First, there's Ellen McCarthy's funny piece about decorating for the first time.
Her plea to a decorator: "I just don't know what I'm doing, so I ignore the whole thing and don't really love shopping, so I don't do it. And is everybody supposed to have a "style," like "modern" or "traditional," or whatever? Because I don't think I was assigned one. And I don't want to commit to anything, because who knows how long I'll be here? And maybe admitting you need help is the first step on the road to recovery?"
...She left me with two homework assignments: Spend a few days thinking about what was pleasing in my home and what was uninspiring or worse. And consider how I use the apartment now and how I'd like to use it in the future.Good stuff.
...I could count on one hand the objects that made me want to linger: a college photo of my mom; a print of a snow-covered bicycle that reminds me of home in Upstate New York; a Georges Seurat coffee table book; a fuchsia-colored orchid, which was flourishing under my tender cultivation (i.e., water every six weeks when prodded by aforementioned mom); and the morning scene from my kitchen window seat: birds on a fire escape, Catholic school kids in the parking lot below.
"What struck me was the realization of how little you really need," Bengel said at our next meeting. "It's not about the quantity of stuff you have; it's about the quality."
Huh. They never mention that on "Design on a Dime."
The second piece is an interview with Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan in honor of the newly launched AT:DC. At the moment, all AT:DC posts are within the AT:NY site, but apparently they hope to have a DC site up by the end of summer. The interview is full of neat tips, plus some exciting information about the future of AT.
AT's mission is to help people at home, so we're expanding into more cities in the next two years (eight to 10 total). We just had the soft launch of AT in Boston and Washington, D.C., on our New York site, so we're covered in the Northeast. Next, we're looking at Seattle, Austin, Toronto and, possibly, Portland.
In addition, we'll be launching our "home" pages in 2008, which will be our readers' personal pages. They will be able to upload their own House Tours, write their own posts, organize their favorite posts and connect with one another much easier.