Q: It seems that the laundry room is finally attracting attention. What can I do to join the modern set?
A: You’re right. From the kitchen to the laundry room, the focus is on clean, bright, organized spaces. I suggest you either change the location or invest in some upgrades — both, if you can. Start with the floor: Put down modern tile in a contemporary brick pattern. Rubber tile is soft and warm underfoot. If your budget is small, there’s wood-laminate flooring.
Build shelves so that cleaning products are easy to reach. A great investment is a large sink and counter for handwashing and folding. I’ve just converted a 5-foot-wide hallway into a cheerful laundry space. Washer and dryer on one side, and I installed a solid-surface counter and sink on the other. Inconspicuous waterproof seams give you a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. I finished the backsplash with aqua glass brick tiles, and this little room sparkles.
Q: A friend of mine is moving into a basement apartment with only two small windows. It has been painted an ivory color, but my friend suffers from seasonal affective disorder, and I worry that the lack of sunlight will make his condition worse. Any decorating tips?
A: S.A.D., also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder caused by lack of light. Without the energy from the sun, many people suffer from feelings of lethargy. Treatment is available. S.A.D. light boxes are designed to provide safe exposure to bright light; when used daily, they are effective. A decorating choice won’t cure the winter blues, but a bright environment will help. The ivory walls are a great start. A glossy sheen will provide even more reflective light, so you could apply stripes of high-gloss varnish to the walls. Cover the windows with curtains in a brightly colored, large print. Choose yellow and orange as accent colors for cushions. Glass and mirror will add a light, spacious mood. Try arranging ambient light that can be turned up and then dimmed, and get a good reading lamp.