Blog :: 02-2013

21 Walker St: A "Green" Charlestown Condo

Right now going green is the big movement, securing a more sustainable future for all of us. In the Boston area with so many older colonials and victorians it's difficult to find homes with a green initiative, but there's a new home on the market in Charlestown and it strives to meet all eco-friendly requirements. This 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo offers energy efficient Bosch appliances in the kitchen, energy efficient washer and dryer, fresh air intake, and 99% efficient HVAC.

If that's not enough "green" for you then there's always the roof deck along with the roof garden! This home truly has it all, environmentally friendly bamboo floors stretching throughout, granite countertops in the kitchen along with entertaining peninsula, custom blinds, and a video recording security system, you'll never be at a loss.  Don't worry about storage, there's plenty including a california closet, hidden coat closet, designed master closet, and towering kitchen cabinets.

For more information contact Betsy Herald at betsyherald@realtor.com or call the office at (617) 236-0353

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Odd Cleaning Tips that Work!

In honor of a little Spring cleaning, here a list of crazy cleaning tips that really work!

  1. Wash Tupperware containers with baking soda and hot water so they don't smell like previously stored food.
  2. Use a lint roller to clean cloth lamp shades
  3. Don't bother buying a dusting mitt- use an old sock
  4. To remove hardened wax from your tablecloths place a paper towel or brown paper bag over the spill spot and iron over it. The paper will absorb the melted wax and leave your iron, and your tablecloth, clean.
  5. Use a wet rubber dishwashing glove to wipe animal hair off of furniture.
  6. Foaming shaving cream is said to help remove wine stains from the carpet.
  7. Use white bread to dust an oil painting! It may sound weird but gently dabbing a slice over the painting will absorb dirt and grime.
  8. Use hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip to disinfect a keyboard
  9. Rubbing alcohol helps remove permanent marker from wood or countertops.
  10. Vegetable oil can shine up leather shoes.
  11. Grab a hotel shower cap to wrap your dirty shoes before packing them into a suitcase.
  12. Use a hair iron to press the hard-to-reach parts of a shirt, such as in between buttons
  13. Rubbing a lemon, cut in half, helps remove stains from a cutting board.
  14. Bobby pins can hold together pleats while ironing
  15. Use a turkey baster to change the water in a vase of flowers.

And finally, our favorite winter cleaning tip:

16. Apply a lot of cooking spray to a snow shovel- the snow will slide off and not build up on the shovel!

A Cozier and More Personal Home

Did you just move into a new spot? Do you have a home that feels sterile and barren? Here are some tips for making your pad more comfortable and personal. When you come home after a long day at work, or a snowy commute, you ought to feel cozy among your things.

  1. Mixing color and texture: The easiest way to dress up your place is to move out of your comfort zone, and add color and texture. Try adding a rug with accent pillows, or picking a subtle pattern for a blanket that contrasts well with a painting on the wall. The more adventurous may even opt to mix multiple different patterns or colors. However, when shopping for home accessories with different patterns, try to bring along photos of the room or accessories you may already own and check that your new purchase matches!
  2. Adding shelving for more than just storage: The obvious purpose of shelving is to store your belongings or books. Instead, consider installing shelves to display trinkets or photographs. Not only is this a way to display your precious belongings at eye level, but it also adds dimensionality to your walls. Just make sure to install shelves with a level, or risk having your favorite trinkets slide and crash!
  3. Wallpaper: There has long been a stigma against wallpaper. Many claim that wallpaper is stuffy and dated when they are reminded by the floral patterns in their grandmother's home. However, there are plenty of new wallpapers with a modern and stylish feel that will dress up your home in exciting new ways.
  4. Statement wall: Similarly, you're hesitant to change the walls in an entire room, paint just change single wall! A bright color, or bold wallpaper on a statement wall will give your place a unique vibe with flair. One of the most popular places for a statement wall is behind the headboard of a bed in the bedroom. This single wall with pop can play a trick on the human eye, often making the space appear larger and more design-oriented.
  5. Hanging art and personal photos: It goes without saying that personal photos and art are the most straightforward ways to make your place more cozy, but avoid the collegiate temptation to simply tape or tack your wall accessories. Spend a little time in a Marshall's or Target to buy some inexpensive frames for your photos. After all- these are your friends and family, they deserve to be hung with care!
  6. Subtle themes: While creating a "theme" for a room may be a bit childish, you can do so in a very subtle way that gives the space a greater sense of purpose and ties each element of the room together. For example, decorate a simple space with a nautical perspective, or give a living room a log cabin feel with leather furniture and plaid blankets.
  7. Fabric accessories: Soft fabrics will always emphasize the coziness of a home. Whether you drape blankets over the back of your furniture, or add a few more statement pillows, adding fabric accessories will make your space feel like one, big, cozy bed. For the more adventurous- try fun floor pillows for guests to sit on.
  8. Exposed closets: Closets are often covered by sliding doors or curtains. However, for organized fashionistas who invest a lot time and money on their wardrobe, consider removing closet doors altogether. This can open up the space to feel larger, and displays a colorful wardrobe as art. Be warned: this can quickly make a space feel messy if not well-maintained, and guests may feel inclined to do some snooping.

103 Beacon Street: Distinguished Back Bay Home

This Back Bay home rests in one of the most sought after locations in all of Boston, in close proximity to Beacon Hill, walking distance to the Boston Public Gardens, and steps away from the Esplanade with partial river views. You truly have the entire city waiting for you right outside the front door. A rare parking space in the rear of the building and central air conditioning are just the beginning of spectacular features in this home.

With built-in shelves and office, two fireplaces, Victorian details and moldings along with Bosch appliances, sub-zero refrigerator, and granite countertops, this home brings together old world charm and modern convenience. It also includes newly installed central air, generous closet space, gas line ready for stove, soaring ceilings, recessed lighting, and hardwood floors stretching throughout, as well as a fully tiled kitchen.

Beyond this the building is pet friendly and professionally managed.

For more information contact the listing agent, Sarah Glovsky at 617-417-1179 or sarah@thecharlesrealty.com

Decorating With Exposed Brick

We see a lot of properties with exposed brick here in Boston, both in rentals and sales and while they create a great urban feel and add character to a space.  Today the Boston Metro ran a brief article on how to make exposed brick work in your home, because it can often be limiting. Here's a little recap of the tips they offered in today's paper:

1. Pairing the bricks with a modern light fixture and some mirrors can make for a more contemporary look. Mirrors always add depth to a space and expand a room, so exposed brick or not this is always a great way to change up your room.

2. Stay with black leathers and steel furniture, this sleek modern look with juxtapose the brick nicely, offering an edgier feel.  Add just a pop of color somewhere in the room, like a couple accent pillows and you could really liven up a room.

3. As the Metro called it, the "traditional rustic aesthetic" can really compliment exposed brick. Stick with browns beiges, and toss in some pastel blue, with plenty of dark wood finished and you could create a real homey feel.

These are just some brief tips that could open up plenty of possibilities for your home.  Let us know how you've dressed up your exposed brick walls!

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The Charles Realty is Proud to Support The 2nd Annual Puppy Love Dance

The Great Dog Rescue New England is a charity that is very close to many of us here are The Charles Realty. Several of our agents have adopted their dogs from rescue programs and more specifically through The Great Dog Rescue New England.  Two of our agents are personally very invested, working for the organization and coordinating adoptions and rescuing hundreds of dogs.

This Saturday is the second annual Puppy Love Dance, benefitting The Great Dog Rescue New England. Our own agent, David Huddleston will be performing with his band Biscuits and Gravy during the evening and there will be  dinner, silent auctions and a raffle! Please visit The Great Dog Rescue New England website at www.gdrne.com to purchase tickets or email info@gdrne.com for silent auction donations.

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New Developments Coming To Boston

Boston's skyline is expecting a few new developments. We've posted about Millennium Place in the past- a new building planned for the downtown area on Washington Street, with 256 luxury units forming fifteen stories of living space. The building will add a modern glass and steel look for  eye-catching extravagance in the Boston Common neighborhood.

Millennium Place plans

In addition to Millennium Place, a few other future developments have caught our attention. It's recently been noted that the Christian Science Plaza, a local landmark known for its reflective pool, will have two new buildings in its midst. Filling up the space previously reserved for public parking and empty city space, the city plans to add "a 50-story tower containing a hotel, condos, stores and restaurants, as well as a 20-story building with additional apartments and retail space" (according to Boston.com.) These two multi-purpose buildings will be planned by Cambridge area developers, "Carpenter and Company." The Christian Science website states, "Carpenter and its team will be responsible for designing, financing, constructing, and maintaining the new buildings."

Millennium Place plans

While some may bemoan the loss of parking in the Christian Science Plaza vicinity, many are excited at the prospect of more living space alternatives in the Back Bay area, as well as other benefits planned for these new buildings. With restaurants, hotel space, and retail capabilities, the building has potential to add a lot to Boston's commercial center. The Christian Science landmark, as it stands, will not be affected by these developments. Mayor Menino confirms in a recent statement, "I am very pleased that the development of these buildings will allow the Plaza itself to be maintained for the enjoyment of Boston residents and visitors for many years to come."

Lastly, a new development in the waterfront area is sure to gain some attention as time goes on. While the city may have approved the "Portside at Pier One" plans eight years ago, it is just now starting construction. The building is intended to be five stories of luxury living space, containing 176 units, and retail space on the ground level. Developers claim that renting each of these living spaces should cost around $3,000 a month. The development, spearheaded by Roseland Property and Co., is a $67 million project.

Millennium Place plans

As things progress, we can't wait to see the final products, and we'll be keeping our eyes out for more construction in and around the Boston area.