Archive | November, 2009

The kitchen cure

12 Nov

For me, cooking is a sign that all is right in my world. Between work and other things, I hadn’t been cooking for months. Clutter had started to pile up in my kitchen, especially on my kitchen table.

As I started in on week 2 of the home cure, I felt like I could see my old kitchen emerging. I cleared off my kitchen table for the first time in months. I found places for things that I had piled up, stuffed behind other things, such as the following:

  • my pile of pumpkins and squashes to the kitchen stand
  • my ever-growing alcohol collection to my shelves where my wine glasses once were
  • wine and martini glasses to the shelf above my water heater (so all my fancy entertaining stuff is in one place)

I even cleaned out my toolbox so that–unbelievably–I can fit all my tools in my toolbox. This is no small feat.

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Classic, yes. Bohemian? Uh…

7 Nov

I just took the HomeGoods style test (to help me determine my style, as part of the Apartment Therapy Home Cure). Some of it is dead-on, but some of it feels–wrong.

Nicole, you are a Bohemian Classic

You have a refined sensibility and bring a sense of history and tradition into your decor. You appreciate how symmetrical arrangements and beautiful, well-crafted pieces create a solid foundation to a room. But you like to shake up this restraint with objects and accessories that express your personality and your love of other cultures. When traveling, you seek out unique objects that reflect what you love, and you use them in a sophisticated way. You want people to feel comfortable in your home, and cozy chairs, ethnic fabrics, unique pieces, and even a little touch of quirk or humor give your house a laid-back, Bohemian flair.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Putting Your Style to Work!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.

1. Your Design Challenge: LIGHT Think about borrowing light and reflecting it. Placing mirrors across from windows multiplies whatever light you do have and can extend the view, or try two mirrors across from one another. If you find a big frame you like, you can have a mirror cut for it. Consider putting sconces near mirrors or candles or even lamps in front of them to enhance their light. Hanging chandeliers are nicer than recessed lights, and lots of small lamps work better than one big light source. Go for a few choice, sparkly accessories like candlesticks, boxes, frames and trays in silver or gold.

2. Your Happy Place Make this room as comfortable and inviting as possible by bringing in some real furniture like an armchair or a sofa if you have the space. A little lamp on the counter or decorative hanging light can set the mood. Stools are great perches and can easily be moved around. Don’t forget to bring your personality and style into this room: hang some art or display a collection of family photos in mixed frames. Consider bold, happy colors in the kitchen as well, like brightly colored pots and pans, big bowls for corralling fruits and vegetables, and trays for spices, oils, teas and pepper mills.

3. Be Party-Ready All the Time! Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you’ll be able to set a spread—instantly!

Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, keep some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.

Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.