Come See Us March 18 at the Mercer Greenfest!

Bring your kids and learn about how to care for your local ecosystem! Learn who and what is eco-friendly — and where you can shop local to make a difference.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

11 am – 4 pm

Rider University Student Recreation Center

2083 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ

For more info, visit

Please stop by and say hi!
Here is our pic from last year — Jonathan Shenk, owner, and son, Gabriel Yoder Shenk.

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DIY Staging Your Home for the Spring Market

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Make Your House a Realtor’s Dream By Following These Low-Cost DIY Tips!

First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your home. Do these minor repairs and improvements and make a world of difference!

1.  Paint your front door and trim for a great first impression. An accent color can make a big splash!
2.  Paint one accent wall in a room that needs some personality.
3.  Caulk and grout your bathroom where needed.
4.  Replace any rusted or worn light fixtures or fans.

5.  Upgrade light switch plates, doorknobs or other hardware that shows wear.

Green tip: re-using is recycling! Donate your household items. The Vietnam Veterans of American offer curb-side pick-up. Call 1-800-775-VETS or visit

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Add space and beauty simply by following these three rules:spring flowers 2
1.  Declutter by putting mail in an attractive basket. Minimize your knick-nacks.
2.  Put a tall vase of flowers on the kitchen table. Height creates a feeling of elevation. Yellow is a luminous spring color and is associated with happiness and optimism!
3.  Lighten a dark room with a neutral or light-tint paint. Add personality and splashes of bright color using a fun set of pillows, vases of flowers, or a new accent rug.

Owner Jonathan Shenk Shares Greenleaf’s “Sustainable” Practices at Forum

Jonathan Shenk, owner of Greenleaf, shared our company’s environmental, or “green,” initiatives at “Creating Sustainable Businesses in New Jersey,” a forum held at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) headquarters in Trenton last Tuesday.

We are proud to share with you these “green” practices and initiatives from his talk.

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“From our inception we have educated customers and advocated for the use of ‘green,’ environmentally-sound paint products. This emphasis is noted in our name choice.

Nine years ago, these paints were harder to find, they were more expensive, more difficult to use, and offered lower performance and quality. Now every brand markets green paints and are phasing out their regular paints. The prices are now competitive and the quality is excellent.

Another important sustainable practice for a painting company is the safe disposal of paint products:

+ Paint thinners and oil paints must be disposed through hazardous waste collections. We recycle most of our paint thinner through a step-by-step filtering process.

+ Latex paints need to be mixed with a hardener before disposal.

We have recently started offering a service to customers where we will dispose of their old paint cans piling up in their basements. 

We also can sometimes find alternatives to disposing of unwanted latex paints: we can donate full gallons to Habitat for Humanity’s Re-store and sometimes our own painters are happy to round up excess paints for their side projects.

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There are several other things we do which are not unique to a painting company: 

+ We have several paperless practices: we communicate internally through dropbox. Our managers can access work site forms and job calendars on dropbox.

+ We are also beginning to shift our bill payments to be done exclusively online so no hard copies need to be printed out.

+We recycle our paper and plastic. 

+We conserve on energy by keeping office temperatures low during the cold season and opening doors for fresh air during the warm season. Turning out lights in rooms we are not working in.

We were pleased to see NJ take this initiative to support and promote sustainable business practices. We’re happy to be involved in this initiative and to connect and network with other like-minded businesses and people.”

Jonathan was invited to speak at the forum as a member of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry, which promotes sustainability planning and practices among New Jersey businesses. The welcome was given by Bob Marshall, Assistant Commissioner, DEP Sustainability and Green Energy (SAGE).

Three Ways to Freshen Up Your Décor with Color

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freshly-painted bedroom with overhead lighting

With Interior Designer Linda Principe, of Linda Principe Interiors, LLC

Do you want to freshen up your decor? Rearrange furniture, paint, add new pillows? We spoke with Princeton-area designer Linda Principe, of Linda Principe Interiors, to get her best ideas of how to create a new look and feel for the seasons ahead, using popular colors and traditional design methods.

“The first thing I recommend is a fresh coat of paint in a brighter tone,” Linda says. “This refreshes and cleans up the look.” She said this is particularly important in the kitchen, where people spend so much of their time.

“Right now I’m finding the yellow tones and green to be popular.” She recommends Yellow Calla Lily or Summer Harvest from the Benjamin Moore color palette. These are yellows in the lemon/daffodil family.  She also is seeing more greens, such as Benjamin Moore’s Veranda View and Cucumber.

“The idea of these colors is to bring nature into the kitchen and give that natural look,” Linda says.

We tend to want to change up the rooms we spend the most time in. In her work as a designer, Linda has found that people tend to want to repaint their kitchen every few years to freshen up the look.

For the dining room, Linda suggests a dark color for a more dramatic look. How about Benjamin Moore’s Spanish Red, or Baked Cumin, which is a deep golden brown.

Another way to add color is to purchase some new throw pillows, or add a brightly colored vase and bring fresh flowers into the room. “It depends on what you have in the room, but you could consider a tangerine color or orchid (which is a vivid purple). Radiant Orchid is the 2014 pantone color of the year.”

Finding the right accent colors: Linda recommends looking at your accessories –the artwork & picture frames, the mats around the artwork, your area rugs. “A simple design strategy is to pick up colors from those items to bring those colors into the room. It’s a way of accessorizing color.”  One project that Linda recently completed was accessorizing using a green from the client’s foyer area rug.  She added green decorative boxes and a topiary to the entrance table and you could see how the elements tied together.

Next, lighting. Linda recommends having several sources of lighting in a room. The first source is overhead lighting, such as recessed lighting. The second is task lighting, which is a table lamp or floor lamp near a reading chair. A third is accent lighting, which provides elegance to a room. Linda suggests that accent lighting can provide the most appeal in a room. It can be used to focus on a piece of artwork, or create interest with sconces.

“Accent lighting gives you a softened appeal, especially in a dining room. When you use dimmer switches for overhead and accent lighting, it creates both elegance and a softer feel,” Linda notes. In a dining room with dramatic color, the lighting only intensifies the look and can create a dramatic effect.

Because Greenleaf Painters is a green painting company, we asked Linda about her thoughts on green interior design.

“I find a lot of people have asthma and allergies, and they have challenges with dust,” she says. “So I talk with them about removing carpeting and changing to hardwood floors. And of course most people today are interested in low-VOC paint.”

She observed that people seem to be more interested in keeping the furniture they have and making changes by painting or re-staining the pieces. “Rearranging creates a whole new look. Painting furniture or changing knobs can freshen up and keep costs down at the same time. These are all eco-friendly methods of creating that design element you want.”

For more tips on design, you may want to visit Linda’s blog at