Nancy's Day-Glo Problem Walls

Apartment Therapy Cure Stories

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With the kick-off of this months Style Cure, I thought I'd jump in personally by providing a little depth to the concept of what's at work at the very beginning. It's all about SEEING and opening your eyes and letting new thoughts in. This is also what makes it exciting. Here's Nancy's story:

"I hate the green in this room!"

Nancy had walked me into the second bedroom. I was face to face with four walls painted a Day-Glo lime green in varying-sized horizontal stripes.* 

"What happened here?" I asked.

"My old boyfriend and I painted this room together. It took so long to do that I just left it. I really want to change it now. It's horrible. I don't know what we were thinking."

"What do you want to do in this room?"

"I need a guest room and would really like to have space for an office the rest of the time."

"Good," I said. "Let's leave the green walls aside for a moment and talk about those plans. If you could do anything, what would your dream for this room be?"

Nancy had been looking slightly anxious about the green and the ex-boyfriend, but now she smiled, her expression totally changing. 

"I saw a sofa in a store last month that was so beautiful I almost bought it on the spot. It was an antique, but with modern fabric, wooden legs, and rolled arms. I imagined it in this room with my desk over there and all my books against that wall. I would really like this room to be a cozy little study." 

"Do you have a picture of any of this? Of the sofa, for instance? Or a desk idea?"

"No, but I could get one." 

"Great! By next week, I want you to check out that sofa, see if it is still available, and find some pictures. Look through three home magazines or blogs and pull pictures of rooms you like. We'll use all of this to pin down exactly what your cozy little study will look like." 

"Just collect photographs? That sounds like fun." 

Nancy had been constantly bothered by her green-striped room and the fact that it represented some poor choices, but now she was off on a much more positive track. While there were some problems to be solved and old issues to be dealt with, Nancy needed to spend some time dreaming up the solution if this project was really going to succeed. All successful journeys begin with a positive vision. 

——

As you get started today and this week, relax into it, open your eyes and think positive. It's not about simply solving a problem; it's about creating something new for yourself. When you get excited about THAT, all the problems in your room will shrink down and solve themselves. 

*The pic above is from another intense green room as I don't have a pic of Nancy's walls from when I worked with her as a client.

(Excerpt above from Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure, Image: Reader in a question in this post from 2009)



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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.