Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/18/2018

The trim is one of the trickiest parts of a home to be properly painted or stained. Thereís many steps that must be taken for the trim to be painted well including:

  • Nailheads must be set below the surface of the wood
  • Holes need to be filled and sanded
  • Damaged wood must be repaired and replaced
  • Old paint and varnish must be removed

The work that needs to be completed on both the walls and the trim should be done before you begin painting and staining. Thereís no rule as to when you should paint the trim -before or after the walls are painted- the only thing that matters is that the prep work should be done before the painting step begins.

Safety Measures

When youíre stripping the surface, wear protective glasses along with a dust mask. The chemicals that youíre using can contain toxic fumes. The room needs to be ventilated properly as well. Wear gloves to keep the chemicals off of your hands. Youíll also protect your hands from splinters.

As an additional precaution, when youíre painting, youíll want to test for lead. Many homes may have lead paint in them, especially those that were built prior to 1978. You can remove lead paint yourself if you take the right precautionary steps, but in some cases, you may need a professional to do the job.

Get The Trim Ready For Painting

Once the trim has been scraped down, youíll want to wash the surface of the trim with a mild household cleaner. Then, rinse it with water or a water and vinegar mixture and let the trim dry. Scrape any remaining loose paint from the trim. 

Sand The Trim

Use a small flat sander to sand the walls or woodwork. For more contoured surfaces, try to use a flexible sanding block. These flexible sanders work great for more curved surfaces.   


Have A Strategy

If youíre a less experienced painter, it will be easier if you paint the trim first. This will make it much smoother to prepare the details and paint all of the details. Once you paint the trim, mask it off with painters tape. This will prevent any splattering from occurring while youíre painting of the walls. 

Tips For Painting The Trim

Once you complete all of the prep work for painting the trim, use a primer. Next, topcoat the trim using some kind of a latex or enamel. Remember that glossy surfaces accentuate the woodwork in a home, making it stand out from the walls. Moldings, doors and windows require a higher sheen than a wall since thereís more contact on these surfaces.

Painting trim can be challenging, but when you do it safely and in the right order, your painting job will go much more smoothly.

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/11/2018

When you buy a new sofa or chair, itís a big investment. You want to know that whatever kind of fabric that you choose will be a good color and texture for a long time to come. When youíre shopping for upholstery, the most important thing is practicality. You may not want to buy a leather sofa with a toddler running around, for example. Any kind of fabric that could get dirty easily, or rip and stain, may not be the best choice when you have kids around the house. There are plenty of durable fabrics available.  

You also need to worry about any pets that you have in the home. Cats and dogs tend to scratch things, rip them, or relieve themselves where they arenít supposed to. This can cause beautiful, expensive furniture to be ruined in minutes. Youíll want to choose something that is easy to clean the pet hair off of and even easier to clean. 

Choose A Durable Fabric

Even if you donít have kids, since the majority of people donít live in a bubble, youíll want to choose a fabric that is both comfortable and versatile. Adults spill things too! Donít forget that slipcovers are always an option as well.  This allows you to change your fabric anytime that you wish easily and inexpensively.

If Youíre Free Flaunt It

If pets and kids arenít arenít a worry for you, you should flaunt your freedom! You can go a bit more elaborate in your choice of fabric and materials. You wonít need the same types of fabrics and colors that a household with kids would need if youíre on your own. Go for that white sofa and own it! 

Consider How The Material Will Age

When shopping for furniture, ask a lot of questions about the lifetime outlook for certain fabrics. Youíll also want to understand how difficult maintaining certain types of fabrics will be. Leather, for example, is a bit more high maintenance than other types of fabric. If the sofa will be near windows, the sun can easily wear through the color of a material. You should have all of these things in mind while youíre shopping for the perfect sofa or chair. 

Take A Look At Everything In Person

While online shopping can be great for many things, you probably donít want to choose your fabrics for furniture solely based on an internet search. You should be able to see and feel the material to help you decide how it will fit into your home. Itís also important to know how sitting on a certain material feels to you. A material may look nice in a picture, but may not work at all for your needs when you see it in person. Ask for advice from the associates at the furniture store as well. They can help you to find the right material to suit your needs and wants.

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/4/2018

Cooking with fresh herbs is infinitely better than using the dried out flakes you'll find at the grocery store. Not only are they packed with much more flavor, but they'll also save you money in the process. Sure, there are some herbs you probably won't use very often and should just keep a small jar of them in your pantry. However, certain herbs are so useful that it's worth having on your window sill to pick from when you need them. If you're thinking about starting an indoor or outdoor herb garden, here are the best herbs to put in it that will spice up your recipes and save you money at the checkout line.


Number one on our list is sweet basil. Basil can be chopped up into sauces and salads, or it can be used whole on pizzas and sandwiches. For a great snack, toss some olive oil with chunks of tomato, mozzarella, and chopped basil. It's the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, and refreshing. Basil is also great for making tea and has a strong and pleasant aroma. If you start running low, you can start a new plant with clippings from an old one. As you pick from the plant, be sure to remove the leaf node (the stem part of the leaf) fully so your plant keeps producing more leaves.


A good herb to pair with basil is parsley. It goes great with pasta dishes, sauce, pizza, or eggs. Like basil, parsley can be harvested as needed. Simply cut the outermost leaves for use and leave the inner leaves to mature. However, parsley is also easy to dry and store. To dry parsley, hang it up in a warm place that has plenty of shade and ventilation. Test it by seeing if it crumbles in your hand. Once it does, crumble the rest up and store it in an air tight jar.


Arguably one of the the prettiest herbs on the list, thyme fills its long stems with small flowers and fills the air with a pleasant scent. Thyme goes well with many vegetables and types of seafood and is also common in many teas. If you live in a temperate climate, you could also try growing some thyme as an ornamental and aromatic shrub in your yard.


As you would suspect, mint smells and tastes...minty. To impress everyone at your summer cookout, place some mint leaves from your garden into their ice cold drinks. Like many other items on the list, mint is also great in tea and can be paired up with basil, lavender, and many other herbs to make a great herbal tea concoction.


Lavender is another pretty flowering herb. However, due to its size, it's best grown outdoors. You can make several homemade items from lavender including soaps, fragrance sprays, tea, and more. However, be sure to read up on caring for lavender plants as they require a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. To make use of its size and aesthetics outside, you can plant lavender along walkways in your yard or garden.

Tags: gardening   herbs   home   garden   mint   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender  
Categories: Home   Gardening   Garden   herbs   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender   mint  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 2/25/2018

Weíve all had those times when we canít seem to get a good nightís sleep. If you recently moved to a new home or if youíre on vacation, the new environment or mattress can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Itís even more frustrating when youíre in the comfort of your own home but are still having trouble sleeping.

In this article, weíre going to give you some tips and habits you can build to help better your sleep. Weíll talk about ways to get to sleep on time, how to improve your sleeping habits, and how to sleep through the night.

Getting to bed on time

Most of us live busy lives that make it hard to unwind at the end of the day. Others simply have a hard time calling it quits on the show or movie theyíre watching when they should be getting some sleep. Either way, itís essential to build a good bedtime routine to make sure youíre falling asleep at an appropriate time each night.

To start, youíll want to make sure you assign yourself a bed time. Though bed times seem like a rule for children, it can help adults vastly improve their sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning reinforces your bodyís natural sleep cycle.

To ensure you go to bed on time, you can set a reminder or alarm on your phone for a half-hour before you need to be in bed. This will give you time to finish what youíre doing and get ready for bed.

There are also apps that will help you do this, which weíll talk about in the next section.

Monitor your sleep

Sleep is deeply important to how we function throughout our day. A poor nightís sleep is a short-term hindrance, putting us in a bad mood or making it difficult to focus. But, in the long run, lacking sleep is a health risk that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

The takeaway? We should all take sleep seriously. To do so, a good way is to monitor your sleep. One easy way is to download an app that does just that. For iPhone users, the pre-installed Bedtime feature (part of the Clock app) is a simple way to set reminders and gain insight into your sleeping habit.

A more thorough way to monitor your sleep is to keep a sleep journal or to buy a smartwatch that tracks your sleep for you. Regardless of your method, keeping tabs on your sleep quality will help you prioritize your health and wellness.

Quick tips for improving your sleep

  • Go to bed at the same time each time

  • Avoid bright screens (phone, TV, laptop) for an hour before bed

  • Read, knit, or do some other relaxing hobby before bed

  • Donít eat for two hours before bed

  • If you canít sleep, try listening to calming music or a guided meditation

  • If youíre a light sleeper, try wearing comfortable earplugs and an eye mask to bed

Categories: sleep better   sleep   insomnia  

Posted by Evelyn Doane on 2/18/2018

Buying a house should be a fast, seamless process. However, problems sometimes may arise that prevent you from acquiring your dream house in a timely fashion.

Ultimately, it is important to be proactive to minimize the risk of encountering time-consuming hurdles during the homebuying process. Fortunately, we're here to help you identify and address such problems before they can slow you down.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you pursue your dream residence.

1. Enter the Housing Market with a Plan in Hand

An informed homebuyer is better equipped than others to enjoy a successful homebuying journey. In fact, this buyer should have no trouble narrowing his or her homebuying criteria to speed up the homebuying cycle.

When it comes to purchasing a house, it helps to consider what you want to find in your dream residence. That way, you can enter the housing market with a list of homebuying criteria in hand and tailor your house search accordingly.

Remember, it is your duty as a homebuyer to do everything possible to find your ideal residence. If you narrow your house search, you can focus on finding a home that matches your expectations. And once you discover your dream house, you can quickly submit a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Get Your Home Financing in Order

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. If a homebuyer receives pre-approval for a mortgage, this individual will know exactly how much he or she can spend on a residence. As a result, this buyer can explore residences that fall within a specific price range, increasing the likelihood of a fast homebuying journey.

To obtain a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach a homebuyer about a broad array of mortgage options. Perhaps most important, each lender can help a homebuyer weigh the pros and cons of assorted mortgage options and ensure a buyer can make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with an Expert Real Estate Agent

There is no need to let problems escalate that otherwise could slow down the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire an expert real estate agent, you can get the help you need to accelerate the homebuying cycle.

An expert real estate agent understands the ins and outs of buying a house, and as such, will make it simple for you to streamline the homebuying process. He or she will offer lots of recommendations as you pursue your dream house. Plus, when you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.

The homebuying journey can be long and complex, particularly for a homebuyer who chooses to work alone. But if you employ an expert real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

Ready to acquire your ideal residence? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of encountering time-intensive obstacles as you search for your dream home.

Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips