Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure
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Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  689 ratings  ·  129 reviews
From not enough space and too many things to not knowing what color to paint the living room walls, many of us struggle with our homes. Now Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, frequent makeover expert on HGTV’s Mission: Organization and Small Spaces, Big Style, shares the do-it-yourself strategies that have enabled his clients and fans to transform their apartments into well-organize...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published March 28th 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Megan
It is not often that I read a book more than once - in fact, pretty much never. There are too many books in the world to do that! This book is an exception. It also catapulted me into action one Sunday. I rearranged our living room and reconfigured our guest room. Watch out, this book is dangerous!

The author is a consultant who calls himself an Apartment Therapist. He goes into peoples' homes and helps them create a home they are happy with. He has a very holistic way of looking at the home whic...more
Michael
I learned a lot of things from this book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I never really think about how I'm affected by my living space. Small touches go a long way. More than anything else I learned that getting rid of stuff you don't need is essential. Although I doubt I'll place candles around the house or buy fresh flowers every week, the advice about color, artwork, and furniture placement will be useful once I settle down a bit.

Interesting tips:
Always leave the shower curt...more
Sonja Reid
An interesting take on home design and organization. I enjoy the apartmenttherapy website, and so had to take a look at this book. Gillingham-Ryan definitely wants you pare back what you have, and to plunk down quite a bit of cash on what you choose have. While I like the idea of choosing once and choosing good quality when it comes to larger items, his cost suggestions (for sofas, lamps, etc) seem high to me. But then, I'm really not in the position to buy or renovate.

On the other hand, my favo...more
April
I've never really given much thought to interior design; my apartment has been mostly just functional.

However, I've decided to make improvements, so I started with this book. I enjoyed the friendly and encouraging tone of the book and the helpful suggestions.

My main criticism is the structure. In my opinion, the 'Deep Treatment' and the 'One Room Remedy' parts should not have been in the same chapters, especially since they were often not related. It would have been better to have two halves to...more
D
Aug 18, 2014 D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of home organization and design
some good, actionable advice marred by psychobabble that made me alternately giggle and roll my eyes a little bit.

*** The Quiz (you can substitute house for apartment, if need be) . . . ***

Favorites
List your favorite in each category:

actress
actor
artist
writer
music
restaurant
automobile
television show
clothing (designer or store)

How would you describe your style (3 words)?

Personal History
Where have you lived?
Where you were born:
Where you grew up:
As an adult:

Whom would you consider a role...more
Susan
I got this book from the library so felt I had to rush through it. Fortunately, a friend passed me her copy when she was done. I am happy to have it and will pay it forward to the next person in need.

This book has some great ideas on clueing the clutter from your home. For me, I enjoyed the ideas and advice on how to go through and choose what to keep and what to remove from your life. I also like the idea of putting something aside and not deciding for a week what to do with it. I think the ste...more
Alexis
I found this book really useful, and will definitely be using it again when I move to a larger apartment. It made me think a lot about living spaces, and the creation of home. It has also inspired me to pay more attention to cleaning my kitchen!!
Sarah
Picked this up because I've been using the associated blog to teach myself about room design. The blog focuses heavily on design trends and DIY solutions to high-end decor, and I hoped the book would cover more general topics.

I wasn't disappointed. The book is evenly split between discussions of design theory, personal narrative, and decorating/cleaning exercises. The title advertises an 8-week "cure" for badly managed spaces, but that's only one aspect of the whole book. I'm currently between...more
Lillian
if you are twenty-something and interested in "nesting" in your apartment, this book is the guide. a great read and a great reference.
Hilary
If you are a big fan of Apartment Therapy, then this book is actually probably NOT for you. This book is designed for people who are just entering the home design realm - it gives a realistic, simple plan for quickly creating a home you love. I did learn some really good tips, and it was a quick pleasant read. It touches lightly on a whole range of home-improvement, and even self-help, topics. It's designed to whet the appetite for these things, but doesn't go in depth in any one subject. Overal...more
Kerri
Apr 21, 2008 Kerri marked it as never-finished  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a general, unidentifiable, dissatisfaction with their home
Recommended to Kerri by: apartmenttherapy.com
I'm not going to rate this book with stars because I feel it would be unfair. I've been a big fan of apartmenttherapy.com, and purchased this book as soon as it was released, which also happened to be right around the time that I purchased the townhouse we'd been living in for years, so I was really excited about bringing it to its full potential. Well, I forget about the book for a couple (few?) years, and just recently remembered it when it came up in discussion again. Since that time, I've pu...more
Wende
This book balances precariously between being profound and precious.

On the profound side, it collects in one spot a great deal of useful information on arranging furniture, choosing paint colors, handling lighting, and decluttering. And it sets everything into a schedule to help you not bog down.

On the precious side, there are embedded assumptions that you're seeking an idealized lifestyle that involves tenderly cleaning your home with organic cleansers, strolling to the organic market to get th...more
Marcy
Nov 13, 2008 Marcy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcy by: In a roundabout way, Kirstin -- it was on Amazon next to another
This book has torn my life apart for the last 2 months as I "flip" my whole apartment, go through everything I own and start over with a "NEW" apartment. It gave me the justification I needed to put some money into a rental and I think once the wood floors in my room are finished and the new countertop installed in the bathroom, (there are new floors, paint, lighting, and window treatments throughout!!!) I will feel like a brand new person. Even with all of the organize/feng shui/declutter/home...more
Kristine
Sep 13, 2007 Kristine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who lives in an apartment
Shelves: reference
This is a real neato book that can be applied to both apartment dwellers and home owners I think. This is great for anyone who wants to makeover their apartment and can benefit from an 8-week makeover plan. I participated in the Spring 07 cure and now I'm participating in the Fall 07 cure.

At times, the book can be a little hokey and "hippy-ish," encouraging readers to perform exercises such as running their hands along the walls of their apartment to determine "hot" and "cold" areas. However, if...more
Allison
I just reread this book after reading it for the first time in 2008. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this book changed my life. It completely changed my way of thinking about what a home is and how to take care of it, and the results have been positive. The only reason I gave four stars instead of five is because the examples in the book are kind of ridiculous - for example, the author describes working with someone furnishing their Manhattan apartment so they have a place to go when th...more
Liss
Jul 08, 2008 Liss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone vaguely dissatisfied
This book changed my life-literally. One of the points Max makes is that what goes on in your home is going on in your life. In one of the first chapters he shares how his apartment was stuffed and so was his life-with a languishing relationship, an unfinished thesis, and piles of work-when he pared down his apartment so did his life-the relationship ended amicably, the thesis was finished, he had time for a social life. Each time I take the course I move within the 8-week period, this has happe...more
Lisaana
This one finally got me to understand that my home is my oasis. I can use color, furnishings, accessories, scents - almost anything to help myself be organized and make sure my living space is welcoming and nourishing to all aspects of my Self. I go back to this book again and again for ideas and reassurance that my home is my castle, and a reflection of how I am and want to be. Want a sunny disposition? Make sure the space I wake to gets me started in sunny ways.
Kathleen
I haven't spent a lot of time on the apartment therapy website. From what I saw, I thought that the website was basically just pictures of different cool, not necessarily expensive apartments. I didn't really know what to expect in this book.
Turns out it's about half DIY redecorating guide, half self-help book. It's not the first time I've seen this combination, but I never find it that compelling.
There are some assessment questions toward the beginning of the book meant to help you figure out w...more
Grace
Although the specific tips in this book are mainly non-revolutionary, the author suggests a good system for a complete reworking of one's home to suit one's needs better, no matter how good or bad the home may start out. In other words...if you live in a home that more resembles a trash heap, you can use his advice. But if you live in a perfectly decorated home, you can also find helpful tips inside.

Most helpful, however, is the basic attitude of observing one's home in different ways. The idea...more
Megankellie
Very helpful and interesting. I got this after seeing the apartment of a friend that is very small and unimaginably cozy, welcoming and warm. I moved to a new place and this helped me do a lot of decorating. It also helped with joke-making because most of the way through the book, I discovered my apartment is riddled with parasites and vermin. i hope he puts in a warning-signs chapter. Beware layers of paint, overfriendly roommates, giving landlord who lets you skip steps.

Still, "don't put your...more
Diana180
Like Clearing Your Clutter Through Feng Shui and the old Unclutterer forums (that is, before the destructive redesign this month), this is a good prod to upfurbishing your nest. If you have the time and money (lots of money) to carry out the full cure, it's probably quite effective. Just reading it casually induced me to fix and throw out some things. Editors might want to cut the statements of the obvious, the useless forms in the back, and the blatant product placement next time around. Also,...more
Laura
I am currently making my way through the "8 week home cure" and really am finding this book provides a useful template for determining what to do with your home and how to do it so that your home is a place that you love. Although it is geared toward single or partnered urban professionals living in apartments (as opposed to say, suburban housewives or stay at home parents) that does not make it less useful. He draws on both his experience as a former Waldorf teacher and an interior designer to...more
Heather
Picked this up when I was newlywed, in my late 20s, and the book had just come out. It gave direction and focus in setting up our nest, and was the first to truly help me feel comfortable with giving away stuff I didn't use. It was the first place I heard "Do I use it? Do I need it? Do I love it?"
The edges are worn, and got some water on a couple pages, but this one is a keeper for me, and I refer to it when we've moved, or it's time to refresh my home. Unfortunately, I don't get around as much...more
Christa
Aug 20, 2014 Christa is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far this book has a lot of hooey in it, but I just got to the actual steps and am now feeling better about it.
Mike
Informative and probably quite helpful if read at the proper time. By this I mean, anyone interested in tackling a home project may want to put off reading this until you are actually ready to start the project (so perhaps if I reread this while working on a home project, I may be inclinded to add a star to the rating). Otherwise, it is filled with some good ideas, tips, and suggestions, but a lot of it will be a quite useless if you are not actually following his 8 week plan. Also, be weary, th...more
Minty
there were a lot of reasonable design tips provided in a pleasant voice, but nothing was terribly useful to me and it included a lot of common sense doled out like as if it was advice. there were also a lot of tips that didn't seem particularly relevant or like the author was in any better position to provide them than anyone else (at one point he recommends gilette razors in order to enhance your bathroom and shaving experience). it's a quick read, though, and inspired me to clean up and purge...more
Chelsea
The author describes the home/house/apartment as a living space, not just furniture and stuff. From that premise, he then explains how to start looking for ways to "heal" your home. The whole process is involved and will take some time to complete. I got started and didn't finish. I honestly think I wasn't ready to take the steps. I will read the book again and try again.

The whole concept is presented in a very orderly and clear manner with steps and categories. I would recommend this book to an...more
molly
I completely lost momentum here. After the first two weeks or so - complicated by a week's vacation - I found it too repetitive, and too slow. Not enough here to tempt me to revisit, but at least I cleaned my kitchen and got rid of some books/media.

okay, on the second try i made it all the way through in one day. in many ways, this is aimed at people way, way out of my income and lifestyle bracket, but there's some solid advice here that i will put into practice when revising my place in the com...more
Ewurama
nest: a place of rest, retreat, or lodging
nest: to build or occupy a nest: settle in or as if in a nest
I have a latent nesting impulse that I was seeking to cater to by reading this book. I envision caring for myself and others through the creation of a lovely home. I didn’t complete the actual interior design for the most part but picked up some good tips and was able to spend some time thinking through how I might create the home I dream of, one that’s a warm, cozy, neat, well-organized, and w...more
Danielle
Really good! Apartment Therapy was as enjoyable to read as it was edifying.

I'd recommend this book to a person interested in improving his or her lifestyle via a living space revitalization.

While its language is at times a bit trendy, the basic message is really timeless - this isn't some Hippest Apartments of 2008 piece of trash that is going to lead you into creating some dated disaster. It's a sort of primer for making your home more "homey" and healthy for living, regardless of your design p...more
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“I realized that “being prepared” can sometimes be a euphemism for being scared to let go. How much we carry—whether it is on our bicycle, in our bag, or in our home—is often directly related to how little we trust in life to guide us well, and in others to help us out in a pinch. To this day, I have found that traveling light yields a far richer experience.” 1 likes
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