From the Blog


Property For LEASE

3803 Northwest Parkway 1,400 sqft

Alta Allen REALTOR®
Cinque Real Estate/Apartment Divas

A Portable and Balcony-Friendly Grill

A Portable and Balcony-Friendly Grill

As the summer grilling season carries on, I have fallen head over heels for this tiny, portable, and even balcony-friendly grill! It was originally designed back in 2006 by Henrik Drecker as part of his thesis and then showcased at the Cologne Furniture Fair. Read on to learn about its unique portable features…

This compact grill can hang on railings, but it can also be easily unlatched to sit on tables or next to the pool for easy access. I love this concept because it means one grill for entertaining at home, on the road, and even camping! It also is a simple and easy to clean design. With four main components, the grill rack, basin, and catchment container along with the external case are all that need to be cleaned. With just a tug at the cover, the grill top is protected from weather, helping it last longer. Although the grill was originally designed to burn coal, I think there is potential for using this concept with other fuel sources.

Ringing in around $65 USD, this German invention just may find its way into my home. What great, space-saving, summer tips do you have?


Small Space Living…

Here in L.A., homes keep getting smaller, and rent prices keep going up. Is it like that where you live? Nowadays, urban-dwellers such as myself are willing to sacrifice living space for a good location. It’s worth it to live near the beach, or walking-distance to a favorite little cafe and club, but it can be challenging to squeeze an entire life into a few hundred square feet, right? Well, challenging yes, but not impossible. Here are my top tips for living large in small spaces… and fore more ideas, check out my Small Space Style collection.
Image by Justina Blakeney

1. Use Two-for-Ones

In this studio space, I used a small desk likethese,  that could double as a dining table for two. By placing the table protruding out from the wall you ensure the desk also works for dining.
Image by Laure Joliet for Justina Blakeney

2. Use Stackable Furniture

Think about storage when buying pieces. These modern chairs from Blu Dot are a perfect example of small, stylish, stackable options.
Image by Justina Blakeney

3. Use functional pieces as decor

Don’t hide pretty tea cups away in precious storage space, use small hooks to keep your pretty china on dislpay, and save the out-of-site storage for unglier cargo.
Image by Justina Blakeney

4. Fold Down Furniture

In this tiny kitchen, I used a fold-down table to create an optional breakfast nook. Adopt the idea for almost anywhere in the home.
Image of Justina’s home by Teri Lynn Fisher

5. Add Shelving to Walls and Windows

One of the largest challenges in small-space living is the lack of storage space. Create additional storage space by building shelving on walls and in-set windows, like this one in my kitchen.
Image by Justina Blakeney

6. Save Space with Multi-Use Furniture

This window seat provides storage, a hamper, a desk and a place to sit. Think about using multi-functional furniture, like these pieces, in your small space.
Image by Justina Blakeney

7. Crate Shelving

Using vintage crates is a great way to create modular, custom shelving on the cheap. Build the shelves all the way up to the ceiling to maximize storage.

8. Use Area Rugs to define spaces

Sometimes in really small spaces, you’re working with just one room for your bedroom, living room and kitchen. Area rugs are a great way to help define each individual space to make the room feel larger.

9. Use Mirrors

Hanging mirrors on your walls is a wonderful way to make a space feel larger and reflect more light around the home.

10. Use Paint

Use paint to define the spaces and create room dividers where none exist. Also remember that light colors, especially white can help make a smaller space feel larger.

Evan’s Unique Find in Downtown Dallas

Evan's Unique Find in Downtown Dallas


Name: Evan
Location: Dallas, Texas

I am an intern architect at a large architecture firm in Dallas. Being surrounded by design and space planning I tend to never stop thinking how to improve a space.




I have rented this apartment for over a year now, it’s 713 square feet and a unique find in downtown Dallas. Located in Mercantile Tower, the design features Moderne styling from the Art Deco era. The building has a series of setbacks that is crowned by an ornamental four-sided clock along with a decorative weather spire.



Perched 8 floors above the street, the apartment was a blank slate with industrial grey carpets and white walls and takes advantage of one of the setbacks with a large private terrace.



I love rich bold colors, when I saw Farrow and Ball’s, Hague Blue; I knew it was a must for a wall color. The dark bedroom is one of my favorite parts of the apartment. I was only going to paint an accent wall, but made a late night decision to paint the whole room minus one column and was very happy with the outcome.



I treat the outside space like an additional room; I added plants and faux grass in one corner, paired with a hammock for relaxing on a nice day. I tried to create different areas within the patio, using cinderblocks to create a border around the grass; I was able to create small additional planters with in the blocks and separate sitting areas across the space.

Thanks, Evan!

(Images: Evan Flatley)

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Just as it is for buyers, ’tis the season for renters to find a first, new, move-up, move-down or move-over rental home.

If you are a renter on the go looking for the “best” rental market, it’s a good idea to know in advance what to expect when you get there.

Of course, “best” depends upon personal needs – affordability, commuter friendliness, climate, livability, population size, education quality and a host of other lifestyle needs. has completed a lot of the legwork to unearth the best rental towns for your specific pleasure.

It’s “Renting ‘Round the U.S.” infographic is a compilation of rental data from a host of sources including,; CNN Money; Kiplinger; and

Here are several examples:

  • In Greensboro, NC you can save money even if you splurge during the winter holidays.Greensboro has a cost of living that is 3.1 percent lower than the national average and it’s ranked 12 out of the 50 cities considered the most financially sound in the nation.

    But this isn’t a town full of accountants. Greensboro is also known for big town parties during the winter holidays. Something about that yule tide.


  • In Somerset, NJ there’s a good opportunity you can land the kind of job you need to have the cash to be in with the in crowd.Somerset’s unemployment rate is 2.1 percent under the national average, and the median age of residents is only 40(that’s the new 30) .

    Unfortunately, the cost of living in this Jersey town is a whopping 31 percent higher than the national average, but you can find a first and second job in this town.


  • New Orleans, LA is one big meet market listed as one of the top five best places for block parties. You’ll just need a small place with room enough for a bed because you’ll be up all night.New Orleans is one of the most sleepless cities in the nation, but that’s how you’ll hook up. The Crescent City is also extremely popular among singles.

$1321 / 1br – $1048 / 2br – Parkside Windhaven (4900 Windhaven Parkway)

Are looking for the perfect place to live in Plano ?
CALL THE DIVAS and we will find it for you 214-528-3482

Price Range $912 – $2,195 /month

Amenities: Swimming Pool, Fitness Center, Picnic Area, Billiard Room, Club House, Cinema Room, School Bus Pickup, Access Gates, Business Center, Valet Trash Service, Dog Walk Trail, Microwave, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Walk-in Closet, Patio, Outside Storage, Garden Tubs, Wood Floors, Tile Floors, Ceiling Fans

Come Live at the Boulevard at Frisco Square (6255 Frisco Square Blvd)

Are looking for the perfect place to live in Frisco?
CALL THE DIVAS and we will find it for you 214-528-3482

Price Range $891 – $2,098 /month

Amenities: Swimming Pool, Fitness Center, Elevators, Handicap Friendly, Access Gates, Fenced Yards, Business Center, Laundry Rooms, Microwave, Dishwasher, Pantry, Refrigerator, Walk-in Closet, Patio, Outside Storage, Bay Windows, Wet/Dry Bar, Garden Tubs, Wood Floors, Laminate Floors, Tile Floors, Ceiling Fans

Home for the Holidays! The PERFECT PLACE (2500 Bennett Street)

Are looking for the perfect place to live in Dallas?
CALL THE DIVAS and we will find it for you 214-528-3482
Visit our web site:

Price Range $1,139 – $2,479 /month

Amenities: Swimming Pool, Fitness Center, Club House, Shuttle Route, Elevators, Access Gates, Business Center, Microwave, Dishwasher, Pantry, Refrigerator, Walk-in Closet, Patio, Wet/Dry Bar, Garden Tubs, Berber Carpet, Tile Floors, Ceiling Fans, Stained Concrete Floor

A U.S. Green Building Council Leed Silver Status apartment community, Camden Belmont features brand new studio, one and two bedroom floor plans, and townhomes. All homes include 9 or 10 foot ceilings, energy-efficient appliances and upgraded lighting. Select homes offer granite countertops. Relax in our tranquil pool or visit with other residents at the social fusion pool. Warm yourself by the fire pit or work up a sweat in the universal fitness center. We are conveniently located within walking distance of Knox-Henderson shopping and nightlife and we offer the best of urban living coupled with breathtaking views of downtown Dallas. Uptown West Village is just a short drive away, and we’re close to the downtown Dallas museums, aquarium and Farmer’s Market.