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Apartment Dweller? Tips for Furniture Color, Selection and Arrangement

Alta City West

Alta City West in Houston

Apartments are typically a challenge to decorate. Why? The lack of square footage doesn’t necessarily mesh well with new trends in furniture or even classic pieces. As a result, you have to be smart when putting together a room in order to create a balance between organization and style.

Do:

  • Go light. Choose light hues or neutrals for the furniture in an apartment. They expand the size of a room. These colors also make an area appear fluid and, fortunately, you can pick from a large palette ranging from white to brown.
  • Double-up functions. In an apartment, one piece of furniture should serve as two. Purchase coffee tables with extra storage or the capacity to act as an eating area. The same goes for seating. This approach helps deter a natural inclination to ‘stuff’ a room for the sake of function.
  • Keep everything to scale. In other words, don’t decorate your apartment with furniture pieces that overwhelm or under whelm a room. Get items that fit. Your furniture should stand out only because of its beauty, not unusual height or size compared to the dimensions of the area.
  • Angle items, if necessary. To add walking space or flare in an apartment, angle a piece of furniture. These items are usually the bigger ones like chairs or couches. Placement in this manner also frees up wall that might work well with a large arrangement of photos.
  • Layer accessories. Enhance the furniture in an apartment by layering them with accessories. Pillows and throw blankets give texture to a piece making something ordinary fabulous. Accessories can vary in size from small to large. They should be unique and draw attention to the eye.

In conclusion, if you dwell in an apartment, use the above tips for furniture color, selection and arrangement. They aide in turning a small place into something exciting and worth hosting parties and other social gatherings in. For more information on the subject of apartments, visit or contact a representative of Wood Partners.

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4 Green Living Cleaning Tips

 

green cleaningMost people never really stop and think about all the chemicals they’re spraying all over their homes when they try to clean up. While these sprays and solvents certainly get the job done, there are easier, less expensive, and more natural solutions that won’t leave behind a residue or impact the health of anyone living in a given home.

#1: Catching Flies With Vinegar

No one likes it when midges, flies, and other pests get in the house. But for those who don’t want to break the bank or leave poisons around in their homes, this simple green living formula will help you catch all of the pests in your home. Take an empty glass or jar (pickle jars work quite nicely), and pour a quarter inch of apple cider vinegar into it. Cover the top with cellophane, and punch small holes in it. Secure the cellophane with a rubber band to keep it taught. The pests will be drawn to the scent, and once they get in they won’t be able to get out. No chemicals, no danger to pets or children, and it even smells rather pleasant.

#2: Get Rid Of Smells With Half an Onion

Onions may not be quite a dime a dozen, but they are cheap. If you happen to have an onion laying around the house then you can use it to absorb some of that musty odor hanging around in your basement. Simply cut an onion in half and set it on a plate overnight. By the time morning comes around you should notice a marked lessening of any smells in the room. No need to pump your air full of perfume when you can suck the bad smells right out.

#3: Use White Vinegar to De-Scent Your Trashcan

Whether you live in a big house or a small apartment the trash can be an affront to the nose. Rather than throwing out your trashcan and getting a new one every couple of months though, all you need is some white vinegar and a piece of bread. Soak the bread with white vinegar (put the bread on a paper towel first), and leave it in the bottom of the empty trash can overnight. Come the morning the smell will be gone, and you didn’t need to use anything more artificial than a piece of bread.

#4: Cleaning Counters and Cutting Boards With Lemons

While most people only use lemons for livening up their drinks, they’re actually powerful cleaning agents. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto stains on either a cutting board or a laminate counter top. Use the fruit like a scrubber, and let the citrus eat away at the stains and mess. Rinse the counter top off a few minutes later with water, and you’ll notice that the stains are gone. Lemons also disinfect an area, and leave it smelling of natural citrus.

For other green living tips and life hacks simply contact us today!


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4 Green Living Tips For Apartments

indoor plant

It isn’t easy to make positive green living decisions when you live in an apartment. As a renter you don’t have the ability to make construction decisions, or to install Energy Star appliances much less to put solar panels on your roof. However, if you want to live an eco-friendly apartment dwelling life there are still steps you can take.

Pay Attention To Your Windows

While natural daylight is a great way to not burn electricity, windows are also an unfortunate source of heat loss. That’s why when winter comes it’s a good idea to put shrink wrap over older windows, and to make sure you have a set of insulating blackout curtains. While the shrink wrap will need to be taken off for warmer weather, the blackout curtains will also help keep the heat of the day out if you keep them pulled. This will help reduce your need for artificial heating and air conditioning.

Keep Your Fridge Clean and Stocked

Everyone knows that keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as often as possible will reduce the amount of electricity the appliance uses. What you might not know is cleaning the dust, dirt, and build up of ice in your unit can help it run more smoothly and while using less power. Not only that but if you keep your fridge and freezer stocked it uses less power to keep everything cold because there’s so much less empty space that has to be kept cool.

Get Some Plants

While hanging a plant or two in your house might seem like missing the forest for the trees, it’s actually a really good idea. Houseplants freshen up your air at no cost to you, and what’s more then can actually keep a place cooler by acting as small, green heat sinks. You will need to make sure the house doesn’t get too cold for them, but indoor plants can be a life saver for a green apartment.

Buy Recycled Products

It seems like a no-brainer, but in addition to recycling glass, cans, and plastic it’s important for consumers to purchase materials made from recycled content. Whether it’s napkins or toilet paper, glassware or bottles it’s important to put your money where your mouth is and to make a statement to retailers that you want more products made with post-consumer recycled material. Just check on the packaging, it will tell you what percentage of the product used to be something else.

For even more green living tips for your home contact us today!


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Ten Helpful Tips For Making Your Rental Into a Sustainable Home

2013-04-15-green-living-tips-lightbulbs-april-29-2013-photo

Once you’ve signed a lease on a rental, it is important to protect the integrity of the owners’ property to avoid any claims once you move on. Yet, making “green,” energy conscious improvements is very much within reason and can save you a substantial amount of money and make your new apartment more planet friendly. Here’s a list of ten simple tips that can help make your rental into a sustainable home, without breaking the bank. If you make a small investment in changes, remember that your contributions will save you money over the long run, and can serve as a bargaining tool with your landlord, or future leasers.

Climate control: A lot of energy is spent in heating and cooling your home during the changing seasons. Insulation is the key to control and maintain a regular, comfortable temperature and indoor climate.

1. Properly seal windows with caulk or plastic coverings. A visit to the hardware store will equal sizable returns in energy savings once the heat or air conditioning is no longer leaking out of cracks or damaged window frames.

2. Invest in a Thermostat. Programmable thermostats will help you control your apartment’s indoor climate. The majority of energy is expended in heating from a cold temperature, or cooling down from a very high temp.

3. Curtains, blinds, window shades. A lot of heat is lost or gained through glass. Simple decorative window solutions can help you manage this heat gain/loss to your advantage.

Energy efficiency: Your appliances are huge culprits in wasteful energy consumption, but with a little attention, you can take matters into your own hands.

4. Dust! Yes, by dusting the vents in your computer’s tower, your stereo equipment, your refrigerator’s coils, you can vastly improve the efficiency of these machines and help them to run better and perform better.

5. Use “green” light bulbs. The green light bulb revolution is already underway. Just jump in and find the products that suit your needs. You’ll find there is more variety now in light color.

6. Replace filters. Whether it’s for your furnace or air conditioner, maintaining clean air filters will support efficient ventilation, maintain your appliances running smoothly, and will provide better air quality in your home. Check on these filters every 3 months for best results.

7. Power strips. Newer “smart” power strips are out on the market. They help in cutting off energy to whatever is plugged in that is not in use. Also, by turning off the strip, it automatically cuts off energy to several appliances at once, when you are not using them or when you are away.

Water efficiency: If you are paying for water utilities and most renters are, these tips will be helpful in savings. Whatever the case may be, lower water consumption is a green initiative and a global concern.

8. Retrofit to a more efficient toilet. There are converter kits for renters that can change your regular toilet into a more efficient “dual-flush” toilet. A small investment will help your save a month or two of water utility bills, annually.

9. Low-flow shower heads. These products provide adequate and strong shower pressure while not wasting as much water.

10. Make use of a humidifier. The quality of the humidity in your apartment can mean big savings in heating during the winter. It’s not only good for your wallet, but also your health. Some modern HVAC systems have a built-in humidifier, otherwise an inexpensive purchase of a portable humidifier will resolve the dry conditions that are harmful to delicate possessions and your body.

These tips should provide inspiration for home improvement projects that are truly worthwhile and that support a better financial outlook, promote good health practices and look out for the environment. Contact us to inquire if your ideas for green changes may or may not be within reason as a renter.


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3 Energy Saving Green Living Tips

bulb in hand

Those living in the Internet age have a tremendous thirst for energy. For those who want to scale back their energy consumption, whether it’s in a house or an apartment, these simple green living tips may be just what you’ve been looking for.

#1: Upgrade Your Technology

Just because your old desktop PC still works fine, or that tabletop TV still fulfills your needs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about replacing them. Smaller, faster technologies that use less energy will help you reduce the amount of power you consume, and they’ll give you access to the latest options when it comes to your entertainment and work. Smartphones and tablets are just two examples of cleaner, greener machines at work. For bonus green points make sure you take your old technology to an electronics recycling facility.

#2: Use Green Energy (For Your Smaller Electronics)

Powering your entire home off of solar energy is an expensive proposal, and something that apartment dwellers simply can’t do. You can, however, power your everyday devices like laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc. with solar energy. All you need is a portable, window-mounted plug that turns sunlight into electricity. Usable in your car, at the office, or in your home, your cell phone may never pull energy from the grid again.

#3: Cut Your Total Power Usage

The best way to leave a smaller footprint is to use as little energy as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to live like a mountain man though; just think about how much power you’re using. Does your bathroom need a 60 watt light bulb, or can you see just fine with a 40 watt bulb? How much energy would you save by switching to fluorescent bulbs? Instead of turning on an entire bank of lights, why not just turn on a smaller lamp when reading?

The list goes on, including things like not turning on heat or AC unless absolutely necessary, keeping your hot water usage down to a minimum, and using surge protectors to stop your devices from drawing power when they aren’t on. The point is that everyone has at least a few wasteful energy habits, and curbing those habits (such as only watching 1 hour of TV a day instead of 5) is one of the best ways to decrease demand on the power grid, lower the overall amount of power you’re using, and to live a cleaner, greener life.

For more green living tips contact us today!