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Welcoming Spring 2009 !

Whew! As this (finally!) wet and soggy February winds to a close we are almost at Springs doorstep. I dont know about you but its got me looking around my house thinking Wow, I need to do some spring cleaning! Spring is synonymous with renewal & regeneration, it is the time to clean out the old funk and start fresh. How about doing your spring cleaning the green way this year? There are so many environmentally friendly products on the market now, they seem to be everywhere. But not all products that say green actually are so be sure to check those labels. Look for cleaners that dont contain chlorine bleach or ammonia, for starters and try to avoid the other hazardous ingredients whenever you can. Many of the labels we find on cleaning products are vague and arent regulated by our government. Non-toxic implies that a product causes no harm either to you or to the environment, but this can be difficult to prove. Natural is another label that we see a lot of. A label denoting that a product is biodegradable is somewhat easier to substantiate, it implies that either the product or its packaging (or both) will break down naturally over time. Thats obviously a good thing but again the definition is still a little loose.

The great thing is that many green cleaning products dont even have to be purchased but can be made from items you already have in your home. Vinegar can be purchased in abundance very inexpensively and used to clean dozens of things. An effective cleaning spray can be easily made by mixing a couple of tablespoons of vinegar into a gallon of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and voilayou can clean everything from your countertops to your windows to your bathroom mirror with it. You can even spray it on your sofa to get out the many yucky leftover smells our kiddos seem to leave behind! Dont like that vinegar-y smell? Substitute the vinegar for lemon juice. Then grind the left over lemons up in the garbage disposal to make that smell fresh and clean too! When washing those windows, shun the paper towels. Those old t-shirts taking up space at the bottom of your drawer will make excellent cleaning rags. Do you prefer a more soft-scrubby kind of cleaner for use in the bathroom? Combine one cup of baking soda or borax with a cup of castile soap and you have a perfect cleanser that can be used to safely scour your sinks, showers and toilets. Another awesome green cleaning product is those nifty microfiber cleaner cloths that you see in many stores. They can be used to dust or clean windows with no need for any spray at all. Just get a little warm water on it, wring it out and wipe. Then youre off to another task, leaving it to dry streak-free on its own. Green and easy!

The Environmental Protection Agency tells us that the air inside our homes can actually be more polluted than the air outside! This can be more of a problem in the winter months when typically our windows are closed for weeks on end and the heater is blasting away. Make sure one of your first Spring cleaning steps is to let that stale and stagnant air out by opening up those windows a bit and literally getting a breath of fresh air! Bringing in a few new lush and green houseplants also helps to combat that indoor air pollution and imbues a sense of Springs beauty inside your home.

Once the Spring cleaning is out of the way its on to the fun partfreshening up your home! The farmers markets are filled right now with rows and rows of vibrant yellow daffodils and their dizzying fragrance, just begging to be brought home and placed on your table. Try to buy locally and/or sustainably harvested blooms whenever you can. How about a few new throw pillows for the sofa in a shade inspired by some sweet-smelling hyacinth blooms? A single vividly green frond in a simple vase or a handful of parsley in a tumbler can bring a fresh new vitality into a room.

The winter color palette doesnt give us much to choose from does it? What with its generous offerings of_white. And winter white. Oh and then theres taupe, beige, gray and light gray! Painting just one wall in a room can completely change its feel. Open your doors to a new Spring palette, consider colors youve perhaps not used before. Whether you choose from the warm reds, oranges and yellows of the tulips on offer at the market or opt for cooler hydrangea blues and purples, look to Springs colors to inspire you. Choosing a paint that is low or no VOC makes it an eco-friendly choice for your home and for the environment. Changing paint in a room or a few rooms is quick and easy way to invite Spring in.

Julie Arcino is the Resource Coordinator at MB Jessee Inc.

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Customer Reviews

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“I had my wooden kitchen cabinets painted white. Anabal and Danielle were doing the job. I have nothing but praise for them. They came on time, cleaned up every day, were respective, friendly and helpful. If the rest of Jessee's crew are as great as Anabal and Danielle, this company will go far.”

— Anni S.
Oakland, CA

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Everyone I dealt with was nice, helpful, and very professional. The price was reasonable! (I didn't feel like I was getting the "San Francisco price." The attention to detail and work quality was excellent. They did what they said they would do in the exact timeframe they said they would do. Highly recommend!”

— Tim Tyson

“I can't say enough about how courteous and professional my foreman was. He was on time every morning and arrived cheerful and ready to go. He is highly organized and very thoughtful. He was extremely careful and respectful when moving my belongings - a mature professional.”

— Nora Robinson

“Just wanted to let you know that the crew was great to have around the house for the past two weeks. All three of them were professional, courteous, and attentive to my thoughts/concerns and were extremely knowledgeable. They paid great attention to the detail and it shows.”

— Mark & Roberta Gross

“MB Jessee painters are stellar! As a designer I've worked with numerous companies over the years, and MB Jessee is a top-notch firm. From the first phone call to the final clean up, every person is courteous, professional, and hard working. The owner, Matt, is a charitable leader who has instilled his team with integrity and honesty providing the customer with a first class experience at a fair price with a paint job that is guaranteed to last. I highly recommend MB Jessee. Thank you Matt and your STAR crew-Daniel, Rigoberto, Vicente, Edy, Pedro, and Mario, for a job well executed! Cynthia Brian, ASID, Starstyle® Productions, llc”

— Cynthia Brian
Morgan, CA

“The kitchen looks NEW! You guys are amazing.”

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian