Q: There must be ways to encourage children to pick up their rooms. Our two sons live in a constant disaster area. The bedroom they share is small, but it would work if they'd just put things where they belong.
P.S. They are 11 and 9. Is there any chance they'll outgrow this phase?
A: Having lived through two who could have been the prototypes of your sons, I can only suggest that neatniks are born, not made. However, there is hope, I hasten to add: You must encourage tidiness at every opportunity (you could compliment them on keeping a neat ceiling, for example), and provide for tidiness in the first place.
That is, give them the kind of storage they need to keep everything stowed, at least when the urge strikes.
An answer you may not have thought of is handsomely illustrated in the photo we show here, where cabinets usually associated with kitchens have been relocated in a boy's room.
Since kitchen cabinets can be customized for very specific storage, they make great sense in other rooms, too. (These are from Rutt Custom Kitchens, which has authorized dealers all over the country.)
Designed to make the most of one wall, the cabinets include space for a computer, desk, open and closed
shelves and drawers, all planned with the help of the young inhabitant.
The cabinets are sturdy, of course, and these have been color-keyed with blue frames to repeat the blue-and-white scheme in the rest of the room.
Of course, it looks neat as a bow tie in the photo, but since the room is so easy to keep shipshape, there's at least half a chance it will be.
Q: Is it true that avocado green is making a comeback? I should be delighted because my entire living room is upholstered in avocado green velvet -- remember the late '60s? -- which has been hidden under a succession of slipcovers all these years.
The truth is, I didn't like avocado then and I won't now. Who has made this dire prediction?
A: According to such influential clairvoyants as the Color Association of the United States, yes, "yellowed greens" are gaining favor. It's due largely to our general interest in the ecology, in the overall "greening" of our environment, which may make the color easier to take this time around.
So will a little euphemizing: Some folks are calling it "watermelon green" instead.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the author of five books on interior design and a contributing writer to other publications in the field. Send questions to Inside Advice, Maryland Living, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.