Getting the Most Out of your Condo

By: Marc Talon

Condo living just spoils a person for any other type of lifestyle! If you have chosen your condo in one of the popular retirement areas, you will often have the added luxury of pools and clubhouses and nightlife right on your doorstep! At the very least, wherever you are, you will not have to shovel your driveway!

Condos are the way of the future for the large generation who will be coming up to retirement very soon. One of the critical factors about moving into a condo, is that it encourages you to streamline your life. You will not have the opportunity of stacking away so many belongings in a condo!

Some condo managers allow certain items to be placed in the 'common' usage' hall area. If you are lucky you can personalize your front door with an umbrella (or parasol) stand, as well as a personalized door knocker. Door mats can set the tone for your home, some are warm and welcoming, others can be humorous (i.e. Beware of The Grump or A Spoilt Brat Lives Here)

If you are a retiree who has chosen to move into a condo in one of the luxury retirement beach areas, then you probably have a large balcony. This can help immensely with the storage arrangements as rattan cupboards on the balcony are very practical. They can also look tasteful and match your balcony furniture.

Having moved in without all the clutter that you 'can't do without', it is important to furnish and decorate your condo in a way that maximizes spaciousness. If you do not want the added expense of hiring an interior design consultant, you can borrow some of their techniques yourself.

Although the balcony or patio is often part of the 'common element' of the complex, it is for your exclusive use, (unlike the hallways which are for common use). In a condo it is an important part of your living space. Many of the luxury retirement condos have large balconies for relaxing and enjoying the sea view.

Often you are not responsible for its upkeep, but you can stack as many rattan chairs and barbeques and pot plants as you want on it! However, try not to overflow onto the patio or balcony too much; you do not want it to look crowded.

Ensure that your furniture does not mar the beautiful view, if you have one. It is far more spacious and relaxing to look out of your windows onto a clear balcony affording a clear view. How you choose to do this will depend on your balcony, your finances and your lifestyle.

If you have a lifestyle where you always barbecuing, and your balcony is like your second living room, you will want to splash out on a decent patio set. Alternatively, if you entertain less often, or sit outside only on occasion, you may prefer the look of a clear balcony.

One way to do this is to buy chairs that are stackable and a table that will fold down. Choose a small model of barbecue, or a table top version that can be stood on top of a small cupboard that also houses the coals, fire lighters and tools.

A grouping of flowers and plants in matching pots is very decorative and will 'frame' your view in greenery. Group them together with the taller ones at the back and preferably against a side wall.

If you live in a smaller condo, or one where the winter weather keeps you indoors, you can always fold some of your furniture down in the winter. It can make way for an outdoor Christmas tree, all lit up right outside your window!

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