Monday, July 30, 2012

Baby's Got Back...

...all the crap she's been storing with us since she moved out.

Yep - that's right, we are finally free of every last scrap of elementary school artwork, the family china she couldn't possibly live without, and even her old car.

I think somewhere there may be angels singing - I hear they do that when an adult child finally takes physical possession of everything he or she has left behind, "because my apartment isn't quite big enough."

Actually, in my daughter's case, that might have been true. She and her fiance have spent the last two years in a studio apartment just blocks from Fisherman's Wharf. It was a good thing the view was big (of the Golden Gate Bridge) because the apartment definitely was not.

After scouring the Bay Area for larger abodes to begin their married life in, they happened across a charming 2 bedroom in Walnut Creek. This hidden gem not only boasted actual bedrooms with doors but even had a balcony! Walking distance to local restaurants and the BART - well, what's not to like?

We were delighted to help them settle in to their new place (and hand-deliver the aforementioned crap of ages).
This is her "Moving sucks! I need my mum!" face.

We were also delighted to help test out the local eateries...Sushi, Turkish, BBQ, and the most amazing breakfast place sadly are all located too close to burn off any of the calories one consumes there.

Bring on the raki!
But even more fun than eating out (hard to believe) was the chance to shop and decorate their new digs!

Of course the lines at IKEA weren't helping things move very quickly...and yes, I am pushing TWO carts!
Weeks before we arrived, the apartment manager had asked them to select a color for their accent wall so they'd picked a lovely shade of grey to complement their contemporary furnishings.

But come moving in day my daughter noticed that her new "accent" wall was less of an "accent" and more of whole new language. It wasn't the color so much as the size of the wall itself. It was huge. And even with all their furnishings in place there was still a gaping blank spot that fairly cried out for a large piece of furniture.

You can almost see the tears on that left side can't you?

"We need a china cabinet," she emailed me Thursday afternoon (no doubt thinking of the family china I was schlepping across two states).

"They're very expensive," I typed back knowing that they are saving for their wedding next spring.

"I looked online," she wrote...

"And?" I asked.


So I suggested Craigslist thinking that maybe she'd have time to look over the weekend when we were visiting. Within minutes, my techno-age daughter had sent me 11 links to second hand china cabinets she liked that were currently listed for sale.

After a flurry of texts she'd settled on one that met all her criteria: cheap ($60); local (less than a 20 minute drive); and suitable to burn if the refinishing didn't go well (it's solid wood).

Here's our starting point:

The glass was long gone from the upper doors and some cat had re-purposed the piece as a personal scratching post.
Then team Brandon-Erica-Mum flew into action refinishing the piece with a little Rustoleum Cabinet Paint magic. Personally, I think the results are stunning even if they took four days, ten sets of gloves, and half a bottle of aspirin to achieve.

Brandon did a great job on spray-painting all the hardware.
The rest of the apartment turned out pretty slick looking too...

The living room flows together with the new rug and Erica's artistic wall decor arrangement.
The dining area is small but flooded with light and perfect for four.
Erica's new spice rack looks terrific and only took about 6 hours (GAK) to finish after washing the tins, making the labels, and then filling them with the spices while trying not to inhale anything too peppery!

The kitchen is newly renovated and full of storage options once we added some extra shelves.
The new quilt I made them fits perfectly as a bedspread - it will be regular quilt sized if they decide to buy a king bed.
A pretty screen hides the color-sorting laundry baskets and new shelving in the closet makes putting things away a snap!

Dave set up the office spending hours getting all the computers and printers to play nicely with each other.
Finally the balcony was clear of boxes, the BBQ was ready to light and the table awaited an evening meal.The best part of the whole trip though was spending time with the kids!


  1. Now THAT is gorgeous. She has Mom's touch, obviously, but your fingerprint is on everything. Hmmm, maybe we need to paint a wall. You're post is an inspiration as usual.

  2. Awesome!! Thanks Mum!! It looks even better in person. We absolutely love our new place.

  3. It looks awesome! Now I have an excuse to go back and visit her. :) Not that I need an excuse but it's always more fun to have one. Hopefully we can get my place to turn out just as good.

  4. Talent never stops!!!! When I ready to sell my place, I hope I can commission you to stage it. It won't be for another 3 years (1031 exchange tax law).

  5. Fabulous! I continue to be in awe of your skill set!

    Kate L

  6. Great blog!! Thanks for all your help!
    - Brandon