Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Shaker Run - Thursday, January 17, 2019

Stumped on how to style your space? Whether you just moved in or simply want to refresh your existing space, knowing how to decorate smaller spaces can be difficult. There are some tips that everyone suggests, such as hanging mirrors and investing in multi-use pieces, but we’re here to suggest the not so obvious.

1. Clear the Clutter

A great place to start is to adopt a decluttering mantra and clear the clutter. We tend to bring clutter and unnecessary furniture from apartment to apartment and this can quickly make your space feel small. Devote a day to cleaning out your home and watch the space open up!

2. Play with Color

While apartment living doesn’t allow you to paint the walls, there are other ways to use color to brighten up a space. Set a color scheme for each room of your apartment and then go from there. Add pillows, blankets, fake flower and rugs to tie the room together and add visual interest.

3. Buy the Right Size Furniture

It may be time to ditch the oversized sectional from your college days and invest in a smaller, but better-quality sofa. Cramming too much furniture that’s also too big will make a space look and feel small. It will also have you stumbling around the room as you trip over end tables and chairs!

Spend some time measuring your space and putting some thought in to the pieces you’d like to have in your home. The result will be beautiful and sophisticated.

4. Use the Space Under Your Bed

The space under your bed can often be over looked. Use the space to store clothes and shoes you aren’t wearing at the moment. You can also store extra blankets, sheets, and pillows in organizing bins.

5. Install A Vertical Garden

The lack of yard is no problem when you install a beautiful vertical garden. The project can be completed with just some steel mesh, an empty wall and a few potted plants. The garden will add color to your space and bring the outside in!

Not sure what plants to add to your vertical garden? We’ve got you covered!

Now that you have some fun ideas on how to style your space, it’s time to design your Shaker Run apartment exactly how you want it.

How to Cut Your Utility Costs

Shaker Run - Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Whether it’s your New Years resolution or you’re simply looking to save some money, cutting your utility costs is always a good idea! In addition to saving money, using less energy is also beneficial for the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

If you’re wondering where to begin when it comes to cutting energy costs, keep reading for a few of our favorite ideas.

1. Cut Phantom Energy

No, Shaker Run isn’t haunted. Phantom energy comes from appliances and electronics that are plugged in but not being used. Your toaster, coffee maker, TV and computer are all sucking energy even when you’re not actively using them. A simple solution is to use power strips and turn the strip off when you’re not using the items plugged in to it.

2. Use LED Lightbulbs

Yes, LED lightbulbs cost more up front, but they can save you quite a bit in the long run! A typical bulb costs about $8 and uses only 10 Watts. On average they last 25,000 hours, or 23 years! For a quick comparison, using incandescent bulbs for 23 years would cost $201 while using LED bulbs for 23 years would cost $38. That’s quite a difference!

3. Lower the Thermostat

Get in the habit of turning down the thermostat before going to bed and before leaving for school or work. There’s no sense in heating an entire apartment for 8+ hours while you and your family are gone for the day.

4. Turn Your Lights Off

This may seem like a no brainer, but when was the last time you looked around and realized that just about every light in your apartment was on? Get in to the habit of turning the lights off as you leave a room.

5. Only Put Cooled Food in the Fridge

Do you meal prep or often have leftovers from dinner? Let the food sit on the counter and come to room temperature before you put it in the fridge. Putting hot food in the fridge causes the fridge to work harder to regulate the temperature. 

Whether you’re looking for a new apartment or you’re already in the home of your dreams, these tips are sure to save you money each month!

5 Easy Tips for Holiday Hosting

Shaker Run - Monday, December 17, 2018

The holiday season is underway and there are still plenty of opportunities to host your friends and family for holiday-themed dinners, cocktail parties, and gatherings. Whether this is your first time hosting, or you’ve done this a few times, it’s always nice to be prepared. We’ve gathered 5 tips to help you plan a successful evening. 

5 Holiday Hosting Tips

  1. Consider the Dinner Set: The holiday season is a special time of year which makes it the perfect time to use your good china and silverware. Whether it’s something you inherited from your great grandparents or a nice set you bought for special occasions, take it out of the cupboard and make sure it’s in tip-top shape for your guests!
  2. Beverages: Take your guests into consideration while creating your beverage menu. Some people prefer wine with dinner while others don’t consume alcohol. Having a variety of options will help your guests feel at home. As the host, you can even ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage to share with everyone. This will give your guests something to discuss other than the typical topics. Having a crock pot of hot cocoa warming for guests to enjoy is a nice touch as well. 
  3. Linens and Place Settings: Gather your items together well before your planned gathering date. This will give you enough time to get everything washed and prepped. It will also give you time to prepare for the inevitable “surprise guest”; everybody knows someone who forgets to RSVP or brings someone with them! 
  4. Centerpiece or Tablescape: We’re not saying these are a must-have for your holiday gathering, but, it certainly brings some festive cheer to the table! Whether it’s a modern piece, an old classic, or something DIY, a centerpiece or tablescape can take your table from “ho-hum” to “oh wow”! 
  5. The Menu: Above all else, plan your menu well in advance, make a shopping list and head to the store! This will help cut down on forgotten items or buying something you already have. Much like the beverages, having a variety that will satisfy all of your guests would be ideal. You can also ask them to bring a favorite dish to share with everyone!
We hope you found these 5 holiday hosting tips helpful and you can incorporate them into your party this season! 

Contact Shaker Run
If you’re looking for a new place to call your home, contact Shaker Run and schedule a tour. Our residents get to enjoy our community which is situated on 30 amazing acres in the Village of Colonie, walk in closets, intercom security entrances, basketball and tennis courts, and so many more amazing amenities!

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Cozy for the Winter

Shaker Run - Friday, December 07, 2018

The winter season is upon us, meaning it gets dark earlier and all we want to do is stay inside our warm apartment at Shaker Run. If your apartment is giving you the cold shoulder, follow these tips to make your apartment feel more inviting this winter.

5 Steps to Creating a Cozy Winter Home

  1. Create a Nook – Staying inside longer is the perfect reason to catch up on your reading! Pick a small space to get cozy and add everything you’ll need to create a relaxing environment. Add pillows, a warm quilt to keep you comfortable, and be sure to have something to set a cup of hot tea on. Now all you need is something to read!
  2. Add Layers of Lighting – Opening the drapes on your window will allow plenty of natural light to enter the room to keep your reading material illuminated, not to mention the added benefit of vitamin D. Incorporating table lamps and floor lamps with warm and cool lights will help to ensure that you can always get the lighting you’re looking for.
  3. Keep Blankets Handy – One of the easiest ways to make your home feel a little cozier is by draping blankets over your furniture. This added touch will make your home feel more inviting, and ensure that extra warmth is just an arm’s reach away.
  4. Incorporate Texture – Adding texture to your walls is an easy way to create a cozy feeling for your home. If your windows currently have blinds, consider adding drapes for additional texture, privacy, and a personal touch. Adding tapestries can also quickly fill a blank wall, while also creating a unique focal point and bringing warmth to a room.
  5. Personal Comfort – For those who are away from loved ones and find themselves getting a little homesick at times, this is a perfect project. Take the time to add some of your favorite images to your wall space, desks, or other areas that look a little bare. Whether it’s a family photo, photos from your college days, or your favorite album in a frame, looking at familiar images is sure to make your apartment feel a little cozier.
For more tips and insights, including the benefits of renting from Shaker Run and to take a tour of our community, contact us today! 

6 Organizational Tools Every Home Needs

Shaker Run - Monday, November 19, 2018

Whether you’re moving soon or you’ve been in your home for quite some time, there’s always room for better organization. Once you’ve become better organized, your move will be easier and you’ll have a better time finding items in your home. It can be as simple as finding a new spot for an item, or incorporating organizational tools into your home. 

Keep Your Home Organized with These 6 Tools 

1. Entryway Hooks: Even if you don’t use your entryway as anything more than a way to enter and exit your home, it can still be a spot that needs a certain level of organization. Installing hooks for things like car keys can keep them off your counter top and in a spot where you always know where they are. 
2. Lid Racks: Finding the right lid for your pots and pans can be beyond frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Lid racks can sit inside of your cabinets and make all of your lids visible and easy to access. You can also use these same racks to keep items like muffin tins and baking sheets organized. 
3. Spice Racks: Whether you purchase a rack for your counter top or cabinet, keeping your spices organized can really help step up your home-chef life. Spices can quickly become disorganized, misplaced, or labels face the wrong way which can hinder how well your recipes turn out. If you think you have the dried parsley a recipe calls for, but it’s actually mint, you’ll be disappointed. 
4. Vacuum-Sealed Storage Bags: In the great northeast we’re accustomed to bulky sweaters and scarves, but when it comes to storing them, they can take up a lot of space. Vacuum-sealing can take the air out of the bag which makes them less bulky, easier to store, and creates a better organized closet. 
5. Over-the-Door Organizer: From makeup, shoes, to ties, over-the-door organizers can be quite handy and frees up space in your home! Rather than storing makeup or brushes in a drawer, hang them up behind the bathroom door. Everything will be organized and you won’t have to scrounge through a cluttered drawer looking for a hair tie. 
6. Kitchen Drawer Inserts: They can keep much more than your silverware organized; these inserts can also keep your spatulas, tongs, and can openers from getting tangled or stuck. Contain your items and keep them in their proper place so you aren’t struggling to get the drawer open and you can find your items when you need them. 

Try incorporating these tools into your home today to help organize areas like drawers, closets, and cabinets. If you’ve tried these tricks and find that it’s still difficult to keep your space organized, it could simply be that your space is too small. With walk in closets, multiple floorplans to choose from, garages and additional storage available, you’ll have no issue finding a home for all of your belongings! Contact us today to schedule a tour of our apartments and find your new home. 

9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start This Year

Shaker Run - Tuesday, November 06, 2018

When it comes to most holidays, including Thanksgiving, it’s typically the same course of events each year. Wake up early, cook, possibly travel, eat, nap, and then indulge in more food. This Thanksgiving, try something new and start a new tradition. They don’t have to be boring or time consuming like people may think; these ideas are fun, easy, and family-friendly!

9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start 

1. Recipe Swap: This will be easy and fun, especially if you’re hosting as a potluck. If you are, ask your guests to bring the recipe for the dish they shared. If it isn’t a potluck, ask them to bring any of their favorite recipes. This will give your guests something to talk about aside from the weather and the game on T.V. 

2. Hold a Raffle: Ask each guest to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to a food pantry; each item gives them an entry into the raffle. Have fun with the prizes, first choice at the turkey or dessert, rights to the wishbone, goofy sunglasses or toys from a dollar store – the sky’s the limits, use your imagination!  

3. Guess the Thanks: Each year people tend to go around the table and share what they are thankful for that year. Instead, have your guests write down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for and put it in a jar. When it’s time to eat, you will each read a submission and take turns guessing the anonymous submission. 

4. Hand-Me-Down Exchange: Holidays are a perfect time to clean out the closet, especially if there are kids in your home. Encourage your guests to bring any items they are no longer wearing, winter coats, boots, shirts, you name it! Chances are one of your friends or loved one could use the item, or knows someone who’s in need! 

5. Ditch the Football: Okay, maybe not entirely, but keep in mind not everyone wants to watch football for six hours. Instead, add in some classic T.V. sitcoms – especially any that have Thanksgiving episodes. 

6. Those Who Cook Don’t Clean: If you cooked, kick your feet up after the feast is over; those who didn’t cook will do the cleaning! This can be viewed as more of a principal than a tradition, call it what you will, it is something that should be adopted in each household. 

7. Pre-Dessert Walk: Something so simple, we almost didn’t think of it. Rather than crashing on the couch and recliner, get everyone up and moving. Go for a walk in the park or down a peaceful road before having dessert. 

8. Bring a Game: Chances are, if your family plays a game – they play it every time they’re together. There’s nothing wrong with playing the same game, but, it’s fun to mix things up and try something new. Introduce your friends and family to a game they haven’t played before, you never know, it could become a new favorite.

9. Book Swap: Don’t think of this as a book club, simply a swap. Guests can bring a book (or two, or three) and pass them along to one another so that others can enjoy their favorites. This will help give your guests something to talk about and perhaps introduce them to an author they wouldn’t normally read. It will also help kids become comfortable if they aren’t as rowdy as some of the other young ones.

We hope you enjoy these new traditions as much as we do! If you have traditions that you do each year, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know on our Facebook (@ShakerRunApartments). For more tips, including our decluttering mantra and to schedule a tour of our community, contact us today!

How Often You Should Clean Your Pillows

Shaker Run - Monday, October 15, 2018

There’s something many of us are guilty of, forgetting to clean a household item or two. At the top of the list are the pillows we sleep on every night. Unclean pillows harbor dirt and dust – among other things we don’t want to think about – all of which can wreak havoc on your health. 

Washing Your Pillows

Having clean pillows to lay on each night is especially important for those who suffer from allergies. If you find that you’re frequently waking up sneezing, have a sore throat, or a headache your pillow might be the culprit. While it’s important, and helpful, to clean your pillow cases on a regular and frequent schedule, it is suggested to wash your pillows every three months. 

Before taking on this chore, be sure to check the label on your pillows. Many of them will have special care instructions. If it doesn’t, many synthetic pillows or down pillows can be machine washed and dried using low heat. It is also recommended to use a fragrance-free soap that won’t leave a residue. To give your pillows extra fluff while drying, add dryer balls or a tennis ball inside a sock before starting the drying cycle. 

Be careful not to over stuff your washer and dryer, doing so can cause the machines to become off balance and not give your pillows the level of clean they need. Cleaning them two at a time is optimal. 
Luckily for our residents, there are many apartments in our community with in-unit washers and dryers and many buildings with laundry rooms on the first floor. Both options allow residents the freedom to wash their pillows as needed without having to spend their day at a laundromat. If these aren’t an option for you where you live, it’s time to find a new place to call home! Schedule your tour of our apartments today!

4 Household Plants That Can Survive With Minimal Light

Shaker Run - Wednesday, October 03, 2018

If you’re looking to bring plants into your home but concerned they might not get enough light in certain areas, like the bedroom when your curtains are closed, this is the list for you. Below are some hardy plants that can survive without a lot of natural light. 

4 Plants That Require Minimal Natural Light

• Mint: You can successfully grow mint in your home as long as you keep the soil moist and give it a bit of natural light. As long as you do this, you’ll be sure to have mint for tea and your favorite recipes. 
• Maidenhair Fern: Many ferns do well with low lighting areas and this one makes a great addition to any setting with its light and frilly leaves. 
• Begonias: With a wide range of colors and shapes for their leaves, this plant does quite well without direct sunlight. Begonia owners just need to be careful to not overwater the plant. 
• Moss Terrariums: This option is perfect for the household that wants plant life without a lot of work. Position the terrarium near a window where it can get dashes of light. All you will need to do is ensure it retains a suitable level of moisture. 

If you prefer keeping plants outside, consider putting a planter on your private patio or balcony. It will surely get the natural sunlight it deserves and you can enjoy its beauty as you unwind from your busy day or as you drink your morning coffee. If owning a plant isn’t your ideal cup of tea, but you still enjoy taking in nature’s beauty, you’re in luck because our community is spread out over 9 amazing acres! Contact us today to schedule a tour and to find your new home.

5 Tips for First Time Renters

Shaker Run - Friday, September 21, 2018

When it comes to renting your first apartment, there’s a lot that you will need to keep in mind from layout options, budgets, to amenities that might be included with your apartment. We’ve compiled a list of necessary items for every first time renter to keep in mind as they decide on their new home and how to avoid unnecessary headaches. 

5 Tips for Renting Your First Apartment

1. Expenses: This is particularly important to keep in mind, but many think it’s a no-brainer. Throughout your search you will hear the cost of the monthly rent, but you will need to know if anything additional such as cable or internet is included. If it isn’t, make a mental note to check your other monthly expenses such as student loans or car payments to ensure you are still within your limit. 
2. Logistics: Throughout your adult life you are likely to accumulate pieces of furniture, each of which will need to be taken into consideration when you move. Not only thinking about their size and situating them in the apartment, but, can you get them into the apartment? Will your antique dining room table make it around a corner, or will it simply not fit? Take measurements of your furniture, especially if you don’t intend to part with any. Then when you visit different spaces be sure to bring your measurements and measure the entryways of the building and apartment.
3. Visit During Different Times of the Day: You may feel like this step is excessive, but the area’s sounds, traffic, and activity could change throughout the day. Taking a tour during the day while most people are at work may not give you an accurate sense of the area or the traffic noise. Shaker Run Apartments is situated on 30 majestic acres in the Village of Colonie which makes our residents close enough to places of work, schools, and daily necessities but without the noise of traffic and commuters.  
4. Signing a Lease Sight Unseen: There are unique circumstances when this is ok, like moving to a new area for example.  If you live relatively in the area of the apartment you are interested in, you are strongly encouraged to visit and take a tour prior to signing a lease. Pictures can speak a thousand words, but, nothing replaces the actual experience of the visit and making sure you truly love the size, layout, and amenities of the apartment. 
5. Review the Lease: Some landlords will be quick to put a lease in front of you and expect a signature during that moment. Don’t feel pressured to sign it right then, the management team at Shaker Run Apartments encourages you to read through the lease thoroughly and ask any questions to ensure a complete understanding of the entire lease. 

The most important tip to keep in mind; don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision. It’s ok to take time to think things through before signing a lease, even if that means taking a night or two and sleeping on it. Our team of professionals will take the time with you that is needed to answer your questions and help you come to the decision that is best for you and your lifestyle needs. 

When you’re ready to tour our apartments, let us know

Fun Fall Activities Near You

Shaker Run - Thursday, September 06, 2018

When we think of fall activities, carving pumpkins and picking apples are the first things that seem to pop into our brains. What about the rest of the events going on around the Capital Region? Take a look at the list below and change up your usual fall activities! 

Outdoor Fall Activities

2018 Irish 2000 Festival: Happening on September 15th at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds is the 22nd annual Irish 2000 Festival with a lineup of Celtic music from modern to traditional. In recent years, the festival has happened on multiple days, this year it’s happening on one – so don’t miss out!

Hudson River Sightseeing Cruise: Enjoy a narrated cruise by a Hudson River Historian on September 15th and 16th about Albany and the Hudson River. 

Adirondack Balloon Festival: One of the Capital Region’s greatest events is happening from September 20th through the 23rd in Glens Falls and Queensbury, NY. Watch more than 80 hot air balloons take to the sky and enjoy the food, vendors, and family-friendly activities!

Indoor Fall Activities

Lunch Bite Gallery Tour: Wednesday, September 19th the New York State Museum is hosting the Lunch Bite Gallery Tour: “Albany to Buffalo Images of Changing Fortune Along the Erie Canal”. During the exhibit guests will learn how artists depicted the changing landscape as a result of the canal’s prosperity and decline. 

The Price Is Right: Looking for your chance to “come on down” to play games and have a chance to win prizes? October 6th at the Palace Theatre is the chance you’ve been looking for!

Check out for more events happening in the Capital Region this fall and try something new.  While you’re out enjoying everything the area has to offer, take a tour of our apartments! We have multiple layouts, including two and three bedroom apartments, and amenities you’re sure to love! 
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