Design Challenge: January Cure, Week Two Recap
In case you're just joining me, I'm following along with Apartment Therapy's January Cure and documenting the process. You can find week one's recap here.
When we left off last Friday, it was just before the weekend assignment of flowers and floors and... yeah. That turned into a much bigger job than I had anticipated. I had initially intended to tackle cleaning not only the massive white Beni Ourain rug that lives in our bedroom but the white sheepskin in my daughter's room (Yes, it's a lot of white. Pro tip: kids and pets and white rugs don't play well together. You probably already knew that.) The white rug is looking much better but it still wet and it is now Wednesday. The Bay Area is damp as it is but we've had rain on and off for days meaning my towel is slow to dry... and a giant wool rug is even slower. And the sheepskin? That is on its way to the cleaners.
On a side note, if you remember how we were supposed to add to our "fix it" list if we noticed new things, as we got to know our homes better through the floor cleaning exercise? Well, I made one discovery... a couple of wrapped Christmas gifts for our daughter that we had hidden under the bed and completely forgot about. She now thinks "rug cleaning day" is another holiday and we've been jokingly proclaiming, "Happy rug cleaning day!" all weekend. Whoops. Anyhow, here's what this week has looked like.
was all about sitting quietly for at least half an hour and observing your home from different vantage points, no devices. Typically, I really struggle with things like this: if I'm not actively doing something, what's the point? Regardless, after my marathon rug cleaning session sitting quietly sounded pretty good so I grabbed a notebook to jot my thoughts down as they came, and started by flopping on the bed. Half an hour later I mustered up the energy to move to the sofa and then the kitchen. Although at first the thought of taking notes felt redundant with our earlier assignment to make a "fix it" list, the results of this exercise were very different. I found myself writing down a lot of things I appreciated about my home instead of just focusing on all of the things that need work. I learned that the objects with sentimental value were the ones I really enjoyed the most (I have never taken much of an emotional approach to decorating, but I think I will try to integrate more meaningfully items moving forward.) I also really appreciated the investments that we've made in our home, both in time: the many DIY projects, and with items such as the linen sheets and leather sofa that were splurgy for us at the time, but have worn well and outlasted many other things in our home. I think this will inform my attitude about picking up cheap, filler items versus waiting for the right pieces in the future. Another thing I found myself focused on was thinking about all of the changes my family and I have gone through in the past two years and how that affects how I interact with the space. Sitting on the bed, I found myself thinking about the nearly four months I spent almost exclusively in this spot while on pregnancy bed rest and how the bedroom was essentially my whole world at that time. In the kitchen, I thought about how my time is now spent more on food prep, than preparing elaborate meals, and how a shift in setup might be in order. In the living room, I considered how I want it to feel like an inviting place to relax that more accurately reflects our personalities and encourages us to interact both more with one another and unwind alone.
and it's time to banish the paper clutter! Last week, one of our chores was to tackle a junk drawer, and while the mail drawer was looming large in my mind, I put it off for the time being. This week there was no getting around it, it was time to tackle the mess of receipts, mail, and other papers that somehow make their way into our homes. Post-holiday this was particularly bad, things had started to pile up, and the task felt overwhelming. Here's the thing I discovered though, I devote a lot of mental energy to things like this, without ever doing anything about it. While I won't lie, it was not my favorite task at the moment, (a close tie with the floors for worst), I really just had to sit down and commit to working my way through it; putting every piece of paper in it's designated pile and dealing with it accordingly. While it was every bit as mundane an hour as it was typing out that last sentence, once it was done, it was done, and I could move into my week with the counter looking a little neater, my mental load a little lighter and the motivation to stay on top of it before it becomes such a chore again.
was right up my alley as a photographer. I've photographed many spaces throughout the years (a few of them my own) and am more than familiar with the objective quality that looking through the lens brings to a room. In an ideal world I would have loved to have everything looking its best, nice towels out, dishes away and the like. But the reality was that I was tidying and shooting on my phone the best that I could while a mini version of myself followed behind excitedly "contributing" by hauling out her toys and dancing around the center of the room. What surprised me when I finished was that the spaces that I tend to focus on wanting to "clean up" really didn't look that bad, there was actually a lot I liked about them. The kitchen in particular really doesn't need much to be in good shape, and while the living room is a little sparse (we donated a lot as part of the baby-proofing process, no more glass tables with metal corners) it has a nice feel. What stood out the most to me as need attention was the nursery. It's always been a bit of an unfinished project as I was on strict bedrest when I should have been "nesting," and in a lot of ways, she has just outgrown the current setup. Plus there are still quick fixes in place like the paper blackout shades that lead to us never opening the blinds and letting the natural light in. It had become just a place she sleeps and stores her toys and most of the time we end up carrying them out to other rooms to actually play with. I want to focus on finishing the space, I would love to get some proper blackout curtains, matching bedding (we just introduced a pillow!) and figure out toy storage that would free up more floor space and make room to play.
of the challenge was a new one this year... vacuum the sofa and rotate the cushions. Since we have a sleeper sofa (this one by Joybird that looks amazingly tailored for a sleeper) that gets a fair amount of use the cushions are taken off and put back at random, so it's rotated by default pretty easily. I gave it a quick vacuuming with my Dyson cordless and reassembled it, done! The one thing that is going onto my project list is to replace a couple of tufted buttons that were lost to an overzealous toddler if anyone had tips on this kind of repair I'm all ears.
and it's the weekend project again! I think this week I'm going to skip the flowers and pick up a bowl of fruit or plant for the kitchen because this weekend is all about the kitchen. I've been waiting on this one to deal with my overstuffed pantry, I currently have it stocked like a doomsday prepper, and it could use a bit of organization. I'm also looking forward to cleaning up some of the items my tot has outgrown and created a bit more counter and drawer space in the process.
Thanks for following along with me! Just for fun, I'm posting a peek at my un-styled home tour from day seven over on my Insta-stories so go check it out.
*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, click here for our full policy and disclosures.