Published at Sunday, April 07th, 2019 - 10:06:32 AM. Home Decoration. By Alberta Krämer.
Until recently, design shows and magazines have suggested using vibrant colors, graphic patterns, and layers of texture solely in home accessories and other areas than can be easily and affordably changed. But now the more permanent, pricier parts of a kitchen are going bold and idiosyncratic. Appliance fronts and entire ranges sport red, blue, and yellow hues rather than neutral stainless steel, white, or black. Big Chill Appliances in Boulder, Colo., says its most popular custom colors are beach blue, cherry red, and buttercup yellow. Backsplashes display graphic patterns in large, colorful tiles instead of spa-calming solid white, gray, and pale blue in diminutive subway tiles. And even countertops are getting in on the act with swirling, exotic designs from Formica and other manufacturers. The trends being seen in cabinetry—often the most visible and costly part of a kitchen remodel—include deep blues, greens, and even red paint choices, a stark contrast to the former safer bets of white or pale wood. Textured, highly decorative wallpaper has returned too, after years of being banished. And everywhere, black—or navy—is the new gray, according to Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz, owner of GoGo Design Group.
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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