Community Spotlight: Spanish Trace Apartments


If you’re looking to live somewhere that’s conveniently located to the best shopping and entertainment in Gainesville, Spanish Trace Apartments is a perfect choice. Spanish Trace combines peaceful living with convenience for its residents. Not only is it located right by Butler Plaza shopping, but it is also on public transit routes that can take residents who are students to the University of Florida on a direct bus line.

The community at Spanish Trace is fresh and attractive looking, with well-kept grounds and beautiful greenery. Outside the apartments is a glittering pool for residents to swim and play in on a sunny afternoon. There is also a basketball court on the property for outdoor recreation. Inside the clubhouse there is a gym, a pool table, and free wi-fi. There’s also a laundry facility for residents, which is open 24 hours a day.

Inside the apartments, units are laid out in one, two, and three bedroom configurations, ranging from 600 to 1250 square feet. Layouts are spacious, with large walk-in closets, and fully-equipped kitchens. Each apartment has wall-to-wall carpeting as well.

Some of the perks for Spanish Trace residents are: 24 hour emergency maintenance, pet-friendly apartments with no weight limit for dogs, and easy access to public transportation. Rent also includes cable tv, pest control, and garbage collection.

Check out Spanish Trace today and see what specials are available!


DIY Door Mats to Make Your Apartment Warm & Welcoming


Apartments don’t really get to play up the whole curb appeal thing like houses do, but as apartment renters we can certainly spruce up the front door! A really fun and flexible DIY weekend project is to personalize or create your own special front door mat. Creating your own welcome mat is a quick way to add some unique charm to your front door.

Some of these projects require more work than others, but many are truly easy ways to personalize a store bought doormat.

Updated “HOME” Textured Outdoor Rug

This DIY uses a small outdoor rug purchased at Target and some colorful exterior paint to make a bold and welcoming door mat. It is perfect if you have house paint leftover from other projects!

“Come Back With Tacos” Mat

A simple DIY of cutting a stencil and spray painting onto a plain mat – very simple to do and hilariously cheeky once it’s done!

Fun Fruity Semi-Circle Doormats

The House That Lars Built always has such whimsical DIY’s and these fruit slice welcome mats are no exception. Use a plain semi-circle doormat and some paint to transform it into a summery tropical way to welcome guests in.

Minimalist Wooden Doormat

If you like neutral colors and clean lines, this welcome mat may be up your alley. Made from wood and rope, it’s very Scandi. This project is a little more labor intensive than the previous two, so be prepared (with a drill)!

Braided Rope Doormat

This one is definitely the most labor intensive, but looks so amazing! If you love nautical themed decor or you’re into macrame, this is the perfect project. The directions suggest practicing the weaving by making a scaled down version first.


Community Spotlight: The Gardens Apartments


When you want to be a short commute from the bustle of downtown Gainesville but not necessarily in the thick of it, the southwestern part of the city is a great refuge to call home. Located in this southwestern region are plenty of shops, entertainment, and nearby parks and conservation areas. The Gardens Apartments is located in southwest Gainesville and is a serene community with a lot to offer.

The Gardens is only four miles from the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, which makes for an easy commute for students. Those who are raising families are at an advantage as well because The Gardens is located in a school district that boasts well-rated schools which excel in not only academics, but art and athletics as well.

Apartments at The Gardens are available in one, two, and four bedroom floor plans, with up to two and a half baths. Inside the apartments, residents have plenty of storage space with large walk-in closets and spacious floor plans. Private balconies or patios are also included and select units have washers and dryers as well.

The Gardens’ community amenities include plenty of ways to spend free time – whether it’s swimming in the pool, playing basketball or tennis on the courts, or relaxing on the sun deck on a pleasant afternoon. Residents can also take advantage of the additional perks of living at The Gardens, like spending time with pets since the community is pet friendly. Other perks include pest control, alarm systems, trash pickup, and much more.

Schedule a tour here to get current specials and envision your future at The Gardens!

Simple Habits To Keep Your Clothes Looking New


Buying new clothes all the time can be fun if you love to go shopping, but it gets expensive! Even if you’re a Grade A bargain hunter, it’s better for your wallet and for the environment to buy better quality clothing and take good care of it. Keeping your clothes looking fresh isn’t necessarily difficult, either.

Wash less often A common thing to do is to wash something after wearing it once. How many hours did you wear it? Were you exerting a lot of energy and sweating when you wore it? If you only wore something half a day for leisurely activities, you can typically hang it back up to air out. Things like sweaters, jackets, and loose-fitting jeans can go a number of wears without being washed. This will prevent unnecessary wear on your clothes.

Separate clothing by color and by weight Washing delicates in with jeans can tear up your finer things. Wash paints and heavy clothing together while saving thinner tops and delicates for a separate cycle.

Check the temperature Your clothing will tell you how to wash it, which is helpful. As a rule, cold water does less harm to your clothes than warm. However, if your workout clothes may need to be washed in warm or hot water to get the sweat or deodorant out. Bonus – using cold water uses less energy, too.

Wash and dry inside out This will protect the exterior of your clothes from fading as much when you wash them.

Air dry more Over-drying clothes will fade, shrink, or damage them. Some drying is fine, but most things are better air dried most of the way and gently dried to soften them up. Or you can do it the other way- dry them part the way in the dryer, then take them out and hang them up or use a folding laundry rack to dry them on. If you have to pay extra to use a dryer, this is a great way to save money on your laundry.

Searching for Vintage in Gainesville


Retro styles are everywhere on the interior decorating scene- mid-century modern, antique replicas, and so forth. You can buy new version of these things at furniture and home goods stores like Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and even Target….for a price! These reproductions are not always affordable and often lack character or quality.

If you’re searching for honest-to-goodness vintage finds in Gainesville, this upcoming event may be the perfect opportunity to find that vintage piece you’ve been looking for!

The Gainesville Pop-Up Vintage Market will take place next on April 6, 2018 at La Chua Vintage. The market is a recurring collection of vintage vendors that set up around Gainesville. The upcoming market will be a “happy hour” style experience, lasting from 5 PM to 10 PM.

When you’re looking for vintage finds, here are some things to keep an eye out for:

Quality is key – look for items that appear well-made and durable; skip furniture that is cracked or does not have a solid frame

Lackluster upholstery isn’t a dealbreaker – chairs can be reupholstered at home or sent to a shop to be worked on, so you’re not married to the current upholstery. Just keep in mind it is usually an investment.

Measure before you shop – furniture does not look the same way in a store as it will in your apartment, so sometimes it’s handy to keep your room measurements with you.

Be able to bargain – If you see a scuff or a scratch on something, that’s a bargaining point. Flea markets are great places to test your negotiating skills.

An Easily Forgotten Moving Pro-Tip


I myself have fallen prey to an overlooked apartment detail…stairwell measurements. It’s not often on the forefront of your list when you’re moving, but it should at least BE on the list. Trust me, there isn’t much worse than getting your box springs stuck going up the stairs.

Preferably before the moving process even begins and while you’re still considering your new apartment, make sure you can actually get your furniture up the stairs or in the elevator and to your prospective spot. You may want to take measurements of the stairwell and the hallway so there are no mishaps. Other tricky and often forgotten spots are hallways, entry doors and secondary doors, and rooms inside the apartment you have to move things through. Unless you plan on selling your large furniture and buying new things, this could be a dealbreaker for the apartment.

When I had my box springs mishap a few years ago, I was thankfully able to narrowly back it out of the cramped stairwell. Then, like an intelligent person, I took the exterior stairs on the back of the building instead. Thankfully that set of stairs didn’t have walls built up around the sides and the open areas allowed my friends and I to move the bed more freely.

Some of the items you might want to measure before you move (from your current space) are:

  • Bed
  • Bed Frame (ideally it comes apart)
  • Sofa
  • Dining Table
  • Desk
  • Bookshelves

Community Spotlight: Museum Walk Apartments


If you’re a UF student and you want to be as close to campus as possible, while still enjoying the independence of off-campus living, Museum Walk Apartments is a great community to consider. Museum Walk is just across the street from the University of Florida, making it the perfect location when you want to keep up with all the activities and events happening on campus. Residents are also able to hop on several different bus lines to quickly go downtown, to the Hub, the Stadium, and more.

Museum Walk Apartments offers two and three bedroom units, with a bathroom for each bedroom. Residents enjoy sleek, modern design in the units and stylish furnishings. Select homes also include upgraded granite countertops and energy efficient stainless steel appliances. Each unit is spacious and inviting, with vaulted ceilings and ample storage space. All apartments at Museum Walk include cox cable and internet, water, and sewer.

The Museum Walk community is colorful and surrounded with lovely green plant life, which fills the inner courtyard. This green space is a perfect getaway for residents from busy Gainesville life. Residents can also go for a dip in the community pool. Inside the community buildings are a computer lab, tanning beds with unlimited tanning, and a 24 hour fitness center.

Museum Walk is pet friendly! Cats and dogs are both welcome and there is no weight limit for dogs. A few other perks for Museum Walk residents are: roommate matching services, free parking for residents, and flexible lease terms!

Schedule a tour today!


A Beginner’s Guide to Window Treatments


I was standing in the curtains aisle scratching my head the other day. The blinds I have aren’t cutting it and I decided to spring for some curtains instead. I don’t have much experience with curtains, so it’s the Wild West for me. How long should they be? Do I want them to block light? What’s the difference between a shade and a curtain? I was like a lost puppy, wandering up and down the window treatments section of Target. So instead, I decided to go home and do some research first. I thought it would be helpful to share my findings and provide a breakdown of what’s out there and the best ways to use what’s available.

First of all, what do you want? Choosing the Right Curtains

  • Light filtering / Sheer: these allow light to pass through. You may want blinds underneath for privacy.
  • Light blocking / Blackout: these are more opaque and provide more privacy.

Measure your windows. Take height and width measurements and keep them with you when you go shopping.

Length: It’s generally accepted now that curtains look best when they’re floor length. Short curtains can look a little wonky or silly – and trust me, they do. I had to get some short ones for a kitchen door window and they’re downright goofy looking. Most curtains in the big stores are 63” to 144”. Always get them a little longer than the length of the rod to the floor. For small windows, like in a kitchen, you can opt for something like a cafe curtain which covers about half to two thirds of a window and is more decorative than anything else.

Width: They should be about twice as wide as your window, together (both panels combined).

Color, texture, and pattern will all be up to you. It may depend on your decor or it may depend on price, or availability. Shop around and see what’s out there.

Installing Curtain Rods

If you don’t already have a curtain rod mounted, check with your landlord before you install one. Once you have the go ahead, they should be mounted several inches above your window and several inches wider than your window. Here’s a good guide for installing curtain rods, including the tools you’ll need.

Shades and Blinds

If you want to use something other than curtains, you can try shades or blinds. Most apartments already include mini-blinds.

Shades: Shades are a great economical option. They are a single sheet of fabric which cinches up to let light through the window.

Blinds: Blinds come in both horizontal and vertical varieties and are slatted, letting light in between the slats. Most plastic and aluminum blinds are affordable for a student budget and can be found easily at home goods stores.

Community Spotlight: Hidden Village Apartments


Tucked away out of sight in Gainesville is an aptly named hidden gem: Hidden Village Apartments. Hidden Village is right off Old Archer Road and while it is not visible from the main road, is still conveniently near University of Florida and everything going on in Gainesville! Hidden Village Apartments are a great spot for students and young professionals to call home.

Hidden Village features one and two bedroom apartments in its peaceful community. Units are budget-friendly and Hidden Village offers great amenities to all residents. Inside the apartments, layouts are spacious and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Kitchens are fully equipped and larger floor plans include an outdoor patio or balcony as well.

Hidden Village residents get guaranteed parking as well as access to several different bus routes right outside their front door. There is a laundry facility on-site for your convenience and a duck pond outside for your enjoyment! Residents can feel free to use the picnic tables and barbecues outside for entertaining friends or relaxing outside on a nice day.

Hidden Village is pet friendly! When you live at Hidden Village, there are perks for both you and your pets! There is a dog park with an agility course at residents’ disposal as well as a deluxe dog wash! You can even get a discount if your pet was adopted at a shelter or rescue.

In addition to all the other perks, trash collection, pest control, and sewer feeds are all included in rent at Hidden Village. Check out current specials or schedule a tour here!

Refuel at Local Coffee Spots in Gainesville


Creating a great workspace in your apartment is key, especially if you’re a student or if you work from home. But no matter how cool and quiet your study spot is, sometimes you need to switch it up – and enjoy some [energizing] coffee while you’re at it. So where are the good coffee spots in Gainesville? Check out these places and maybe they’ll become your new java haunts.


Located right off University Ave. and near Bo Diddley Community Plaza is Volta Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate. These purveyors of specialty coffees, teas, chocolates, and baked goods are all about variety and quality. Check their Facebook page to see what goodies they have available each day for your snacking enjoyment.  48 SW 2nd. St.

Opus Coffee

Opus Coffee has been around Gainesville roasting and serving up delicious coffee since 2002. Now they have multiple locations around town so you’ll likely be able to find one near you to hang out at. Opus focuses on quality and the origins of their skillfully roasted coffee beans. Check out one of their many locations around town – you can find them listed at the bottom of their site.

Curia on the Drag

Curia is housed within a larger space that includes an art gallery and individual art studios on 6th Street. This chic, beautiful coffee shop is an artistic oasis for creative minds. Spend an afternoon or evening studying surrounded by colorful works of art, greenery, and the aroma of coffee.  2029 NW 6th St.

Pascal’s Coffee House

Pascal’s is a spot created by the Christian Study Center of Gainesville, but all are welcome to enjoy coffee and community at this local space. Pascal’s offers a bright, uplifting space to spend time studying or hanging with friends while enjoying their ethically sourced and carefully roasted coffee drinks.   112 NW 16th St.