Apartment Therapy – The book – A Review

Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan began his journey as an “apartment therapist” by helping a young film editor restyle his apartment after a painful break up with his girlfriend and she subsequently moved out.

Even though his apartment was very nice, he was miserable. The memories were painful and he hated it. He even moved his bed into the living room because he couldn’t bear to sleep in that room, anymore.

Gillingham-Ryan persuaded him to do a very deep cleaning, remove all of the personal effects and decor that she left behind and repaint the room and lighten it up.  It worked! He was ready to move on.

If you haven’t discovered Apartment Therapy, the blog, you’re in for a treat! It’s one of my favorite sites with a multitude of ideas for maximizing small spaces.

Well, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan has written Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure, the book! If you’re frustrated with your home and can’t figure out why then this is the book for you.

He suggests looking at our rooms in a new light.  Are you ready to make healthy changes…clearing out everything that you don’t need or really love.  Look at the flow…is it comfortable and easily navigable? Can you feel the energy and movement in the room?

There is a questionnaire to help determine your own personal taste and to determine the physical, emotional and energy flow issues.

This is the basis for the eight-step home cure and I can tell you that once you start, you’ll be motivated and eager to reach Step 8.

  1. Week One: Creating your Vision
  2. Week Two: Clearing the Path
  3. Week Three: The Landing Strip
  4. Week Four: Retail Therapy
  5. Week Five: Getting into the Thick of It
  6. Week Six: Light Therapy
  7. Week Seven: Sacred Space
  8. Week Eight: Throwing a Party!
Tiny kitchen

Tiny Kitchen Makeover

Each guided step helps you work efficiently and affordably toward creating a more comfortable home of your dreams.

There are floor plans. There are examples of how to turn any small space into a functional and beautiful area.

You will learn how to declutter, first of all.  And then you’ll learn how to keep it from becoming cluttered ever again.

You’ll learn how to get a handle on paperwork.  There’s a list that shows how long to keep paperwork; for example, tax returns should be kept permanently. Bank statements should be kept for seven years, etc.  It’s a handy list to have for reference on many levels.

You’ll learn how to work with color…and why some spaces should have cool colors and others should have warm tones. You’ll learn how to apply the 80/20 color rule.

If you need to call in professional help (and unless you’re an experienced DIYer, you probably will) you’ll learn how to choose the right professional.

You’ll learn how to choose lighting – what’s the best lighting for each area of your home and why.

This little reference book is invaluable for a multitude of reasons.  Check it out…you’ll thank me!  Be sure to let me know what your favorite lesson is and how it helped you solve a dilemma!

(Updated 4/20/2018)

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Bar Carts are Still Hot!

Call me old fashioned bar cartBar Carts – A New Idea for Home Decor

We’ve discussed the importance of multi-purpose furnishings for small spaces. There are multitudes of multi-purpose pieces but one of the hottest is the bar cart!

By the way, do you love this Call Me Old Fashioned Wall Art?  I sure do! I ordered one for myself and it’s a real conversation starter. To be honest, an Old Fashioned is my favorite cocktail.

This print is:

  • Professionally printed on 100lb paper
  • Paper is acid-free with smooth finish
  • Archival inks guaranteed to be fade-resistant for 100 years

Bar carts/serving carts are perfect for almost every room in your home.

Obviously, the bar cart is meant to be..well, a bar cart! It will look lovely in your dining or living area but, more important, it’s excellent storage…especially if cupboard space is lacking. Plus it’s super easy to move wherever the party is happening.

Use one in the kitchen as a place to store baskets and serving pieces. The top can double as a countertop for rolling out cookie dough or whipping up a batch of muffins.

In a bathrooom as a spot for fluffy towels and bath salts and a bouquet of flowers! Pretty as can be and useful, too.

In a bedroom as a night stand! In an office area for whatever you need to have within reach.

Here are two of my favorites:

This wood and metal bar cart from Tribecca Home is rustic but elegant and easily fits in a contemporary or traditional room.

The top tray is removable and it has two locking wheels.   Plus, it boasts these custom features:

1. Poplar wood and black sand metal materials

2. Wine glass inserts, tray top, bottom storage, metal hardware pulls, two (2) locking wheels

3. Tray top depth: 2.86 inches Bottom storage depth: 5.86 inches

 


This next beauty is a sophisticated tea server that could double as an end table beside a chair. Pull it out to use as a cocktail serving cart.

It’s crafted from select solid woods with cherry veneers and finished with antique brass galleries at each end.

I must tell you that Amazon has dozens and dozens of Bar Carts for whatever your particular style is…contemporary, traditional, funky, rustic…you name it and I promise you’ll find just what you’re looking for to round out the decor in your small space.

If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, shipping is fast and free!

Here’s a classy contemporary cart . It’s chrome with black tempered glass shelves.  Since it’s on wheels (most of them are) it could easily be wheeled onto your deck or patio for an outdoor party or barbecue.

There are a multitude of ways to use a bar cart…as a night stand, a coffee station, a plant stand, etc.

You must check out these great photos and ideas in this Apartment Therapy post:  7 Other Ways to Use a Bar Cart

You’ll find an idea that’ll work for you that you haven’t even thought of!

Do you have a bar cart or serving cart that you’re using for it’s traditional purpose or in a unique way? I’d love to see photos.

Please do comment and if you have a question, I’ll be happy to give you my best answer!

(Edited 4/21/2018)

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The Best Small Space Decorating Books

The Best Small Space Decorating Books

canstockphoto0133890Give me a stack of decorating books or decorating magazines and I’m one happy lady.  (Same with cookbooks…I read cookbooks like novels.)

This isn’t to say that looking for ideas online isn’t a great way to go, of course…it’s fast and easy and there’s a myriad of choices.

It’s simply that when I relax at the end of a busy day with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I will most often reach for one of my favorite decorating books!

And each time I look through them I almost always see something new or in a different perspective. I might be looking at window treatments or rugs or wall decor…so that’s what my eyes will focus on.

Here are three of the best:
Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home

Apartment Therapy – Complete and Happy Home.   I’ve already talked about how much I love the Apartment Therapy website and newsletter. Now you don’t have to be online to browse their suggestions.  This will become a favorite resource, for sure.  They have another book called The Big Book of Small Cool Spaces

Small Space OrganizingSmall Space Organizing – A Room by Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space.  The author, Kathryn Bechen, is a well-respected journalist living in San Diego who blogs about organizing and home decor. This book is also available for Kindle (I don’t have a Kindle but if you do, you’re sure to want to add this.  Just think…you can browse the pages anywhere!

BHG Book

 

Better Homes and Gardens publishes several books on small space decor.  New Decorating Book, 10th Edition (Better Homes and Gardens) (Better Homes and Gardens Home)is a good choice with sensible, down-to-earth suggestions throughout.

These are favorites of mine, but there are so many available that you’re sure to find exactly the resource you’re looking for.  I have a couple of Martha Stewart books on Holiday decor, too, that I can rely on every single year.

Do you have special favorite books on small home decor? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!

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The Best Links for Small Space Decor Ideas

 

Buffet in RoomThere are so many resources out in cyberspace that give excellent advice and that tweak your decorating creativity.

Decorating and organizing a small space doesn’t have to be impossible…you just have to know where to look.

Here are links to a few of my favorite online resources:

In my post How to Personalize a Small Space Rental, I’ve included a video from Apartment Therapy showing two apartments with identical layouts but totally different vibes.  Apartment Therapy is probably my favorite decorating site simply because it encompasses such a wide variety of decorating dilemmas…not just small space decor.

Pinterest and Houzz – 2 Favorites

Another fabulous site for decorating ideas is Pinterest.  Seriously, if you need ideas for holiday decor or bathroom vanities or gardening in a small space, Pinterest is a great place to search.

Even if you don’t need decorating ideas, you’ll find all sorts of hints, tips and solutions for healthy recipes or funny quotes, craft ideas, wall art, home based business ideas…you name it and I’ll bet you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

small yardIf you haven’t already, consider joining Pinterest…you can create your own Boards and save your favorite ideas from other Pinterest friends.

Start by visiting my Pinterest Boards…I’ve got 28 boards and more than a thousand pins!  One of my boards is Small Space Solutions.

The first decorating site I joined was Houzz.  That was before I moved to a townhouse.  But Houzz has thousands of decorating and DIY ideas for homes and gardens both large and small.  It’s a wonderful place to present a design dilemma at the Advice tab.  You’ll get answers or suggestions from other members and a few professionals to help you with your problem.

Finding Perfect Furnishings is Fun!

One Kings Lane is another beautiful resource for every possible home decor ideas that you might be searching for…and now you can search for whatever you need for entertaining, gifting and decorating. So much beautiful art objects like this:


8″ Nautilus w/ Sterling Silver, Brown

from: One Kings Lane

They’ve got furniture and decor for every room in your home! Be sure to check out the website.

There’s also up to 70% off  in their warehouse sale…can’t beat that deal!

So check out these links and please let me know your thoughts.

If you have favorite decorating sites, I’d love to include them.

Thank you for visiting…if you enjoyed this post, please share on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

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Living Large in a Small Space

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The primary challenge for living large in a small space is how to create a warm and inviting home while finding the best use for every square inch without creating clutter.

That’s quite a challenge, wouldn’t you agree?  But it’s not impossible.  It might just be the most rewarding home project you’ve tackled in a long time.  What a feeling of satisfaction you’ll have when you stand back and realize what you’ve accomplished!

Here’s a video I think you’ll enjoy.  The end result is quite inspiring.

This is the living/dining room, of course, but it’s the space where they spend the most time.

I love the table which can be used as a desk but expanded when you are entertaining. The wall mounted cabinets were a stroke of genius and created a perfect spot for the bicycles.

The only change I might suggest is that they swap out the sofa for a daybed which could be used as a guest bed.

Please share your thoughts on these ideas…I’d love to include your suggestions here, as well.

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