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Tag Archives: tips and tricks

How to: find your perfect apartment

Whether you’re moving to a new apartment in the city you live in now or are moving to a whole new city, finding an apartment takes work. It can be hard to know all the details about a neighborhood and whether it will be a good fit until you’ve really spent some time there. Luckily for you, there’s the Internet and lots of great resources to make finding your perfect apartment as easy as possible!

  1. Prioritize. Figure out what your non-negotiables are for your new apartment. Proximity to the grocery store? Brand new appliances? An apartment gym? Know what you must have and what you can live with out to help narrow down and focus your search.
  2. Keep an open mind. Maybe you thought you knew everything about a particular neighborhood but try to look at each new place with an open mind. You might surprise yourself and end up in an awesome place you never would have expected.
  3. Research. Do your homework on the Internet first – there are so many resources out there so start taking advantage of them. Google is a great place to start to give you a general base of knowledge. Look for user-generated forums, like on Yelp, to determine the personality of an area and see if it will be a match. Check out Craigslist, too, for a real look at the area’s vibe. Tools like WalkScore are also great for figuring out what is close by and whether the area is walkable. Last but not least, try to find some blogs written by community members. This last research might take a little bit more time but ultimately can give you a clear understanding of area’s energy.
  4. Visit. Now that you know so more information from your Googling, get in the car and scout out your potential new neighborhood! Drive around and check out what you like and what you don’t like. Plan to stop in to area restaurants and businesses and really get the feel the place.
  5. Shop around. If you are lucky enough to have the luxury of time, you might as well take advantage of it! Check out all of your options beforehand and know that when you do sign the lease, you’ve made a well-informed decision.

Happy apartment hunting! Any apartment search horror stories?

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Make the most of your studio

Here at Furnish 123, we understand small spaces! Studio apartments are fun and affordable rental options but can be difficult to decorate. If you’re planning on furnishing a studio apartment, dividing your room will help make your place feel more spacious and unique. Here are our suggestions for dividing studios and making the most of an efficiency apartment.

  • Utilize furniture to create barriers. A desk, bookshelf or sofa are all great options that create the impression of two different rooms. We love this option because it’s inexpensive when using furniture you already own, it’s easy and it really makes the most of a small space.

This F123 desk separates the living room from the bedroom AND creates an efficient workspace in this studio.

  • Add a folding screen or curtains in between rooms. These are both equally inexpensive options that are also easy to put up and take down. You’ll have the freedom to rearrange your space as often as you please with this simple option.
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  • Decorate with mirrors. They’ll help add the illusion and more depth in your small space and help it feel lighter and brighter.
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  • Let the light in! Use light curtains and blinds that allow light to shine through your small space. The more light you let in, the larger the room will feel.
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Have you ever lived in a studio apartment? How did you make the most of your space?

Office Space

Whether your desk is at home or in an office, your workspace is an important area to decorate. You’ll want to be sure your desk is a comfortable space that reflects your personal style and allows you to be as productive as possible. Here are our favorite tips for making your workspace work for you.

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  • Add some plants. No we’re not talking about plastic trees here – we mean the real deal. Find some greenery that thrives in your office light and incorporate the plants in to your desk design. We love simple succulents to brighten up a desk.
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  • Color is key. You don’t have to go crazy with color but pick a palette that fuels your work and stick with it. Splashes of color will add personal style to your workspace. Bright colors are said to help stimulate creativity!
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  • Organize, organize, organize. Taking the time to arrange your office will make your life easier in the future. Limit the chaos and add cord organizers, paper organizers and supplies in accessible spots.
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  • Pay attention to where you sit. Choose a chair that is the most comfortable and ergonomic for you. It’s so important to be physically comfortable while working so take the time to select a chair that meets your needs.
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What do you do to make sure your workspace is unique to your style?

Furnish 123’s Austin City Limits Festival Picks

Start the countdown to Friday…Austin City Limits is almost here! This three-day festival is celebrating its 10th year and with 130 fantastic acts, we’re sure 2011 will be a year to remember. Just in time for ACL, we’ve put together a list of our top musical picks for this weekend:

1. Elbow

Elbow, a British band that has been around since 1990 producing a wide collection of work, is a band that will definitely deliver this weekend. With a sound different than many of the ACL acts this year (one that’s a little reminiscent of Sting!), Elbow’s set is worth making time for. In their native UK, each of their five studio albums have made top twenty lists and in 2008, the band won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Elbow is playing on Sunday at 5:30 PM on the Google+ stage.

2. James Blake

Admittedly, we don’t know too much about James Blake but from what we do know and have heard – we like! We’re looking forward to an amazing live performance that mixes electronic sound with a soothingly soulful voice. James Blake’s music is inventive and we can’t deny that this man is incredibly talented. James Blake is playing on Friday at 3:10 on the Honda stage.

3. The Antlers

The Antlers are an indie-rock band based out of Brooklyn, New York with a passion for musical exploration. The band’s first album Hospice was a decidedly different album than what The Antlers are currently producing.  Experimenting with synthesizers and other electronic instrumentation, The Antlers are making music that pushes the boundaries of how we classify and interpret music. The Antlers are playing Saturday at 12:30 PM on the AMD stage.

4. Bomba Estéreo

Formed by visual artist and musician Simón Mejía, Bomba Estéreo is a band from Columbia producing a fantastic mix of electronic and Latin sounds. We’re guessing this is going to be a really fun show to see this weekend! Combining Afro-Columbian and hip-hop cultures in their music, Bomba Estéreo produces a unique sound and is racking up accolades like  MTV’s “The Best New Band in the World.” Bomba Estéro is playing on Sunday at 4:30 PM on the Vista Equity stage.

No matter what bands you see at ACL, the festival will be a fantastic weekend of live music, beautiful art, fine Austin weather and delicious local food. Our final tips for the weekend (totally non-music related!): drink lots of water, bring cash, make a schedule but be flexible and please remember that Burn Ban is in effects for Austin Parks!

What bands will you be seeing this year? 

Trends worth trying: Summer design

It’s exceptionally hot out there this summer which we think is all the more reason to ditch the outdoors for a while and give your interiors some extra design love. There’s no better time than summer to take a reprise from the heat, hide in the AC and incorporate some of these summer design trends for an at-home retreat!

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1. Honeysuckle – 2011’s Pantone color of the year – is even more popular this summer. Incorporate this bright and pretty pink in small doses for a fresh summer look or make a big impact with a Honeysuckle pink accent wall.

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2. Beach chic decor isn’t just for a coastal home! Beach-inspired design is easy and refreshing to add in to your home that will help you bring summer indoors. Try peaceful hues and seashore accessories to give off the easy beach cottage vibe.

Our Riverton sofa in Spa [$399] is the perfect shade for a beachy summer.

3. Patterned and multi-color wallpapers are another way to liven up your space for summer. We mentioned this removable wallpaper on Twitter recently and still can’t get enough of this easy to use (and temporary!) wallpaper from Tempaper.

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What ever trends you incorporate this summer, just have fun with it and your personal style will shine through! Furnish 123 Austin has plenty of affordable furniture and home accessories that can make incorporating new trends inexpensive and fun.

What summer trends are you trying this summer?

Playing with Color: Our Top 5 Resources for Color Palettes

If you’re planning on doing some major redecorating in the future but your less than large budget is dashing your lofty renovation dreams, incorporating unexpected or unique colors into your new design is a great way to change the feel of your room without breaking the bank!

The best way to get started with incorporating color is to draw inspiration from photos of current rooms, landscapes or even clothing that you like. Let the color combinations inspire you. At Furnish 123 Austin, we love drawing inspiration from all the local art that graces our walls!

It may sound easy but sometimes it can be downright difficult to know just where to begin when choosing the perfect color scheme. If you don’t have natural design skills, there are fortunately some great online tools and resources for finding the right color palette and generating color schemes. Here are our top 5 color palette tools & resources:

1. Color Scheme Designer

A current favorite, Color Scheme Designer helps you select complementary colors on a beautiful color wheel. With triad, tetrad, analogic and accented analogic color palettes this tool has a lot to offer.  You can also export color lists easily!

2. Kuler

A web-designer’s perfect tool is also great for home design use! Kueler is an Adobe Labs color palette that allows you to generate your own color palette or explore other’s color palettes, then export straight to Adobe Creative Suite applications. It’s simple and clean format makes finding your perfect palette fun.

3. Color Hunter

Have an image from your latest vacation that you want to re-create in your bedroom? Color Hunter lets you upload an image to create a color palette – awesome!

4. COLOURlovers

An interactive, creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns – a great resource whether you’re beginning in color theory or an old pro.

5. Make it Yours Column on DesignSponge

While not necessarily a tool, the Make it Yours series on DesignSponge is a great resource for color inspiration. This weekly column helps users find paint, products and home decor to capture a room’s color look completely.

For inspiration from one of our locals check out Austin Eavesdropper blogger’s bohemian inspired space featured in in the Austin American Statesman!

(Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

What are your favorite color combinations? Have you used any of these color palette generators before?

Decorating your bedroom

A bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. Your bedroom is your sanctuary – where you wind down from a long day, relax and rejuvenate yourself! Bedrooms are so special, they just might be the most important room you decorate!

Here are some of our favorite tips on letting your personality shine in your bedroom decor:

  • Invest in a quality bedroom set and let it become the focal point of your room.
  • Pay attention to window treatment choices. The right curtains can add a soft and dreamy touch to your bedroom.
  • Add wall art to bring out pops of color and personality.
  • Pile on the pillows. Mix and match patterns to add texture and fun to your bed.
  • Choose a printed bedspread to bring a pattern into play in a simple, straightforward way.
  • Choose accent pieces that fit the scale and style of the bedroom.
  • Don’t forget the floor! A soft area rug can add a burt of color plus a soft place to put your feet.
  • Most importantly: express your personality! Don’t be afraid to let your bedroom be an expression of YOU.

How do you determine your bedroom’s decor?