5 Simple Items to Decorate Your Apartment

styling bookshelves

From ApartmentTherapy.com, check out these five simple items to style your apartment:

Professional stylists, obnoxious Instagram stars and your super-stylish friend who’s house always looks just so— what do they all have in common? Whether it’s for a photo, a party, or just a bookcase, they understand the importance of styling. To the uninitiated, creating “vignettes” around the home might sound a tad pretentious, but it’s really just a combination of tidying, arranging and displaying your belongings in a visually pleasing way. And you really don’t need to own anything special to get started— check out how how five simple things that we (usually) already own can add interest and life to almost any room in the house.

Plants
When it comes to styling, bringing the outside in is always a good idea. Nothing brings life to a space quicker than a bit of green in the form of a houseplant. Whether it’s succulents in the bathroom, a fig leaf tree in the living room or a hanging plant in the kitchen, you can’t really over use this one.

Candles
Whether you love to burn them or hate the smell, you’ve got to admit that there are some really attractively-packaged candles on the market. An expensive-looking glass jar here or there does wonders for your home’s style cred.

Books & Magazines
Maybe we’re all really well-read. Maybe we just want others to think we are. But despite new technology and the success of ebooks, old-fashioned paper isn’t going anywhere— at least for design purposes. Not just relegated to the bookshelf, some well-displayed books can make anything from a wall to a window ledge a thing of beauty.

Trays
For real. Throw any group of random items together on a tray, and it somehow looks intentional and chic. I use this trick all over my home, from the kitchen for oils/salt and pepper, to the bedroom for my beauty products.

Textiles
Almost every room could use a bit of softness. From decorative toss cushions to practical items like towels, textiles are a great way of adding color, pattern and texture to your home.

SNOW expected Tonight and Tuesday!

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Snow is headed our way tonight, so please be careful out there. Watch your step on the slippery sidewalks and watch for the plow trucks while pulling out of your parking spot and driving through the courts. When it snows, we will clear and treat the sidewalks and parking lots. Please remember to stomp your feet outside before entering your building, so you do not track in chemicals. Also, be careful when walking up or down the stairs on the tile so you don’t slip with your wet shoes.

When snow is expected, please do not park your car so close to the curb that your front or rear bumper extend over the curb edge as it prevents us from being able to clear the sidewalks with the plow. When we start clearing the parking spaces when snow starts accumulating, we ask the residents to please move your vehicles in order for us to clear multiple spaces at a time. We also ask you kindly push the snow & ice off their vehicles onto the drive area, rather then back onto the side walks or in between the vehicles. Even when we have already plowed the drive areas, please push the snow back to the driveway rather than in between the cars when clearing the snow off your car. This will help prevent unnecessary falls and allows for better snow removal and treatment between your vehicles.

Please be respectful of the snow plows, and give them ample room to move about in the parking lots. When you are driving toward or behind the plow trucks and tractors, please keep a safe distance. Wait for a signal from the plow driver that it is safe to enter or exit. In return, please give them a warning when you are about to enter or exit. The drivers are multi-tasking with the operation of the plows and salt spreaders along with the driving of the vehicle.

Be safe!

4 Super Sundays in February

HappyFebruary

Although February is the shortest month, its Sundays are packed with world class events. The Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the NBA All-Star game and the Daytona 500 all take place on Sundays in February.

February 1st is Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona. This year’s Super Bowl is the defending world champions Seattle Seahawks versus the New England Patriots. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm est, but pregame will be on all day on ESPN, NFL network, and NBC. Order your pizza and wings now and get ready for a full day of food and football on Sunday. For everything Super Bowl XLIX, please click here.

February 8th is the 57th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. LL Cool J returns as the host and scheduled performers are as follows: AC/DC, Eric Church, Common with John Legend, Ariana Grande, Miranda Lambert, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Usher, and Pharrell Williams. In addition, the Grammy’s continue its traditions of great musical collaborations with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Hozier and Annie Lennox, Jessie J and Tom Jones, and Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani. The festivities begin at 8:00 pm est on CBS. For the list of Grammy nominees, please click here.

February 15th is the NBA All-Star Game in New York City, New York. NBA All Star events take place all weekend in New York City and in Brooklyn. For the first time in NBA history, two brothers will be facing off against one another in the tip off of the NBA All-Star game. Marc Gasol, representing the Memphis Grizzles for the Western Conference, will face his brother Pau Gasol, representing the Chicago Bulls for the Eastern Conference, in the tip off, which is at 8:30 pm est at Madison Square Garden and broadcast on TNT. To learn more about the NBA All-Star game, please click here.

February 22nd is the Daytona 500 in Daytona, Florida. The 200 lap, 500 mile race is the season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This year Kid Rock will be performing at the pre-race show. The Daytona 500 will begin at 1:00 pm est on on FOX. For everything Daytona 500, please click here.

Enjoy your Sundays this February!

Maintenance Monday – cleaning your windows

We do not provide a window cleaning service to your individual apartment windows, but you can easily clean your windows. First remove the storm windows and the slider. Second, remove the screen and clean the window with a squeegee and a sponge (like a car wash squeegee). If you have streaks and lint on your windows after washing them, try cleaning them with newspaper instead.

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Maintenance Monday – preventing kitchen fires

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Cooking fires are the most common cause of household fires. Here are eight tips from Apartment Guide to help prevent kitchen fires:

1. Stay in the kitchen. This may seem obvious, but, according to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you must leave a stove unattended, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner.

2. Use a timer. Check food regularly, whether you’re simmering, baking, boiling or roasting. Using a timer can help remind you to check on your dish.

3. Keep the stove top clear. Keep dishtowels, oven mitts, paper towels—anything that can catch fire—away from your stovetop.

4. Dress for the occasion. Wear close-fitting clothes, and tightly roll up sleeves, when you’re cooking. Loose clothing can come in contact with burners and catch fire.

5. Wipe up spills. Cooking on a dirty stove, or in a dirty oven, is just inviting a potential fire. Grease buildup is flammable; clean your stove every time you cook and promptly wipe up any spills.

6. Don’t overheat your oils. Overheated cooking oil can start to smoke and bubble up, which can cause it to spill out and ignite. Not sure about the smoking point for your cooking oils? Refer to this handy chart.

7: Wait for grease to cool before disposing. Toss hot grease into your trashcan and it could go up in flames! Wait for it to cool before disposing of it in the garbage. Or, better yet, pour it into an old food can before tossing it out.

8. Keep your smoke detector working. A smoke detector is an important fire safety device and your first line of defense. Make sure your landlord has installed one. And make a mental note to change the batteries twice a year, when you change your clocks fordaylight savings time.

Maryland in June, what are you doing?

Summer is almost upon us and the kids are almost out of school. Whether you like festivals, food, movies or music, Maryland has it all this June!

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Baltimore’s annual Hon Fest is next weekend June 14 from 11am to 10pm and June 15 from 12pm to 6pm. The weekend is full of music, food and contests for Bawlmer’s best Hon. For instance, there is a Best Beehive Contest, an Elvis impersonator and of course Maryland crabs.

Speaking of Maryland crabs, the following Saturday is the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival at the Inner Harbor on June 21st. It is four hours of all-you-can-eat extravaganza with over 20,000 crabs, many beers, music, crafts and so much more.

For our residents at Burnam Woods Apartments, you can enjoy the Party on the Plaza at the Avenue at White Marsh every Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. It is an evening of free music under the summer stars. This week Baltimore Rockabilly plays Friday night and Elikeh plays Saturday night. Music starts at 7pm.

Our residents at Chatham Gardens Apartments can enjoy free outdoor movies every Saturday night throughout the summer in the parking lot behind the Wine Bin on Main Street in Ellicott City. Bring your chair and pack a picnic dinner. Movies start at 9pm. This Saturday the classic Wizard of Oz is playing.

Just down the road, our residents at Old Orchard Apartments can enjoy free music every Friday night throughout the summer at Frederick Road Fridays at 15 Mellor Avenue in Catonsville. Music starts at 6:30pm. This Friday is Out of the Blue is playing.

All of our residents can participate in our Patio and Balcony Contests this June. Get those patios and balconies cleaned up. Management will be coming around to “Judge” all. We’re looking for neatness, creativity, color, etc. Winners will receive a gift card. Chatham Gardens judging will be on June 12th, Old Orchard’s judging will be on June 17th and Burnam Woods’ judging will be on June 20th. Good luck!

Maintenance Monday – keeping your apartment cool

 

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In the coming Summer months, the temperatures will rise and your air conditioner will run and run causing your BGE bills to get more and more expensive. But there are some things you can do to keep your apartment cooler, so your air conditioner won’t run quite as much. Here are some apartment cooling tips from Ron Leshnower at About.com Apartment Living/Rental :

If your apartment becomes uncomfortable or unbearable when it gets hot outside, don’t assume there’s not much you can do about it. Even though you may rent an apartment and have limited control over the building’s air-conditioning system, there are still certain things you can do to help maintain a pleasant environment in your home.

Here are suggestions for keeping cool in your apartment that require little time and effort, don’t cost a cent, and could help reduce the amount of your monthly electricity bill:

1. Close or Open Doors

Depending on your air-conditioning situation, you may need to close or open doors to maximize the amount of cool air in your rental.

For instance, say you’re renting a small one-bedroom apartment and you rely on one air-conditioning unit in your bedroom to keep cool. You should be sure to keep your bedroom door open to allow cool air from your unit to circulate throughout your apartment.

However, if your concern is making sure the bedroom (and not the rest of the apartment) gets enough cool air (such as when you go to sleep at night), you might want to keep the door closed to prevent cool air from seeping out.

2. Close or Open Windows

If you’re running air-conditioning units, you should keep the windows closed. Otherwise, much of the cool air will escape and you’ll add unnecessarily to your electricity bills. If outside temperatures fall significantly (such as at sunset), you might want to open your windows and shut off your air-conditioners to take advantage of a natural, cool breeze.

3. Keep the Sunlight Out

If you’ve got blinds or curtains, keep them closed on hot, sunny days to conserve energy.

Also, if you have air-conditioning units, they’ll have to work that much harder to lower the temperature the more heat that enters through your apartment’s window. When you leave your apartment, don’t forget to shut blinds or close curtains, whether or not you keep your air-conditioners running.

4. Set Your Ceiling Fan to Cool

Many people who buy ceiling fans to cool a room don’t realize that most of these fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades and actually makes the fans work to keep heat from escaping.

If you’ve got a ceiling fan, find out if your blades are circulating air in the right direction and, if not, how to change it.

5. Move Furniture Away from Air-Conditioning Units

Avoid placing a couch, dresser, or other large pieces of furniture directly in front of or to the side of an air-conditioning unit. Make sure any units in your apartment have enough space to send cool air forward and sideways, ideally at least to a 45-degree angle.

Maintenance Monday – RECYCLE

Recycling is finally coming to Chatham Gardens Apartments! Soon there will be recycling bins next to the dumpsters. Please separate your recycling from your trash. It only takes a few extra minutes, and will go a long way to help the environment and protect our resources. Be on the lookout for recycling instructions.

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For the residents of Burnam Woods and Old Orchard Apartments, you already have recycling bins in your community. Please continue to recycle.

 

 

 

Maintenance Monday – test your A/C now

With temperatures in the 70s, please test your air conditioner now to make sure it works before the real heat is upon us. Set your A/C so it comes on and let it run for a while to make sure everything is working correctly. If there is a problem, please call the maintenance department to get your air conditioner fixed now rather than waiting for the heat of summer when it will be uncomfortable without it.

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St. Patrick’s Day Snow

No one ever sang “I’m dreaming of a White St. Patrick’s Day,” but that is what we woke up to this morning. Please be careful out there. Watch your step on the slippery sidewalks and watch for the plow trucks while pulling out of your parking spot and driving through the courts. We will clear and treat the sidewalks and parking lots. Please remember to stomp your feet outside before entering your building, so you do not track in chemicals. Also, be careful when walking up or down the stairs on the tile so you don’t slip with your wet shoes.

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

When we start clearing the parking spaces, we ask the residents to please move your vehicles in order for us to clear multiple spaces at a time. We also ask you to kindly push the snow & ice off your vehicles onto the drive area, rather then back onto the sidewalks or in between the vehicles. (Even if the drive area has been plowed, we prefer you push the snow onto the drive area).

Please be respectful of the snow plows, and give them ample room to move about in the parking lots. When you are driving toward or behind the plow trucks and tractors, please keep a safe distance. Wait for a signal from the plow driver that it is safe to enter or exit. In return, please give them a warning when you are about to enter or exit. The drivers are multi-tasking with the operation of the plows and salt spreaders along with the driving of the vehicle.