Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure Paperback – Mar 28 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
New York-based interior designer Gillingham-Ryan is out to prove that even the dreariest, no-view walk-up can be transformed into a cozy urban oasis using his "eight-step home cure." The unflaggingly enthusiastic author asks readers to "listen" to their apartments-appraising what he refers to as the bones, breath, heart and head of the space-before determining ways to streamline. Despite the decorator's forays into psycho-babble, his advice proves practical as he teaches readers how to determine a makeover budget, de-clutter, liberate themselves from a lifetime of accumulated possessions and choose paint hues. Gillingham-Ryan's belief that the right lighting can "create warmth and visual movement" leads to more helpful advice on choosing the right fixtures, the different types of light and the virtues of high-end candles. No housing revival would be complete without a party, so Gillingham-Ryan shares the most festive recipes in his arsenal, including "Orange Pant's Deadly Simple Chocolate Mousse" and "Margaritas to Make Men and Women Giggle." While the author's ideas may not break new ground, his ebullient, can-do attitude will appeal to readers interested in, but intimidated by, an apartment overhaul.
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"New York-based interior designer Gillingham-Ryan is out to prove that even the dreariest, no-view walk-up can be transformed into a cozy urban oasis using his "eight-step home cure.... Ebullient!"--Publishers Weekly
“What a refreshing decorating book! Apartment Therapy is a must-read for creating your perfect nest. Fire your shrink and follow Maxwell's eight-step therapeutic cure!”--Jonathan Adler, potter, designer, and author of My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living
"Decorating a home is just plain stressful! Maxwell's book offers a way out; it's like hiring a pro (without the attitude or expense). He takes us by the hand and gently guides us through the entire process, from coming up with a plan to executing it without going broke. Whether you're just dipping in for a quick hit of inspiration, or committing to the whole eight week cure, your home -- and life -- will be better because of it."--Angela Matusik, Editor-in-Chief, Budget Living Magazine
"Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan's Apartment Therapy is refreshing in its point of view–your house has to work for you from the inside out. Gillingham-Ryan encourages readers to really take a good look at where they are at home and how they can improve the quality of their lives.”--Wendy Goodman, interior design editor, New York Magazine
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This book is also something else. It's a primer for a web site and blog. It sets out the vocabulary and explains the aims of hundreds of people who have already participated in the first on-line cure. Like Marla Cilley's Sink Reflections, the book functions as a portal to the collective on-line experience. There are no lush photographs in the book.They are on the web site.
More than anything, though, Maxwell writes his prose well and in such a way that one feels inspired to tackle transforming one's home and experience in it. I'm not in a small apartment in the city---but a small house in a city whose burbs are ever expanding outwards. I don't need to start cooking at home--as he recommends--but taking those wonderful morning baths he advocates. It'll be a challenge to implement the cure for my home and it will take longer than eight weeks. Nonetheless, he has inspired me to do all he counsels and for that reason I recommend the book.
It does and it doesn't. Like many design/decorating book it suffers from a lack of realistic understanding of its audience. Let's face it, anyone seeking design advice and is only ponying up 14 bucks, probably isn't the same kind of person who would spend 3000.00 on a couch.
still there is some excellent advice for clearing cluttering and making your home more of a refuge. And for the people that didn't enjoy the book, you can just toss it, sell it or give it away (which is what the author recommending doing with books you don't love.)
Bottom line: it can get you motivated to live more simply and if you can ignore the classist attitudes about what kind of decor best suits a home and how NYC centric the book is you might be able to find a few bits of advice worth taking.
And the associated website [...] is great - and provides ongoing inspiration and support as I find new ways to make my apartment into the home of my dreams.
Thanks to Max, I entertain constantly now!
Conventional decorating books provide plenty of fantasy fodder. This book provides a concrete eight-week plan for turning a dissatisfying apartment into an inviting home. The emphasis is not on this year's styles in drapes, on rearranging the furniture with the sofa at an angle, on how to "style" a table vignette with clever flea market finds, or even on how some kicky mid-century modern accessories will punch up your home.
Instead, it's primarily about analyzing how you live in your home and taking orderly steps to make it a more satisfying environment. The emphasis on apartments puts a focus on decluttering, as well as on breaking the pattern of "it's just a place to sleep and shower."
If you've read every design psychology book on the library shelves, you won't be bowled over by extensive new material -- but you may be motivated to muck out the back bedroom because Maxwell makes it so simple and satisfying.