Apartment Therapy Cure: Week Five, and the most exciting post ever

Here, finally, is the long-promised post on my AT Cure activities. Are you sure you're ready for this? A sampling of what I've been up to since the weekend awaits...

First, I went through piles of papers. And mail. And magazines. And random junk like pretty boxes from Saks that held even prettier Missoni gloves received as a Christmas present two years ago that I left in a cab ONE year ago, so why did I even still have them? Well, I don't know, so they've been re-embraced by Mother Nature. Anyways, this pile doesn't look like much, but trust me - it helped.

I also cleaned off the tops of my kitchen cabinets, which were coated with a prehistoric, rock hard layer of grease and grime and dust and who knows what else. In short, they were absolutely FOUL. I did not understand the true meaning of "elbow grease" until I got to work on them. To illustrate:

It looked much, much worse in real life. I promise.

I've been avoiding the yuckiness since I discovered it (by swiping my hand atop a cabinet door and coming away with swamp slime) upon moving in this June, so I'm very proud that they are now clean and storage-worthy.

What prompted my decision to attack the evil cabinet-tops was my very great need to store magazines. I've been keeping them in the big basket above my fridge, but I'm starting to get sick of looking at it, and it's not very useful for long-term storage.

I have a memory like a sieve so I can't remember my source, but somewhere I saw a photo of bookshelves, or a credenza, or something, that had very neatly aligned stacks of magazines with the white spines facing outwards. It didn't look cluttered at all. It looked very minimalist and almost cool. Then I remembered seeing someone's kitchen on Apartment Therapy (during last year's Smallest Coolest contest?) - that had stacks of books above the kitchen cabinets. So I decided to combine the two. This is just the tip of the iceberg - I still have tons of magazines at my parent's house that need to be retrieved. I've been bringing a few home, bit by bit, but magazines are ridiculously heavy so I'm taking my time with it.

I also decided to do something with my vast collection of museum postcards and other random unnecessary bits of paper by collaging my fridge. Impermanently, with architectural magnets I picked up at the Whitney years ago. They've been waiting patiently for just such a purpose.*

I've been chewing over the results ever since. I'm torn between loving the color and eclecticism and hating the cluttered-ness. I want it to look fun and unstudied, but not messy and amateur. Does that make sense? I'd really appreciate some additional opinions. Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Finally, last night I got rid of more random crap (namely, dry cleaning detrius and leftover shopping bags)...

I also removed my coins from the ugly vase thing that was sitting atop my fridge (threw it away, too) and put them in my new piggy bank! I think it's just about the cutest thing ever. Yellow, and smiley, this little owl does me in every time.

Babushkas may be the new forest creatures (and God help me I do think they are precious) - but who am I to blindly follow trends? I just love this little guy and I hope he'll be with me for a long time. He's small, though, so I separated the coins and put the pennies in a separate container. Quarters go straight to the laundry change purse. Let's see how long that system will last...

And that's about it for now.

So am I right or what? Wasn't that the most exciting post ever?
Just ignore my sarcasm. This stuff might be deathly boring (except for the fridge-arranging, that was fun to do...and my new ceramic-feathered friend) but it does make a big difference in how I feel about my home. A lot of these things have been nagging me for months, and while I still have a lot of projects to slog through, I really feel like I am making progress. And that's the important part.

* So impermanent, in fact, that I just crashed into my frigo (I'm perpetually clumsy) and knocked half of the thing to the ground. Good thing I documented it with pictures or I'd really be gritting my teeth right now...



Blogger drwende said...

Ah, but you have a built-in audience of fellow Curers whose hearts skip a beat at every magazine re-arranged.

The postcards look good in themselves, a little odd with the otherwise stark white kitchen. I'd be tempted to contain them in a plain white frame -- just collage them within a much larger frame, without a mat, and rotate the postcards when you're in the mood -- and hang them somewhere. But I hate refrigerator clutter, so if I think they look good on the fridge, they probably *really* look fantastic there.

October 13, 2007 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

Oh my, what a job you did there! I had to do the same with our cabinates in brooklyn, it took a week, clean, air out, paint inside, paint outside, clean again...seal, the people who moved in after us got such a good deal...

October 16, 2007 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger ma vie en rose said...

Aha! Very true, Wende. I'm glad you like the postcards. I like the idea of framing them as a college, too - I just want to add some color to my kitchen. Thanks for the feedback!

The joys of apartment living, hmm? As much as I can complain about my nasty cabinets, Michelle, it seems you had a much nastier job!

October 17, 2007 at 4:42 AM  

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