Catchlight Community Spotlight: Shari Pellows Interiors

Catchlight Painting, a local Newton business and community partner, is excited to feature other businesses, individuals, and organizations that we find exceptional. For this month’s spotlight, we are pleased to introduce Shari Pellows Interiors.

Meet Shari

Shari PellowsShari Pellows is the founder & principal designer at Shari Pellows Interiors. Shari has more than 20 years of design experience and offers a full range of interior design services for both residential and commercial spaces.

Shari’s work has been featured in The Boston Globe and New England Home Magazine.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?

I am a New Yorker who found love in Montclair, New Jersey and wound up married and living in Newton, Massachusetts. At the time, I had no driver’s license or job, and through a series of very fortunate events, found my passion in interior design. I’ve now been an interior designer working in my dream job for the last 26 years!

What does a successful project mean to you?

My clients are very important to me, most of them are with me for many years. Often, I wind up doing more than one house for them. So when my client calls and tells me how good it feels to come home – how happy they are and that it’s better than they imagined – that’s my success and it is incredibly fulfilling each and every time. It never gets old.

Do you have a signature style? If so, will you describe it?

I consider my job as a designer to interpret people’s taste and make sure what they articulate comes to life in their home. Texture, scale, and color all play a strong role in all of my rooms, and work together to ensure each home is unique. I pride myself in finding interesting objects and art. I also custom-design pieces so that they’re special to each of the homes I work on.

On your website, you mention that every project is a creative collaboration between your design team and the client. Tell us more about the process of aligning a client’s vision with your own.

At the beginning of each project our team sits down with our clients and asks them about the way they live, the way they want their house to function, and what is important to them. We then bring them a thoughtful presentation that offers choices of layouts, furniture, and fabrics – taking into consideration their budget and making sure it aligns with their goals. Each project begins the same way, but each outcome is completely individualized; it’s very exciting work.

Where do you find inspiration?

I get to travel a great deal for my job and I am fascinated by how diverse design can be. Every place has its own signature – completely different depending on where you are in the world. I am very fortunate to work all over the country and shop everywhere I go. I am indeed a professional shopper! Inspiration finds me, sometimes in the smallest of details.

Who is your ideal client?

Someone who is excited to put their personality into their home. Someone who starts out not necessarily knowing what they want and then winds up having fun with the process.

What are a few of the exciting trends happening within your industry?

Although there are many trends, such as warm metals making a comeback, black and white is the new grey, and color is everywhere, what’s exciting is that there are no limits. Everything goes, because creativity is what’s in and that means great design goes beyond a label of traditional, transitional, or modern. You can be you.

There are many stunning transformations in the before and after section of your website. Of the projects you’ve worked on over the years, do you have a few favorites? If so, why?

Of course I have favorites, but mostly because the clients and I had so much fun working together. If you look at the before and afters, you can see how amazing it is to transform people’s spaces. If I had to pick one that stands out to me I would have to say the house in St. Thomas.

St. Thomas Residence, VI US– Great Room

The St. Thomas project was so unique.  I had the privilege of working with an incredible team that really utilized each other’s strengths to create this unbelievable home.  I also love working with young families and talking to kids about their spaces. They are so joyful, creative, and opinionated, it keeps me on my toes!


Contact Shari

Shari Pellows
Shari Pellows Interiors
Phone: +1 (617) 388-4300

Catchlight Becomes Official Painter for All Future Room to Dream Foundation Projects

As a local Newton business and community partner, we are pleased to announce that Catchlight has become the official painter for all future Room to Dream Foundation projects.

Over the past 10 years, Catchlight has worked on four charity paint projects with the foundation, and is excited to strengthen the partnership.

Last month, the Catchlight team donated their time, labor, and talents to help beautify and restore the room of a young lady who is battling an illness.

“We are proud to have worked with RTD to serve families and children in need in our greater Boston community.” – Nigel Costolloe

Lead by founder Stefan Nathanson, the RTD Foundation’s mission is to create healing environments in bedrooms for children and adolescents who are facing chronic illnesses.

“We are grateful for Catchlight’s commitment to helping us give chronically ill children in the Boston area new Rooms to Dream in!  We look forward to partnering up on many more projects to come.” – Room to Dream Foundation

Lead work area poison

Historic & Restoration Painting in New England

The antique and venerable homes of New England are beautiful to look at and the innumerable picture postcard images of the classic clapboard homes are unmistakably of a style and vernacular unique to our region.  Those of us who live in these homes are all too aware however, that their preservation and painting demand a level of expertise from a painter that far exceeds the basic knowledge required for new house painting.

From understanding how aged and brittle paint can lead to alligatoring, peeling and paint failure,  the risks of disturbing lead-based paint, to the compatibility issues of mixing oil-based and latex paints, the old house painter must be a master of many skills but more importantly, a curious and observant curator of each old house she or he is engaged with.

Paint Failure and Moisture

paint failure

Let us start with a look at the role of moisture in accelerating paint failure. Old homes sit on stone foundations and a poured cement floor; both surfaces are moisture permeable and so the basement is a damp space. Winter heating of the home draws the moisture up into the home via chimney effect, and this moisture is then pushed through the sidewalls by positive pressure.

When this moisture meets the many multiple coats of paint on original clapboards, it can lift the paint of the wood completely as the thickened coating has become impermeable. The photograph below (insert is of a Cambridge MA home, built in 1853, shows the various examples of paint failure, including this effect of peeling to bare wood due to moisture transpiration

The pervasive visible evidence of alligatored paint is also on view below.

This effect, so called because the paint takes on the texture of alligator skin, is caused by a thickened coatings inability to flex and breathe as the wood it is applied to contracts and expands with temperature and humidity fluctuates. Needless to say, this brittleness causes the coating to fracture then lift and peel. The siding pictured reveals past efforts to remove the lifting paint by manually scraping; the scraped edges of the paint have not been sanded smooth leaving a broken finish, and one more prone to additional peeling.

A common mistake we see when less experienced and informed painters work on older homes is coating incompatibility and intercoat delamination. The photograph included below shows latex paint peeling off an older oil based coating; lack of cleaning and preparation of the oil based coating has caused the latex paint to peel in sheets. Latex paint is an excellent coating and performs well in most environments, but it sticks through adhesion and so requires a clean and properly sanded or abraded surface.

Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule

Finally, per EPA regulations, any home built before 1978 is assumed to have lead paint applied to it. Lead paint is a high performing and durable finish but with a poisonous and neurologically toxic downside; proper protocols for preparation or disturbance of lead paint require licensing and strict adherence to these protocols.

Failure to budget for the added labor and complication of working with lead paint can be expensive in the former, and dangerous in the latter. The photos included here give an example of the laborious extra steps necessary to account for this risk.

Suffice it to say, repainting antique homes is not for the inexperienced painter. With appropriate observation and knowledge however, and a massive dose of patience and diligence, even the oldest and most venerable home can be carefully preserved for future owners to enjoy.

Catchlight Community Spotlight: Damianos Photography

Catchlight Painting, a local Newton business and a community partner, is excited to feature other businesses, individuals, and organizations that we find exceptional. For this month’s showcase, we are pleased to introduce Lynne Damianos.

Meet Lynne

Lynne DamianosAs the daughter of artistic parents, Lynne Damianos spent a great deal of her childhood visiting art galleries and museums. Lynne took an early interest in photography, and then one day, in a high school darkroom, that interest developed into a full-blown passion.

Ask Lynne and she’ll tell you, with youthful enthusiasm, about watching a friend turn a white piece of paper into a photographic print. There and then, Lynne was hooked by the alchemy of photography. She enrolled in photography classes, became the school yearbook photographer/editor, then headed off to the Rochester Institute of Technology to immerse herself in a photography major.

Today as the principal of Damianos Photography, Lynne produces award-winning photographs of the built environment, products, artwork and people for business.

You photograph all things relating to business including people, products, building exteriors and interior spaces. That’s a wide range of subjects! How do you approach an assignment?

It’s all about the story I need to showcase. Once I understand how an image will be used, I collaborate with my client to come up with a plan. Sometimes it’s simple, and sometimes there are many moving parts, but always it’s about the story, and what the images need to convey.

What drew you to architectural photography?

As a kid I worked for my architect father and gained a deep appreciation for the built environment. I also came to understand the difference between what an architect, general contractor, lighting designer etc. look for in photographs of the same project. When I started my business, about 3% of commercial photographers were women, so I realized being a woman might give me an edge. I lot of what I know and love comes together in the work that I do.

How did you get your start in photography as a business?

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and interned for a commercial photographer there. Some of my college friends suggested I’d find more opportunities in the Boston area.They recommended I move here, so I did. I’ve worked in photography labs, exhibit design firms, and trade-show graphics houses. This is how I learned about the back end of the industry and acquired the skills necessary to build my own business.

There are many stunning portraits of buildings on your website. The photos are taken at various times of day: full sun, as a setting sun colors the background sky, at night as indoor lighting illuminates the windows. How do you decide the ideal time of day, and best way to photograph a building?

First I find out which facades my client wants photographed then consider lighting options depending upon the direction these face. Except in mid-summer, no direct light touches the north side of a building, so north facing facades are often a good candidate for a dusk shot. If a building relates to an environment – for example a campus – we may want to show that relationship. If we want to include people, we plan around times when the space is full of life. Other times, we may need to avoid having people in the image so will plan around that.

Of the photographs you’ve taken over the years, do you have a few favorites? If so, why?

Yes. The first is a portrait I took from the roof of my high school of the entire student body – about 700 people. There had never been a photograph on the cover of our yearbook and I had to make arrangements with the scary principal to set this up. It was a neat photo and I learned how important successful project management is.

MIT's Simmons Hall designed by Steven Holl Architects
The second is an image that took a great deal of effort. I’d taken a photo of the Bose Headquarters at dusk, then Fujifilm asked me to re-create the image using another type of film that the company was promoting. Just think about trying to recreate the same sunset, and remember this was film, so no touch ups! I had to go back every day for two weeks to recapture that image.

The third is a detail shot taken at MIT’s Simmons Hall. It’s so abstract that many people can’t figure out what it is. They love it anyway, and I love that!

For me it’s exciting to create a WOW image that will get my client noticed. An image succeeds when it combines storytelling, composition and lighting in just the right way.

Which photographers have influenced your work, and in what ways has photography changed since you became a professional photographer?

Before completely switching to digital in 2006, I took pictures using a 4×5” view camera – manual exposure, no battery, film. Ansel Adams produced much of his work using view cameras. Among others, Adams influenced my early work.

Now digital photography and electronic delivery have replaced film and darkroom printing. Once you cross the technology divide and understand it, new possibilities open. Working on location takes less time now, and there’s not as much heavy equipment to lug around. On the other hand, I spend more time at a computer making adjustments to images. Being able to color calibrate cameras, monitors and printers does make it easier overall to achieve accurate and pleasing results.

You teach work-groups and private classes. Do you enjoy teaching?

At one point I ceased working for a Boston area photography firm and needed to honor a non-compete agreement. Previously, while a student at RIT, I’d been a teaching assistant at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and LOVED it. Returning to teaching felt natural, plus I realized that teaching could be a good way to diversity my business while keeping me at the top of my game. I’ve been a faculty member at various schools in the area. Many people are afraid to use their digital cameras and I love helping people get over that so they can enjoy being creative.

Why should a businesses invest in professional photography?

Many businesses use images on their website that don’t tell the story they seek to convey, or fail to reflect the quality of what they do. Photographs (not text) are typically the first thing a customer notices on a website. In an instant, a person will make a decision based on what they see, so it makes a poor impression when they see images that are too dark, too light, have bad color, or a perspective that is somehow out-of-whack.

Sometimes hiring a student or doing your own photography works out, but collaborating with a professional is typically a great investment. You’ll get the result you need and will usually save time as well. As a professional photographer, I’ve developed a keen eye. I see things in a way that is deeply informed by years of training and experience.

Lynne Damianos has a marvelous ability to capture her subject – whether a person, item or building – in a way that feels natural, engaging, and dynamic. She produces beautiful images, is a gifted visual artist, and delightful to work with.

Contact Lynne

Lynne Damianos
Damianos Photography
The Saxonville Mills (as of 12/5/16)
1630 Concord Street
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: (508) 872-4880
Website: Damianos Photography

Corporate Member Spotlight: Catchlight Painting—Tradecraft as Soulcraft

Catchlight Painting featured in Historic Newton

This article is fully reproduced below:

“The word ‘catchlight’…refers to the little speck of light that you’ll see painters paint in…[to] alight a person’s eyes,” explains Deborah Costolloe of Newton-based Catchlight Painting. “If an eye is painted or photographed without a catchlight,” Deborah adds, “it tends to seem lifeless it’s the catchlight that brings it to life.”

From this term, the residential painting company derives its name, one that speaks to deeply human values.

Meet Nigel Costolloe

Nigel CostolloeNigel Costolloe, owner of Catchlight Painting, entered the painting profession by happenstance. To pay for graduate studies in political science, he joined a painting crew. Nigel quickly developed mastery while also becoming deeply interested in the business itself. In a way,it was like the wand choosing the wizard in Harry Potter,something natural and right,and where Nigel belonged.

Nigel, who has family roots in England and Australia, had a unique upbringing, much of it hopping around South Pacific islands for his father’s business accounting work. Later, he attended an English boarding school before earning a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies. His business education quickened in California’s residential painting industry, one he found “a little like the old Wild West largely unregulated” and filled with “station wagon bandits” camped outside of paint stores. In this freewheeling world, rock bottom pricing did not have to account for workers’ compensation or other employee benefits.

We Invest in Our Employees to Make Them Better, Smarter Painters

DSC01523-300x200In contrast, Nigel founded Catchlight in 1994 as a company that strives for excellence. For employees,the company matches retirement contributions, provides maternity and paternity leave, offers health insurance and extends interest-free loans for special events or unexpected medical expenses. Additionally, Catchlight gives its employees $3,000 to learn a skill in any area whatsoever during the slow winter season.

It could be, for instance, knitting or it could be carpentry truly whatever an employee wants to study.

Catchlight, which has developed an expertise in historic home restoration, also pays for its employees to attend training workshops. This “a significant expense,” Nigel told inPaint magazine, “but it sends all employees a message: we expect them to be learning constantly, and will invest in them to make them better, smarter painters.” Not surprisingly, Catchlight has foremen who have been with the company over a decade.

“We are really generous with our employees,” explains Deborah, “because we want [our teams] to go into someone’s house and treat it like their own and do their very best work, and we model that level of respect.”

Trust Is a Core Company Value

With trust as a core company value, the Costolloes place critical importance on hiring. “We hire carefully and for attitude,” Nigel comments, adding that they also do reference and background checks. These are employees who care about the clients. Team member shave “deliver[ed] flowers when a project is completed (or an aged whiskey on occasion),” Nigel says, and “they’ve raked leaves, shoveled driveways and brought in the garbage cans” as appreciation of the customer’s trust.

helping_handsCatchlight also places community service as a core value. In 2012, when Nigel was president the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America’s New England Chapter, he organized a 30-person team of painters from companies, including Catchlight, to paint the offices of Helping Hands, a nonprofit that provides monkeys to assist the disabled. With $3,000 of donated paint and their $20,000 of donated labor, the painters transformed the space.

More recently, the philanthropic company painted spaces for Heading Home, which provides shelter and transitional housing for the homeless, and for Newton-based Second Step, which offers supports services and transitional housing for domestic violence survivors. In 2008, Catchlight painted the Jackson Homestead reception area as a donation, and in 2015, it joined at the entrepreneur level our corporate membership program, which provides critical support for Historic Newton’s operations and public programs.

Nigel, Deborah & Reciepient

Nigel tied together his interest in entrepreneurship, community service and education when Catchlight launched its Youth Entrepreneur Sponsorship (Y.E.S!) Award. The award provides an aspiring entrepreneur from the ages of 15 to 20 funding of $200 to $1,000 to start a business. The inaugural 2016 award went to 19-year-old Lydia Jing, whose business supports high school students applying to college. “Everyone starts somewhere,” the company’s website says about the Y.E.S! award, proudly adding Catchlight “began with one person, one paint brush and the desire to grow an exceptional company.” To quote Aristotle, “these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions.”

Read the original spotlight published on here (page 15).

Catchlight Community Spotlight: Christie Dustman & Company

As a local Newton business and community partner, we are excited to feature and support other local businesses, individuals and organizations that we find exceptional. For this month’s showcase, we are pleased to introduce Christie Dustman.

Meet Christie

Christie_DustmanChristie Dustman is a lifelong gardener whose love of plants, people and outdoor spaces impacts everything her green thumbs touch. The artistry and expertise Christie brings to garden design, installation and maintenance is truly extraordinary. Yet what truly sets Christie’s work apart is her ability to design garden areas that are uniquely responsive to her client’s taste and the specific characteristics of their space. Her award winning work has earned national recognition, been featured in published articles and proudly included in local area garden tours.

Tell us a little bit about yourself? When did you develop a passion for gardening? How did you get your start?

I grew up on 6 acres of land near the Erie Canal in upstate NY. Both of my parents were raised in Western NY farm country; Our family garden had vegetables, fruit and an orchard. As a kid, I was roped into helping with the garden, particularly picking veggies and raspberries. I really disliked the bug aspect of gardening and got eaten alive by mosquitoes. My parents enjoyed seeing how people work the land so often took us to see historic houses and botanical gardens. I grew up visiting cultivated outdoor spaces rather than beaches or big state parks.

Seeing historic homes and gardens taught me the impact people can have on the way outdoor spaces appear and function. In addition, my dad had a particular fascination with tools and how things get done, so I was also exposed to the elegant and intentional execution of ideas – for example in house building and in the Shaker vision of furniture design – simple yet elegant and functional.

I didn’t get back on the plant track until I moved to Somerville, MA in my early 20’s. My parents planned a visit and suddenly, out of nowhere, I panicked because my neighborhood lacked anything green – NO gardens. Now, why did that realization spark a reaction? I don’t know. But I started to plant a garden where I lived and, as I did, all that I’d been exposed to as a kid came rushing back. I started remembering plants and gardening activities from the point of view of wanting to do these activities myself. At age 27, I bought my first house so I could begin transforming my own outdoor garden space.

I designed this first home garden with intention and thoughtful elegance. I experimented in creating outdoor rooms, and with different types of plants. I also began taking classes at the Arnold Arboretum and in 1997 I attended my first national meeting of the American Conifer Society in Chicago, IL. My parents attended the conference as well and we met a whole new crowd of people there – people who were passionate about plants, particularly conifers. It was at this conference while visiting botanical gardens (again!) that I had a brainstorm: why not change my avocation into my vocation? Was this possible?

That year I entered a Landscape Design Certificate program at Harvard, and in the spring of 1998, I began working with my very first clients. Thus my business was born and quickly fueled by my own deeply rooted passion and early success. Nearly 20 years in, I continue to live and breathe plants. I still think about how to “get things done” in an elegant and functional way, and I have developed a resonance with plants much like I feel for other living creatures. I feel for and about plants and aim to give them and their “people” a good life.

People may be under the impression that landscape design services are prohibitively expensive. What can you share about the costs associated with the work you do?

We start with a consultations or brainstorming session – what we call a Design Assessment meeting. This is an on-site meeting  to consider what is there now, what can stay, what should change, what problems need to be solved and goals. We charge $165 for this initial session. Depending on the scale of the project, design assessment and planning can take a couple of hours to several dozen. Both result in a written proposal.

Our business model is to be fully present during this initial meeting and to freely explore and call out whatever ideas arise. Our client gets an opportunity to see how we listen, think and  problem-solve as so much of garden design actually involves problem solving, with beauty on top. This first meeting typically focuses on the distinct challenges that every project and client face. Even clients who don’t choose to proceed find that they have gained much greater clarity and direction in thinking about their outdoor space.  Our clients feel heard, and most get genuinely excited as we explore possibilities together.

Design plans for garden spaces, like architectural plans for indoor spaces, evolve. Ultimately project cost is dependent on project scope. We bill $125/hour for our design and consultation work. Once a comprehensive plan has been reached, accurate installation pricing follows. Of course we prioritize working within each client’s budget.

What I can say about planning expenditures is that I have never heard a client lament “this is too well planned”. On the flip side, I have seen many projects that weren’t well planned initially or didn’t function as desired so require retrofitting at additional expense. Like the adage – “A stitch in time saves nine”.

What type/amount of space is needed to create a satisfying garden?

There is no minimum size for a satisfying outdoor space. I don’t think of it this way as a space is what it is – generally defined by property lines. Our creative work happens inside this “box” with the same fundamental design considerations applied to spaces both large and small. For a very small space, the goal may be to feel refreshed by the view into it. It could be that a space is just large enough for one chair or bistro table. I enjoy designing tiny patio spaces able to accommodate just a few planters as well as large scale landscapes.

View more of Christie’s work here.
All spaces must be considered with what is practical and possible in mind so that each space feels effortless rather than forced. Large spaces bring distinct challenges, for example, how to make them cozy and comfortable while keeping their expansive feel. For any size garden, there is the possibly of “borrowing” views and a sense of space from adjacent areas – seeing into the neighboring yard with big trees, or further off into the distance. A good design makes sure to take all parts of the workable space as well as its broader context into consideration.

Contact Christie

Christie Dustman & Company, Inc.
8 A Street
Hyde Park, MA 02136
(617) 327-0330

Y.E.S! Winner Announcement 2016

New YES Image

We are delighted to announce the 2016 recipient of Catchlight’s first Y.E.S! award: 19-year-old Lydia Jing. Congratulations Lydia!!

2016 Y.E.S! award winner with Deborah & Nigel Costolloe

2016 Y.E.S! Award Winner with Deborah & Nigel Costolloe

Lydia provides engaging screen-free babysitting, tutoring services, and peer mentoring to high school juniors & seniors engaged in the college selection & application process. We are excited to help Lydia develop her dream business and connect with parents and kids seeking to work with a delightfully creative, outgoing and experienced individual. Stay tuned as we track Lydia’s progress.

If you know a motivated 15-20-year-old interested in starting a business of their own, be sure to watch for Catchlight Painting’s January 2017 call for sponsorship applicants. Lydia sought help to develop her business objectives and funding to purchase supplies and create a website, currently under construction. We look forward to hearing from next year’s Y.E.S! applicants and funding future young entrepreneurs!

Importance of Lead Paint Safety

6 Osborne

I am a huge fan of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and when his April 17, 2016 broadcast was about the dangers of lead it got me to thinking about how my coworkers, those fantastic men and women working as painters here at Catchlight Painting, work to make everything safer.

Just over 3 minutes into John Oliver’s story, Elizabeth McDade of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning made the statement that really caught my attention. “Kid’s are not going to get poisoned from a water fountain at their school. They’re not. They’re going to get poisoned from paint in their homes.”

The rest of the story primarily discussed the current problems with lead in paint where abatement is under discussion and may lead folks to believe that abatement is the only way to protect you and your children from lead. But when you have your home painted, the lead dust can be contained.

If you have lead paint in your home, our painters are certified in Lead Paint safety protocols and trained to keep any disturbance caused by painting in a home with lead paint safe for themselves and for you and your family.

Visit our Lead Paint Safety page for more information about the EPA and Massachusetts regulations regarding lead and what you should expect from your contractors and visit our exterior historic home restoration to see how we handled a project where lead paint was present. And if you are interested in video showing the tools we use at work, watch our foreman Cole and Peter Lawson of LeadSMART in the LeadSMART Festool Throwdown showing the efficiency of the HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner we use on our painting projects.

If you are having renovation work done in your home and it was built before 1978, don’t forget to ask your contractors how they handle lead. It is a question well worth asking, each and every time.

Boston’s Best Painters Give Back, Again and Again…

I’ve been working through a trenchant biography of Winston Churchill for some months now, The Last Lion, and continue to be impressed by his fortitude and perseverance during the harrowing experience of the London blitz of WWII. Recently I heard a quote that was attributed to him “we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”. Pithy, memorable, brief, and resonant. But stylistically it doesn’t gel with his oratorical flourishes – a quick online search discounts this attribution but offers the following Churchillian pronouncement;
“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.”

This is more this style!

But what is the point of this blog, you ask? Isn’t Catchlight a painting company?

We are indeed, but we are human beings first, and nobility is our aspiration! We count ourselves fortunate to live where and how we do, working for our lovely customers in this bustling, innovative and remarkable area.

Each year we find opportunities to give back to our community and after starting with our first charity project at the Bethany House in Boston last January, we concluded 2015 by donating hundreds of hours to two organizations that provide shelter to the homeless and to families escaping domestic violence. The tight confines of these shelters did not provide great photographic illustration so we’ll settle for the group shot below;

DSC01523-300x200Kudos and appreciation to the fine people at Heading Home Inc., who work tirelessly to find housing for the homeless and in the meantime provide them with room and board at discrete properties located all over greater Boston. And our thanks to Greg Hadden of Benjamin Moore and Josh Johnson of Johnson Paint for donating the large amount of materials needed!

In 2016 we are choosing to focus our giving on The Second Step here in Newton.

They are a Newton-based and founded charity providing long term shelter to families escaping domestic violence. We kicked off our giving before Xmas with over 110 hours of painting labor and look forward to helping them refresh their shelters throughout the rest of the year. Our thanks to Sherwin Williams for donating all paint and materials!

DSC01517-300x200We hope our efforts go some way to brightening the the prospects of the Second Step families.

Some Thanksgiving Thank Yous

Two delightful and gratifying testimonials are below, both unsolicited, from two very different projects.

The first comes from the remarkable interior designer Kelly Rogers who has been managing the multiple responsibilities of running a business, raising small children, managing her Newton household all the while entering a high pressure design competition.

She writes extensively about this competition and her latest achievement here;
One Room Challenge – Week 6: Manbrary Reveal
and took the time to generously salute the good work or our foreman Scott Walsh, here;

Key Partners

  • Painting:Catchlight Painting (special shout-out to these guys, who are total pros and were extremely flexible and worked hard until the job was completed perfectly – can’t say enough about their skill and precision with a fussy product, and willingness to go above and beyond, including helping me move the ridiculously heavy and awkward desk back into the room)

The second testimonial comes from Julie, a Cambridge client with a much simpler, one day project;

To Nigel, Dan, and Alex,

I am writing this email to express my gratitude for your services.

After many years of wishing for children and a happy home to raise them in, I was blessed with twin boys. I next dreamed of the beautiful space I was going to create and provide them with in our home. A small space in our small home filled with love in this great big world. I picked a color for the walls and began coordinating pieces. I painted at night by work lamps while the boys slept. I hated the color. Tears and another trip to Home Depot for a lighter color. Three nights later, I was frustrated with my sloppy work and inability to cover the old color. I needed a professional.

The next morning, in haste and desperation to make the nursery functional again, I hired the first painter to return my call. He was to begin the next morning. He never showed.
That afternoon (after waiting all morning for the no show painter) I took the boys for a walk. I noticed one of your work vans in our neighborhood. Once we were home and the boys were settled, I called your company again. A woman answered the phone and assessed my needs. She directed me to Dan who promptly scheduled a painter to arrive at our home the following morning. I immediately felt relief knowing that someone was going to show up and get me out of this mess.
Alex showed up the next morning and was ready to go. He worked quietly and diligently, fixing my mistakes and helping me to give my new babies a room of their own.
I’m am now in the process of arranging their beautiful things and am looking forward to the moments and memories that will happen here.

Thank you again,

Julie (& Ryan & Evan)

Needless to say, we’re delighted to receive and read such praise. Painting is after all, a combination of the pragmatic and aesthetic; no one cares too much about the back end; sanding, caulking, spackling, etc, but everyone, including us, loves the end result of a room transformed. We’re so pleased when our own passion for painting is appreciated and acknowledged by our customers!