Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What the heck IS apartment therapy anyway?

The first time I heard Apartment Therapy mentioned was out of the mouth of Ryan Brown - those of you who watch Flipping Out (one of my favorite shows) will know who I am talking about. If you don't watch that show, Ryan is a very talented designer. He does things like this:

Anyway, I love Ryan's design and he mentioned in an interview that design doesn't have to be expensive or inaccessible. He said he often gets inspiration from people who may not have the resources he has, but who manage to create interesting design on a budget. And he mentioned that he looks at a lot of websites for ideas and to just stay abreast of trends, etc. Apartment Therapy was one of those websites (and I have a link to Ryan's blog on the sidebar and on his website he has links to a lot of blogs which deal with design so if you are interested, go check those out).

Apartment Therapy really started as an idea website for cool urban design on a budget. Originally, they mainly featured apartments, and they were New York based (and really, who DOESN'T live in an apartment in New York?) - the website grew and they've expanded into several markets and areas - they now have groups in LA, DC, Chicago and Boston. The cull ideas from all over and present them on the website. So it's just a really GREAT idea site. They also do house tours, which are a fun way to see inside someone's home. Originally most of those house tours were just regular people who had managed to create something great on their own. Now they sometimes feature the occasional celebrity - I think Padma Lakshmi's house was on there last week.

So the idea is still accessible design that you don't have to break the bank to achieve.

They have a process whereby you can submit your house for a 'home tour' feature. Shortly after I submitted mine they got back to me and said that my house would be featured. They asked for additional information. Later they suggested entering the color contest - and that's how I ended up in the position of asking folks for votes every day!

My home tour has not been featured yet because of the current contest. I expect that will happen sometime after the contest is over.

The other cool thing is that they feature certain homes in their print format.

And so the other exciting thing is that since Apartment Therapy is perused by other design venue's regularly, the chance of being picked up for a feature in other design magazines (especially local design) is also good.

I have no training as a designer. But I've always loved design and I really care that my home reflects my personality and makes you feel comfortable and happy. I'm always changing things and I'm always on the look-out for a new idea. I always have a little mental list of things I want to change or make better (which seems like a rather endless list by the way).

Partial Current List:

Get a laundry room that is more functional and prettier
Create a giant walk-in-closet where the studio used to be (make it cool!)
Complete all the details in the back yard addition

Apartment Therapy gives me design inspiration and ideas for some of these things - for instance here photos of laundry rooms to die for:

Will my laundry room ever look like those? I doubt it! But maybe I can get a little closer!

Anyway, now you know a little more about Apartment Therapy and why I love it - voting on my room continues today. I'm the underdog so I appreciate EVERY SINGLE vote I can get!


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