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The Latest Smart Devices for Your Luxury Apartment

Boston ApartmentsFor quite some time now, luxury has been more than lavish finishes and designer furniture. It’s also about using the latest technology for maximum comfort and perfect indulgence in your home. If you are among the owners or renters of luxury Boston apartments who are looking for ideas on how to make their place more upscale, consider some of the trendiest smart devices for homes.

Amazon Echo

This is the ultimate gadget for automated homes so it makes sense to place it at the top of your shopping list. Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker whose purpose is to serve as the central hub for all other smart devices in your apartment. It is powered by Alexa, the voice assistant of the brand. Thanks to it, you just need to tell your smart devices what to do and that’s it. Forget about pushing buttons and going through lengthy instruction manuals. It’s easy to setup commands with this advanced voice assistant.

Lutron Serena Shades

You can schedule when the shades will open and determine exactly by how much. This is a great way to get a gentle “wakeup” push in the morning and to ensure that you will make the most out of the rare sunny days during the winter in Boston. You will be able to control your shades remotely via an app even from the other side of the world. Voice operation with Apple’s Siri is also an option.

Somabar Robotic Bartender

You love cocktails, but you can’t put time and effort in making them, especially when you are throwing a party for your closest friends at your luxury apartments. Somabar eliminates the need for hiring a mixologist. Choose a cocktail from your app and you’ll get a list of the ingredients to add to the dishwasher-safe pods. Then the bartender will do the work for you. You just need to place a glass under the dispenser and wait a few seconds for the perfect drink.

Neato Botvac Connected

With this smart vacuum cleaner, residents living in Boston luxury apartments will never have to consider hiring a housemaid. It has a state-of-the-art navigation system which uses lasers to detect even the tiniest dirt accumulations. Then it simply goes there and removes them. Thanks to the U-shaped design, it does a superb job in cleaning corners. As its name hints, Botvac Connected has built-in Wi-Fi so you can take control over the cleaning via an app on your smartphone.

The only thing left is to let the coolest smart devices spoil you.

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How to Maximize Storage Space in Your Apartment

The reality is that modern people have lots of stuff and even those living in luxury boston apartments with a good amount of storage space are eager to get more. This is perfectly possible even if you are living in a one-bedroom rental or in your very own studio. You just have to be creative. The following tips and tricks have been proven to work.

Shelves Are Your Best Friends

Consider adding more to your closet and in the living room and bedroom and even the kitchen. When you buy bookshelves and cabinets, go for taller models. The addition of shelving is the most effective way to maximize storage space, especially in a tight apartment.

Get Furniture with Storage

In the living room, you can use ottomans, coffee tables and even couches with storage space. Take advantage of such pieces of furniture. You should not expect the integrated storage compartments to interfere with the comfort or aesthetics which you would expect to get. You can also opt for beds with drawers. Alternatively, if there’s free room under your bed, then get beautiful baskets in a matching style that will fit underneath and make full use of them. The situation with desks is similar. If yours doesn’t come with a chest of drawers and/or shelves, add them yourself.

Use Racks in Your Apartment

A coat rack may not seem like a big space saver, but it’s convenient for keeping bulky coats and jackets so you have more room in your closet. You can also use racks in the kitchen for hanging towels and cooking tools. The bathroom racks are also extremely functional. You can easily find models which can match the style even of the most modern luxury apartments Boston.

Be Creative and Bold

Some of the most unusual solutions for maximizing storage space actually work astonishingly well. If you have an old fireplace in your apartment, which you don’t use for getting warm during cold New England evenings, it can be turned into storage space. You can keep books and/or boxes with various types of items in it.

Another fabulous option is to set a not particularly deep, but tall bookshelf right behind your bed. This is how to get more functional space in addition to what your nightstands offer, if you have any. You can use the shelves for keeping books, cosmetics and anything else that could be useful to you.

To take full advantage of the ideas for maximizing storage space in apartments shared here, apply them directly or use them as inspiration to keep your space in order.

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Choosing Accessible Apartments for Rent in Boston

When considering different apartments for rent in Boston, there are always two important factors to consider in addition to the size, layout and amenities of the unit. These are the location and the commute. It’s great to be able to get to work or to your favorite restaurant in minutes without having to hop in a car or use the public transport. However, this opportunity comes at a price. That is why it is worth looking at the various rental options which you have when it comes to accessibility.

Getting Around Using Public Transport

The MBTA public transportation network includes the subway, which is popularly known as the T and has 3 lines, 14 commuter rail lines, 112 bus lines and 3 ferry lines. The majority of neighborhoods in Boston are covered by the subway system. The ones which are further away from downtown have commuter rail transportation. The bus system is very extensive with its main role being to cover the areas which don’t offer walking distance to the T or railway stations.

When looking at apartments for rent in Boston which are further away from downtown, you should always check how close the nearest T or railway station is and how you will be able to reach it. Since parking space near the stations can be an issue, this is another important factor to look into.

Walking and Biking

You will certainly be happy to discover that Boston is the 3rd most walkable of the largest cities in the United States. Still, if you want to be able to walk to work and to the top entertainment spots in the city, you will need to consider centrally located rental apartments.

Boston is covered with bike lanes and their number and length is constantly growing. The number of places for parking your bike near a T station or a railway station is on the rise too. If you love biking and want to get exercise every day, you should definitely check out a map which indicates the locations of the bike lanes when searching for a place to live.

Travelling by Car

Due to the narrow and winding streets, especially in the central part of the city, the well-developed public transportation network and the growing number of bike lanes, ever fewer Bostonians choose to commute by car within the city. If you prefer this option, however, you should always check what the situation with the parking is when comparing different apartments for rent in Boston. Older buildings do not typically have designated parking spaces for residents.

It’s always a good idea to take accessibility into account as one of the most important factors when choosing a rental apartment.

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5 Tips for Couples Moving in Together

From every way you look at it, moving in together with your special someone is a huge step. It is a completely different experience compared to having roommates and living with your mom and dad. It’s natural for couples to be excited about renting a place together, but there are some important and practical matters to take care of. Here’s how to ensure that the transition will go smoothly.

Plan the Move Together

Most likely, your belongings and your partner’s stuff won’t fit together in the new apartment. Even though there are spacious Boston apartment rentals, most city dwellings don’t offer a huge amount of space. Besides who needs two toasters or two sofas which don’t match? You should sit down and discuss what to keep, what to donate and what to get rid of. You should also work out the logistics of the move regarding packing, transportation and unpacking.

Agree on How Your Home Will Look and Feel

Even if you are deeply in love, this doesn’t mean that you and your partner has the same taste, especially when it comes to home decor. That is why you will benefit from checking out ideas and comparing different items that you will have to purchase together. Make sure that you cover all important points, including the wall color.

Make Arrangements for Covering the Expenses

This is perhaps the most sensitive aspects of all, but you should not be hesitant to talk about money. Discuss with your partner how you want to split expenses and how you will organize the payments. It’s common for couples to split all shared costs in half, but it is also possible to calculate percentage shares based on the income of each partner. You can also consider setting up a budget not only for the bills, but for other thing which you’ll share like food.

Organize House Chores

While you and your partner may have different habits, it’s always a good idea to share the responsibilities as well as the expenses. There isn’t a need for a strict plan or schedule. However, you should definitely discuss things like throwing the garbage, weekly vacuuming, buying groceries and doing simple maintenance jobs around the house. This will make you feel more at ease once you’ve chosen one of the Boston apartment rentals and are moving in.

Be Open and Flexible

You should be honest with your partner if you have concerns or aren’t happy about certain things. At the same time, the key to a healthy relationship is being prepared to make compromise. Strike the right balance and you’ll be living together happily.

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Tips for Finding and Hiring Cleaners

As a busy modern person living in Boston, you might find it hard to squeeze home cleaning into your weekly schedule. You manage to keep your place clean somehow, but you know that the results are subpar. You can have more time for the things which are important and keep your home spotlessly clean if you hire a professional cleaning service. Find out how to do this.

Rely on personal references.

It’s easy to find numerous local cleaners online, but how good are they, really? While online customer reviews could be helpful, it’s best if you ask around. You will get genuine advice from friends, coworkers and neighbors. You should also consider asking real estate agents offering Boston luxury condos for sale as they know of local cleaning service providers.

Get effective protection.

You should naturally assess the experience, professional conduct, equipment and cleaning products of the company that you plan to hire. However, you should not forget to check how dependable they are when it comes to protecting your property and interests. Consider hiring a company that runs a background check on employees and has liability insurance designed to compensate customers in case something is damaged, broken or goes missing. The service provider should also cover their workers for injuries on the job.

Define your needs clearly.

It’s up to you to decide whether to have your home cleaned from top to bottom or to have the cleaner perform only specific tasks. Boston owners putting their condos for sale will go for the first option, while people who plan to use the service regularly usually prefer the second one. When making a decision, you should consider which tasks won’t affect your schedule and productivity if you do them yourself.

Just keep in mind the cleaners won’t do some tasks due to safety concerns. Most won’t clean computers or other electronic equipment, for example. Similarly, if you have black mold, you will need to hire a specialist to get rid of it.

Make convenient arrangements.

You can decide whether to be present or not while the cleaner works in your home. If you choose the second option, you can leave a spare key and then have it left inside your place after the job is done. If your front door has an electronic lock like many Boston luxury condos, you can give the professional a unique access code.

Finally, it may sound a bit strange, but you should prepare your home for cleaning by picking up objects from the floor and leaving as few items on the countertops as possible. This will allow the cleaner to focus on getting your place spick and span.

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Keeping Your Apartment Cool in Summer

It can get very hot in Boston in the summer. The large number of closely packed buildings making things even worse. At the same time, many homes don’t have central air conditioning. This is particularly true for the older apartments in neighborhoods like South Boston, the South End, North End and Back Bay. Is there a way to keep your place cool when the next heatwave strikes? Use a set of techniques which have been proven to work.

Ditching Major Heat Sources

Keep the blinds/shades closed during the day to lower the amount of heat getting in from the outside. If you have curtains too, the results will be even better. Don’t keep windows open during the day unless someone’s at home. If birds get in or a storm starts, your apartment could suffer considerable damage.

Try not to use the oven during the hottest days of the summer. You can prepare food using the microwave or or by utilizing just one or two of the burners. If you have the opportunity to use an outdoor grill in your building or close to it, take full advantage of this opportunity.

Creating a Flow of Cool Air

Open as many windows and doors as possible during the night to create a cool flow in your apartment. Secure them into open position to ensure that you won’t be woken up by a loud bang.

One way to make the flow of air even cooler is to hang long pieces of absorbent cloth over the curtain rods and dip their lower ends in buckets of cold water. You can do this using cheap curtains too. The water will get absorbed into the fabric and when the air passes through it, it will be become a lot cooler.

You can use another classic trick to make the air in their home cooler. Just place a bucket of ice in front of a fan and make sure that the air is blown over the ice. It works wonders.

Staying Cool at Night

You will benefit from bedding made of light breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Consider a sleeping pillow filled with hulls as it has great breathability. Another simple trick is to place plastic bottles with frozen water around your bed and under it, if possible. Fill the bottles up to three quarters in the morning, put them in the freezer and they will be ready for the evening.

Finally, spend more time outside in the summer.

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How to Live Frugally Without Feeling Deprived

It’s one thing to be frugal and another to live like a miser. The question is how to stick to a tight budget and save money while enjoying life to the fullest. Here are some tips and ideas to help you with this. As a Bostonian, you shouldn’t find it hard to achieve your goal.

Save on Major Items Reasonably

When you have a limited budget, it makes sense to look for a Boston apartment with a lower rental rate. Even if it isn’t in a prime location, you should find it easy to get to work with the excellent public transportation system in the city. When considering apartments for rent in Boston, you should do the math to see if it’s cheaper to rent a bigger place with one or more roommates. This is usually the more frugal option. It can be more fun too.

With a little DIY you can better insulate your apartment and save on utilities. Thick rugs and darkening curtains make the rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You can opt for energy-saving lightbulbs too.

Keep an eye on the deals at the local supermarket and take advantage of coupons which are now readily available online as well as in the Sunday paper. Don’t hesitate to bring your lunch to work. There are healthy mouth-watering recipes that you can prepare quickly while spending very little money on the ingredients.

Be Active with Minimal Spending

You can save on a gym membership if you choose to exercise outdoors. There are plenty of Boston parks offering superb opportunities for jogging, walking and cycling. You can also try kayaking which isn’t particularly expensive. When the weather gets cold, you can get a yoga mat, an exercise ball and/or other simple equipment and work out at home. You can easily rearrange the living room to get enough space even in one of the small cheap apartments in Boston.

Have Fun on a Budget

Things like dining out and clubbing, especially in a city like Boston, may not be very good for your wallet, but this doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself of a social life. A local pub may be a great place to relax and have fun every now and then. You can also entertain at home. If you are inventive, you will surely be able to squeeze a good number of friends in your place.

Finally, take advantage of as many of the free events organized in Boston as often as possible for maximum entertainment without dipping into your pockets.

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What’s It Like Living at Ritz Carlton Boston?

If you’ve always wanted to live in your own home, but to have all the luxury and amenities typical for a five-star hotel, you can get this if you buy or rent one of the Ritz Carlton Boston residences. The recently built 35-story towers in downtown Boston feature spacious modern homes where one can enjoy first class pampering. Prospective residents can select from units with one to four bedrooms and a variety of views. Ready for a taste of what living at Ritz Carlton Boston is like?

Prime Location

The towers are much taller than the surrounding buildings in the prime Midtown area. This gives residents incredible views of the Boston Common, Black Bay and Boston Harbor. Both the city’s skyline and the river are spectacular at any time of the day. You will be able to enjoy them fully whenever you wish thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in all rooms of the Ritz Carlton residences – from the main living space to the bedrooms.

You will be a walking distance away from the most famous theatres and the best restaurants in the city. There are amazing opportunities for shopping too. If you work in the downtown area, you could even afford the luxury of walking to work.

Fantastic Residential Units

When living at the Ritz Carlton Boston, a mahogany door will welcome you to your home. While the views will naturally draw your attention, you will be impressed by the cherry hardwood floors and the ultra-modern and super comfortable designer furniture. The units are more than spacious. This is true even for the children’s and guest bedrooms.

The kitchen has a tile floor, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances from top brands, including a double oven, and even a wine cabinet. The bathrooms have marble finishes. Units with a balconies are optional.

Multiple Amenities

As a resident of the complex, you will have access the amenities and services offered by the hotel. Residents love the gym. It offers a variety of classes, the best modern equipment and a full-service spa. Room service is just a phone call away. Concierge and valet parking services are at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Last, but not least, living at Ritz Carlton Boston as a permanent resident will give you a worldwide discount at all of their hotels.

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How to Remedy a Peeling Ceiling

The main reason why paint peels off the ceiling is improper initial painting or rather preparation of the surface. Moisture and heat can also help to trigger the process. The good news is that this problem isn’t huge and can be easily fixed. It’s a DIY job, but if you live in a rental unit, you should check whether you are allowed to do it just to be on the safe side.

One word of caution here. If you live in one of the cheap apartments in Boston built before the 1980’s, there is a chance that the ceiling paint could contain lead. If you have even the slightest reason to suspect that this is the case, you should check immediately. Only a qualified professional can remove lead paint.

Proper Preparation

For this job, you will need patching compound, primer, paint, putty knife, fine-grain sandpaper and painting brush or small roller. Consider oil-based primer for the bathroom and latex-based one for the other rooms. Paint with gloss or semi-gloss finish will be the most resistant to damage as it doesn’t absorb moisture easily. Many people who live in cheap apartments in Boston where moisture is not uncommon prefer products which are resistant to mildew.

You must wear a dust mask and clear goggles for protection from the small dust particles which will get released while you are doing the job. Consider putting gloves on too. Another key thing is to cover the floor, so that cleaning will be easy.

Achieving Excellent Results

Begin by peeling off the loosened paint around the affected part of the ceiling using the putty knife. You should stop once you reach paint which sticks firmly to the ceiling. Sand the area where the paint was with the sandpaper to prepare it for the next phase of the repair.

Apply a thin layer of patching compound over the sanded area using the putty knife. Once the compound is dry, add as second layer to make the surface perfectly even. After the second layer dries completely, sand the area and brush off any excess dust.

When the ceiling section is ready, apply primer using the painting brush or roller and wait for it to dry. Then you can apply the paint that you have chosen.

There are various simple additional measures which can be used to prevent ceiling peeling. The main one is to ensure proper ventilation. Keep the bathroom and kitchen vents open and open the windows too, when needed.

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Make Your Apartment Feel Like the Ritz

If you don’t have a few million to splash on a home, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t turn your place into an elegant and luxury retreat. With a few tricks and creative ideas, you can feel as if you are living at Ritz Carlton Boston. Let’s get started.

Consider Spoiling Upgrades

Crunch the numbers in to find out how much money you can afford to spend on adding luxury to your home. It makes sense to start with major, but not extremely expensive upgrades. Some of the options include a glass enclosure for the shower, a bath tub, granite countertops for the kitchen and matching luxury bedding and curtains for the bedroom.

Clever Organization for Avoiding Clutter

When you enter a luxury abode, you cannot help but notice how immaculate everything is. It seems as if every member of the family has a maid going after him or her and tidying everything. You can achieve this kind of perfection by making the storage space in your home better organized.

Make use of wall and corner space by installing shelves or tall cabinets. Use organizers inside the closet. If you are buying coffee tables, consider models that offer storage space. One very clever trick for avoiding clutter is to keep baskets on the shelves. There you can place anything that you want and even if it’s complete mess inside, no one will be able to tell.

Creating Extra Comfort

When you think about how living at the Ritz Carlton is, the big amenities come to mind first. However, there are also smaller and less expensive ones that can make you very happy. You can readily set up a small bar fridge next to the TV in the living room, so you will always have direct access to refreshments. You can also opt for an armchair or chez lounge to keep in the corner with an elegant free-standing light. There’s your perfect reading corner.

The Small Things Count

Even if you have a very limited budget, you can still give your place a luxury touch. Invest in a beautiful soap dispenser set and aroma therapy candles for the bathroom. Get the fluffiest towels which you can find. Decorate the living room sofa and your bed with cushions. Place fresh flowers in every room. Currently, the clear vases with geometric shapes are a huge hit and there are models available at very low prices. If you are frugal, you can even consider using jars.

Try these and give your home the makeover which it needs to feel as if you are living at the Ritz.