This September Is “Transformation Month” on Apartment Therapy

published Sep 6, 2021
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Credit: Bijou Karman

My apartment has gone through many transformations, big and small, during my 11-plus years here.

When I moved in, I was living alone. I splashed bold paint colors on the walls to try to make it feel like mine, even amidst the hand-me-down furniture from the previous tenant. Then, a few years later, my husband moved in here too. We spent years slowly making the place ours, investing in a new piece of furniture or art every once in a while, and repainting to a more neutral palette that suited both of our tastes.

I thought this more grown up version of the place was my “after” in the “before and after” of my time here. But the space has continued to evolve with me. Last year around this time, I wrote about how my home slowly, sneakily transformed in 2020 — stretching to adapt to two adults working full time from home, while becoming the center for… everything, from Zoom holidays to regular at-home workouts.

Then in 2021, the space radically transformed again, this time to make room for our daughter to move in, too. The coffee table has been replaced by a playmat, the bedroom now houses her bassinet, and the shelf I cleared for her books is… not enough.

A photo of this space wouldn’t be anyone’s definition of an “after,” but it’s ours for right now.

Each day on the site, we share stunning before and afters, with a satisfying start and end point. But real life in our homes is more of a constant evolution. And sometimes your “after” at one point in your life eventually becomes a “before” all over again.

My relationship with my apartment is the second-longest one I’ve ever had (ever-so-slightly edged out by my husband, whom I’ve been with for a dozen years or so). And just like any good partnership, we’ve grown up together — neither of us are the same as when we first met.

For the third September in a row, we are celebrating transformations all month long on our site. While a home refresh is always exciting, it’s the stories of the real people living inside them that’s what Apartment Therapy is all about. Throughout the month, we’ll have ideas for makeovers you can do no matter how much free time you have (starting at just a few minutes, truly), a comparison of two apartments with the same layout, an exploration of how kitchens have transformed throughout the decades, and so much more.

We’re also hosting our first-ever Apartment Therapy TikTok event, which we’re calling Makeover Madness. On Saturday, Sept. 18, we’ll have a full slate of makeover content all day long, from tiny tweaks to a full bathroom project from Megan Baker, our home projects editor. The whole thing is presented in partnership with Verizon, and I hope to “see” you there.

There’s something about September that feels just right for the theme of transformation, as the leaves turn, school kicks off, and some of us celebrate a literal new year with Rosh Hashanah. But of course, any home can eventually have its limitations. This fall our little family of three is finally moving to a two-bedroom apartment in our neighborhood. It’s a blank space: a “before” ready to welcome many, many “afters” together.


Credit: Joe Lingeman / Apartment Therapy

Our letter from the editor series appears at the beginning of every month. You can follow Laura on Instagram here.