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 , , , , , ,

Do I need a permit when remodeling?

This gorgeous kitchen remodel was entirely permitted by Washington County!

When it’s time to remodel or make improvements to your home, you may wonder whether you need a permit.

For many projects, having a permit from the city government is crucial because the changes to your home will then go on record with the city, plus it ensures inspectors will check for any red flags. If you were to rewire your home incorrectly, there could be potential for short circuiting and even electrocution!  Also when you try to sell or refinance your home, buyers and lenders want to know that your remodels comply with building codes, so you need to have proof via the permits from the city.  I'm kind of a stickler for this, so please don't try to cheat the system!  It's for your protection!

How do you determine which remodels and renovations require permits? Most contractors will know ahead of time, but it’s good for a homeowner to be aware and avoid fraud or future repairs. The general rule of thumb is that structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical work will require a permit, but here’s more information:

Remodeling with a Permit

When speaking with a general contractor about permits, here are some projects that will always require one or more:

Fencing Installation or Repair: When you install or repair a fence, it’s important to check with your city to see if there is a height restriction. Some cities and even suburbs have certain heights that fence height can't exceed. Be sure to have a fencing contractor check these restrictions to avoid having MAJOR headaches / corrections after the fact.

Window Installations: When you install new windows that are bigger than your old windows, a permit is required to cut holes for them. This will also include cutting holes for skylights and new doors with windows, so a window professional will need to acquire those permits.

Plumbing and Electrical Work: When installing or replacing plumbing, you will most likely need a permit. The same rule applies when installing or replacing electrical wiring

  • Electrical Changes:  Whether it’s an outlet, switch, ceiling fan or overhead lighting. The cases where you won’t need a permit include smaller projects like repairs and light fixture installations.
  • Structural Changes: When you make any kind of structural changes to your home, the contractor will need to get a permit. This may include changes to the load-bearing walls, balconies, decks, porches, roofs or foundation flooring.
  • Heating Maintenance: If you replace the water heater, you heating contractor will need to get a permit. Changes to the ventilation system, gas and wood fireplaces and ducts will also require a permit. This does not include filter changes, motor lubrication or equipment cleaning.
  • Additions and Remodels: Additions, new construction, remodels, repairs, replacements, upgrades and any other additions and remodeling projects totaling $5,000 or more will require a permit. This will include detached structures like garages, sheds and platforms. Exceptions to this rule include construction that’s less than 200 square feet, as well as painting, carpeting and wallpaper.

Renovating Without a Permit

There will be some projects that won’t require a permit ahead of time, like small plumbing and electrical projects. Other projects you can do without a permit include:

  • Painting and wallpapering
  • Installing flooring like hardwood, carpeting, linoleum or vinyl tile
  • Minor electrical repairs
  • Installing new countertops
  • Installing or replacing a faucet
  • Landscaping work   

Trust in the Pros

If you aren’t certain whether or not you need a permit, you should hire a professional. A pro will have the background and experience to determine if your project is extensive enough to require an inspector to check for any red flags afterward. Professionals will usually be the ones to acquire the permit, so they also know what kind of paperwork to fill out and the type of permit to obtain. Relying on a professional will allow your project to be completed in a timely manner. 

 

Please let me know if you'd like help finding a reliable contractor, who will save you from the pitfalls of remodeling without necessary permits! I have a roster of highly capable professionals, and am happy to refer you to them – just ask!

 
 
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

 

 

 

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, house idea of the day, Portland Oregon Realtors | 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gorgeous House Pictures to Drool Over

 

Private Residence II mediterranean exterior
Glenn Gissler Design contemporary bedroom
Arlington Modern House Addition modern exterior
The Hillside House modern living room
Waldfogel Residence modern exterior
Punta del Este Home tropical patio
Jacaranda Residence contemporary patio
Martin residence modern living room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  Houzz Ideabook

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, cary perkins, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Front door, house idea of the day, House Ideas, kitchen ideas, Moving, Moving to Portland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moving to Portland Oregon

What better way to explore Portland than through pictures?  I’ve been collecting scenes from Portland, and have started to keep a file on a Pinterest page.  You can find it by clicking here.

 

Check back often, or subscribe to my Pinterest page.  You’ll also find pages on mid-century love, do-it-yourself ideas, restaurants, and awesome looking spaces to dream about in your next home in Portland, Oregon.  Obviously, I’m also the person to help you find it.  I love Portland, and I’ll show you nooks and crannies that will help you to love it too.

 

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: cary perkins, Moving, Moving to Portland, OR, Pinterest, Portland Oregon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,