Posts Tagged ‘home’

Feng Shui Your Home

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy which is used to create positive energy in space based on the spacial relation of the home and the colors, light, and air in a given space. Many people both within Asian cultures and simply those looking to refresh their lives have taken to feng shui in their homes.

Essentially Feng Shui is a minimalist approach to decorating which is believed to change the energy of a home. In turn this positive energy is reflected in those that live in the home. Without all the clutter of everyday things like mail on the counter, magazines sprawled across the coffee table, and dog toys on the ground, you can live a less stressful life.

Here are a few simple and basic ways to Feng Shui your home!

1. Open the windows often and allow for plenty of fresh air and natural sunlight. Even adding full-spectum lights could be helpful. This promotes good feng shui energy, it brightens the home and the fresh air never hurt anyone.
2. Clear out clutter, feng shui is a very minimalist approach as stated earlier.  The process of cleaning out clutter is believed to cleanse the space and the person doing the cleaning. It goes along with the idea that we just can’t think clearly when surrounded by all the clutter and junk of everyday life, so just get rid of it. Remove anything that is not absolutely necessary in the space.
3. Incorporate the 5 feng shui elements into you home, through color. Different colors in your home correspond with different natural elements. These symbolic colors and elements are believed to bring wealth and serenity to those in the home. Beyond this it gives you a reason to include a whole range of color into your home!
Color and element key:
-wood: green, brown
-fire: red, strong, bright/strong yellows, orange, purple, pink
-earth: light yellow, sandy earthy tones/colors, light brown
-metal: white, gray
-water: blue, black

These are just some basic and very straight forward tips to help you as you try to settle into your new home, or even as you try to stage your old home for sale!

42 Union Street, Watertown MA

Friday, March 30th, 2012
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Newly added gas fireplace and fur floors make for a beautiful living room

Conveniently located on a side street between Watertown Square & Newton Corner – Don’t miss this opportunity to own a Single Family in one of Watertown’s most sought-after locations. Charming & spacious Colonial with many updates: 4 Bedrooms, 1.5 Renovated Bathrooms, Fully Renovated Granite/Stainless EIK with Bay Window. Gas fireplace in living room, formal dining room with impressive wainscotting & recessed ceiling lead to a sun-drenched deck & landscaped yard with newer fence & mature trees.

For more info contact Betsy Herald at (617) 236-0353 or betsyherald@realtor.com

and visit TheCharlesRealty.com or 42UnionStreet.com

Open House: Sunday April 1st from 1:30-3:30

Off street parking for 2-3 cars and 11 bus lines make transportation in the Boston area easy.

190 West Springfield Street

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The weather is warm, the sun is out, it’s springtime, and we have a new home on the market! Life is wonderful!  This 3-bedroom duplex located in the South End is a very rare and sought after opportunity for anyone looking to buy. 2-stories of pine floors and exposed brick make for an enchanting home with a great location.

The fully renovated kitchen includes granite countertops, stainless appliances, and mahogany cabinets, a dream for anyone who enjoys cooking and baking. A large center island also makes for a wonderful centerpiece and convenient for entertaining. A beautiful brick archway then opens into a sunny living space including a decorative fireplace with 1800’s ironwork.   In fact the home includes two of these gorgeous fireplaces along with Victorian moldings and that add charming accents to each room.

With two renovated baths and a jacuzzi in the guest bath and the en-suite master bath with marble and a powerful glass shower, this vintage brownstone  is complete and offers the perfect balance of the modernity and classical Boston.

In-unit washer/dryer, master walk-in-closet with built-ins, and a huge basement storage area with plenty of space that fits everything.

The most incredible part of this home is the asking price at $799,900, which puts it at $500 per square foot!

Contact Betsy Herald at (617) 236- 0353

Buyer’s To-Do List

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Finding the perfect home is of course very exciting.  You’re starting a-new and soon you’ll be finding a dream home. We’ve compiled a short list of things that will make the buying process easier.  This list can act as the beginning of a check list in your home search and finally buying a home. You can also read our buyer’s guide.

1. Shop Around

Get to know the home you like.  You know your dream location and some of the features you want in a home, but see a few different places to get an idea of exactly what you’d like.  Look around online, see what’s available.  We’d recommend just punching in some different search criteria on websites like Trulia or Realtor.com and seeing what’s out there, you might be surprised.

2. Find a real estate agent your like

It’s amazing how much easier the buying process will be once you click with a real estate agent. Your agent is your go-to person for a majority of your needs while searching and signing.  It’s important to feel comfortable with the agent and feel safe knowing that they’ll take care of your needs.  It might be appealing to attempt to do everything on your own but it’s not easy and buyers agents can also help to negotiate lower prices. They’re also great for referrals, letting you know who to go to for home inspections or attorneys.  Your realtor can optimize the efficiency  of your search and honestly make life a lot easier.

3. Find a mortgage broker you trust and get a pre-approval

Once you’ve found that perfect place you need to find a mortgage broker.  This isn’t so exciting but they’re the logistics that will allow you to get a home.  Mortgages are a big financial decision so trust is key in your relationship with the broker.  There are plenty of great mortgage brokers out there who will work with you to get everything all ready for your new home and your future.

4. Make sure to find home insurance

Home insurance is a must have.  You’ve finally found the perfect home but now you need to insure it for the future.  Your agents can help direct you to the right places for home insurance but it’s key to make sure that all your bases are covered.  There’s also a lot of little things that can lower your home insurance prices, such as the proximity to your home to a fire hydrant.  So keeping the little things in mind as you shop around for home insurance can really be helpful.

Condo Wish List

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In today’s rainy and snowy weather we’re all wishing for a little bit of sunshine. While wishing for sunny weather here’s a wish list of things people would love to have in a condo.

1. Breakfast nook

Beside the fact that having a nook is just adorable and convenient, it’s also fun to decorate.  The nook is the perfect place to read the paper in the morning or relax later in the day with a cup of coffee or glass of lemonade. You can put a small table and a couple chairs with some nice cushions in your nook and include matching curtains.  Hang a pendant light from the ceiling and the ideal breakfast nook is complete!

2. Day bed

Day beds are great. Plain and simple. Couch by day, bed by night.  We’re not saying you need to sleep on your day bed, but the option is always nice for you or a guest.  They bring a real homey and cozy feel to any room. They’re not for the formal living room, but having one in a guest bedroom or even in your own bedroom will be very welcoming to any guests you may have in your condo.

3. Spacious laundry room

No one likes to do laundry, we know that, but if you’re going to do laundry you might as well make it pleasant. Having a laundry room directly in your condo is always convenient and it’s even better when you have space to move and relax.  Sometimes being cramped can be a little stressful and tense when you’re already doing a task you don’t enjoy, but having the extra room to move will make the chore more enjoyable.

4. Closet space

No one will ever turn down closet space! The more closets the better.  You can hide away the clutter and store seasonal clothes, decorations, and whatever else you’re not using right that second.  Home owners never fail to fill up their closet space, and even if it’s not full, with time you’ll find plenty of things to keep in your closets. Walk-ins are ideal but one more closet can never hurt, no-matter what size.

5. Built-in Storage

Built-ins come with all the functionality of a closet, but they look charming while they do it!  They act like large cupboards and can alter the entire look of a room.  Different colors and wood finishes make built-ins blend and accent any space.  Built-ins usually act great under bay windows and create a wide windowsill at the same time, perfect for displaying whatever you’d like.

242 Beacon Street

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We’re happy to have a new home going on the market this coming week.  This brownstone is the perfect location right in historic Back Bay. The home is both charming and convenient. All of Boston is just a short walk away from this one-bedroom condo.

The home includes a cozy but open living room with gorgeous hardwood floors and bay windows.  These bay windows face the sunny side of the street and allow for great natural lighting. Custom built-ins also provide easy-to-access storage space directly in the living space.  An interior bedroom with a hidden closet opens right into the living room. A small hallway brings you from the living room to the large tiled kitchen and bathroom. A large private storage space is also very useful for

This condo presents a great opportunity, with so much to offer in the Boston area, 242 Beacon is the ideal location.

There will be an open house this Sunday from 1:00-2:30pm.

Home Lighting

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Lighting in your home doesn’t always seem like the top priority, and to be honest it doesn’t always sound all that interesting.  But of course we all need lights in our homes, so why not change it up and make it interesting.  It’s important to make sure your home is well-lit and still looking good.

There’s a whole range of different ways to brighten up your home, here are just a few options:

Table Lamps

There’s no commitment with table lamps, you can move them where ever you’d like and have as many as you need.  If you get tired of one, just get rid of it and find a new one.  They’re convenient in the office or on your end tables, where ever works for you!


Both floral and modern, this lamp will add a fun touch to any contemporary space.

Adding a table lamp will certainly make your space feel cozier.

Your lamps don't need to be traditional, they can be practical and act as conversation pieces.

Floor Lamps

Floor lamps become like a piece of furniture in a room.  They can be almost as important as your couch or coffee table.  They truly add something to which ever room.  They’re wonderful when you need to fill up a little bit of extra space or add just a little bit more accent to a room.

Sometimes simple lines and basic metals are all you need to add the final touch to a room.

Unique lines allow you to differentiate your style, and interchangeable lamp shades are a quick fix when you're tired of one style.

Tiffany glass style floor lamps add a touch of glamour.

Cieling Lights

Now these are all about the show.  There are the basic functioning ceiling lamps and then there are those that make a statement.  Depending on which room you’re looking to put lights in you may need to adjust your taste in home lighting.  You can go ultra modern with sleek lines, classy and ornate with chandelier style lights, or simple and homey with soft glows and lampshades.

Combining traditional lighting with contemporary quirks can make a classy and interesting look in any dining room or high ceiling room.

Putting a large ceiling light over a kitchen island is sometimes just enough lighting.

Mini pendant lights are functional and sometimes quirky, they're great for kitchen spaces.

Wall lights

A little trickier to change but certainly more unique are wall lights.  Not everyone has them but they can really accent an extraordinary room. If you have art that you want to showcase or a room that’s really special, wall lighting might be exactly what you want.

Bubbly bathroom lights can make a typically mundane room very interesting and exciting.

Wall sconces can be a nice touch that are often forgotten about.

Classic wall lighting makes a space warm and soothing. It's a nice way to personalize your home too.

Burrage Mansion

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Boston is a city full of amazing architecture and gorgeous homes. In fact it’s sometimes difficult to be in awe of a home in Boston, simply because there are so many wonderful places. However one home that has managed to stand out for over 100 years now is the Burrage Mansion.

We thought it would be fun to highlight this jaw dropping home today.

The Burrage Mansion sits at 314 Commonwealth Avenue, right here in Boston and is certainly not your typical modest home. With almost 50 gargoyles, dragons, and cherubs carved into the exterior of the building, this mansion now is home to six condominium units.

The mansion built in 1899, was definitely a statement from its owner Albert C. Burrage, a successful lawyer and business man.  Burrage traveled a considerable amount but always considered Boston his home, and wanted to display his success in the form of a building.

Modeled after the Vanderbilt home in New York and designed by renowned architect Charles Bringham, the mansion dominated the street, and still does today. A sunroom that wraps around the mansion with gorgeous victorian glass ceilings is just one more signature element of the building.  Mahogany’s, stained glass, and marble ensure that anyone walking by the mansion or through the mansion knows this isn’t your typical home.    

Decorating with Flowers and Florals

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

It’s Valentines Day and that means all the good things of life like love, chocolate, hearts, cute cards, and flowers are all around today. So we wanted to take a moment and embrace all the wonderful bouquets and flowers that are being given and received today.  But the best thing about flowers are that they’re not just for February 14th, they’re good any time of year, and anywhere.

Flowers might even be best when it comes to decorating your home.  Flowers and floral prints are always a nice way to add some personality to any space. Here are some ways that we’ve found to incorporate flowers into your home:

1. Change your flowers with the seasons

Every room looks a little bit better with a bouquet but sometimes it is nice to change it up.  Placing different flowers for each season in different rooms of the house will give your home a whole new feel four times a year.  Deep roses in the winter months, Sunflowers in the fall, lilacs and bright lilies in the spring, and vibrant wildflowers in the summer will change the look and feel of any room.

2. Floral Print carpet

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but so are floral rugs.  What’s great about floral rugs is the wide variety.  Floral doesn’t mean it has to be overly feminine or busy and overwhemling.  Floral rugs can come in simple patterns, victorian styles, bold and bright, or calm and subdued looks. There is a floral carpet out there for everyone, and it can really warm up a home.

3. Floral Pillow cases

No need to make the all the furniture floral but add some pop to the typical living room and couch with some fun pillow cases. Once again florals come in any style imaginable.  You might even want to keep some different pillow cases and covers on hand, so when you’re tired of one floral print you can move on to the next!

4. Flower window boxes

Once you’ve brighten up the interior, time to add a little bit of life to the exterior of your home. Window boxes add an element of versatility to your home.  Changing with the seasons and offering you a way to personalize your home, window boxes are quick and easy to maintain. Whether your live in the suburbs or right in the middle of the city, window boxes are great for any style home. It will help you stick out from the other white picket fence homes or add a little bit of wildlife to your townhouse.

5. Floral Tablecloths

They’re quick and they’re temporary! It takes all of 5 seconds to change your tablecloth and make a dinner casual or formal based on your choice of floral prints. Make it springy or summery, make your dining room whatever you’d like with your choice of florals.

A Cozy Home in the Midst of Winter

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Snow has finally settled on the ground and although the cold weather waited a bit this season, it’s here.  But the best part about winter is that cozy feeling you have when you’re sitting by the fire or bundled up with your favorite slippers and blanket.  So we’ve come up with a few ways to make your home feel just a little bit cozier in this brisk weather.

1. Curtains, floor to ceiling

Curtains can breath new life into a space and they’re great for heat efficiency.  Fun or traditional fabrics and lighter colors will really open up a room that may seem a little too dark during these short hours of sunlight.  Also opening up the curtains to let that sunlight in and then drawing them as the sun goes down will really help in keeping a warm home.

2. Dressing up the fireplace

If you always leave the same knick-knacks, pictures, or candles on your mantle piece maybe it’s time to switch it up.  Change the photos on top of the mantle, or add a nice vase with a bouquet of flowers. There’s no doubt you’ll be using the fireplace this season, so why not make it the center of attention? Make it something to look at as you warm up after a day at work.

3. Show off your books

A sparse space doesn’t make for cozy living, but a cluttered space certainly doesn’t help either.  A quick fix to this is putting out some of your favorite books stacked neatly on a few shelves around the house. It can fill up a room quickly and makes your home feel like yours.  Plus if you’re ever looking for a good read, it’s right there.  Even leave out some nice coffee table books for a topic of conversation when you’re entertaining.

4. Soft and warm area rugs

As gorgeous as hardwood floors can be, they do get a bit chilly in the winter.  A quick solution is to add some area rugs around the home.  You don’t need to keep them out year-round if you don’t want to, but rolling them out for a few months can certainly be very comforting when the wind is howling and the snow is falling. Putting out a rug in the living room or dining room will warm up any cool room.