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Living in color

Whichever way you go, colored cabinetry is more than just a trend: it’s a design approach that is here to stay.

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When picking a color for cabinetry, personality and lifestyle are essential considerations. Gray and white cabinets are options for the modern active living lifestyle, whereas green and blue tones may work better for a more eclectic existence.

Whichever way you go, colored cabinetry is more than just a trend: it’s a design approach that is here to stay. That’s why careful planning is necessary when you set out to redesign the kitchen. After all, this essential living space is an area where you spend plenty of time, so it should feature visual elements and colors you find appealing.

White kitchen cabinets have dominated the market for many years. White cabinetry is constant, safe and classic. However, reports from designers and data on market buying trends are showing a slight shift in painted cabinetry design from classic white to pops of color.

“We know kitchen cabinetry is an ever-evolving dynamic, but we also believe certain trends are more constant and everlasting,” said Angela O’Neill, director of marketing and advertising at Wellborn Cabinet. “We trust consumers and we believe they have spoken and have spoken very loudly in regard to painted cabinetry.”

The current styling trend, reflected in Wellborn Cabinet’s latest colors, is a marriage of traditional and contemporary finishes, materials and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. Beloved white is now making way for trending warmer tones featuring shades of gray, green and blue.

A Calming Effect

Letting your personality show through with color in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean going outlandishly bold. Paint hues like aqua, mint and olive can all set the stage for a calm, inviting atmosphere. Each of these shades provides a mild taste of colored cabinetry, imparting an effect that is subtle but bold enough to make its presence known.

Mink Gray

Exploring shades of gray is another way to develop a unique look. Some shades result in a calm, tranquil effect. However, if you’re looking for a more dominant color, an option like Mink Gray from Wellborn Cabinet gives the feel of a much warmer space. Minimalists swoon over this classic yet clean gray because it isn’t overpowering, and the timeless color adds to the transitional styling of cabinetry.

It All Started with White 

It’s true that white cabinetry set the pace for painted cabinetry, and it’s likely to remain a popular option for homeowners. Remember, though, that not all whites are the same and different shades can elicit a different design motif entirely. Cabinets in shades of white are enduring and versatile, appearing in cottage, traditional and even modern kitchens.

Also remember that although it’s simple, there’s nothing dull about white cabinetry. Embrace the classic white spacious kitchen in your home but take it up a notch with brass lanterns, a round dining table and fabric- covered chairs.

Choose the Right Cabinet Color

Once you’ve made the decision to add colored cabinets to the kitchen, there’s an obvious next question: which color? With so many options to choose from, you may need to answer some basic questions to narrow down the field.

Bold vs. Subtle

If you’re looking for a dramatic change, a bold approach may be the perfect solution. Just remember that a bold space can border on overly bold. It needs to be a color and shade that you will continue to enjoy over time. On the other hand, if you’re set on adding color but not sure something so vibrant will do, a softer shade of that color may offer a more subtle solution.

All Over vs. Accent

Consider whether your vision calls for paint on all of your kitchen cabinetry, or if you’re simply looking to create a standout feature. A color that looks terrific as a focal point may overwhelm if it’s applied throughout the room, so evaluate which of the options you’re weighing is best suited to the use you have in mind.

Fit Within the Home

In many homes, the design style flows from one room to the next. It’s important when making a major change like colored cabinets to understand how the new style will fit with the rest of the house. For example, whether it will complement or contrast, and if it contrasts, ensure that’s the look you’re truly going for.

Completing the Design

Another often-overlooked consideration is how you’ll complete the room once the cabinetry is installed. Think about the rest of the woodwork, other finishes like backsplash and flooring, and dining furniture in the space. Also consider your appliances and any decorative items you may wish to add. Ensure the color you’re considering will fit with the other elements. If it doesn’t, you may have to consider upgrading those features to achieve a cohesive look.

If you’re still having trouble narrowing down your selection, many designers recommend selecting an inspiration piece and designing the rest of the room, including the cabinetry, to complement it.

Find more inspiration and planning tools to create the contemporary kitchen of your dreams at wellborn.com.

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Cardio-fitness cuts death and disease by nearly 20%

Running, cycling, or swimming – if you regularly exercise, you’re on track for a long and healthy life.

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Running, cycling, or swimming – if you regularly exercise, you’re on track for a long and healthy life.

This is according to a study – “Cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong and consistent predictor of morbidity and mortality among adults: an overview of meta-analyses representing over 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies” – that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study comprised of 26 systematic reviews with meta-analysis representing more than 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies. It is the first study to collate all the scientific evidence that looked at the prospective link between cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes among adults.

The study found that:

  • for every 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness – the amount of energy used for quiet sitting – a person can reduce their risk of death by 11-17%, and specifically, their risk of heart disease by 18%.
  • an increased cardio fitness level will reduce your risk of death from any cause by 11-17%.

Senior author Grant Tomkinson said that cardiorespiratory fitness is probably the most important type of fitness for good health. “Cardiorespiratory fitness (or CRF) is your ability to perform physical activity for a long period of time like running, cycling, and swimming. And in this study, we found prolonged cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly and consistently associated with all types of premature death and incident disease – spanning heart failure, depression, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.”

Tomkinson added that the researchers “summarized the evidence linking CRF to numerous health outcomes and found that those with low levels of CRF are far more likely to die early or develop chronic conditions like heart disease later in life.” Specifically, “we found that every 1-MET increase in CRF, which is the amount of energy used when sitting quietly, reduced the risk of early death from any cause and heart failure by 11–17% and 18%, respectively. For most people, a 1-MET increase in CRF can be achieved through a regular aerobic exercise program.”

For Tomkinson, the message is quite simple: if you do a lot of “huff and puff” exercise, then your risk of dying early or developing diseases in the future is reduced. If you avoid exercise your health may suffer.

Chronic health conditions are an ongoing cause of poor health, disability, and premature death. In Australia, an estimated 11.6 million people (47%) have a chronic and debilitating health conditions, which contributes to two thirds of the burden of disease.

“Clearly, cardiorespiratory fitness is as an important factor for good health. If you are already exercising, this is good news; but if you know you need to up your fitness and movement, then this is a timely reminder,” co-author Dr Justin Lang said.

“People can make meaningful improvements through additional moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week. And as they improve their fitness, their risk of death and disease will decline. But the onus for improvement should not just sit with the individual, it should also be routinely assessed in clinical and public health practice, so that we can support people to improve their health outcomes,” Lang added.

Through regular assessment, clinicians and exercise professionals could better identify adults at greater risk of early death and initiate exercise programs aimed at increasing CRF through regular physical activity.

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Natural therapy shows promise for dry-eye disease

Castor oil has been proposed as a natural product that could offer a safe, effective and easy-to-use alternative to existing therapies.

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Researchers at the University of Auckland are running a trial of castor oil as a potential safe and natural treatment for dry-eye disease following a successful pilot study.

While exact figures aren’t available for New Zealand, in Australia, it is estimated dry-eye disease affects around 58% of the population aged over 50. Advancing age, menopause, increased screen time, contact lens wear are just some of the risk factors for developing dry eye disease.

Blepharitis is the most common cause of dry-eye disease, accounting for more than 80 percent of cases. It is a chronic condition with no known cure.

“Currently, patients are left grappling with symptoms of dryness, grittiness and, in some cases, watery eyes that feel uncomfortable impacting on their quality of life and work productivity,” says doctoral candidate and lead clinical investigator Catherine Jennings.

Current treatments, such as antibacterials and anti-inflammatories, are generally unsuitable for long-term use, due to significant side-effects and potential for antimicrobial resistance.

“Often patients are left feeling helpless when attempting to manage a chronic condition,” Jennings says.

The current trial is of a product containing cold-pressed castor oil enhanced with mānuka and kanuka oils applied using a rollerball attached to a small glass bottle.

“The previous pilot study, conducted by our research team, was unique in its use of castor oil in such an application on the eyelids, with the product not known to be used anywhere else in the world for treating blepharitis,” says Jennings.

Castor oil comes from a flowering tropical or subtropical shrub from the species Riccinus communis. It has been used therapeutically for millenia, including more recently in eye cosmetics and eye makeup removers.

In the pilot study, 26 patients with blepharitis were treated with cold-pressed castor oil over four weeks. They had measurable improvements in symptoms, such as reduced redness of the lid margin, decreased thickening of the eyelid, and a decline in bacterial profusion, as well as reduced eyelash crusting.

Building on the success of the pilot study, the research team is now engaged in the more extensive double-blinded, randomised and placebo-controlled study. They are aiming to recruit 92 participants and generate robust scientific evidence for clinicians.

The ultimate goal is to sustainably improve quality of life for this large group of patients using a natural, safe and effective product, principal investigator Professor Jennifer Craig says.

“Castor oil has been proposed as a natural product that could offer a safe, effective and easy-to-use alternative to existing therapies,” Craig says.

“My hope is this study will produce evidence-based guidance for clinicians with regard to offering castor oil as a possible management option for patients suffering from blepharitis, so they continue to enjoy a great quality of life, read the books they love, be productive in their work environment and enjoy other visual hobbies.”

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For epilepsy, yoga may be good for your mind

People who did yoga were more than four times as likely to have more than a 50% reduction in their seizure frequency after six months than the people who did sham yoga.

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For people with epilepsy, doing yoga may help reduce feelings of stigma about the disease along with reducing seizure frequency and anxiety, according to new research published in the November 8, 2023, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“People with epilepsy often face stigma that can cause them to feel different than others due to their own health condition and that can have a significant impact on their quality of life,” said study author Manjari Tripathi, MD, DM, of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. “This stigma can affect a person’s life in many ways including treatment, emergency department visits and poor mental health. Our study showed that doing yoga can alleviate the burden of epilepsy and improve the overall quality of life by reducing this perceived stigma.” 

For the study, researchers looked at people with epilepsy with an average age of 30 in India.

Researchers measured stigma based on participants’ answers to questions such as: “Do you feel other people discriminate against you?” “Do you feel you cannot contribute anything in society?” and “Do you feel different from other people?”

Researchers then identified 160 people who met the criteria for experiencing stigma. Participants had an average of one seizure per week and on average took at least two anti-seizure medications.

Researchers then randomly assigned participants to receive yoga therapy or sham yoga therapy. Yoga therapy included exercises in loosening muscles, breathing, meditation and positive affirmations. Sham yoga consisted of exercises that mimic the same yoga exercises, but participants were not given instructions on two key components of yoga believed to induce a relaxation response: slow and synchronized breathing, and attention to the body movements and sensations during practice.

Each group received seven supervised group sessions of 45 to 60 minutes over three months. Participants were also asked to practice sessions at home at least five times a week for 30 minutes. They tracked seizures and yoga sessions in a journal. After the three months of therapy, participants were followed for another three months.

Researchers found when compared to people who did sham yoga, people who did yoga were more likely to reduce their perceived stigma of the disease. People who did yoga had an average score of seven at the start of the study and an average score of four at the end of the study, while people who did sham yoga had an increase from an average score of six at the start of the study to an average score of seven at the end.

Researchers also found that people who did yoga were more than four times as likely to have more than a 50% reduction in their seizure frequency after six months than the people who did sham yoga.

In addition, people who did yoga were more than seven times more likely to no longer have seizures than those who did sham yoga.

There was also a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms for people who did yoga versus people who did not. They saw improvements in quality of life measures and mindfulness.

“These study findings elevate the need to consider alternative therapies and activities for people with epilepsy facing stigma,” said Tripathi. “Yoga may not only help reduce stigma, but also improve quality of life and mindfulness. Plus, yoga can be easily prerecorded and shared with patients online using minimal resources and costs.”

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