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How to style your space with an accent wall

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Walls in most homes come in the standard cream or off-white paint colours, hues that interior stylists have labelled “landlord colours”.

Most homeowners don’t take the initiative to paint over these dull colours even though they will take the extra step to style other elements of the interiors.

The thing is, though, these landlord colours need not be your default colour palette of your spaces. Consider them as a blank canvas to experiment your styling and decor. One creative experiments you must consider is an accent wall.

An accent wall is one whose design is different from the other walls in the space. This space could be in your living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen or balcony. The design that makes it different can be colour, pattern or texture.

Accent walls are also called feature walls. Their purpose, really, is to uplift your space. To add some flair to it, and do away with the boring colours your house came in.

Here are five tips when considering an accent wall for any space in your home:

Tip #1: Go for a solid wall

Avoid walls that have openings such as windows or doors, or have large obstructing furniture such as a towering sideboard.

Remember that the accent wall is a focal point for a space. When you choose a wall that already has these other elements in it, you will lose this essential element of an accent wall.

So go for a solid wall. Walls that are adjacent to windows work best because sunlight pouring into the room will bounce off your accent wall, casting it in a radiant glow with a third dimension.

Walls where you can stand back to take in the styling elements also make for good accent walls, say, the wall in your living room where the main couch has its back to it. Or the wall in your bedroom which is behind your headboard.

And the wall in your child’s bedroom against which his beds sits. For your kitchen, a section of wall that does not have any storage cabinets.

Tip #2: Try a contrasting colour

Consider painting your accent wall in a colour that contrasts, yet compliments the already existing colour scheme in your space.

You don’t want to go wrong with the colour you settle on. To work around this, get a colour fan deck from a paint company of repute. Take your time selecting the colour that will go up on your wall.

One thing that you must know about these colour decks is that the colour you see is not the same one that will go up on your walls — shades somewhat vary.

Have your painter, therefore, come with colour samples in the range of your selected scheme and do swatches on your wall. Sleep on it before you settle on a colour.

Tip #3: Try for geometric shapes

Geometric shapes are truly eye-catching for an accent wall. The incorporation of symmetry, clean or curvy lines, abstract, modern or traditional shapes and rich tones can create a wow effect in any space of your home.

You can also use wood panelling for these shapes. The ideas for geometric shapes are infinite. If you want to get something bold for your accent wall, then I strongly suggest you go with an accent wall.

The combinations for the colour schemes are just as infinite: you can opt for a monochromatic wall in black and white, shades of the same pastel colours, an ombre effect with one colour, or for a burst of colour with complementing and contrasting shades from the same family.

Rather than draw your own geometric shapes on a piece of paper, get ideas from Pinterest, Houzz and other online stops for interior design. Your ideas will stretch far beyond your imagination.

Tip #4: Try wallpaper instead

Instead of a paint job, you could opt to go with wallpaper instead. The same guidelines above that apply to painting your accent wall also apply to wallpapering it.

The beauty about wallpaper is that you can get intricate patterns and designs that can’t be achieved with paint, for instance images, murals, vintage prints and complex geometrical shapes.

Wallpaper, compared to paint, is also easier and quicker to instal. Cost varies according to the quality and design of the wallpaper, so it may or may not be cheaper than a paint job.

Remember to get a technician to instal your wallpaper for you — you don’t want it peeling off the walls or looking tacky.

Tip #5: Go on to style your accent wall further

Once you have painted or wallpapered your accent wall, go ahead to style it further.

The accessories you style it with will, of course, be informed by the design of your accent wall. Go extra with a subtle design, say a wall painted in one colour.

And style sparingly a wall with a bold design, say geometric shapes or bold wallpaper because you don’t want the accent wall to look too busy with more styling than it needs.

Rather than style the wall right away, leave it as it is for a couple of weeks so you can appreciate its undisturbed accentuation. This will also give you time to decide what will go up where and how.

Plan the styling carefully because some design choices can’t be undone; they may ruin the design permanently. Say, hanging up framed photos requires that you drill in nail holes or stick on adhesive hooks.

These holes and hooks will indent your accent wall and ruin it should you later change your mind about hanging up the framed photos.

By Nation.co.ke


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Health

MP’s battle with Covid-19 at home

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On November 2, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama drove to Naivasha to attend the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting.

Earlier, Mr Arama had taken a Covid-19 test at a health facility in Nakuru after he experienced chills at night.

However, on arrival at the hotel where he was to spend the night, he started experiencing chills again and developed fever, pain in the joints and nausea.

Soon he started experiencing shortness of breath.

He informed his colleagues that he was feeling unwell, and they quickly planned to take him to Nairobi for treatment.

Not able to walk

“When I booked into my room, my body temperature was high and I had chills. It was at that time that I received a phone call from health officials that I had tested positive for Covid-19. I had gone for the test before travelling to Naivasha,” he recalled.

But when he informed the department of health about his plan to travel to Nairobi for treatment, he was counselled and advised by the County Chief Officer of Public Health Samuel King’ori to self-isolate in his house where he would be monitored by medics.

Inside an isolation room in his house, he was put on supplemental oxygen and fed through tubes, with doctors examining him in the morning, afternoon and at night.

“For the past several weeks, I have kept off the public because I was not able to walk, talk or eat after being diagnosed with Covid-19,” said Arama.

After 15 days, he began to feed normally and later tested negative for coronavirus.

“God has been merciful to me. Gasping for air and feeding through tubes was the most trying moment in my life. Actually, this was my first time to feed through tubes and get oxygen support,” he said.

The MP plans to work with community health volunteers, the police and youth to sensitise locals on Covid-19 preventive measures.

He wants to buy at least 20,000 masks to distribute to the needy through local administrators and nyumba kumi members.

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19, Arama used to hold a meeting with constituents.

Initially, he used to criticise police whenever they arrested people for contravening Covid-19 protocols.

“At times I would rush to the police station whenever I heard that someone had been arrested, but now I support the police to fully enforce the set containment measures. It is through discipline that we will save the society,” he said.

He said during meetings with constituents he never thought he would contract the virus.

“I take this opportunity to thank God for giving me this second chance to serve Him and the people of Nakuru Town West,” he said.

His message to the public is to wear masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid crowds.

“We need everyone to put on masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid gatherings. This is the only way to contain the spread of this virus,” said the MP.

Dedication and courage

Arama applauded health workers in Nakuru, for their dedication and courage in the fight against Covid-19.

“I can confirm to you that Nakuru County has the best health facilities, equipment and qualified medical personnel. I spent two weeks on oxygen support machine, intensive treatment and consistent checkups,” he said.

Health records indicate that the attack rate in Nakuru is 169.2 out of 100,000 population, with a case fatality of 2.2 per cent.

Although the MP was reluctant to reveal the cost of his treatment, a source at the local department of health told The Standard he incurred a bill of Sh51,684 per day because he required supplemental oxygen and his condition was critical.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

GoGreenNaOptiven KAMATA 20K PAP!

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Lifestyle

The toughest 9 months: I was pregnant with cancer

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She peed in a cup at the health centre, praying that the chemotherapy was not bringing up other health problems. She had walked into the facility after feeling worse than usual. Chemotherapy effects were bad, but this morning she felt worse. She just wanted to be fine, then she would finally start enjoying her new marriage.

A few moments later, the young medical officer walked up to her with a smile. “You have nothing to worry about. You are pregnant,” he said calmly. Jackline Kanyua was not sure how to feel about the news. On one hand she was happy, motherhood did not seem like a far-fetched dream anymore.

But again, her doctor had told her that avoiding pregnancy as she went through her cancer treatment was the best thing for her health. Heck, her monthly period had even disappeared. But the doctor had assured her that the chemotherapy and the drugs she took were enough to cause that.

Yet here she was, in 2017, in her mid-20s, newly married, pregnant but with cancer; Stage 3 breast cancer that needed aggressive treatment. The journey had all began a few months earlier when she felt a tight hard lump in her breast while singing in the shower. She had been planning her wedding then. What luck? she mused.

World over, according to the World Health Organisation, one in 1,000 mothers find themselves in the very same quagmire as Jackline. And just like Jackline’s doctor, other medics warn that pregnancy could complicate cancer treatment, just as much as cancer treatment interferes with pregnancy.

Andrew Odhiambo, a Nairobi-based consultant oncologist, advises that once a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the safest option is to avoid pregnancy.

“Getting pregnant presents serious challenges, but even the treatment itself can cause a stoppage in menstrual flow,” says Dr Odhiambo.

The biggest dilemma presented, he explains, is whether to stop treatment and carry the pregnancy to term or to terminate the pregnancy and continue with medication. If chemotherapy has to start immediately, especially in advanced cancer stages, then termination has to be done. In fact, doctors recommend that women on treatment for cancer should be on contraception until some period after the end of treatment.

“Carrying the pregnancy means stopping treatment, especially radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery can only be done after the second trimester. We always advise women to consider freezing their eggs and probably using them later once treatment is done,” Odhiambo says.

A 2019 study published in PubMed Central (PMC) affirms that radiation can be dangerous and that only non-ionising imaging methods are preferred to reduce exposure to the foetus.

“Unfortunately, not many medications can be safely used during pregnancy and mother should be exhaustive in thought about potential risks and complications of those systemic treatments,” the study states.

At the time when Jackie found out she was pregnant, she had had 10 chemotherapy sessions and a lumpectomy.

To navigate this new development, the couple made an appointment with their doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), where tough decisions had to be made. The doctor gave her two options; to keep the baby and forget about the treatment or terminate the pregnancy and continue with her treatment. And being at cancer stage 3 at the time of diagnosis, this was a decision she had to make fully aware of the risks.

Abort or not?

“Keeping the baby was a huge risk but I decided to go for it. I told them that I did not require any time to think about anything because this was the best gift I could have. Or I could even give to my new husband. So I quickly signed the consent forms to stop treatment,” she recalls.

With pregnancy, several changes occur in a woman’s body. They include a drop in the number of lymphocytes that act as defence against foreign objects, including disease-causing pathogens.

“A pregnant woman naturally has increasing levels of oestrogen hormone. But these increasing levels, in the case of a pregnant woman with cancer, have a potential of accelerating breast cancer. Now add to the fact that you have stopped treatment, this can get too bad too fast,” says Dr John Ongech, a consultant gynaecologist.

Jackline’s first trimester was, however, uneventful despite treatment having stopped. The fifth month of pregnancy, however, turned into a nightmare, as her right breast, which had undergone surgery, burst, becoming a raw open wound. She could not, however, be put on medication because of the growing foetus.

“The wound festered and smelled so horrible. The only way to care for the wound was using water and no drugs. My husband, Jude, had to stay home to take care of me. One of the women from church came visiting and found me in such a deplorable condition that she decided to take us into her home to provide care,” says jackline.

Unbearable pain

When Jackline was six months pregnant she had had enough and told her husband that they had to terminate the pregnancy.

“The pain was unbearable, and the wound didn’t seem to be healing. The cancer seemed to be growing and I wanted to resume treatment.”

And so they booked and paid Sh15,000 for the procedure.

“When we got to the KNH procedure room and I saw the devices that were to be used, I literally ran and called my husband once I was ‘safely’ seated inside a bus headed to the CBD,” she says.

A week later, facing unbearable pain, Jackline and Jude went back to have the pregnancy terminated, the second time. This was never to be, since when they got to hospital she changed her mind, again.

“I remember asking the attendants what they thought was the worst thing that could happen to me now that I had cancer, and their answer was “death”. I also asked them what was the worst that could happen if I carried the pregnancy to term. Their answer was still “death”. I was then ready to give up my life for my baby.”

On noting her dogged determination and the excruciating pain she was in, the medics suggested that she carries the pregnancy to seven months and then she could deliver preterm and have the baby put in incubation.

Pain notwithstanding that seemed like the best choice she had. And so, it would be. At seven months, labour was induced and baby Zawadi made her entrance into the world. The distressed baby would be whisked off to the ICU immediately to begin her recovery. As for her mother, aggressive treatment would resume. Luckily, Zawadi made a good recovery and was moved to the nursery and later to the paediatric ward.

Two months later, mother and baby were back home, where new challenges awaited.

“Due to my medication, I could not breastfeed Zawadi and she had to depend on formula milk,” says Jackline.

All was going on well, until April this year when a cycle of chemotherapy and trouble struck again.

“Because I was lactating, yet the milk was not being consumed, the infected breast started having complications and I had to begin treatment once more.”

Doctors also discovered that the previous surgery had not completely removed the cancerous cells and they had to go in again. Her latest session of chemotherapy ended in October, after which Jackline was taken in for a mastectomy. She is recovering.

“This will be followed by another round of radiation to kill any remaining cancerous cells. I need close to ShI million for that. I have Sh450,000 already, thanks to support from well-wishers after I was featured on comedian MC Jessy’s show. I am hopeful that it will work out, and I will be here for my baby and husband,” she says.

This may have worked out for Jackie, but doctors caution that hers was a big risk they would not encourage because of the potential for fast spread of cancer cells, a complication that would mean she would be on lifelong treatment, or just die.

“Also, pregnancy while with cancer has been linked with a likelihood of recurrence of the cancer,” says Dr Ongech.

As Jackline cradles her baby, with a smile, as the interview comes to a close, it is clear that it was worth the risk.

“My baby was the best choice I made. It will be fine.”

by STandardmedia.co.ke


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