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Apartment Living

The Best Places to Get Moving Boxes for Free

The Best Places to Get Moving Boxes for Free

Good, sturdy boxes are a necessity for any move.

Moving is expensive. And at a time when you’re likely going out of pocket for everything, you’re doing everything you can to cut costs. Where do you skimp and where do you spend? And most importantly, where are the best places to get moving boxes without spending a dime?

14 places to get moving boxes without paying

It’s not just the cost that can make buying moving boxes a less attractive option. It can be wasteful unless you know you’re going to move again soon. Then, you can break down the boxes so they’re flat and store them away until the next time. But if you know this will be your last move for a while, finding some good quality boxes for free is worth the effort.

So, where’s the best place to get free moving boxes? As long as you’re willing to put in a little effort, you have lots of great options.

postal service

1. Ask Uncle Sam

If you’re planning a move on your own and don’t have too much stuff, the answer is only as far as your nearest post office.

Of the many services provided by the U.S. Postal Service, one is their ability to provide free packaging to customers. Those “If It Fits, It Ships” boxes are available for free to customers who then pay for the boxes when shipped.

The boxes aren’t very big, but as long as you can work within those dimensions, you’ll not only get them for free, but you can have them delivered to your front door.

This isn’t technically stealing, but if you’re not planning on using the boxes after your move, consider paying it forward and offering them for free to the next person. Or, keep the boxes and use them to eBay off all your old stuff.

2. Re-use from U-Haul

If you’re attempting a move on the cheap, odds are you’re going to rent a truck. And even if you’re not, check with your local moving truck rental company. They sell shipping and moving supplies, and oftentimes, people returning the trucks will have plenty of free boxes, tape, styrofoam packing peanuts, etc., that they don’t need anymore.

U-Haul Customer Connect is the moving company’s own social networking platform, specifically designed to connect people just starting their move with people who are just wrapping up theirs.

3. Big box stores are big on boxes

Big box stores like Walmart, Lowe’s or Costco will also have tons of boxes they’re happy to give away. Costco specifically is known to give boxes away to customers who ask. Many times, there will even be a giant pallet of boxes for customers (or anyone else) to use, free of charge. Some stores won’t let you in if you’re not a member, so ask one of your friends if you can tag along with them on their next Costco run.

4. Check the dumpster around back

Your local supermarket or retail store are also great places to look. Cardboard boxes, crates and even egg cartons are usually stacked up or broken down and flattened for easy storage or disposal. If you ask nicely, work quickly and only take what you can use, most businesses are happy to share their old boxes with you.

best places to get moving boxes liquor store

5. Come for the six pack, leave with stacks of cardboard

The neighborhood liquor store is a great place to find boxes for free. The boxes you’ll find here are sturdier and more durable because they have to carry heavy glass bottles. They’ll hold up better to water and dampness also, just in case it’s an issue later.

And just like any other business owner, if you ask the manager and don’t make a mess, they won’t mind if you leave with as many boxes as you can carry. And while you’re there, pick up some beers for the friends that are going to help you move. You are going to pay them in pizza and beer, right?

6. Get in the zone

Your local auto supply store should have plenty of huge boxes they give you for your move. All the spare parts they order for inventory and car repairs come in big sturdy boxes weighty enough to survive the trip from the warehouse to the garage. So they should suit your needs perfectly.

7. Good boys and even better boxes

Ever been to the pet supply store and seen those massive 50-pound bags of dog food? Or those huge crates or fish tanks. Well, the only thing bigger than that stuff are the boxes they’re shipped in. Take a drive over to your pet supply store, and they should have a massive supply of free boxes for your move just waiting for you.

8. Hey Siri, find me used boxes

OK, maybe it’s not quite that easy, but it’s pretty close. Checking the Free section on Craigslist will yield tons of results. Many of those people also surfed the web for free supplies and they’ll be relieved they can pay it forward.

And then there’s Freecycle. This social networking site connects people within the community to link up and exchange old appliances, furniture, clothes and other stuff for free. Snap a few photos of all your usable boxes and packing supplies and pay it forward to the next person who needs them.

best places to get moving boxes cell phone apps

9. There’s an app for that

Check around apps like letgo and the Facebook Marketplace. Online consignment shops and social media yard sales let users sell their old stuff, but you can also find freebies from people who need to clear up the clutter quickly.

10. Howdy neighbor!

If you’re trying to scale back the amount of time you spend on social media (and many of us are), ask your new neighbors or others in your community who are on the other side of their move.

These folks will also be able to give you an idea of what you can expect with your upcoming move. How stressful was it? What unexpected expenses came up? What kind of stuff did they need and forget to buy? Tape guns? Plastic wrap? Ask them what mover they used and shop around for quotes. You never know, you could find new ways to save even more money!

11. Swing by the office

Your office probably has tons of boxes. Reams of paper, office supplies and other equipment all come through an office setting everyday. Go talk to the people in your mailroom and see what they have available.

12. Go straight to the source

Schedule a trip to your neighborhood recycling center. All of the boxes from liquor stores and book stores and supermarkets will eventually wind up here — unless someone snaps them up first!

By the time the boxes make it here, they’ve already been broken down and flattened. But as long as the boxes and flaps are still intact and not torn off, a little bit of tape (which you should already have) will make them like new in no time.

best places to get moving boxes college campus

13. Head back to school

If you go at the right time of year, college and university campuses will have tons of boxes. Between the campus bookstore stocking up on textbooks for the next semester and move-in day at the freshman dorms, you’ll find more free boxes there than undecided liberal arts majors.

14. Stacks on stacks on stacks … of boxes

Your neighborhood copy shop also probably does a lot of shipping. That means shipping supplies. If the shop gets in new shipments of paper, shipping labels and printer ink every single day, those high quality and durable boxes are just sitting there, waiting for a new life. Ask the manager if there are any boxes to spare and take what you need.

If you must buy, do it right

If you do have to spend money on boxes, make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Companies like ULINE are known for their commercial quality cardboard boxes, packing tape and shipping supplies and accessories. But if you need cheap, cheap moving boxes, why not try cheapcheapmovingboxes.com? Should be easy enough to remember.

You can pick up 20 good-sized moving boxes, tape and a marker for less than $50. And any boxes you order and don’t use can be returned to the company for a complete refund.

The best places to get moving boxes

Like anything else, don’t just take a box because it’s free. Make sure it’s strong enough and large enough to suit your needs and hold your stuff. Nothing will make a move harder than subpar boxes that fall apart when you pick them up. But with just a little bit of work, you should be able to find all the free boxes you need for your big move.

Pro tip: Flatten the boxes once you get them home so they take up less space in your apartment before you start packing up all your stuff.

Published at Tue, 25 Aug 2020 05:06:36 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

Daydream Destination: Mallorca

As I stare down the barrel of facilitating online kindergarten (lawd help me), my mind is wandering to any and all escapes. While I sadly cannot exit our current reality, I can dream about a far-flung destination. At some point during a mindless scrolling session, idyllic images of a beautiful sun-soaked location kept cropping up in my feed and I had to know more.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

These incredible pictures are of a townhouse nestled in the village of Sóller on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Designed by Berrow Projects, the Canoneta Townhouse was built in 1910 by Parisian architects and Berrow has painstakingly updated the property to meld beautiful old-world bones with contemporary details and finishes that make this home feel both timeless and contemporary. All I know is that I’m totally smitten.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

Every detail of this island home is picture perfect. This custom kitchen features cement floors with radiant heating and a beautiful mix of custom oak cabinetry and honed stone countertops. The views out of those french doors have me swooning. I can see myself enjoying a morning matcha at that island right now.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The house’s dining room offers a perfect indoor/outdoor feel with those large picture window french doors and oodles of natural light. I spy built-in bench seating at the end of the space. And I’m always a sucker for built-in shelving too.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

This townhouse has six bedrooms and six bathrooms! A main bedroom features a cast concrete soaking tub and a beautiful mix of concrete and geometric tiles to mimic carpeting. The continued use of warm oak softens the space. And again the views! What a dream.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

I love the cross hatch caning on the custom wardrobe cabinets.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

The bathroom is a beautiful, smooth homage to minimalism. I love the single basin for the double sink.

Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34 Daydream Destination: Mallorca on Apt34

But let’s talk about this home’s incredibly garden. It features a lap pool and spa, sunken seating area and covered outdoor dining table along with an expanse of yard and established orchards of orange, lemon and other fruit trees. The townhouse gets its name, Canoneta, from the native orange variety that grows here and brought prosperity to the region in the late 19th century.

I think I could stomach homeschooling and a really uncertain future if I was sitting next to that pool, a Spritz in hand.

How about you?? Did I mention this house is for sale?!!! I have officially found my exit strategy.

For more Daydream Destination inspiration, CLICK HERE.

images courtesy of berrow project

Published at Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:28:40 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

What Portland Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

What Portland Neighborhood is Best for Me? (Quiz)

With its walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, renowned multicultural dining scene, clusters of hops-heavy breweries, hip bars, urban green areas and endless options for shopping and entertainment, Portland packs big-city amenities and comforts into a quirky, small-town package.

Sitting on the banks of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, hemmed in by forested hills and rolling valleys, Portland‘s diverse neighborhoods offer something for every type of personality, from chic, trend-driven careerists to chill artists and creatives who love the laid-back lifestyle and everyone in between.

The most popular Portland neighborhoods for renters

So, hop on your bike (or rent one from the fast-and-easy bicycle rental places around town) and hit the streets to learn about the best areas of the city, and then take our Portland neighborhoods quiz to find which one is right for you!

Downtown Portland

downtown portland

Full of history and culture, Downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.

For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds.

A one-bedroom apartment will cost you about $1,700 on average in this neighborhood.

South Waterfront

south waterfront

This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.

Affluent and innovative, South Waterfront is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit.

Be prepared to spend about $1,750 on average for a one-bedroom apartment in South Waterfront.

Pearl

pearl portland

Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things.

With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action.

Pearl is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, and rent prices reflect that. A one-bedroom apartment here averages about $2,320 a month.

Goose Hollow

goose hollow

Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.

With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city.

You’ll spend an average of $1,830 for a one-bedroom apartment in Goose Hollow.

Nob Hill

nob hill portland

For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.

Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew.

An average one-bedroom apartment here will set you back about $2,030 a month.

Buckman

buckman

Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard.

Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting.

You’ll spend about $1,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment in Buckman.

St. Johns

st johns

For a taste of small-town life, St. Johns in North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot.

Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. Johns Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here.

East Portland

east portland

If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.

Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away.

You’re a little further away from downtown, so it’s most affordable in East Portland. An average one-bedroom apartment is only $1,100 a month.

Find the best Portland neighborhood for you

Still not sure which Portland neighborhood is perfect to call your home? Simply answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!

Who’s coming with you?

Which one neighborhood characteristic can you not live without?

What’s your idea of quality downtime?

Which of these best describes your current life stage?

Your personal style could be best described as:

Which of the following is most important to you in choosing a home?

Which Portland Neighborhood Should You Call Home?

Downtown Portland

Full of history and culture, downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds.
Find Apartments in Downtown Portland

South Waterfront

This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.Affluent and innovative, this area is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit.
Find Apartments in South Waterfront

St. Johns

For a taste of small-town life, this North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot. Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. John’s Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here.
Find Apartments in St. Johns

Pearl

Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things. With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action.
Find Apartments in Pearl

Nob Hill

For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew.
Find Apartments in Nob Hill

Goose Hollow

Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city.
Find Apartments in Goose Hollow

East Portland

If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away.
Find Apartments in East Portland

Buckman

Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard. Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting.
Find Apartments in Buckman
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in August 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 12:59:00 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

A Five-Step Guide to Organizing Your Closet

A Five-Step Guide to Organizing Your Closet

Do you have a hard time picking what to wear and often find yourself impatiently rummaging through your clothes to choose the right outfit? A messy wardrobe can add unnecessary stress to your day, especially if your apartment is small without many options for storage. Decluttering and organizing your closet will help speed up the process of picking your next outfit. Save time choosing an outfit and enjoy the clothes you own by following these five helpful closet-organizing tips.

1. Declutter by category

Get rid of unnecessary clothes by following the advice of famed organization expert Marie Kondo. Kondo believes the best way to declutter is to focus on items that “spark joy.” From Kondo’s perspective, joy links to personal and intimate reasons – the “small details” of an item should make you smile. 

Organizing Closet

Kondo’s tidying technique, called the KonMari Closet Method, emphasizes sorting through your clothes by categories such as pants, tops, or dresses. First, empty your closet. Gather all of your clothes from one group in front of you so it’s easier to keep your loved clothes and eliminate other items. After organizing one category, go through the rest of the groups until you sorted through each one. Discard unwanted clothes in a bag for donation or sell them to a consignment store. 

2. Clean and wash your empty closet

After your closet is empty from sorting everything, make sure to clean it. Sweep, scrub or vacuum your closet, and air it out for deep cleaning. If you have storage bins, clean them too. If you want, you can listen to some calming or uplifting music while you clean to make the process go by faster.

3. Organize your storage space with organizers or bins

Use your vertical storage space to your advantage. Use a hanging shoe organizer to store more clothes. Storage bins on built-in shelves will maximize storage for – and organize – one of your item categories. 

Hanging hooks on your wall to organize your jewelry, belts, and scarves can also be useful when you have limited space. If you have extra space for a shoe organizer, rolling dresser, or a small armoire, add it to your closet to store small accessories.

4. Store your clothes and accessories by category

As previously mentioned, you should organize similar items together. Clothes and accessories in each category – pants, shirts, socks – should be with each other. 

Hang formal and structured clothes to prevent wrinkles. Save hanging space by folding thick garments such as jeans and sweaters. To get ready quickly, organize each category in the order you get dressed. If you’re a visual person, go the extra mile to color-code your closet.

Marie Kondo suggests two tips to make your wardrobe look aesthetically pleasing. Hang your clothes to face the same direction, and keep longer items on the left and shorter pieces on the right to create an upward sloping line.

5. Follow the “one in, one out” rule

These organization tips helped you clean your closet, but now what? Keep your closet clean and tidy by not hoarding new clothes (doing so also decreases the need for another massive wardrobe clean-out). Maintain your organized, spacious closet by always removing an item after purchasing a new one. 

With an organized closet, you can spend less time getting ready. Plus, a clean closet helps you maximize your wardrobe through different aesthetic and storage techniques, so you’ll feel happier with your apartment too.

Published at Tue, 11 Aug 2020 21:10:26 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

June Sets Record For Number of NYC Renters Looking to Sublet Their Apartment, Breaking Previous Record Set in May

June Sets Record For Number of NYC Renters Looking to Sublet Their Apartment, Breaking Previous Record Set in May

Originally posted on July 13, 2020 10:00 am

Updated on July 21, 2020 9:15 am

In May we reported a record spike in new NYC sublet listings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on RentHop’s apartment listing data running through the end of June, we can now confirm that June’s total sublet listings broke the previous record set one month prior in May.

This sudden spike in sublet listings may be considered early evidence the city is witnessing an outflow of residents to the suburbs or other metropolitan areas, likely as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased ability to work from home.

In this report, we’ll analyze the recent uptrend in new sublet listings on RentHop and highlight their outsized distribution in wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan1.

Sublet Listings Break Records, again, in June

As previously reported, the total sublet listings in May 2020 increased a whopping 110% as compared to the total sublet listings of the previous month (April 2020). This was the greatest acceleration in new sublet listings we have ever recorded on RentHop. While May was a record-setting month, June 2020 saw 3% more sublet listings than May 2020, and 114% more sublet listings than the average for the first four months of 2020.

This enormous uptick cannot be explained by seasonality. June 2019 saw a mere 0.3% increase in total sublet listings as compared to the average for the first four months of 2019. Even controlling for seasonality, June 2020 stands as the greatest single month of new sublet listings ever recorded in RentHop’s 11-year history.

Wealthy Neighborhoods Seeing the Largest Spike in Sublet Listings

In June 2020, wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 sublet average than neighborhoods in the outer boroughs.

The major NYC neighborhoods with the most significant spikes in new sublets in June 2020 vs. the average for the first four months of the year were Astoria (600% above average), Yorkville (440%), Williamsburg (419%), West Village (306%), Chelsea (289%), and Battery Park City (240%).


1. As used in this study, “sublet listings” are listings created by apartment renters seeking to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of their apartment lease. In NYC, finding a subletter is widely considered the most effective way to get out from under a lease without paying the steep contractual penalties triggered by an outright lease break.

Published at Mon, 13 Jul 2020 14:00:49 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

RentHop Rental Report Q2 2020 – Rents Dropped 5% in Manhattan

RentHop Rental Report Q2 2020 – Rents Dropped 5% in Manhattan

The NYC housing market continues to suffer in Q2 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Given the unprecedented health, economic, and social disruptions inflicted upon the city, it should come as no surprise that NYC apartment hunters are changing their preferences as to where to live and landlords are forced to adapt by reducing rents.

According to the RentHop Rental Report this quarter:
  • Median 1BR rent fell 5% year-over-year in Manhattan as demand plunged. Some luxury neighborhoods saw the most drastic decline in demand, including Murray Hill (YoY demand -72%), Chelsea (-67%), and Tribeca (-67%).
  • The impacts of the pandemic on the housing market were less severe in outer boroughs, specifically in Brooklyn and Queens. Both boroughs saw only 8% dip in terms of lead volume, with some neighborhoods experiencing growing demand such as Forest Hills (40%), Crown Heights (26%), and Astoria (10%).
  • As COVID-19 becomes part of the normal life, outdoor space is now the hottest amenity in New York City, replacing doorman and gym. Interest for private outdoor space grew 59.3% year-over-year.

Manhattan Market Softened, with Median 1BR Rent Lowered by 5% Year-over-Year

The coronavirus pandemic has had severe impacts on the New York City housing market. Many neighborhoods across the five boroughs experienced price reduction due to reduced demand. Specifically, in Manhattan, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation, rent dropped in most luxury neighborhoods, including Chelsea, Flatiron, and NoMad. The borough saw a 5% decrease in median 1BR rent, and some premium neighborhoods saw even more drastic cuts, as landlords increased concessions to attract renters. The weak demand will likely continue as the pandemic remains a threat and companies extend their remote-working policies.

Renter Interest Shifted to Outer Boroughs

Meanwhile, rental demand seemed less affected by COVID-19 in outer boroughs. In Brooklyn, specifically, searches were only down by 8.1% year-over-year, and some neighborhoods farther away from the city center even saw spikes in inquiries, including Ocean Hill (+70.1%), Central Slope (+40.5%), Crown Heights (+26.1%), and East Flatbush (+15.8%). In Queens, similarly, demand was slightly affected by the pandemic, pushing the searches down by 7.8% year-over-year. Demand, however, soared in affordable neighborhoods including Steinway (+48.2%), Forest Hill (+39.6%), and Astoria (+10.5%).

Private Outdoor Space Became the Hot Amenity, Replacing Doorman and Gym

Doorman and gyms had long been key features driving the rental rates in New York City until COVID-19 hit. Now, people tend to avoid large residential rental buildings to minimize the risk of catching the coronavirus. According to our renter search data from April 17 to July 16, 25% of the searches involving private or common outdoor space, while only 14.6% of the searches included doorman and 11.2% gym. While elevator remained one of the more popular features, the demand fell by 6.2% when adjusting to listing and lead volumes.

Methodology

Released on a quarterly basis, the RentHop Rental Report analyzes the NYC rental market using the platform’s rental listings and traffic data. The lead volume, most inquired apartment type, and year-over-year changes are determined based on inquiries sent by renters visiting the RentHop site. The median asking rent is calculated using all listings created between April 17, 2020 and July 16, 2020, across all apartment types, whereas median 1BR rent is calculated using only one-bedroom listings created during the same time period. Please email press@renthop.com for a detailed report covering all NYC neighborhoods. Note that unlike other RentHop studies that analyze and summarize data using the Neighborhood Tabulation Areas, the RentHop Rental Report adopts a more granular neighborhood shapefile for the analysis, which is consistent with the listing search criteria on the consumer side.

Published at Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:00:05 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Before and After: A $3,000 Kitchen Redo with IKEA Cabinets and Farmhouse Style

Before and After: A $3,000 Kitchen Redo with IKEA Cabinets and Farmhouse Style

Megan Baker

Home Projects Editor

Megan is a writer and editor who specializes in home upgrades, DIY projects, hacks, and design. Before Apartment Therapy, she was an editor at HGTV Magazine and This Old House Magazine. Megan has a degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a self-taught weighted blanket connoisseur.

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Published at Mon, 03 Aug 2020 21:00:07 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Partial‌ ‌or‌ ‌No‌ ‌Kitchen‌

Pros‌ ‌and‌ ‌Cons:‌ ‌Partial‌ ‌or‌ ‌No‌ ‌Kitchen‌

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day. 

Some people living in small apartments may struggle with properly storing their belongings and groceries in tiny kitchens. In bachelor apartments, a traditional kitchen stovetop and oven are absent, sometimes replaced instead by a hot plate or a small electric range. In other apartments, there is no kitchen at all, just a bedroom and bathroom (and perhaps enough space for a small living room). Though apartments with a partial or just no kitchen are rare, they’re certainly not unheard of – here are the pros and cons of no kitchen or a partial kitchen in an apartment. 

Pros cons no kitchen

Pros of no kitchen or partial kitchen in an apartment

Lower rent

Apartments with no stovetop or kitchen tend to be cheaper – in some cases, far cheaper – to rent than their traditional kitchen-boasting counterparts. Compounding the lower rent is that, with no stove or oven, your utility bills will likely be lower too. 

Fewer to no grocery runs

If you don’t like taking the time and effort to make grocery runs, you may find yourself needing to do so far less often when you live in an apartment with a partial or no kitchen. A partial kitchen will at most have a mini-fridge and a few cabinets, inherently limiting the amount of food you can store – and, in turn, mostly cutting grocery runs out of your life.

Less mess

Kitchens can be among the messiest parts of an apartment (though bathrooms certainly give kitchens some competition in this category). When you have a partial or no kitchen, you have to contend with far fewer grease stains, stovetop and floor food scraps, and potentially food-loving pests.

More creative cooking methods

Just because you don’t have a kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t cook at all. You just have to get creative about it. Electric appliances such as slow cookers, pressure cookers, microwaves, convection ovens, and hot plates can give you plenty of cooking capacity if you use them safely. You can also make all sorts of meals in slow cookers and pressure cookers that wouldn’t be as easy in a traditional kitchen, so a partial or no kitchen can be an unexpected portal to new culinary experiences.

Cons of no kitchen or partial kitchen in an apartment

Fewer cooking options

Of course, an apartment with a partial or no kitchen gives you far fewer cooking options unless you choose to buy appliances. You thus might be limited to meal options such as salads, microwavable frozen dinners, or simple one-pot recipes such as pasta. Your favorite oven casserole recipe will have to wait until your next apartment. 

Less space for food prep and storage

If you do go the salad or pasta route, you’ll still need some counter space for chopping vegetables or a sink for draining your pasta. Of course, your bathroom will have a sink, but walking all the way from your kitchen to your bathroom sink might get old quickly. And if your counter space is devoted to housing your kitchen electric appliances, your salad prep routine might prove tough.

Challenges with dishwashing

In a partial kitchen, you might have a sink, but this isn’t always the case. Without a sink, not to mention ample counter space for a dish drying rack, you might struggle to wash and dry your dishes and other food prep items. And when delivery and takeout aren’t constant options, lacking proper dishwashing abilities can be especially stifling.

Reliance on delivery and takeout

In an apartment with a partial or no kitchen, relying on delivery and takeout can become almost inevitable. While certainly convenient, delivery and takeout tend to be much more expensive than buying groceries and making your own food. If you’re considering a kitchen-less apartment primarily for budgetary reasons, you may want to consider the impact of relying too much on delivery or takeout on your finances as well.

Would you live in a kitchen-less apartment? If you’ve lived in an apartment with a partial or no kitchen, how did you make it work? Share your stories in the comments!

Published at Thu, 23 Jul 2020 13:23:26 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

The $0 Way to Always Have Real Flowers at Home

The $0 Way to Always Have Real Flowers at Home

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Have you ever purchased an exquisite bouquet and wished you could keep it forever? Does the thought of watching fresh florals droop and die a slow death in your vase make you sad? Or are you just drawn to the look of dried flowers in a vase as a statement piece? No matter your motivation, there is no denying that when it comes to decor, dried flowers are here to stay.

My grandmother was always hanging flowers to dry or pressing a flower into a book (we still find some tucked in pages every now and then). And with the return of grand-millennial style, it makes sense that dried flowers are making a comeback.

“Drying flowers is just a great way to reuse something and upcycle material that you already have, and it’s another type of home decor that’s gotten explosively popular in the last couple of years,” says Suzanna Cameron, founder of Stems Brooklyn, an eco-conscious florist and flower shop in Brooklyn, New York. She adds that drying flowers is not only cost-effective, but it’s a process that can take your floral arrangement from a weekly replenishment to a piece of art that can live in your home forever.

It’s important to note that some dried flowers you might find at a home decor store may have been processed using harmful chemicals to achieve a bright, non-natural color—but the good thing (for the environment and your wallet) is that you can dry your own flowers without using any chemicals. “Nature gives us so many beautiful colors that dry with a lot of integrity,” says Cameron. That’s why she has taken to drying her own flowers at Stems Brooklyn. Here, her tips to help create your own dried floral creations at home.

What you’ll need to dry flowers

Cameron notes that a perfect place to dry flowers would be a closet.

Start the drying process when the flowers are at full bloom

“Once the flower is fully open, that’s when you want to take it out to dry. Don’t wait until it droops,” Cameron warns. That could cause you to lose petals as the flower dries. Cameron says you’ll know the flower is fully open when the petals are soft and it hasn’t started to brown or droop.

Remove foliage from flowers

Leaves don’t dry well and will end up looking crispy, so it’s better to pull them off before drying. Gently pull away any leaves or foliage from the stem below the bloom.

Hang the flowers upside down

Use your twine to hang your flowers from the rod in an upside-down fashion (bloom closest to the floor). 

If you are drying multiple flowers at once (five to 10 stems), Cameron suggests arranging the heads of the flowers at different levels so that they will each have room to dry without compromising their form by pushing their heads into each other. Once you figure out the arrangement, add your twine around the bunch as you would with a normal bouquet.

Because of the full shape of a bouquet, hanging from a closet rod or other pole is ideal—that way, all sides of the bouquet are exposed. If you hang from a hook or nail, the head will inevitably be pressed against the wall to some extent.

As mentioned, a closet is a great place to dry flowers, but wherever your chosen space is, make sure that it’s not receiving direct sunlight; this can take away some of the colors from your flowers. A cool, dark place is best.

The length of the drying process depends on the flowers. Chamomile can dry in just a few days, while a peony might take two weeks or longer. Look to the petals to determine if your flowers are dry: if there’s still any softness in the petals, leave them be. The good thing is that you can’t over-dry flowers, so if you’re feeling extra cautious and want to dry your flowers for a month, that’s okay.

Arrange your dried bouquet

Once you take down your dried flowers, then it’s time to arrange them. Don’t fret if some petals get damaged during your first try. “Flowers are so fragile, it’s really tricky to arrange with dried flowers and not have them make a mess,” says Cameron. “They’re going to get messy when you arrange, them and that’s okay.”

If you get super frustrated during this step, you can try to dry an already-arranged bouquet next time, so long as all of the flowers in that arrangement are suitable for drying.

Cameron says that in general, florals with a thick, woody stem tend to dry best. She suggests using roses, lavender, peony, chamomile, delphinium, statice flowers, and eucalyptus (which actually doesn’t have to dry upside down; you can simply arrange it and let it dry out).

Others like pampas grass and pussy willow branches dry beautifully, but eventually start to shed.

Avoid flowers that contain mostly water, such as tulips, hyacinth, or tropical ginger flowers. 

How to care for your dried flowers

Now that you’ve dried a sentimental flower or created a dried flower statement bouquet that belongs in a museum, Cameron says there are just a few things to note for upkeep. If your dried arrangement starts to collect dust, you can gently clean it using a very soft dusting cloth.

Keep your arrangement out of direct sunlight in order to uphold its coloring. And remember: Don’t put them in water. “I know it’s silly to say that, but people will ask me, ‘What do I do? Do I put them in water?” says Cameron. The answer: no. Just display them in your favorite vase or holder, and let them “live” on forever.

Pressing flowers vs. drying flowers

If traditional drying is not your thing, but you do want to save a special flower (that happens to be fairly flat, dainty and not necessarily wooden-stemmed), pressing flowers and placing them in a double-sided glass frame is a great way to hold onto a precious flower or to change up your home decor.

To press a flower, pluck a flower at full bloom, and remove any excess moisture by patting with a dry paper towel; it’s best not to pick a flower right after a rainfall, since it will have more excess moisture. Place the flower in between two white pieces of paper inside a heavy book, and within two to three weeks, you’ll have a pressed flower.

Rosina from Forever Petal says that naturally flat flowers, such as pansies and violets, will work best for this process. “Experimenting is super fun, even colorful weeds and leaves work super well,” she says. “The beautiful thing about flower pressing is that nature provides so much goodness and any color you want to work with.”

After your flowers have been successfully pressed, you can place them in a double-glass frame to enjoy. As with traditionally dried flowers, keep your pressed flower frames out of direct sunlight or damp areas.

And if you happen to forget to take your pressed flower out of the book, perhaps your grandchild will find it one day and smile at the thought of you preserving a piece of beauty.

Published at Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:30:06 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

How We Designed Our Dream Yard

How We Designed Our Dream Yard

Today I have a very special reveal for you, 10 months in the making. Considering the renovation of This Old Victorian took five years to reveal, this is progress. Our house is obviously a special find in and of itself, but it was actually the yard that really drew us to the property. It is so rare to find any kind of outdoor space in San Francisco – or any major city for that matter. Having found it, we wanted to maximize every square inch. For nearly two years we’ve worked on a complete dream yard redesign and I get to finally share the full tour of the completed space with you NOW! Buckle up, this is an in-depth tour. I do hope you enjoy it.

The best way to get a picture of the yard’s Before status is to CLICK HERE. But I’ve included a pic or two below to give you a sense of the vibe. Think mish-mash jungle with very little truly usable space. It was akin to a secret garden, but sadly not a functional one, particularly for small children.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34 How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34
In the built-in seating area surrounding the gas fire pit, pillows are clad in my only source for outdoor fabrics, Sunbrella. Sunbrella offers an amazing array of outdoor fabrics that allow you to get the style you want without sacrificing the durability you need.

The After is a complete 180!!!

The objective for this yard makeover was three-fold: maximize the usable outdoor space, create a feeling of seamless indoor-outdoor living, and add the maximum number of usable elements we can enjoy daily.

I think we achieved all of these goals and then some. We did that by packing as many different functional components into the design as we could, including outdoor dining, built-in seating, a fire pit, grill, hot tub, vegetable garden, office space and off-street parking. I’m thrilled to say that we accomplished our primary goals without having to make any major design sacrifices. It was a feat that took patience and painstaking work, but in the end, I think it’s all worth it.

Let’s take a closer look.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34
Outdoor pillows from Room & Board clad in Sunbrella fabric offer a soft spot to relax around the Bol fire pit from Paloform. The planter beds behind the retaining wall are filled with Mediterranean-inspired choices including rosemary, olive, and fig trees. 

Creating an outdoor space that looks like this was a massive undertaking. With a project of this scale, I knew immediately that we had to call in professional help. This was not a do-it-yourself type of situation. Thankfully, I found Beth Mullins of Growsgreen Design to execute our vision.

One of Beth’s key design decisions was to work with the existing elevations in our yard – of which there are many – rather than fight against them. While working with the existing levels still required massive excavation and then reconstruction of the space, the decision allowed Beth to create distinct zones throughout the yard that flow beautifully from one to the next. A uniform color palette of black, untreated wood (a yellow cedar that will naturally patina to a light gray), concrete, and greenery keeps everything feeling connected.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

Sunbrella has been my go-to for outdoor textiles to create a comfortable, welcoming feel to each moment in our yard. Sunbrella is the gold standard for high-performance outdoor fabrics – but I love that they don’t sacrifice style. I was thrilled to partner with Sunbrella on this project. Adding Sunbrella to your yard is easy. You can find Sunbrella everywhere from Room & Board to Serena & Lily and even small designers. I recently discovered the small woman-owned Sien +Co and love the added dimension their gorgeous handmade Sunbrella-clad pillows add to our yard.

Having added the bevy of outdoor-friendly cushions, the cantilevered wraparound bench is what I call our sit back and chill area. The bench serves as both seat and table, allowing for spots to play games, enjoy a drink, or even cat nap! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s back this renovation train up a bit.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

There were so many technical elements that needed to be addressed with this dream yard renovation. The grade changes of course, but also irrigation and drainage, engineering, electrical, let alone all the demo and structural work that took place. Did I forget to mention a giant palm hand to be craned in over the top of our house?! Yeah, that happened – successfully thank goodness. The challenges were endless.

The image above is a perfect example of how complicated this yard design really is. It combines multiple elevations, an in-ground cedar soaking tub, gorgeous concrete and woodwork, a second cantilevered seating area, and design choices to create a connection to the grilling and hang-out space above. Every decision you see here was intentional and meticulously considered, from the angle of the decking boards to the raw treatment on the concrete, down to the placement of the lights and hot tub control panel. I just love how all the different lines and angles play with one another.

Let’s also pause to have a convo about our opaque fence! It’s definitely one of the major design moments in the yard. It was inspired by the original fence we were replacing. It was an old, yellowed corrugated plastic that was completely gross, but I loved that it allowed light through. It always brought a beautiful glow into the space that I didn’t want to lose. Thankfully, I had a major moment of inspiration when I visited the design studio of my friend Tina Frey. She used an amazing opaque material to separate spaces in her studio. So I knew it existed! After a lot of searching, Beth found a product most often used in greenhouses and that is what she used to create our fence. I love how the shadows of the trees dance in the mornings. It’s truly unique.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

Now let’s discuss this project’s timeline. After the initial design phase, where we finalized all the schematics and selected a lot of the design elements, demolition began in August 2019. Demo took nearly two months. I cannot even tell you the amount of dirt, rock, brick, and hardscape that was yanked out of here. I’ve included a couple of in-process shots below just to give you a sense. I basically lived in a mud pit for four+ months.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

After demo was finally complete, the structural work slowly began. This included framing and pouring the reams of concrete retaining walls, the undergirding for the decking, a climate-sensitive irrigation system, running electrical, and more. Planting was done in stages so some of the plants have had nearly six months to establish.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

Once the rebuilding began, it took nearly six months before the yard really looked like it was put back together – and of course, Coronavirus slowed work down even more. Thankfully we were able to button up the majority of the finish work in the nick of time.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

To create an Apartment 34 studio space, Beth brought in Modern Spaces & Sheds to create a mini 10ft x 10ft office I get to call my own. I love the Shou Sugi Ban detailing on the building’s exterior – I’ll be sharing video of how it was done on Instagram. A full studio tour is also in the works – as soon as I finally finish the inside! Sadly, that design work has also been significantly slowed due to Coronavirus. But to have a space I can retreat to for work has been the biggest gift during this difficult time. Now if it only came with invisibility built in….but I digress.

That gorgeous chaise you see in the image above is from Room & Board and it offers the perfect place to lay black and relax with a glass of rosé at the end of a long workday. Or at lunch. Or really whenever. We’re quarantined for goodness sake!

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

I fought really hard to put in the cedar soaking tub and I couldn’t be happier that we did. It’s the most incredible way to unwind at the end of the day.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

All of the built-in seating allows us to keep the need for additional furniture to a minimum. A super comfy bench pad with Sunbrella fabrics creates the perfect spot to lay back while keeping an eye on my son playing in the soaking tub. I wasn’t afraid to go with a white pad because Sunbrella fabrics are so durable and so easy to clean. Just a little soap and water gets out most stains. We’ve put this yard to heavy use since SIP started and I haven’t even had to clean the Sunbrella cushions yet!

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

We tapped into existing plumbing to add an outdoor shower to the exterior of the office space. A hidden french drain below the decking handles all the drainage issues. The beds are planted with native grasses, dwarf olive trees, and creeping rosemary that will eventually fill in and cascade over the concrete retaining walls.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

We also added potted trees to create even more dimension and interest around the decking. These pictures were taken just after my gorgeous dogwood tree finished its spring bloom.

I’ve always loved a good Adirondack chair, so I was a sucker for the modern Emmet Rocker from Room & Board. I added seat pads in black Sunbrella fabric but I think I also want to get a second set of Sunbrella seat cushions in white. It’s nice to have a contrast, but I’m also a big fan of white on white. This seat is a favorite spot to enjoy a morning coffee or late afternoon cocktail. I kept the look of the outdoor furnishing modern to complement the modern meets historic vibe I used on the house’s interior.

A fresh concrete pad will eventually become a little mini-basketball court for our son to practice his free throws as he gets older. It’s currently a great place for chalk drawings and zooming around toy cars. We opted to forgo any lawn in our yard to limit water consumption and maintenance. Eventually, we will add in some flowering plants but the goal is to keep the space fairly monochromatic. Beth recommended we layer slowly over time.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

As you move to the front along the side of the house, we added built-in raised garden beds, painted to match the fencing. It’s been so fun to have our own mini-vegetable patch. Carter selected everything we’re currently growing. Built-in drip irrigation means our veggies actually have a shot at surviving! The grasses, rosemary, and palms planted along the perimeter of the yard will continue to fill in over the years.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

The design of our yard makes me smile on a daily basis, but what I love most about this outdoor space is how much we use it. All of it. That is the hallmark of truly good design. We want to be in this space. It works incredibly well for us. I’m sad we’re not currently able to share it with friends and family as was the original intention, but having an outdoor oasis has been our primary survival mechanism during Shelter In Place. And with no end real end to this pandemic in sight, we will be relying on this space for months to come.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

The Skagerak Fuori Trolley above is another favorite entertaining accessory. Even if I’m only entertaining myself. It’s the perfect serving cart and adds to my modern vibe. Since it’s made of teak and powder-coated metal it’s also meant to stand up to the elements.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

This pea, mint and burrata salad is going to be a go-to all summer long! Recipe coming soon.

How We Designed Our Dream Yard on Apartment 34

I am fully aware how insanely lucky we are to have this outdoor space to help us ride out this crazy time. I had never worked on an outdoor project before and it brought an even deeper appreciation for the art of landscape design and has introduced me to another world of outdoor furniture and accessories. I’m certainly not in a rush to do another yard project of this scale – instead, I plan to cherish our dream yard every single day.

I so hope you enjoyed this tour. If you have additional questions feel free to hit me up in comments!

For all our posts about my yard redesign, CLICK HERE.

landscape designer beth mullins growsgreen / photography by seth smoot / styling by kendra smoot

This post is in partnership with Sunbrella. Thanks for supporting posts that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please CLICK HERE.

Published at Thu, 09 Jul 2020 19:01:58 +0000