By Jaima Brown
(ARA) - Whether the household laundry is done in a single weekly marathon session or in stolen hours throughout the week, keeping the family's wardrobes and household linens fresh and clean takes, on average, between five and seven hours a week. In today's time-pressed world, it's small wonder that laundry rooms have moved from the dark recesses of the basement to a convenient location in the heart of the home.
The trend today is to locate the laundry room near bedrooms and baths, where most dirty laundry accumulates. Bigger laundry rooms, with space for folding, mending, pressing and storing linens, are on most homebuyers' wish lists and, therefore, a major trend among homebuilders and remodelers. Another trend is to give the laundry room the same upscale decorating attention given to every other room in the home.
Raising the status of the laundry room can turn a once-tedious chore into a refreshing time out -- a relaxing hour or two solely devoted to taking care of the fabrics of our lives. Today, thankfully, more and more of those fabrics are washable and keeping them fresh and clean is another way to pamper ourselves.
To help in this effort, Jaima Brown Home wallpaper and fabric collections contain patterns especially designed to cure the washday blues. One of the most whimsical of these, "Iron, Butterflies" in the Mah-Jong collection, truly lightens the wash load. Old-fashioned irons virtually skip across the wallpaper, playfully tossing their cords behind them among a flutter of butterflies and a scatter of wooden clothespins.
The pattern is available on a crisp, white background, or in a choice of pastels with punch, such as turquoise, lemon yellow, or cream. A coordinating border simply lines up beautifully shaped, old wooden clothespins in a row. Some stand tall, others tilt, and, together, they become almost personified -- a band of nearly cartoon-like soldiers, ready for duty.
For a traditional home, the "Washday" pattern from the Jaima Brown Home Parasol collection features images of an antique washing machine and other vintage washday references, each contained within a harlequin pattern of laurel leaves. A companion border shows clothes on a clothesline, cheerfully wafting in the breeze.
Storage is crucial to today's laundry room, which now calls for a variety of detergents, softeners and stain-fighting treatments. For a room papered in the Washday pattern, we installed a deep-bowl sink with a high faucet in a cabinet that contains door and drawer storage below and tall, windowed door storage above on either side of the sink. The deep bowl and high faucet make it easy to maneuver hand laundry. Detergents are hidden behind closed doors, while the prettier containers of such popular products as fragrant linen waters, decorate from within the windowed doors. To showcase them, we lined those cabinets with a dark-ground coordinating wallpaper pattern of the laurel-leaf harlequin design from Parasol. The drawers keep smaller items, like lint brushes and needles and thread, handy.
You might put a painted ceramic bowl or mug on the counter to hold the coins, paperclips and other small objects that inevitably make their way into the pockets of jeans and shirts. Or, you can use a piece of the leftover wallpaper border to cover a small box or coffee can that serves the same purpose.
Folding ironing boards can be concealed behind tall cabinets. And don't forget to include an ample shelf or tabletop for folding linens. For your comfort, set it higher than traditional cabinet height --see what's best for you, and allow enough space below for hampers or rolling clothes trolleys that carry the unsightly jumble of laundry into this room and roll it out again, all sweet-smelling, folded and fresh.
To see more of the fine fabric and wallpaper patterns in Parasol, Mah-Jong and other Jaima Brown Home collections, suitable for every room in the house, call (888) 865-0200 or visit www.jaimabrownhome.com. Jaima Brown Home collections are available through interior designers and select designer showrooms.
Courtesy of ARA Content