Category Archives: Apartment Living

5 Affordable and Chic Home Decor Ideas

chic home decor

Have you ever been browsing Pinterest on the couch, and looked up and realized your apartment isn’t nearly as aesthetically pleasing as it could be?

Our apartments are our safe spaces, our havens, our cozy dens away from the daily stresses of life. It’s easy to let decorating fall by the wayside sometimes, though, especially when you’re on a tight budget.

That shouldn’t stop you from adding some chic home decor to your apartment, though. Keep reading to check out some affordable apartment home decor ideas that’ll make your place Pinterest-worthy in no time.

Take A Good Look

First things first: take a look around your apartment. Try to set aside your mind’s ideas of the purposes of the items you see around you. Instead, focus on their aesthetics.

You’d be surprised at all the potentially chic home decor you already have lying around.

Old cowboy boots? Those would look great on a little bench near the door.

A bowl full of mandarin oranges? Instead of hiding them in the pantry, bring them out and set them on the counter for a pop of color.

Form meets function.

Cinder Block Planters

The cinder block planter is the cheapest planter you’ll ever own. Bonus: they’re super easy to make.

Run to your local hardware store and pick up a few cinder blocks, some landscape fabric, and the right type of soil for your preferred plants. Succulents look particularly chic in cinder block planters.

From there, it’s as simple as stacking them up and transferring the plant to its new home. Boom: chic home decor from the hardware store.

Faux Copper Beveled Mirror

The faux copper beveled mirror is another great DIY that can mostly be done with simple materials. Check your local thrift store for a cool mirror, then grab some copper tape from the hardware store.

Line the edge of the mirror with the copper tape. Then, create a geometric pattern of tape on the surface of the mirror to make it appear beveled. It’ll turn a cheap-looking mirror that you got for a few bucks into trendy wall art that you can hang in a bedroom, bathroom, or hallway.

DIY Photo Displays

Do you have tons of photographs, but don’t want to spend money on tons of picture frames? Well, who needs glass to hang photos?

Pick up some small, simple clipboards and hang them on the wall, placing your favorite photos in the clip for display.

You can also string up a line of twine or string from one end of the wall to the other, hanging photos on clothespins along the line. This is a great way to decorate a whole wall quickly, easily, and on the cheap.

Don’t Fear the Flea Market

The term “flea market” usually populates your mind with images of cheap plastic toys, trading card booths, and $1.50 hotdogs. Sure, those things can definitely be found there, but there are a slew of other potentially chic home decor items in the mix too. It just requires some curiosity and patience to discover them.

Scour the market for a ladder to hang towels on, or an old pipe to turn into a DIY paper towel holder. You can also usually find some rustic chic furniture there, like antique end tables and funky chairs. In the Fall, the flea market abounds with fun harvest decorations like pumpkins and foliage wreaths.

Chic Home Decor On the Cheap

You don’t have to be raking in the dough to curate a space that feels good to you. With a little time and elbow grease, you can spruce up your place in no time.

Now that you’re brimming with creative energy, are you on the hunt for the perfect new place to decorate? We’ve got your back! Get in touch for help finding the perfect apartment, AKA your new blank canvas!

Hosting a Last-Minute Holiday Party

holiday party drinks

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by your social calendar this time of year. So, what happens when it’s your turn to host a holiday party at your Derby Park apartment in Grand Prairie, and you haven’t planned for it? There’s no need to worry. Here are some tips for hosting the perfect last-minute holiday get-together.

Keep the Menu Simple

The meal for a holiday party does not have to be flashy. A taco bar is an easy meal to set up and provides a way for guests to socialize while getting a plate of food. Something simple like a roasted chicken or pizzas can also work. Keep the drinks simple, as well. Opt for a bowl of punch instead of trying to prep a wide variety of drinks. Buy a set of holiday paper plates and napkins to make the cleanup easier as well.

Clean Quickly

The plank flooring in a Derby Park apartment makes cleaning quick and easy. Use dusting cloths and wet pads to give your floors a quick shine, and it will make your whole apartment look cleaner. Then all you’ll have to do is some simply tidying up before your guests arrive. A simmering pot with cloves and cinnamon can give the apartment a homey, holiday aroma as well.

Decorate Fast

You don’t have to turn your apartment into a winter wonderland to host a simple holiday party. Just a few light touches can get the point across perfectly. Set out a few holiday candles in nice seasonal colors. Serve snacks on a decorated holiday tray. Put up one or two strings of lights and you’re all set!

Rent a Coatrack

Many of your guests will likely be wearing a jacket or coat this time of year and most people forget to prep for that. Instead of ending up with a huge stack of coats on your bed, check party stores where you can rent a coatrack for around $20. Post it by the entryway for your guests.

Those are some simple tips to help you host a last-minute holiday get-together. If you have friends or family members who are ready to move into a new home this holiday season, be sure to let them know there are still Grand Prairie apartment floor plans available.

4 Rustic Fall Decor Ideas at Derby Park

cozy bedFall is the perfect time to change your decor from the pastel and sunny colors of spring and summer to the earthy and natural tones of fall and winter. A rustic-inspired decor embraces nature, simplicity, and a coziness that lends itself to chillier temperatures.

4 Ways to Transform your Derby Park Home to a Rustic Decor

  • A change of color. Create a charming space by replacing rugs, pillows, dining linen and dishware with fall colors that complement your walls and floor. Rustic colors don’t necessarily mean shades of brown and green. Blush and Boysenberry (a deep maroon color) can add an earthy elegance to a neutral decor. Pineapple and Cardinal Red can inject brightness, while Hunter Green and Orange will certainly elicit a fall mood.
  • Incorporate natural elements. Certainly, the fall season is a time of change—where nature begins its entrance into hibernation for rejuvenation. Infusing natural fabrics and elements from nature can quickly take your home from summer to fall. Consider natural fiber rugs made of cotton, hemp, jute or seagrass—and make sure your wood furnishings take center stage.
  • Add fall foliage. Switch out some of your plants for Autumn flowers. Begonia, Crocus, Dahlia, and Gladiolas are some hearty fall favorites. Don’t forget to keep a fresh bouquet of fall-colored flowers strategically placed within the home.
  • Create rustic fall crafts. Create your own elegant fall centerpiece or simply combine a harvest of gourds, pinecones, and dried fall leaves to embellish a spare side table. Add color to your front door with a wreath of dried corn tied together by their husks. Explore this list of fall decor crafts by Martha Stewart for refreshing DIY ideas.

Grand Prairie apartment living is all about creating a special space—a cozy home that fits your unique style and personality. Take a moment to view the available floor plans at Derby Park and discover our great location and distinctive amenities!

5 Cooking Secrets Every Home Cook Should Know

cutting board with herbs

Cooking at home is a great way to save money and eat healthier, too. There are lots of cooking hacks to improve anyone’s cooking game. Here are five of the best cooking secrets that every cook should know:

Use Ricotta Cheese for the Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Ricotta cheese makes scrambled eggs so creamy and delicious. Just use one cup of ricotta cheese for every six eggs. Cook the mixture in a little butter, add salt and pepper and serve with toast for the perfect breakfast.

Make Jar Pasta Sauce Taste Like Fresh

Your dinner guests will think that you made your pasta sauce homemade if you use this trick. Just put a small amount of olive oil in a pan, add garlic, mushrooms and onion. After the vegetables are brown, throw the jarred sauce in the pan. This lends a homemade taste to any store-bought pasta sauce.

Have the Creamiest Guacamole With This Trick

Rather than using a fork or spoon to make guacamole, just smash the avocados with the smooth side of a meat hammer. This makes the avocado smooth and creamy, which is perfect for guacamole.

Bring out the Richness of Your Brownies

Instead of adding water to your boxed brownie mix, substitute it with the same amount of coffee. This makes your brownies very delicious and enhances the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have any coffee, use water and add a tablespoon of molasses instead to get the same rich flavor.

Make Healthy Ice Cream With Just One Ingredient

All you need to make very creamy, healthy ice cream are bananas. Take two very ripe bananas, add them to the food processor and blend until they are smooth. After you finish mixing the bananas, put them into a bowl and freeze for one hour. You’ll have a delicious treat that you won’t feel guilty about eating.

Have Fresh Herbs for Your Foods

Instead of throwing away fresh herbs that you won’t use, put them in an ice cube tray, add olive oil on top of the herbs and freeze. Then, whenever you want fresh herbs, simply take them from the ice cube tray and throw them in your meal.

One of the most important things when it comes to cooking is having a kitchen that has plenty of storage and prep space. Derby Park Apartments in Grand Prairie, Texas feature large kitchens with new appliances. Contact us today for information on our available floor plans and get cooking!

Three Ways for Outdoor Entertaining in the Fall

Many people think that outdoor entertaining has to come to a halt once Labor Day has passed. Although it may be true that a chill in the breeze puts a damper on outdoor fun, there are several effective strategies for keeping the fun in fall without having to move the party indoors. Following are three ways that residents of apartments in Grand Prairie, TX, can extend the outdoor entertaining season.

Light a Fire

Gathering around a blazing fire in an outdoor fire pit provides an excellent way to enjoy a gorgeous autumn evening. To make the experience even better, give guests the ingredients and tools necessary to create s’mores. If the party is impromptu and you’re not prepared to make open-fire goodies, just grab some sticks and send someone to the closest store for a bag or two of marshmallows, and you’re all set.

Get Physical 

Nothing keeps the heat turned up at an outdoor gathering more than physical activity, so get the party moving by encouraging guests to move to the beat of some good dance music. No one will want to take it indoors if it turns into a vibrant dance party. Just be sure to keep the music low enough so that it doesn’t bother your neighbors. You can always invite them to the party as well.

Make it Hot 

One of the best ways to keep everyone toasty warm on a cool fall night is to serve hot drinks in thick mugs. The heat from the mugs will serve to warm the hands, and the contents will warm your guests from the inside out. For adults, hot buttered rums or other types of hot toddies are a good choice, while minors will love hot chocolate or hot apple cider.

For more information on how to make the most of these beautiful autumn evenings, please feel free to contact our office at your earliest convenience.

5 Tips for Quickly Cleaning Your Kitchen

Keeping your kitchen clean can seem like a time-consuming chore, but it doesn’t have to take long. Keep these tips in mind for getting the kitchen in your Grand Prairie apartment looking spotless quickly.

Soak Pots and Pans Right Away

Put warm water into pots and pans, and let them soak in the sink while you enjoy your meal. Doing this sooner rather than later makes it easier to wash them off when you’re done eating.

Do a Quick Sweep

Sweep the floor of your kitchen every day to get rid of any bits of food and crumbs that have fallen. This just takes a couple of minutes and helps keep bugs away. It also makes your kitchen floor look clean on a regular basis.

Spray Your Stove

Spray cleaner on your stove to get rid of spots and stains from cooking. Let the cleaner soak in and break up grease and other grime while you tackle a couple of other cleaning tasks in the kitchen. Go back to your stove and wipe off the surface to get it sparkling clean.

Wash Dishes After Eating

Wash and dry your dishes after you finish eating instead of leaving them sitting in the sink. This keeps your sink and counters clear and prevents dishes from piling up and making a bigger mess in your kitchen. If you have a dishwasher, put your dirty dishes in it as soon as you’re done eating.

Wipe Your Counters

Make a habit of wiping off your counters on a daily basis. This keeps dust, crumbs and grime from building up on these surfaces, and it should only take you a few minutes to do this task.

Our kitchens feature resurfaced countertops and painted cabinets, as well as new appliances. Contact us to learn more about our available apartments in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Homemade Treat Recipes to Make for Your Dog

Making homemade treats for your favorite furry friend in your Grand Prairie, TX home can be a fun project for all members of the family! Children and adults alike will enjoy working with these recipes to create delicious, nutritious, all natural treats for your dog.

Simple Homemade Doggie Treat Recipes

  1. Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Cups – Place a quart of plain, unsweetened yogurt into a blender. Warm a cup of natural peanut butter in your microwave or over the stovetop, then add the peanut butter to the blender. Blend on high until the mix is smooth, then pour into a cupcake pan lined with papers.  Place them in the freezer until frozen solid, then dump out the cupcakes and store frozen in a Ziploc bag. Take them out as a cooling treat on a hot day.
  2. Doggie Trail Mix – Cut chunks of meat into 1/2″ cubes (lean red meat, chicken breast or fish all work well);  cut similar sized chunks of potatoes, carrots, squashes,  and/or other vegetables (avoid onions) and add bananas if your dog has a sweet tooth. Stir up your ingredients and place them in a dehydrator until they are fully dried. This mix is perfect for a walk and will store well if properly dried and sealed.
  3. Bacon Biscuits – Let your children do the mixing and rolling by hand with this one! Add 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp. salt and 10 tbsp. bacon grease to a mixing bowl.  Stir well, then slowly stir in 5 cups of whole wheat flour. Roll the dough into balls and bake them on a greased cookie sheet for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

A Pet Friendly Community to Share With Your Family

Derby Park pet friendly apartments in Grand Prairie, TX are located in an excellent location to call home. Give us a call today to find out which floor plans are still available.

4 Great Summer Activities for Your Four-Legged Friend Near Grand Prairie

One of the great perks to finding an apartment in Grand Prairie, Texas is the proximity to so many fantastic resources for pet owners. There are dog parks that offer a great variety of activities. If you’re looking for an apartment in the area, Derby Park Apartments are pet friendly, with plenty of amenities for your dog and you to enjoy, as well. Residents of Derby Park enjoy outside features, such as tennis courts and swimming pools. There are a variety of floor plans available to fit any lifestyle and certain apartments offer a balcony or patio for outdoor entertainment.

4 Activities for Your Dog Near Grand Prairie

Residents at Derby Park can find a number of things to do close to home. Here are 4 activities perfect for pet owners over the summer months.

  1. Marshall Grain Pooch Pool Party. This fun-filled pool party in Grapevine is scheduled for July 16 and 17th of 2016. It’s a great opportunity to get your dog washed and socialize with other pet owners in the area. This event also raises funds to help pug rescues, so you’ll get a chance meet other pet owners and pets while helping a worthy cause.
  2. Mike Lewis Park. Leashed dogs are welcome at this great park, where you can walk the trails, bike ride or roller skate. This park has plenty of facilities for outdoor sports and there are dog-friendly water fountains available for your pet.
  3. Veterans Park. This fantastic park also features Central Bark, a fenced in dog park for off the leash play. Central Bark has different areas so that dogs can be separated by size.
  4. Cravens Park. Cravens Park in Arlington is a fantastic place for biking and walking trails which also welcomes your pets.

Are You Looking for an Apartment in Grand Prairie?

If you’re interested in an apartment at Derby Park, contact us today to see what floor plans are available to meet your needs.

5 Fun Pool Games For Kids and Adults

Summer has arrived and you’re ready to get out of your air-conditioned Grand Prairie apartment and into the pool. Regardless of your age and whether or not you have kids, you’ll have a blast in the pool while playing these entertaining games:

Fun Pool Games

  • Marco Polo. A swimming pool classic, Marco Polo involves a blindfolded “it” person, who attempts to tag everybody else. Auditory clues are available — whenever the “it” person shouts “Marco,” everybody else must respond with a chorus of “Polo.”
  • Sharks and minnows. Another swimming pool classic, sharks and minnows begins with a single shark lurking on one side of the pool. The minnows jump in the side of the pool opposite of the shark and attempt to swim to the other side without being tagged. Any minnows that do get tagged become sharks and must help the original shark tag the remaining minnows.
  • Alphabet swimming. Alphabet swimming is similar to sharks and minnows, but much quieter. The “it” person is blindfolded and asked to stand at one side of the pool. Those who are not “it” must choose a letter. The “it” person calls out the letters of the alphabet, and, as their letters are called, everyone else quietly tries to get to the other end of the pool without being tagged.
  • Chicken fight. Always popular among teenagers, chicken fighting occurs when two “chickens” hop up on the shoulders of their friends and try to knock each other off.
  • Mermaid race. A simple and entertaining way to combine pool fun with exercise, mermaid racing involves holding your breath and swimming as far and as fast as you can underwater in an effort to beat out your mermaid adversaries.

Ditch your Grand Prairie apartment for an afternoon and head over to one of Derby Park’s two swimming pools for a game of Marco Polo. Reach out today to learn more about our pools and other amenities.

Perfect Your Tennis Game With These 5 Tips

Tennis is a sport that provides great exercise and plenty of entertainment. It can be a relatively easy sport to try, but a more difficult one to master. However, there are steps you can take to improve your tennis game, so that you can be more competitive and enjoy the game even more.

Choosing Good Equipment

If you don’t know whether tennis is something you want to pursue or not, you might start out with a used racquet and a few balls, If you do feel as if you are getting the hang of things, it may be time for and upgrade. Adults who play the game should have a racquet with a 26″ – 27″ grip in order to be able to get a good grip on the racquet and maintain control, usually this requires about four inches. Having good tennis shoes is also a must. While many use the terms “tennis shoes” and athletic shoes interchangeably, there is actually an important distinction. Good tennis shoes fit well and have a herringbone tread, which is good for moving from side to side.

Develop a Good Serve

When you serve well, you take control of the game, but mastering the serve isn’t easy. When you toss the ball to serve it, it should not go more than three or four inches from where you plan to hit it. As you toss it, it is best to try and spin the ball slightly in order to help the ball maintain a good velocity over the net.

Brace Yourself

To a novice, it can seem as if the ball is flying all over the place, and most would agree that it is more enjoyable to volley a ball back and forth across the net than chasing it mindlessly across the court. In order to keep better control, align your head with your center of gravity and keep it as still as possible, which will help you keep control of the ball.

Observe and Teach

Watching professional tennis players, or even people who are pretty good in your neighborhood will help you pick up a lot ofgood techniques that will keep your opponent guessing. Once you’re more confident in your own skills, try teaching others as well. The more you talk about your game, the more you will be able to reinforce your skills.

Practice

The only way to truly perfect any skill is to practice as much as possible. Living in an apartment complex that supports an active community, such as Derby Park in Grand Prairie, Texas provides a great opportunity to do this. In addition to onsite tennis courts, this gated community also features two swimming pools, a fitness center, and an internet cafe.

In addition to these great community features, Derby Park offers spacious and attractive apartments with features such as air conditioning, new plumbing, new appliances, and resurfaced counters and cabinets. It is also a pet friendly community, so your dog or cat can enjoy your experience as well. When you’re not home, major attractions such as Six Flags, Verizon Theater, and Lone Star Park are all located just short drive from the apartment.

Derby Park Apartments in Grand Prairie, offer a pet friendly option in both one and two  bedroom apartments, and many modern conveniences such as online rent pay and maintenance requests. Contact us to learn more about our community.