New York-based interior designer Gillingham-Ryan is out to prove that even the dreariest, no-view walk-up can be transformed into a cozy urban oasis using his ""eight-step home cure."" The unflaggingly enthusiastic author asks readers to ""listen"" to their apartments-appraising what he refers to as the bones, breath, heart and head of the space-before determining ways to streamline. Despite the decorator's forays into psycho-babble, his advice proves practical as he teaches readers how to determine a makeover budget, de-clutter, liberate themselves from a lifetime of accumulated possessions and choose paint hues. Gillingham-Ryan's belief that the right lighting can ""create warmth and visual movement"" leads to more helpful advice on choosing the right fixtures, the different types of light and the virtues of high-end candles. No housing revival would be complete without a party, so Gillingham-Ryan shares the most festive recipes in his arsenal, including ""Orange Pant's Deadly Simple Chocolate Mousse"" and ""Margaritas to Make Men and Women Giggle."" While the author's ideas may not break new ground, his ebullient, can-do attitude will appeal to readers interested in, but intimidated by, an apartment overhaul.