Monday, December 4, 2017

"Adding More Than Seasonal Decorations To A Home For The Holidays"

At this time of year, people love decorating their homes for the holidays that they are about to celebrate. There are lights, garlands, wreaths, Christmas trees, various decorations, figures, and more. It's really quite festive.

Something else that often is added to a home besides the seasonal decorations is a fresh look in the form of wall paint. As people have moved from spending the majority of their at-home time outdoors during the summer months with the extended daylight hours into being inside more, having freshly painted walls can be a big plus.

There may be many other types of improvements that we want to make for people or that they identify as something they would like to have done, but freshly painted walls will get them through the holiday season and complement the holiday decorations they are installing. 

Paint has a way of freshening and refurbishing any area. It also can improve a person's mood, their relationship with their home, and complement their furnishings. As people are aging in place, nothing says the home has to remain static over the years. Even without noticeable or elaborate improvements, painting the walls imparts a fresh look to the home.

Paint has the special quality of being able to be applied over a surface and to hide (maybe with more than one coat) what was there previously. It might be a color that is no longer desired, one that is too bold, one that doesn't go with the current decorating scheme or furniture choices, or one that was selected by someone else at an earlier time and just allowed to remain.

There might be patches in the wall or on a piece of furniture. There could be large stains. Maybe the paint is faded around where a large piece of furniture, cabinet, mirror, artwork, or photograph used to be so that silhouette of that other object is still visible as a darker color. 

Even when paint isn't needed to mask or cover up flaws, repairs, or stains, it is used to provide a fresh start.  Often, when someone moves into to an apartment or an existing home that has been occupied previously by someone else, one of the first things that is done - often before even unpacking the boxes or moving in the furniture - is to paint the walls. Any smudges, stains, or reminders of the previous occupant is easily removed with a covering of paint. Plus, it "sanitizes" the home or apartment by removing any traces of the previous occupants and making it belong to the new owner or tenant.

Why shouldn't our clients have the same opportunity to give their homes a new look and a fresh start even though they aren't moving in after someone else and they are continuing to live there? The benefit is the same. 

Paint has a wonderful quality of transforming objects to which it is applied. It really is amazing what a coat of paint will do for changing something drab, dingy, or outdated - or even an unpleasant chapter or episode in our lives - into something completely different. It is literally giving something a fresh start.

Painting isn't limited to just an occasional or infrequent application either. Anytime we want to revitalize a tired room or an experienced piece of furniture and give it a new life, just add a fresh coat of paint to it. We know how great a fresh coat of paint can be for a tired room or piece of furniture that we want to revitalize.

Paint also adds a lot of color that appeals to us emotionally, and it can be changed as often as we feel like it.

Paint has semi-magical properties that we need to remember and use - for ourselves or for our aging-in-place clients - as often as we need its help.

As we are decorating for the holidays - us and our clients - paint is the foundational element that helps the seasonal components stand out even more. Then after the decorations are put away, the fresh look still remains.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.