Florence Low / Bee File Photo

Home and garden checklist

Published: Saturday, May. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9CALIFORNIA LIFE

HOME CHECKLIST

Designing apartments for senior living requires more than a sense of color and taste. Often, seniors move from a larger home and "downsize" their belongings. There also are concerns about mobility; is there room for wheelchair access?

Those are a few of the points HGTV design host Emily Henderson kept in mind while redecorating an apartment for Fran Ferguson, winner of a makeover contest at her Sunrise Senior Living community in Washington, D.C.

Ferguson, an 81-year-old military widow who uses a wheelchair, wanted style, comfort and safety in her redesigned apartment. Henderson filled her rooms with cheery turquoise blue and rounded edges.

Here are a few of Henderson's tips for designing for seniors:

Choose contrasting wall colors: Since some seniors may have vision issues as they age, it's important to contrast the wall and floor colors, Henderson said. All-white bathrooms, for instance, can pose a danger for seniors.

Personalize wall art: Here's a great way to showcase family memories, Henderson said. Opt for larger frames to avoid having too much in a small space. Shadow box frames are ideal for displaying precious mementos.

Use safety rails: Such aids don't have to look institutional. Disguise a handrail by making it into a "chair rail." Paint the top half of your wall a darker color than the bottom half and install the handrail in the middle.

Find creative storage solutions: Downsizing doesn't have to lead to clutter or stacks of boxes. Ottomans, for example, can be used for storage, extra seating or a coffee table.

Select round furniture: Round furniture (particularly tables) helps to keep the layout open and the room void of sharp corners.

For more tips and photos, click on http://stylebyemilyhenderson.com


GARDEN CHECKLISTS

Break out the tomato transplants; it's time to plant! Night temperatures are warm enough and so is the soil, so get those babies in the ground now. Plant them deep to promote good roots.

When will those tomatoes be ready to harvest? Most varieties will start bearing fruit about 60 days after transplanting.

Also, plant seedling eggplant, squash and peppers.

Plant seeds for basil, beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers and radishes.

Time to harvest, too. Bring in peas, fava beans, lettuce, cabbage and green onions.

Mulch around plants to control weeds and conserve moisture. Be sure to leave a small circle around the base of each plant to prevent rotting stems or trunks.

For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses and other flowering plants. (This is called "deadheading.")

Check for powdery mildew on grapes. If needed, spray with sulfur or potassium bicarbonate, available at nurseries.

– Debbie Arrington

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