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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

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O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


Filtering by Tag: color

Bobby O’s Five Favorite Exterior Home Design Trends That Are Here to Stay

Chelsea O'Donnell

Trends come and go but some things remain timeless, especially when it comes to your home. Keeping a house up to date is important, but going to the extreme in design can be an exhaustive and expensive process. So to help you stay current without breaking the bank, I have rounded up my favorite trends that have been around for a few years and show no signs of letting up anytime soon. Let’s check them out:

Using Different Textures

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing that will continue is the use of several different exterior finishes to give a home some uniqueness and personality. Gone are the days of solid colors - many homeowners are now choosing to upgrade to a look that combines traditional cladding with lap siding, vertical panels, cedar shakes, and stone and brick accents. This is a great way to give a home a modern look while sticking with a more neutral color palette.  

Dark Exteriors and White Trim

I would have never had a request for a black house five years ago, but recently darker colors are beginning to become more and more popular. Charcoal, blue-grey, and navy exteriors can look sophisticated and modern, especially when paired with white or light trim and a brightly colored door. Keep in mind that dark homes tend to work best on a lot that gets plenty of sunshine.

Incorporating Natural Materials

Even the most modern homes are embracing their natural environment. Vinyl siding manufacturers continue to get more creative every year, creating products that mimic well-worn barn wood or incorporate more natural textures. It’s also easier to get stone or brick incorporated into your home as well as thinner, lighter, cheaper veneers are beginning to dominate the market. With a myriad of colors to choose from, natural materials add great character to any size or type of home with a look that’s timeless and elegant.

Minimalist Doors

In years past, extravagant entry doors were all the rage. With glass paneling and intricate design, they set a home up for quite the entrance. Today, styles are more simplistic with homeowners favoring barn style and minimalist looks with heavy, statement handles and knockers as well as keyless entry. Glass will continue to be popular but clean lines will be more on trend than elaborate cuts.

Multi-Use Yards

Expansive lawns have become less popular in recent years, especially after long bouts without rain in years past. Drought resistant plantings have taken over as more and more homeowners are now looking for ways to beautify their homes in a way that’s good for the environment and easy to maintain. Using fencing and natural elements to section off a yard and create more functional, multi-use spaces will continue to be a popular trend in landscaping too.

Bob O'Donnell is the owner of O'Donnell Bros, Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions for Bob to with the subject line “Ask the Pro”. All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O'Donnell Bros, Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.

Enjoy Autumn Colors for Longer with These Vibrant Plant Picks

Chelsea O'Donnell

If I had to rank household tasks from easy to downright dreadful, raking leaves would be near the top of my pain in the "you know what" project list. But as much as I cower at the thought of autumn clean up, I must say that the beautiful display of colors from the trees makes this seasonal task just a little bit more palatable. If only those changing leaves would stay on the trees just a little while longer! 

This got me thinking, what if we could enjoy the beautiful colors of fall for more time during the year with less raking and maintenance? With that being said, I have put together a list of my favorite plants and shrubs that offer the look and feel of autumn from spring to the first snow. 

Japanese Maple

This is one of my favorites for its vibrant red leaves that stay bright for three seasons of the year. The Japanese maple is a smaller tree, growing between two and 30 feet tall depending on the variety, but it requires a low level of maintenance (preferring full sun to partial shade) and adds a lot of color to any property.  


This tree blooms early in the spring with bright pink and purple flowers and then transforms through the summer with the appearance of green, tulip-shaped leaves. In the autumn, the leaves turn a nice golden color, making it a real horticultural chameleon with a lot of personality. The tree, which can grow to around 30 feet, even produces bold buds on its trunk and structural branches.

Witch Hazel

My daughter tells me that this shrub is dual functioning as the bark from its stems and roots are extracted and distilled into many popular natural facial toners. But besides its skincare benefits, witch hazel also offers dazzling yellow leaves and flowers that produce a pleasingly spicy scent from October through December.

Burning Bush

With a name like that, you won’t be surprised to find this flowering plant sprouting with fire red leaves that will add a real pop of color to your shrubbery from spring to fall. A word to the wise on this one though – its aggressive growth tendencies actually put it on the list of prohibited plants in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, so you’ll want to keep it well contained.


This one is my wife’s favorite. You might see kale popping up on menus in restaurants all over town, but the vegetable also looks great in the garden and can be used to add loads of color to pots, on porches, and anywhere else around the yard. Kale is one of many cousins in the cabbage family and its green, white and purple leaves have serious staying power – even peeking through after the first winter frost.

This variety of plants, trees and shrubs is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of keeping fall colors in your yard all year long. What are your favorite autumn-hued plant picks? I'd love to hear from you. Drop me an email or send me a message on Facebook at

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.