The Fall Cure: Light Therapy

The Fall Cure: Light Therapy

Susie Nadler
Nov 18, 2009
It's so important to have direct light on your stovetop! Wig3000 was lucky enough to score the light trim for her gorgeous Wedgewood stove from a generous neighbor.

• Cure Clock: 2.5 weeks to go
• Assignment: Read Week 6: Light Therapy
• Members: 1,735

Wow, everybody—less than three weeks to go! Hopefully you are really starting to see and feel the positive results of what you've done so far. At this point parts of your home are already transformed, and this week's focus has to do with shedding light (literally!) on the changes you've made so you can enjoy them to the fullest. But that doesn't mean settling down to relax just yet! We've got bathrooms to clean and lights to install.

So there are three major items on the agenda this week: tackling the bathroom, finalizing your lighting, and (for some of you) painting. Mama ring's bathroom, pictured above, is a great starting point for all three tasks. Her husband did a fabulous job with the DIY tiling of the shower, but bad light in the room makes the grout look dirty. She wants to add shelves above the toilet, paint the walls white to brighten up the room (maybe with a colorful ceiling), and replace the mirror/medicine cabinet, which currently hangs too high.

It's a lot to do, but the efficiency and atmosphere of the bathroom are key to the enjoyment of a home. Most of us spend time in the bathroom first thing in the morning, and if the room is dank or cluttered, that's not a great start to the day.

Reader Katie Heck is doing a full-scale renovation of her bathroom... for just $1500!
With a lot of help from friends and some resourceful buying,
she's going to end up with an amazing transformation.

Try these tips for simple bathroom updates to make the room more pleasant and easy to maintain:

Hang artwork. A steamy bathroom seems like an unlikely place for framed art, but as long as you stick with inexpensive prints and frames, you've got nothing to worry about. I've had a framed black and white photo of a pair of hands under a stream of water for about twelve years; it came from Ikea, and has hung in the bathroom of every apartment I've lived in since college.

Keep your "products" behind closed doors. If at all possible, clear your bathroom surfaces of hair and skin products, and tuck away appliances like hair dryers and razors. You may need to hang a cabinet or clear some space in a closet, and of course this may add an extra ten or twelve seconds onto your morning routine, but the routine will feel more relaxed overall because you won't be confronted with clutter.

Hang hooks for towels instead of bars. This is a personal preference, of course, but I find that not everyone in my family has the patience or frame of mind to replace a towel neatly folded on a bar. Hanging a towel on a hook, on the other hand, takes little or no effort, and while it's not a very refined look, it's certainly better than a wadded or off-kilter towel stuffed behind a bar.

Flickr member is in the process of working on her bathroom.
She started with a little task lamp to illuminate a dark corner, and some flowers
to brighten things up... what an improvement! Now on to de-cluttering.

Check out these posts for some more bathroom cleaning tips and inspiration:
How To: Prep Your Bathroom for Company
Bathroom Tricks for Those Hard to Reach Places
More Bathroom Tricks for Those Hard to Reach Places

Patricia Snook's lovely little nook seems like a great place to start for some lighting tips and tricks. A lamp with a dark shade casts light up and down, but not directly at face level, making for soft, indirect illumination. On a side note, the single leaf in a vase is such a nice touch too; sometimes a little botanical gesture, rather than an entire bunch of fresh flowers, is all you really need to bring revitalizing energy to a room.

Don't you love TV's Jessica's cute pink lamp? Lighting is a chance to make a style statement
and improve the comfort and functionality of your home all at once.

In a lot of homes I see, certain trouble spots where lighting is key are never lit quite well enough. Don't forget these important areas when finalizing your new lighting scheme:

The Shower. For obvious reasons, it's important to be able to see well in the shower. Yet so many bathrooms have just a single overhead light that doesn't really penetrate a shower curtain. Think about adding a light in your shower (even if it's just a lighted mirror for shaving).

The Closets. Windowless closets need light, period. Otherwise it's so easy to let them swallow things up. Lighting your closets will save you time both in the morning and at night, when you're putting clothes away.

The Stove Top. Cooktops, especially in kitchens without ventilation hoods, are often neglected when it comes to lighting, yet it's so important to be able to see your food as you're cooking. How else can you tell when your onions are translucent, or when your caramel has turned that beautiful amber color?

Reader cchristina is working on her bedroom, pictured above. You can see that she's done wonders with the lighting situation, adding bedside lamps, an attractive overhead fixture, and a little candle lantern for some atmosphere. All that and a shoji screen for $150! She still hopes to make some more changes, adding a bed frame, some artwork, and a seating area, but in the meantime, the lighting overhaul will do wonders for the room.

Here are a few helpful posts to peruse while you're working on your lighting scheme:
Roundup: 6 Bedside Lamps for Under $50
Small Space Solution: Wall-Mounted Sconces and Clip Lights
Roundup: Colorful Pendant Lamps
Overhead Lighting for Renters: Swag Lamps

Since some of you may be painting this week too, I wanted to share DragonKatinDC's gray bedroom for inspiration. These walls are such an improvement! Stylish, sophisticated, sexy. I also love the way the dark color makes her nice view really pop.

Painting can seem like a daunting task, but the results are so potentially transformative that it's worth it. As long as you prepare well and approach the project calmly, you'll do a great job. There's an incredibly helpful "Painting 101" tutorial in the Cure book, on pages 202-204. It takes you step by step through the job, and offers tips to help you make the whole process painless. Consult these posts from the archives for some supplementary info and photos:

Do It Yourself: Priming and Painting the Apartment
8 Smart Tips for Painting Interior Walls
Top Ten: DIY Painting Tips and Tricks

And finally, a plate of delicious spiced waffles from chloe & ivan's kitchen (they even shared the recipe!). Why not cook yourself a nice big breakfast this weekend, to get your energy up for painting or any other projects you plan to tackle? Waffles are also a great idea if you have company coming to town for the holiday next week.

We're almost in the home stretch here, People, and you are all doing a fabulous job. It's been great seeing more submissions coming in this week. Please keep sending them on, and good luck with the rest of Week Six!


What are three remaining Cure tasks you hope to have accomplished before Thanksgiving?


Week 6 - Intro with Maxwell
Week 5 - Show & Tell with Abby
Week 5 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
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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