Luxury as you launder is possible

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

Draza Stamenich, a young McLean, Va., designer who created a 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.

The GE front-loading washer and dryer is 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 the 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.

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.

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