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6 Design approaches to explore in 2019

Acting on the inspiration of global trends can be as simple as shifting your outlook to bringing eye-catching features and everyday functions into your home.

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The influence of global cultures is increasingly visible in home decor as technology expands homeowners’ world views. Acting on the inspiration of global trends can be as simple as shifting your outlook to bringing eye-catching features and everyday functions into your home.

For example, playing with color, replacing doors and incorporating unique accents can help contribute to an on-trend style that flows seamlessly from room to room. Colors offer the opportunity to create a mood and update a space. Doors provide an average of 800 square feet of previously untapped design potential that can add visual interest and enhance the functionality of a room. Unique accents invite whimsy and individuality.

As you make plans to redesign spaces within your home, watch for these trends in 2019 to support your lifestyle needs and design aspirations.

Nordic Noir
If you crave simplicity and cleanliness, embrace the Scandinavian approach to design that’s all about moderation. Nordic Noir upholds values of minimalism and timeless devotion to well-made elements that are beautiful in their own simplicity. Muted colors like blue-gray and pale rose come to life on walls and in fabrics. Doors made of dark metal and wood paired with glass panels bring natural light and warmth into the home.

Urban Country
This trend brings the look and feel of rural living to urban spaces by pairing crisp white and warm neutrals with ornate fixtures. Elements like a craftsman-style front door with sidelights help to accentuate the home’s original detailing, while well-crafted, handmade pieces bring the heart and soul of country living into the space. Urban Country is perfect for the fast-paced urbanite looking to live a more balanced, slow-paced lifestyle.

“These macro-trends influence our home design choices, down to the style of a front door,” said Lorena Morales, creative director for Masonite International, a leading designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors. “With about 800 square feet of design space to work with, doors should play a pivotal role in the design of any home. A homeowner can begin to transform a room’s entryway from Urban Country to Nordic Noir simply by choosing a door with glass that’s clear over glass with iron caming. Materials, textures and colors are incredibly impactful elements in these trends.”

Rustic Luxury
Geared toward those who need a personal space where they can restore energy and find balance, Rustic Luxury design helps homeowners disconnect from the demands of everyday life. With this trend, the focus is on creating harmony between natural and architectural design elements. Try mixing sculptural design pieces and greenery with natural wood doors and concrete benches for a calming counterbalance to frenetic, fast-paced living.

Pretty and Calm
As female buying-power continues to increase, spaces are being redesigned to fit the lifestyles of modern women who often appreciate both contemporary and traditional design. Biophilic elements mixed with pale-hued colors, luxurious touches and textured glass doors are all key features for Pretty and Calm design. To achieve this style, play with textures that feature warm yet bold colors like pale blue, sunshine yellow and sage. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dissimilar materials to find the right combination of interest and comfort.

“Trends like Pretty and Calm lean on neutrals that are more compelling than beige to create beautiful and calm interiors,” said Kate Rumson, interior designer and founder of The Real Houses of Instagram. “When these pale hues are layered with dark, smoky colors like blacks and grays, this trend can appeal to nearly everyone. To complete the room, pair an ornate door featuring glass or polished nickel hardware with a soft finish to create a design element that’s timeless.”

Live and Work
If you’re one of more than 3.4 million Americans working from home at least half of the time, you may require transitional spaces that accommodate both productivity and downtime. To adopt this design trend, consider the use of furniture and products that can serve multiple purposes. For example, modern barn doors in bold tones of vibrant orange or cool blue can provide privacy during work hours and serve as an industrial design accent off-hours.

Mediterranean Escape
If you classify yourself as a traveler, you may favor the style of Mediterranean Escape. People who travel tend to bring blended influences from various cultures home. This trend helps homeowners showcase the intricate detail and culture in those treasured pieces. Paired with wrought iron accents, warm colors and arched doorways, Mediterranean Escape adds sophistication and story to nearly any space.

Trends don’t have to impede individual design. Global influences like sustainability, craftsmanship and simplicity can be the foundation for creating an environment tailored to meet unique lifestyles and needs.

Decoding Door Styles

  • Swinging Door: This is a hinged door that swings into or out of a room and is the most standard interior door application.
  • Bifold Door: A folding door that has several sections that fold in pairs. Bifolds are most commonly made for closets but may also be used between rooms.
  • Bypass Door: A bypass door consists of two or more sections that can slide in either direction along one axis on parallel overhead tracks so that they slide past each other. They are most commonly used as closet doors to access one side of the closet at a time. The doors in a bypass unit will overlap slightly when viewed from the front to eliminate any visible gap between them.
  • Barn Door: An on-trend interior door option that uses externally mounted hardware to allow the door to slide over an opening without taking the space needed for a swinging door.

Find more information and 2019 design inspiration at MasoniteTrends.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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