Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sprucing Up Your Laundry Room!

The Laundry room is often the most neglected room in the house. It's not usually a room that we make a priority to decorate because we do chores there.

But a work space easily could be turned from drab to fab by treating your laundry room with the DLC (Designing Love and Care).

I recently gave my old laundry room some DLC and now I actually look forward to going in there and having some quiet time to myself, even if I am just doing the wash.

If you have a laundry room that needs some attention, follow the tips below to transform your laundry room. Keep in mind, if you are the one in your household who does the wash, decorate the laundry room for yourself.

Paint the walls your favorite color. If you don't have a favorite color, then choose bright and energetic shades such as yellow or orange. On the other hand, should you desire your laundry room to be a place where you can relax, choose blue or green. Your walls should be a color (or colors) that make you feel happy. My laundry room color is Benjamin Moore's "Quiet Moments." I choose it because that's what I need.

If you don't want to paint, use pictures to give walls character. It doesn't matter if it's a painting by a famous artist, a picture your child drew or a movie poster. I made a shadow box of my first childhood sewing projects, and made satin bulletin boards with photos of my daughter and mother sewing in my laundry room.
Keep your feet cozy. Add a couple of soft rugs or mats to the floor in front of the washer and dryer to keep your feet snug and warm. Rugs also help to absorb any water that may drip or spill. Simply choose the rugs with the color/design and texture you like best. Because my laundry room is also a sewing room, I found an inexpensive carpet remnant and had it installed wall to wall. I'm in there for hours at a time so a soft floor made sense to me.

Get nature involved. Plants, live or artificial, add life and color to a room and can easily infuse a room with vitality. I keep dried lavender in a sand bucket on the window sill. It's a leftover from my daughter's wedding shower and it makes me smile every time my eyes fall upon it.
Music makes a difference. Include a radio or CD player in your laundry room so you can listen to and sing with your favorite tunes as you work. Makes for a happy worker.
Light up your life. If the lighting is dull in the laundry room, or there is not enough of it, do yourself a favor and get brighter bulbs or additional lighting such as floor, table or task lighting. Poor lighting puts strain on your eyes and can make you feel tired. I installed under counter fluorescent strips, canned fluorescents in the ceiling and a beautiful chandelier. The chandelier was a joke at first, but I found one for $15 at Lowe's and I just couldn't pass it up.

Keep it cool. A laundry room can often feel damp and warm. A small fan can help circulate the air and be a great comfort on a hot day.

Add convenient cabinets, shelves, hanging clothes rack, hampers and a wastebasket. It is essential that some form of organization exists within your laundry room so you can store soap, keep clothing off the floor, and have a place where delicate clothing can hang to dry. I installed closet valets on the sides of the wall-mounted cabinets, perfect for hanging clothes right from the dryer. They slide back and out of sight when not in use.

Add a printed fabric. The ironing board, the window and even a little chair cover are all places where you can bring in beautiful print fabrics to support the new color and style theme. I used a linen damask fabric at the window as a shade.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Do's & The Don'ts of Choosing Color For Your Space!

I may be dating myself here but do any of you remember when the gray NBC Peacock was first broadcast in Color? Well I do! My family bought a new color TV set (to replace the black and white set) and it was beautiful! Rabbit ears antenna and all, I remember how excited we were to finally see the Rose Bowl Parade and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color and, of course, that colorful Peacock opening up right before our eyes! Color, it has the capacity to lift us, move us and transport us to other places and times.

Color is such an important part of making a home feel great. But it can be a bit scary to make color choices  unless you know a few simple tips. Avoid these common mistakes and learn several tricks, and you'll feel confident about choosing color for your space.

...choose colors in a paint store. Colors change drastically depending on the light, so they can look very different in your own home. When deciding on colors, make sure to look at them in the space they will be used.

...forget the ceiling, it's the fifth wall. A white ceiling may be the best choice, but don't just leave it white by default. A room looks much more finished when the ceiling is deliberately painted to coordinate and harmonize with the décor.

...ignore accessories. While paint is the most common way to add color, don't forget that incorporating pillows, fabrics, area rugs, and other accessories is a great way to add splashes of color and your unique personality.


...understand the psychology of color. Colors evoke reactions in our bodies and affect us physically and mentally. When you understand how colors shape your feelings, you can choose ones that help you feel wonderful in your home.

...create flow from room to room. In most homes, you can stand in one room and see other rooms, so there needs to be a smooth continuity. Not all rooms should be painted the same color, but the colors need to work together. Carry elements of one room into another. The easiest way to do this is to paint the moldings all the same color.

...use inspiration. If you have a large piece of furniture or a treasured accessory, let it awaken your color creativity. The background color in a piece of art can become your wall color; a favorite antique can inspire the color for pillows; a lampshade can become the molding hue.

The most important thing to remember about color is that it should make you feel good. So be courageous and pick some color!