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HOME SAFETY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

home-safety-disability

According to the 2017 Disability Statistics annual report, the percentage of disabled people in the United States was 12.8% and has been steadily rising over the last five years. Advances in the understanding of disabilities, as well as adaptive technology, means that more and more disabled people are able to redesign their homes to mitigate the impact of their disability.

However, there remain legitimate ways in which homes can still be unsafe for those with disabilities.

By going through this guide, you can create a ‘checklist’ of items to be aware of, allowing you to address any potential safety issues in your home.

When it comes to making your home safe for those with disabilities, one of the most important steps is making sure that they can move freely and easily around the home. One of the most dangerous aspects of living in a non-adapted home is the need to access things out of reach or having to maneuver in an uncomfortable or unnatural way.

When it comes to making your home safe for those with disabilities, one of the most important steps is making sure that they can move freely and easily around the home. One of the most dangerous aspects of living in a non-adapted home is the need to access things out of reach or having to maneuver in an uncomfortable or unnatural way.

The most dangerous areas for disabled people in this respect are the kitchen and the bathroom, where the presence of cooking and bathing equipment, combined with reduced mobility, means that there is always the chance of additional danger.

Furthermore, for those who have impaired vision or hearing, there are added requirements when it comes to safety. Finally, the biggest danger for disabled people is the same as that for non-disabled people: fire. Being prepared for fire is essential to maximizing the changes of disabled people remaining safe.

wheelchair

The most dangerous areas for disabled people in this respect are the kitchen and the bathroom, where the presence of cooking and bathing equipment, combined with reduced mobility, means that there is always the chance of additional danger.

Furthermore, for those who have impaired vision or hearing, there are added requirements when it comes to safety. Finally, the biggest danger for disabled people is the same as that for non-disabled people: fire. Being prepared for fire is essential to maximizing the chances of disabled people remaining safe.

stove top lowering
Lowering a stovetop to 28 inches above the ground will allow you to see what is inside the pots. You could also look to install a ‘pot-filler’ to avoid the need to carry water from sink to stove.

over controls on the front
Ovens should have controls on the front rather than on the top so that they can safely and quickly be shut off without having to reach across burners.

mirror installation on top
Mirrors installed on the ceiling (for the example above the oven, or above the stove top) will allow you to see what is inside as it cooks.

allow pots and pans to be slid
For those with mobility issues in the upper limbs, ceramic cooktops allow pots and pans to be slid, rather than carried.

  • Before undertaking any modifications to the layout of your kitchen and your surfaces, you should measure your range of motion.
  • If you use a wheelchair, for example, you should measure all the dimensions of the chair, including foot and armrests.
  • This will allow you to determine how high your counters should be. Moreover, think about how high your oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher should be. Using these conveniently is the first step to using them safely.

Wheelchair access

fire extinguisher

Regardless of your level of disability, you should have at least one fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You should make sure you know-how and are able to use it, as well as where it is kept.

If you have mobility issues, then having more than one fire extinguisher is a must (for more information on fire extinguishers, see the section on Fire Safety, below).

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are potentially one of the trickiest rooms for people with disabilities due to the difficulty of maneuvering onto and off the toilet, in and out of the bath/shower, and the added complexity of doing so when floors are potentially wet.

The addition of water makes everything more difficult and, as a result, more dangerous.

For those who use a wheelchair, all doors need to be more than 32 inches wide to allow the wheelchair to pass through. This is true of doors throughout the home but may also apply to shower doors in the case of a roll-in shower.

Grab bars
Grab bars

special seat
Seats that are specially designed for transferring onto/off of

mats for inside the bathtub
Mats for inside the bathtub (or shower, if applicable) that are non-slip

bench that extends outside of the bathtub
A bench that extends outside of the bathtub

A shower seat that can swivel around
A shower seat that can swivel around

A shower that you can roll a wheelchair into
A shower that you can roll a wheelchair into

A key tip from the ACA is that many bathroom modifications may leave pipes exposed (for example, in the case of lowering a sink). Exposed pipes may present an additional risk of burns, and therefore need to be covered and insulated.

For those who are cohabiting with someone with a disability, the following modifications are recommended. Again, these are all designed to make using the bathroom easier, and thereby make it safer.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

Adjustable sinks, toilets, and shelves, each of which can be altered in terms of its height. This allows for disabled and non-disabled users to share a bathroom without additional inconvenience.

Temperature controls for water. Increasingly this is being mandated in many cities and states for new bathrooms; however, installing these will help prevent burns, particularly in those who have little feeling in their extremities, and therefore may not initially realize that the water is dangerously hot.

1Toilet flush extensions and clamps for toilet paper – this is designed for those who have mobility issues in their upper limbs, and therefore struggle with grip.

STAIRWAYS AND RAMPS

Getting in and out of the home safely is something that many non-disabled individuals take for granted. However, the dangers of steps and stairs are extreme for those with disabilities.

Difficulties with mobility, balance, and upper or lower body strength all conspire to make stairs a potential hazard.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE STAIRWAYS, STEPS, AND RAMPS FAR SAFER FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES:

Install handrails. In some jurisdictions these are mandatory. However, you should also confirm that your handrails are up to scratch, making sure they meet the following criteria:

  • They should support at least 250lbs in weight.
  • They should be attached to studs or blocking (i.e. not sheetrock).
  • They should be placed 1.5 inches from the walls (on both sides of the staircase).
  • They should go beyond the staircase at both the top and bottom to allow people support when exiting and entering the stairway.
  • Staircases should be free of all items at all times, as this may present a tripping hazard. This is especially true on basement stairs, as they tend to be steep and narrow. You may want to consider remodeling the basement to remedy this.
  • Staircases should be well maintained to avoid disintegration and unevenness. For example, there should not be loose stones, bricks, or planks, and outdoor steps should be kept free of ice.
  • The riser height should follow local building codes and be no less than 7 inches. The treads should also be large enough that individuals’ feet extend beyond the edge, which is a major tripping hazard.
  • Any ramps should have a gradient less than 1:12 to make it easier for those using wheelchairs and walkers to use them. Ramps should follow all of the upkeep and tidiness rules of stairs. Ramps should also be made of a non-slip surface (which can be achieved with non-slip paint or adhesive strips).

As a general rule, if you are unsure about any of the above, have the work completed by a professional. This will allow you to ensure that it is completed correctly, and therefore is as safe as possible. If you are no longer able to go up and down stairs, you should consider adding a stair chair lift to your home.

FIRE SAFETY

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NPFA), the majority of fire deaths occur in the home.

The danger of fire is compounded for those with disabilities, as they may be less likely to stop a fire from spreading, less likely to hear a traditional smoke alarm, and maybe less able to safely exit the building. In all of the above cases, advanced preparation is critical to minimizing risk.

THE NPFA RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING:

Installing home fire sprinklers. These sprinklers may not always be able to extinguish a fire, although they work to keep fires small, thus increasing the time available to safely leave the building.

The rule for smoke alarms is that they should be:

  • In every sleeping room
  • Outside every sleeping area
  • On every level of the home

You should also test your smoke alarm every month to check that it still works.

Ideally, you smoke alarms should be interconnected so as to give more warning (this is particularly true for those who have trouble hearing).

For those who are deaf, you can buy and install one (or more) of the following alarms:

  • Strobe light alarms, which flash when the alarm sounds
  • Pillow or bed alarms, which vibrate when the alarm goes off
  • For those who are hard of hearing, a low-pitched sound alert device may be a good option, in conjunction with one of the other items.
strobe light alarms

In addition to the hardware available, you can also make your home safer through planning and preparing. Making a plan for escape, particularly if you live with other people, will help you to think about what to do. Running a fire drill will make sure you know your role in the event of a fire.

If you do have a plan, you can speak to your local fire department and ask them to review your plan. They may have a directory of people who require additional help that you can be added too. This will alert them in case of a fire, and they will be aware of your specific needs.

You should also install a phone by the side of the bed in case you need to call for help in case of a fire or an emergency.

The numbers of disabled people in the United States is constantly increasing. Indeed, in West Virginia, an estimated 20% of the population has some form of physical disability, the highest in the U.S. (by comparison, Utah has only 9.9% of its population estimated to be disabled).

The relative growth of disabled citizens, as well as improvements in technology, have made modifications easier, cheaper, and better than at any time in history. Individuals with disabilities are now able to customize their home to fit their specific needs.

wheelchair

Generally, technology can provide a great deal of assistance for a disabled person.

However, there remains a need for additional planning and preparedness to mitigate risk and to make a home as safe as possible for a disabled person.

Useful Resources

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

U.S. Fire Administration

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Safe Kids USA

WikiHow

Fire Risks for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing (US Fire Administration)

National Association of the Deaf

Fire Risks for the Mobility Impaired (US Fire Administration)

The City of Oshawa

National Park Service

Stony Brook University

Safe Patient Handling and Mobility

A Family Caregivers Guide To Safety For Disabled

Ways To Paint A Small Room To Look Bigger

Color has a wonderful way of tricking the eye. A fresh coat of paint can completely revamp your space, whether your bathroom feels like a closet or your dining room is looking a bit squashed. Try these tricks in your home remodeling project to create a more spacious environment where you can thrive.

1. Raise The Roof By Installing Crown Molding.

Raise The Roof By Installing Crown Molding

Crown molding directs the eyes upward and raises the ceiling of a small room. Painting the molding a darker color than the ceiling will really grab attention. Another way to raise the ceiling artificially is to place a rather ornate door trim right up against the ceiling in a technique called “entablature.”

2. Paint Moldings & Trims Lighter Than The Walls.

Paint Moldings & Trims Lighter
Paint Moldings & Trims Lighter

Pure white trim is by far the most popular way to attract natural lighting and make wall color “pop.” In some cases, designers will choose creamy white with warm yellow undertones to make rooms with limited natural lighting more vibrant and less gray or washed-out.

3. Enlarge The Whole Room By Painting The Trim The Same Color.

Enlarge The Whole Room

To make the walls feel as though they are receding, you can paint the trim one subtle shade lighter or even the same color. While it’s not a terribly popular concept, it is something that is starting to catch on in some circles. A darker wall with a lighter ceiling can expand small spaces.

4. Paint A Feature Wall Darker To Draw The Eye.

Paint A Feature Wall Darker

Rooms with near architectural features like picture windows, pillars, archways, bookshelves, or fireplaces lend themselves well to bolder or darker paint colors. The rest of the walls can be a lighter tone. For example, you could paint the accent wall a rich sienna, the coordinating walls a neutral amber, and tie it all together with a light cream trim.

5. Use Wainscoting.

Use Wainscoting

Wainscoting makes rooms feel bigger and taller. This architectural feature looks ideal in dining rooms, common areas, and even bathrooms.

6. Use Old World Dark Trim On White Or Cream Walls.

Use Old World Dark Trim

Colonial or Old World trims can be in black, barn red, mustard yellow, muted green or grey-blue. Rooms with big, beautiful windows can have the outdoor space accented by the use of darker trim. Keep in mind that natural wood trims can also attract the eye, however.

7. Widen A Narrow Room By Painting Horizontal Stripes.

Paint Horizontal Stripes

A small, narrow nursery or bedroom can be made to appear wider if there are narrow, horizontal stripes painted on the walls. Rooms with low ceilings can be made taller by painting vertical stripes. Bringing together various neutral tones can give the impression of walking on an idyllic beach with the colors of sand, water, cloud and sky.

8. Use Two Different Colors.

use two different colours

Remember that cool colors recede and warm colors advance. You can widen a room by painting wide walls dark and short walls a lighter shade. In this photo, the accent wall is Benjamin Moore’s Montpelier and the shorter wall is Dunmore Cream. Down long hallways, you can paint the opposite ends darker and the narrow walls lighter to create a sense of “destination” and erase the undesirable tunnel effect. You can also make the hallway appear shorter by installing wood panels on the end walls.

9. Enlarge Small Square Rooms By Using Bold Complementary Colors.

Enlarge Small Square Rooms

10. Raise The Ceiling With Dark Walls & Bold Ceiling Paint.

Raise The Ceiling With Dark Walls

Draw the eyes upward with a bold ceiling choice. This works especially well if you have darker or wood-paneled walls. Yet, it is also a popular modern design trend to pair with stark white walls as well.

How to create and design an extra bathroom

Got some extra space under your stairs – then how? not considering converting it into an additional bathroom?

Many homeowners fail to take advantage of excess space under their stairs. Many use it as a cupboard for storing shoes and hats, but when you consider the potential of the space, there’s a far more useful way it could be used. If you’re renowned for complaining of lack of space within your home, then it’s time to convert that clothing dumping ground into a fully functioning bathroom.

Why convert?

Converting your under-stair space into a small bathroom can really help to improve the functionality of your home. Firstly, you won’t need to fumble around in the dark through the forest of jackets just to find your hat. Secondly, the extra bathroom can prove to be incredibly useful, particularly for busy households. A second bathroom can also add value to the home if it’s installed properly and so can be a fantastic selling point.

Installing a bathroom in the small space can make it feel more like a valid room, rather than an area for storage. If you’re worried about where to store your jackets and shoes then shoe racks and coat trees can turn your storage into more of an ornamental feature – perfect for hallways.

Once you’ve cleared your cupboard under the stairs it’s time to start visualizing it as a small bathroom. Although the space under your stairs might not be the largest, a cloakroom suite could be the perfect way of utilizing the space to its full potential. Now it’s no longer a dumping ground you may even find it feels more spacious than before. To ensure the bathroom is as functional as possible you’ll have to identify space saving bathroom suites that are designed to fit in compact spaces.

Corner Suites

Corner bathroom suites are incredibly popular for small bathrooms. Corner sinks with no pedestal can free up floor space as well as wall space. Corner toilets are also an option worth considering, they operate in the same manner as a conventional toilet but take up less space. Only opt for one item of your bathroom suite to be a corner one, however, as it can look a little odd if both your toilet and sink are in corners.

Many homeowners don’t use corners to their full potential –allowing the space to go to waste. Utilizing the corners within your home can create space for other necessary items and accessories. Corner shelves are perfect for displaying accessories without compromising on space. Floating corner shelves are perfect for displaying vases of flowers on. They create different visual levels in the room – great for improving aesthetics and adding a touch of personality to bathrooms, which are often impersonal.

Décor

In order to coordinate your bathroom with the rest of the house, you could use a similar color scheme. Also, in many cases there’s no natural source of light for your cloakroom suite, so a bright light will be required to ensure optimum visibility and appearance. Air fresheners are essential to keep the bathroom smelling sweet if there’s no form of ventilation, preventing any unpleasant smells from drifting through your home.

Utilizing the space under the stairs can really help you to use your home to its full potential. Savvy DIY-ers will spot areas of free space and convert them into something useful – so be creative!

Bathroom Design Tips

Showers, baths and sinks

If you have a small bathroom it is worth installing a shower over the bath to save space, you can make this more attractive by inserting a stylish shower screen or curtain. If you have the luxury of a large bathroom then a separate bath and shower cubicle is ideal. Either way, pay attention to the details, choose matching or complementary shower heads, taps, and materials. For more lavish bathroom designs, corner baths and whirlpools work well; large double sinks are practical and look great too.

If you want a really glamorous shower, then think about installing a separate wet room. These need to be properly waterproofed and walls and floors covered in a durable material like non-slip stone or tiles. A waterproof layer like fiberglass can be used to ‘tank’ or seal the room completely.

Bathroom flooring

Bathroom flooring needs to look great and still be practical – non slip, hygienic and easy to clean. The main options are:

Stone flooring – when bonded, limestone, slate, marble, and granite floors are waterproof, long-lasting, and easy to clean. Many people choose stone because it looks great and each individual piece is unique in color and design. Stone can be both cold underfoot and slippery so think about underfloor heating and choosing a stone with some grip. Stone flooring is also a more expensive option for the bathroom but you can cut costs by using reclaimed stone.

Wooden flooring – this may seem like an inappropriate flooring type for a wet area like the bathroom but choosing engineered wood can work well in a bathroom – providing a warm, stylish and durable finish. Laurence Warburton, from Wood Works Flooring in Kent says: “I would not advise using solid wood in bathrooms because it will warp, but engineered wood can work well.”

Porcelain flooring – this is a cheaper alternative to stone flooring and is easier to maintain as it does not require any kind of sealing. Porcelain is a popular bathroom material because it’s so easy to clean and hard wearing.

Linoleum flooring – the most popular brand of lino is Marmoleum, which comes in over 100 colours and designs and is perfect for the bathroom. Lino is easy to clean and install and is made of natural materials including wood flour and linseed oil. David Morley, from Authentic Natural Floors in Stockport says: “Lino has real health benefits as it is anti bacterial and does not retain dust or allergens.”

Heating your bathroom

There’s nothing worse than a freezing bathroom first thing in the morning, so keep yours cozy by choosing carefully among the many different bathroom heating options. Radiators are the traditional heating option and come in a range of shapes and styles to suit your bathroom design. Heated towel rails are also popular – they can warm up the whole room and make getting out the shower on a cold day a bit more bearable.

Underfloor heating is becoming more common in bathroom design, especially in new build properties and can even be powered by a heat pump. Mark O’Brien, from Terra Therma in Essex explains: “Underfloor heating is good in bathrooms because it dries the floor quickly and feels nice underfoot.” You can also save around 25-30% on your fuel bills with underfloor heating compared to radiators, suggests Mark.

Lighting solutions for bathrooms

First, maximize any natural light in the bathroom, then pay attention to areas that require additional lighting, such as around mirrors and vanity units. As well as normal spotlights, ceiling lights and downlights, why not consider some more unusual lighting solutions? Illuminated mirrors, cupboard doors and even taps which change the watercolor are available. Whichever type of lighting you choose, consider remote controls and dimmers to add convenience and create ambiance in the bathroom.

Installing lighting in a bathroom can be dangerous so you need to hire a qualified electrician to fit lights safely and in accordance with building regulations. These rules state that different zones must only use certain voltage appliances made to a specified standard, so check with a qualified electrician to be safe.

Bathroom storage and accessories

Storage is all-important in the bathroom and can pull the whole design together. If you have a small bathroom, use the space cleverly and conceal storage under sinks of in corner cabinets. Built-in vanity units and wall hung cabinets come in different materials and styles to suit your tastes. Consider using freestanding cabinets and caddy for toiletries. To really personalize the room pay attention to the details; match blinds and shower curtains, find a stylish soap dish, and accessorize with ornaments.

How to Create the Perfect Kids’ Bedroom

Nowadays everyone has a room for everything and a kid’s area is no exception to the rule.  Kids have quite a bit going on in their lives.  Projects, homework, extra-curricular or even an abundance amount of toys along with educational tools it is becoming a necessity for there to be a designated room or area just for them.  Now, if you prefer to not to use your home office or den area then the basement, attic, garage or secluded spot within the home will work too!  Take a look below at the tips below to create the PERFECT CHILDREN’S ROOM.

Kids playroom ideas for school aged children

Consider the ages:

You first have to think about the ages of your children and design accordingly.  Basically, the needs of your smaller children will differ from those of your older ones.  You want to create a space that can accommodate the different ages and operation levels of the children and when they grow as well.  Think about how to design the space to be versatile for the continuous needs of your children.

Designing the walls and flooring:

The walls and floors of the space can help to divide and add inspiration to the room.  Neutral off-white or white walls might not be the best choice to increase productivity.  So add some color, pattern or even inspirational phrases to the walls.  For kicks, let the kids paint the walls with their hands, favorite phrases, their favorite colors etc.  As for the flooring, try to stay away from hardwoods they are hard to play on and the carpet which would get destroyed from spills.  So you might want to add rubber tiles or carpet tiles, they are easy to install and replace.

Kid’s furniture and storage units: 

Next, you want to begin selecting furniture for the kid’s area.  Choose furniture pieces that are adequate for the activities and workload of the children.  So craft tables and small low cubby spaces will be great for the smaller children.  While the older kids will probably need larger, individual desks and higher storage shelves and cabinets for school work.

Kids playroom ideas – consider flooring and decor

Accessories for charm:

Add a little extra to the kid’s space by putting in accessories.  Little, bright and colorful accents pieces should do the trick  such as lamps, photos or photo frames, their own artwork, iPod system to listen to music, rugs, etc.  This will help to bring in creative originality to the space while not being overwhelming. Believe it or not kids can have just about as much work to do as an adult to a certain extent. So creating a space that is their own where they are able to get their work done can do wonders.  Not only will it give them a space that is their own but it will teach them discipline, responsibility and boundaries within the home.  So follow some of the tips above and see how the results turn out for you.

Image via: Kropat Interior Design

Image via: Kuda Photography

Cool Boy’s Bedroom Design Idea

This week’s “Real Room” comes to us from Rosenberry Rooms‘ owner Susie Fougerousse! She created this World Explorer room for her 7 year old son, Sebastien. Planes, cars, boats, maps and pictures of nature are sprinkled throughout the room, to create a subtle and understated theme that can grow with her son and be easily updated over the years.

5 Tips for setting up a great outdoor dining area

More and more homeowners are keen to get the most out of their garden area and enjoy the sunshine when it does put in an appearance; so why not think about setting up a brand new outdoor dining and seating area? You might already have a table and a few chairs lying around, but a proper dining area is much more extensive; a complete overhaul of one section of your garden on a much more permanent basis.

If you do feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your garden, there are a number of reasons why a brand new outdoor dining space might be able to revitalize the space you have. For instance, outdoor dining areas…

  • Create a light and airy space for you and your family to relax in periods of warmer weather.
  • Can be used for almost any meal of the day, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner – not to mention social gatherings such as weekend brunches and family barbeques.
  • Let you take in the greenery, visual splendor, and natural sounds of the outdoors while you enjoy your meal.
  • Allow you to avoid the claustrophobic confines of an indoor dining room, especially when it is particularly humid or hot and stuffy inside.
  • Can be tailored to suit your particular exterior decor tastes and style; whether you want it matching your interior decoration or fancy opting for something completely new!
  • Help you to make the most of the garden area you have, no matter how large or small it might be!

Planning your Outdoor Dining Area

Once you have decided that an outdoor dining area is just the thing you have been after, it is time to get planning for the final installation! This doesn’t mean the refurbishment project is going to necessarily be that expensive or time-consuming; it just means that you are making sure you have everything in place to enjoy the area free from further stress and worry. So what decisions need to be made? Well, there are a number of considerations to take into account when planning an outdoor dining area, including the following:

  1. What kind of base or standing structure do you want to house your outdoor dining area? Do you fancy having a brand new patio or some kind of wooden decking installed, or are you happy with a flat and even surface of astroturf?
  2. How many people do you want to typically entertain in the new dining area? Making sure you have enough space from the start is important, as you can then begin to think about what size table and how many permanent seats you are going to need. Which brings us on to…
  3. Choosing the right patio furniture and fittings; do you want a simple table and chairs arrangement, or are you looking for something a bit more modern and stylish? Cushions often make for a cozy outdoor retreat, while additional storage spots (either built into the table or via stand-alone structures) can also save you time when enjoying a meal with family and friends.
  4. Do you want the outdoor dining area permanently covered, or are you looking for something that opens up so you can enjoy the sunshine and see the stars? While a sheltered dining spot might make a good option, a roof-free dining area is really what setting up an eatery outdoors is all about.
  5. One final thing – do you want to kit out the area with permanent heating and lighting arrangements? Outdoor brick lights or smaller solar models are the best choices if you want something less intrusive, but hanging lanterns often make for the prettiest (albeit not the strongest) source of light. As for heating – be aware; brand new patio heaters can keep you and your friends warm well past dusk but can be rather costly to run on a regular basis

Request quotes from local contractors

If you want more tips or are still undecided about what kind of dining arrangements would look best in your back garden, why not arrange a preliminary consultation with an interior designer to see the potential in the space you have? It might add a bit more to your final bill, but liaising with an industry expert beforehand can really help to finalize any difficult decisions you have to make before installation; not to mention giving your garden dining area a classy, professional to professional touch!

How to Freshen your Kitchen with Green Plants

Freshening your kitchen this spring may not be as complicated as you think. While we all would like to install new appliances and finishes, for many this isn’t realistic right now. So why not add greenery to your kitchen? You would be surprised how living plants can add color to your kitchen and can be used for your cooking too! Herb gardens in the kitchen are becoming more popular, as are topiaries and small plants alongside the kitchen sink and window. If you are trying to freshen your kitchen, look no further, these greenery tips will surely help.

Add color and texture to your kitchen:

In most of our kitchens the vast amount of hard surfaces is cold and uninviting. Floors, cabinetry, countertops and appliances can create a kitchen that is cold and lifeless. Greenery can bring texture into your kitchen and color. Whether you like fresh flowers, potted plants, or fresh herbs – line them up near a kitchen window for maximum light exposure. Many kitchen manufacturers make trough sinks and accessories to house a flower bud vase or a fresh bunch of herbs in your kitchen island. You will be surprised at the new kitchen trend to incorporate greenery easily and beautifully.

Many sink manufacturers offer trough areas for fresh herbs, drinks and more

Perk up your kitchen with fresh smelling herbs:

Who doesn’t love the fresh smell of rosemary, basil and lavender in their homes? Bring the fresh scent to your kitchen and add greenery at the same time. There are many DIY projects that you can make to display and grow herbs in your kitchen. From recycled pallet wood boxes to individual potted herb topiaries you can plant around your kitchen, the options are endless. Determine which herbs you love to use in your cooking and start freshening your kitchen with aromas and visual delight.

Herb plants can be grown anywhere in your kitchen

Image via: pinterest.com

Your spring kitchen could use a boost of color and green plants are the perfect way to do it! Whether you choose fresh blooms, adding your favorite houseplant along your sink side or growing your own herbs, freshen your kitchen with nature.