While buying a house is a huge step, the financial implications can sometimes outweigh any perceivable benefits. That is why many are opting to rent a home rather than purchase one outright. Plus, depending on where you live, finding affordable apartments and houses is fairly easy.
Renting usually entails the signing of a lease—a contract bounding the leaseholder to the property, usually for a minimum of one year. The fact that a lease usually doesn’t last a while is one reason why many folks find renting a home so attractive. If when the lease is coming to an end and you want to move somewhere else, all that needs to be done is to notify the landlord of your intentions. In many cases, if you’re able to find a tenant to take your place, you may even be able to end your lease early.
Renting a home also means that the landlord takes on most of the responsibility associated with house maintenance. So if the water heater—a costly fix—decided to break down, the burden of fixing it would fall upon the landlord’s shoulders, rather than your own. Moreover, if you’re lucky, some of your utility bills will be factored into your monthly rent.
Obviously, finances are a major factor when considering renting or buying a home. While most landlords require an upfront payment of 2 months’ rent, imagine if you had to foot the bill for a down payment on a home (which can be as much as 20% of the purchase price). So if, for example, you were contemplating the purchase of a home that cost $150,000 and you had to cover a 20% down payment, you would be looking at a $30,000 down payment upfront. However, if a rental home cost $600.00 monthly, you would only need to shell out $1,200 upfront. That is a $28,800 difference. Not to mention the fact that you are not responsible for paying property taxes when renting a home.
While renting does pose significant benefits compared to buying a home, as with everything, it also has its disadvantages. First and foremost, many landlords will raise the rental costs after each lease renewal, which can sometimes lead to large increases; unless of course, the house or apartment is located in a rent-controlled area. Homeowners can also take advantage of tax deductions that renters are not eligible for. These deductions are usually applied to property taxes and interest on mortgage loans. Since renters do not qualify for any of these tax deductions, they are not recovering any of the costs associated with living in the apartment.
Another possible drawback lays in the landlord himself (or herself). You are dependent on the landlord for practically everything relating to the home or apartment. If something goes wrong, the repairs are at the mercy of the landlord, which could take a while in some cases; especially if the landlord manages several tenants. With major repairs, the landlord may not be equipped to make the repairs, in which case he or she becomes the middleman, having to contact the necessary repairman to come out and fix it.
1 Kindesign Reader’s, do you rent an apartment or home? Share with us what you enjoy about the experience and what you dislike! Do you plan on renting for awhile? If you are in the decision making stage – what are your main concerns?
Photo Sources: 1. SHKS Architects, 2. Celebrity Communities, 3. Camber Construction, 4. McClellan Architects, 5. Celebrity Communities, 6. Neat Organization and Design, 7. Kara Mann, 8. Terrat Elms Interior Design, 9. Studio Garneau, 10. Ira Frazin Architect
HT Apartment is a playful flat of 893 square feet located on the 11th floor of an old condominium building, designed by Landmak Architecture, located in Me Tri, a ward in the district of Tu Liem South, the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. The building belongs to the resettlement housing group (low income) with the old status and has divided the site due to poor lighting and ventilation and arrangement diagrams of the rooms are messy. The landlord was very confused: Should I move into a place like this?
Question, the suspense pursued them until they met architect. We said: “They should live in” (because price of house is very expensive in Hanoi where the position of apartment is relatively center, convenient for moving in the city), with the condition is to renovate and repair space of furniture and the work is started.
The apartment is designed and modified to give a young couple + 1 small child + grandparents. Status site includes 3 bedrooms with an area almost equal, the kitchen is arranged independently. Space of living room is small and it is almost no light, poor ventilation.
In this apartment, we have pressed tiles to television cabinet block together (it’s inside the bedroom), large are of living room, in the main bedroom is a little in the kitchen. By this way, the landlord can feel the “Art” feeling to be just enough and in everywhere.
We have destroyed one-bedroom in the center of apartment to create a public space (living room + dining room + kitchen + Terrace), four spaces can “borrow” traffic area to create the continuity of different functions of rooms into a large space with ventilation and good lighting.
Patterned ceramic tiles is used as a decorative material (tile appeared in Vietnam in the 90s of last century, is used to pave the floor popularly). It goes on the minds of the Vietnamese people to remember a difficult time in the economy. But, at the present, this material is re-produced with role to beautify decoration for artistic interior spaces.
Small bedroom is set in the position of old kitchen, positions of walls could also be adjusted to be small to ensure to be able to put the standard sleeper (small bedroom). At the position in main bedroom, wall area is adjacent to the living room to be cut away a part (40cm) at the top of the forehead before meeting ceiling of house. By this way, it helps the living room to have more light, the wall area of main bedroom is tiles block of television becomes gentle and happy like a puzzle.
Photos: Le Anh Duc
One Beacon Court is a modern Central Park Condo, located in one of Manhattan’s most luxurious condominium residences, the Bloomberg Tower. Designed by local interior designer and painter, Tara Benet, the condo offers sweeping views of New York City. With large expanses of windows, the mostly white interiors are flooded with natural light, giving an open and airy feel. Benet worked with art advisor Kati Lovaas to fill the space with emerging art that pops against the white walls.
Pairing a calacatta marble dining table with leather chairs from Poliform on top of a neutral rug from ABC Carpet & Home creates a neutral environment for the artwork that’s featured in the dining room. The large green “X” is from Philippe Decrauzat and the iron sculpture that hangs is by Valentin Carron, both of which add visual interest into the space.
The white sofa is accented with dark gray and black pillows providing a nice contrast. The dark wood floors also set the tone for the entire apartment making white the perfect choice for the walls and ceilings.
The massive modular book shelf, also from Poliform, features gray cubbies helping to break up the white.
The living room is complete with the placement of an Arco lamp from Flos.
The painting is by Gardar Eide Einarsson and the white marble credenza below is from Cassina.
In the kitchen, a Knoll Saarinen dining table is partnered with Cassina Philippe Starck 245 Caprice chairs.
Photos: Marili Forastieri
You like to keep things simple, especially when it comes to your home decor. Aside from the attractive modern aesthetic, creating a minimalist design in your new place can be beneficial to your sense of well-being: namely stress relief. Minimalist homes also tend to be more charming and inviting – they appear more spacious, and tend to focus on the innate beauty of a single piece of furniture or work of art. It’s not bare; it’s artistically restrained.
And, as a plus, they are much easier to clean. Think about how easy it is to clean a home without having to maneuver around so many unnecessary objects or pieces of furniture. So how do you create a minimalist style in your new home?
Maybe you’ve moved with a ton of stuff. Well, if you’re unsure of what to keep and get rid of, here are some things that can go: excess magazines and newspapers; unnecessary furniture; unused glassware, hardware, kitchen gadgets, pots and pans; clunky pillows, candle holders, magnets and vases; tired artwork, office supplies, seasonal decorations, sports memorabilia and old mirrors. For a successful modern minimalist design, these items are not necessary. They can be thrown away or donated (after all, there must be someone in your life who can use those old pots and pans).
As you de-clutter your space, you are naturally going to want to keep some items. These should be organized and stored away in a very specific place, which is another perk of the minimalist home: succinct organization.
The mantra here is “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” That means, with some exceptions, showing only the bare essentials. Whether it’s the bedroom, kitchen or living room, you want to keep things off of the floor and out of sight.
Keep it Simple, Start Small
Focus on one room at a time. For example, start with the bedroom, move to the living room, and so on. If you live in a loft or studio, it’s easy to get going because there’s only one room to worry about. Though a single room offers new sets of challenges, lofts or studios can benefit greatly from a minimalist design’s dedication to openness.
Pay great attention to the furniture choices, as this is what takes up the most space. Keep in mind, when it comes to sofas and couches, sharp lines, narrow construction and smooth curves are a minimalist staple. One way to keep minimalism consistent throughout an apartment is to find a bunch of pieces you like, come up with a plan or theme, think it through and then start to eliminate any unnecessary furniture from those you’ve picked – without sacrificing comfort, of course.
Flat surfaces, like countertops and coffee tables, should be sparse and clean, aside from maybe a few appliances or art books, respectively. Remember you want to keep only the essentials. You can always add decorative accents later.
You only want to keep a few pieces of simple furniture in the room, such as a couch, a comfortable chair or two, and a coffee table. What’s more, all of these items should be solid colors – make the hues stark whites and bold blacks for a more dramatic effect.
There should not be a lot of artwork on display – just one or two pieces at most. These works should be very simple as well, with a solid colored frame. For instance, simplistic cubist paintings and designs complement minimalism extraordinarily well. On the other hand, you can certainly keep some walls bare.
As far as window treatments go, windows can be kept bare, or treated with solid color curtains or wooden blinds. Similarly, while natural light provides a minimalist space with subtle accents, the right indoor lighting fixtures – whether strategically placed wall mounts or hanging options – from sites like We Got Lites are integral to a seamless interior design.
Decorations should be kept to a minimum as well, but feel free to add a splash of color with a standing potted plant. The natural greens will liven up the room a bit and contrast nicely with the whites, beiges and tans. Keep in mind, the rest of the room should be filled with solid, neutral colors like these.
On the surface, minimalism seems easy, but if a home is too bare, that’s just as noticeable. With these tips in tow, your new apartment will astonish, welcome and relax everyone who walks in.
Photo Source: 1. Apartment Therapy, 2. Stadshem, 3. NYCID, 4. C+M Studio, 5. Kareem Osama, 6. Pinterest, 7. DTJ Interior Architect, 8. Halo.Architekci, 9. Esé Studio, 10. Dwell, 11. Norsu Interiors, 12. Interior HomeScapes, 13. Katty Schiebeck, 14. Meredith Baer Home, 15. My Living, 16. Norsu Interiors, 17. OLOVO, 18. Anna Kvarnström, 19. Studio Santalla Inc, 20. Ian Moore Architects, 21. Pinterest
The 29 Square Meters project is the makeover of a small flat to maximize space, completed in 2012 by architecture studio 3XA, located in Wroclaw, Poland. As the name suggests, the entire apartment only covers an area of 29 square meters, which is equivalent to 312 square feet!
29 square meters is a rather small space to live in. Therefore the priority of this makeover was to maximize the space and to create an independent bedroom.
The ceiling at 3.7 meters didn’t allow the designer to create two equivalent levels, but it was possible to build a semi-mezzanine. Above the bathroom and the hallway there is a huge bed area 1.35 meters high, whereas above the wardrobe there is a passage 1.85 meters high.
Moreover, to increase space, the living room, kitchen and dining area are combined into one room. Additionally, to deceive senses, a blind door was put on one of the walls.
The slight industrial features of the painted brick walls and composite wood accents make for a clean living space, one that feels much larger than it actually is. The home’s entryway passes a bathroom on one side and wall storage hidden behind curtains on the other. It opens into a large room with a restored wood floor, comfortable seating, a desk space and a bookshelf staircase on the left.
It wraps around into a kitchen and dining area with modern appliances and attractive hanging lamps. A loft-style sleeping area peers over the flat from above, using the vertical space to squeeze more room into the 29 meter volume. In total, it’s a marvelous use of such a small space, one that makes small living a charming endeavor.
Apartment LA has undergone a rustic contemporary renovation for a family with two children, by architect David Guerra, located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. When the first child started to go to school, the couple bought an apartment in the city, letting the country house where they lived be just for the weekends. The new home combines the coziness aspect of a country house and the urban and practical style of the big city. To attend the needs of the couple with two children, a renovation was needed.
The walls that divide the living room from the balcony were demolished to combine the ambient with larger, fluid and comfortable space. The balcony became a gourmet bar/kitchen that can be used for the wine with friends and breakfast in family with a view of the mountains. Linen sofa and chairs and a vintage armchair appear as a relaxing living area also in the balcony.
A small fireplace has become a major element of the living room wall. The new warming ambiance mix colors, rustic and natural materials with modern and technological ones. They are wool, natural linen, nude tones, leather in different colors – honey, whiskey and chocolate, wood and demolition wood, gray Mister Cryl, Silestone rock, stainless steel, yellow metal, bronze, mirror, glass and acrylic, all materials that combined, gives a great ambiance.
The choices of the furniture, noted the concern of creating a place that prioritizes comfort, warmth, elegance and relaxation. That way we can see a mix of Brazilian designs with Sérgio Rodrigues, Pedro Useche, Frederico Cruze and international designs like De Padova, Minotti of B&Bitalia, Maxalto, Muuto and Mooi.
In the living area a big sofa with a chaise was reformed by JRJ and gains a new linen covering. Pillows by Entreposto, a Jensen leather armchair from Minotti and an armchair Louisiana from Depadova proves the pursuit of comfort and elegance. The Sullivan low tables from Minotti (gray glass round and wood triangular) along with the Still table, also from Minotti and Lens by Patricia Urquiola add a touch of fun and relaxation to the room.
The dining table with an American toned oak that highlights the beauty, lightness and comfort of the Tombly leather chairs from Minotti and also the chandelier by Mooi.
The entire floor of the apartment, except the wet areas, had been replaced by wide planks of mahogany field bought from a farm. The floor has gone through a bleaching process, maintaining the identity and rusticity from the wood and giving a more light and modern touch to the place. On the wall, gray Mister Cryl which brings wellbeing, in addition to panels of different types of wood as mahogany field, pink mahogany, cedar and cinnamon that brings color and warms the room.
In the gourmet kitchen, a block of graphite Silestone sustains the table of mahogany field, design by the architect; Sérgio Rodrigues chairs indicate the relaxed and comfortable way to receive friends for a dinner or even a drink.
The kitchen also provides a mix of materials, the technology of Italian glass Panna and reflective glass, Italian chairs Papiro by B&Bitalia, graphite Silestone on the floor and silver one on the countertops, walls with black and gray hydraulic tiles, wood doors and mahogany table – design by the architect. The kitchen becomes a mix of cozy and contemporary at the same time. That mix can also be seen in the toilet with gauzy Silestone floor and countertops, burgundy Mister Cryl, Hansgrohe mixers that contrast with the tile of the wall and the Indian mirror.
In the master bedroom, the highlights are for the headboard with mahogany with stailess steel profile, Glam lampshade from Pradina, French dresser, linen Selene bed by Maxalto and Pantosh wooden chair. Nude and caramel tones and natural materials, linens, leathers and woods, provide a welcoming place that facilitates relaxation.
In the master bathroom, the priority was the elegance, which was achieved by the Limestone Persiano, cabinet with Italian glass and Rimadesio door
In the boy’s room, the colorful and playful furniture design denotes a hip and timeless style.
Photos: Jomar Bragança
This Tribeca Loft project encompasses a complete modern renovation of a 10th story loft by architect Aaron Schump, located in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Extensive glazing on three facades presented a unique design challenge for this project.
A bar of walnut housing the kitchen and service areas organizes the plan. Bedrooms were pushed to the south and west, leaving the north-west corner free for entreating and unobstructed views of the Hudson river. Aaron Schump served as project manager at SPaN overseeing the entire project from design to construction administration.
AS//A is an architecture, urban design and research studio operating at the intersection of civic and ecological systems, urban and rural environments, and digital and physical processes. We explore the complexity of these relationships through a rigorous and collaborative design process aimed at uncovering the specifics of place, culture and materials to create buildings that are environmentally and culturally responsive. Focused on crafting value at multiple scales, we aim to achieve maximum aesthetic and social influence while employing minimum economic and environmental impact. We believe that well crafted spaces can positively affect our quality of life by creating sustainable places to live, work and play while maintaining respect for people, cities, and nature.
Photos: Courtesy of Aaron Schump