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Trending: Minimalist Living

Written by Steven Toroni 


So, you have been accepted into a University. Congratulations! Your reward? Moving into your brand-new apartment. This could mean simply hauling your furniture and clothes down the street, or, for some, moving to a completely different country. Regardless of distance, moving can be a headache. Finding the right place that is both affordable and close to campus is a challenge.


Luckily, Zuma housing offers many apartment unit options that are reasonably priced and placed in a practical location. Putting the tenant in the right apartment that suits their needs is Zuma’s purpose. But, still, for most college students, saving money and creating space in their living quarters is an issue. Finding the right pieces of furniture that are practical enough for use, but do not take up much room is not always an easy task.


Chris Eng, who is an entrepreneur and an expert on minimalist living, has a solution. Eng graduated from USC with his degree in business. Growing up in Boston, Eng moved back to the west coast to pursue his passion. “What always fascinated me,” explains Chris, “was creating new things. Exploring adventurous experiences lead me to entrepreneurship. But, the thing that really spoke to me was design.”


At USC Eng always had split a room with another student. Chris strived to find creative solutions to make the most out of space. One book shifted how he thought about small space living called “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. The concept of the book is living with less promotes happiness. Removing clutter and things that are not needed can lead to a more fulfilling life.

After freshman year Eng learned he needed to throw away half of his stuff. Changing apartments became a hassle with so much junk. Nightstands, TV, books and clunky furniture were things that limited space for Chris. Each item Eng bought moving forward had to have a purpose. One area that Eng found to be necessary for compact furniture was in bed. It was here that the convenience of having things within arm’s reach (like a smart phone or laptop) became important.

This is when Eng created the BedShelfie. Made out of bamboo, which is a resource that grows fast naturally as it is a grass and not wood as one might think, the BedShelfie attaches to the bed without tools using a clamping system. Bamboo is naturally sturdy which allows the BedShelfie to hold 15-20 pounds. That is the weight of about 15 textbooks or a small dog. The Minimalist design profile which is inspired by mid-century modern design has a slot that is ideal for many devices.

Eng first got the idea for this product when he was moving from apartment to apartment. What he appreciates most about the BedShelfie is that it can be carried in one hand after simply detaching the clamping mechanism. When asked what inspired him to follow through with the product, Eng proclaimed “The idea is that population has grown and space is shrinking. Reducing clutter by creating smarter, smaller furniture is necessary. The choice should be obvious to try and achieve sustainability through minimalist living.”


It all began with a Kickstarter for Eng. The BedShelfie can now be found on Instagram and Facebook. As for now, Eng continues to try and spread awareness of smart small-space living and will be releasing more products to accommodate students and tenants alike in the near future.




Written by Steven Toroni 


School is out!

Well, unless you are trying to learn three new coding languages before this time next year, like UCLA student Paul Lee.  Paul is an Undergrad in the IT program and just found out about 30 days ago that instead of graduating, he was going to take nine more credits with the hopeful intent of setting himself up for greater professional opportunity. So, instead of enjoying a week in Cancun with his girlfriend, Paul will be studying for a mid-term next week.

Like so many of Zuma Housing’s tenants, Paul will find himself in the UCLA area for longer than expected this summer. Also like Paul, many of UCLA’s student make-up is from out of state or in many cases from out of the country.

TGraduate on Stairshis brings up a pressing question for those unfamiliar to Westwood. “Where can you get something good to eat around here?” Los Angeles in itself is a melting pot, but if we examine Westwood, what we get are many different cultures piled into a very small space in West LA, most of which all have common lifestyles, whether it be in and out of the classroom or on the way to a business meeting Westwood moves fast. This is when good food on the go is crucial. Here are three places that offer quick, quality bites right in the heart of Westwood.

Nushi Sushi offers simplicity and delicious variety wrapped up into a jumbo-sized sushi roll. Stopping in here on a break is practical as you can order ahead. Traditional sushi options such as salmon and spicy tuna to freshly grilled chicken make up the protein choices at Nushi Sushi, wrapped in either seaweed or soy paper along with white or brown rice.  As pictured, these rolls are the size of a burrito so it is sure to fill you up. Finishing off the sushi-rito with sides such as thinly sliced pickles and avocado, topped with an array of  sauces makes for many different tasty combinations at Nushi Sushi, located on Broxton Ave.

You don’t have to travel far to get to this next gem. A fusion of Turkish doner  and Mediterranean dishes, Spireworks lives right next door to Nushi Sushi and offers a dish served with both flavor and culture. Inspired by  the Turkish doner kebab, this fun and ethnic spot cooks its meats on a vertical rotisserie much like a Greek Gyro. Adding yummy toppings and spicy sauce to this monster of a a sandwich makes for a delicious treat. At Spireworks they also offer vegetarian options and the ability to customize your meal. No bread? No problem, your order can be served with brown rice with all of the fixings that would accommodate a sandwich. Spireworks is another great choice to grab a bite during the summer, conveniently located in Westwood Village.

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