The Spring Cure: Retail Therapy

The Spring Cure: Retail Therapy

Cambria Bold
Apr 9, 2010

Cozy blankets, dark furniture, and subtle pops of color keep this white room from feeling too stark. Via AT:SF

• Cure Clock: 5 weeks to go
• Assignment: Read Week 4: Retail Therapy
• Cure Members: 1,360 (closed)

We're at the half-way point now. You've done some soul searching, some deep cleaning, some serious de-cluttering and a few crucial repairs. At this point it's good to take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for coming this far. Week Four is about making your living room truly a place you love to be. Empty your Outbox and enjoy the space you've made. Get out of the house and spend a little time shopping for things you need and love, or re-focus your energies on a DIY project to breathe new life into something old.

Love the hard metallic elements of this bicycle paired against the soft vibrant rug underneath. Via AT:LA

In addition to decluttering your media and (gasp!) book collection, and delving into a little protein/carb shopping excursion, you'll also be considering color and softness — where you need it, where you have too much of it. First, on shopping: here are some tips to consider when thinking about buying things for your home:

Prioritize and condense your shopping list. It's tempting to buy inexpensive, lower quality versions of all the things you want so you can cross off your home-to-do list. But in the long run, you might be disappointed that you spent much-needed money on items that didn't last. Always keep in mind the "protein vs. carbohydrate" -- those higher-quality, more expensive and longer lasting pieces, vs. the trendy, easy to have-and-then-get-rid-of-later pieces, and make sure that you're only buying what you need and love. Save your money for something that is exactly what you want, even if it takes longer to get it. You'll be glad you waited.

Consider DIY makeovers instead of new items. It's true that new items can bring an uplifting energy into your home. But with a little DIY ingenuity, you can sometimes achieve the same effect by reviving old pieces instead. A little paint job on an old table could be just the accent piece you were hoping for.

The red and turquoise accents and the fluffy cream rug keep this room from being overwhelmed by dark wall color. Via AT:Boston

Last year Rachel from Re-Nest wrote a great post on consolidating and prioritizing your possessions. When her home was burglarized, the way she dealt with the situation was realizing that everything stolen was replaceable. The only things that she would've been distraught over losing apparently did not have the same value to the burglars. So rather than replacing each thing that was taken, she decided to consolidate and prioritize. Here are her thoughts on that process:

Pare down your book and media collection:

The most prized possessions to the burglars were electronics – no surprise there. We decided, given the direction media is going, to forgo getting a DVD player and stereo (it almost seems quaint just typing that). We instead got an AppleTV, which when connected to our main computer, can completely replace both pieces of equipment. My boyfriend and I used to be big into buying and renting DVDs and I had always resisted buying digital music over CDs. However, after having my CDs stolen so many times, I decided it wasn't worth repurchasing them (mp3s can't be stolen) and storing them. Gone are the days of numerous pieces of equipment for entertainment and storage for CD and DVD collections. If you don't have an AppleTV (though I highly recommend getting one – you can also get rid of cable), you can do the same thing with an Apple Airport, receivers or some video game consoles. Once you've consolidated your music there are plenty of resources for donating, selling or sharing your collection: Helps You Borrow Things from Friends
Simple Green: Use the Library

If keeping your media collection physical rather than digital is important, than really make it yours – display it nicely and neatly and if you're tight on space than it should be your only collection displayed. If it's not important enough for that then reconsider whether it's worth keeping around. We've covered a number of great ways to display media:

22 New Uses for Old CDs
How To: Make CD Case Wall Art
Display Ideas For the Music Lover
Apartment Inspiration for Album Lovers
Inspiration: Record Album Storage

A colorful wall hanging turns a boring white wall into something warm and inviting. Via AT:Boston
Books, to me, are a whole different animal, but I know with the rise of the Kindle this will soon change. There are a lot of people need to keep their books for their monetary value, a sentimental reason, or because they love to read them multiple times. My boyfriend and I have tons of books – most of his are textbook and research oriented (as he is a perpetual student), while I'm more than happy to get rid off all that aren't of the coffee table variety. To keep the balance we have one bookcase in the living room that holds all of the coffee table and currently-being-read books. All others go into the office bookcase (which by the way is two stacked Ikea Expedits). Anything that doesn't have a spot should be reconsidered; if they important enough to you to keep, then find them a proper home so that they can be appreciated. Otherwise there are many ways to enjoy books without having to buy and keep them:

Look! Community Book Exchange
Tips: Detaching Yourself (Rationally) from Your Books
Simple Green: Share Your Books
Green Tip: Throw a Book Swap Party

There's a reason they say a paint job is the easiest and cheapest way to transform a room. Via AT:NY
Declutter the rest of your living room:

Now that you've cleared out and organized your books and media, all that's left is organizing your decorative items and keeping your storage and display in check. The best way to do this is continue the process of only keeping what's nearest and dearest to you. The living room should be the heart of the house, not a place for clutter. This is where you'll be relaxing and gathering with friends, so you really want to best represent you.

Continue using the outbox for items that are questionable and use the recycling and trash bins for everything else that doesn't belong. Always keep an eye out fo which items contribute to a healthy home and which don't.

The small rug softens the room and adds a fresh touch, as does the turquoise wall color. Via AT:NY

Thanks, Rachel!

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