Weekend Projects

Try Frank Lloyd Wright’s 2-Second Trick for Seeing Your Home in a New Light

updated Oct 30, 2019
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Credit: Sylvie Li

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

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Remember sticky notes? The ones we used to write down things we couldn’t forget, pressed to the edges of our computer monitors, and then never noticed again until they lost their stickiness and fluttered to the floor?

This phenomenon of “not seeing” happens to us all the time and it has to do with our brain, unconsciously, selecting what we notice and don’t notice so that we focus on what our brain thinks is important.

It’s why the always-present paper pile eventually becomes invisible. But it’s also why we sometimes stop noticing the beautiful things around us until something breaks the monotony of our surroundings, like a new guest gushing over the whimsical rainbow pom-poms you kind of forgot you had.

This Weekend: Re-discover your art by switching two pieces around.

A reader comment clued us in to this idea: “I’ve always loved this tidbit I learned about Frank Lloyd Wright on a tour of his home: He would move the artwork around on his home every few months because he believed he stopped seeing it when it stayed in the same place.”

Wright was right, but he didn’t let his subconscious stop him from enjoying his art, and neither will we.

For this weekend’s home project, choose two pieces of art in your home to switch (including photographs, sculptures, or other decor). It may be easier if they’re roughly the same size, but it’s not a requirement. Notice the effect that seeing—really seeing—a couple of your favorite pieces has on you. Does the stormy seascape once again evoke the sense of safety you feel at home? Does the small wedding photo placed on your nightstand instead of in the living room start your day off any differently?

What pieces will you choose to see again?

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.