The Cure Email Inbox: Reader Before & After Projects from the January Cure

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The Cure "graduating class" of January 2014 is a kickass bunch. They scrubbed floors, cleaned out closets and whipped their wayward fridges into shape. At this point, the sight of an overflowing outbox doesn't scare them one bit. And, in addition to all of this homekeeping frenzy, they managed to pull off (at least) one project from their wish list too. We asked them to share some of their project stories - read on to see a few resoundingly successful results...

Rita's Bar Cart

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When starting the January Cure I decided that I wanted my project to be turning an unloved piece into something I could cherish and enjoy. I found an old rusted kitchen cart that had once belonged to my great grandmother. It was in our basement collecting dust and completely rusted. I had been searching high and low for a piece to give my space a little something extra and knew this was it.

I started by using WD40 on the wheels before applying Jasco’s Rust Converter and sanding it down. Once that was done I used Rustoleum’s 2X Paint and Primer, it only took one can to get the job done.

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For the pattern I bought a gold leaf starter kit off Amazon and an additional order of 25 sheets. I’m glad I did because I used close to 40 sheets on this project. Instead of using painter's tape alone, I used a combination of Scotch washi tape and Scotch Blue painter's tape to achieve different widths and give the cart a little more dimension.

I also found a very useful DIY affixing a wine glass rack with magnets. “Super magnets” which are about the size of a pea hold up to 7lbs each! I used 5 which was more than enough. I spray painted the wine rack and wheels with Rustoleum metallic gold as a finishing touch.

Natalie's Room

Natalie's Room "Before"
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Our "January Cure" assignment was to finish our sitting room. I had painted an "accent wall" a couple weeks back but the room was still hilariously empty with just this gross hand-me-down frat-house futon and a coffee table hanging out in there.

Natalie's Room - In Process
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It was never a comfy area and usually just ended up being a giant "out box" area to store boxes on their way out to the garage, not to mention a terrible eye-sore!

We finally finished it up with a side table, lamp, and large canvas (all super cheap from Ikea) and finally got some real furniture in there (the kind grown ups use!)! As a bonus, our kitties got a brand new kitty tower to hang out on, they even get to spend the day looking out the window.
Natalie's Room - After!
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It looks so much better I want to spend all my time in there now! It's like a huge weight was lifted off my chest and the whole energy of the room is just so much better - It definitely won't be our "out box" anymore.

Michele's Curtains

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The January Cure has been fantastic for me. It's been so great to have the projects broken down into small daily projects or one long weekend project. I have fallen behind because I was sick for most of last week and last week was a pretty intense week, but I am working on catching up. And I find the whole experience very motivating.

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I did complete my big project this weekend. I sewed and installed curtains with the help of my best friend. I picked out two fabrics: one for the living room and one for the bedroom. We went to Lowe's and picked out hardware to hang the curtains. And my friend taught me how to sew the curtains! I sewed while he installed the hardware. I completed the bedroom panels all by myself after he left!

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I had never wanted curtains and my friend started talking to me about it a year ago and I remember that you had a post about curtains with before and after photos and it really does completely change the atmosphere in the room. So your blog was my inspiration and it convinced me of how curtains can completely transform a room. On that note - here are my own before and after photos - I cannot believe that I had bare walls for such a long time! I always thought that I liked the open space and I thought that curtains would block the view and make the room look smaller. The floor to ceiling curtains actually have the opposite effect and make the room feel even taller and airier. It was a lot of work, but enjoyable and totally worth it to have an original fabric. Thank you for your encouragement!

Samantha's Lamp

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One of the things that has bugged us about our rent house is the dirty light fixture in our bedroom - most of the light fixtures throughout the house, really, but our bedroom specifically (since I would lay in bed staring up at the ceiling and continually fixating on it).

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I saw a Rope Chandelier from World Market and was immediately inspired to try to recreate this look with a $25 Craig's List find and a ball of jute.

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I ended up having to learn a little about wiring, since part of the chandelier had to be re-wired, but it was a fun process!

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There is still a lot of work left to be done in our bedroom, but this chandelier made a big impact on the "look" of the room.

Christina's Powder Room

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I registered on a whim for the Cure Project, and am so glad I did! When I first signed up, I thought I may be capable of crossing off one or two things that have been bothering me around the house. I’ve done that, and much more.

My boyfriend and I bought a house together two years ago, and have done a lot of work painting, making small updates, and filling the space with things we love. One room that I’ve been mentally decorating since we moved in is a half bathroom on our first floor that had white walls, white trim, a white toilet, a white sink, white ceiling, a builder grade mirror and standard hardware. In short, it is the go-to restroom when we entertain and is seen often by guests, who probably nod off from boredom while using it.

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My Cure Project was to wallpaper this tiny room and transform it into a little jewel box. I’d been eyeing the paper for months and we had been given a lovely antique mirror by one of my boyfriend’s Aunts as a housewarming gift (2 years earlier). This past weekend, my Dad drove three hours through snow and single-digit temps to lend his expertise and help me hang wallpaper for the first time. I had prepped the room with wallpaper primer on Thursday evening, and we tackled the papering for about 8 hours on Saturday. It was exhausting work, but I couldn’t be happier with the results! Thank you to Apartment Therapy for providing encouragement and motivation… I’d probably have put it off for another two years without you;)

There's still a few days of Cure-ing left - keep up the good work!

(Image credits: Tara Bellucci; Submitted by Rita/How Fantastic Blog; Submitted by Rita/ How Fantastic Blog; Submitted by Natalie; Submitted by Michele; Submitted by Samantha; Samantha; Submitted by Christina)

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