The Fall Cure: Getting Into the Thick of It

The Fall Cure: Getting Into the Thick of It

Susie Nadler
Nov 11, 2009

k8theriver painted an accent wall and hung some adorable artwork in her son's room.
Looks like he loves it!

mini-banner.gif• Cure Clock: 3.5 weeks to go
• Assignment: Read Week Five: Getting Into the Thick of It
• Members: 1,735

So we've arrived at Week Five of the Cure, which demands some crucial tasks, like de-cluttering your file cabinets, but also some fun ones designed to help you settle more comfortably into your home as it evolves. You may have noticed by now that the backbone of the Cure is really about achieving a kind of intimacy with your home, a heightened awareness of its "well-being," and learning to maintain that awareness as a lifestyle. This week's tasks get at the heart of this goal.

Chloe C is working on her "rabbit room." She's using Ikea Lack tables to keep the rabbits up off the floor, which should really open up the space.
Can't wait to see how it turns out!

But before we talk a bit about those tasks, an item of business: I've noticed the submissions have started to slow down. We're not seeing as many photos coming in from you guys, and I'd just like to encourage you all again to send us your photos, please!

Don't feel like they have to show immaculate finished projects, either. We love to see your work in progress, your Cure dilemmas and conundrums, and even your out-and-out failures. We can all learn from each other's diverse experiences of the Cure. And we so appreciate those of you willing to share! Now, without further ado: Week Five.

This before and after from Purple Plum seems emblematic of the Cure as a whole.
Sometimes a simple solution is best!

De-Cluttering Your Files

Like all of the more laborious tasks involved with the Cure, sorting through your files can be made less taxing if you give yourself a few fun incentives. Consider investing a small amount of money in some new, cute (and color-coded) file folders. Check out the options in these posts:

Roundup: Fun File Folders
Faux Bois File Folders
Using Color to Organize Your Files

I also can't emphasize enough how much easier this becomes if you use a label maker. Clearly marking your files will help increase your awareness of what's inside them, so that fewer papers will get buried, and records will be easier to find when you need them. Plus, there's something about a label maker that brings out the organizing nerd in even the messiest of us. You might find yourself getting a little crazy and labeling everything in the house (just try to keep away from the pets). Here's a roundup of label makers to get you started.

What's important about de-cluttering your files is not only getting rid of stuff you no longer need, but also becoming aware of what exactly it is that you have. I've found that tasks like closet, drawer, and file cleaning can ultimately be comforting, because they remind me of what exactly is behind my home's closed doors. And the result is always a more open feeling throughout.

Lucyinthe7thsky added a plant to soften up a corner of her kitchen.
It looks so great against the green paint!

The Hard and the Soft

Last week you took stock of hardness and softness in each room of your home. Now's the time to decide what you need to add or remove in order to restore the proper balance of these elements. I love this part of the Cure, because again, it's all about really getting to know your space and identifying how you feel inside it.


Flickr member Mburcim is working on the dining room above (cute dog!). The wooden blinds you see on the left window were previously on all windows, but with the shutter-door sideboard, it seemed like too many horizontal lines. Even with those blinds removed, the room needs softness to counteract all the glossy wood of the floor and dining set. New window treatments are in order, and this is a great opportunity to soften up the space. A Roman shade that gathers into folds would be a nice choice. Once there's a carpet in place, as well, the room will feel much warmer and more balanced. Any suggestions for Mburcim?

jenicra84's dreamy "headboard" is such a fun DIY!
The balance of hard and soft in the bedroom is especially key.

Here are some tips for softening up your space:

Consider alternative ways to use fabric. Jenicra84's curtain above the bed is a great example. Draperies don't have to be confined to windows; they can be used to cover unsightly walls in a rental, or to cordon off part of a room.

Try a palm. Plants of any kind add softness, but palm trees are especially nice because they're evocative of relaxing locales. Certain varieties of palm trees are excellent indoor plants, and they're relatively easy to care for. Click here for some palm advice.

Think about rug size. Sometimes the balance of hard and soft in a room can feel off because of the ratio between rug and exposed floor. Consider a larger rug if your room is feeling dominated by tile or wood. This discussion of rug size is especially helpful.

If your problem is, instead, that your room feels too soft, sometimes artwork is the answer. Groups of framed photographs are wonderful because they add simultaneous warmth (from the artwork itself) and a sense of geometry and clean lines (from the frames).

kimba714 is smart to lay out her frames before hanging them (on the wall pictured at left).
We like her idea of bringing in a few patterned frames to punctuate the black ones.

Flowers and Food

We'll leave you today thinking of fresh flowers and delicious home-cooked meals. As you go out looking for flowers this week, remember that now is the perfect time of year to decorate with branches. If you have trees in your yard, give them a little pruning and bring the branches inside for a vase. This arrangement (below) really only has a few elements; the framework is the gorgeous oak branch, bursting with fall color.

This week the Cure asks you to cook at home Sunday through Thursday. Since it's Wednesday night, let's check in: How's the cooking going? Are you starting to feel more comfortable in your kitchen? Trying new recipes? Check out this simple vegetarian meal of ratatouille and couscous from SeattleHoarders:

If you want to try this yourself, here's a different style of ratatouille recipe from The Kitchn. Here in the Bay Area we've still got a few late-season tomatoes to play around with. Enjoy!


How does it feel to cook at home every night? Do you see yourself making this a permanent lifestyle choice?


Week 5 - Intro with Maxwell
Week 4 - Show & Tell with Laure
Week 4 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
Week 4 - Intro with Maxwell
Week 3 - Show & Tell with Abby
Week 3 - Tips & Tricks with Sarah Rae
Week 3 - Intro with Maxwell
Week 2 - Show & Tell with Abby
Week 2 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
Week 2 - Intro with Maxwell
Week 1 - Show & Tell with Laure
Week 1 - Tips & Tricks with Sarah Rae
Week 1 - Intro with Maxwell


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