The Spring Cure: Retail Therapy

The Spring Cure: Retail Therapy

Susie Nadler
Apr 10, 2009

Solbeam, from the Apartment Therapy Home Cure flickr pool, is doing a beautiful job of organizing and decluttering her media. She's thinking of filling that empty glass vase (top shelf on the right hand side) with marbles to add a fun, colorful note.

Cure Clock: 4 weeks remaining
Assignment: Read Chapter 4: Retail Therapy
   • Makeover living room, with decluttering of books and media
   • Shopping research and Protein furniture lesson

Curees: 836 and counting...

>> New Flickr Group: AT Home Cure
>> Submit your photos directly to AT

Almost halfway there, everyone! This is a good time to take a moment to congratulate yourselves on your accomplishments so far. Weeks Three and Four are both at least partly about defending our homes from the onslaught of stuff that the world throws at us. Most of our lives are so inundated with media, unwanted or otherwise, that it's easy to let the buildup become overwhelming. Hopefully this week, the hard work of decluttering has begun to pay off, clearing the way for the more "fun" assignments (choosing paint, researching furniture) that prepare you to implement your creative vision.

Getting that landing strip squared away. In case some of you are still working on your pesky (but all-important!) landing strip, here's some inspiration from Joymich in Jamaica Plain, MA. Before, without a designated spot for dropping off her things, they ended up all over the place. Now, with the newly installed hooks, a strategically placed chair, and a great shoe storage system, it's easy to stow her outerwear out of sight. The colors she's chosen are vibrant and welcoming, perfect for the first stop after she walks in the door.

Autzve just moved into a new place in Austin; the first thing she did once the boxes were unpacked was get the landing strip under control. Smart lady! It's still in progress, but she's got a tray for the cell phones, a place to hang the bike helmet, hooks for coats and scarves. The little lamp and fresh flowers are a nice touch... it always helps to add a few homey details to a new place right away. Great job!

Cleaning out living room and related closets. Annalyssa from the flickr pool really took on this task with a vengeance. Her "before" picture is a great example of just how chaotic and overwhelming closet-cleaning can be when you're in the thick of it... but sometimes things just have to get worse before they get better! The result is tidy and roomy, not crammed to the gills with stuff. Keeping the pet crate in the closet (since it's got a curtain closure instead of a door) is a good solution for hiding an unattractive but necessary item.

Emptying the Outbox. Poor Adam from Denver is really on the front lines. He kindly shared this photo of the chaos created by the arrival of an "assembly required" desk. Turns out the desk is a lot bigger than he thought, so he's going to have to rethink the room's layout to make it work. Silver lining: He really loves the desk, now that he's seen it in person. So it'll all be worthwhile in the end. You can do it, Adam!

One issue with ordering furniture online is that it comes with a lot of packing material that just creates more clutter. We've all had a moment like Adam's, standing amidst a tornado-swept room piled high with styrofoam and cardboard. Fortunately, in Week Four you begin to empty your Outbox. When my husband and I moved last year, we ended up with a ton of recyclable packing materials to get rid of, along with a lot of old electronics and construction materials. Daunted by the time and research it would require to properly dispose of all these different things ourselves, we found a recycle-my-junk service on craigslist, took a few minutes of research to make sure they were legit, and called them in. This is an extra expense, but not a huge one, and if you've got a lot of other things on your plate, it's absolutely worth it!

Increasing (or decreasing) color. After a big decluttering of the living room, Kenzilicious from flickr took a bold step and decided on this deep pink for her accent wall. And what a gorgeous result! With the neutral sofa and the rich wood floors, this color is just stunning. If your apartment has high ceilings, sometimes a big white wall can have an institutional feel. Choosing a color for an accent wall can be nerve-wracking; Kenzilicious consulted a designer friend (always a good idea if it's an option), but even if you're on your own, don't be afraid to experiment. Be generous with your test patches, and remember to contemplate them at night and at different times of day.

Sometimes an interior from the style tray can provide excellent color inspiration. Mila_ru loved the look of this room (top left above) designed by Louisa Grey, so she took the plunge and painted her living room in Benjamin Moore's Pale Vista, approximating the color in the photo. (A good paint store can mix a color to match any photo you want to bring them!) Her next step is some new furniture from Room and Board, and she wants to replace her aqua-colored table with some other piece to divide the room. Maybe she should try using her new sofa for that purpose, since the black sofa in the inspiration photo sits with its back to the dining area. Any other suggestions for how Mila_ru can replicate the look she loves?

Increasing (or decreasing) softness. Kikiclark, from the Apartment Therapy Home Cure SF flickr pool, got a new keyboard and wants to soften up the corner of the living room where it's going to reside. We think she's well on her way, with that sheepskin underfoot and the lovely neutral floor-to-ceiling drapes. A houseplant would certainly soften up this corner, too... draped over the side of the cabinet, or standing tall next to the keyboard. Great work so far, Kiki!

Cooking at home. Mairead in Oak Park shared this photo of her kitchen after a good decluttering. Her fridge, formerly buried under photos and magnets, got a makeover with wall decals that compliment her flooring and backsplash. Making the kitchen attractive and inviting is a great way to get yourself to cook more often. Nice job, Mairead!

Yum... flickr member Wig3000, in honor of our dear departed Domino, is cooking recipes from that magazine and sharing photos on the Apartment Therapy Home Cure pool. This flatbread came from the last issue. Choosing recipes from a book or magazine that inspires you is a fabulous motivating tool. Great idea!

Send out your invitations. I'm a big fan of the written invite, for obvious reasons. They're more personal, of course, and they're so fun to receive. Also, because you've put the time into personally inviting your guests, they're more likely to be courteous with an official RSVP. If you're crafty, try printing out the details of your party on colored paper, and affixing it inside a nice notecard. You can embellish the envelope with an envelope liner, too, if you've got an hour to spare and are feeling creative. Paper Source is an excellent place to look for invitation inspiration and tools to help you along, including envelope liner templates.

We're so excited about the progress all of you are making! Thank you so much for sharing all of your photos so far, and please keep sending them in! Can't wait to see what Week Five brings...


Week 4 - Tips & Tricks
Week 4 - Intro
Week 3 - Show and Tell
Week 3 - Tips & Tricks
Week 3 - Intro
Week 2 - Show and Tell
Week 2 - Tips & Tricks
Week 2 - Intro
Week 1 - Show and Tell
Week 1 - Tips & Tricks
Week 1 - Intro


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


>> From Amazon
>> From Powell's
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