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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
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8605895155

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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Articles

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

 

Filtering by Tag: relax

Kick Up Your Hammock Game for Summer Relaxation

Chelsea O'Donnell

This week’s oppressive heat had me daydreaming about relaxing in the cool shade in the comfort of my backyard hammock. If you’re a hammock fan, you know how wonderful it feels to swing freely, dozing effortlessly in the quiet comfort of nature. If a hammock isn’t your bag, it can only be that you haven’t found the perfect one to enjoy. So this week, in the spirit of the last month of summer, I’ve pulled together a guide of my favorite hammocks for every occasion to inspire readers to slow down and relax. 

For the Traditionalist

If you love the look of a classic rope hammock, you can’t go past Pawleys Island. Made in the USA, these hammocks are generous in size and come in a whole bunch of colors in case white isn’t your thing or if you’re worried about it getting dirty. $169. https://pawleysislandhammocks.com

For the Lovebirds

If you’re looking for comfort for two, the Hammock Sky Brazilian Double is a great pick for around the yard. Its solid canvas makeup goes with any decor and is 60 inches wide, making it big enough to easily accommodate two adults. I also love the lifetime warranty in case something goes awry. $50. www.amazon.com

For Serious Comfort

Hammock loyalists know that Hatteras is one of the best brands out there and their pillowtop line might just beat out your bed in terms of comfort. These hammocks look great on a stand by the pool, but I have to warn you, you may never want to leave it. Keep your barbecue close. From $349. https://hatterashammocks.com/products/hammocks/pillowtop

For On-The-Go

Hikers and campers love the Hummingbird which is light, tiny, and easy to hang almost anywhere. For the size of a coffee cup, you won’t believe that this thing holds 300 plus pounds, making it the perfect pack-along hammock for a day trip in the woods. $64. https://hummingbirdhammocks.com/

For Mosquito-Free Comfort

There is nothing worse than climbing into your hammock for a late afternoon snooze when mosquitoes start to attack. This is where G4Free comes in. With their built-in mosquito net, you can enjoy all the comforts of the great outdoors without the pesky bug bites. $28. http://www.g4free.com

For Sunny Spots

Hammocks get faded from too much sun exposure and mold is often an issue too. For a hammock that needs to withstand the elements, the Vivere Sunbrella is worth checking out. Sunbrella material reflects UV rays and is mildew and stain-resistant too. $179. https://www.vivereltd.com/18/brazilian-sunbrella-hammock-double

For Sitting Upright

Lay down hammocks are fantastic for snoozing, but reading the newspaper or even enjoying a cocktail can be a challenge. The Y-Stop Hammock Chair looks and feels like a traditional hammock but its upright design makes it ideal for mornings with your coffee and paper. $45. www.amazon.com

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 info@odonnellbros.com 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 http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.



The Perfect Day Trip for Lovers of Craftsmanship

Chelsea O'Donnell

I talk a lot of about weekend do-it-yourself projects in this column, but what good is summer if you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to relax and enjoy all that Connecticut has to offer?

This past weekend, a friend introduced me to a spot to do just that. Just 30 minutes away lies Topsmead State Forest which just so happens to be a dream destination for people like me who love to enjoy nature while exploring exactly what makes a house a home.

Topsmead State Forest is comprised of the estate and surrounding land once owned by Ms. Edith Chase, heiress to the Waterbury-based Chase Brass and Copper Company. Ms. Chase came upon the land by inheritance and decided to build a summer retreat for herself in 1923. She hired New York City architect Richard Henry Dana, Jr. to help her create the home of her dreams which to this day sits perched high on top of fields that stretch as far as you can see.

It is becoming exceedingly rare to see a house that looks like it was built to last for generations, but Ms. Chase’s English Tudor is one of them. The exterior of the home is stucco and brick, with woodwork made from cypress beams that while weathered with time, have not lost any of their original beauty. The roof is comprised of thick cut slate that still looks stately and has apparently kept the home well protected after more than 90 years of Connecticut winters. It’s hard to walk around and not admire the craftsmanship of the home, and the more than 500 acres that surround it.

The home is only available for tours on certain weekends in the warmer months, but picnics are allowed on the grounds any time from dusk til dawn. Visiting the house is free and you can bring food and drinks to enjoy on the tables scattered amongst the trees. The small gardens are filled with dozens of flowers, much to the delight of local butterflies, and there are many spots to enjoy a quiet few hours of reading or taking in the surrounds, which is exactly what Ms. Chase intended the estate to be used for.

When she passed away in 1972, Ms. Chase bequeathed her property to the people of Connecticut, leaving behind a substantial endowment to ensure it could be looked after for generations to come. Even on a picture perfect Sunday visit, only a dozen cars could be found in the parking lot and the visitors we came across smiled with polite nods while in search of their own little piece of heaven to soak up the sunshine.

With only a few weekends left of the summer, I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself and enjoy a little bit of history right here in our own backyard. Just be sure to bring a picnic and prepare to be enchanted. For more information on Topsmead State Forest, visit the website at http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/topsmead-state-forest.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to info@odonnellbros.com 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 http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.