Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/22/2019

Choosing an interior decorator to handle your home remodeling project can be tough. You want to have the best result and everything to look exactly as you dreamt it. Because you will be spending a large amount of money on the project, it is crucial that you choose the perfect person or company to take charge of the job for you.

Here are a few things to contemplate so that you hire a great interior designer for your home or living space:

Communication

Any successful interior design project depends on the client and the designer being able to communicate well. The interior designer must able to provide regular updates and ask for the client’s opinion in all areas of the job. When interviewing an interior designer, ask about their design process to see how they involve you in the process.

The Rule of Three

To pick the right person for a job, the rule of three suggests that you should meet at least three designers. Meeting several designers allows you to get a feel for different styles, personalities, and quotes. After seeing three designers, chances are you may not have found the "chosen one" but you would have learned what you definitely don't want.

Be prepared for the meeting.

Bring your mood board, inspiration pictures and your existing floor plan to the meeting with the interior decorator so that you can have an informed conversation. Your preparation also means that they have to speak based on what is available so you can easily tell if they are learned or not. It also passes along the impression that you know precisely what you want and won't be pushed around. While it also creates a design bias, it's a practical way to find out bad fits for you.

Budget

Be honest about how much you want to spend on your project so that the designer can give you options that are achievable for you. The budget determines what the designer will recommend. It also leads to the conversation of which rooms are the priority or high rollers. All these help you to know what the discussion and final project will look like if you hire the person.

Follow your guts.

If you don't like the person upon first impressions, chances are you may not work well with them no matter how great a fit they are. You must be comfortable with whoever you choose to design your home.

Now that you know how to pick an interior decorator for your project start that process today.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/15/2019

When homes go ignored, issues start to develop and once easy to solve problems will become huge, expensive hassles. Every house will develop some item that you'll need to attend to, and there are steps you can take today to minimize or even avoid these problems. Heed the following do-it-yourself tips, and you will keep your house looking great and save money in the long run.

  1. Periodically Inspect Your Roof - Take note of areas where roofing shingles are damaged, loose or missing as well as shingles that are flapping in the blowing wind. These indicators tell you that your roof is in need of immediate repair so your home can maintain its protection from the elements.
  2. Choose roofing tiles that are fire-resistant and tough enough to hold up under the impact of hail. Polymer, slate and shake shingles are your best choices.
  3. Pressure Wash Your House Siding Annually - With time, algae and dirt build up on your house siding, making it appear old, cruddy looking and uncared-for. Wash any dirty areas of your siding with detergents and a pressure washer, taking care to thoroughly clean the areas where a lot of accumulation is present. Avoid using a pressure washer to clean your windows and trim, since the high pressure can easily damage these areas. While you are cleaning the siding, check for any warping, insect damage, buckling or paint cracking that may have developed over the past year. Quickly repair any damage you find.
  4. Check Your Gutters Often - Gutters are designed to direct rainfall away from your house, so keep them clean. Inspect your gutters regularly for any blockage (especially from leaves), cracks or even holes that may be hindering proper drainage. Your gutters should be appropriately sloped and firmly attached to your home as well. To prevent damage, ensure that the water that drains from your rain gutters directs away from your home and any landscaping you have around your house.

As any homeowner knows, when a home goes neglected for long, things will go awry. Don't wait until it's too late to deal with any small problems that develop in and around your home. Again, minor issues that are easy and cheap to fix will likely develop into big problems - ones that are difficult and expensive to fix - so give your home and your pocketbook a break and repair the small issues as soon as you find them.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/8/2019

AI (artificial intelligence) is moving in on the homefront. And at the head of the pack is Amazon’s Echo with its assistant, Alexa. Echo comes in 3 options: a minimal hockey-puck-shaped device, a sleek tube in fashionable shades that make it a natural addition to your home decor, and a square-shaped device with a video screen, camera and mic capabilities.

Many are eager to bring home Alexa and make it the newest addition to their home but are left wondering what exactly does it do?

First, you need to teach Alexa which commands to recognize and perform. These commands are called “skills” And there is a whole library jam-packed with them. So where to start?

Create a Flash Briefing. Create your own daily update feed with the Flash Briefing option. You choose which sources you want Alexa to pull from and which time to report in. Get the weather, news and other updated while you get ready every day.

Use as an alarm in the morning - wake up to music, a radio station, the news, etc. If it’s available via Amazon Music it’s fair game.

Order a ride via Lyft or Uber. You can ask how much the trip will be and have it automatically billed to your account. Speed up getting ready to go out by coordinating your ride while you put on your final touches.

With multiple devices, you can sync music to play throughout your house. The app allows you to group all of your devices together into one cohesive house-wide system. Whether you want to listen to music, the news, a podcast or an audible book you can hear it no matter where you go - perfect for cleaning days.

Order pizza from Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Who doesn’t want pizza to arrive at their beck and call?  

Tune your guitar. With this skill, Alexa plays a song for you to match and listens in until you match up perfectly. Which means you don’t need another device, app or website to keep track of.

Sync up to your Fitbit to ask for updates on your latest activity and step progress for the day. In fact, you can even get more steps in while you ask since you don’t have to sit down at the computer.

With a Wemo Smart Plug, you can enable Alexa to turn devices on and off with a simple voice command. And with their light switches, you can turn lights on, off and change the brightness to match your mood.  

If you have a Hyundai, Mercedes or Ford with the right capabilities you can have Alexa start your car for you. Giving you five more minutes to grab breakfast for once.

Meditate with the Stop, Breathe, & Think meditation skill for Alexa. Just say how long you want to meditate for and settle in to clear your mind. Who said technology keeps us distracted?

And then there is always the option to ask Alexa which skills to enable. So meta!




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/1/2019

You thought that working from home was the ideal solution to your crazy daycare and commuting routine. You discussed it with your partner for weeks, spent hours convincing your boss, and her boss, and here you are in your pajamas two months later wondering what you've done. The house is a wreck. There are dishes in the sink. You haven't had a shower in what seems like days (it was only yesterday). The dirty laundry has piled up so high that it spills out the door of the laundry room … and the baby's crying … and the phone's ringing … and that project is due! 

How could such a great idea, that works perfectly for so many others, be such a disaster for you?

Take a deep breath! Let it out slowly.

The truth is, most first-time telecommuters or from-home contractors experience complications in the first few months. Many do not realize that their commute time indeed was productive in a way because they could plan and focus in their heads so that they can start right in a soon as they reach the office (after that cup of coffee, though). At home, you tend to jump right in, directly after you've thrown in a load of laundry, the baby's fed—and you hope will play happily for the next 45 minutes—and do the dishes. The first few days go so great that you feel entirely productive. You got more work done because you didn't have that side trip to daycare on your commute to the office.

Within a few weeks or so, however, this house of cards tumbles down. Now, you not only have a chaotic household, but you're also feeling less productive than you did in the first week and you hope no one wants to Skype because you don't look or feel like the professional you once were.

Get back that commute time

Reclaim your commute time. Even though the commute is only from your kitchen to your home office, take back the 20-30 minutes you need to get your head in the game. Sit down with that extra cup of coffee and mentally run through your to-do list.

Become hyper-focused

When managing a workload with at-home parenting, control the time baby is asleep or occupied by focusing entirely on work. The baby doesn't mind you folding laundry while he's awake. Do household chores when you're in mommy or daddy mode, but as soon as the baby is asleep or with someone else, focus only on work.

Your original plan was a good one. It will work, just a little differently than you'd planned.

If your home isn’t suited to a home office, ask your real estate professional to show you some options in your neighborhood.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/24/2019

In this quick, got to have it now society, the microwave is the go-to for a quick cup of tea or to reheat that coffee. But does it give a satisfying, refreshing cup? Some people believe that water heated in a kettle is hotter and stays hotter longer, so it brews a better cup of tea.

What does the science say?

Personal experience notwithstanding, the scientific community seems to be in agreement that water heated in a microwave to boiling is the same temperature as water brought to boiling on the stove. And, that once in the cup, the cooling rate is the same. There is some speculation that the kettle heats water more uniformly than the microwave, resulting in certain parts, especially in the center, cooling faster because they had not reached the same temperature as the rest of the cup.

Others contend that the heated kettle allows the water to remain hotter while the microwaved container immediately begins to convey the higher temperature away from the heated water. For this reason, microwavable packaging often instructs to stir or let stand for a specified time so that the heat transfers evenly throughout the dish.

And then there are the folks that claim the perfect cup of tea comes from microwaving your tea leaves or tea bag in the water rather than pouring the water over the tea after it has heated. Some studies conclude that boiling the leaves in the microwave extracts more of the nutritional compounds than traditional brewing methods. 

What about nature?

Well, yes, heating the water over a flame has a satisfying earthiness about it. The act of filling the kettle, lighting the burner, waiting for the steam to build up a head so the kettle will whistle … all of that adds to the mystique of the brew. During the waiting, you're already relaxing. Then, you have a few moments more to be mindful as you pour the boiling water over loose tea or tea bag and watch as the tendrils of color begin to flow through your cup.

By the time you sit down and take a sip, you've already relaxed so the tea's catechins and warm steaminess can work their magic on your soul. Then, once you've rested, the caffeine slides into your senses to perk you back up so that you can move forward in the day and accomplish more.

Whatever side you’re on, you can find the perfect kettle to brew your stovetop experience or try a borosilicate glass teapot made for the microwave to create your ideal cuppa!

And if you need a new kitchen to support your tea habit, ask your local real estate agent to show you some options.




Tags: kitchen   tea   water  
Categories: Uncategorized