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Three Things Thursday: Wire Control

Archive for July, 2014

Three Things Thursday: Wire Control

With all the tech gadgets we’re buying these days, your apartment can quickly turn from neat and clean to a rat’s nest of wires. Not only is it not visually appealing, but it’s usually a safety issue as well if you have wires protruding out into walking spaces. Here are three neat products that can tidy up your wires and send your rat’s nest packing.

Cable Twisters

These little twisters will wind up your wires and keep them all neatly organized together. They’re better than tape or zip ties, because they’re easy to put on and take off too.

Even better news – they’re cheap. A set of 3 usually only costs about $10, so you won’t have to break the bank for the sake of organization.

cable twisters

 

The Plug Hub

This neat little box sits on the floor below your desk and winds your extra cable length inside it – preventing the classic rat’s nest. It’s a pretty inconspicuous little box, so it won’t take up much space, but it definitely gets the job done.

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This one’s a pretty good bargain too, selling for only $25.

Desk Cord Manager

If you have a lot of cables running from your computer, printer, phone and everything else on your desk, this one is perfect for you. The desk leg cord manager is a steal at only $9, and it’ll keep your ugly cords out of sight and looking fresh.

cord manager

 

 

frIDay Interior Design: Happiness at Home

Your apartment style is a big part of the way you and your guests will feel while hanging out at your place, but there are a lot of small aesthetic changes you can make to your living space to make it more conducive to good moods and positive feelings. Aside from your place of work, your home is probably where you spend most of your waking hours, so staying happy while you’re there is important to your overall quality of life.

Here are some easy tips to think about that can revamp the energy at your apartment and get you back to feeling the good vibes.

Lighting

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’re more likely to feel depressed and down if you aren’t getting adequate lighting into your living space. Try to get at least two or three different lighting sources in each room at your house or apartment, and consider changing up the intensity or mood of each light. You might not always want to sit under bright fluorescent lighting, so change it up and try getting some softer lamps to change the color temperature of your rooms.

Be sure to take advantage of windows and natural lighting, too. Sunlight can work wonders on your mood and your apartment if you can find good ways to let it in. If you have an apartment with a lot of windows, open up your curtains, and let the light in.

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Plants

Plants have a great way of freshening up your living space and bringing life into a room. If your space is lifeless and dull, you’ll probably feel that way too.

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Reduce Clutter

Look around your apartment and take an inventory of all the stuff you have laying around. Do you really need it all? Is that stuff that’s been sitting on your desk or your floor really important to hang on too? If the answer is no, just ditch it. Having lots of clutter and garbage around can add tension and stress to a room or to your mind.

And on that note, cleaning up in general never hurts. Dust and mildew can affect your ability to breathe clean air and harm your health, and all of that leads to a sadder you. Even cleaning once a week or once every other week can really turn around the mood in your apartment.

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Shake It Up

If your apartment feels stale and stagnant, move things around! Re-arrange your bedroom or your living room and try out new setups for your furniture. Day after day of the same routine and the same living space setup can wear you down, so try getting creative with your space and changing it up every once in a while when you get sick of it.

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Photo Credit: 1, 23, 4

Three Things Thursday: Apartment Inspiration

We know you might think our blog is a great source of inspiration for the interior design of your apartment, but there’s plenty of other places on the web to find inspiration as well. In today’s Three Things Thursday, we’re giving you some great places online to go when you need to get inspired and get ideas for spicing up your apartment.

Pinterest

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Pinterest might be notorious as a place for wedding planning and baby pictures, but there’s tons of apartment inspiration there as well. If you’re looking for storage ideas, the latest trends in interior design, or something creative to hang on your walls, just do a simple search on Pinterest and see what comes back. There are sure to be thousands of results to get your inspiration flowing.

Apartment Therapy

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ApartmentTherapy.com is the perfect place to go to keep up with interior styles and find DIY projects for your home – no matter what size it is. They keep content fresh with new updates every day, so you’ll always have plenty to browse through if you need some new ideas.

HGTV

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HGTV might be the king of interior design for the television world, but their website is pretty awesome too. They have huge photo galleries of designer rooms, kitchens, baths and everything in between as well as a section to help you through decorating your place. If you need to redesign a room or even your whole apartment, this is a perfect resource to use before you get started.

 

And if you just can’t get enough creative inspiration, you can always keep checking back in with the Kissling Blog.

Buffalo Apartment Necessities: Storage

Even in some of our most luxuriously spacious Buffalo apartments, finding the right storage to keep all your things in neat order is an important task. You might have a lot of free space around your place now, but unless you find a good way to organize the little things, your space can get cluttered and out of control fast. So, to give you some inspiration to get creative with your storage, we’ve put together some cool ideas that will help you save space and also keep your apartment looking great.

Under the Bed

No, we’re not talking about just shoving all the clutter on the floor of your room right under your bed. We’re talking about real, under-the-bed storage space. Getting a bed that comes with drawer storage underneath is a great way to maximize space in your room. These beds can be expensive, but if you can’t afford it, don’t let that hold you back. It can be easy and fun to take on a new DIY project, and building a platform for your bed that includes lots of space for storage will pay for itself when you aren’t tripping over things on your floor. If you need some guidance, the internet is an endless expanse of helpful tips, so get out there and explore.

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Bike Storage

There’s nothing worse than having to store your bike right in the middle of your living room or bedroom and having to step around it as you walk through your apartment. Since a lot of our apartments for rent are nestled deep in Buffalo biking territory, plenty of our tenants are probably faced with this problem. The answer might be simpler than you think. Go to your local hardware store and check out the shelving and hooks they have available. Building a wall-mount for your bike is probably easier than you think, and you’ll love the extra space you’ll have after you get your bike off the floor. Your solution doesn’t have to be destructive to the wall either. Try getting some Command strips and hanging your hooks with a solution that won’t leave damage to the wall when you’re done.

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Shelving and Boxes

Storage shelves and dressers don’t have to be big and expensive to get the job done. There are plenty of cool ways to arrange pre-built or custom-made shelving around your place to maximize space and give you plenty of room to store things. Check out this great asymmetrical shelving unit that was built using wooden boxes and a ratchet strap – all easily attainable items.

asymetrical boxes

So if you’re struggling to find enough storage for everything in your apartment, give these ideas a try and get creative. And if you really can’t fit all your stuff into your living space, maybe it’s time for an upgrade! Check out our apartments for rent in Buffalo and find the perfect floor plan for you.

Three Things Thursday: Desks for Your Apartment

In this week’s Three Things Thursday, we want to give you some inspiration for a better workspace in your home office. Some of you might not even have a home office in your apartment, but working from your bed or your dining room table are probably not the most productive alternatives, and most people work more efficiently when they have a dedicated place set aside for work. If you work in the same place you relax, your mind will have a hard time staying focused on the task at hand, and you could end up getting distracted by your TV while you work, or worse, getting distracted by work while watching TV.

Here are three different kinds of desks you could consider adding to your apartment for better productivity.

The Simple Table

Just because you’re looking for a dedicated surface to work on, you don’t have to silo yourself into a big complicated desk. Some people work better with a nice simple setup without a lot of drawers and clutter surrounding them. If this sounds like you, try getting yourself a simple table to work on. They’re usually modest in both price and size, so you won’t have to break the bank buying one, and it won’t take up your whole room either.

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The L-Shape

For people who need a lot of surface area to work on but still need to make efficient use of space, the L desk is perfect. Take that empty corner of your apartment and make it a productive work station. L-shaped desks come in all shapes and sizes too, so find one that fits your needs. If you’re already using the space for a desk, you might as well get one with drawers and cabinets to add some more storage space. And if space isn’t an issue, just find something that fits the personality of your pad.

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The Standing Desk

The standing desk is a style that has really caught on in offices of late. Sitting for long periods of time can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. If you’re trying to burn more calories while you work, or if sitting for long periods of time is ergonomically a problem for you, the standing desk is the way to go. Recent studies have also shown that people working at standing desks can be more productive, but it’s mostly a personal preference. If standing up for too long tires you out, you’ll probably start to lose focus on your work, so be sure to know what you’re getting into before you commit to standing all the time. You can always look for a tall chair or bar stool to sit on, or get a desk with adjustable height.

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If we’ve inspired you to go out and get another piece of furniture for your apartment, why not look right here in Buffalo for your perfect find? Some great local stores like Ro and Room are good alternatives to the same old places like Ikea.com or Office Max. So get out there and get productive.

Apartment Necessities: Art and Decor

Unless you’re going for the most minimalist feel possible, you’ll probably want to find something to hang on the walls in your apartment to spice things up a bit. You may have missed the Allentown Art Festival this year, but with mass distribution of art made easier through the internet, there are still plenty of sources out there for you to find some picture-perfect decor to bring your walls to life. Here are some great things to keep in mind while you decorate:

Your Living Space Has Personality

From the colors you’ve chosen to highlight your apartment with to the style of your furniture, everything in your space builds up to a personality. What you hang on the walls is a big part of this. When you’re shopping around for the best new artistic pieces, remember the look and feel you’re going for. A piece that contrasts intensely with the other colors in your apartment will jump out and be more visually aggressive for you and your guests, while something that fits with your color palette will blend in and create a measured, calming environment. Whatever you’re going for, keep the personality of your space in mind.

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Plenty of Options

Local art shows are great places to check out possible decor for your space, but don’t forget to check online, too. There are plenty of websites like Etsy.com that have huge varieties of artwork to choose from, and the prices are usually reasonable. Don’t settle for something that you don’t think is perfect for your apartment, because you’ll probably have to look at it for a long time.

Create Something Yourself

If you can’t find something that really speaks to your personality as well as the feel of your apartment, why not try making something yourself? Photo collages or large-sized photo prints are great ways to take a memory or a favorite photo and bring it to life in your living space. You don’t have to be a professional artist to create something of your own to decorate your apartment, and once you’re done, you can show it off and create easy conversation when you have company over. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

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Whatever you decide to decorate your space with, the important part is that you like it. If you surround yourself with positive emotions, your living situation will be a lot better.

 

 

Photo Credit: 1, 2

frIDay Interior Design: Minimalism

While minimalism might sound easy, it might be one of the hardest interior looks to pull of. Yes, you have fewer things to find or placement, but because of that you must make the most of what you have.

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Symmetry can add a lot to a minimalist space, but it is by no means necessary.

The Right Lights

 

Lighting will be especially important in a space that lacks a lot of stuff. Use light to accentuate the furniture, and take advantage of the open space.

Plants and Neutral Tones

 

You’ll notice, in most minimalist spaces, that neutral tones lay heavily on the color palette. Wish splashes of color and strategically-placed plant life, you will have a nice, clean and relaxing space.

Three Things Thursday: Iconic Chairs

A new addition to the Kissling Blog, our “Three Things Thursday” concept is simple: list three things in any given category for your inspiration. This week – iconic chairs.

I would like to say that every apartment or loft should have the following chairs. Sadly, these are not necessarily “consumer” chairs, but more of luxury modernist design statements. That being said, why let the outlandish prices stop you from inspiration or a used chair search? Keep an eye out, you never know if you will find one of these iconic pieces on Ebay, Craig’s List or elsewhere…

Out of the hundreds of iconic chairs from the modern age, I think that the following three work best with multiple styles of interior design than most others:

1 – The Eames Chair

The Eames Chair

 

You might recognize this particular model from a certain grumpy doctor’s office on TV a few years back (House, MD).

A true embodiment of modern aesthetics and function, this is certainly the most luxurious and comfortable of almost any chair in existence. With a rather high sticker price, you definitely get what you pay for in beautiful hard wood, plush leather and pure comfort.

2 – The Wassily Chair (B3 Model)

B3 Model

Don’t be fooled by the Wassily chair’s clunky, robotic look – it is incredibly comfortable. If you don’t believe me, check out Ró on Elmwood – last time I checked they had several of these on the floor. Comfy, cool looking (if a bit quirky) and definitely the more reasonably priced chair of the three in this post.

3 – Three-Legged Shell Chair

Three-Legged Shell Chair

 

Created by the late, highly-regarded furniture designer Hans Wegner, this piece features no synthetic materials (assuming that you don’t go with a knock-off model). A very pleasant addition to a small space, you’ll be sure to either impress guests or enjoy some solo time with a book in this chair.

Apartment Necessities – Shelving

Whether or not you are an avid reader, you’ll want bookshelves in your apartment. You have photo frames, artwork, knick knacks and other random items that need somewhere to go. Many of these things work much better on display than they do hidden in boxes or closets.

Of course, depending on your space, different shelving systems might work, while others might not. Consider these common solutions for your apartment:

Floating

These shelves can work in almost any space and offer the most freedom as to location, size and even look. Keep in mind that, if you do not find wall studs for installation, you will need to utilize anchors (which will usually indicate a weight capacity for load bearing).

Floating Shelf

Freestanding

Freestanding bookshelves are probably the most common, as they are easy to use and typically have a greater capacity for storage. Keep in mind that you can easily put together a DIY bookshelf using reclaimed equipment like ladders, especially if the look would suit your particular style.

Ladder Bookshelf

“Built-In”

Some apartments might feature little corner nooks or recessed walls. In this case, you might be able to install floating shelves into the recess with a “built-in” look to them. This way, you avoid the need for bookends and make for a clever use in an otherwise difficult to utilize corner (keep in mind that you’ll want to make these easily removable, since you are in a rented space).

Built In

frIDay Interior Design: Which Window Treatments Work for You?

Let’s be honest – window treatments are boring. But, a room that lacks window treatments is also boring. They might not be flashy or fun to talk about, but window treatments really add a lot to a room, especially in apartments. You often don’t have the option to paint or install various customizations to an apartment space. But, with window treatments, you can add a lot of personality with very little effort on your part.

 

If you like a more bohemian look, you can get really creative with your windows. The look above could easily be accomplished through some eclectic DIY.

Vintage / Antique Window Treatments

 

Of course, if you like a classic appeal, you can try out vintage or antique treatments. How easy these are to find could vary, but you might find some really neat pieces in consignment, antique or good will stores.

Modern Window Treatments

 

On the flip side – clean cut and straight lines make for good accents in a modern or industrial space.