Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC $7.5K Giveaway

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC $7.5K Giveaway

After six months of cooking nearly every meal at home, I’m the first to admit that my rotation of go-to recipes have gotten a little….tired to say the least. I can’t actually tell if my family is more tired of eating them or I’m more tired of making them. But with Covid showing no signs of taking leave and a new season upon us, it’s the ideal time to kick your home cooking repertoire up a notch. I think trying to make even the smallest moments a bit more special is going to help us ride this out.

To assist you in doing that, I have an incredible giveaway all about entertaining. The Weston Table $7.5K Social Grilling Giveaway features the incredible wood-fired OFYR Grill, a bevy of cooking tools and six months of insane goodies – like lobster and wagyu beef – delivered right to your front door. You’re going to want to enter, I promise.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

When experiencing a real life version of Groundhog’s Day, it can be a little challenging to differentiate one moment from another. But I’ve realized if you take a little time to make the effort, you can create joyous memories even in the darkest of times.

Case in point, I don’t know why I waited so long to enjoy oysters during Stay At Home. I won’t be making the same mistake again. So go now, get whatever special treat food you love and enjoy it this instant. There’s a Youtube video on how to do virtually anything (although I won’t sugar coat it – it took more than a hot second to get the hang of shucking oysters). But all good things are truly worth the effort.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

But let’s have a convo about the OFYR Grill. Cooking on the OFYR Grill is entirely new experience – but oh so fun. Since it is wood fired, the OFYR is the perfect addition to your outdoor space as we move into colder weather. It’s a fire pit and grill all rolled into one. And with a grill plate that measures a full 39″ in diameter, it has social distancing built right in! So go ahead, invite members of your pandemic pod over and enjoy an evening outside (with masks of course!).

Inspired by the historically communal nature of cooking, the grill itself has this amazing, deep flat rim that allows for cooking at different temperatures all at once – so you really can whip up a feast. I got really ambitious and made a pot of clams, grilled both oysters and lobster, steak, smashed potatoes, corn on the cob and at the last second threw on other veggies just for fun. I even cooked an eggplant in the open flame! Pro-tip: watch the newest season of Chef’s Table that just came out. It is all about BBQ and fire-based cooking – it’s the ultimate motivator.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Weston Table has been kind enough to offer Apartment34 readers an exclusive $100 OFF the OFYR Grill with the code WTAPT34 at checkout. CLICK HERE to shop.

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

Enjoying a meal in your outside space is one of the easiest ways to shake up a monotonous routine. And it doesn’t matter if you have an expansive backyard or a teeny tiny balcony. You can throw down blankets and enjoy a intimate picnic or set a beautiful table. Whatever feels special to you. I like to bring out some nice dishware – something different from what we use everyday – light a few candles and open a bottle of wine to make everything feel a little more fun. Serving butter-soaked lobster tail also helps!

Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34 Welcome Fall in Style with an EPIC OFYR $7.5K Giveaway on Apt34

While I’ll have to wait to throw my dream backyard BBQ with my OFYR Grill until we can kick this pandemic to the curb, I can already envision the massive party we’re going to have when this is all over. For now, I’m planning on grilling up tasty treats for a few epic at-home date nights. Now for deets on the giveaway!

THE WESTON TABLE SOCIAL GRILLING $7.5K GIVEAWAY PRIZE PACKAGE:
• OFYR Classic 100 Grill. The winner may choose which color they prefer (Corten or Black)
• OFYR Spatula PRO
• Staub Cast Iron Cookware Package curated for the OFYR Grill including an Oval Fish Pan, 7.5” Round Gratin, Rectangular Tray, 4 Quart Round Cocotte, and 13” Double Handled Fry Pan
• Tournant eCookbook Farm to Fire Cooking with the Seasons
• 6-month subscriptions to Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef Subscription Box, the Lobster Shop 6-Month Lobster & Assorted Seafood Subscription Box and Hama Hama 6-Month Oysters Subscription Box (delivered every other month for one year)

ENTER TO WIN: Follow @weston_table on Instagram HERE and sign up HERE to be qualified to win!

And don’t forget, if you can’t wait to find out if you’re the big Weston Table Social Grilling Giveaway winner, I have an exclusive code for $100 off an OFYR Grill and 10% off at WestonTable.com for you. CLICK HERE to shop and be sure to use the code WTAPT34 when you check out.

original photography for apartment34 by andrea posasdas creative

Published at Thu, 01 Oct 2020 16:30:21 +0000

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Rodent Crisis is Getting Worse in Major U.S. Cities

Have you ever come across rats carrying bits and pieces of leftover food? Or maybe you’ve seen them in your kitchen and gone completely wild trying to kill them? It is known that rats are rampant in the city and live among us, taking refuge and shelter on the streets, and even sometimes in our homes. What’s worse is that rodents are a major public health problem, and more and more resources are invested in rodent inspection and prevention.

Each year, we at RentHop examine the data from major U.S. cities, hoping to help renters and homeowners make an informed decision when it comes to housing. This year, we again reviewed the rat sightings data, and what we discovered isn’t great. Our study this year includes Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., and unfortunately, all three cities saw a drastic increase in the number of rodent complaints.

Figure 1 below illustrates the number of rodent complaints from January through August in the past five years. In Boston, the number went up 33.5% to 3.42 rodent complaints/1,000 population. In D.C., the number is slightly worse. As of August 31, 2020, DC 311 has received 5,848 rodent complaints, or 8.29 complaints/1,000 population. This number is 30.7% higher than in 2019.

Chicago, a.k.a. the rat capital, not surprisingly, has had the greatest number of rat sightings/1,000 population among the cities included. The number reached its lowest in 2018 but has since been rising significantly. From January 2019 through August 2019, the city’s 311 reporting system received 28,249 rodent complaints or 10.5/1,000 population. This number since jumped to 34,501, or 12.8/1,000 population in 2020, a 22.1% increase.

Select one of the cities below to learn more:


Rodent complaints rose 33.5% in Boston

Founded in 1630 by the Puritans, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and played a crucial part in our history. As we all know, old infrastructure often makes perfect habitats for rats. Rodents thrive in outdated subway systems, sewers, parks, and in foundations of old homes and buildings, and pose a threat to humans.

And this summer, Boston has to deal with a serious rodent crisis.

As of August 31, Boston 311 has received 2,368 rodent complaints in 2020, which translates to 3.4 complaints per 1,000 population. Now, while it might seem very few compared to Chicago or DC, this number, however, is 33.5% higher than the same period in 2019.

The CDC attributed such an increase to the coronavirus lockdown. The agency warned that a possible increase in rodent sightings as restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the first confirmed COVID-19 case and lockdown were announced in Boston. The rats were particularly active this past summer. August 2020 marked the worst month in the past five years, with a total of 530 rodent complaints filed to the city’s 311 reporting system. Could it be the warm weather? After all, winter 2019-2020 ended over 2°F above the twentieth-century average, making it one of the warmest winters on record.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

According to the city’s Inspectional Services Department, it is launching a campaign to reduce the rodent population that has been running wild around neighborhoods. Do you know if your neighborhood will be one of the firsts visited by the agency? Well, let’s find out!

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Boston. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints in 2020. It is highly possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

The ISD will most likely show up in these neighborhoods
  • Downtown – 312 complaints in 2020, 502.3 complaints/sq mi
  • North End – 55 complaints in 2020, 277.4 complaints /sq mi
  • South End – 153 complaints in 2020, 207.6 complaints /sq mi
  • Beacon Hill – 56 complaints in 2020, 179 complaints /sq mi
  • Back Bay – 107 complaints in 2020, 171.5 complaints /sq mi
Rodent complaints spiked in these neighborhoods
  • South Boston Waterfront – 1 complaints in 2019, 7 in 2020 (+600%)
  • Allston – 75 complaints in 2019, 189 in 2020 (+152%)
  • Brighton – 99 complaints in 2019, 213 in 2020 (+115.2%)
  • Back Bay – 55 complaints in 2019, 107 in 2020 (+94.5%)
  • Mattapan – 23 complaints in 2019, 41 in 2020 (+78.3%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • Longwood – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Chinatown – 29 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (-65.5%)
  • Leather District – 8 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-50%)
  • Mission Hill – 40 complaints in 2019, 20 in 2020 (-50%)
  • West End – 3 complaints in 2019, 2 in 2020 (-33.3%)

Chicago wins the title of “Rat Capital”, yet again.

In our study from last year, Chicago ranked #1 as the “rat capital” in the country. The abundance of garbage and buildings in the Windy City makes it a great location for rats to seek shelter and food for survival. In 2019, Chicago 311 received in total 42,864 rodent complaints, or 15.9 per 1,000 Chicagoans, 10.2% more than in 2018.

And this year, rodents are once again on the rise.

As of August 2020, the Windy City has scored 34,501 rat sighting reports, 22.1% more than the same period in 2019. Indeed, the uptick in rodent sightings might be related to restaurants and other sources of food shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting, however, that the number had been increasing since January 2020, way before the food establishments were forced to close their doors.

May 2020 marked the worst month of May in the past five years, with a total of 5,203 rat sightings reported to the city’s 311 system, 131.7% higher than May 2019. The number continued trending upward throughout the summer, with 6,863 rodent complaints logged in July 2020 – that’s over 200 complaints per day!

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints in Chicago. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rodent complaints. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

Rats are roaming around in these neighborhoods
  • Grand Boulevard – 257 complaints in 2020, 147.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Printers Row – 5 complaints in 2020, 64.5 complaints/sq mi
  • United Center – 124 complaints in 2020, 106.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Sheffield & DePaul – 99 complaints in 2020, 263.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Humboldt Park – 1039 complaints in 2020, 231.7 complaints/sq mi
Rat sightings spiked in these neighborhoods
  • Greektown – 1 complaints in 2019, 12 in 2020 (1100%)
  • West Pullman – 191 complaints in 2019, 793 in 2020 (315.2%)
  • Gold Coast – 15 complaints in 2019, 47 in 2020 (213.3%)
  • Hegewisch – 10 complaints in 2019, 31 in 2020 (210%)
  • O’Hare – 2 complaints in 2019, 6 in 2020 (200%)
Rats are migrating out from these neighborhoods
  • Jackson Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 0 in 2020
  • Grant Park – 6 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-83.3%)
  • Printers Row – 17 complaints in 2019, 5 in 2020 (-70.6%)
  • Burnside – 30 complaints in 2019, 14 in 2020 (-53.3%)
  • Millennium Park – 2 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-50%)

Rodent complaints are up 31% this year in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is known for many things. It is the capital of the United States of America; it is a cultural center with many monuments and museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution; and it is a walkable and bike-friendly city with many bike lanes in the downtown area. What you probably don’t know about D.C. is that not only our president and government officials reside there, many, many rats also call it home, and this year, the District has seen a spike in rat complaints.

The number of rodent complaints has been trending upward in D.C. since 2016, but 2020 is by far the worst year. By the end of August 2020, D.C.’s 311 reporting system has received a total of 5,848 rodent complaints, 30.7% more than the same period in 2019.

The past summer was particularly bad for D.C. June 2020 marked the worst month since January 2016, with a total of 985 unique complaints made to D.C. 311 by Washingtonians. 37.2% more than June 2019. Could it be that people are more likely to spot rats when they are working from home? Or maybe as the restaurants closed due to COVID-19, these furry critters are forced to invade people’s homes? No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that some neighborhoods are seeing more rodents than others, and that’s bad news for the residents. Now, check out the map and see if your neighborhood is one of them.

Which neighborhoods are run by rats this year?

The interactive map below indicates the concentration of rodent complaints Washington D.C. Neighborhoods in darker shades have a higher concentration of rat sightings. It is possible that larger neighborhoods receive more complaints than smaller neighborhoods, and so we normalized the number of rodent complaints by land size. You can click on the polygons to learn more about each neighborhood.

These neighborhoods are run by rats this year
  • Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Plains, Park View – 691 complaints in 2020, 526.3 complaints/sq mi
  • Shaw, Logan Circle – 213 complaints in 2020, 376.8 complaints/sq mi
  • Brightwood Park, Crestwood, Petworth – 847 complaints in 2020, 337.6 complaints/sq mi
  • Howard University, Le Droit Park, Cardozo/Shaw – 214 complaints in 2020, 297.9 complaints/sq mi
  • Union Station, Stanton Park, Kingman Park – 461 complaints in 2020, 287.7 complaints/sq mi
Rodent complaints surged in these neighborhoods
  • National Mall, Potomac River – 6 complaints in 2019, 35 in 2020 (+483.3%)
  • Woodland/Fort Stanton, Garfield Heights, Knox Hill – 3 complaints in 2019, 10 in 2020 (+233.3%)
  • Fairfax Village, Naylor Gardens, Hillcrest, Summit Park – 3 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+200%)
  • Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Woodland-Normanstone Terrace – 22 complaints in 2019, 62 in 2020 (+181.8%)
  • Colonial Village, Shepherd Park, North Portal Estates – 4 complaints in 2019, 9 in 2020 (+125%)
Rodent complaints dropped in these neighborhoods
  • North Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, Van Ness – 4 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-75%)
  • Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth – 3 complaints in 2019, 1 in 2020 (-66.7%)
  • Saint Elizabeths – 10 complaints in 2019, 4 in 2020 (-60%)
  • Downtown, Chinatown, Penn Quarters, Mount Vernon Square, North Capitol Street – 89 complaints in 2019, 50 in 2020 (-43.8%)
  • Douglas, Shipley Terrace – 27 complaints in 2019, 16 in 2020 (-40.7%)

Methodology

This study examines the rodent crisis in major U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. The rodent complaint data was retrieved from each city’s open data portal, and the population data was collected via U.S. Census Bureau. For this study, we limited the research time frame to January 2016 through August 31, 2020. We then geocoded the complaints using each city’s neighborhood shape file and normalized the complaint count by land size. This allows us to fairly rank each neighborhood and provide better insights.

RentHop is all about data and facts. Our data science team does annual studies on rental data as well as 311 complaints across major U.S. cities. To get to know the city you live in, take a look at our previous studies on rodent complaints, human/animal waste complaints, noise complaints, and more.

Published at Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:41:24 +0000

People are Moving 14% Less in Boston

People are Moving 14% Less in Boston

If you live in Boston, you are probably no stranger to moving truck permits. Aside from packing everything in boxes and contacting the movers, you also need to apply for a moving truck permit and post the “no-parking” sign so you don’t have to stack up everything on the corner of your street on the moving day.

Moving truck permits in some ways reflect the housing demand in the city of Boston. While the number of issued moving truck permits usually surges each year from August through the first couple of days of September in accordance with the college move-in days, generally speaking, the more moving truck permits issued, the more real estate activity there is.

As one of the major cities hit hard by COVID-19, Boston saw a huge decline in renter demand. In our report this year, we examined how the pandemic has affected the Boston housing market, specifically by looking at the number of moving truck permits issued.

The number of moving truck permits issued by the city is down 14.7% this year

Figure 1 below summarizes the number of issued moving truck permits with an expiration date between January and September, from 2015 to 2020. In total, 11,885 permits have been issued so far in 2020, 14.7% less than the same time period in 2019.

Knowing the totals is not good enough. By comparing the number of moving truck permits issued by month in the past six years, we could better understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Figure 2 below breaks down the number of issued moving truck permits by month, covering the period from January 2015 all the way through September 2020.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported on January 20, 2020, and on February 1, Boston announced its first confirmed case. As cases soared, the city entered the lockdown in mid-March. Moving came to a halt in April, with the total number of moving truck permits issued fell to 458, the lowest since January 2015 and 47.7% fewer than April 2019. The number continued to stay low through June, putting downward pressure on rents. In Boston, one-bedroom median rent was down in 2.6% year-over-year in June 2020, according to RentHop data.

While August topped all previous months in terms of the number of moving truck permits issued in recent years, mostly because of the college move-ins (for most colleges, the move-ins were twice as long), remember, many students moved into dorms, not rental properties, and the surge might not fully represent the demand in the Boston rental market. Once the move-in madness passed, the rental demand could fall again. Based on the data, it looks like September 2020 is on track to be the worst month of September compared to previous ones. The pandemic has driven down the rental demand across Boston – one-bedroom median rent currently sits at $2,350, 6.0% lower than last year.

West Roxbury, Seaport, and Fenway-Kenmore Experienced Drops in Permits Issued

While overall fewer moving truck permits have been issued so far in 2020, some areas saw more significant drops compared to others. The map below highlights Boston zip codes as well as the number of permits issued in 2020, the year-over-year change, and the difference from the yearly average (2015- 2019). The darker the shades, the fewer permits were issued compared to 2019.

 

Of the 40+ zip codes included in this map, zip code 02132 (West Roxbury) saw the largest drop in the number of issued moving truck permits (22 permits, YoY -53.2%), followed by zip code 02210 (Seaport), which saw a YoY of -46.7%. Table 1 below features the 10 zip codes with the most number of moving truck permits issued so far in 2020. Note how the numbers are all lower compared to the same period in 2019.

Rent Dropped in Some Zip Codes Amid Moving Downtrend

In addition to grouping and analyzing issued moving truck permits by their expiration dates, we also explored the relationship between rental prices and moving truck permits. To assess the correlation between year-over-year median rental price changes and differences from average yearly issued permits, we plotted the two against one another and calculated the correlation coefficient.

We noticed a slight positive correlation (R2 = 11%) between the year-over-year rent change and the difference from the yearly average of permits issued among zip codes, which states that as zip codes experiencing fewer moving activities compared to the yearly average from 2015 to 2019 saw bigger price drops.


Methodology

This report examines how COVID-19 has impacted the Boston rental market, specifically through the number of issued moving truck permits and rental rate changes. The moving truck permit data is made public by Analyze Boston. Median one-bedroom rents and year-over-year median rent growth by zip code were calculated using RentHop’s proprietary listing data. For the regression analysis, we included only zip codes with over 10 moving truck permits issued in 2020.

Our previous Boston Move-In Day studies can be found here:

Published at Wed, 16 Sep 2020 02:57:58 +0000

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

As NYC Exodus Continues, Sublets Rose 158% Year-Over-Year

Summer months are historically great for real estate. This summer, however, has been a rough one, especially for landlords across New York City. The market has been grappling with high vacancies as New Yorkers flee to suburbs and other metro areas and companies extend their remote-working policies, which further hinders population inflow.

Citywide, median net effective rent in the month of August fell 5.2% year-over-year. Manhattan, specifically, saw a rent drop of 7.5%, from $3,284 in August 2019, to $3,039, as landlords offer more concessions in response to the high vacancies. Meanwhile, the median net effective rent fell 1.9% year-over-year to $2,795 in Brooklyn.

NYC Exodus Continues

As previously reported, this year we’ve noticed an unprecedented number of renters looking to sublet their apartments. The total number of sublet listings1 on RentHop went up 110% from April to May 2020 and has since been trending upward. In August, the total number of sublet listings increased by 9.8% month-over-month and is 158.2% higher than August 2019. This once again broke the record in RentHop’s 11-year history.

In our previous sublet reports, we highlighted that wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 average than other neighborhoods. This time around, the outflow from wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan, such as Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, seems to have reached its peak in July and has since died down slightly. The neighborhoods that saw the largest spike in new sublets in August 2020 vs. the first four months of the year were Yorkville (+643%), East Harlem (+464%), Astoria (+420%), Central Harlem (+327%), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (+300%). Most of these neighborhoods also saw a month-over-month increase in the number of new sublets from July to August 2020.

Brooklyn Replaced Manhattan as the Most Popular Borough

Grand Central was once the busiest hub in New York City. It’s now one of those eerily empty stops that make people wonder if New York City will ever be the same. According to CBRE via WSJ, only 9% of the office workers returned to their office after they were permitted to return to the workplace. This inversely drove rental demand in outer boroughs, as living in the city center and being close to work no longer justifies the rent premium many landlords ask for.

Bushwick was the most inquired neighborhood in August 2020, replacing Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Crown Heights rose to the second from the 8th in the previous year. Yorkville and Upper East Side, both used to be the most popular neighborhoods for rentals, had experienced significant changes in terms of renter inquiries.


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 Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:50:11 +0000

Before and After: This Scandi-Style Breakfast Nook is Practically Irresistible

Before and After: This Scandi-Style Breakfast Nook is Practically Irresistible

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 Thu, 08 Oct 2020 21:32:06 +0000

Home Tour: A Perfectly Autumnal Oasis in CT

Home Tour: A Perfectly Autumnal Oasis in CT

I know many espouse shopping vintage as the only way to inject “authentic personality” into your home. I wouldn’t say I disagree. I enjoy the vintage scavenger hunt as much as anyone, but sometimes you need more expedient options. And if those options look as good as these fall pieces from Anthropologie do, I’m totally ok with that.

I posted about Anthro’s latest collaboration last month and their hits just keep on coming. I’m the first to admit I’ve often thought of Anthro pieces as overly whimsical, feminine and a touch too cottage chic, but this new editorial shows that it all depends on your context. A beautiful home designed by famed architect Richard Neutra certainly helps. This one is for sale FYI!

But what this home tour really illustrates is that a piece can take on a totally different personality in a different environment – so really you shouldn’t rule an option out at first glance. Really think about how something will look and feel in your space regardless if it’s modern or bohemian-inspired.

I could not be more obsessed with this wood cabinet. It has a really unique a mesh overlay, a travertine top an gorgeous rounded corners.

Also I have to mention that this mix of wood tones is giving me all kinds of inspiration for our new cottage. And since I only have about 10 weeks to renovate and furnish the entire house, I’m fully ok with unearthing some gems – big box store or not.

This entire home is a beautiful study in mixing soothing neutrals, a variety of texture and a feeling of pieces being collected over time. But you didn’t have to wait years to stumble across the perfect treasure. And there’s no shame in that!

As we shift into the new season and really think about making our homes our sanctuary from both the colder temperatures and from Covid, you can think out of the box while still shopping within one.

I spy the gorgeous foraged branch work of Colin King.

photography by Nicole Franzen, styling by Colin King for Anthropologie.

Published at Tue, 06 Oct 2020 05:52:17 +0000

The Real Reason There are Cobwebs in Your House

The Real Reason There are Cobwebs in Your House

And not just the spooky Halloween decorations.

They may have a certain season charm about them this time of year but there’s nothing more annoying, and frankly gross, than seeing cobwebs under your chairs or hanging in your chandeliers or in the high corners of your living room.

You work really hard to keep your place clean, and it’s super annoying to not only see that you missed a spot, but a whole corner of your room looks like a cheap haunted house. It may seem as though they just cropped up out of nowhere, but there’s a real reason you have cobwebs in your house.

cobwebs

What are cobwebs?

To make things easy, think of them as spiderwebs.

Spiders spin webs to catch prey. They secrete a thin, transparent thread known as silk to create intricate patterns used to trap smaller insects. The spiders you may find in your home spin round webs that anchor to corners or light fixtures. Other breeds of spiders will spin tubular-shaped webs at the base of trees. Each variety of spider uses its web differently but the ultimate goal is to catch dinner without having to travel too far.

Or in the case of Spider-Man, to catch bank robbers and evil scientists and stuff.

Cobwebs vs. spiderwebs

As we mentioned, cobwebs and spiderwebs are more or less the same things. A cobweb is a web that was abandoned by the spider that created it. The reason you may find cobwebs in your home depends on whether or not you have a pest problem.

Insects come into your home looking for food. Spiders come into your home looking for insects, which are food. Or, if there have been heavy rains recently, the insects that are outdoors during the day get washed away in the wet weather.

There are a couple of reasons why a spider would abandon its web. Sometimes, other insects will get wise to the web and not travel in that direction as often. Other times, the web simply loses its stickiness. Within the spider’s silk is a chemical produced by the spider giving its web a sticky, tacky feeling similar to glue. When that compound starts to break down, the web remains intact but is less effective in catching prey.

When that happens, spiders have to move elsewhere so they can eat. And spiders will have lots of options as far as where to go. Cobweb spiders, as they’re known, are the most common arthropod found in homes. Odds are, you may have at least a couple of them in your house right now.

cobwebs

How to get rid of cobwebs

Once a spider abandons its web, the only thing it collects is dust. And since a cobweb is just a spiderweb the spider ditched, the solution to removing them is pretty much the same as removing any creepy crawly critters from the premises: With a broom, vacuum hose, extendable duster or even just a long stick. Any one of those will do the job.

Consider doing a deep clean on a rainy Sunday afternoon. You can get rid of all the pests inside your home while the rain takes care of the pests waiting until after dark to let themselves in. When you do clean, be sure to get those hard to reach spots in the upper and lower corners of your home, as well as under the legs of tables or chairs.

Yep, that means getting the space under the sofa, as well. Anyplace you don’t regularly look or access is a prime location for a spider to build its web. If you want to keep your home cobweb-free, there are a couple of things you need to do:

1. Clean regularly

Weekly or bi-weekly cleanings of your space will keep your home free of spiderwebs and the bugs they trap and feast on.

2. Use peppermint essential oil

For added insurance, spritz some peppermint essential oil in all the corners of your home. The intense scent is too overpowering for them and they’ll move to set up shop elsewhere.

3. Don’t just focus on the inside

Walk around your home every once in a while, and check for spiderwebs under eaves and overhangs. Look around the base of pillars or light fixtures. Because even though they’re outside now, it won’t be difficult for them to find their way indoors.

Too many cobwebs?

Spider webs are an important and necessary part of the food chain. They can be helpful in catching all the little bugs and flies that drive you crazy, but an abundance of spider webs or cobwebs in your home could be a sign of a larger insect problem. And that doesn’t mean it’s a strike against your cleanliness or how regularly you clean.

Changes in weather will give all kinds of critters the chance to sneak indoors, especially in the warmer months. When that happens, talk to your landlord or building management office and ask if they can call an exterminator.

If you have a pet, remember to request that they use pet-safe sprays and insecticides. (Those can be purchased online, too, if you want to save some trouble and do it yourself.) This way, you can leave the spider webs where they belong — in scary movies and that spooky old mansion at the end of the block.

Published at Fri, 02 Oct 2020 13:00:08 +0000

Before and After: A $15,000 Two-Tone Kitchen Has a Fresh Take on Gallery Walls

Before and After: A $15,000 Two-Tone Kitchen Has a Fresh Take on Gallery Walls

One of the most important things you can do when moving into a new one is take the time to make it feel like you—especially now that everyone is spending a lot more time at home these days. That’s something Kayla Grover and her fiancé wanted to prioritize in their first house, a vintage charmer that was showing its age.

That included completely overhauling their outdated and very brown kitchen with a black and white color scheme inspired by images Kayla had been pinning and saving because, she says, she “wanted it to feel bright and welcoming but also modern.” Working with Kayla’s handy dad, the couple gave the space a totally new look and brought it into the 21st century.

The crew extended the cabinets, painted them white on the top and black on the bottom, and opted for a clean white quartz countertop, square sink, and gold pulls. Up top, they also added oak wood shelving and a backsplash of white hexagonal tiles that together add some warmth and whimsy. And they purchased all new appliances in black stainless steel to match the bottom black cabinets, and replaced the flooring for some extra coziness and texture.

Before, the dining nook almost felt like a throwaway area, but Kayla once again drew inspiration from a photo she found on Pinterest and imagined into reality a photo-filled eye-catcher. She and her dad built an oak table and bench and added hairpin legs to both, courtesy of Amazon. Then she painted the corner black and got to work on a gallery wall of black and white images and framing. “I wanted a modern gallery wall with a statement,” Kayla explains.

She also “didn’t want anyone to sit on the bench and have their head hit the frames,” so by necessity, she hung the frames higher up on the wall than you’d typically see. What she ended up with: an art-filled wall that’s fun and fresh.

Overall, Kayla says the reno took about eight months and cost about $15,000, and she is adamant that this wouldn’t have been possible without her father. “We did have a plumber come in and an electrician friend, but otherwise my dad managed the entire project and installed it,” she says. “Because of all his handy work, we saved a ton of money on this beautiful, modern, monochrome, Scandinavian, bohemian kitchen and eat-in area.”

Now, Kayla is thrilled with the space, and finds it “rewarding knowing that I had this vision and it came to life right before me.” She says she also especially loves that she, her fiancé, and her dad did the work together: “It makes the space that much more special because all of our hard work, heart, and vision came into this.”

Published at Thu, 01 Oct 2020 21:00:07 +0000

Sustainable Living: Why – And How – You Should Compost

Sustainable Living: Why – And How – You Should Compost

The average American generates about four pounds of trash per day and approximately 254 million pounds of trash per year, creating hefty amounts of unnecessary waste in our landfills. Many people compost instead to convert organic waste and divert it away from landfills toward eco-friendly plant use. You too can help the environment and compost your waste easily in the comfort of your apartment. Here’s why and how you should do it.

What is compost?

Compost is decayed organic matter. After mixing a lot of compost waste in a compost pile, organic matter breaks down naturally into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that helps plants grow. Compost can also capture and eliminate more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.

What foods can be composted?

Almost anything that comes from the ground can be composted. You can compost fruits and vegetable cores, ends, peels, rinds, scraps, and pits. Grains also sprout from the soil, which means you can add bread, pasta, and cereal to your compost heap. 

Additionally, you can use non-food items in compost. Compostable items can include grass clippings, dried leaves, hair and fur, clean paper, paper towels, cardboard, shredded newspaper, tea bags, crushed eggshells, nutshells, woodchips, toothpicks, burnt matches, coffee grounds, and lint.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that people not compost items such as meat, dairy, and oil products that cause odor problems and attract pests. Additionally, coal, ash, plants sprayed with pesticides, and plants with diseases are not suitable for composting because they contain substances harmful to plants and soil. Most composting experts advise a balance of plant waste and waste containing paper, cardboard, and hair or fur.

Sustainable Living Why – And How – You Should Compost

Who can compost?

Anyone can compost. Whether you live in an apartment with or without a yard, there are many ways to compost your waste. After you convert your organic waste to compost, you can use your compost to help your plants grow or give your compost to a community garden.

How can I compost?

Store your compost pile in a container on your kitchen floor, in a kitchen lower cabinet, in your freezer, or in your backyard. There are also indoor composters you can purchase in stores and in online marketplaces. You might worry that converting food scraps to compost in your home would smell bad, but you can avoid the odor by getting a compost bin with a lid. 

If you don’t have a yard or own any plants, and if you want to start composting, you can either:

1. Bring your compost bin to a compost collection site

If you don’t have a garden, community gardens often accept compost from people who live nearby. Additionally, many cities offer compost collection at farmer’s markets and designated drop sites. On collection day, bring your compost to the market and dump it in a communal compost tub. 

2. Sign up for a compost collection service

Some cities collect compost through trash and recycling services, often in a designated bin. You can have your compost picked up from your apartment or house with a low monthly fee. Some private collection services will even provide you with a bucket.

Is composting worth it?

Composting is great for sustainable living, and you can do it easily in your apartment. Based on your preferences and budget, you can drop off your compost bin or use a pickup service. While at first these processes may seem like too much effort, you can really make the switch to being more eco-friendly with just a few simple actions. Instead of throwing your waste in the trash, just add your compostable items to a compost bin. You’ll produce less waste, lower your carbon footprint, and maybe even help some plants grow.

Published at Sun, 27 Sep 2020 20:00:23 +0000