Bill Strakosh

Years ago the author’s father, Bill Strakosh, gets his boat ready for the summer season.

A week ago my sister and I were cleaning out my parents’ garage. In a tattered paper bag we found Dad’s painting clothes; paint-stained khakis, oxford shirt neatly folded on top of his sneakers. We also found all his paint brushes neatly lined up, along with old coffee cans he used for thinner and varnish.

Father’s Day weekend in our house was of course a celebration in how much we loved my dad. We knew he waited for this weekend all year long, as this was the weekend he would launch our boat.

In late winter, early spring Dad would come to the Cape to work on the boat, getting it all ready for the summer season. The varnishing and painting were done to perfection. He took great time in the prep work. I remember him telling me, “When painting, never rush through the prep work. It is the most important part of the job!”

Come hell or high water that boat would be in by Fathers Day! Each year the big flatbed truck would arrive, and the boat was loaded on. Nervously we would all watch! My dad beamed as it headed down Clinton Avenue to its summer home, its slip by the Clam Shack.

Just as with the boat getting painted each year, there are many things you can do to give your home a fresh look for summer.

I always tell my clients, you want to make a change in your home? Start with changing your paint colors; it is an affordable change that makes a dramatic difference. From interior to exterior, even small changes make a big difference. How about adding some curb appeal? Paint your front door a beautiful color. If you have hydrangeas near your door, check out Benjamin Moore’s Blue Hydrangea or Enchanted 2070-50, which is a beautiful deep lavender.

I just did mine in Pewter Gray!

Another easy paint tip is to paint your interior stair bannister in black matte. It works with any style home.

Don’t be afraid to paint over wood molding, cabinets, etcetera. This is a huge misconception in home design. I just did a huge mission-style older home on the beach. The homeowner wanted a brighter look; she had tired of the darkness of all the wood. I suggested painting all the wood. “But it’s wood, can we really paint it?” she asked. I said, “Trust me.” She did and was thrilled with the outcome.

I had all the trim painted in Benjamin Moore’s Super White in a satin finish. I highly recommend this for trim. It is a clean, bright white with no undertones. Always remember, don’t break up the trim color. Use the same throughout your entire home. With “Super White” no matter what color you use on the walls, or if you do white on white, this is a beautiful contrast.

Other whites I love are: Benjamin Moore Cloud White OC130 or Simply White OC117, one of this year’s trending colors.

Paint a ceiling! Painted ceilings are stunning. They enhance a room. Go with a light seagrass color like Benjamin Moore Ocean Air 2123-50, or any color that may pick up a subtle color in a fabric or rug in the room. I just did a ceiling in a dining room in a very, very pale lavender. It is lovely!

Don’t forget kitchen cabinets. Painting them and adding new hardware is a great way to update a tired looking kitchen without spending a ton on a new kitchen. Look for interesting hardware, especially for a beach house. On Etsy, I just ordered driftwood and sea glass pulls.

Next time you want to do your floors, forget the dark stain; try a whitewash. What a difference it makes! It can change the whole look of your home.

I have mentioned color by Benjamin Moore. However, I have used many paints from Farrow and Ball, Valspar, and Sherwin-Williams over the years.

We live near the beach; use that as color inspiration—sea glass, the ever changing water hues from moody grays and blues to vibrant blues and greens when the sun shines in the water. I had one client in Osterville who came to me with a bag of sea stones and said, “Pick my colors based on these.” And I did!

As you start your paint project remember what my dad always said: prep is time consuming, but it is the most important part of the job.

A special Happy Fathers Day to all the dads. On this Fathers Day, I remember my dad with great love and pride for the man he was. I remember one day years ago when the whole family was on the boat saying to my mom, “We will look back on these time as the best days of our lives.” Thanks Dad, for instilling the love of the Cape in all of us kids, our forever summer house. It’s not far down to paradise.

At least it’s not for me. And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility. The canvas can do miracles; just you wait and see.

Nancy August is a lifelong summer resident of Falmouth, as were her parents and grandparents before her. Her production company is Summer Girl Media and her interior design firm is Nancy August Interiors. Visit www.nancyaugustinteriors.com.

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