Perhaps you haven’t heard of the hole-in-the-wall syndrome (?). Quite likely, as we coined this phrase for projects we see as typical in late fall. You’ll understand the meaning in a minute.

It all starts with people in the north country realizing that there isn’t much time to get their homes in order before the snow falls and temperatures dip. We rush to do the final outdoor cleanup and put away equipment and patio furniture. Then, we prep the winter snow removal equipment and bring out the toys that make winter fun.

We see the panic set in when our clients start thinking about the indoor projects that have been neglected. Who has the time? And, who has the inclination to get on a ladder to manage repairs or paint? We know that some people love this type of work and relish the opportunity when the summer fun comes to an end, and we applaud you.

We also know that winter takes on a much sweeter tone when you have surroundings that warm the soul. If you’re dreading that cooped-up feeling and prefer a warm, cozy vision of reading a book or sitting by the fireplace, look around and imagine your view with warmer paint colors that will bring joy into your life.

Ready to make space for inviting family over to watch football or enjoy a good meal? Changing the configuration of your kitchen, possibly removing a wall or a few cupboards, can open up the area. Kitchen updates often take priority since we spend more time there when the weather turns colder. We can almost smell the deliciousness!

You can freshen up your colors or take on that ceiling project. Now’s the time to fix the stains or remove the “popcorn” ceiling texture in favor of a smooth or textured ceiling. Perhaps you’d like to choose a complementary color for the ceilings. It makes a pleasing impact! For your home office or study spaces, a fresh coat of paint can make your world brighter.

So, where did we get the hole-in-the-wall term? One of our favorite stories—and an example of what happens when we’re all so busy—is that of our client who was getting ready to move. It was all happening very fast, and she wanted the home to be perfect for the new owners. Personal items were being packed and all the nooks and crannies were cleaned.

Then, an unpleasant thought hit. She had forgotten about the garage wall. The garage was not very deep, and, as she drove in, she purposely hit the wall with the car—every day—to make sure she had the two inches of space behind the car. Now, there were some generous cracks and a conspicuous hole as you drove into the garage. How to fix it when the clock is ticking, and you need to move?!

Yes, we received the call for help. Our client knew she didn’t have the time, tools or skills to fix this faux pas. While she was out of town preparing her new home, she loved the photos we sent her: removing the damaged Sheetrock, squaring it up with insulation in full view, installing the new Sheetrock, taping and mudding, second coat of drywall compound, sanding and two coats of paint. We expertly patched and painted the area in time for the new owners to be impressed by the home—and the condition of the garage walls. Incredibly satisfying!

You too can avoid the last-minute, hole-in-the-wall syndrome by setting your goals and working toward completion. Whether your project is a large makeover or a small hole-in-the-wall job, we are cheering you on and wishing you a beautifully pleasing oasis. And we’re always happy to help if you’d favor a rescue team!

We love helping people find and enjoy fresh colors, a new ceiling finish or a smooth wall. Give us a call at (651) 765-0600 if you need help and inspiration. If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with a friend who might also need a little inspiration to tackle their own to-do list. Thank you!

Alpha Omega Decorating

Alpha Omega Decorating
(651) 765-0600
Serving the Twin Cities Metro

What a beautiful time of year in Minnesota! The feeling of happiness seems to travel with the fresh air. If you’re like us, you are enjoying the initial wave of color as autumn makes its entrance. Honestly, it just makes you smile to be outside—to view a magnificent tree in all its glory or a single scarlet bush sparkling in the sun. Or maybe your favorite is the blue sky, amazing sunset or the water lapping gently on the shore.

Perhaps this year, we have double appreciation for nature and all its beauty after spending more time under covid restrictions. Whatever the reasons, we’re grateful to be living and working in such a gorgeous environment. As painters, we’ve spent a lot of time outdoors working on exterior updates that make people feel happy about their home and its curb appeal.

This time of year, we start hearing more about homeowners’ visions for the interior of their home. And often, it’s the color that gets people excited—just like it does outdoors. Color has an incredible effect on your mood and motivation. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to change your surroundings and upgrade your outlook.

With fall colors adding cheer to our daily routines, we find many people wanting to bring some of that nature-inspired goodness inside. Color choices are plentiful—rich with the warmth of the sun and as generous as the vibrant shades of the season. Whether you like the earthy, natural tones or the crisp, brighter hues, there’s a color for you.

Here’s a taste of some of this season’s favorites: Sea Salt, Amazing Gray and Divine White, also Latte, Reflection and Drift of Mist. There’s also Gingery, Fine Wine and Aurora Brown. Or, you might like Acacia Haze, Kingdom Gold or Eider White. And, there’s Butter Up, Enigma and Whitetail. Or how about Rockwood Amber, Dancing Green or Red Cent? Or, you could opt for Spiced Cider, Wickerwork or Mountain Stream.

Choices, and more choices. Combine them and enjoy them! It does make you wonder who creates the names for all these delightful colors.

While you’re taking steps a little slower to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds us, you just might want to create some of that comforting relaxation for yourself and your family. Making changes in paint colors can make your rooms feel new, fresh and splendid enough for a staycation or a work-at-home oasis.

As the breezes get cooler, you might feel like curling up with a good book or a feel-good movie. With new, calming colors, you’ll be able to do just that. Smile and take a deep breath. Feel grateful. It’s the season to slow down a little, take some time for yourself and count your blessings.

Paint can work wonders for your disposition and your stress levels. It can also energize you. It all depends on the room—and you get to choose! Many people have an affinity for certain color palettes and have no trouble deciding. Others need another set of eyes, and we are happy to provide that guidance for our customers with a free color consultation.

With our years of experience, it’s sometimes easier for us to visualize colors that will work well with your décor and the purpose of the room. Give us a call at (651) 765-0600 if you need help and inspiration. We’re here for you. In either case, enjoy your fresh, new colors and all the abundance they provide for your life.

We’re wishing you a beautiful, color-pleasing start to each day. If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with a friend who might also need a nudge to paint their world with colorful goodness!

Alpha Omega Decorating

Alpha Omega Decorating
(651) 765-0600
Serving the Twin Cities Metro

We’ve seen so many people making necessary changes because of the pandemic. Many have been homeschooling and needed extra space for studying. Some have also been working from home and needed a quiet area; and others needed a retreat to get away from it all. In most instances, there just wasn’t enough room to go around, and the garage starting to look like prime real estate. 

Fortunately, your garage can offer some very usable space which can no longer be ignored. In this blog, we’ll offer some ideas that have worked for our customers and may be of interest to you as well. 

Visualizing the garage as part of the home

When homeowners searched for more usable space, the garage offered an undeniable opportunity. There was no need to build an addition or give up precious living space in the home. In many cases, changing the garage usage had more pros than cons, and was generally an easy, affordable modification.

There were some considerations such as space, lighting, heat and air conditioning. For some homeowners, there was more than adequate space which could be transformed into a great setting for an office, recreation or entertainment center. If lighting was inadequate, it could be easily upgraded. Some garages in the north country are already heated, so there’s no problem there. For unheated garages, temporary heat could be added. Fans or window air conditioning units could be used in the warmer months.

Getting beyond those basic hurdles, the garage started looking even more appealing. Our customers knew the basics of what they would need for an office or entertaining space to meet covid standards. We were able to help our customers visualize the transformation and, suddenly, we could see genuine smiles with some of the stress dissipating. 

Preparing a garage to enhance your living space

Some garages have walls and ceilings that are already finished. In these cases, we clean, prep and paint the walls in a color or color combination that will lend joy to the area. You could do this too. Many of you will already know which colors make you happy and add an uplifting source of serenity. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to imagine what it will look like, especially with the lighting. For our clients who need help bringing it all together, we offer free color consultations.

Many garages have not yet been finished, and these projects can be completed quickly and affordably. Most often, we see garages that have sheetrock on the walls and fire tape over the joint seams. The fire-tape only situation indicates that it is fire-resistant and meets the minimum standard requirements. This fire-resistant feature helps slow down a fire and is therefore required by most inspectors. 

To finish the fire-taped walls and make them “paint ready,” we apply two or three more coats of drywall compound (mud) on all the screw-heads and seams. Quite often, the paper-tape may need to be cut out and replaced (depending on the age of the taping). 

As professional painters, we are well aware that sheetrock yellows over time. For that reason, we often apply a sealer prior to painting to help with any staining bleed-through. We can finish the taping and mudding, and sand it to bring it to a paint-ready condition and, of course, for those who need it, we can also paint the walls. Ceilings can be managed in the same manner if desired.

Repurposed garages that bring peace of mind

We’ve seen lovely results when turning a garage into a much-needed office space. We talk with the homeowner to understand what is needed and help them configure the space to a bright, quiet setting where work gets done. If lighting and electrical outlets need to be upgraded, we partner with an electrician who can make this happen quickly. It’s amazing how rapidly you can be back in business with a few minor upgrades in the garage.

Another favorite for our customers has been the retreat or entertainment hub. The pandemic has made it a bit more challenging to get together with neighbors, extended family and friends. We’ve seen garages step up to meet this need in fashion. It was a great time to clean the garage and donate items no longer in use. Then, it was definitely time to prepare a cheery space for distance seating, games, meals and fun conversations. 

If you have time and inclination for projects like this, we hope you have fun with it and enjoy the results! Or, if you need help with your project, we can finish, prep and paint your garage quickly and professionally, so you’ll have a clean, fresh space that will help you cope with this covid season and beyond. We’ve seen many configurations and can help you with ideas if you’re not sure how to best use your garage to reduce the stress and increase the joy. 

We hope this blog has helped you envision something wonderful for your garage space. Feel free to share this article with friends who might also like some inspiration. Be well! Be happy!

Alpha Omega Decorating

Alpha Omega Decorating
(651) 765-0600
Serving the Twin Cities Metro