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Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure Paperback – March 28, 2006


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Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure + Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions + Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Paperback Edition edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553383124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553383126
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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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Customer Reviews

Easy read with a lot of great suggestions for making your space into your home.
Amazon Customer
I think its a great book for people that live in inner city apartments where space is minimal and activity is maximal.
Damian Lewis
It gets you to look at your home differently and gets you working in little ways to make it what you really want.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By scraplolly on June 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a reviewer previously noted, there really isn't anything new here. But like a chef who takes ingredients we are well familiar with and combines them to give us a new experience, so too does Maxwell. There are the little gimmicks--calling people warm and cool, talking about the house like a body when he could just say he's writing about attending to repairs (bones), arranging and organizing the stuff in your space (breath), figuring out the functions of each room (head) and decorating (heart). But this is not a meal of last night's leftovers. Instead it is packaged into another gimmick: the eight week cure. There's a lot to do in your eight weeks: and the work seems unbalanced. It starts out slowly (throwing out one thing, making lists) and ends slowly (preparing for a party) but in the middle there's almost an impossible amount of things to do. But it's all laid out. There are worksheets and practical tips to begin. Maxwell has taken all the steps to transforming a living space and laid them all out sequentially. This book is about more than just fixing up your place however: Maxwell aims to change and enrich your experience of your home. And that's the spice that makes the book worth consuming.

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.
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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Ange Anderson on November 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
While I didn't dislike the book with quite the venom of other reviewers, I do understand their frustrations. I did find the tone a little off-putting, but I decided to put those feeling aside and see if the book had anything useful to offer.

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.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By M. on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Unlike a lot of other books about design and interior spaces, this one doesn't give you photos and examples of what you can do with the space... it really helps you evaluate what it is you feel/have with your living space and steps to take to make it into the space you feel better living in. It's as insightful into your self as it is where you live.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sunday Morning on July 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Its hard to find books that are accessible and inspire you to find your own aesthetic (rather than imitate the authors). In many ways this is a very gentle and non-judgemental book - its not flashy, hasn't got photos, but it gets the job done. My apartment is coming together beautifully.

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!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By WMVF on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This won't be the only decorating book you ever need -- but it may be the decorating book you need after reading all the others.

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.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on February 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been interested in decorating for a long time, but now find a new approach in several books by design psychologists. House Thinking by Gallagher and Some Place Like Home by Israel are examples of this. Apartment Therapy exhorts readers "to heal their apartment, heal themselves, in gentle prose and feng-shui-like exercises."
The advice offered should work equally well for houses as for apartments. The book doesn't suggest expensive remodeling like some books do. It helps you work with what you have and make it fit your personality. There is emphasis on reducing clutter since apartment space is so precious.
I'll be looking at my home with new eyes now.
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