Apartment Therapy

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Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy logo.png
Type of site
Interior design blog
OwnerMaxwell Ryan
Alexa rank1,452 (August 2016)
Launched2004 (2004)

Apartment Therapy is a lifestyle blog and publishing company focused on home design and decor. The website was founded in 2004 and is currently led by Maxwell Ryan. A companion blog, The Kitchn, is dedicated to home cooking, kitchen design, and entertaining.


Early 2000s[edit]

Apartment Therapy was founded in 2004 by brothers Maxwell Ryan, an interior designer, and Oliver Ryan, a new media businessperson.[1][2][3] Maxwell Ryan, formerly a Waldorf school teacher, started a design consultancy business in 2001.[4] Early on, he created a weekly email list offering further decorating ideas to his clients, particularly to help them make their own design decisions. In 2004, Maxwell Ryan joined Oliver Ryan to turn the email list into a daily blog of design advice.[5][6] Using ApartmentTherapy.com as the URL, their stated objective was to help readers solve problems without extensive professional guidance.[7]


In the mid-2000s, Apartment Therapy established companion sites focused on more specific topics including a children's division called Ohdeedoh and the ecologically friendly blog Re-Nest.[5][8][9] Maxwell Ryan and his then-wife, Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, a food writer (they have since separated), also started The Kitchn, a page dedicated to recipes and entertaining tips.[8][10] The diversity of its readership also led Apartment Therapy to launch city-specific blogs for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.[1][11]

As the site became more widely known, Ryan began making regular appearances on the HGTV programs Mission: Organization and Small Space, Big Style.[4][12] Later, Apartment Therapy was named to best-of lists by periodicals including Time in 2008,[8] Forbes in 2009,[1] and The Daily Telegraph in 2011.[13]


In early 2012, Apartment Therapy incorporated three of its companion blogs into the main site. Ohdeedoh moved to the "Family channel" on Apartment Therapy.com, Unplggd to the "tech channel," and Re-Nest relocated to the "Green Living" category of the main page. The Kitchn kept its separate URL but was linked from Apartment Therapy's site.[14][15]

In 2012, Apartment Therapy announced a deal with Los Angeles-based Brand Central, in partnership with management agency Artist and Brand Management, to expand Apartment Therapy's ideas into the retail domain, specifically by developing a curated products program.[16]

Site features[edit]

In addition to sharing design tips,[7] Apartment Therapy features house tours in which readers post pictures of their apartments and solicit suggestions for specific improvements.[17]

In 2005, the site held its first annual "Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest," open only to New Yorkers with a residence of 500 square feet or less. The year following, Apartment Therapy partnered with furniture manufacturer Design Within Reach to expand the pool of participants nationwide, open to those with a home of no more than 650 square feet.[18] To enter, readers submitted photos to one of five categories ranging from "teeny-tiny" to "small."[19]

According to a 2006 New York Times profile, Maxwell Ryan and Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan used the site to blog about renovations to their apartment, which they expanded from 265 square feet to 700 square feet.[20]

The Kitchn[edit]

Apartment Therapy's companion site, The Kitchn, is dedicated to cooking, entertaining, and life in the kitchen. The blog's founding editor is Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan. The blog's executive editor is Faith Durand.[21][22] The Kitchn articles are syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.[23]


Apartment Therapy has published three books of home improvement advice:[10] Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure (Bantam, 2006); Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Real Design Solutions (Chronicle, 2008); and Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces (Clarkson Potter, 2010).

In Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure, Ryan compiled his ideas for a healthy residence, describing the home as an extension of oneself.[24]

Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Real Design Solutions collects 40 of the apartments featured in the site's house tours.[25] Each section includes an introduction of the resident and overview of the home, including floorplans and an explanation of how the overall effect was accomplished.[26]

Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces presents 40 household examples of how to maximize the use of floor space in small apartments.[27]


  1. ^ a b c Lauren Sherman (19 October 2009). "In Depth: Must-Read Style And Design Blogs". Forbes. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Oliver Ryan". All American Speakers. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. ^ "About Me". socialworkout.tumblr. Social Workout. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Penelope Green (19 September 2004). "It's Apartment Therapy, But Not on the Couch". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Cerentha Harris (15 February 2010). "Apartment Therapy's Founder Talks Shop". Lifework. Herman Miller. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan: Biography". The Reading Room. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b Lockhart Steele (27 January 2005). "Hot Off the Web: Gossip and Guidance". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Anita Hamilton (17 June 2008). "50 Best Websites 2008". Time. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Pretty and green". The Virginian Pilot. 9 November 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b Elaine Louie (20 June 2012). "Tree by Tree, Yurt by Yurt". New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  11. ^ Terri Sapienza (19 June 2008). "Apartment Therapy: The Doctor Is In". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  12. ^ Alyson Ward (30 April 2006). "Big ideas for small spaces on the Web". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  13. ^ Gareth Wyn Davies (30 October 2011). "The 20 best interiors blogs". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  14. ^ Kaitlin Davis (10 January 2012). "Apartment Therapy Redesign: Inside AT's Website Makeover". Huffington Post Style (Canada). Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  15. ^ "What Happened to Ohdeedoh, Unplggd, and Re-Nest". apartmenttherapy.com. Apartment Therapy. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Brand Central Signs Apartment Therapy". License Mag. 6 March 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  17. ^ Heath Combs (9 July 2012). "Apartment Therapy exec: Personal style is hot". Furniture Today. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  18. ^ Daniel McGinn (13 March 2006). "Apartments: Celebration of Small". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  19. ^ Jack Schofield (15 June 2009). "Saving the world, one small room at a time". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  20. ^ Michael Cannell (16 November 2006). "And Now a Baby, Too!". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Top food blogs of 2012". The Daily Meal. Fox News. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  22. ^ Eric Griffith (10 June 2008). "Ten Blogs You Should Be Reading DAILY". PC Mag. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Entrée Feature Package". Tribune Content Agency.
  24. ^ Penelope Green (9 February 2006). "Arranging Your Space, This Time With Feeling". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  25. ^ Penelope Green (29 May 2008). "Real People, Really Small Spaces". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  26. ^ Martha Phifer (18 July 2008). "4 books for the home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Apartment 'therapist' has prescription for small spaces". The Toronto Star. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2012.

External links[edit]