By Amett Krause. Home Decoration. Published at Friday, April 19th, 2019 - 08:50:24 AM.
Soul-nourishing. A small garden can become a spiritual retreat, helping homeowners unwind and destress. Glassman built a raised platform for one client to practice tai chi. A lawn panel can offer the same option with a mat placed atop grass. Hospitals have become a good source of information since many have installed their own gardens to help patients recover and offer a respite place for family members and staff as well. The Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., has three rooftop gardens, including a water feature in its Mary Catherine Bunting Center.
Privacy. Shielding gardens and outdoor spaces from neighbors has become more of a priority as homeowners gravitate to urban areas and downtown suburbs. One way is to go vertical and plant along a garage, outbuilding, or fence to camouflage or block out neighboring properties. Choose perennials in colder climates to eliminate the need to replant. Glassman prefers to use an iron or wood trellis rather than grow greenery directly on a dwelling because its easier to perform maintenance. He favors potato, trumpet, and creeping fig vines that grow densely in his northern California climate. Another option for privacy is to plant shrubs or trees with multiple trunks. Henriksen says succulents have become a popular option. But with any choice, the homeowner should ask how big the plant will grow when it matures so that they leave enough room, Glassman says.
Erin Powell, design director and principal at RoOomy, an online staging firm out of San Jose, Calif., concurs that a well-planned ceiling treatment can help a listing stand out. “It usually wont make or break a purchase, but it opens up the chance to make a buyer more interested,” she says. Here are five ways to showcase a ceiling. Use them sparingly—certainly not in every room—to avoid visual confusion. “Otherwise, the concept may lose its specialness,” Pickell says. This is the least expensive way to make a ceiling stand out and alter its look without major architectural change. New homes often feature the same white color on walls and ceilings, but broker Matt van Winkle with RE/MAX Northwest in Seattle recommends painting the ceiling slightly lighter than whats used on the walls to add depth. Generally, he advises steering clear of bold colors, except in childrens rooms.
Plants and herbs. In most gardens, its best to seek out a variety of heights, textures, and colors. If privacy and quiet are desired, evergreens like spruces or a “wall” of noninvasive bamboo may be a good choice. Landscape designer Donna Christensen of Christensen Landscape Services in Northford, Conn., uses lilacs not just for their fragrance but because she can also group them to create a privacy hedge. But be aware that too many plant walls can create a dark, claustrophobic space. Color may contribute to healing, too. Blue is a good universal choice because most find it calming, Langrall says. Those with cataracts find it easier to see bolder rather than pastel hues. Butterfly bushes do double duty by displaying colorful flowers and attracting butterflies to add vibrancy, but be sure to choose a seedless or low-fertility variety, as the plants are considered invasive in some areas. Other plants that attract pollinators include cosmos, foxgloves, and cone varieties. Certain herbs have a symbolic connection and can offer freshness in favorite recipes and a medicinal effect. Chamomile is one standout example of this archetype as its equated with comforting, but is also thought to work as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, and tissue regenerator. Tomatoes and leafy greens also help fight inflammation, and herbs can be seeped in water to flavor what can be a healthy alternative to soda, says Lisa Schwartz, a physical therapist and coordinator at the Marianjoy Center. “Planting in raised beds or along walls also is smart, so people dont have to bend and reach as much,” Schwartz says. And for those wanting something tactile, many therapy gardens, especially those designed for children, feature fuzzy, soft lambs ear, which has the additional benefit of bearing a cute name, Sachs says.
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