Care Homes: Practical Advice on Interior Design

Designing a room within a care home demands careful consideration. A well designed room will give your residents a better quality of life, particularly important when a person is elderly and restricted in their movements. This, in turn, will reassure their family and friends that their loved one is being cared for properly, as the room itself will represent the care you have taken in providing attractive and comfortable surroundings for the resident.

A good starting point is to look at hotel room design.Here there are helpful guidelines on what to consider, but only as a starting point because hotel rooms are usually short stay environments for people of all ages. A care home demands a more subtle design aspect that appeals over a longer stay to the more conservative tastes of older people.

The design can be separated into three areas: safety; functionality; and look.

Safety
Here, the hotel room guidelines are very useful. In 2006 the new regulations on fire safety changed requirements for all business premises. ‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005‘ requires that businesses conduct a risk assessment to prevent fires by reducing risk. Now, a business owner must ensure fire safety for all those who use their premises. There are particular regulations pertaining to curtain fabric and they must meet the safety standards set out inBS5867 Part 2 Type B.Curtains that are labelled as ‘FR’ (fire retardant) should be acceptable, but ask the supplier if the fabric meets the minimum standards for care homes – a good supplier will know.

Functionality
As with hotel-room design, practicality is just as important as the aesthetic feel of a room. Fabrics that can be easily and repeatedly laundered should be considered, and, as with fire safety, particular attention should be paid to the choice of curtains. Here the size and lining of curtains can provide for improved functionality. Larger curtains can help reduce energy costs as they mitigate against the heat loss even through double-glazed windows. Specialist linings can also serve the same function with any size curtains and black-out linings can increase privacy as well as protecting the room from outside lighting and early morning sunshine in a south facing room.

Look
Again, choosing fabrics for care homes is similar to choosing for a hotel room, but the overall colour pallet should be different. Traditional, more conservative colours can be considered – such as relaxing greens and touches of traditional burgundy. A good supplier will recognise the distinction and different needs of a care home from those of a hotel. Look for a supplier that has a separate section on their web site or catalogue dedicated to the specific needs of interior design for care homes. Buying from one supplier allows you to create a design theme, with matching colours and patterns across the curtains, runners and cushions. By choosing more neutral colours and patterns for bed linen and wall coverings the theme for the curtains, runners and cushions can be bolder with richer designs. Again, a good supplier should be able to advise you on an overall look, specific to your needs, and be able to supply all elements under one price quotation.

Do You Need a Graphic Design Degree?

Do you really need to get a graphic design degree? It is true that many graphic designers have never formally studied, but rather taught themselves over many years on how to become a great graphic designer. Many were or still are freelance designers who also work for a company.

Whatever the case, a degree in graphic design can only strengthen your position when it comes to finding employment in this competitive field. Without a doubt, the top corporations who employ graphic designers will look for a degree. This is because a degree proves you have perseverance and commitment to the industry. Commitment is often a more important factor for employers as they want to be sure they are hiring a graphic designer they can rely on well into the future.

People interested in graphic design generally begin their interest in high school, sometimes even before that. Many students practice graphic design at home in their spare time. The affordability of high end graphic design software and capable computers has made this art more accessible than ever before. There are now millions of excellent graphic designers the world over, some working freelance and gaining 100% of their work online. These people do not have a graphic design degree but are very proficient in the art.

Graphic designers typically earn between $40,000 and $70,000, but this can vary greatly depending on the employer and whether the designer partakes in any freelance work to supplement their income.

Currently some of the most established and recognized places to gain a graphic design degree from are available both online and offline. These include:

Academy of Art University Online

American InterContinental University

The Art Institute Online

ITT Technical Institute

Westwood College Online

Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster College

Most schools offer a wide range of design courses which focus on different areas, including computer animation, fashion design, television, media, interior design, web design, video game design and more. All of these areas require graphic design skills so you are not limited in the careers you can pursue once you are qualified with a degree.

If you wish to be employed locally and make graphic design a stable career for you then earning a degree is the best way to begin. It will win you points in the eyes of employers and will also equip you with the skills and experiences that you would otherwise miss out on.

Traditional Japanese Interior Design – Bamboo

If you’ve ever seen tall stalks of golden bamboo in a grove or in photographs, you might be surprised to learn that it is a grass. A very fast growing, tall grass. While ‘dwarf’ bamboo grows to less than a foot, some species actually grow 100 feet tall!

Bamboo is attractive, pliable and sturdy, and is the preferred plant used in the making of wicker furniture. (It’s also provides the preferred food of the Giant Panda, but that’s a different story.)

Once the wood has been properly treated to prevent insect infestation, bamboo forms a very tough hardwood that can be used in fences, canes, toys, musical instruments, clothing, and much more, including decorative baskets.

Bamboo grows in many countries around the world, such as China, Japan and Indonesia, and each country has its own traditional method of weaving baskets. So if you’re thinking of adding a decorative bamboo basket or two to your home decor, you can go with traditional designs of your own area, or purchase something unique from another country.

Baskets woven from bamboo are works of art in their own right, and can stand on their own as decorative pieces. But they are above all functional, and can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding various knicknackery to setting off plants or flowers placed within.

Don’t just go into a local store and buy the first basket you see. If you search the web you can find hundreds of examples of intricately woven baskets that will amaze you with their beauty. Even if your home is not furnished with an ‘Oriental motif,’ a traditional Japanese basket is such a unique work of art that it will stand out and complement its surroundings.

Because bamboo baskets can be so beautiful, it’s no surprise that it takes a long time to learn the craft. It can take artists up to ten years just to learn to master the art of bamboo weaving. However, if you like to create your own baskets, don’t despair, there are plenty of resources which will show you how to work with bamboo.

Books such as The Basket Book: Over 30 Magnificent Baskets to Make and Enjoy, Handmade Baskets: From Nature’s Colorful Materials, and The Craft & Art of Bamboo: Projects for Home and Garden are written for the beginner and have simple designs to start with.

On the internet, bamboocraft is a website chock-full of links to every possible subject you could want to know about bamboo and the art of working with it and creating everything from furniture to baskets to clothing! It includes a message forum so like-minded artisans can get together to exchange stories, hints and techniques.

The American Bamboo Society americanbamboo is another excellent resource – and it provides links to societies around the world, from Mexico to Europe to Australia to China and Japan. There’s a vast network out there for those who’d like to learn how to make beautiful bamboo baskets…or appreciate those who have.