The Spring Cure: Clearing the Path

The Spring Cure: Clearing the Path

Susie Nadler
Mar 27, 2009
Terry's kitchen/dining room cure shows what a little editing can do... along with a fresh coat of paint! The chalkboard strip is a great way to divide the room. Nice work, Terry!

Cure Clock: 6.25 weeks remaining
Assignment: Read Chapter 2: Clearing the Path
   • Kitchen deep cleaning & cooking a meal (roast chicken, anyone?)
   • Working on your floorplan and establishing your style

Curees: 780 and counting...

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As you've (hopefully!) discovered, the assignments in Week 2 of the Cure can be so liberating. Editing your home - cleaning, sorting, and allowing yourself to detach from items you don't need - is an integral part of making your space more liveable. It's very hard to implement your vision when too much everyday debris (including dirt and dust) is obscuring the possibilities. From your submissions, it's clear that many of you are already making big leaps in this area, clearing the path with gusto! Check out some of your fellow curees' achievements after the jump...


In Providence, Casapinka has been hard at work on her pantry. Sorting through old food in the kitchen is such an important part of the week two cure; this simple task immediately ups the functionality of what should be the most functional room in the house. Once you know what you've got in those drawers and cabinets, it will be so much easier to decide what to cook! Attractive storage bins like Casapinka's are a great thing to bring home at the end of this cleaning process—a reward for all your hard work, and a perfect way to make the process easier in the future.


Here's what Bonnie in Tampa has to say about her dining area uplift: After MONTHS of living with a dining table and no chairs, and trying out every chair we could find in thrift stores, chain stores, antique stores... my husband and I finally found the perfect ones! We ate our first meal at the table (since November!) Saturday morning. Eggs and English muffins never tasted better!

Such a nice choice, Bonnie! The white chairs really lighten up the space, and I love the way you use the white in your little tablescape of vases too. As you know, getting in the habit of bringing fresh flowers inside is a big part of the cure, and in this photo you can really see why. The tulips bring so much vitality to the space.


Kiki, here in my hometown of SF, is curing her master bedroom. She'd begun to dislike her bedding and the artwork above the bed, and she needed a more practical solution for bedside storage. Check out what she's done so far...


Wow! The dark accent wall, the new all-white bedding, and the sleek task lamp all work together to really update the space. Kiki's chosen to use a planter for her bedside book storage. I think the shape of that planter is so interesting and modern; a perfect contrast with the more traditional chair (a craigslist find!) and warm wood furnishings.


In the bathroom, where actual renovation can be so costly and laborious, a few creative cosmetic changes can make a huge difference. Mary Ellen, who lives just a few miles south of SF in San Bruno, has a "no paint" clause in her lease... ugh. We've all been there, Mary Ellen! She wanted a new look for the bathroom but wasn't crazy about her shower doors, the most obvious feature. After finding a shower curtain she loved at Urban Outfitters, she rounded up some accessories and artwork to match and gave the bathroom a little makeover. What a pretty result! For a little extra lighting, she even installed a spotlight under the sink, pointing up at the bowl so that it glows at night. Clever girl.


Lorijo from Michigan cured her bedroom last year but wanted something new this time around. Here's how she describes her project: Over the head of the bed was a dinky little window that is too high to be of any use. I decided to build a frame and stretch out decorative fabric to cover it. I have tiny hooks in the ceiling and when I need to open the window for breezes, the frame is mounted with hinges, so it can be opened and hung from those hooks with a small chain. Then I simplified all the bedding and curtains.

This turned out beautifully! The white bedding is so fresh; when natural light is scarce, white is a good tool for brightening up a room. The new pendant light as a bedside lamp is a fun addition, too.


Another DIY, and another transformation from Casapinka (of the pantry above). Suddenly this dresser seems to weigh about half as much as it did before! Painting something that's dark wood can really affect its heavy footprint in a room. Once Casapinka adds the knobs, this dresser will be ready to go for spring!


For Bromeliad's closet cure, the DIY jewelry panels from Emily's house tour were an inspiration. For a step by step tutorial, you can visit Bromeliad's blog. Amazing job!

The closet can seem like a daunting place to start as you get going on your "outbox," but it feels so triumphant when you're finished! If you're anything like me, you probably use the closet to shove away things that have no obvious purpose or place in your home. Separating from those things is a key step in your progress with the Cure. Once you've gotten rid of the things you don't need, closets can be used to store items you actually use and love in your everyday life. To finish up week two, I'll let you in on my upcoming weekend closet project (be forewarned)...


Aack! What a disaster. Because this closet is in our guest room, it takes a hit every time my husband and I come across something puzzling that we just want out of our sight. An old, stained sofa slipcover (ew); a down comforter from my college dorm room (ew ew); a bag of miscellaneous Container Store schwag I bought a year ago before knowing what I would do with it (let this be a lesson!). Of course, there are also things that do need to go in a closet: sleeping bags, vacuum, banjo, extra sheets. I've just got to separate the wheat from the chaff.

And then there are the things I don't want to part with. Those lab coats hanging there were my dad's, and when he passed away three years ago I got them. At first I kept them all because it made me too sad not to; then I kept them because I thought they'd be useful for the mad scientist party I keep wanting to plan for Halloween (trust me, my dad would appreciate this idea); now when I open the closet it just seems morbid the way they're all lined up there, starched and grim. So I've decided I'm only keeping two (one for me, one for my husband, in case of mad scientist party). I'll send one to my brother and donate the rest. In a way, this closet has been the "outbox" for these lab coats. By hanging them there, in the place where objects in our home go to die, I was preparing myself to separate from them for good.

Good luck with your outboxes this weekend! And good luck getting started on Chapter Three. I can't wait to see what you all come up with next!



Week 2.75 - Show & Tell
Week 1.5 - Show & Tell
Week 1 - Tips & Tricks
Week 1.5 - Intro


>> Main Cure Page - Spring 2009
>> About The Book
>> Excerpt from Chapter I


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