Happy anniversary to us!

Happy first anniversary to us! Prudential Realty’s blog has officially been around for a whole year. In honor of this milestone, we’ve rounded up our top 5 posts. These are the posts that have gotten the most views/visitors.

  1. How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget kicked off our series on decorating the 2 bedroom model at Alvern Gardens. This first post focuses on the living room. Check out the rest of the series for posts about the dining room, master bedroom, and home office.

    Happy anniversary!
    We’re celebrating 1 year online with (virtual) fireworks. Here’s to another year of fun and informative posts!
  2. More grilled cheese contenders is a follow-up to our countdown of the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh.Read both posts, try the contenders for yourself, and let us know what you think: who does serve the best grilled cheese?
  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Look at last week’s post for things to do this week while your family’s in town.
  4. Dog park safety and etiquette have become important to us ever since Alvern Gardens opened its very own dog park for its resident pooches.
  5. Bado’s is a favorite local eatery of ours. Situated in the middle of the picturesque Shops on Beverly in Mt. Lebanon, the self-described pizza grill and alehouse has something on the menu for everyone.

Have your own favorite Prudential Realty post? Let us know, and you might see follow-up posts in the coming year!

Apartments with free parking in Pittsburgh

Back in February, when Pittsburgh was still locked in winter, we told you about covered parking options at a few Prudential Realty Communities, so now that spring is officially here, it’s time to explore our properties with free parking.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

The street parking is free, first come, first serve along Vermont Avenue and Greenridge Road, so when you have guests, they’ll have no trouble finding a spot. Some of the buildings in the community have free permit-only parking lots reserved for the residents of those buildings.

To find out the current availability at Alvern Gardens and to ask about apartment amenities, call 412-561-4663 or email alverngardens@yahoo.com and be sure to ask about the current special.

Cornell Place

Parking in Mount Lebanon is expensive and hard to find, so anyone looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment will be happy to know that parking in the lot behind Cornell Place is free, permit only for residents of the building.

For more information on Cornell Place’s amenities and availability, call 412-401-9848 or email cornellplace@prudentialrealty.com

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Place Seville

The parking lot of Place Seville is free, first come, first serve for the residents of the 1 and 2 bedrooms there.

Details about amenities and availability may be acquired by calling 412-563-7256 or emailing placeseville@prudentialrealty.com

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses

While parking isn’t allowed along Sleepy Hollow Road, the 3 bedroom townhouses have driveways long enough for at least 2 cars to park in front of the included garage.

Call 412-401-9848 or email sleepyhollow@prudentialrealty.com to get more information about townhouse amenities and the current availability.

How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget: home office

Last week was all about the master bedroom, so to spare readers the boredom of reading about a second bedroom, we’re going to share how to use that extra bedroom as a home office/guest bedroom.

The second bedroom in our 728 sq. ft. model used to be decorated as a kid’s room with child-size furniture and a Minnie Mouse poster. The curtains were white lace with teddy bears in the pattern (who knew there was such a thing as teddy bear lace!).

guest bedroom/home office
This futon’s black faux leather is just the right look for extra seating in a home office. Plus, it lets the room double as a guest bedroom.

We thought back and forth on whether we should redecorate the room into a bedroom or to transform it completely into a home office. So we compromised: throw a chic futon in a home office, and you’ve got a smart, stylish multipurpose room.

Now, “chic futon” might read as an oxymoron, but Walmart has exactly that in a variety of styles at great prices. The in-store pickup is free, so we had our personal favorite, a black faux leather number, delivered to the nearest store and picked it up at our convenience. A couple of throw pillows and an end table with a lamp make this a cozy retreat, even if you’re just taking a break from the desk across the room.

home office/guest bedroom
Alvern Gardens has plenty of space for a corner desk with a tall hutch for anyone who works from home or just likes to keep an organized home office.

For the desk, we went to IKEA, where we found something that fit our needs, budget, and style. The corner desk with its sizable hutch shows off the size of the space while also filling it comfortably. Its location directly opposite the door gives it maximum visual impact (luckily the fact that no one actually uses it means the impact isn’t one of clutter). The top of the hutch is a great shelf for displaying nicknacks and artwork without damaging walls and risking a lease violation. Once again, we decided on black-brown wood for the desk to keep the

look cohesive throughout the apartment.

If you work from home, or are otherwise in need of a 2  bedroom apartment, contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com to ask about our current availability.

How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget: master bedroom

You might think there isn’t a whole lot you can do by way of decorating a master bedroom, but there’s more to it than throwing a mattress on the floor.

The 2 bedrooms at Alvern Gardens Apartments, with their 728 square feet of space, leave plenty of room for a queen size bed, 2 night stands, and a sizable dresser or two. Our old furnishings for this room were classic cherry, with a rather ornate headboard and 2 dressers, one long and low with a mirror hung above it and another tall and slender. Out of all the rooms in the apartment, this one’s decor held up the best over time (the tray of beauty products in front of the mirror was the most dated part).

For our remodel, we decided against cramming in too much furniture and went with just one dresser. The dark wood of the set we chose echoes the living and dining rooms, and the silver details add visual interest. The lines are much cleaner, making this set more modern than the old one. But like the old one, it will look classy for years to come. Our dresser came with a mirror mounted on it, making it sort of a two-in-one dresser-vanity, a nice way to consolidate space while still filling the room, which brings me to headboard and bed-frame options.

master bedroom decor
The grey bedding and black and white picture are a chic contrast to our antique lamp.

Our simple, straightforward headboard is nevertheless nice and big. You might hesitate to move large furniture into an apartment, if only out of dread for the move-out, but big furniture has its advantages. Roomy apartments like the ones you’ll find at Alvern Gardens demand to be filled, and that can be achieved (unless of course you enjoy a nice echo) with lots of little things or a few large pieces. Alternatively, if you want your big furniture to serve a purpose, you could get a bed with storage cubbies and drawers built in, like one of the storage-savvy options at IKEA (luckily for Alvern Gardens residents, the Robinson store is close by).

We still had lots of wall space left over in the room, so we matched the wall decor to our bedding, tying everything together with a large piece of art. Don’t be afraid to hang things on the walls in your rental—just ask your landlord what materials are OK to use, and read your lease carefully. Command™ products are probably fine, and they can hold up most anything.

Contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com to find out if they have a 2 bedroom available for you to decorate (and move into).

How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget: dining room

Last week we discussed decorating the living room of the 728 sq ft 2 bedroom at Alvern Gardens. This week, it’s time for the dining room.

Having separate living and dining areas is something of a luxury in apartment living. Having a dining area big enough for a table that seats 6? Well, that’s practically unheard of. In our model, we have the more standard 4 person dining table. We used to have a round table with lighter wood that had more of a rustic feel. The black-brown wood of this new table is not only chic and modern, it matches the living room furniture, creating a visual flow from one space to the other.

remodeled dining room
Residents who like throwing dinner parties might invest in an expandable table. There’s certainly space for one!

The neutral color scheme of the chair upholstery and place settings is a smooth complement to the pops of red in the living room. To carry the color scheme throughout the two rooms, we re-purposed one of our old pictures. The new plain black frame was cheap at Walmart and has a more classic look compared to the old black and gold one.

We used the old trick of expanding a space by hanging a mirror that we already had on hand. Remixing the rest of the decor has transformed the old mirror into an antique statement piece.

There’s still plenty of space in this dining room for a buffet, a shelving unit, a cat tree, or even a respectably sized aquarium.

If you’d like to dine in style, contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com for the current availability.

How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget

The remodeling of our model apartment here at Alvern Gardens has inspired us to share some decorating tips for our 2 bedroom apartments. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go room by room through the 728 sq ft floor plan and discuss how to make these rentals your home. This week: the living room.

The living room in these floor plans is about 11×17 sq ft so you can easily fit a full size couch, coffee table, entertainment center, end tables, and even an arm chair or loveseat.

remodel
A slipcover and a couple throw pillows can completely change a room.

Our model’s sofa was once blue plaid (cute, but dated) so we bought a chocolate brown slipcover and some dark red throw pillows to create a rich depth of color for the otherwise creamy white space. Our slipcover was a snap to put on and only set us back $40, so don’t hesitate to accept that secondhand furniture from Aunt Muriel. Notice that we arranged the furniture away from the radiator, giving it plenty of space to do its job.

We headed to IKEA’s Robinson location for the rest of the furniture. For the end tables, coffee table, and entertainment center, we chose the chic yet affordable LACK collection in black-brown.

modern decorating
One signature piece adds character to a room. Table and floor lamps add style as well as light.

To match, we got the most modern chair available to give the space some flair. The black-brown wood and dark red cushion match everything perfectly and the combination cost just $100.

Wal-Mart has some of the cheapest lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp for $15!) and picture frames, so we zipped over to the Bethel Park store for lamps, pictures, and a couple new frames for pictures we already had. A frame update is like a facelift for dated wall decor. To hang everything while staying with in the parameters of most leases, we used Command Brand Velcro strips.

living room
To create a nice flow through the living and dining rooms, we matched the black-brown wood throughout.

Something to note about this floor plan: because the dining and living spaces are open to each other, a certain degree of matching in necessary for a nice flow. We decided to match the black-brown wood throughout both rooms but to save the pops of red for the living room and stick with a more neutral pallet in the dining room.

Contact Alvern Gardens at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com to find out if this spacious floor plan is available.

Short-term housing for interns in Pittsburgh, PA

Located just south of Pittsburgh in Castle Shannon, PA, Alvern Gardens Apartments is offering short-term housing for summer  interns in 2014.

Those with verifiable internships in the Pittsburgh area who need a minimum 4 month lease for the duration of their internship need look no further than Alvern Gardens Apartments. The affordable yet spacious 1 and 2 bedroom apartments are ideal for summer interns looking for a short-term lease.

Commuting downtown is a cinch: Alvern Gardens is just a short walk from St. Anne’s T (Pittsburgh’s light rail system) stop.

Interns can chill by the pool in their downtime, or ride the T downtown for fun in the city’s Cultural District, Point State Park, and Market Square. The T also goes to nearby shopping areas, like South Hills Village Mall.

Pittsburgh
Point State Park is one of many Pittsburgh locations accessible from Alvern Gardens Apartments via the T.

There’s plenty of free parking, so bringing a car to the city is no trouble at all. Shopping and restaurants are just a quick drive away. Nature or golf lovers can take advantage of South Park, right down the road.

The convenient on-site laundry facilities and extra storage will make for a hassle-free summer.

Interns looking for short-term housing in the Pittsburgh area are welcome to contact the leasing office at 412-561-4663 or alverngardens@yahoo.com for more information and to schedule a tour.