Kim R. McCormick

Kim has been sharing creative projects and ideas as a Contributor to Apartment Therapy since 2010. Her writing highlights stylish, budget-friendly solutions to common household problems. Kim is a fluent French speaker and a houseplant enthusiast.
Small Space Solutions from Our Tours: Multipurpose Rooms that Work
Living well in close quarters requires, among other things, efficient furniture placement. These studios, one-bedroom apartments, and one house show how you can make your home’s spatial quirks and shortcomings work in your favor.Studio apartments offer the obvious challenge of making one space function as several. In slightly larger apartments, the living room often works overtime as an office area, dining room, and entryway.
Oct 13, 2022
Better than Resolutions: A Realistic S.M.A.R.T. Way to Get Things Done at Home This Year
Like most people, I’ve never had much luck sticking to any resolutions I make at the beginning of the year. But if you break things down, all January Cure style, you can settle on goals you’ll really achieve. Last week, reading a post on Style by Emily Henderson about her New Year’s resolutions reminded me of something nerdy I never thought I’d associate with cool design(ers) or my home. At my most recent day jobs, I’ve had to set “S.M.A.R.T” objectives.
Jul 17, 2020
Banishing My Phone from The Bedside: The Results, One Month Later
About four weeks ago, I declared that I was going to stop keeping my iPhone at my side overnight. I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck with the plan, and the results have been positive across the board. First, thanks to everyone who expressed support for the idea. Telling you about the plan and knowing I wanted to report back were key in getting me to stick to it.
Jul 17, 2020
Fresh Start: Small Closet Updates that Make a Big Difference
It’s easy to close the door to your closet and forget about what’s in there…until the next time you get changed or put on your coat. Here are a few simple ideas for upgrading your closets’ style and organization so that each look and rummage inside is enjoyable.Go uniform. The easiest way to make your closet look more orderly is to use single-color multiples.
Jul 15, 2020
9 Alternatives to Cloth Bath Mats
image:86f5a8a99c727561ea4869de120ef8e64c197242 w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" I love the feel of plush bath mats, but mine usually end up staying tamped down, accumulating dog hair, and generally not being nice and fluffy. Given that I recently learned I have a few household allergies, I’ve decided it’s time to forgo the cotton rug.
Apr 21, 2020
Top 6 Do’s: Things to Try for a Good Night’s Sleep
I am about six months pregnant; while there are a lot of things I’d like, there’s one big one I need: sleep. Here are a few things I find essential to getting a good night’s rest. 1. To sleep better, turn down your thermostat. It’s science, friends. Studies suggest your room be around 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This same link, from The New York Times, points to another study showing that insomniacs have warmer core body temperatures just before bed. 2. Know thyself.
Apr 14, 2020
Small Space Inspiration: Bunk Beds & Lofts
The only time I’ve ever slept in a bunk bed was at summer camp, and I loved it. While most of us aren’t sleeping away in cabins, everyone can use space-saving furniture. For kids, lofted and bunk beds are a great option.Bunk beds free up floor space in a shared kids room, and you can configure them to work for two, three, and even four beds. A lofted bed can work for kids (and, as in image 5, a baby and crib) as well as adults (Images 2 and 9).Bunk & Loft Inspiration:1.
Mar 29, 2020
Choosing the Best White Paint: A Cool vs. Warm and Old vs. New Theory
Anyone who has tried to pick out white paint knows there are tons of variants. In my case, I’ve started a personal crusade against antique white in favor of a brighter white. One of the most ambitious goals in my January Cure was painting all the antique white walls in my three-story row home Ultra Pure White. Having redone two long hallways areas, I’ve made decent progress. Today I’m working on an awkward stairway.
Mar 23, 2020
Laidback Summer Style: 10 Perfect Porches
By this point in the summer, I wish I could pass every day kicked back in the shade on a porch. Here are ten porches where you can get the best of the indoors and out.Summer always makes me nostalgic for the wraparound porch and the sleeping porch of the beach house I went to every summer as a kid. Whether you’re there reclined on a chair, swing, hammock, or bed, porches are the perfect spot for summer relaxation.TOP ROW:1. Lonny2. Joe Gomez for Design*Sponge3.
Mar 12, 2020
Before & After: Blank Slate Hallway
When my husband and I moved into our renovated row home in 2011, this second-floor hallway was pretty much a blank slate. Almost two years later, we’ve made one major change and brought needed personality into the space.Neither of us liked the carpet; after living with it for a year and a half, we impulsively removed it in April. Our home is over a hundred years old, and we knew the original heart pine was mostly intact underneath.
Mar 12, 2020
For Your Inspiration Board: Dark Nurseries & Kids’ Rooms
Colorful walls are cheerful, and light walls can be peaceful, but I think dark walls are soothing and cozy. Those two adjectives sound just right for a little one’s room. I’ve recently transitioned a guest bedroom with an almost-black accent wall to serve as a nursery. Although for a minute I thought the existing color might seem overwhelming or unhappy, I quickly realized it was a soothing and yet modern backdrop for baby. (Photos to come, once I finish the room!) TOP ROW 1.
Mar 11, 2020
5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home a Haven
Lately my day job, combined with being almost seven months pregnant, is leaving me pretty tired by 5 p.m. I’ve been thinking more and more about what makes my home a comfortable place to be — something anyone can relate to. Here are some of our best tips for making your home a cozy place that you’re always happy to come home to. 1. Diversify lighting. I’m a proponent of having three points of light in a room.
Mar 11, 2020
Before & After: Jenny’s Built-in IKEA Billy Bookshelves
Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook consistently executes beautiful DIY projects with precision and flair. Most recently, she and her family used Ikea’s Billy bookshelves in combination with lumber, mouldings, and spray paint to create a custom look at a non-custom cost.Jenny has slowly been revealing updates to her New York home, and these shelves give the living room a sophisticated feel that’s still young and fun. It looks so good!
Mar 11, 2020
Liz’s Well-Edited Half of a Durham Duplex
Name: Liz Location: Old West neighborhood — Durham, North CarolinaSize: , 590 square feet — 1 bedroomYears lived in: 6 months — rented When faced with a move from a 1,000 square foot house to an apartment nearly half the size — and over a thousand miles away — Liz took the opportunity to pare down her collection of vintage and thrifted possessions (as seen in House Call: Liz’s Durham Digs).
Mar 11, 2020
Design Classics: Oriental Rugs
You don’t have to be able to tell an Arak from a Tabriz to appreciate how good either rug looks in a room. They work well with modern or traditional decor, and they only get better with age.Classy and classic, oriental rugs are a reliably stylish way to add color, pattern, and history to almost any room in your house. They’ll add interest to a hallway (Image 10) and give a grownup feel to a nursery (Image 2).
Aug 28, 2019
Classic American Design: Shaker
Tis The Gift To Be SimpleFrom a religious and social standpoint, Shakers were radicals when they arrived in New York from England just before the American Revolution, in 1774. Like Quakers, they are pacifists. In contrast to the Quakers and most other religions, the Shakers, officially the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming, began with a woman leader.
Jun 4, 2019
Before & After: Daniel’s Scary to Stylish Window
Security gates can be a necessity for city living, but, man, they can be ugly. For a little makeover inspiration, check out how much better this window looks with added salvaged molding.Daniel Kanter of Manhattan Nest is no stranger to DIY, but the fearlessness and skill evidenced in this project are especially impressive. When he saw that another resident of his building was discarding a pile of original moldings, he took them into his apartment, nails and all.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Bathroom Vanity and Chair
BEFOREJenny had long wanted a chair to sit in as she gives her girls their baths, and with $4.50, paint, and elbow grease she transformed a sad seat and vanity into something that stylishly fit the bill. AFTERJenny of Little Green Notebook picked up the vanity for free from an auction house that wasn’t able to sell it in its beat-up condition. Jenny realized midway through that it wasn’t worth refinishing the wood, and she refreshed the vanity with her Dremel and a coat of paint.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Victoria’s Cottage Makeover
It’s easy to walk into a rental and see only the bad parts — poor lighting, bad flooring, old paint, etc. Forced to move, Victoria of SF Girl by Bay has made the best out of what initially seemed like a less than ideal new home.
May 5, 2019
8 Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding
On a humid Saturday around this time last year, I married my husband on an 330-acre organic farm in eastern Pennsylvania. (That’s us above.) It poured for part of that day, but thanks to careful planning — and, you know, being really excited — I barely noticed. 1. Have a backup plan, and know when to implement or drop it. 2. Rain doesn’t have to be a terrible thing. 3. Let the scenery shine. 4. Consider how people will get to, from, and around the event. 5.
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Kim’s Nursery Dresser
My parents bought this dresser over 30 years ago, but that doesn’t exactly make it an heirloom. It’s very sturdy, but the wood isn’t anything special, the drawers fronts needed patching, and the sides are veneer. The price tag sold me: free. To update the dresser, the first thing I did was use a jigsaw to cut off the scallop-y business at the bottom. (I wish I had a picture of me, eight months pregnant, wielding that tool.
May 4, 2019
One Simple Way to Keep Your Bedroom More Organized This Year
When I got back to Baltimore after a long holiday visit with family, my bedroom greeted me with its disarray. The issue? Clothes everywhere. I am only good about putting clean laundry away if I do it when the clothes are fresh out of the dryer; otherwise, they sit in the basket in my bedroom. My husband, who does his own laundry, completely avoids putting his clean clothes away entirely.
Feb 24, 2019
A Digital Dilemma: Family and Event Photo Albums & Books
I’m finally assembling a photo book from my wedding, which happened this time last year (the first anniversary is paper, so it’s cool, my parents haven’t printed their choices of photos from that day either). Working on a photo book has gotten me thinking about what it means to have a tangible compilation of important photos versus one that only lives on your computer.I love revisiting my parents’ photo albums.
Feb 24, 2019
Before & After: Kim’s Closet to Craft Room
The closet in my guest bedroom never hosted much clothing, and I decided it’d be a perfect tucked away spot for sewing and crafting.My workspace in my last apartment was a craft cabinet, so a closet was a step up. I painted the bottom portion of the wall with leftover paint and built a desk with wood and metal braces from Home Depot. I hung acrylic shelves on the left wall and added a custom corkboard, task lamp, filing cabinet, and calendar.
Feb 28, 2013
Before & After: Erin’s Painted House
Erin lives in a row house with a brick façade that she and her husband found underwhelming. The brick was not the best quality and had mismatched mortar spots, and the bottom line was, they wanted to give their home some stand-out personality.After testing out 12 shades of gray paint samples, Erin of 110 + 2 settled on Sherwin Williams’ Classic French Gray for the house and their Citrus for the front and back doors. The gray is classic, and the punchy yellow is fun and modern.
Sep 14, 2012
Kyle & Erin’s U Street One Bedroom with a View
Name: Kyle J. Avarell, Erin Berteaux, and Buddha the catLocation: U Street Corridor, Washington DCSize: 594 square feetYears lived in:1 ½ years, rented Down to their beautifully blue-eyed cat’s food dish, Kyle and Erin have brought style and personality to every aspect of their penthouse home. In turn, the modern apartment makes a great backdrop for their collection of locally sourced vintage furniture, strategic Ikea buys, and handmade projects.
Aug 16, 2011
Ryan’s Georgetown Vintage Americana
Name: Ryan ZagoneLocation: Georgetown — Washington, DCSize: 330 square feetYears lived in: 1.5 — Rented In a leafy corner of Georgetown that is also a quick walk to Dupont Circle, Ryan has made a studio apartment into an efficient home. He has drawn on some of the District’s best resources for vintage and antiques while adding contemporary pieces and travel finds. The result is distinctly masculine and simultaneously rustic and refined.
Jul 26, 2011
Before & After: Faux Marble Countertops & Backsplash
Danika found herself in a spot that many renters and homeowners can relate to — her countertops were dated, and a “real” renovation wasn’t in the cards. Fortunately she has some impressive painting skills, and her kitchen has seen one good-looking makeover.While in my mind “faux” can often immediately go to “tacky,” these results prove that categorization to be unfair.
May 20, 2011
Before & After: Kim’s Craft Cabinet
When I moved into my apartment, the built-in cabinet in my bedroom was shoddily painted in yellow and blue with brown “accents.” To make matters worse, there were so many layers of paint that the hinges didn’t work well.Basically, I spent several hours over two weeks chipping away at the old paint — a process I found surprisingly satisfying. Beneath the yellow, blue, and brown, I found pink, gray, and lime green.
Feb 4, 2011