feel.

Textures and Dark Colors 

Dark textures absorb more light and take away from the room’s size.  If you paint the whole room black, it will feel confined and smaller than if you paint the whole room white.  If a rectangular room has the long white walls and the short walls dark, it will visually create a long room and widen it.  When flipping the concept though, if the side walls are dark and the short length walls are light, the room will lengthen.  Plus, ceiling height plays a significant value in how grand a room feels.  Try keeping light colors on the ceiling to maximize the room’s height.

Multipurpose Storage 

Consider having versatile storage/furniture in your room.  Perhaps a coffee table that doubles up as a storage compartment or seat with storage under the cushion.  It will allow you to keep everything in the room the is needed to keep the room functional without eliminating space.  Decluttering an area is the easiest and fastest way to make a room feel bigger! 

Do not feel limited by your space but understand how to give off the perception that your space is open and welcoming. Thanks for reading!

Genius Ways to Sound-Proof Your Apartment

You have overheard enough conversations through your thin apartment walls. From nosey streetcars to loud neighbors, you have had it up to here with all of the noise. Fortunately, you do not need to be bothered by your noisy surroundings any longer. With our genius ways to sound-proof your apartment, you will be able to forget you even have neighbors. 

Genius Ways to Sound-Proof Your Apartment:

1. Seal Your Doors

If you are overhearing conversations from the apartment complex’s hallway, you can easily fix this with a door sweep. We recommend installing two just to be safe. You will want one on the outside of the door and one on the inside of the door. This rubber seal will help to keep drafts and noise from entering your apartment. For extra precautions, you can also seal off the door with a foam weatherstrip.

2. Absorb Noise

If you feel like that still is not enough, you can add blackout curtains over top of your doorways. The fabric will help to grab the sound waves and not let them enter into the apartment. They also work well over windows for keeping sunlight and street sound out of your apartment.

3. Block Drafts

Foam weather strips can also be used inside of your home. They will help block the drafts leading into your bedrooms and reduce the amount of noise that is spread throughout your home. They can be a perfect addition to your sound-proofing list.

4. Embrace Fabrics

Musicians understand the importance of fabrics. To help maintain unwanted sounds, you can add soft fabrics into your space and on the walls. Hanging rugs and tapestries will help to absorb more sounds.

5. Add Padding

Speaking of rugs, they can help muffle those unwanted noises. You can place rugs on hard surfaces to help absorb some of the noises that are being produced. You can even add a dense pad underneath of the rug to help remove all of the excess noises.

How do you soundproof your apartment? We would love to hear your tips and tricks below in the comment section.

How to Remove Common Carpet Stains

Carpet can help cozy up your home and create a more welcoming environment.  Plus, carpets, today, have come a long way and can last longer than ever.  However, nothing is more disheartening than having an accident or stain ruin your new flooring, and unfortunately, not all stains are created equal.  Knowing how to treat common household stains can save you the headache of replacing your carpet or just putting up with the eyesore.  Here are several common residential stains techniques for your carpet:   

Glue 

Not all adhesive are made with the same compounds.  For most glues, scrape up as much to begin the removal process.  Then, you want the glue to harden.  Apply an ice cube to help tighten the glue and break off as much as possible.  You can also apply acetone that has been diluted in water to help remove the remaining glue or use a more natural approach with distilled white vinegar. 

Red Wine 

Time is your enemy with most stains and wine is no exception.  This stain can be quite tricky, so handling it fast is vital.  First, remove as much wine from the surface of the carpet using white paper towels.  Do not rub to clean because this can cause the wine to penetrate the carpet fibers making it much harder to remove.  You can then add small amounts of water to help dilute the red wine.  Continue to pat up this liquid and remove as much as possible.  Next, you will need to create a stain removing paste.  Mix baking soda with water until it forms a paste-like texture then apply the mixture to your stain and allow it to dry.  Use a vacuum to remove the dried paste and apply a manufacturer-recommended carpet stain remover as soon as possible.  These can be one of the toughest stains to remove so prepare for multiple attempts. 

Urine 

Use paper towels to remove as much urine as possible from the carpet.  Create a homogenous blend of water and white vinegar.  Apply it to the stain and continue to use white paper towels to soak up the liquid.  You may want to use a shop vacuum to remove the remaining urine.  It is recommended to steam clean the area as well to help eliminate the odor from lingering and staying embedded in the padding.   

Try to remove stains as soon as you notice them.  Most stains become worse over time and can penetrate deep into the carpet fibers.  Some manufacturers have created solution-dyed carpets which can be cleaned with bleach, which is another great option.  Make sure your carpet can handle the bleach before applying it by consulting with your manufacturer.

How to Prepare Your Home for Resale

If you are planning on selling your house, there are many ways you can tailor your home for the market.  Giving your home an edge over the other homes can be the quickest way to sell your home.  You need to understand that you are no longer tailoring your home for your needs but creating a space where others can easily envision themselves living.  To help you get that “sold” sign in your front year, here are our top tips for selling a home:

Neutral
Colorful walls can be an incredible way to express your style, but they not necessarily for everyone.  Neutral paint can be the safest choice when preparing to sell your house.  Home buyers can easily envision themselves living in a home that it is not weighed down by dramatic, bold colors. Keep the wall color simple for prospective buyers to picture themselves living there.

Minimalism
Clutter can also make a space look small and even unattractive.  It is crucial to make all of your rooms look as large as possible. You may even want to consider downsizing beds that are too big for bedrooms. By downsizing your furniture, you can clear the walkway and free up wall space that was previously blocked by your pieces. Remember that simplicity sells. If you plan to use your old furniture pieces, be sure to rent out a storage container while you are in the process of selling your home. It will allow you to fix the room’s furniture placement to your liking without having to get rid of it forever.

Kitchen + Bathrooms
Renovations may be costly up front, but they can also help increase your home’s value. If you are looking to get more for your home, you will need to target your kitchen and bathrooms. Studies show that these two rooms in a house are the most critical areas to potential buyers. If you have room in your budget, try to fix them up a bit before you put your home on the market. That being said, you want to make sure you see a return-on-investment. Only invest in areas that are important and need attention.

Move-in Ready
Some buyers will want a move-in ready home. Experts recommend not to leave unfinished projects for prospective buyers.  Unfinished areas or projects half started can turn away many potential buyers.  Put yourself in their shoes; you may not want to move into a room with unfinished work. Give buyers the opportunity to be able to move in and settle down in their new home.  When you leave projects, your home will quickly be disregarded as a home with too much work and money.

In conclusion, prioritize your projects, try to invest wisely, and analyze your return-on -nvestment.  Your home is already an investment in which you have an opportunity to make money.  Remember to try not to stress but be exciting moving into these projects.

Transforming Your Space from Small to Big

If your space feels small, it can quickly hurt the overall appeal of a room.  Smaller spaces tend to feel more clutter, less comfortable, and sadly, unwelcoming.  You cannot always change the blueprint of your space; however, there are several simple tricks that can help your space feel significantly larger without breaking ground or the budget.  Incorporating these three simple tricks in your home is an easy way to enhance your space and make smaller areas appear more substantial. Let’s take a look! 

Light Colors

Applying a light color palette to your room’s theme is a simple yet effective way to help make a small room appear bigger.  Light can travel easier through the room, making the space feel brighter and more open.  Using this paint trick on your walls and ceiling is the first step, but you can take it a step further by using light colors even on the ground and for your decor pieces.  The brighter a room, the larger it will look. Finish off by adding bright lights in your room and consider if it is bright enough.  If not, you may also want to apply more lighting in the room to create the perfect balance of brightness. 

Mirrors

Another great tool to help your small space appear bigger is using mirrors.  Rooms may seem smaller because of boundaries. Using mirrors can help visually eliminate those boundaries.  Mirrors will create the illusion that the space continues while allowing light to reflect around the room, opening up the space. 

Furniture

If a room feels cluttered and small, consider replacing or removing furniture.  Low-profile couches and beds will give the illusion that your ceiling height is higher than it actually is. Using glass end tables or coffee tables can allow you to see through the room easier and leave it feeling less obtrusive.  

Open design furniture that is less bulky and more open can leave your atmosphere feeling airy. The more you add to the room, the smaller the space will appear.  A minimalist approach to smaller areas is key to having your room looking larger.

The key to making your space feel bigger is allowing the space to feel open.  Try incorporating these three tricks in your space and watch the wonders it can do on your home.  For more great tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up

How to Make a Space Appear Larger (Part 2)

Ideally, we would all love to live in large and roomy space. While living in small spaces has its challenges, it does not have to be difficult. To make the most out of a small room, you will have to make a conscious effort to trick the eye. In the second part of this series, we will discuss additional strategies you can employ to expand a small space visually. Let’s take a look!

All White Everything

Everyone knows that color sets the mood of the room. It also has the power to make a room feel spacious or cramped. According to experts, white has reflective properties that make it ideal to use in small rooms. White will help make a room feel airy, calm and clean. To open up a room, paint the ceilings and walls the same shade of white. Using a bright white will allow more attention to be placed on the architect of the room and it will blur the line between the ceiling and the wall.

Lighter-hued colors such as baby blue and light green can create a similar effect; however, steer clear of dark colors that will close in small spaces.

Clear Out Clutter

Of course, when working with small spaces, the key is to maximize space; therefore, you will want to clear out clutter. Get rid of unwanted junk and items that do not belong in the space. Be sure to scale down on the furniture used in this specific room. Remember, when furnishing small spaces, it is all about proportion. You will want to select furniture that is size appropriate. Large and heavy pieces will take up too much space. If you desire to implement a large statement piece in your design scheme, opt for something that does not take up floor space such as artwork.

Keep It Simple

Be sure to keep the design simple. Busy color palettes, excessive accessories, and furniture will lend to a cluttered feeling. Scaling down your design will create a more open feel. Stick to a single color on the walls, group your knick-knacks together for a unified look and use one accent piece on the wall.  A simple yet elegant design is well served in tiny spaces.

If you missed part one of the series, be sure to check it out here. Thanks for reading!

How to Make a Small Space Appear Larger

Small spaces are cozy and full of charm; however, it may be hard to see their character when you have clutter filling your space. As a result, the cluttered space may feel cramped or even claustrophobic. By learning a few techniques, you can fully maximize your small spaces. In this article series, we will discuss how you can harness the power of light, color, and traffic to enjoy the small rooms in your home. Let’s take a look!

Mirror, Mirror

While we are used to having mirrors in our bathrooms and bedrooms, they can play a much more significant role in the home. Did you know that mirrors can be used to visually expand the space of a room? Strategic placement of mirrors can create an optical illusion that helps make a cramped space appear more spacious. Here are some easy ways you can use mirrors to open up a tiny room:

  • Double Your Narrow Kitchen – Is your kitchen feeling too narrow? Before you get cabin fever, install a long mirrored backsplash against the wall where the sink and countertop lay. This will instantly, fill out lean dimensions and make the space appear larger.
  • Free Standing Mirror If you are searching for a quick fix, you can purchase a large, free-standing mirror and prop it against one wall. This is an easy way to reposition the room to feel much more spacious. To pull this look off effectively, you can position furniture pieces so that they are reflected in the mirror.
  • Mirrored Tiles – You can use mirrored tiles in any room to expand the space. The great thing about mirrored tiles is that it provides a warmer feel than using a large mirror.

Let There Be Light(s)

If you are working to expand a tiny space visually, you should avoid relying on a single lighting source. A single lamp will simply cast light into the middle of the floor. Try installing multiple light sources around the room such as pendant lights, floor and table lamps to open up space.

Layering light sources will evenly spread the focus around the room. Make use of natural light by allowing as much natural light to penetrate the room as much as possible.

For more tiny room hacks, be sure to check out our next post in the series here. Thanks for reading!

Genius Tips for an Overly Bright Window

Most buyers will search for a home that provides a lot of natural light. Unfortunately, yours may feature a little more than typically wanted. If you feel like the light coming through your window is overpowering, we have six genius ideas to help you. Let’s take a look at six ideas for an overly bright window:

Ideas for an Overly Bright Window

1. Soften The Effect.

You may find it helpful to place curtains over the window that produces a lot of natural light. Instead of getting rid of all of the light that is produced from the window, you may want to incorporate sheer curtains. Sheer curtains will help soften the intensity caused by the sunlight while still allowing an ample amount of light to enter the space.

2. Incorporate Plants.

Greenery can help the window’s brightness feel deliberate. A few plants here and there will add some charm as well as tone down the room’s overly bright nature.

3. Begin The Day Earlier.

Bright spaces give the opportunity to start your day early. You can get a jump start on activities and begin each morning feeling refreshed.

4. Take Advantage of The Light.

You may find it a little difficult to sleep in a room with an overly bright window, but it can make for the perfect workspace. Homeowners find the brightness inspiring, and it helps them get a jump start on work.

5. Contrast It.

Homeowners also find it helpful to contrast the bright nature of the window with a darker wall color. Some may even go as far as using black on the walls to balance out the brightness. We recommend sampling some paint colors within your room before committing. You want to be sure that the colors work well during all hours.

6. Create an Indoor Garden.

If the well-lit area of your home is inside your kitchen or dining room, you can create a mini indoor garden with fresh herbs. The windowsill can be the perfect place for mini pots and containers. Just be sure to find easy-to-grow herbs that work well in sunny areas.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks! Be sure to check back weekly at From The Floors Up for more expert advice. Thanks for reading!