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A Little Luxury As You Launder

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laundry would not seem like a chore if you were washing clothes in a space dressed with hand-painted wallpaper, custom storage and a designer chandelier.

Draza Stamenich, the young McLean designer who created the show-house laundry room in a minuscule space tucked off the kitchen, says it's time to upgrade life's everyday doings in these grim economic times. "Today the luxury is going to be the things we do at home," Stamenich says.

You may notice the GE front-loading washer and dryer in old-fashioned white. ("The colored ones are tacky for some reason," he says. "Only get stainless steel or white. These are modern and special in their own way.") But the key element in this room is the Gracie wallpaper, a nature scene with intricately painted birds, butterflies, branches and flowers. Calling it wallpaper underplays its beauty, Stamenich says. He describes it as artwork.

Whatever you call it, it's flanked by two floor-to-ceiling white wall cabinets designed by Capitol Closet Design. Stamenich ordered aviary wire online and used it on the cabinet doors. Polished beige travertine tile makes a solid surface for folding laundry.

Enough with the high-end details. Here's an upgrade you can easily emulate: "Get a beautiful jar and a scoop from the Container Store," and fill the jar with detergent powder, Stamenich says. Or buy two glass jars and fill the second one with dryer sheets.

Now that's a room I could spend time in.

Liz Seymour

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