The Spring Cure: Landing Strip

The Spring Cure: Landing Strip

Laure Joliet
Apr 1, 2009
"I need to fix my life" - a comment left on yesterday's repair one thing post. Curing your home starts you in the right direction!
Cure Clock: 5.5 weeks remaining • Assignment: Read Chapter 3    • Where is that mail landing?    • Can you get the door open without banging?Curees: 815 and counting...

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Week three in the Cure is all about filtering and prioritizing by starting a landing strip and laying plans for repairs and color. So even though things might not be coming together yet, don't worry you are making progress. For me this was the hardest time because I'd rather get to the fun stuff where I can really see a difference instead of all this in between stuff. But from experience, the homework this week is more than worth it:

On Landing Strips:

Not only will a landing strip filter the outside from invading your space, but it releases all that anxiety about where that important piece of mail is and gives you a place to round up things that need to be returned, mailed out, looked at later and generally wrangled to go out the door in the morning.

Ashley in Austin just moved and is working on unpacking boxes--but look, she's already got the beginning of her landing strip going!

Landing strips can be as simple as a chair and a hook or as complicated as a mudroom. It depends on your needs. I just moved in with my boyfriend and his two young kids so our landing strip is industrial sized and normally a little out of control (and a far cry from my pretty one). So far we have the low Molger benches from Ikea with baskets underneath and (soon) hooks above to hang backpacks and coats on. I'm using my Orla Kiely tray for incoming mail and odds and ends. We go through this about once a week. The good news is that we're all at least dumping our stuff by the door and not dragging it through the house. It's also helping to get us into the habit of taking our shoes off at the door. It's all about progress :)

I wrote a roundup post on landing strips during the Fall Cure--check it out here. Abby here with a thought about landing strips: notice where you NATURALLY want to put things down when you come in and start there. I've got the "ideal" landing strip in my apartment but I tend to gravitate towards putting things on the kitchen counter because that's where the IPhone plugs in. So my landing strip is neat but my kitchen counter's a mess. I'm feeling like it's time to move the landing strip.

Also here's a useful link for reducing junk mail and unwanted catalogs from cluttering up your strip.

Joanne's simple landing strip solves a common problem: being able to find your keys in the morning!

On Color:

Paint chips are your friend. From bits and bobbins.

Color can be intimidating--there are so many choices! When I painted my apartment the choices seemed endless, but when I took a look at magazine tears I had accumulated I realized that I gravitated towards light, bright rooms and loved any kind of blue or green (or a mix of the two). So I went to the paint store and grabbed every chip that seemed close to what I would want. Staying in blues and greens I knew the rooms would be harmonious from one to the next and with pink and orange accents I knew I could balance all that cool (also I had tons of sunlight which cast a golden glow on things).

At home, I taped up the chips and I waited. I waited more than a week to decide. I looked at the colors in the morning, at night with lamps on and in the evening when the sun was setting and I slowly eliminated options that weren't quite right. When I was ready I painted patches on the wall and then I jumped in. In this case (long story) my landlord paid to have the place painted the colors I wanted. It was the first time I didn't do the painting myself and I have to say, it might be worth it to pay someone else, if you can afford it. They got it all done in a day while I was at work. I let it air out for a night and then was in my beautiful apartment.

This was what I ended up with. I wanted a darker contrast to make all the light colors feel really expansive so the hall which ran the length of the apartment got the Provincial Blue.

If you're feeling uncertain about color, go back to your style tray and look for themes. Or go back through AT's archives or the Fall Colors Contest for some inspiration. And don't forget that neutral's can be exciting too.


This peaceful bedroom doesn't need lots of color because it's got warm woods and nubby linens to give it warmth and texture.

And don't forget, if you're renting, color doesn't necessarily have to go on the wall, these marais chairs in bright yellow add the necessary oomph for a plain space.

For a little extra encouragement, watch these videos of Maxwell's lecture at the Domino Bazaar last Fall where he talks about what Apartment Therapy is all about and where I heard one of my favorite quotes.

More picks for your cleaning music list (and here are some ways to vacuuming fun.)


  • Put Your Record On - Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Let My Love Open The Door - Sondre Lerche
  • Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
  • White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
  • The Way I am - Ingrid Michaelson
  • You are the best thing - Ray LaMontagne
  • The Good Life - Kanye West
  • Happiness - The Weepies
  • Relax, Take It Easy - Mika
  • Ye Yo - Erykah Badu
  • Communication - The Cardigans
  • Our House - Madness

If you're stuck for what to cook (since we're trying to cook at home twice this week), check out our sister site the kitchn for some ideas. Personally, we'll be making Jamie Oliver's Chicken with Lemon and Milk this weekend. Put it in before you clean and it'll be done when you're finished...and hungry!

[Opening image: anna*lyssa, from the apartment therapy home cure pool]

- POST INDEX SPRING 2009

Week 2 - Show and Tell
Week 2 - Tips & Tricks
Week 2 - Intro
Week 1 - Show & Tell
Week 1 - Tips & Tricksl
Week 1 - Intro

- CURE INFO

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

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