Community Spotlight: Cobblestone Apartments


Just a quick drive from downtown Gainesville, you can find the stylish community of townhomes at Cobblestone Apartments. They’re located up the road from the shopping at Gainesville Plaza and are convenient to a number of stores and restaurants as well as Shands Hospital, Santa Fe College, and the University of Florida.

When you first enter the Cobblestone Apartments community there is a sparkling fountain by the clubhouse and well manicured green space all around. Inside the clubhouse, residents can take advantage of free wifi or shoot a game of pool. Other indoor community amenities include a 24-hour fitness center and tanning beds. Taking a look around the grounds at Cobblestone, you’ll see a beautiful swimming pool with a sun deck and hot tub attached. Outside there are also tennis and basketball courts as well as a spacious, private dog park.

Inside Cobblestone’s apartments, high vaulted ceilings and spacious layouts make the units feel airy and open. The design inside the units is contemporary and comfortable, making it easy to call home. Each bedroom in the unit has a full bathroom and walk-in closets and apartments come complete with a washer and dryer in the unit as well.

The apartments at Cobblestone are available in two and three bedroom layouts with leases as short as 9 months. Cats and dogs are both allowed in the apartments and there’s no weight limit on dogs! Schedule a tour to see for yourself how you can find your new place at Cobblestone.

Expecting the Unexpected at IKEA

I just walked out of one of my all-time favorite stores…the beloved IKEA. It’s had quite the cult following in the United States for years and now the brand is enjoying a more mainstream success. One of the reasons this company seems to do so well is their penchant for creating not only functional and clever designs, but attractive and modern ones too. After weaving around the showroom, following the arrows lighting up the floor, I was not surprised by how IKEA continues to surprise and delight me with their ingenuity.

The thing that IKEA does best is helping apartment renters utilize the space available. We’ve all seen under the bed storage, hanging shoe racks, and wall-mounted shelves, but they go above and beyond.

One of my favorite apartment finds from this trip was the PS secretary desk. It’s slim, so it takes up very little space, and the front folds open so you can work on your laptop or homework, then fold it back when you’re finished. It’s also very minimalist and attractive with a two-tone wood grain and white design.

A smaller, yet very clever little item I saw today was the Pudda storage bin. It’s made from a heavy gray felt and is accented with little gold buttons. What’s so cool about it and its origami inspired design is it means you can undo the buttons and unfold it to be flat. So while they’re in use, they’re very stylish and modern looking and then when they’re not in use they take up a very miniscule amount of space. So this little bin is the best of both worlds.

Something else I noticed was something I feel often gets neglected in apartments: sufficient lighting in storage spaces. When I was looking around the showroom, opening drawers and cabinet doors, often a light would come on when I opened them. At the end of the day, you can have an organized cabinet or wardrobe but it’s difficult to utilize if you can’t see it very well. You can find a whole list of options for integrated lighting systems at IKEA here.

There certainly are some things things that IKEA is not ideal for, but when it comes to attractive and clever small space design, they take the cake!


Community Spotlight: Spyglass Apartments


If you’re a student at UF or Santa Fe and you’re looking for a new living space, consider the picturesque Spyglass Apartments located in western Gainesville. Spyglass is an ideal community for students living off-campus. Apartments range from one to three bedrooms, but all come with fantastic amenities and reasonable rates.

Spyglass apartments can be either furnished or not furnished, depending on your individual needs. Furnished Spyglass apartments are complete with queen sized beds and every bedroom has it’s own personal walk-in closet and private bathroom, which make them all the more appealing.  If you’re a student and this is your first apartment, there’s no pressure to invest in expensive new furniture when you can rent a furnished apartment. Apartments at Spyglass are spacious too- floor plans range from 717 square feet to a roomy 1188 square feet, which provides you and your roommates with a comfortable living space.

The Spyglass community offers a long list of amenities to residents, which includes: a pool, volleyball court, tennis court, computer lab, basketball court, fitness center, hot tub, and you can choose to have a washer and dryer in your unit for a small set up fee, among other features. There are a number of services which are also included in rent, such as cable, internet, pest control, and trash removal.

If you have a beloved dog and you’ve had trouble finding the right apartment, Spyglass may be the perfect solution for you! They are pet friendly and even have a dog park for their dog loving residents.  Pet fees are only $200 up front and $20 a month, which makes this community an obvious choice for dog lovers.

Schedule a tour today to check out all that Spyglass has to offer!

Hit The Books: Decorating With Books in Your Apartment


When you have a love for books, they typically appear in droves after a trip to the used bookstore, and pile up rapidly. But it’s ok if you have a desire to lost in a story, or many stories, which fill up your book shelves and gradually creep into all the corners of your apartment.

Why not spotlight your beloved books in your Apartment instead of squirreling them away? Highlight your individual interests with these creative ways to display your library.

Color Coding Highlight your colorful books by arranging them on a shelf in chromatic, or rainbow, order. You can also add objects of the same color in front of books on the shelves to add to them color theme. If you have a large wall of bookshelves this makes a really powerful statement.

Artful Covers What are some of your all-time favorite book covers? Some iconic ones come to mind – The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, etc. Display your favorite book cover designs by placing them facing forward on floating picture ledges. Large coffee table books make especially good choices for this type of display (Side note, music lovers- this is also a great way to display your favorite album covers and you can easily switch them out for a rotating gallery).

Strategic Stacks Elevate objects on your coffee table, desk, night stand, etc. by using short stacks of books. Larger books are best for this as well and help create a tiered, multi-dimensional surface for your other objects to sit on.

Books as Furniture Create a nightstand or side table out of a sturdy stack of books. Small paperback novels will not be as useful for this unless you stack them Jenga style, but larger hardcover books make for great furniture substitutes. For an example, look at this one here. If you want to make it more minimalist or simple, use one stack of larger books instead of the combined stacks.

Community Spotlight: The Grove Villas Apartments


If you’re seeking a serene reserve in the heart of the hustle and bustle of a college town, The Grove Villas apartments may be just what you’re looking for. The Grove Villas include the conveniences of being close to campus and on both University of Florida and Santa Fe College bus lines, but also provide solitude and highlight the natural beauty of the Florida flora.

The Grove Villas are perfect for those who enjoy independence – all units are one bedroom layouts with your choice between the Juniper and Magnolia floor plans. The units are bright, spacious, and inviting. They have a breakfast nook between the kitchen and living room, a patio outside, carpeting, and all units are master suites.

When residents aren’t spending time inside their apartments, they can take advantage of the tennis court outside or go on a walk around the property with their dogs. If you’re a pet owner, you’re in luck; dogs are allowed at The Grove Villas with no weight or breed restrictions!

Some of the amenities included are a convenient 24 hour laundry facility, recycling, package receiving, cable and phone hook ups, security, and air conditioning. Pest control and trash collection are included in rent at The Grove Villas as well. Another advantage to living at the Grove Villas is the secure feeling of living in a gated community with controlled access at the gate.

Sometimes you’re looking for a less permanent living situation and need a shorter lease. The Grove Villas has leasing options available that offer flexibility to residents. Leases can be seven to twelve months in length so you won’t feel restricted by a long agreement. Schedule a tour to see how the Grove Villas can be your next home in Gainesville.

Exploring and Defining Your Apartment’s Style


Your environment and surroundings can contribute significantly to your mood and how you feel regularly. Home is supposed to be a safe, comfortable, maybe even invigorating or stimulating space. However, I don’t think we all are hardwired with the knowledge of what makes us feel this way. Often when we feel it we don’t take note of what in particular contributes to that feeling – we simply notice the effect. Here’s how you can begin to pick apart what makes you feel at home.

It’s taken me a while to really find what makes me feel good in a space. The process can take time, but I know now I prefer dark moody interiors with a lot of green, minimal well designed furniture, and good ambient lighting. These help me both relax and think. After reading an article on the psychology of space and our relationship with spaces, I took note of this particular quote:

Every minute of our lives is spent in physical dialogue with the space around us. The spaces we occupy directly influence our psychological well-being and creative performance. Space has the ability to shape who we are and how we behave.”

With that in mind, I’ve written before about how much of a difference the color of your walls can make on your mood and well-being. When you’re somewhere you love to be, whether it’s your favorite cafe, your friend’s place, or back home with your parents, take note of the colors they use. Keep a log of what those are and notice whether they’re warm or cool colors. For example, a warm yellow is almost orange, but a cool yellow is like the color of a lemon. Some people feel cozier in warmer colors, but others prefer the more stimulating feel of cooler ones.

A good method to figuring out your style is to keep a mood board with pictures. You can get a home decorating magazine (there are a multitude of them) and cut them out or peruse sites like one of my favorites, SF Girl By Bay, which features spaces of all kinds, all over the world. So once you’ve filled up a little board with pictures, you will see a pattern. Then finally that pattern can be applied to your space to make it your own.

I know an apartment is sometimes too temporary for paint, so think in terms of window coverings, furniture, and rugs. Those large pieces provide a lot of color and style to your rooms. Consider your lighting as well to make sure you have options that are good for your mood.

Once you explore your style, you’ll create a space that makes you feel good and right at home.

Community Spotlight: Arlington Square Apartments


There are a multitude of options when it comes to shopping for apartments in Gainesville. It all depends on what you’re seeking- and if you’re looking for a unique, scenic place to call home right in the heart of downtown, check out Arlington Square. Arlington Square Apartments are far from typical boxy metropolitan apartment complex. The apartments have character and color and truly look more like a resort than an apartment community.

Let’s put aesthetic appeal aside for a moment, and note how on a more practical note Arlington Square offers residents an impressive list of options. Apartment layouts come in 13 configurations to choose from! From studio spaces to three bedroom apartments, you can find what fits your lifestyle and budget best. Some of the many amenities you can opt to have in your apartment are fireplaces, sun rooms, washers and dryers, or hardwood floors.

Community amenities aren’t lacking either: they include free parking, a beautiful pool and courtyard space, grill and picnic area, and laundry facilities, among others. When you’re not inside your apartment you can enjoy the beautiful community space that feels like a real retreat from the city, but with the convenience to all of what’s going on in downtown Gainesville.

Your dogs are welcome at Arlington Square too – there is no breed or weight restriction for dogs. If you’re more of a cat person, don’t worry. Cats are allowed, too! You can make a happy home with your furry friends here.

Take a tour of Arlington Square Apartments to see which of their many plans fits what you’re looking for in Gainesville!


A Student Budget-Friendly Way to Help Guests Feel Welcome


You may be doing more traveling away from your apartment for the holidays than having people coming in, but there will still be the occasional time when you have a friend in from out of town crash at your place. Apartments can be tricky spots for having guests (I used to squeeze a full size inflatable air mattress into my living room for guests) but a warm welcome doesn’t necessarily have to be flashy or expensive. More often than not, it’s simply attention to detail and remembering what it’s like to be a guest yourself.

I noticed recently while staying at a friend’s place that she had a little basket in her guest room that was full of travel size toiletry items. I thought this was such a nice touch because when you’re traveling, especially when flying and everything has to be TSA approved, it’s easy to forget to bring some of your essentials.

Even if you don’t have a guest room, you can still keep a small basket in your bathroom or hall storage to put extra travel size products for guests. These can be leftover shampoos, conditioners, etc. that you have collected from previous vacations and hotel stays. As a guest, it’s nice to have a backup supply instead of being nervous about asking your host to borrow something.

Little gestures like these are not expensive at help make your friends feel welcome in your apartment!