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Cozy Apartment Decorating Tips

Cozy up this Fall and Winter

Now that the weather is getting colder it is time to create the perfect cozy apartment or space.

No matter how long you will be in your current space, it is important to make it comfortable and homey. Even if you have a short-term apartment rental, own your own condo or house, are living in a dorm, or any other living arrangements, these great tips will be sure to have you snuggling up!

Clutter does not equal cozy!cozy-aparment-messy

One tips that applies to all of us: clutter does not equal cozy!

(Groan) No one likes to clean their apartment or house but it has to be done. You will feel much better and so will your guests.

Related: 7 Decorating Tips for Your Apartment

Layer up your bed!

We don’t mean stuff it full of monkeys “and they all rolled over and one fell out!” Instead, layer your blankets for those chilly nights and add some more pillows for a deep, soft sleep.

cozy-apartment-layered-bedShow Off Your Blankets!

Nothing says cozy like the perfect, soft, blanket. It’s like wrapping yourself in a giant hug. Display your extra blankets near your coach or sitting area so guests feel welcome to grab them and wrap up.

cozy-apartment-blanketsCreate an Art Gallery

Gather up some of your favorite art and photographs and create a mini gallery on your wall. Group them together to create a unique look.

cozy-aparment-art-galleryDiscover the Magic of Candles

While you are in the mood for grouping things, gather up your candles and create a beautiful display on a table top, mantle, or counter. Soft lighting is a quick and easy way to instantly transform any space into a cozy den.

cozy-apartment-candlesMore Cozy Mood Lighting

It might be considered tacky to leave Christmas lights on your front porch all year round, but some simple strands of white lights placed around your sitting or dining area creates a sense of quiet with soft lighting. It’s not considered a decorating no-no unless the lights are actually on your dead tree in the corner in July.

cozy-apartment-white-string-lights One more Lighting Trick

Use lamps in strategic places to avoid the harsh glare of overhead lighting.


Something Old

Antiques, family heirlooms, old books, and other cool memorabilia lend themselves perfectly to creating a cozy atmosphere. Plus, it’s a great excuse to display your treasures. So break out the dusty boxes and see what you’ve got packed away that is just waiting to be turned loose.

cozy-apartment-antiquesSettle in for a long winter’s nap…

Create the perfect space in a corner of your apartment by bringing all of you favorite cozy things to together. A comfy chair, your favorite snugly blanket, your preferred lighting, a good book or movie, and possibly a great friend to share it all with.

cozy-spot-What is your favorite way to make your space cozy?

We want to know!

7 Decorating Tips for Your Apartment

Decorating Tips for Small Spaces

Whether you are in your first apartment, bought a penthouse, or are just looking to freshen up, these decorating tips will work for smaller spaces. When it comes to working in small spaces, you need a big imagination!

#1. Determine Your Priorities

The first step is to figure out what the most important features are to you? Do you small round dining table with 2 chairsabsolutely need a work space with a desk? Do you cook a lot, or is take-out the name of your game? Is a huge, comfy bed a must have, or could you use a bed that fold up into the wall? Maybe you don’t need a formal dining table that seats 8, when a cute breakfast nook will do!

It’s your home, so figure out what is most important to you and where you can save space. Not all of these decorating tips may apply, but some will.

Related: 5 Tips to Staging a Dining Room

#2. Lighten Up!

Lack of natural light, paint colors, dark furniture and accents can all attribute to living neutral tones in a bedroomin the dark. The second step is to walk through your entire space and note all the dark areas.

If the woodwork and the floors are dark, use more natural colors on the walls and for your furniture like whites, tans, rusts, and soft grays. These colors are very versatile, airy and work well with darker permanent features.

A well placed, light colored rug can do wonders for cheering up a drab room.

If you need more light white rug in black and red roomconsider recessed lighting.

For dramatically dark rooms like bedrooms or TV rooms, you can keep the dark and make it work by adding strategic soft lighting like multiple lamps.


#3. Hang a Mirror (or two)

If you place a mirror opposite a window it will help to bounce light around the room, making the space feel airier. Bigger is better. round mirror on the wall by window with purple curtains

#4.  Change Your Curtainsdecorating tips: long curtains on a window

Standard Apartment issued curtains or blinds are well, YUCK! (and hard to dust). Replace your blinds with some funky or interesting curtains. If you hang them from the floor to the ceiling it will make your room look taller. Flowy and airy is a great look that can cheer up any room.

#5. Use Shelving Wiselydecorating tips shelving in the corning in an apartment

Floating shelves offer storage space without having to resort to bulkiny bookcases. You can even use them for you nightstand or extra storage in the kitchen.



#6. Use Smaller Furniture

decorating tips: two small couchesStick to your priorities first (if you have to have a big overstuffed easy chair than keep it), but for other furniture scale it back and try to find pieces that are curvy and stylish. Optical illusions do work, if the room looks bigger because the furniture is smaller than you have succeeded. You can do this without using kid-sized furniture!

#7. More Lighting!decorating tips room with several lamps

We mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating. The more lamps and lighting you can add to a space the more cozy and inviting it becomes. If you don’t have room to add all the furniture or storage you would ideally want, add some more lamps. You can’t go wrong.

Short-Term Apartment Rentals

Depending on what type of apartment you are renting, you may have limited ability to change things. If your apartment is a short-term rental you probably won’t be able to change much, or have the time. But the good news is that most likely it comes furnished and the owners have already considered all the details to create an enjoyable space you will feel comfortable in. Check out our short-term rental properties with several locations throughout Boston.

5 Tips to Staging a Dining Room

Staging rooms in your apartment, condo or home can help increase the selling price and entice buyers  or renters quickly. Start with the dining room and the next potential looker will say, “I want to live here!” If you are staging short-term apartment rentals, these tips will increase the appeal of the apartment to potential renters.

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive if you follow a few decorating rules and use some imagination.

TIP: Space is key. Make the room look as big as possible with simple colors and no clutter!


1. The Furniture

If your furniture is beat up or not the right size for the room you may want to consider replacing it.

  • Center the table under the chandelier if you have one. If you don’t, center the table in the middle of the room.
  • If you have an area rug, center it first and then center the table on top of it.
  • Remove any furniture that makes it hard to pull out a chair or walk around the table.
  • Remove any furniture that partially blocks door ways or walkways.
  • If your dining room chairs have fabric on them make sure they are clean and fresh looking. If they need to be replaced pick a pattern as opposed to a solid fabric.

2. Set The Dining Room Table

Set the table like a meal is about to be serve, but keep it simple.

  • Remove all leaves from the table and set only 2-4 chairs around the table.
  • If you use place mats and cloth napkins pick colors that coordinated with the room.
  • Use dishes that are modern and simple. Layer them for depth: dinner plate, salad plate and bowl.  dining room table set for staging
  • Use pretty glasses and tasteful silverware to complete the look.
  • Add some fake fruit to give the illusion of food.
  • A vase of flowers (real or artificial) in the middle of the table are a great touch. White tulips, roses, or daisies, just a few stems in an odd number, are simple and elegant.
  • It is also ok to not set the entire table, but use a stunning flower arrangement in the middle and let the buyers envision their own dinner party here.

3. Artwork and Decorations

Again, less is more and color coordination is important.

  • Remove all items from shelves. Pack away all knickknacks and personal items.
  • Remove all family pictures, kids’ art and anything else personal. You want the buyer to be able to envision themselves living here.
  • Paint the room a neutral color if it needs it. art for staging a dining room
  • Fix all curtain rods, light switches,  fixtures etc. that need fixing. You know, all those things you kept meaning to get to. Do it now!
  • Fix any holes or imperfections in the walls.
  • Pick one decoration theme through out the house and stick with it.
  • Hang simple, elegant artwork on the walls. Art used for staging is marketing and not the same as art you would choose to decorate your home.  Check out this article on Art for staging a home.
  • A potted artificial fern or other large plant in the corner gives the room an added lived-in touch.

4. Buffet or Side Board

If your dining room is large enough to have a buffet or sideboard, you can have fun with this while making it appealing to a buyer. These tips also work for a bar or counter with stools that may be located between the dining room and kitchen.

  • Hang a large print or attractive mirror above the buffet. Mirrors astaging a buffet tablere great for creating the illusion of more space while providing a nice decorative feature.
  • Think about symmetry and balance when decorating the top. Two matching lamps or candle sticks placed on either end work well.
  • For the middle, use items of varying heights.
  • Just like the table, add some fake food or beverages.
  • Also add some greenery like flowers or a plant.

5. What NOT to do When Staging a Dining Roomstaging a dining room

  • Don’t crowd the room with too much furniture.
  • Don’t use doilies or any other decoration that will date the room.
  • Don’t leave all of your dishes in the china cabinet. Choose a few pieces and spread them out. This will keep the look neat and tidy.
  • Don’t use more than 4 chairs around the table.
  • Don’t let the room appear dark. Open up (or remove) heavy curtains and turn on lights and lamps. This is also where a well placed mirror can help.
  • Don’t stuff unused art and items in closets or the basement. Potential buyers will be opening drawers and doors. It might be worth renting a storage unit to store your unused items, and it is a great opportunity to declutter and sell or donate your unwanted items. It will be less to move, too!

One More Thing

Every room should be staged with the same principles listed above. You want to create a space where a buyer or renter can see themselves living here. Good Luck!

Apartment Living: Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

Apartment renting is definitely different than living in a sprawling county estate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors in your own little slice of nature, however big that may be.

Even if your balcony or patio is tiny, there is so much you can do to create a unique space. And now that the weather is nice, you will want to be out there all the time.

Related: How To Be a Good Neighbor: Apartment Renting

Awesome Apartment Balconiesbalcony with flowers

Balconies are notorious for having minimal floor space, so don’t be afraid to tie in the railing and the walls for creative use.

  • Hang flower boxes on the railing to free up space. Include some vines or draping plants to create a sense of privacy.
  • Herbs are easy to grow on a balcony and provide fresh ingredients to your cooking.
  • A railing mounted table that can easily be folded down when not in use is excellent.
  • Place a shelf against a wall to put more plants on.
  •  A small comfy couch or arm chair will provide long hours of relaxation.
  • A small table and two chairs creates the perfect place for morning coffee or an evening cocktail.
  • An outdoor rug can be festive and comfortable too! This might also give you a little more privacy from the balcony below yours.

Awesome Apartment Patios

If you live on the ground floor and have a patio, you might have a little more space to work with than a balcony.

  • Create some privacy with some curtains, roller shades, or well placed large plants.
  • Don’t keep anything valuable outside if there is easy access to your patio. Also, be sure to keep your patio door locked when you aren’t home.
  • Just like with a balcony, plants, flowers, and herbs make the space more inviting and filled with nature.
  • Seating in any outdoor space is essential. It just depends on whether you have room for a tiny table and one chair, or big comfy sofas and lounges.
  • You can create cheap and easy seating by putting cushions on milk crates.  Turn the crates on their sides with the opening facing out for storage.

Follow The Rules

Before you spend a lot of money or effort in creating the perfect outdoor apartment space, be sure to check with your landlord or leasing agent regarding any rules or restrictions you may have on what you can do and what you can keep outside.

Check out some great short term rental properties in Boston for some great ideas on creating the perfect outdoor space.

How To Be a Good Neighbor: Apartment Renting

Are you new to apartment rentals? Are you a seasoned renter who knows all your neighbors and is always lending a hand? Or, somewhere in between? No matter where you fall on the spectrum of GOOD NEIGHBOR, there are definitely right and wrong ways to be a neighbor in a close community like an apartment building. Nobody wants to be THAT NEIGHBOR that everyone else can’t stand.

Tips for being a Good Neighbor

Check out these Dos and Don’ts for being a good neighbor.

frog wavingGet to know people

Do. From the very first day you move in be sure to say “hi” to people you see in and around your building. You don’t have to have a long conversation, you have boxes to move, but a friendly attitude reveals that you are approachable and sets up a good interaction for later. Introduce yourself and offer a little bit of information about yourself.

Don’t. Don’t ignore people, brush them off, or be short with them. First impressions matter. Don’t stop by your neighbor’s every day wanting a chat over coffee. Slowly get to know people and be respectful of their space.

Say Thank You

Do. Get to know the maintenance and management staff. Thank them when they help you. The same goes for neighbors. You might need someone to check you mail, water your plants or feed your goldfish someday. It helps to be friendly.

Don’t. Just One: Don’t forget to say Thank you!

Pay Attention

Do. Getting to you know your neighbors is more than just being nice. It is also a safety measure. Pay attention to who is coming and going in your building and if they look like they should be there. Notice if you haven’t seen a neighbor in awhile–inquire if he/she is ok. Neighbors who look out for each other create a community of caring and sharing. Everybody likes to feel safe where they live.

Don’t. Don’t set up a telescope to spy in all your neighbors windows. Don’t appear creepy by memorizing your neighbors’ schedules minute by minute.

Parking bad parking

Do. Only park where you are suppose to park. The same goes for your guests.

Don’t. Don’t park in someone’s spot. Don’t take up two spots. Don’t park on the lawn or other obnoxious spots. In general: Stick to your parking spot only.


Do. Be reasonable with your noise levels. If you are concerned or want to be nice, check in with the neighbors around you once in awhile and ask them if your noise level is ok. Hopefully they’ll be honest, but if they aren’t–at least you asked. Remind your guests to be respectful of noise. However, noise does happen. If you were loud, apologize–it can go along way to reducing your neighbors’ irritation at your inconsiderateness.

Don’t. Don’t be loud after 9pm. Don’t play music loud enough so you can hear it in the hall outside your door. Don’t let guests get out of control. Don’t throw a party without inviting your neighbors, or at least letting them know about it and inviting them to let you know if it gets too loud. You’d rather they tell you in a neighborly way than the cops.

dog barkingTrain your Pets

Do. Make sure your dog doesn’t bark all day while you are gone. If he does, invest in some serious training, because your neighbors will NOT tolerate that for long. Pick up your dog’s poo outside: EVERY TIME. Introduce your dog to you neighbors. Keep your cat indoors, you never know what they might get up to outside.

Don’t. Forget to pick up your dog’s poo. Don’t let your dog pee on other people’s plants, walkways, etc. Don’t let your dog bark ceaselessly. Don’t let you dog pester people in outside areas like a playground, BBQ pit, or other common areas.


Do. Change your loads in a timely manner. Clean up after yourself. Wipe down the machines when you are done using them. Clean out lint tray every time you use the dryer. If you remove a neighbor’s load from a machine be respectful with their items and leave a note.

Don’t. Don’t leave your loads unattended or in the machines for too long. If someone removes your load from a machine, don’t get angry. Don’t make a mess. Don’t overload the machines.

Using Your Balconyapartment balconies

Do. Use your balcony, after all, you are paying for it. As an extension of your apartment all the same rules apply for common courtesy. Keep it neat and tidy and don’t be too loud.

Don’t. Don’t leave trash on your balcony, including cigarette butts (these may make their way to other people’s balconies). Don’t throw things off your balcony. In most apartment complexes this is a lease violation and could result in eviction. Someone could get hurt!

Last but not Least

Whether you have a short-term rental, a year lease, month to month, or you own the apartment building, being a good neighbor is universal. Everyone deserves a peaceful, happy place to live. It takes everyone doing their part to create a sense of community.

Ideas for Small Living Spaces

Are you moving into a small living space or want more storage for your tiny apartment?

Even if you are enjoying a short-term apartment rental, you want to be comfortable and relaxed.

Whether you are downsizing, sharing your space, or living in a premium small space, there are so many ways to maximize on space and enjoy your freedom from STUFF!

Related: Design Ideas for Small Bathrooms

De-Clutter: Do you REALLY need that?

The number one objective is to declutter your possessions. Read: GET RID OF WHAT YOU REALLY DON’T NEED! Small living spaces means a smaller amount of storage.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. A clutter-free house is so much easier to keep clean and your mind will feel less cluttered, too.

Related: The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home

Get Organized: Find a system and stick to it!

Once you have your treasures pared down to a manageable level, figure out a system to keep things organized. You might not have the same system for every area of your house, but a good rule of thumb is to ALWAYS have a place for everything and ALWAYS put things in its place. You will know where it is, and it won’t be laying around to trip on and hurt yourself over.

Maximize Storage: Get Creative!


Shelving and storage can be created out of just about anything and put on any usable wall space.

Ceiling shelving can go all the way around small living spaces and it is out of the way. You can keep things up there that you don’t need very often.

Over the door shelving is the same concept as ceiling shelving. This works especially well if you have some extra room above your bathroom door. You can store towels and extra TP up there.

Corner shelving can be tucked out of the way and actually hold quite a bit of stuff. The rounded design also lends itself to small spaces: less corners to wack your thigh or big toe on!

A nightstand shelf could be used in a corner next to the bed instead of an actual nightstand. This allows the bed to be pushed closer to the wall and eliminates a piece of furniture.

Furnituresmall spaces

Simple furniture with a sleek design and a minimalist look can free up floor space. Dressers, couches, beds and other pieces that have space underneath for storage are ideal. But don’t feel like you have to use doll house furniture for everything and skimp of comfortable.  A few well placed bigger items can mix it up a little.

Short Term Rental

Even if you aren’t planning on staying somewhere long, particularly a smaller space, it important to keep organized and have a system for staying on top of clutter.

Design Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Is your small bathroom cramping your style?

Small bathrooms don’t have to mean huge inconveniences. There are many ways to capitalize on tight spaces. Get creative!

Remove Closet  and Shower Doors

Anything that swings into a small space makes maneuverability harder. Removing closet doors eliminates this and makes the closet more accessible. But, since your closet is exposed now, it will force you to be more organized–or hide it behind a curtain. Either way works!

Replace shower doors that swing into the room with a shower curtain that slides back and forth. Plus, there is a lot more you can do with decor and colors with a curtain, than a glass door that gets grimy and has be be cleaned often.

Inventory Supplies

One quick and easy way to keep your bathroom closet or cabinet more organized is to regularly bathroom towelsinventory the supplies and get rid of old items, such as:

  • near empty lotion bottles
  • the stash of hotel shampoo you’ve collected and never used
  • Old and ratty wash clothes and towels that can be moved to the rag bag
  • Assorted bottles of cleaner
  • Old sponges or scrub brushes

Organize Bathroom Accessories

Jars, bottles, baskets, boxes….You name it, in can be used to organize any area of your house.

organizing a small bathroom

Bathroom Vanities

Here is an area where you can really save space. Rounded bathroom vanities are great for small spaces. Less sharp corners to bump into and it provides more room.

Kids’ Toysrubber ducks

Limit the amount of bath time toys to what will fit in ONE basket. Keep the basket in the tub or shower behind the curtain and out of the way. Don’t forget to rinse and clean the toys often.


Humidity can be more of an issue in smaller bathrooms. Paint is always preferable to wall paper in this situation. Run the fan for at least 30 minutes after a shower and buy high quality (Turkish) towels that are thinner and will dry quicker.

Use Large Scale Patterns

Big stripes on the walls, rugs or shower curtain can trick the eye into seeing a bigger space.

Get a Big Mirror

A mirror that covers the length of the wall, or at least extends past the sink serves at two purposes:

  1. Big mirrors make the room look bigger.
  2. Two people can use the mirror at once.

Share your ideas for small bathrooms. We’d love to see your pictures.

Boston’s South End: Everything You Need to Know

map of Boston's south endBoston’s South End is bordered by Back Bay, Chinatown, and Roxbury. It extends from Massachusetts Avenue on the west to Berkeley Avenue on the east, and north to south, from Columbus Avenue to Harrison Avenue.

The South End is known for its Victorian style houses and Boston's South End Row Housesmany parks. Since 1973 the South End has listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “the largest urban Victorian neighborhood in the country.” In 1983 it was named a Boston Landmark District.

Find out more about the history of the The South End.

What else is in Boston’s South End?


SoWa is the creative center of Boston’s South End and is short for “South of Washington. ” USA Today named it the #2 Best Art District in the country.  You can find the SoWa Open Market and the SoWa Vintage Market there as well.

Cultural Arts

In addition to art galleries in the SoWa district, the rest of The South End is home to the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and the school for the Boston Ballet, and many more galleries and theaters. It is home to the Institute of Contemporary Art. You can also join the annual SoWa Art Walk being held this year on May 1, 2016


A park in Boston's South EndThere are many, many parks scattered through the Sound End.  For example, here is a list of 28 Kid Friendly Parks in Boston’s South End.

South Corridor Park follows the Orange Line nearly five miles and runs through the South End. A walk along the the stretch between the Mass Ave and Back Bay subway stops is a great way to see the South End.



High end fine dining to kitchy breakfast nooks and everything in between. You will find it all in the South End. Check out the links below for a smorgasbord of dining tips and information.

Related: 36 Hours in the South End of Boston

Short Term Rentals

Check out our property in the South End, 400 and 402 Columbus Ave. for your short-term apartment rental needs.

Renting an Apartment – Remember the Basics!

When renting an apartment, remember the basics on your list of must-haves.

It’s all too easy to get swept up in the perks offered by an apartment community.

Whether it’s a gorgeous pool, a deluxe fitness facility or even your own garage; make sure these basics are at the top of your list.

Is it centrally located?  You may have found the best apartment ever, but stop and consider the location. Will you have to travel a longer distance to work?  It may not seem like a big deal initially, but in the dead of winter the added travel time can become burdensome.  Make sure you drive or walk throughout the apartment community and the surrounding area and note the proximity to grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations. The best apartment in the world may not be worth the added travel time to get to the office or your favorite stores.

Walk through the actual apartment you’ll be renting.  Get a feel for the space and note the layout.  Will your couch and bedroom furniture fit?  Does it get enough natural daylight or too much sun?  Can you picture your “stuff” here and does it feel like a place where you can relax?  Close your eyes and take a moment to visualize yourself living here- it should feel like home!

What about laundry facilities?  It may be a great apartment with a fantastic view but will you have to haul your laundry to the opposite end of the complex in the dead of winter?  Is there is hookup right inside your apartment and will you need to provide your own appliances? Does each building have laundry facilities?  Keep in mind how many loads of laundry you do a week- it may be an important consideration.

Pre-plan!  Make a list of the amenities you want in an apartment. Refer to your list often during your search and jot down notes on each apartment you visit. Most importantly, take your time and trust your instincts when making the final decision on the apartment you’ll call home.

Read MORE helpful tips for your apartment search.

What other information have you found useful in your apartment search?  Please share it with us!