Janel Laban's Recent Articles
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The Closet Cure: Finding Your True Love(s!)
Ah, true love. It often strikes at first sight (across a crowded boutique, a dress, sweater, or pair of jeans, catches your eye, calls your name and you just have to give in and try it on). Before you know it, you simply can’t get enough of the one you’ve fallen for (you find yourself wearing that new jacket even when its a little too hot or too cold for comfort, just because it makes you feel so good to have it on).
May 3, 2019
The House of Bedlam: A Madcap “Auntie Mame Meets Bunny Mellon” Country House
Name: John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of Madcap Cottage Location: High Point, North Carolina Size: 5,000 square feet Years lived in: 4 years, owned If there are any two people most qualified to write the bible on print and pattern mixing, it’s John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, the dynamic designers behind North Carolina- and New York-based interior design firm Madcap Cottage.
Apr 30, 2019
Day 15: Exercise a Little Cord Control
Day 15: Tuesday, January 22 Assignment: Wrangle your cords Cords are necessary, of course, but even though they’re highly functional they look like clutter. No matter how well organized an area is otherwise, if there is a visible mess of wires and cords, things look unfinished and visually chaotic. Take a quick twirl through your home and see if you can spot some cord trouble spots and, if you do, work on getting them under control.
Apr 14, 2019
Before & After: Painted Furniture & Cabinetry Projects
The power of paint can’t be denied – we all know how it can transform a room, but the effect is also powerful when it comes to projects that involve the application of paint to furniture and cabinetry. Here are ten examples from the archives (including one where the “furniture” didn’t even exist prior to the paintjob!); check out the befores in this gallery and then click through on each for the always-fun-to-see afters.
Apr 7, 2019
Household Cleaning Urban Myths: Do They Actually Work?
From freezing your jeans in lieu of washing them to cleaning the toilet with Coca-Cola to the one about magically removing silver tarnish with aluminum foil; I have to admit I feel like I’ve heard it all. These urban myths of household cleaning have been kicking around for a while — we’ve even blogged each of them on Apartment Therapy. But the question is, do any of these actually work?
Mar 12, 2019
The Last Lap: Empty the Outbox
Hopefully by this point in the Cure you are an outbox convert, like me. I believe it really is the easiest way to break the hold that things can have on us and create a less crowded home. You’ve been filling ’em up for the weeks now and it’s finally time to take the last step and let go. Today is the day to make a plan to empty those outboxes.
Feb 24, 2019
The “Finally Off the To-Do List” Bedroom Closet Makeover
Project by: Erica of Dwell Beautiful Location: Seattle With the new year beginning and the days getting longer, I got inspired to tackle one of the bigger projects that’s been on my to-do list for over a year: our master closet. Our master closet is unique in the fact that we have to walk through it in order to get to our master bathroom. There is no door on it of any sort, and I can see directly into from my bed.
Feb 24, 2019
Let’s Get Started: A Weekend of Flowers & Floors
Happy New Year! During the month of January, one assignment at a time, you are going to get your home in great shape. The effort put in over the next few weeks will pay you back with interest over the course of the year ahead. Each assignment you complete will absolutely add to the momentum of positive change that lasts long after the Cure wraps up. Now, you got that little pep talk because it’s the first weekend of the Cure, time to hit the gas and speed forward.
Feb 24, 2019
You Need This: A Clutter Collector
Today’s task is one of the quickest and easiest you’ll do during the January Cure, but it has true lasting impact. The outbox is a powerful weapon against clutter and, honestly, I believe it’s the secret to a cleaner, calmer, under-control home. Let’s get it done! It’s Not Too Late to Join The January Cure: An outbox in your home makes it easier – much easier – to let go of things that you no longer need.
Feb 24, 2019
Before & After: Becky’s Brilliant Basket-Based DIY Closet Organizer System
Project by: Becky Location: Victoria, BC, Canada I can only admit this because I have now dealt with the skeleton in my closet, but I am was (fingers crossed) a huge clothes piler. As a large-scale, whole-house renovation left us needing to stretch the last dollars a little farther, my husband and I decided to tackle much of the finishing details ourselves. One item on our list was fitting out our master bedroom closet. It is not a huge closet, but at 5’X7′, it is a walk-in closet.
Feb 24, 2019
Weekend Chores: Flowers, Outbox, Living Room & Lighting
Day 17: Friday, January 24….and the weekend of January 25 & 26 Assignments: Bring home some Friday flowers, empty your outbox, clean your living room and take a look at your lighting Yes! Here we go: the last full (and yes, busy!) weekend of the January Cure. This time next week, we’ll be done. This final stretch is when things should start coming together, as you spruce up your living room for your gathering and start the big emptying of the outbox.
Feb 24, 2019
You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List
Day 5: Wednesday, January 8 Assignment: Choose a Project from Your List to Complete this Month Ah, remember Day One of the Cure? We were all so innocent then. No marathon floor scrubbings under our collective belt yet. On that fateful first day, you walked through your home and made your list, prioritizing projects to tackle in 2014 that will improve your home. Then, at the start of this week, you spent a little time meditatively musing about your vision for what your home can (and will!) be.
Feb 24, 2019
The First Step: Create a Project List
Date: Thursday, January 2 Today’s Assignment: Create a Project List Congratulations! You are about to take the first step toward your “new” cleaner and more organized home. I promise that the effort you put in over the next few weeks will make a big, positive difference to your life overall. I also know that, on this first day, you are going to be tempted to dive in and do too much, too soon, but try and trust the process and just take it one step at a time.
Feb 24, 2019
Weekend Chores: Flowers & Floors
Dates: Friday, January 3…and the Weekend of January 4 & 5 Assignment: Buy Flowers, Vacuum & Mop, Gather Earth Friendly Cleaners It’s the first weekend of the Cure – time to hit the gas and speed forward. With a few days ahead of us to get things done, let’s take advantage of the extra time and burn through this short list of tasks by Sunday night.
Feb 24, 2019
CHI House Tour: Jessica & Alex’s Simple Modern On a Budget
Name: Jessica, a graphic designer and Alex, a packaging engineerLocation: EvanstonSize: 1920’s 3 Bedroom Condo – (Don’t know the square footage; too lazy to measure)Years lived in: 2 >> Though we have yet to meet in person, we feel like we know Jessica a bit – we “discovered” her colorful Chicago home through her blog and sent her an email asking if she’d be up for sharing it with the Apartment Therapy community, and happily she agreed.
Feb 20, 2019
Sally’s Sight Unseen Fresh Start
Name: SallyLocation: Austin, Texas My boyfriend and I just moved to Austin, Texas two months ago, into a home that we decided was perfect for us solely based on the photos posted along side its’ Craigslist ad. Arriving at this three bedroom house, with only what could fit in our small prius (our 45lb dog taking up quite a bit of that space) we were daunted by the idea of turning this big empty shell into a “home.
Feb 20, 2019
Jennifer & Andrew’s “Home Away From Home” in Paris
Name: Jennifer, Andrew and Little One (our cat)Location: Paris, France (15th arrondissement) We moved to Paris from Philadelphia in March of this year and have found the journey to be an amazing one. However, one of our greatest hurdles was finding an apartment that would serve well as a home and office – and also have enough space for family and friends to visit.
Feb 20, 2019
Dana’s Bungalow Beautification
Name: DanaLocation: Grant Park — Atlanta, Georgia We bought the house as a foreclosure in 2009. It had been vacant for over a year and severely neglected. Despite having no functioning toilet or shower, no working appliances, outdated electrical and no heating or air conditioning, we still fell in love with this historic home.
Feb 20, 2019
Lauren’s Quintessential San Francisco Studio
Name: LaurenLocation: San Francisco, California I moved into my quintessential San Francisco 500 sq ft studio just four months ago. After a few years of bouncing around living with roommates, I was excited to have my own place.I started my own interior design/style/food blog about a year ago and when I moved, I chronicled the search for and design of my apartment. I try to share tips with my readers about how to decorate with personality without spending a lot.
Feb 20, 2019
A Family Home in IJburg
Name: WendelienLocation: Amsterdam, The Netherlands Hello! We live in Amsterdam in the recently reclaimed and newly built area called IJburg. On a lake called the IJmeer they built six man-made islands that will eventually house 45,000 people.We live on the island called the Steigereiland where ‘normal’ people were offered the opportunity to build their own house. Restrictions where given as to the height and size of the house.
Feb 20, 2019
Chad’s Small Space Glamour in New Orleans
Name: Chad GraciLocation: Lower Garden District – New Orleans, Louisiana At 650 square feet I’ve managed to create a high style, multipurpose space that meets all of my needs.My home showcases the aesthetic, style and attention to detail that I bring to all of my design clients. Luckily, one of the only problems that I faced was the size of the space. The architecture was there, I just needed to make it work for me. There are 13 foot ceilings so I wanted to draw the eye upwards.
Feb 20, 2019
Tiffany’s History & Charm in NYC
Name: TiffanyLocation: Studio in Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of having my own apartment in New York City. There was something about the history and charm of the big buildings that inspired me, and I loved the classical detailing that so contrasted the stucco suburb of my youth in San Diego, California.After graduating from NYU, I was ready to relocate uptown to a mellower neighborhood.
Feb 20, 2019
Chuck’s Americana in Hollywood
Name: Chuck D. WillisLocation: Hollywood, California My name is Chuck and I’m an actor living in Los Angeles. I have a great interest in furniture restoration and thrift shopping. I’m from Nashville, Tennessee, so my aethstetic is strongly influenced by American culture.My secret to filling a 2,000 sq feet apartment is patience. I have sourced and collected pieces over the past three years so I wouldn’t break the bank as well as but pieces I truly love.
Feb 20, 2019
Cara’s Small Space Style in West Hollywood
Name: CaraLocation: West Hollywood, California Interior design is not my job, it’s my passion and it is in my blood. I grew up with a father who kick started and fueled my love for beautifully cool spaces… And now, well, he’s the proud Dad of a girl who likes to move every year so she can change-up her ” look”.As a Creative Director in an L.A.
Feb 20, 2019
Cullen’s 50s Collector’s Heaven in Brooklyn
Name: CullenLocation: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York I collect 1950s antiques and had a unique experience finding an unrenovated mid-century apartment. My search started after already living in New York for 8 years. I had moved just after turning 18 to go to college. After 1 year in the dorms I was ready for my own place and I found a great deal on a 1 bedroom in the West Village off Washington Square Park.
Feb 20, 2019
Jayme’s Row House Rehab
Name: JaymeLocation: East Kensington – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania This Philadelphia row house rehab was conceived as a showcase for my business, CraftworkHome, a design/build firm specializing in cabinetry and cast concrete. The starting point was an 1880 structure that had seen better days: once surrounded by a thriving textile industry, the neighborhood had slid into disrepair and the building was a blighted drug house for years.
Feb 20, 2019
A Contrast of Glamorous & Classic Elements
Name: Cinda & Mark Boomershine Location: Atlanta, Georgia Size: 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Years lived in: 7 years An architecturally traditional home filled with bright color and bold contemporary art is just the first of many contrasts that make up Cinda and Mark’s style.
Feb 20, 2019
A Little Love Letter to Apartment Therapy
Today is my last day as Editor of Apartment Therapy. After nearly twelve years at what I’ve always described as my dream job, I’ve (bravely /crazily /sadly/ happily – it changes by the hour!) decided that the time has come for me to find something new to do that I’ll love just as much as I’ve loved working here.
Sep 26, 2017
A Landmarked Brownstone Apartment on the Perfect Block (With a Woodburning Fireplace!)
Ready for a dose of vintage perfection in the Meatpacking District? This one bedroom is up for grabs. 72 Perry Street 2A, NY, NY 1 bedroom | 1 bath Landmarked Brownstone, working fireplace, high ceilings $725,000 | $939 monthly maintenance Property website A sunny, high-ceiling-ed one bedroom in a 1910 Brownstone with a working wood-burning fireplace: that’s pretty much the dictionary definition of “good bones” when it comes to apartment hunting.
Mar 5, 2017
Sneak Peek: Favorites from the New IKEA Stockholm 2017 Collection
Tomorrow, IKEA is launching the official press site for the new STOCKHOLM 2017 collection. But today, I received an advance paper copy of the catalog in the mail and just had to share some favorites ASAP: there are some really strong designs (some classic, some more funky) at very good prices. The pieces in the collection will be available in the US starting in April and I can tell you, I’ve definitely got my eye on that rattan cabinet. I see a trip to Schaumburg in my future.
Feb 14, 2017
Complete the Cycle: Goodbye Old Stuff, Hello New Attitude
It’s our last full weekend of the Cure and this final push is a bit of celebration of all the control you’ve gained over your space, habits and stuff this month. We’re celebrating by letting go – yes, it’s finally time to empty the outbox. It’s important to follow through at this point and really get the stuff that you’ve determined you no longer need or want OUT which is why I’ve dedicated a full weekend to this assignment.
Jan 27, 2017
The Ultimate Clutter Filter: An Easy Way to Keep Your Home Cleaner, Every Day
Many of you doing the January Cure are graduates of previous Cures and/or long time readers of Apartment Therapy, and if so, might have already done a version of today’s assignment at some time in the past. If so, stick with (and bear with) me, when I let the new Curers know – this is one assignment that is worth doing, NO MATTER WHAT.
Jan 25, 2017
One Last Cleaning Blast: Conquer the Big, Bad Bathroom
FORGIVE ME. I’m asking you to clean your bathroom on a Tuesday. I’m sure there are probably laws against that or something. But, I’m all about proving that we really can GSD when we set our sights on a goal, and this is one last chance to “make it so”. If we can knock out a fast, frantic, but successful bathroom clean tonight, we can do anything!
Jan 24, 2017
Reward Yourself: A Better Bedroom by Sunday Night
January is a time of swift change and new beginnings every year, most of them self-imposed in the form of resolutions, ending in varying levels of success. When it’s an election year, it can be a moment of change for the world outside, too; all the more reason to make the space that supports, nurtures and centers you – your home – a place of calm and control. This weekend, we’re moving into the bedroom for a deep clean.
Jan 20, 2017
New Point of View: A Quick Powerful Room Reset Exercise
Have you ever noticed how, when you see rooms from your home in photos, they often look (and feel) quite different to you? I believe that’s because seeing your home in photos is a bit like seeing it through someone else’s eyes. You notice things that you simply just don’t “see” anymore in day to day life. This non-seeing phenomenon allows stuff to build up, making the space less streamlined and less effective in design.
Jan 19, 2017
It’s Time to (Fill in the Blank): Make Some Progress on Your Project
Last week, I asked everyone to choose a project from their to-do list to work on this month. Well, today is a day set aside for you to spend some time on your own personal Cure project – it’s the official “fill in the blank” day and, of course, it’s going to be different for everyone.
Jan 18, 2017
A Trick to Stay on Task: Invite a Friend (or Ten) In
One of the most motivating things you can do, both for your cleaning and organizing efforts AND for your attitude and outlook, is to have people over now and then. Now don’t get all shy on me – you don’t have to turn into a Martha-level “Entertainer” (note the capital E) – this is simply about recognizing that you are someone who truly cares about their home.
Jan 16, 2017
A Realistic Kitchen Refresh: The Inside/Out Cleaning Plan
Happy Friday! Weekends on the Cure mean two things – that it’s time to pick yourself up some new flowers and that you have three days to complete your assignment. So, armed with lovely blooms, you have some extra time to tackle this weekend’s focus room, the kitchen. Now, before you run away screaming, just hear me out. The goal is to get your kitchen to a cleaner, better state by Sunday night, while not burning out on the overall Cure on your way there.
Jan 13, 2017
Good for Your Soul: Bust Some Behind-Closed-Doors Clutter
One of the experiences that I try to fit into the Cure is how good it feels to shine a little light on parts of your home that you don’t deal with on a daily basis. Spending a bit of time and attention (just once a year or so!) on the maintenance of places like your linen closet or the under the sink cabinet in your bathroom or kitchen is good for your home and for your soul. Knowing that worn out things and clutter are hiding behind closed doors is a bummer, clearing them out is a boost.
Jan 12, 2017
Learn to Love the 30 Minute Cleaning Countdown
Have you noticed how the time it takes to complete a job always seems to expand to meet the hours you set aside to complete it? If you have a big work project to do, and count on it taking two days, it will generally take two days (sometimes MORE, but very rarely LESS). I don’t why, but I do know that it’s one of the sneaky ways time behaves around things we have to get done. So, I try and also make this mysterious temporal phenomenon work to my advantage, especially for housework.
Jan 10, 2017
Flowers, Floors & Sticking Together, No Matter What
Alright, here we are: listen up and get ready to kick ass. You have two assignments ahead of you this weekend. One is sweet and wonderful, a little life-affirming gift of flowers from you to your home. The other is a big old bear of a job (the “famous” floors), but I promise, you and your home will honestly feel great when it’s done. Most importantly, though, I want you to hear this: right now, commit to staying with your Cure, no matter what you get done this weekend.
Jan 6, 2017
The Easiest (Yet Most Important!) Step of the January Cure
I promise that my headline is not hyperbole. Today’s assignment really is super fast, easy AND it’s the number one thing that will make a difference in your home from today on. Those of you who have done the Cure before most likely already have one of these magical items in place. If you do, I’m hoping you’ll consider your assignment to add something new to yours today, and then let us know what you chose in the comments.
Jan 5, 2017
The Storage Black Hole in Every Home
It doesn’t matter if you cook every day or once in a blue moon. You might have a teeny tiny kitchen or one with more cabinets than you know what to do with. No matter what, I’m going to guess that everyone doing this Cure could benefit from shining a little light on the storage black hole we all seem to have in common: the pantry cabinets in our kitchens.
Jan 4, 2017
Let’s Go! The Cure Begins with a Quick Confidence-Boosting Declutter
Leading the January Cure for the past few years has taught me so much. We humans all really love a fresh start and really really want to make our homes cleaner and more organized, but the concept of trying to get everything under control all at once, on our own, is simply too BIG. So, we don’t even want to start. But, once it’s broken up into smaller bits, readers tell me they often want to keep on going after after completing a task. They actually want to do more, not less.
Jan 2, 2017
Join the January Cure for Your Best Year Yet
There is nothing like the start of a new year to get your home (and life!) in good shape – and Apartment Therapy wants to make it as painless as possible. If you are ready to make 2017 your best year yet, I have a plan. Sign up for the free group project we call the January Cure and I’ll send you do-able, one-manageable-step-at-a-time assignments throughout the rest of the month, designed to help you create a cleaner, more organized and peaceful home.
Dec 19, 2016
#7: SUNNERSTA Cart & Mini Kitchen
What do you think? Can the SUNNERSTA cart usurp the seemingly unstoppable and ever-popular RASKOG ? Will it capture the hearts of organizing decorators everywhere? It’s pretty darn cute and seems to tick many of the same boxes, including the price point. Designed by Henrik Preutz. IKEA says: Sometimes installing a large kitchen isn’t necessary, or too expensive and time-consuming. That’s why SUNNERSTA mini-kitchen was developed.
Jul 25, 2016
#6 (TIE!): ROSKILDE & LOBBAK Rugs
When designer Synnöve Mork got to work on the blue and green color block pattern of ROSKILDE rug she was inspired by modern art, architecture and furniture from the 1950s and ’60s. The design process itself was an interesting one: “To create ROSKILDE rug, I started out by painting with colors and patterns from that era. Then I cut everything into smaller pieces, placed them in different directions and put them back together again.
Jul 25, 2016