Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

 

A literary agent, with whom I’ve become acquainted, lives in a hotel penthouse in Manhattan. She calls it the smartest investment that she’s ever made.

 

The woman protects her investment by self-paying for the remodeling, and the painting and decorating, of the 4,500 square foot property.

 

She keeps a small, by comparison, 2,000 square foot apartment in South Florida. On the top floor of an ocean front hotel. She self-pays for the painting and decorating of that property, too.

 

Both homes are decorated in light-toned natural woods, fibers and colors. And relaxing patterns.

* Woods: Oak, pine, olive ash, and sycamore.

* Fibers: Leather, chenille, chintz, and cords.

* Colors: Ivory, ecru, soft coral, muted lime green, and pale turquoise.

* Patterns: Narrow stripes, one-half to one-inch checks, and small block prints; subdued geometrics, pastel floral garden prints.

 

Both homes are furnished and accessorized with an eclectic collection of pieces from the Midwest. Some have been inherited or “gifted” from relatives. Others have been purchased from small antique and second-hand shops in western Ohio and eastern Indiana.

 

What stands out about the person is what also stands out about her homes. (And her office.) A practical, understated and low-stress approach to business, relationships, and life.

 

In 2015, the 30+ year publishing veteran started to remodel both her New York City and Miami homes. They are being retrofitted to accommodate her new roommate: her 81-year old mother.

 

The younger woman runs three miles every day. The older woman hand-pushes her wheelchair or walker around every foot, every day.

 

In some ways, their lives couldn’t be more different. In most ways, starting now, their schedules couldn’t be more in sync. And, their needs and preferences couldn’t be more unique.

 

The same woods and colors are being used, as before. Some fibers will change.

 

All structural impediments are being removed: steps, stairs, raised/lowered floor areas, landings; protruding walls, sharp corners, barriers, protrusions. Doorways are being widened to at least 42 inches. All doors will open outward, from whichever side a person is approaching. Also, they will open by a touch pad, or remote-controlled beam.

 

What the literary agent calls “ballet bars” – actually padded safety bars – are being installed along every walkway, wall, base cabinetry unit/section, etcetera. Also in every bathtub and shower, the outdoor patio, etc.

 

All plush carpeting has been removed, and will be replaced with tightly-woven commercial grade floor covering. Like you find in fine restaurants, hotels and resorts, hospitals, business complexes.

 

All sinks, cupboards, countertops, appliances, fixtures, commodes, etc. are being lowered or raised to ease their use.

 

All upholstered pieces will be outfitted with washable, rubber-backed, and soft snugly-fitting slipcovers. All window treatments and systems – shades, blinds, curtains, drapes – will be controlled by remote, or by hand. So will all fixtures – eg. lighting, faucets. So will all cabinet, drawer, closet, and appliance doors.

 

The idea is to help make both homes as livable as possible for both “roommates.” To make accommodations for impairments, special needs, and even future limitations natural and easy to use. While making the preferences of each resident an important part of the “blended lifestyle”!

 

As the daughter and homeowner puts it, “I want to provide a very safe and secure home. And a sanctuary for now, and the future. For both of us…”

 

On the day that I stood inside the Florida apartment, rain pelted against the French doors, that led to the extra wide patio. Through the haze, I could see the ocean waves rolling into shore.

 

“It’s all so beautiful,” a soft voice, weakened by age and illness, remarked from beside me. “A very different, but good beautiful from our old home in Ohio.”

 

The lady sat in her wheelchair. A fleece-lined pants and hooded jacket in soft daffodil yellow kept her cozy. She peered through her new pair of binoculars.

 

“What a place! If Daddy (her husband) could see us now!”

 

“Wait till our Florida place is completely remodeled, retrofitted and redecorated, Mom.”

 

What an honor to be a part of such a special project.

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Accommodating for others’ needs and preferences also accommodates for our own.

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Thanks for being a part of the world of “life” and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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