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How to Make Your Apartment Presentable for Company

Sacha R - Monday, March 04, 2019

Does this sound like you: you’re enjoying a quiet day at home when a friend calls to let you know they’re nearby and will be stopping to say hi? All of a sudden, you’re rushing around your apartment to try and tidy up before they arrive. Fortunately, there are a few quick tasks you can do to make your apartment presentable and ensure your guests feel comfortable when they come over.

Clean the Bathroom

This should be the first thing you do. Nothing is worse than having to use a dirty, untidy bathroom.  Give the sink, counter tops, and toilet a quick scrub. Clean the mirror with some glass cleaner and then close the shower curtain. Lastly, put out a fresh hand towel. Five minutes later you have a clean bathroom that smells fresh and is presentable. 

Tidy Up

Fold any blankets laying around, put remotes, chargers, shoes and any other miscellaneous items away where they belong. Of course your apartment should look lived in but you also shouldn’t have it looking like a mess when people come over.

Do the Dishes

A dirty kitchen is the same as a dirty bathroom – no one wants to see it. Clean and put away any dishes you have in your sink or laying around the apartment. Dirty dishes can also make your apartment smell so it’s best to keep up with these on a daily basis anyways.

Light A Candle

A candle is a great way to freshen up your apartment and make it feel cozy and inviting. Be careful not to light one that is too strong, though. Some guests may be sensitive to strong scents. If you don’t have a candle you can spray some air freshener to ensure that your apartment smells nice.

As long as you have a 15-minute heads up, you should be able to tidy up your home in time for guests to arrive. They may love your apartment so much they’ll want to move to Hawthorne Gardens as well. Tell them to schedule a tour with us so they can find their dream home too!

3 Ways to Get More Bathroom Storage

Sacha R - Thursday, February 21, 2019

It seems that no matter how big our bathrooms are, we always need more storage! Between hair products, styling tools, cleaning supplies and makeup, there’s a lot that we store in our bathroom. If you’re looking for ways to create more space and organize your items, keep reading for our favorite tips!

Install A Tension Rod

Tension rods aren’t just for the shower! Install a short tension rod under the sink cabinet to make space for hanging cleaning products. This clears up space to place baskets under the rod for more storage! You can also use S hooks to hang storage baskets from the rod. 

Make Use of Cabinet Doors

There’s a lot of unused real estate on the back of cabinet doors. If you’re constantly wondering where to keep styling tools or small items like nail clippers and combs, head to your local dollar store and pick up a few plastic baskets. Use adhesive hooks to attach the baskets to the doors and instantly create more space. No more wondering where to keep your blow dryer!

Add Shelves Above the Toilet

You can either hang a few shelves or purchase a shelving unit made specifically for this purpose. Whichever method you choose, the shelves will provide the perfect space for extra toilet paper, towels, lotion and perfumes! Bonus: the shelves will make a great statement piece and bring visual interest in to your bathroom.

Is your bathroom too small for even a few DIY enhancements? Contact us today to schedule a tour at Hawthorne Gardens and find your new home!

4 Things to Do in Albany This Month

Sacha R - Monday, February 04, 2019

While February is the shortest month of the year, it can sometimes feel like the longest! With the excitement of the holidays well behind us, and the days still cold and dark, it’s hard to not feel the winter blues. However, residents of Hawthorne Gardens are fortunate enough to live just minutes from Albany, where there is so much going on this month, you’ll wish it were longer! 

Keep reading for some fun events going on this month to keep busy and ward of the winter blues.

Ice Skating at The Empire State Plaza Ice Rink

Enjoy ice skating in the heart of Albany at the Empire State Plaza Ice Rink. The ice rink is open all month long from Noon – 8PM and skating is free! You can rent skates for a small fee or bring your own. Skates are free to rent on Saturdays but be sure to arrive early as the rink can get busy! 

This is a great activity to do with the kids to get them outside and staying active. Stop by one of the many delicious restaurants in Albany afterwards for a bite to eat or a warm drink!

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Proctors

In need of a good laugh? Steve Martin and Martin Short are coming to Proctors on February 17th! The comedy show features new material in a variety of musical sketches and conversations. Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers joins the duo on stage for several of the dates. This is a show you won’t want to miss!

Winter Festival at Lawson Lake

Gather the family and get ready for a fun day at Lawson Lake! The Winter Festival is happening on February 23rd and is free to attend. Enjoy ice fishing, ice skating, crafts, hot chocolate, face painting and more! Snowshoes and cross-country skis will also be available to use. A day out with the family doesn’t get much better than this.

Albany Wine Festival

If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, consider attending the Albany Wine Festival instead! Also happening on the 23rd, the festival is the largest wine sampling event in the Capital Region. Enjoy sampling wine, food, joining the free “paint and sip”, shopping, dancing, playing games and more. Get your tickets sooner rather than later as this event has been known to sell out!

Discover everything happening in Albany this month by checking out this calendar of events. We hope you try something new and enjoy winter in Upstate NY before spring arrives!

5 Money Mistakes Millennials Make When Renting Their First Apartment

Sacha R - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting time! It’s a major step into adulthood that requires, planning, time, and budgeting. Failure to create a budget can result in some major money mistakes that will cause problems down the line. If you’re a millennial looking to rent for the first time, keep reading to learn what not to do.

1. Don’t Make Your Apartment Look Like a Pinterest Board

Pinterest is great for getting ideas and inspiration for your new space, however homes found on Pinterest are often expensive. They’re full of high-end furniture and finishes that will quickly add to your credit card bill. Pick a few style ideas to draw inspiration from and then head to good will, garage sales and shop sales to make your dreams a reality.

2. Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance

Many apartment complexes require renter’s insurance, however some still don’t. Either way, it is a smart investment to make. Searching for and purchasing insurance takes no longer than an hour and can save you thousands of dollars should something happen. 

3. Realize You Can’t Have It All

Your first apartment will not be your forever home, so realize that it’s okay (and necessary) to give up a few things on your wish list. Hardwood floors, a walk in closet, stainless steel appliances, in-unit laundry and garage parking may be hard to come by. Pick 2 or 3 must haves and look at anything else as a bonus.

4. Don’t Buy All New Furniture

Once you find your apartment, ask around to see who has furniture you may be able to use. Chances are your parents, aunts, uncles or older siblings have pieces they’re itching to get rid of. If it’s not your style you can always paint, re-stain or add new handles to freshen it up.

5. Don’t Eat Out All the Time

Now that you have an apartment, it’s time to learn how to cook. It can be easy to slip into the routine of buying take out or going to restaurants for every meal, but that can quickly add up! There are plenty of recipes online that are affordable and only take a half hour to make. Save eating out as a treat to enjoy a few times a month. 

Still searching for the perfect apartment to call home? Contact us today!

Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Sacha R - Friday, January 04, 2019

Stumped on how to style your space? Whether you just moved in or simply want to refresh your existing space, knowing how to decorate smaller spaces can be difficult. There are some tips that everyone suggests, such as hanging mirrors and investing in multi-use pieces, but we’re here to suggest the not so obvious.

1. Clear the Clutter

A great place to start is to adopt a decluttering mantra and clear the clutter. We tend to bring clutter and unnecessary furniture from apartment to apartment and this can quickly make your space feel small. Devote a day to cleaning out your home and watch the space open up!

2. Play with Color

While apartment living doesn’t allow you to paint the walls, there are other ways to use color to brighten up a space. Set a color scheme for each room of your apartment and then go from there. Add pillows, blankets, fake flower and rugs to tie the room together and add visual interest. 

3. Buy the Right Size Furniture

It may be time to ditch the oversized sectional from your college days and invest in a smaller, but better-quality sofa. Cramming too much furniture that’s also too big will make a space look and feel small. It will also have you stumbling around the room as you trip over end tables and chairs!

Spend some time measuring your space and putting some thought in to the pieces you’d like to have in your home. The result will be beautiful and sophisticated. 

4. Use the Space Under Your Bed

The space under your bed can often be over looked. Use the space to store clothes and shoes you aren’t wearing at the moment. You can also store extra blankets, sheets, and pillows in organizing bins.

5. Install A Vertical Garden

The lack of yard is no problem when you install a beautiful vertical garden. The project can be completed with just some steel mesh, an empty wall and a few potted plants. The garden will add color to your space and bring the outside in!

Looking for other ideas on how to fill an empty wall? We’ve got you covered!

Now that you have some fun ideas on how to style your space, it’s time to design your Hawthorne Gardens apartment exactly how you want it.

Holidays in the Capital Region

Sacha R - Monday, December 17, 2018

The northeast is no stranger to snowfall, but it can be difficult at times to beat the winter blues and defeat the case of cabin fever we all experience. To add to this, the holiday season keeps us busy running errands, picking up packages, and deciding which (if any) holiday parties to attend. We are lucky enough to live in an area with such a diverse culture and a long list of fun activities to try during the holiday season.

5 Things to do in the Capital Region During the Holidays

  1. Artful Playgroup for Toddlers: Bundle up the little ones on December 5th and head to the Art Omi: Benson Center for a morning filled with playing, exploring, and art as your little ones learn more about themselves and our world.
  2. Ice Skating: Whether you’ve been ice skating most of your life, or you want to try something new, heading to the Clifton Park Ice Arena can be a fun way to enjoy the day while staying active. 
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life: Experience the seasonal classic as it was meant to be, on the big screen, at The Palace Theatre. The movie starts at 7pm on December 21st making it a great way to start your weekend with friends and family! 
  4. Capital Holiday Lights: Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll or you prefer to stay warm in the comfort of your own vehicle, viewing the holiday light displays is an event for all ages and a great tradition to incorporate in your holiday season! 
  5. Schedule a Tour: With the end of the year right around the corner, scheduling a tour of Hawthorne Gardens and finding your new home is a great way to celebrate the season. With a full-size washer and dryer in each unit, private entrances, multiple layout options, you’ll want to call us your home sooner rather than later. Schedule your tour today!

Make Your Home Cozy for Winter in 5 Easy Steps

Sacha R - Thursday, December 06, 2018

The winter season is upon us, meaning it gets dark earlier and all we want to do is stay inside our warm apartment at Hawthorne Gardens. This season, follow these tips to make your apartment feel more inviting this winter.

5 Ways to Make Your Apartment Cozier for Winter

  1. Create a Nook – Staying inside longer is the perfect reason to catch up on your reading! Pick a small space to get cozy and add everything you’ll need to create a relaxing environment. Add pillows, a warm quilt to keep you comfortable, and be sure to have a place where you can set your hot tea. Now all you need is something to read!
  2. Add Layers of Lighting – Opening the drapes on your window will allow plenty of natural light to enter the room to keep your reading material illuminated, not to mention the added benefit of vitamin D. Incorporating table lamps and floor lamps with warm and cool lights will help to ensure that you can always get the lighting you’re looking for.
  3. Keep Blankets Handy – One of the easiest ways to make your home feel a little cozier is by draping blankets over your furniture. This added touch will make your home feel more inviting, and ensure that extra warmth is just an arm’s reach away.
  4. Incorporate Texture – Adding texture to your walls is an easy way to create a cozy feeling for your home. If your windows currently have blinds, consider adding drapes for another layer of texture, privacy, and a personal touch. Adding tapestries can also quickly fill a blank wall, while also creating a unique focal point.
  5. Personal Comfort – For those who are away from loved ones and find themselves getting a little homesick at times, this is a perfect project. Take the time to add some of your favorite images to your wall space, desks, or other areas that look a little bare. Whether it’s a family photo, photos from your college days, or your favorite album in a frame, looking at familiar images is sure to make your apartment feel a little cozier.
For more tips and insights, including the benefits of renting from Hawthorne Gardens and to take a tour of our community, contact us today! 

4 Bedroom Items that Might Cause Stress

Sacha R - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bedrooms should be a place that provides a sense of calm and tranquility. That being said, there could be a few items or aspects of your bedroom that are the root of some of your stress or anguish. From color schemes, lighting, to air flow, keep reading for our 4 items that could be causing stress in your bedroom.

Reducing Stress in Your Bedroom in 4 Easy Ways

1. Bold Colors: For your bedroom, the color palette should include soothing hues as opposed to palettes that are bold or ones that “pop”. Soft, muted tones like blue-grays, lighter greens, even blush tones create a zen-like feeling and can put you at ease.
2. Air Flow and Lighting: It’s true that we all love our privacy, but opening the blinds and letting natural light in can be a great way to start the day and help boost your mood. Even opening the windows and letting fresh air into the room can ease your stress level. Adding an air purifier can also prove to be beneficial.
3. Double Duty: If you’re using your bedroom as more than only a bedroom, like using some of the space as an office, can send mixed signals to your brain when it comes time to relax for the evening. Having your office in the same space as where you sleep can make it difficult to separate your work life from your home life. 
4. Piles of Stuff: Piles of clothes in the corner, stacks of books, or shoes left out not only creates clutter in your room, but mental clutter as well. When your brain is trying to relax, it might start wandering to the dirty clothes that didn’t make their way to the clothes hamper.  Avoid the distraction but putting items back in their proper place when you’re done with them, or finding a better place other than the floor. 

Making these 4 changes can help to reduce the amount of stress your bedroom causes and put you on a path that is more conducive to a peaceful life style. Once you have your bedroom squared away, it’s time to look at other rooms in your home; even your cabinets can cause stress or headaches. If you’ve perfected every room in your home and you’re still feeling stressed, it’s possible that it’s your home that is causing your stress. If that’s the case, it’s time to find a new place to call your home! We’d love to give you a tour of our community and apartments. With multiple floorplans, spacious closets, and full size washer and dryers in each unit, we’re sure to have something you will love. 

9 Thanksgiving Traditions Your Family Will Love

Sacha R - Thursday, November 08, 2018

When it comes to many holidays, including Thanksgiving, it’s typically the same course of events each year. Wake up early, cook, possibly travel, eat, nap, and then indulge in more food. This Thanksgiving, try something new and start a new tradition. They don’t have to be boring or time consuming like people may think; these ideas are fun, easy, and family-friendly!

9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start 

1. Recipe Swap: This will be easy and fun, especially if you’re hosting as a potluck. If you are, ask your guests to bring the recipe for the dish they shared. If it isn’t a potluck, ask them to bring any of their favorite recipes to share. This will give your guests something to talk about aside from the weather and the game on T.V. 
2. Hold a Raffle: Ask each guest to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to a food pantry; each item gives them an entry into the raffle. Have fun with the prizes, first choice at the turkey or dessert, rights to the wishbone, goofy sunglasses or toys from a dollar store – the sky’s the limits, use your imagination!  
3. Guess the Thanks: Each year people tend to go around the table and share what they are thankful for that year. Instead, have your guests write down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for and put it in a jar. When it’s time to eat, you will each read a submission and take turns guessing the anonymous submission. 
4. Ditch the Football: Okay, maybe not entirely, but keep in mind not everyone wants to watch football for six hours. Instead, add in some classic T.V. sitcoms – especially any that have Thanksgiving episodes. 
5.  Those Who Cook Don’t Clean: If you cooked, kick your feet up after the feast is over; those who      didn’t cook will do the cleaning! This can be viewed as more of a principal than a tradition, call it what you will, it is something that should be adopted in each household. 
6.  Pre-Dessert Walk: Something so simple, we almost didn’t think of it. Rather than crashing on the couch or recliner, get everyone up and moving. Go for a walk in the park or down a peaceful road before having dessert. 
7. Bring a Game: Chances are, if your family plays a game – they play it every time they’re together. There’s nothing wrong with playing the same game, but, it’s fun to mix things up and try something new. Introduce your friends and family to a game they haven’t played before, you never know, it could become a new favorite.
8. Hand-Me-Down Exchange: Holidays are a perfect time to clean out the closet, especially if there are kids in your home. Encourage your guests to bring any items they are no longer wearing, winter coats, boots, shirts, you name it! Chances are one of your friends or loved one could use the item, or knows someone who’s in need! 
9. Book Swap: Don’t think of this as a book club, simply a swap. Guests can bring a book (or two, or three) and pass them along to one another so that others can enjoy their favorites. This will help give your guests something to talk about and perhaps introduce them to an author they wouldn’t normally read. It will also help kids become comfortable if they aren’t as rowdy as some of the other young ones.

We hope you enjoy these new traditions as much as we do! If you have, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know on our Facebook (@hawthornegardensapts). For more tips, including 10 ways to keep your home organized contact us today!

4 Chic Ways to Use Fall Foliage in Your Home

Sacha R - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Creating custom décor for your home doesn’t have to be a hard, time consuming, or costly. In fact, you can incorporate fall foliage found around the Capital Region including our community on six wooded acres in the Town of Guilderland. 

4 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Fall Foliage

Leaf Pressings: Floating frames, or picture frames that you can see through, create a perfect opportunity to press leaves. All too often, people use heavy books to press leaves or flowers, and then they’re forgotten about. Picking your favorite leaf, or leaves, and pairing them with properly sized floating frames gives you the chance to create an easy piece of art that is also tasteful and easy to switch out with the seasons. 

Fall Palette Arrangements: There are a lot of bushes with gorgeous colored leaves during the autumn months. Shades of reds and oranges pair with pale-colored hydrangea flowers you can find either from your local florist or super market flower department. Once you have your arrangement, all you’ll need is a vase and natural lighting from our oversized windows or private balcony

Garden Container Arrangement: Keeping in mind the same idea as the fall palette arrangement, a garden container arrangement can spruce up your balcony or patio in a matter of moments. Whether you prefer a container that is ornate, country chic, or something simple it can easily be dressed up with fall foliage to create something beautiful for your space. 

Acorn Garland: This DIY project might take more than a few minutes and a bit of effort, but the outcome is truly unique and a conversation starter.  To create this fall themed garland you will need to gather a large number of acorns (or purchase them at your local craft store!) and a suede cord or thicker twine. Once you have enough to satisfy your decorating needs, you can paint the acorn or leave it in its natural state, and then attach it to your cord using super glue or hot glue. To create a dangling effect, glue the acorn to the cord by its cupule (or cap). 

If you’re looking for more tips on decorating for the seasons, just let us know during your tour. We’ll be happy to give you tips, ideas, and suggest our favorite place to pick up décor. 

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