Everyone panics a bit when the topic of remodeling comes up; visions of dollar signs and a lot of hard work come to mind, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if I told you that a trip to your favorite home improvement store for a few cans of paint and a handful of light fixtures would be good way to start? You don’t have to spend a fortune to take those first tentative steps toward making your home (or the home of a parent) a safer and more inviting place to live.
Visual impairment is one of the top reasons for loss of independence. Overall light levels for seniors needs to be 25-50% brighter than one might suppose, so for heaven’s sake get rid of those 40 and 60 watt bulbs and start exploring various ways to increase the amount of light in the house.
Explore the world of light bulbs and light fixtures. Ask about fluorescent fixtures, incandescent bulbs, track lights, and natural lighting. You goal will be to provide bright but gentle overall lighting while decreasing glare and minimizing shadowy areas.
Be especially mindful of good lighting in the bathroom and kitchen. Stairwells and entry ways can never be bright enough, and embrace the idea of motion sensors. Little things like the reflection of light bouncing off a polished wood table, a shiny counter, or glass framing a work of art can be positively blinding to someone with sensitive eyes. Overall lighting in rooms and in outdoor areas such as garden or backyard will make a home inviting and functional.
You are probably wondering why I mentioned cans of paint. Have you ever noticed the way light bounces off from a wall painted with glossy paint? It really does, and the same applies to floor tiles. Think about decreasing glare by repainting walls with low gloss paint in warm inviting colors, and by using low gloss floor tiles.
Use contrasting colors to differentiate one area from another. For example: door frames should be different colors than walls and other trims. Floors and walls should be of different colors and handrails should be readily visible against a wall. Little improvements can make a difference.
What do you think? A trip to the hardware store and you can get started with a few cans of paints, window treatments, and light fixtures. You will be so pleased with the results that you will be ready to take on more do-it-yourself projects in the future. Please share your ideas and success stories for home improvements on a budget.