Sunday, May 18, 2008

Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure

How many of you have read this?

Did you like it? Was it useful?

(Update: So the reason I asked this is because we know that the author is also the guy behind the Apartment Therapy website. I guess I expected this book to be kinda cheeky and smart, but I am astounded how poor the writing is. He writes about things like he's an alien who has just landed on Earth:

"Apple's products for computer music are terrific." Yes, he wrote that.

I refuse to believe he's not a cool guy. I am sure he is. I just wish the book had a little more personality.

Nevertheless, it did inspire me to start purging my house. I started with my closet. It's scary. Scarier are the things I have been holding onto. Red cowboy boots? Those should have been burned 4 years ago. So embarrassing.

Anyway... I know I am like 3 years late, but I guess on am doing the "Cure.")


Anonymous said...

Judging from the cover, you'd think this is just another "an interior designer bosses you around" book. The cover doesn't link the phrase "apartment therapy" to the network of websites of the same name. Is there a connection, and if so, why are they hiding it?

mrlfvl said...

Have not read it, but based on its reviews on both amazon and bn, it seems that most people find it quite helpful. Might have to buy it for my brother and sis-in-law living in a cramped space in Brooklyn. Seems like an "AA" type solution for people with "too-much-shit-in-small-pace-itis."

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

It's the same thing... I'm not sure which came first, book or blog, but it all originated with the same guy.

Kelly Anne said...

They're definitely the same. From the website: "This is the official AT book (autographed by the author) and the reduced concentrate of over 5 years of practicing what we preach in New York City."

To my understanding, it's a more streamlined method of decor advice, minus the clicking of various links necessary on the site. Pretty sure they're not hiding anything, either. It's advertised on the site, and the title is even in the same font as the website banner. They have book signings along with AT events, as well.

Anonymous said...

I've never liked that site.

Anonymous said...

I've read it but have so far not actually put in into use, even though I would like to.
Some things I like about it, like giving you a list of things to do to give your home a therapy, others like finding your style I didn't like that much. But I think there are good ideas in it and if you for instance have a room you are not happy with but don't know where to start (I for instance find starting and finishing a project hard sometimes), it can give you helpful tips.
I enjoy the website, especially the house tours - real homes are the best source of inspiration for me. Much more so then those fancy ones in other interior magazines where I constantly ask myself 'Do they really live like that?' or 'This is not a home, it's a showroom'.

i suwannee said...

yes, i've read it.

it can be helpful - you just take from it what you need. whatever works at the time.

sort of like THE BIBLE, i hear.

Emily said...

I just read this book and participated in the Spring Cure through the Apartment Therapy blog. The book is a guide that talks about simplifying, organizing and designing your home. its broken down by week and by room, to make it less overwhelming. Also, if you follow with the online group (broken down by city) they post pictures of their progress on flickr and its a great way to see what others are doing. I think they do it every Fall and Spring. It kept me motivated!

hope this helps. you can search Spring Cure on the Apartment Therapy website and it will show you what i mean.

Anonymous said...

good for you, decorno. getting rid of old crap is going to do more than clear space in your closets. it somehow clears space in your head, too. it's tough to do a big purge, but just think of it like when you go on vacation someplace wonderful and you realize you don't need or miss all that shit you collect back home. all you really need is in your suitcase, and all you really want is enough money to get to the next fabulous destination.

Emily said...

I just did the spring Cure, too, and I am so happy with the results I'm continuing on through the rest of my house.

I am one of those people who needs a bossy program that leaves little room for error ;-) The writing may not be stellar, but that's of little consequence if you're happy with the outcome.

If you can get past the charmless writing style, I recommend giving it an honest go of it. Worst case: you get rid of some stuff and make some repairs. Best case: you get a home that looks good and serves the purposes you need it to serve!

Good luck!

lsaspacey said...

The most important concept IMO from the book was the purging of stuff in such a slow way that you get to recognize why you were holding on to particualr items in the first place and how that had effected you.

I held on to decorative items and gifts from people and made my space work with them instead of the other way around. This realization gave me some insight into how the opinion of others seemed to matter more to me in the rest of my life too.

That's where the word therapy in the title comes in. It's not just about decorating or getting rid of junk. It's about only having things in your home (and perhaps your life) that you mean to have there. No more "making do" but making concrete decisions and choices.

I am also the administrator of the AT CURE progress group on Flickr for the participants.

Anonymous said...

Red cowboy boots?! I would so take them.

(for my cat, I mean)

my little apartment said...

i've started the Cure a couple times, but never finished. it's nice I guess, to have "rules", but i don't need to "touch all the walls in my apartment" (i think that's one of the rules)...

Anonymous said...

I read the Apartment Therapy site daily, and have gotten some really good tips and information from the site. However, there seems to be a pervasive attitude on the site and amongst the readers that Maxwell can do no wrong. He has great ideas, and the book is pretty helpful (although I'm not going to go around touching all my walls either), but I find his blog posts the most poorly-written and least interesting. I'd rather he just administer the site and not do any writing at all. (Although many of the blog posts could do with more editing.)
I wasn't that impressed with the newest AT book, either. I've been slowly losing interest in the site, maybe because my own place is finally coming together. I don't like the snotty attitude of many of the commentators that modern and minimalism is the only style worth having, and your stuff and taste is crap if you don't pay $1500 for a designer table.
Sorry to sound so negative. There is much value in the site if you're interested in interior decorating. No-one I know reads the site, so I don't have anyone to criticize to.

Anonymous said...

There's something about the AT website that reminds me of summer camp. There's an ickiness to the camaraderie there, and a sort of enforced childishness.

Anonymous said...

It's a useful book, and a helpful site, but Maxwell is a terrible writer.