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Last year, I decided to participate in Apartment Therapy’s month-long January Cure, which focuses on achieving a manageable level of organizational zen and trying to give your house some love. While the month of January was fairly productive for me, I definitely didn’t follow the calendar religiously. At the end of last January, I still had a bunch of things on my list that I really wanted to get done and was disappointed when I didn’t follow through. Hey, at least they’re my OWN unrealistic expectations.

When I headed back to my parents’ house in Kansas City for the holidays, I stumbled on my original January Cure list while I was on the plane. I realized there, 30,000 feet in the air, that I had actually gotten a lot of things checked off the list last year – even more than I thought! A lot of the tasks didn’t get accomplished in January (ugh, I still have framed art EVERYWHERE), but I think the conscious intention of those tasks helped me keep them in mind over the whole year. As I look forward to my second January Cure (which starts today!), I thought I’d share my list from last year as well as a few photos of the progress. Starting in on my new list this weekend — kitchen, you’re next.

If you’d like to participate, sign up here and let me know! Would love to hear about your progress.

January Cure // 2014

Living Room:
– Find a home for all unhung art
– Organize film archive
– Give a permanent home to books [new shelves!]
– New Stendig calendar
Dining Room:
– Donate clothes
– Organize magazines
– Go through sideboard + organize
– Donate armchairs
– Donate old surround sound system
Vestibule:
– Go through shoe bins and donate
– Donate coats, scarves, gloves
– Hang peace print
– Implement new mail system
– Clean windows / front door
Kitchen:
– Install door magnets / latches
– Install baskets in base cabinets
– Donate extra dishes + utensils
– Paint and hang doors on cabinets
– Finish countertop + install
– Figure out backsplash
Bathroom:
– Caulk everything!
– Hang artwork
– Organize bathroom closet
– Install a hand towel hook
– Buy new towels
– New lighting in hall
Master Bedroom:
– New duvet & sheets
– Hang poster over bed
– Figure out bed linen storage
– Buy floor-length mirror
– Install wardrobe handles
– Plan and install Elfa closet organizer
– Find a home for all posters / art
Guest Bedroom:
– Organize file cabinet & papers
– Plan and install closet organizer
– Purge + donate closet contents
– Hang artwork
Zach’s Office:
– Try not to have a panic attack every time you go in there

More Fun: Progress Photos!

Favorite part of last year’s cure: SEXXXY NEW CLOSET. Can’t wait to do this in the guest bedroom too!
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Donating old gnarly furniture made space for new FLOR rugs and super comfortable Eames shells for the dining room.
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An organized vestibule is a happy way to come home, and a nice perch for Kitten! (He is a total camera hog.)
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Is there anything you’re hoping to get done in January? Would love to hear about it!

It’s been pretty hard to get much done at home this summer because of all the airplanes. HOWEVER — I’ve been doing some planning for months now and finally got a chance over the last couple of weekends to finally get all my books and cameras under control. YAY!

I’m totally in love with these shelves from CB2 and how much storage they provide. I’m sure I’ll completely rearrange all of the shelves a bunch more times (The Art of Doing Stuff has such good tips and I hope to achieve Karen’s shelf zen one day), but am feeling so inspired at the moment.

I reorganized two closets, too! I’m going to buy myself a trophy.

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new shelves-4new shelves

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new shelves-2new shelves-3

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Around the House

November 17th, 2012 | Posted by Jill in home | instagram | limestone renovation - (2 Comments)


A few months back, I believe I may have declared war on the omnipresent list of projects in my life. “I have PLANS and I am STICKING TO THEM,” I said. Oh, Jill of five months ago. You are so precious. Look at you and your motivation. So young and naive.

In spite of my rosy-hued optimism back in June, let’s just say that at least I made an attempt. My blogs about the house and our ongoing renovation have been woefully lacking and much fewer and further between than I hoped, but at least I gave it the ol’ college try this summer. Back in May, I conspired with one of my best friends to come up with a list of things I’d like to get done on the house. Jen helped talk me through what I’d ideally like to have done first, so I could feel a big sense of accomplishment and maybe – just maybe – finish a project.

So, to start with something fairly quick for an easy win, we decided I should start by hanging up more of the mirrors and artwork that have basically been collecting dust sitting around the house for the last two years. We started with the big round CB2 mirror in the dining room above, which we had to anchor through plaster into 120 year-old brick. The blue version has since been discontinued, but they still have it in white. It’s awesome. And then, on a recent cleaning spree, a bunch of my lamps ended up moving around the house. I painted this vintage brass lamp green a few years back and I’m pretty sure the flying eagle belongs here. Easy. One project down.

Next up, artwork. Now, this project has had a little less success because I’m so indecisive. I know that furniture will ultimately move around and new art will join the family, so I’m a little hesitant to go drilling loads of big holes into our beautifully refinished plaster. Fortunately, I’ve had a ton of luck with the 3M Command hooks and strips. For whatever reason, the hooks seem to work better for my wooden frames and anything on which I’ve already installed picture hanging wire. For most of my smaller art and anything in a metal frame, the small and medium strips work. The big strips have worked well on my posters — all the way up to 18″x24″! I have kind of a silkscreen obsession, so the no-damage hanging is wonderful. I buy them in bulk on Amazon because they’re way less expensive than most stores I’ve seen them at here in NYC.

In order to tackle this project, for a few of my newer silkscreens I had to pick out frames first. I’ve had lots of friends and fellow photographers ask if I have any recommendations for custom frames, and YES. American Frame. I am in no way affiliated with them except as a supremely happy customer. Over the years I’ve ordered many, many frames from them (yep, lots of silkscreens) and always been happy. You can order completely custom sizes (lots of colors, too) and the prices are reasonable – though you do have to assemble yourself. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a cinch.

That’s a print from Jaime Derringer of Design Milk in the photo to the left, above. She had a sale on Fab.com some time ago and I just had to. The triangles are simple, but the tilt of the geometric design is AWESOME. I feel like my right leg has grown a couple inches every time I come home. In a good way. And there at the top of my stairs between the bathroom and the guest bedroom, I hung prints I’ve had several years — from Bee Things, RADROBOT, and Scott Parry. Yes, that is a smiling orange and a horse with laserbeams coming out of its eyes, turning on the hall lights. (Maybe someday I’ll take photos with something besides Instagram to do them some justice.)

I still have loads of prints and silkscreens to hang, but at least I got started. One and a half projects down.

Jen and I also decided I should focus on the master bedroom this summer. For nearly two years, Zach and I have been living without hanging storage or real closets. Folding laundry has been a nightmare, because we couldn’t really hang anything up. Suits and dress shirts were hung on hooks; the back of our doors were utterly ridiculous. It’s shameful. Everyone I’ve ever told this to raises their eyebrows in disbelief (and silently judges).

Part of the problem was just in the planning — I was pretty well decided on the PAX system from IKEA because I’ve heard great things. But there are virtually limitless options between the sizes and frame colors and doors and racks and shelves and pants hangers and on and on. Plus it was almost humorous — once I decided where we’d install the wardrobe, I realized the wall was basically a half inch short of allowing for the full six-frame configuration I’d planned. Ha, ha, ha IKEA. You get the last laugh.

28 boxes and 2 weekends of assembly later, we had our giant closet and LOADS of extra storage space. Plus, I hung another big print from Felix Waser on the wall. Another project down!

Now the view from bed is priceless. Sometimes I just lay in there pretending to read a magazine while I really just admire the new closet and dream of all the other ways we can get organized. Kind of like this guy, who just watched and napped while we were hard at work assembling the monstrosity.

And now that I look at this picture, ugh. I guess I should caulk that baseboard.

Another one for the list.

Two Years

June 24th, 2012 | Posted by Jill in home | instagram | limestone renovation - (2 Comments)

When you buy an old house, there’s really no advice in the world that can prepare you. It tests your patience, your will, your wallet, and your relationship. And if you’re planning any amount of DIY, well let me warn you first-hand. There may be loads of glossy magazines and well-curated design blogs with great tips on refinishing floors, choosing the perfect paint color, and planning the renovation of your dreams. But last I checked, there aren’t many helpful tutorials on coping with lowered expectations, disappearing motivation, and letting go of perfectionism. Those are things you have to learn for yourself. And it’s not easy. Seriously. It’s not easy.

But for those of you afflicted with hopeless romanticism and a love of historic architecture, there is good news. Renovating an old house can also be one of the most beautiful experiences, once you get over yourself. Today marks my two-year anniversary of being a homeowner — and I’ve learned so much. Looking back on this past year, I see so many projects that haven’t quite made it out of my head and into my home yet. But through photographs, I do see that we’ve made lots of progress and for that I am thankful. Some weeks, it’s just enough to get the house cleaned and the laundry ready before a marathon of work or travel. Quite frankly, it took a hurricane to slow me down enough to paint a wall in my dining room.

Fortunately, my house is wayyyy more patient than I am.


I’m hoping this summer will change things. This is the summer of lists, and of getting things done. I will pick up a paintbrush and I will finish projects. I’m looking at you, master bedroom and kitchen. You are so going down (and getting pretty). I have PLANS and I am STICKING TO THEM.

This is the summer we will finally have a closet suitable for clothes storage, instead of pathetic hanging hooks everywhere. This is the summer we finally install door hardware on the bathroom door so our guests don’t think we’re lunatics. This is the summer that we cut down our backyard jungle.


Get ready, House. Year Three is coming.