For someone who is visually impaired, good interior design demands a lot of thought and care to produce a living environment that is safe, functional and pleasing. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, creating such a space doesn’t have to cost a lot. It just requires a little extra thought and consideration. And don't forget to ask for your client’s input about the styles, textures and layout he would prefer in each room.
Lighting and Contrasts
Make good use of lighting and contrasting colors. A person who is legally blind does not necessarily live in darkness. Often legally blind people have a sense of light, color and contrast. Windows should have adjustable blinds, so that the amount of natural light coming into a room can be varied. Mirrors should be carefully placed to reduce glare, which can be disorienting to someone with a visual impairment.
The use of contrast can make it easier for many visually impaired or legally blind people to find important items in a room. Placing a dark-colored item against a light background makes it easier for a person with limited vision to see that item. Use this approach for things like light switches and doorknobs.
Clear all walkways of tripping hazards like cords. Tape down area rugs to reduce the chance of someone tripping over the edge. Design the layout of each room so that the natural traffic areas are clear of furniture. For a person with some sight, use brightly colored objects like vases and pictures to provide a frame of reference for the furniture in the room.
Provide a variety of textures, sounds and even smells to bring the room to life. Furniture upholstery and throw pillows in a variety of textures can help someone with limited or no vision to stay oriented and to recognize different pieces of furniture by touch. Wind chimes or fountains can provide pleasing audio cues. The use of scented potpourri or fresh-cut flowers provide a pleasant aroma and enhance the overall enjoyment the room brings to its occupant.
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