4 Things to Do in February~!

 

4 Things to Do in February to Avoid a Yucky Spring

 

 

 

#1 Make an Anti-Mud Plan

Mud may be the least of your frozen worries now, but it’s a-coming.

 

Be prepared with a remediation plan. With your yard in its frozen-tundra state, you can easily see the troublesome spots.

 

Research potential ground cover, like gravel, a rain garden, decorative rocks, or the right grass that’ll soak it up. Then you’ll be ready to execute your anti-mud plan the moment it’s warm enough — and do it in time to keep the mud at bay.

 

#2 Organize Your Cleaning Closets and Laundry Room

Before the madness of spring cleaning begins, organize (or even renovate!) your laundry room and clean closets or cupboards.

 

This will not only breathe a new life into these oft-ignored areas, but perfectly pampered cleaning stations can seriously rev up your spring cleaning motivation.

 

#3 Deep-Clean Your Entryway

Snow. Salt. Boots. Shovels. Your entryway floors, baseboards, rugs, and more have had a rough few months. Give that smallest of rooms some deep cleaning love now, before the salt crust becomes a permanent part of your entryway decor in spring.

 

#4 Hail a Handyperson

Spring and summer are peak handyperson seasons. Skip the surge pricing and the agony of waiting for callbacks by hiring someone now. At least for the indoor chores.

 

Plus, you may be surprised at what outdoor chores can be done. You’ll be spring-ready before the first flower buds

Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins & Keeping Current Matters

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

Windermere Top Producer Cary Perkins, Top Westside Broker

 

Posted on February 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, House Ideas | Tagged ,

10 Summer Flower Arranging Tips

Did you know I used to be a florist?  My mother owned a flower shop when I was growing up and one Mother's Day she just said, "Here, make an arrangement," and that was the start of my love of flower arranging.  It is one of my favorite summer activities.  Here are some hints for you to become adept at arranging your garden blooms.

 

Tip 1: Water Works

Put flowers in water as soon as you get them home. Fill buckets with tepid water, add floral preservative, and then add flowers.

Tip 2: Must Cut

Cut an inch off the stems using a sharp knife, at a diagonal so they absorb more water, especially if the flowers will sit a while before being arranged. The fresh cut will help the stems absorb water better.

Tip 3: Water Temp Matters

Warm water helps tightly closed flower heads, such as roses or ranunculus, to open fully. Leave them in water for a day or two before using them.

Tip 4: Use Foam

Use florist's foam to keep flowers in place and constantly hydrated so they last longer. Soak the foam for 15 minutes before cutting it to fit the container. Water the foam every couple of days.

Tip 5: Trim, Trim

Recut stems just before adding them to the arrangement. Strip off any leaves that fall below the water line.

Tip 6: Picking Flowers

Add large, heavy flowers first turning the arrangement as you work to ensure even placement on all sides. Fill in with smaller, airier blooms, and leave enough space between the stems so individual flowers have room to shine. Include flowers with various shapes and stem lengths.

Tip 7: Height Matters

Make your bouquet taller than its container by about one and a half times. Also, make the width balance the height.

Tip 8: Similar Colors

Mix in different textures for a monochromatic arrangement that's interesting to look at.

Tip 9: Fill-In

Save larger leaves and stems with leaves on them to fill in around the flowers. Drape some of the greenery over the container's rim.

Tip 10: Proper Placement

Keep flowers away from sunlight and heating vents. Recut stems and add water often.

 

Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

 

Windermere Top Producer Cary Perkins

 

Posted on June 17, 2015 at 11:19 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Decorating Ideas, Gardens and Landscape | Tagged , , , , , ,

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

 

The camillias are in already bloom & the daffodils and primroses are popping up in my front yard  – my first sign that spring is already on its way.  After a long, dark winter, spring's bright sun and warm winds are a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year's flower beds.

Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
  • Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
  • From the ground, examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.  
  • Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home's foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete. 
  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
  • Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis. 
  • Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier. 
 
 
Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
Current Portland Oregon Real Estate Information,
Highlights of Portland Oregon, House Ideas
Portland Oregon Homes

by Cary Perkins

Portland Real Estate, Portland Oregon Top Producer, Windermere Top Producer, Portland Realtor, Portland Homes for Sale

 

Windermere Top Producer Cary Perkins

 

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, Portland Oregon Real Estate, Selling Your home | Tagged , , , ,

Cost -vs- Value on Home Remodeling

Get started on those home repairs, knowing what type of return they’ll have when selling your house.

From a minor kitchen remodel & cabinet re-facing -vs- major kitchen with new cabinets, and from attics to basements, this report is a useful guide explaining what you can expect to recoup during your home sale.  If spiffing up your house will help you to enjoy it while you’re living there AND you get a 91.5% return on your expense, why not call the contractor?

Also included is a link to the 2011-2012 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.  This has national numbers and also drilled-down data for Portland here.

As always, if you have specific questions on what you might do to improve your home for sale, I’d love to come over and take a look around.  And for fun do-it-yourself projects, visit my Pinterest page for my collection of fabulous projects.  Please check back frequently – I add new content weekly.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Front door, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, House Ideas, kitchen ideas, Moving, Moving to Portland, Portland Oregon, Portland Real Estate Data, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Garden & landscape news from one of Portland’s finest. What’s new in the garden world?

I had the pleasure of hearing Lucy Hardiman speak last week at our Windermere Premiere Forum. She’s a highly-regarded garden designer, who gave us a great presentation of “before and after” slides of local gardens. She packed a lot of tips and ideas into the talk, and I came away motivated to get into my own garden, but also tucked away a few suggestions for you!

Her first tip was to plant your rows of low plants on a diagonal to create the effect of a larger space. So if you have a garden that runs right up to the curb, plant those rows of grasses or other low plants in clear diagonal rows to make the space appear larger. Her example also showed a large gate-like structure right at the curb, and a sidewalk that was offset from the front door, with 90 degree angles to create a sense of space instead of using a straight path. If your house sits close to the street, call me and I’ll talk you through this one!

Next she mentioned a couple of trends in landscaping that you might consider. In Oregon, we love to have a place to read our book outside, even if it’s raining. Top on her list was a simple overhead structure that allows you to be outside, even in the winter. A covered deck or patio, or a more elaborate structure should be considered when you’re doing your landscape overhaul.  This gives you another room to delight buyers with when you sell your house!  And it’s a room you and your family will really enjoy.

Less emphasis is placed on full-blown outdoor kitchens than in the past. Some people are getting rid of their lawns entirely and creating spaces that can be maintained without chemicals. She suggests you think hard about your choices before digging in.

Another idea that she loves is to connect your garden to your neighbor’s. Obviously this involves a good relationship and fair gardening practices! But without a fence, one continuous, lovely landscape will make your yard look bigger and feel much more dreamy.

Think outside the zone. In other words, look to California and other climates and see what you can do with their plants there. Obviously, palm trees DO grow in Oregon – what else can you plant that’s a bid different? She calls it zonal denial! I love it, and I’m jonesing for a palm tree in my front yard.

Another idea is to plant a garden that is strictly green – all the plants are evergreen, and the only color is in bulb plants that grow from spring through fall. Lots of sword ferns, and painted boulders create a very dramatic, contemporary look. In addition, try some concrete finishes and concrete textures in your garden paths, benches, and walls.

Group your pots in threes. Be sure to plant all three pots with the same plants for maximum pop. The pots can be different sizes of the same style, but the plants should be the same. Then move them around for different effects.

Outdoor rugs are huge right now, as are outdoor chandeliers. Hanging a chandelier in your covered area will make it cozy and fun!

Create mystery by leaving a little bit of a view into your front yard. If it’s fully fenced, you’ll miss the opportunity to create an entry to draw you into the space and you’ll lose your chance to welcome visitors into the garden.

Don’t forget to create paths that have 90 degree angles to enlarge the space, as you wind through the yard around the side of the house or on a narrow path. Multiplication by division! Breaking up a space into smaller spaces actually makes it feel bigger. Zigging and zagging give you the feeling of width. Try large sweeps of forest grass to fill your large planters or open areas.

Before  After

 

Try square blocks of cement with grass or gravel in between. (She mentioned hydra-pressed pavers)

Water features are falling out of vogue – one of the negatives is that they attract critters, especially destructive raccoons. Try a small bubbling pot, or a reflecting pool.

For vegetable gardens, don’t be afraid to use the front yard and even the median strip. 3/16″ x 8″ structural steel borders will last a lifetime. Flat bar steel is a great new border and terrace edging and while it’s more expensive, it outlasts wood slats by a mile, and it looks cool! Core-ten steel is being used a lot now – it’s more hip than the rusty steel that has a farmyard look.

We are seeing corrugated metal fencing, cool outdoor lawn accessories imported from Europe, and lots of fun, bright colors like red and orange. Outbuildings and sheds are artistic and fabulous, or can be made to match your house.

For separation from your neighbor, or to shield an unsightly view, try arbor vitae, or Italian cypress. Large groups of similar trees together sometimes promotes disease and insects, so try to mix it up! A tapestry hedge is the most beautiful way to solve these problems.

Short hedges, called baffle hedges, are a wonderful way to create definition in your yard. Try one between the vegetable garden and the grassy area.

And for more on Lucy, see lucyflora.com.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 1:42 am
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Moving to Portland, Portland Oregon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,