• Sara Hayat scoured industry sources near and far to find a fill that would give the Bevel a bit of bounce while ensuring its cushions would retain their pebble-like shape. Indeed, each velvet-upholstered seat cradles a person perfectly. As it should: It takes the team about a month to hand-stitch this low-slung belted beauty. $28,495

  • Minotti who passed away in August, played with the idea of balance in the Solid Steel coffee table, despite the heavy-metal inference of its moniker. Party-ready glossy and mirrored finishes belie the architectural geometry of the streamlined, staggered slabs. Even with its fashion-forward feel (or backward: the materials reference 1970s glamour), it evokes an unflinchingly Bauhaus sensibility. Price upon request

  • Astraeus Clarke found inspiration in N.Y.C. The Roebling table lamp takes its form, albeit loosely, from the Brooklyn Bridge and its name from the bridge’s engineers, John A. Roebling and his wife, Emma. The lamp’s deep-green marble pillars support a gable-shaped top that hides the light source. But there’s a twist: That top segment pivots 360 degrees, allowing the user to direct illumination as needed. $12,500

  • New Ravenna. Duo, a waterjet mosaic, features boxy, mustard-toned cross-stitches that punctuate a large, dark grid over elegant marble with green veining. The coastal Virginia–based company replicates the texture of stone that has been well-worn by salt air, ensuring your kitchen, bath, or patio looks suitably lived-in. $229 per square foot

  • Source: robbreport.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Apache is functioning normally

    According to the Lost & Found survey by Pixie, nearly one in four Americans misplace their house or car keys twice a week. Having a spare key is quite handy if you find yourself locked out of your apartment.

    Where do you hide a spare key when you live in an apartment?

    Hiding a spare key in your car or at a house is typically pretty easy, but knowing where to hide a spare key for an apartment is trickier. After all, there aren’t as many nooks and crannies where a spare key can go. Plus, you want to make it easy to find but not obvious to anyone who might be looking for it. However, with a little creativity, there are some great spots where you can hide a spare key for your apartment.

    1. Tuck it in your décor

    If you routinely decorate your apartment entrance, this could provide an ideal hiding place for your spare key. For instance, you could tape it inside your door knocker or attach it to your wind chimes. If you change out your décor to reflect the season or holidays and tucked your spare key in a wreath or other item, don’t forget to move it from the old décor and place it in the new.

    2. Put it in a fake rock along the walkway

    Fake rocks are a great option for hiding a spare key for your apartment. However, you shouldn’t place those fake rocks just anywhere — you don’t want to set one near your doorway because it will look out of place, immediately grabbing the attention of would-be thieves. A better location is the landscaping along the walkway to your building or alongside the building. Placing it on the ground among other rocks or under shrubs will camouflage your container. The goal is to make sure it looks natural wherever you place it.

    3. Slip it in a magnetic key box under a staircase

    Many people often slip a spare car key into a magnetic key box and hide that box somewhere in their car. You can use this same technique by putting your spare apartment key in a magnetic box and hiding it under a metal staircase. Or, you could attach it to the back of a light along the lighted corridor. Another good spot is on the rear of a metal gutter. Essentially, any magnetic surface will work, but make sure it’s not a spot that others may access often. For instance, don’t put it near electrical boxes that may require routine maintenance.

    4. Hide it among your outdoor furniture

    If you have a patio that’s easily accessible from the exterior of your apartment, you could hide a spare key on the furniture. Tape it under a chair or under your storage box for cushions. Another option is taping it to the underside of your barbecue grill. If you do, check the adhesive on the tape periodically to make sure it’s still securely taped to the grill. A birdhouse is another good hiding spot. Slip your key in there for when you need it, but make sure it’s easy to get out. Just skip the obvious places like under a potted plant or doormat.

    5. Stash it under a balcony or deck

    For apartment buildings with balconies or decks, you can stash a key in the nooks and crannies underneath the structures. When placing a spare key, check to make sure it won’t fall out easily or get washed away when it rains. Depending on the structure, you might be able to drive a nail into one of the wood posts and hang the key on it.

    6. Leave a spare key with your neighbor

    If you have a neighbor you know and trust, ask them to keep a spare key to your apartment. Not only will this be handy if you actually lock yourself out of your apartment, but they can help you out if you need someone to put a delivery in your apartment or check on your pets while you’re gone.

    Where not to put a spare key for your apartment

    When hiding a spare key for your apartment, skip the obvious spots that a would-be burglar may check. These include under the doormat, in or under a potted plant near the door or along the door jam. Although your apartment key would be out of sight, it likely wouldn’t be out of mind for someone trying to gain access to your apartment.

    Also, while a fake wall socket or fake clock with a safe can provide a great hiding place, you need to install them in the wall, meaning you’ll need to cut a hole in the wall to place it. If you want to try this option, make sure you talk to your landlord before you make permanent cuts.

    The right spot for the spare key for your apartment

    Figuring out where to hide a spare key to your apartment might seem difficult at first, but it might be easier than you think. Take a look around your apartment and building and see what good hiding spots you can find. From a metal staircase to a flowerbed to the lights in your hallway, you’ll be surprised at how many places you can find to hide a spare apartment key.

    Source: rent.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Whether you’re moving out of your parent’s house or leaving the dorm life behind, becoming a first-time apartment renter is a big and exciting step. However, if you don’t know the ins and outs of the rental process, the task can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we at Redfin put together a list of 8 key tips to help first-time renters find their perfect first apartment and make the transition as smooth as possible. Whether you’re renting an apartment in Los Angeles, CA, or in Brooklyn, NY, these tips will be invaluable in your journey to securing the ideal rental space.

    1. Your budget needs to cover more than just rent

    If you’re a first-time apartment renter, knowing how to budget for your first apartment is crucial. Your monthly rent will, of course, be the most considerable expense you need to account for, but there are other one-time and ongoing fees that you should be able to pay. Let’s take a look at these costs more closely.

    Initial, one-time costs

    Before moving into your new apartment, you should save enough money to pay for the following upfront costs:

    Recurring costs

    Once you’ve moved into your first apartment, there are several ongoing expenses you’ll need to cover every month:

    • Rent
    • Utilities, such as electricity, garbage, water, sewage, etc.
    • Internet and phone
    • Parking
    • Laundry

    As a first-time apartment renter, this might be the first time you’re responsible for these types of expenses. The last thing you want to do is misjudge what you can afford because you forgot to factor in these essential components of your cost of living

    2. Make a list of needs, then prioritize them

    Start with your dream apartment – what is your ultimate living situation? While you may not end up with everything on your list, it’s essential to understand what you value in your home. Some common needs for first-time apartment renters are:

    • Functional kitchen
    • Balcony, patio, or other private outdoor space
    • Closet and storage space
    • Proximity to work, nightlife, dog parks, or other amenities
    • Natural light and direction of exposure
    • Air conditioning
    • Building amenities, such as a gym, rooftop, or business center

    Once you have your list, prioritize the items from most to least important. This will help you narrow down your choices and choose between similar properties. 

    3. Ask a lot of questions during apartment tours

    There are some things you just need to know when you’re shopping for apartments. You may direct these questions to your prospective landlord, or you might have to do some research on your own. Here is a list of must-ask questions, but you may choose to add others depending on your needs.

    1. How much is the rent?
    2. Are utilities included? If not, how much do they usually cost?
    3. How much is the security deposit?
    4. How do I pay rent and utilities?
    5. Is there a parking fee? 
    6. Is the apartment pet-friendly, and if so, what are the associated fees?
    7. Are any deposits or fees refunded at the end of the lease?
    8. Do I need proof of renters insurance?
    9. What’s the application process, and is there a fee?
    10. How long is the lease term?
    11. How often does rent increase and by how much?
    12. What alterations can I make to my apartment?
    13. How is apartment maintenance dealt with? 
    14. Is there a property manager?
    15. Am I responsible for any maintenance?
    16. What amenities are available nearby?
    17. Are there any particular policies I should know about?

    These questions are just the beginning. You likely have special needs or preferences that should inspire additional questions. Keep a list of these questions with you when touring, along with a way of recording the answers. 

    4. Know the rental application requirements

    Each apartment will have a different rental process. Generally, your process will include some or all of the following:

    1. Fill out an apartment application
    2. Show proof of income
    3. Complete a credit check
    4. Complete a background check
    5. Provide rental history with the landlord’s contact information or a personal reference
    6. Add a co-signer if you have a low credit score or no credit history
    7. Include an optional cover letter

    To show proof of income, you’ll likely need to provide your most recent pay stubs. You can also use an offer letter or letter from your employer if you’re moving for work. Many landlords or property management companies want to see that you have a reliable monthly income appropriate for the rent payment. While it depends on the apartment, there is often an income requirement that the renter needs to make 2 to 3 times the monthly rent amount.

    5. Clarify the parking situation

    Some rentals come with a designated parking area or parking spot(s). If you plan to live with a roommate and you both have cars, are there enough parking spaces to easily accommodate both of you? When there are not enough parking spaces or tandem parking, roommates will often switch off week to week or find another acceptable compromise. If the apartment complex does have parking spaces, be sure to ask if this comes at an additional cost. Parking fees are becoming increasingly common at rental properties. 

    On the other hand, many apartments don’t come with parking, especially in bigger cities like New York City or San Francisco. In this case, pay close attention to the street parking. The street parking signs will tell you which days or times of day parking is limited or prohibited (usually for street-sweeping or snow plowing). But you should also note how many parking spaces are free on your street— is there plenty of room or are cars packed bumper to bumper? Streets with cars parked close together usually mean that parking is difficult to find. 

    6. Know the best time of year to rent an apartment 

    You can’t always control when you need to move, but if you do have flexibility, choosing the right time of year to rent an apartment could have a large impact. If your main concern is price, you’ll want to look for an apartment during the winter months. Typically, most people move in the summer months (college students moving away from home, etc.), so demand and prices are typically highest during this time and lowest in the winter. Keep in mind that while rent prices may be lower, there might not be a large selection of apartment complexes with availability. 

    On the other hand, if your ideal apartment is your top priority, then moving during the summer may be a better option. Most renters sign 12-month leases in the summer. Therefore, most leases usually also end around that time. This means the highest number of new apartments are coming on the market, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The main downside here is that rent prices will typically be higher, and you’ll need to act fast before the best apartments are off the market. 

    7. Thoroughly read and understand the lease agreement

    As a first-time apartment renter, reviewing your lease agreement is one of the most important steps to getting your apartment. Though the lease may contain complex language, it will outline the most important agreements you’re making by signing it. Here are a few things you should make a note of:

    • The length of your lease
    • The pet policy and any special terms (like additional fees)
    • Deposit requirements and how your deposit is returned
    • Sub-letting rules
    • Utility responsibilities
    • Maintenance procedures
    • Liens or claims to your property if you don’t pay rent

    When in doubt, having your lease reviewed by a landlord-tenant attorney is a great idea. The attorney will be able to catch any illegal provisions, explain how provisions work, point out unfavorable provisions and their consequences, and suggest changes that provide you with a more favorable lease.

    8. Get renters insurance

    In many cases, carrying renters insurance may be required by your landlord, especially if you’re a first-time apartment renter. Even if it isn’t, it’s still a good idea to have it – regardless of if you’re a long-time tenant or a first-time apartment renter. A renters insurance policy protects you in three significant ways:

    • Personal property protection: If someone steals, damages, or destroys your personal belongings, you will receive a payout (minus the deductible). 
    • Personal liability: If someone gets hurt in your home, renters insurance will pay for medical bills and lost wages, depending on the terms of your policy. You may also be covered if you end up in a lawsuit. 
    • Loss of use: If your apartment becomes uninhabitable, loss of use coverage pays for your expenses, up to coverage limits, while you live outside your home. 

    Always be sure to review your policy carefully. It’s a good idea to create an inventory of your personal belongings so that you both have a record of what you own and ensure your coverage limits are high enough to protect you in the event of a total loss. If you are unsure about any part of your insurance policy, speak with your agent. 

    A final note on renting your first apartment 

    Searching and finding a perfect apartment rental requires some diligence, patience, and preparation. By following these tips, you can avoid possible pitfalls and make your apartment hunting process as seamless as possible, especially if you’re a first-time apartment renter.

    Source: redfin.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Like many tech workers, Jing Guo and Gabriel Taylor Russ left Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic in search of warmer weather.

    “We were working remotely,” Guo says of their move to the Bay Area. “We thought ‘at least we can be outside.’”

    However, a few months after settling in, the couple realized how difficult it would be to buy a home in San Rafael, where housing inventory is low and the median home price is around $1.4 million. “It was just too expensive,” says Russ, 37, a director of engineering for Ritual Wellness.

    A tiny vestibule created inside the front door adds order.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)


    It’s not like they were being picky, either. They didn’t want a modern house or something that was move-in ready. They simply wanted to find a house with character that they could make their own.

    “Our dream was to own our own home and design it our way,” says Guo, 33, who works as a product designer for Two Chairs, a mental health company.

    As self-proclaimed nomads — Russ is originally from Australia and Guo immigrated to Chicago from China when she was 12 — they decided to look in Los Angeles, where they could continue to enjoy the outdoors.

    The Eagle Rock home before it was remodeled.

    (Precision Property Measurements)

    But they quickly learned that Los Angeles is no different from the Bay Area: When they bid on a home in South Pasadena, theirs was one of 63 offers.

    “We were outbid by $200,000,” Russ says of the bidding war, shaking his head. “And we bid over the asking price just like everyone else.”


    So when their real estate agent sent them a listing for a bungalow in Eagle Rock that needed work, the couple fell in love with the 1923 home’s Spanish architecture.

    The quiet tree-lined street near Occidental College contributed to the bungalow’s charm. Although the listing described the house as needing “a little polishing” — a euphemism for remodeling — the couple saw great possibility. “I told our realtor while FaceTiming, ‘This is it!’” said Guo. “When you know, you know.”

    The Eagle Rock house met the couple’s requirements: It had character, needed to be updated and had the potential for an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, to add value to the property.

    The ADU was designed to complement the main house’s Spanish architecture. Right, the one-car garage before it was turned into an ADU. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times; Precision Property Measurements)

    The living room inside the ADU.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    This time, their offer of $1,025,000 was accepted after only three others bid on the house.


    When they saw the house in person, however, they realized how much work would be required before they could move in.

    “We had to hire someone to rip out the urine-soaked flooring from the previous tenants’ cats,” Guo says, wrinkling her nose as she recalled the aroma. “But the only way we could afford to renovate the house was to live in it first.”

    Architect Barrett Cooke added 100 square feet to the front of the house to enlarge the living room and brighten the interiors.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    The narrow living room, before it was remodeled.

    (John Christopher)

    With temporary flooring in place, the couple moved in and learned there was no working heat. The kitchen range wasn’t functional. Cooking on a hot plate with renovations on the horizon, Guo says they felt like they were camping in the house.

    After living in the house for a year, they hired architect Barrett Cooke of Arterberry Cooke to help them rethink the bungalow and turn the one-car garage into a tenant-friendly ADU on a budget of $230,000.


    “The house needed some love,” Cooke said diplomatically, “but we worked with the existing details and tried to enhance what was already there.”

    Cooke added an arch in the ADU in keeping with the main home’s Spanish architecture. Right, the custom-made front door of the main home. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    The kitchen and dining room of the main house open to a front porch that overlooks the park-like front yard.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    Although living in the house before renovating it could have been better, it ultimately helped the couple rethink the interiors. “We realized the living room was too small and the lighting was bad,” Guo says.

    When it came time to renovate the 1,258-square-foot house, the couple says Barrett and contractor Antonio Blanc stayed true to the footprint — with one exception.

    “We added 100 square feet to the front of the house and raised the roof in the living room,” Cooke says. “That completely transformed the function of the house.”


    Cooke also removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create an open living area and added skylights in the hallway, brightening the dark interiors.

    The kitchen and living room of the ADU.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    Jing Guo and Gabriel Taylor Russ chose simple, durable materials for the ADU’s kitchen.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    A set of black aluminum-clad French doors off the dining room let in further sunshine and provide easy access to a new front porch.

    “We wanted to orient the house so that their yard space was the front yard,” Cooke says. The porch maximizes the views toward the street and the front yard’s park-like setting. “People often want to connect the kitchen to the backyard,” Cooke explains, “but that wasn’t an option with a small yard and ADU in back.”

    In a move that transformed the front of the house and added curb appeal, Cooke relocated the front door from the middle to the side, just off of the porch. She also installed arched doorways and windows that emphasize the home’s Spanish architecture.


    In the open living area, European French oak engineered hardwood floors contribute to the home’s clean look. A vestibule with a bench and coat rack at the entrance to the living room adds order and feels like a private space.

    The entryway of the ADU.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    The bedroom of the ADU features room for side-by-side closets and a desk.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    The bathroom in the ADU features simple subway tile. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

    “I’m naturally anxious,” Guo says, appreciating the home’s soothing interiors. “I need a house where I can feel calm.”

    When it came to transforming the one-car garage, Cooke designed the 480-square-foot ADU to correspond to the architecture of the main house with a similar roofline, red tile awnings and black aluminum-clad windows.


    “It’s very clean and simple,” Cooke says. “The two structures play off each other quite nicely.”

    Like the main house, Cooke raised the ceiling of the original garage to bring in more light.

    Steps from a charming entry where guests can store their shoes, coats and laptops, the main living area has a living room and full kitchen with simple white subway tile and custom mint green cabinets.

    The bedroom has enough room for a desk and plenty of storage courtesy of side-by-side closets. To accommodate long-term tenants, Cooke installed a washer and dryer in the pass-through bathroom, which connects the bedroom to the living area and kitchen.

    Jing Guo and Gabriel Taylor Russ inside the kitchen of the main house.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)


    The couple rents the ADU as a furnished midterm rental, which generally lasts three to nine months, for approximately $4,000 monthly. “We were always banking on the ADU for its earning potential,” Russ says.

    Now that the finishing touches are complete, the couple loves the results: a character home that has been beautifully remodeled to honor its Spanish heritage and an ADU that covers their construction loan.

    Over the last few years, the couple went from living in a construction zone in a new city with few friends to hosting Dungeons & Dragons game nights in their elegant, sun-filled dining room.

    On a sunny day earlier this month, they took a break from their Zoom meetings and sat outside on their new patio.

    As neighbors walked by and said hello, the couple discussed future home improvements, including landscaping, in the shade of a majestic Chinese elm in the front yard.

    “I’m so excited to hang out here,” Guo says. “I still can’t believe we live here.”

    The two homes exude peace and calm.

    (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)


    Source: latimes.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    A Mediterranean-inspired mansion in Southlake, Texas — a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth known for its high quality of life and affluent resident base — has recently hit the market, reminding us all that everything is bigger (and better) in Texas.

    Priced at $1,899,900, the custom-built home is the epitome of modern elegance, and offers plenty of space, a sleek design, and luxurious finishes. Frank Capovilla with Coldwell Banker Realty’s Southlake office holds the listing.

    While a budget of under $2 million will buy you little in a crazy expensive real estate market like Los Angeles, in Southlake, TX — if this property is any indication — you get 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths and 1 half-bath, a stately great room with 25-foot ceilings, and a 2-car garage.

    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty

    This, of course, has not gone unnoticed.

    The mass Cali exodus of the past few years has seen some of the biggest celebrities move to Texas, with household names in sports, entertainment, and arts now calling the Lone Star State home.

    The Southlake house also comes with an expansive gourmet kitchen and an executive home office, offering the perfect balance of style and convenience.

    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty

    The primary suite steals the show with its jaw-dropping Chanel-like master closet, a haven for fashion enthusiasts.

    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
    Photo credit: Photo credit: Shoot2Sell Photography courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty

    Outside, a fireplace patio provides a perfect spot to enjoy the picturesque views of the Greenbelt ranch and serene pond. There’s also plenty of space for future owners to add a pool and create their own backyard oasis.

    Other notable features include 2 balconies, 2 outdoor patios, an oversized sun deck, an outdoor kitchen with a gas grill BBQ, a game room with a wet bar and wine fridge, and smart everything: oven, refrigerator, HVAC, sound system, garage door system and more.

    More Texas homes

    Joe Rogan’s house in Austin is a $14.4M lakeside retreat (PHOTOS)

    Mark Cuban’s million-dollar-mansions are the definition of luxury living

    See inside Jensen Ackles’ house in Austin, a dreamy lake-side retreat

    Source: fancypantshomes.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    It’s a strange time in the world. People are looking for new companionship, especially if they have become permanent remote workers. And everyone is also looking to save a little money. Those are two of the reasons for a recent boom in pet chicken ownership. The “urban chickening” trend has reached all corners. This has left many wondering if a pet chicken is right for me?

    The fact is, chickens make wonderful pets and feathery friends. And you might even get to enjoy a trove of fresh eggs along with it. But they’re certainly a far cry from dogs and cats. Pet chickens aren’t for everyone, but if you like the idea, the rewards are many. “They’re cute. They’re fun to watch run around. They’re excited when we come home,” reports pet chicken owners Robert McMinn and Jules Corkery of Queens, NY. What makes this Astoria couple interesting is that they are raising their three hens inside their one-bedroom apartment.

    So, can you have a chicken in an apartment? The answer is a wholehearted, yes. But to do so takes time, patience, expense, space and permission, as well as the ability to do so in your location and climate. It’s obviously easier to raise a chicken in an apartment if you have a dedicated outdoor space to house them full time. But what about indoors? Indoor chickens are known as “house chickens,” and this is what it takes to own one.

    Are you allowed to keep a chicken in your apartment?

    Before you even consider purchasing or otherwise acquiring a chicken, you need to find out if you can even have a chicken in your apartment. There are two forces at work to find out — from your landlord and from the government.

    Ask your landlord

    First, you’ll need to find out from your landlord if they allow chickens, or birds in general, in your lease. If you aren’t allowed pets at all, the answer is probably no. If your apartment is pet-friendly, read your lease to see if it spells out what kind of pets or what size.

    If you’re still unsure, contact the landlord or property manager directly to ask. If it’s not expressly forbidden in your lease, you can make the argument to allow them. Additionally, if you rent a unit that’s part of a homeowner’s association, make sure it’s allowed by that entity, too.

    Ask your local officials

    If your landlord permits chickens, you also need to find out if it’s actually legal where you live. Unfortunately, rules about chicken-keeping vary from municipality to municipality. The first step is to research rules for raising chickens indoors online. This is a good source to begin with.

    For more information or to confirm, contact your local county, township or city hall. Ask for the best person with whom to speak to find the legal answer. Before you make your purchase, make sure every entity — your state, your county, your town, township or city — agrees on the legality. It may also require a call to a zoning board or local health department. Be sure you’re researching indoor rules, specifically. If there’s no ordinance prohibiting it, then you’re allowed as long as you follow other regulations like noise and sanitation.

    And be aware. Even if keeping chickens is legal, some ordinances require you to get your neighbors’ approval.

    Should you have a chicken in your apartment?

    Even if you can raise a chicken in your apartment, there’s a question if you should raise a chicken in your apartment. There are many people, from veterinarians to enthusiasts, who believe it’s not good for the chicken to be indoors in an apartment. In the end, only you can decide if you feel it’s humane in your particular situation.

    Pros of urban chickening

    If you plan on keeping a chicken as a pet (as opposed to as an egg-laying machine), they make wonderful companions. Chickens easily adapt to your lifestyle, especially if you acquire them as chicks. Indoor chickens get used to being around you and will bond with you. Like any pet, they can learn to interact with you. Many chickens will be quite comfortable curling up with you on the couch and watching TV.

    But like any pet, the more they get used to their indoor pet lifestyle, the harder it will be to change. Once you raise a chicken as an indoor pet, it would be unkind to send it away to live outdoors. A typical chicken lives an average of 10 years. Be ready to make that decade-long commitment.

    Even if you aren’t raising chickens to save money on eggs, it’s still going to happen if yours is a hen. A hen, if that’s your choice, will lay around 300 eggs a year when properly cared for. And yes, the eggs are perfectly fine to eat. And may even save you some money. As an added bonus, hens lay eggs with a hint of the taste of whatever they themselves eat. Giving your chicken table scraps to eat will make your eggs taste like that.

    Cons of urban chickening

    But remember, chickens, by their nature, are outdoor creatures. Of course, they can adapt to living indoors, but they can often treat your indoors like the outdoors. They’re dirty, smelly and cause messes. They can eat indoor plants and peck holes in your furniture or floor. And, even with precautions, they can and will poop almost anywhere. They require a lot of time and effort. It’s up to you to discern the ROI.

    Many enthusiasts turn to chickens as an alternative to traditional pets. But if allergies are a consideration, it isn’t any better luck. While no, chickens don’t have fur, many people are allergic to feathers, dust and dander. Be sure no one in the apartment is allergic before pulling the trigger.

    As well, if you already have a cat or dog in the house, consider not adding a chicken. Most house pets aren’t used to being around fowl. They may scare or even harm your indoor pet chicken. And just because chickens aren’t flying birds doesn’t mean they can’t fly. Be aware that many chickens can fly or jump up to 15 feet or so.

    What breed is best for an apartment and how many?

    There is, of course, no standard “chicken.” Like any pet, you have a variety of breeds to choose from. The friendliest breeds are often the most adaptive to living indoors. Many are known as “lap chickens” because they’ll get used to sitting right in your lap. Some of the best breeds for house chickens include:

    • Silkie
    • Barbu D’Uccle
    • Sultan
    • Cochin
    • Bantam
    • Buff Orpington
    • Salmon Faverolle
    • Cochin
    • Easter Egger
    • Polish

    Silkies are docile, very friendly and act quite quirky. Barbus are fairly small, easy to carry around and can learn to sit on your shoulder. Sultans enjoy the indoors and are often described as sweet and warm.

    But chickens are social creatures. They’re born to run in flocks. Keeping fellow chickens as social company is crucial. Experts and breeders suggest never raising a lone chicken. In fact, it’s generally recommended to keep three chickens from the chick stage. That’s often how they’re sold, as well. This is to ensure that if one passes, the other chickens will still have each other.

    What do you need to keep a chicken indoors?

    While chickens are naturally outdoor creatures, you can still raise a chicken in your apartment like a traditional pet. Indoor chickens are as fun and cuddly as having a dog or cat. They can eat and sleep indoors, and interact with you as you go about your day. But keeping a house chicken is expensive, messy and difficult.

    And chickens will bond with you just like cats and dogs. Many feel chickens are aloof or even unintelligent, but they are loyal pets. Your best bet for this is to buy chicks very young. The more you imprint on them from a young age, the stronger the bond. And to keep them happy, give them the best living and feeding situation you can.

    Your house chicken’s living area

    It’s vital to give your indoor chicken an environment for them to thrive. And that starts with a living area similar to an outdoor coop.

    You can buy a specialty cage for your chickens, or even repurpose an old doghouse. Your setup should have a coop, a run and a nest box. The coop should also have a roost, raised a foot to a foot-and-a-half off the ground, high enough to jump to and low enough if they fall. The run should have sawdust and straw as that will also be your chicken’s litter box.

    Your chickens should never be confined to or denied access from the coop, but rather given free access to it unsupervised. Their home should have four or five square feet per chicken. If they’re too crowded, chickens have been known to cannibalize.

    The entire setup should be in an area least disturbing to both you and them. Chickens enjoy taking “dust baths,” covering themselves in detritus from the run. So, it’s advisable to keep it away from kitchens and bedrooms. You must also decide if the chickens have access to your entire space, or only to certain areas.

    And lastly, artificial sunlight is also key, just as it would be to incubate an egg. There are many appropriate indoor avian lamps available. This helps keep their vision sharp and allows their bodies to create proper hormones. Keep these where your chick can sunbathe in the light.

    Keep your indoor chicken’s living space clean

    Clean the living area between one and three times a week. Your chickens will learn this routine and keep away while you’re cleaning. When you clean, remove the feces, replace the litter (compostable is an excellent option) and wash the floors and sides of each surface as well as the feeders and waterers. Use non-toxic soap and hot water. Wash your hands thoroughly immediately after cleaning or touching any areas. Minimizing salmonella germ spread is an important concern.

    And if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space like a yard, patio or porch, you can set up their living space outside. But again, the chickens must have free access to it at all times.

    What to do with your chicken’s poop

    For the most part, your chicken will do their business in the litter area of the coop and run you have set up. Chickens are not cats, and won’t naturally seek out the litter. You can potty train chickens to do so, but it’s not simple. How tame and smart enough your chicken is to do so will make a difference, and you’ll have had to build trust.

    Litter box training takes time and patience. And in the meantime, there is a lot of poop to clean around the house. And even after training, accidents will occur, so be prepared.

    Additionally, yes, chicken diapers do exist. But experts say diapers are not a permanent option, but only for timely convenience. And keep in mind, that hens lay eggs from the general area from which they poop, which means poopy eggs in poopy diapers. And that’s no fun for anyone.

    Feeding your apartment chicken

    Your chicken’s primary dietary item is fresh pellets as chicken feed. The makeup of pellets will change with your chicken’s age and life stage. Additionally, you’ll need to add “grit” to the chicken’s feed. Broken oyster shells and small stones in their food help them to digest.

    As well, your chickens need 24-hour access to fresh drinking water. You may provide this in a retail chicken waterer. It’s also recommended to add commercial poultry vitamins to the water.

    Like any animal and any pet, chickens also love treats. Some favorites include dried mealworms, peeled and cored apples, alfalfa and plain yogurt. But every chicken’s favorite is corn. This is the recommended reward for chicken training. And chickens also love table scraps. Suggestions include pasta, green vegetables, dry cereals, raisins and bananas.

    But be judicious with treats, especially ones high in fat. An overweight chicken can become sick very quickly. They will also produce low-quality eggs.

    Getting your chicken outdoor time

    So, you have decided having a house chicken indoors is the right choice for you. But to make sure it’s the right choice for them, too, your chicken must have significant outdoor time. Chickens, as mentioned, are outdoor creatures, and they won’t thrive stuck indoors.

    Chickens thrive when given time to forage in a yard or in a park. If they start trying to eat bits of carpet or other non-food items around your house, that’s a sign they need more outside time. “They need to give themselves dust baths, which kills any body parasites and keeps them clean. It’s important for chickens to be able to scratch in the Earth for bugs, grubs, worms, etc.,” says Owen Taylor, city farms manager at Just Food.

    Make time in your schedule for you and your chicken to take a walk outside every day. Possibly several times a day. Chickens need access to the outdoors, sunshine and grass as often as possible. It’s not required they run free in an enclosed area. You can even take them for a walk like a dog. Just be sure to purchase a chicken harness and avoid traffic areas.

    Welcome to urban chickening

    The answer to the question “Can you have a chicken in an apartment?” full-time indoors is yes. But the more important question is “should you?” That’s a decision you have to make dependent on your budget, time, patience, space, situation and permissions.

    You’ll need to do significant prep and research before you jump into the world of indoor urban chickening. Read every website you can. Talk to breeders and fellow enthusiasts. And read up in books like “The Chicken Health Handbook.”

    And if every light seems green, proceed cautiously, and enjoy getting to know and bond with your new house chickens. If you’re looking for a pet-friendly apartment in your city, be sure to peruse the listings at Rent..

    Source: rent.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Warmer weather and longer days call for firing up the grill and cooking delicious food. But you may need to take extra precautions. Grills cause an annual average of roughly 10,600 home fires each year. With less space, apartments are especially susceptible. Nothing puts a damper on summer barbecues like a visit from the fire department or having to head to the emergency room to deal with burns.

    Luckily, these grilling safety tips will keep you, your family, your neighbors and your apartment safe.

    Top tips for apartment grill safety

    Prevent accidents and serve up some of the best barbecue cooking around with these grilling safety tips.

    1. Check your local laws and regulations

    For fire hazards and health and safety reasons, many municipalities, cities and towns have rules about grilling near or around apartment buildings and multi-family housing developments. Sometimes, landlords prohibit certain types of grills, while other times they’ll keep the grill a certain distance away from a structure.

    2. Make sure you’re allowed to have a grill in your apartment

    First things first, you should never use a grill intended for outdoor use inside your apartment. The smoke and flames can set off fire alarms, start fires and produce toxic amounts of carbon monoxide. No apartment complex will let you use an outdoor grill indoors. If they do, run as far away from that property as possible. It’s probably not a safe place to live if they allow you to grill inside. So, don’t even think about grilling inside your apartment. Try other options like ovens or stoves.

    Secondly, you need to double-check what rules your landlord or apartment building has about using grills. Some may allow it with conditions, while others will flat-out prohibit it. Before investing in that great grill you saw, confirm your apartment complex and landlord actually allows it.

    3. Can you use gas grills or charcoal grills?

    Similar to reading the fine print of your rental agreement to see where you can use a grill in your apartment, you also need to see if there are rules about what kind of grill you can have. There are many different kinds, from solid-fueled grills to gas or charcoal.

    Charcoal and gas grills are the two most popular and best known. Charcoal grills are great for adding a smoky flavor to your food. Gas grills use either propane tanks or natural gas. If your apartment doesn’t allow either of the above, electric grills are safe, easy to use and just as good at cooking as the other options.

    4. Figure out where you can have a grill in your apartment

    Location, location, location. When it comes to grills, it’s one of the most important factors. Your landlord might have strict stipulations about where you can use and store a grill. Some will allow grills on balconies or patios but may have specifications about how far to keep it from the building. It’s possible to safely grill on patios and balconies provided it’s not enclosed and the grill isn’t close to anything flammable.

    5. Keep the grill secure

    One minute, you’re grilling on your balcony or patio, preparing delicious food for your family and friends. The next minute, a strong gust of wind blows it over. Secure your grill to something sturdy and non-flammable using a strong chain. Also, keep it on a flat surface where it can’t roll away or fall over.

    6. Keep starter fluids out of reach and safely stored

    Another apartment grilling safety tip is to keep anything that could provide fuel and boost flames or coals away from the grill when not in use. This includes charcoal starter fluid, lighter fluid and any other flammable liquids. Securing them inside a metal container is one option.

    Potentially dangerous grill accessories, like the meat thermometer, should also be kept out of reach of tiny hands.

    7. Have a fire extinguisher on hand

    You should have one in your apartment already. But just in case you don’t, make sure to get a fire extinguisher to keep by your grill.

    8. Keep baking soda and salt close by

    If you have a gas grill or charcoal grill, these two basic ingredients are your two best friends. Why? They’re excellent tools for stopping fires. In the event of gas grill fires or a grease fire, remain calm and follow these steps.

    First, turn off the heat source if you can. Next, try to smother the flame to cut off its oxygen. This could be closing the grill tightly or placing a pot or pan over the flame. If you can’t cover the open fire completely or safely, throw salt or baking soda over it to extinguish the flame.

    One thing to remember: NEVER throw water on grease fires. It will only cause flare-ups and make the fire even bigger.

    9. Keep your grill clean

    It’s important to keep your grill clean of built-up fat, cooking residue and other detritus. Fat buildup on grills can cause flare-ups as it melts and drips onto coals or other heat sources. So, make sure to thoroughly clean your grill after each use.

    10. Keep the grill away from flammable materials

    Place your grill in an open area far from anything that could easily catch fire. This is anything from other structures, like wooden partitions or columns on a balcony, to hanging baskets or furniture. Also, be careful of things like apron strings, shirttails and loose clothing. All it takes is one gust of wind to blow an apron string too close to the coals and lighting on fire.

    11. Keep grills in a well-ventilated area

    Smoke and carbon monoxide build-up are serious risks, so make sure to grill in well-ventilated, open-air places.

    12. Check your gas grill or propane grill for leaks

    A gas leak can turn grilling time into a disaster in no time at all. To check for leaks, mix some water and light soap together to form a soapy water solution. Using a spray bottle or brush, apply the mixture to the connection spots between the gas source and grill. Turn the gas grill on and watch for bubbles forming in the solution. If you see bubbles, that means there’s a leak.

    Check for leaks when you haven’t used the grill in a while.

    13. Keep children and pets away unless supervised

    Never let young family members, children or pets play or hang out too close to the grill. Bumping into the grill can cause burns or worse.

    14. Never leave the grill unattended while cooking

    It doesn’t just put your meat and food at risk of overcooking or burning. Leaving your grill unattended is an invitation to all sorts of problems. Something could catch fire or someone could hurt themselves. Always monitor the grill when it’s in use.

    Even after cooking, keep the lid closed at all times. Charcoal can stay hot for hours, and hot coal blown out of the grill can start a fire.

    15. Keep a first aid kit handy

    Hopefully, you won’t have to use it because you’ll be using all of these grilling safety tips. But sometimes, hot fat drips or grease can splash onto skin, in which case it’s great to have a first aid kit close at hand.

    16. Use the common area grill

    Some apartment complexes will have community grills in communal outdoor areas for everyone’s use. If you’re prohibited to have a grill in your own apartment, this is a great backup option for grilling food for events and gatherings.

    All the above safety tips should still be closely followed. Since anyone in your building can use the grill, you don’t have a guarantee that everyone is taking proper care of the grill, like cleaning it correctly or frequently enough.

    17. Use an electric grill

    If you can’t have a gas or charcoal grill and your apartment building doesn’t have communal ones, you can always invest in an electric grill for indoor use. Completely safe for indoor use, an electric grill will still meet all your grilling needs without potentially lighting home fires.

    Grill safely and happily with these tips

    Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to forego homemade barbecue. With these grilling safety tips, grill and cook food safely in your apartment without worry.

    Source: rent.com