Research has shown that one of the things that gives us an enormous boost in mood and energy is the act of completion. From a small simple task to a big to do, nothing feels as good and being able to say “that’s done.”
With the world hitting “pause” and all of us spending so much more time at home over the past year, it’s impossible not to notice everything that needs attention around your house. All of the things we’ve been putting off due to the “busyness of life” pre-pandemic are now front and center as we see them every day.
The quiet Winter months are a great time to tackle all the lingering to do’s that will make your home a place you truly love being. From creating spaces that can transform from an e-learning spot back to a room where everyone gathers, or updating your kitchen and pantry to accommodate preparing more meals and home, small changes can have a big impact.
The easiest update you can make that will have the biggest impact is utilizing color. If you’ve been living with the same colors for years and are ready for a change of scenery, painting a room in a new color or shade will instantly infuse fresh energy into the space. From subtle tones that allow the natural light to take center stage to bold and bright colors that set their own tone, now is the perfect time for a fresh start. And you’ll feel even better when you can check a room or two off of your list as completed.
Whether you’re in need of a breath of fresh air or some solid ground underneath your feet as we enter into a New Year, the 2021 colors offer something for everyone to set the perfect tone for a fresh start.
This mid-tone blue-green with cool gray undertones sets the perfect backdrop for a balanced and welcoming feel in any room. Utilizing the theme of “your home is your refuge”, Benjamin Moore created a warm, sun-baked color palette that is both intriguing and comforting and includes some bold colors along with some classic neutrals.
Pulled straight from mother earth, this grounding neutral creates a sense of peace and tranquility and allows lighter complimentary colors to truly shine through.
Once again, and at the close of a tough year, Pantone decided one color of the year wasn’t quite enough. Combining a practical gray and optimistic yellow, these two colors blend seamlessly together to create a sense of security with a much needed touch of hopefulness for the future.
When it comes to color, what we see everyday has a direct impact on how we feel. From calming blues, stimulating reds, cheerful yellows to natural greens that bring the outdoors inside, be sure to choose colors that suit your personality and style. From classic to on trend, bold and bright, or soft and subtle, whatever you seek to create can be accomplished with just the right shade of paint.
Education is a high priority in our household. Our parents, who were both teachers achieved their mission of making sure that we each got the appropriate education to suit our learning styles. They also instilled in us the importance and impact of service to others, and we each continue to find ways to honor this in both our personal and professional lives.
As a result, every year John Neill Painting seeks out local non-profit organizations in need to assist with donations, either in kind or through funding to further their mission.
Last year we were introduced to John Alston and the Chester Children’s Chorus. While we did make a monetary donation, we were also excited to help promote their Spring Concert Series, which unfortunately was canceled for safety reasons due to the pandemic.
Director, John Alston’s childhood was dramatically changed by his experience with the Newark Boys Choir. This introduction to the discipline of time and practice required to excel, along with the experience of learning to sing complex compositions in a large group gave him the skills needed to graduate from Swarthmore College, then move on to Indiana University where he completed his doctorate.
His deep love of music helped him discover his purpose, which lead to founding the Chester Children’s Chorus, where he teaches children from the third grade and up thinking, discipline, and practice through their shared gift of song. With a deep understanding of the importance of a solid educational foundation, the program also includes tutoring in both math and language arts to develop well rounded young men and women, preparing them for life beyond high school.
In spite of not being able to gather to sing over the last eight months, John and all of the staff and volunteers from the organization continued their academic work with the children, offering stability and a much needed continued connection to the community during these trying times.
As we enter another season of giving, we would like to re-introduce you to the Chester Children’s Chorus and share the exciting news of their Virtual Holiday Concert Special on December 12th at 7 pm.
We invite you to watch the Anniversary Video of the Chester Children’s Chorus and consider joining us in supporting this worthwhile organization. It is living proof that when we care for every person in our community, we are all ultimately more successful.
And, after hearing their story and their voices, you feel moved to donate, you can do so here: Make a Gift
Wishing you a wonderful start to the Holiday Season and happy #givingtuesday
With Our Gratitude,
Suhaiba Neill – on behalf of the entire John Neill Painting & Decorating Family
While most of us have fully adjusted to spending the majority of our time at home, the start of school may have brought with it new challenges to having everyone inside and in a quiet space for the bulk of the day.
If you find yourself rethinking the way you’re utilizing the spaces in your home, here are some suggestions on how homeowners have been updating their homes to achieve better balance while both working and living under the same roof.
Creating Home Offices and “School” Spaces – Working remotely from home and attending school virtually has been a big change for many of us. Having a designated space that is set up for maximum efficiency and comfort is crucial. And don’t forget about your “zoom” backdrop – which should be simple and free of clutter. From changing out an outdated wall color to adding custom desks and shelving to keep everyone organized, proper functionality will lead to increased productivity.
Updating your Kitchen – The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, and with most meals now being eaten at home as well, we’re all spending more time in our kitchens than ever before. If you’re wishing yours was set up differently or is long over do for an update, redesigning the layout in your pantry or simply changing out the color on your cabinets for a fresh new look and feel will help in this space where functionality truly matters.
Enhancing Outdoor Spaces – Fall is officially here, and with it cooler weather. After spending the day indoors and in front of a screen, having an outdoor space to escape to can make all the difference. Simple updates to your outdoor space can provide some much needed time in the sunshine or a quiet evening under the stars at the end of a long week.
Most people don’t realize that water damage poses the greatest threat to both the interior and exterior of your home.
As we move into the heart of the Summer season, it’s time to make sure your house is sound and protected in preparation for the colder months to come. Here are some tips on where to start and what to look for.
1 – Start at the Top: It’s always a good idea to have your roof, any flashing, tops of chimneys and gutters and downspouts inspected every few years to avoid costly repairs in the future.
2 – Out of Sight often translates to Out of Mind: If you have 2nd or 3rd story dormers, make sure to have the sides inspected for wood rot and/or peeling paint and take care of any needed repairs before things deteriorate any further.
You’ll also want to inspect all horizontal surfaces (as they wear more quickly than other areas on your home) paying particular attention to window sills and bases of doors and columns.
3 – Keep it Clean: Just like washing your car regularly helps maintain the durability of the finish, Pressure Cleaning your house every 2-3 years also helps extend the life of the paint job. Stone, stucco, brick, and siding can all be pressure cleaned as well as shutters, patios, pool surrounds, decks, and walkways.
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to find leaders who continue to move forward.
Glenna Stone of Glenna Stone Interior Design, is such a leader. She is using her time at home to create new opportunities for her clients and her team.
“We have all been so busy and rushed before all this. Now, we have a chance to slow down and decide what matters.”
“We are taking the opportunity to work with our clients to define what they love and because they have the time, they are enjoying the process.”
Our clients enjoy the fact that they now have the time and the energy to focus on completing their projects. They no longer make knee-jerk reactions due to the stress of their own work deadlines.
She also notes that everyone she is working with is enjoying the extra time spent with children as a family. Her clients are treasuring this time and working the ideas that emerge from these experiences into future home designs such as places to play games, planning outdoor spaces for gathering around fires for storytelling, etc.
Using Zoom meetings, she has moved seamlessly from live meetings to remote with hardly an interruption.
Glenna provides her clients with a defined process as well as important tech tools that move the engagement forward. These include measuring tools, instruction on how to photograph/video a room or a home, and resources for ways to use space in multiple ways.
Her clients love the convenience of meeting from their home. They receive the same process in every way that includes personal conversations, definition of the work, creating a mood board with colors, textures, lighting, fabric choices – all these delivered by mail or dropped off.
“I love the magical process of design where we start with an idea and work collaboratively to create spaces that are a reflection of the client”
Glenna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s the start of a New Year (and decade), and that means time for a fresh color palette. In researching the final selection for 2020, Benjamin Moore took a look back at the color trends over the past 100 years before deciding upon the colors that will carry us into the future.
As the social climate ebbed and flowed over the decades, so did the colors that were used throughout our homes. Remember the bold and saturated colors from the 60’s and 70’s? Or the more muted and conservative tones as we approached the new millennium that hung around for the better part of the decade? As we enter into 2020 and another new decade, many of us are considering “what’s next?” with the fresh new start. The Color of the Year – First Light – infuses an air of optimism and possibility into an untouched future.
Benjamin Moore First Light is a “rosy” hue and modern neutral that will brighten any room in your home. It also pairs well with the many grays that have been used on the interior of homes for the past few years. And according to Linda Cipriano, Benjamin Moore’s Architectural & Design Expert, “everyone looks good in pink.” With a slow shift from cool to warmer tones, the coordinating palette offers possibilities for all tastes and styles.
If you’re ready to move away from the grays and infuse some color back into your home, download our checklist on how to choose colors with confidence. And if you’d like a second opinion before updating a room in your home, our color consultant would be happy to sit down with you and help you create the home of your dreams.
“Color can convey meaning, often more effectively than words.”
– Zena O’Connor
The foundation of all design is color – and yet it’s something that makes many of us extremely nervous. Especially when we start considering what colors to bring into our homes when repainting.
We often fear choosing the “wrong” color and having it turn into a time consuming and costly mistake to fix.
And we opt for the “safe choice” – the neutrals or varying tones of gray, white, and beige as our design backdrop.
We convince ourselves that we might tire of a “real” color too quickly, we can live with the neutrals longer, and we won’t have to worry about money wasted on a poor choice. We then further justify this reasoning by telling ourselves we can use pops of color as accents to liven things up. However, this is not the same as choosing a true color for your walls or even your ceiling.
Not fully convinced?
Think back to the last time you walked into a room painted with color… Whether bold or subtle, color creates an entirely different energy than a neutral backdrop ever can. Extensive research shows that color can make you feel energized or calm, powerful or peaceful, cheerful or cozy, and most importantly – welcome. Color adds dimension and character to a home. It can convey your style to the world and tell your story without you needing to utter a single word.
If you have a space in your home that you think would be enhanced by color, you don’t have to make the decision alone. Our color consultant has an M.A. in Interior Architecture and Design and will collaborate with you to choose colors that will fill your heart and home with joy and confidence.
Color consulting is a complementary service provided with any project you wish to complete with us. We pride ourselves not only on our exceptional craftsmanship and communication throughout each project, but also on the extra care we take with our customers to make sure they’re confident with their final color choices.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore Paints
The truth is, that the kitchen is the gathering place and is the hub of the house. It’s where kids come for a snack when they come home from school. It’s the place where everyone congregates at parties, where the meals are made, secrets shared, late night drinks imbibed.
When there is so much activity in one place, it’s not unreasonable to think that it gets more wear. Here are some great kitchen makeover tips that can bring your kitchen back to life without having to do a complete kitchen remodel.
The finish on your cabinets, even at the highest level, will start whispering to you that a new coat of paint might be in order.
You won’t have to redo the whole kitchen, but kitchen cabinet painting and refinishing will give you the sense that you have a brand-new kitchen.
Giving your cabinets a new look means removing all cabinet doors and drawers and marking their locations. These are then carefully wrapped and transported them to the paint shop. This is a controlled environment containing a spray booth. Painting this way gives your cabinets a finish that looks brand, spanking new. During the period of spray painting, the surrounds will be painted by prior appointment s. This will be done in time for everything to be put back together. Once done, you’ll feel like you have an entirely new kitchen again and a new hub of the house.
Another way to breathe new life into your kitchen is by replacing old cabinet doors with new custom doors. The glass pane kitchen cabinet doors pictured below gave the kitchen an entirely different look and feel and really brightened up the space.
Don’t miss our next post about using color in the kitchen.
Visit our Painting Services page to see what John Neill Painting & Decorating can do for you!
Our Service Areas include: Philadelphia, The Main Line, Center City Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, Gladwyne, Narberth, Penn Valley, Merion, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Villanova, Wayne, Devon, Berwyn, Paoli, Malvern, Chester Springs, Newtown Square, West Chester, Blue Bell, Gwynedd, Jenkintown, Rydal, Meadowbrook, and Chestnut Hill.
While the garage is often the most overlooked room in most homes, with new top of the line epoxy garage floor coatings now available, it doesn’t have to be. Not only will this garage floor coating enhance the appearance of your garage, but it is also specially formulated for easy cleaning and maximum durability, much more so than a traditional concrete floor.
This process usually takes about a week from start to finish, and as you can see in the before and after photos of a garage floor we recently coated in Wayne, PA, it will be worth parking in the driveway while the coating fully cures. Next time you pull into your garage and step out of your car, take a look down at your floor. Then give us a call for your free estimate and to update your garage floor before the winter weather arrives.