Styling the Perfect Functional Home Office

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

It's the start of the new financial year and with that many small businesses are looking to hit the ground running.

Working from home can be a dream, provided you have the perfect home office. There are a few things you need, and some extras that will make work feel like it's a breeze.

Find your perfect desk

What do you need for your desk? Do you need drawers? Do you want wood or glass? How big is the space for it to fit into? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start to look for you perfect desk.

Sitting at a good desk can make you feel secure and safe, as though your work is being supported. So invest wisely.

Light up the space

Choose a great desk lamp that isn't overbearing. The lamp should illuminate your work, not be a glaring reminder.

There are all sorts of lamps to choose from now, including reading lamps, and more classic lamps and shades, to give your home office a more relaxed feel.

Shelves and Storage

The good thing about an actual office is there is often a lot of space. It can be harder to recreate this in a home.

Using bookshelves and side boards can not only bring storage into your space, but can also work as just another piece of furniture when the home office is closed for the day.

Desk Chair

There are so many desk chairs to choose from now. Of course there are expensive items, and middle of the road options, and some people even use a dining chair, but ask yourself how long are you sitting at your desk for and does the chair you have support you? Once you know this, your chair choice will be make much easier.

Do you have any tips for a great home office? Leave them in the comments below!

Creating the Perfect Guest Room

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

Having guests to stay doesn't have to be an inconvenience. There are ways to make your guest room so perfect, they will want to visit you again and again. The important thing is to think like your guest and what they would need.

1) Share the wi-fi password

More than likely the first thing your guest will do is check their phones or laptops. Instead of making them feel uncomfortable by having to ask, make it readily available. You can print it out and put it in a cute frame on the bedside table, or text it to them as soon as they arrive at your home.

2) Give them a restful sleep

Good linens, great bedding, and a quilt at the end of the bed in case it is a cool night will add a sense of being looked after. A selection of pillows is also thoughtful. A firm, a soft and a European gives your guest a choice for their personal taste.

3) Make room for their things

Living out of a suitcase isn't fun or good for your clothes. Clear out a closet, or a few drawers for your guests to store their items and to hang up their clothing. Add in a little lavender sachet for a thoughtful touch and make sure there are plenty of hangers.

4) Bathroom Love

If your bathroom is shared, clear space in it for your guests' toiletries. Stock it with new toothbrushes and toothpaste, and a supply of clean cotton towels and a washcloth for each guest. A few luxuries such as a beautiful soap, hand cream, a special shampoo, or a small bottle of perfume or cologne can make a guest feel very loved. Save samples to put in a jar for your guests to use what they need or like.

5) Bedside comforts

Your guest shouldn't need to ask for anything, especially when they are in bed. Make sure there is a carafe of water and a glass by the side of the bed. Add a new book, and a magazine you know they will love. Perhaps a guidebook of your city and places to visit and experience. Some painkillers and tissues will also add to the comforts of your guest.

And there you have it -- 5 simple ways to make any guest feel at home!

5 Worst Types of Apartment Housemates

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

Sharing an apartment isn't for the weak. It either works or it doesn't and there isn't an in-between.

Here is a list of the worst types of housemate, who I am sure you might recognise.

1) The Passive Aggressive

These are the roommates who leave notes on their yoghurt in the fridge. They highlight a receipt for essentials, telling you that you owe then for $1.10 for honey, as though that $1.10 is going to change their whole financial future. They also leave notes on your door, slide them under the bathroom door when you're showering, and change their wi-fi password to something personal, such as, "Stop using my wi-fi!" See ya!

2) The Kleptomaniac

These precious souls will soon be pilfering your precious things. Nothing is sacred with them, and even though you haven't seen your favourite shirt for a month, when you do find it, they will claim they were "borrowing it, and you're free to borrow anything of theirs!" Maybe small change is missing, or a pair of cute earrings, and then your Magnum icecream from the freezer! What? No way. Kick them out, asap!

3) The Nymphomaniac

There is nothing wrong with having a healthy sex drive, except when your housemate keeps bringing new partners home every night of the week, sometimes even two at a time. The apartment is already small, but now you can hear every part of their night, as though you're right in the room. Getting up to use the bathroom is anxiety making, who knows who you will bump into, and the last person they bought home drank the last of the milk and put the carton back into the fridge! Be gone!

4) The Hoarder

Their room is overflowing with "stuff". There's a faint smell of something unsettling coming out from under the door. Crockery and glasses are missing but you're afraid to enter her room without a HAZMAT suit to reclaim them. Instead, kick them out, and get a new roomie and a new dinner set.

5) The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaner

It's great having a clean roommate, except when you have one with an obsession with cleaning. The roomie who hovers behind you as you finish your dinner, waiting to whisk the plate away to be washed. They vacuum around you, banging your feet with the vacuum head in an effort to make you move them, even though they vacuumed yesterday. They sigh when they see you sprawled on the sofa, an open packet of biscuits leaving a few crumbs on the table. They use hand sanitizer before they use the bathroom, as though you have the plague and throw out leftovers from the day before because you know, salmonella, even thought you were going to eat it for dinner. Please leave OCC, and take your cleaning supplies with you!

Don't Fence Me In! How to Get More Space in Your Apartment

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

Is it just me or do you feel like apartments are getting smaller?

Well, you're not wrong. They are getting smaller as architects and builders try to get as much out of the land possible. But don't worry, we have ways of making things seem much bigger and brighter, and that includes your apartment.

1) Go to the light

Your eyes are drawn to the light in the space, and will look for a place to rest, so clear out the shadows, and let the light in with some gorgeous curtains, a light, beautiful restful artwork, and soft colours that create a sense of breath.

2) Put it away

Our awareness of feeling claustrophobic can come from the eye having too much to take in when you enter a space. Get some storage solutions, and put your mess away. Try and put the item away after you're finished using it, so it becomes a habit. It is so much nicer to walk into an uncluttered space.

3) Mirrors aren't just for looking into

A clever use of a mirror can create the sense of more space, and create more light in a room. They are a cheap and easy way to add more space to your room. They can go into any room in your apartment and they create more light. Plus you can always check you look in whatever room you're in.

4) Colour me happy

A splash of colour can go a long way to adding personality and something to focus on in a small space. Perhaps it's a single cushion in a fabulous fabric or an arresting shade, but use it wisely and it can add depth and fun to a small space.

5) Double duty to the rescue

When buying furniture for your apartment, consider buying something that does more than one job. A bed with storage, a coffee table with storage, a table that expands to a dining table, or a sofa bed. There are endless solutions now, so don't just pick a piece for one reason. Ask it what else it brings to your space.

There are endless ways to make the most of your space, even if it is tiny, so don't be disheartened, just make your space, and your furniture work a little harder for you and you will soon reap the benefits.

5 Easy to Grow Apartment Friendly Houseplants

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

A quick list of 5 easy-to-grow apartment friendly houseplants, which is great news if you're a less than a green thumb like myself.

Spider Plants are an easy-to-grow indoor plant which are great for adding a nice green organic feel to your home. These plants are perfect for indoor growth because they enjoy a moderate amount of indirect light. Spider Plants are also said to increase air quality which is great added health benefit for your home!
Snake Plants are an extremely robust green plant that can grow in rooms with low light and low humidity. The versatility of this plant is highlighted by the consistent appearance of Snake Plants in offices. However we'd recommend avoiding putting these in your home if you find them scattered around your office. It's best to keep the home and office separate!
Aloe Vera plants are a nice tidy green which can add colour to your home. These plants are able to grow indoors and prefer indirect sunlight. The major health risk for Aloe Vera plants is to avoid any extremely cold temperatures (such as frost) but this is usually easy to avoid if they're indoors in your home. Home-grown aloe vera can also be used for its medicinal properties if required!

Cacti and Succulents have been a favourite of mine since a young age, as we've always had a couple on our windowsill in the kitchen. They come in a variety of colours and shapes, so you're bound to find one to suit your liking. Cacti and succulents are very low maintenance which is great if want something you only need to water every few days. A tip for first-time cactus owners - be careful you don't overwater your plant - we've lost a cactus this way, and we were told it's a common mistake.
Bamboos are another family of plants which are quite hardy and can be grown indoors. Despite naturally being found in large bamboo forests, many species of bamboo can be grown in small pots with minimal light and low humidity. Using a small pot to grow and maintain your bamboo will also allow you more control over its growth - a good thing given that certain species of wild bamboo have been said to grow as fast as a metre within a single day

When deciding on a plant to keep in your home, it's best to think about what you want to achieve and your ability to nurture the plant as it grows. This will achieve the best result for both you and the plant you choose. If you're looking for something a little more delicate that takes a little more care, you might want to consider a bonsai plant.

5 Tips for a Deep Sleep in Apartments!

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

A healthy night's sleep is vital to daily function and a long lasting life so we've put together a list of five tips and tricks to help our readers get an improved night's sleep!

1. Comfortable Bedding

A good night's sleep starts with a comfortable bed - which isn't all about jumping on the highest thread count sheets you can find. It starts with a good quality mattress and pillows along with comfortable sheets - which aren't necessarily the highest thread count.

If you're stuck with an older mattress and want a quick and easy upgrade consider a luxurious mattress topper.

2. Blackout Curtains (or an Eye Mask)

Many apartments suffer from bright morning sunlight as well as strong sun glare from surrounding tall buildings reflecting (and even focusing) the sun's rays. Black-out curtains have a specially designed backing layer which prevents light from passing through to give you a long and uninterrupted sleep. An added benefit is the backing layer of blackout curtains also helps with noise reduction!

If you're after a cheaper and quicker solution a good eye-mask works wonders.

3. Reducing Blue-Light

Recent studies have shown that blue light (short wavelength high energy light) is capable of disrupting the body's natural sleeping patterns. Apartment dwellers are often relying on laptops, tablets and mobile phones for nightly entertainment but doing so too close to sleeping might result in reduced sleep quality.

Minimise blue-light exposure an hour before sleeping to get a fresher night's sleep.

Programs such as f.lux (PC & OSX) and Twilight (Android) can also help reduce blue-light emissions by having the screen colours mimic the natural light cycle.

4. Humidifier / Aromatherapy Diffuser

Air quality plays a surprisingly important role in the sleep process and air being too dry is a common complaint in many apartments - likely due to the constant air conditioning drying out the air. If you wake up feeling as though your nose and throat are overly dry it might be worth investing in a humidifier to help soothe your airways whilst you sleep.

Scents and fragrances can also play a vital role in your sleeping process. Certain scents tend to be very calming and can help induce a sleeping state - our favourites in the office are rose water, lavender, jasmine and chrysanthemum.

5. White Noise Generator (or a Music Dock)

Although many people consider a white noise generator to be over the top there's plenty of people that swear by them and will take them wherever they go.

We personally think a music dock and a nice set of speakers provides a much more aesthetically pleasing and functional solution - allowing you to charge your phone and have some relaxing music on a timer until you fall asleep!

Sleep Tight from Apartment Lifestyle!

Apartment Lifestyle UK Furniture Store Launch!

by Yoz (Apartment Lifestyle)

UK Flag

Our lovely new Apartment Lifestyle UK website has been launched and we're looking forward to bringing plenty of lovely novel new furniture designs to our friends across the pond.

As part of our new website launch we want to test our website and the best way for us to test the website is with real customers. So we're offering a 10% discount for any orders placed before the end of October 2015.

Just use the discount code UKLAUNCH for 10% off your order!

Keep an eye out over the coming months as we will unfurling several new products in the coming months as we slowly get all of our lovely ranges into our UK warehouse.

And of course if you have any questions please feel free to contact us!