Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Biggest Design Challenge Yet!


Number One Son moved in to a San Francisco studio apartment in the heart of the Mission District. He asked me to help him "decorate" his new space. It is my biggest design challenge yet! This is the kitchen, which is actually kind of cute.

The budget? A Big Fat Zero! So, we shopped my garage for cast-offs!
This is the 10 x 14 foot living space. What I put in this room had to multi-task.

I like that there is a half wall dividing the living area from the kitchen. It makes everything feel so much larger. There is a decent size closet, but a very tiny bathroom.

This is the breezeway that leads to the apartment. I felt good that a locked iron gate keeps everyone out except the tenants who share this little hidden area.

At the end of the breezeway is a private courtyard which is shared by all 4 tenants. My son already has plans to plant an herb garden for his culinary pursuits.

So here are the "after" pictures. The rug was a cast-off of mine, but perfect for him as it isn't floral! A twin bed does double duty as a sofa when guests visit. There are three large square cushions to lean against the wall.

The oak dresser was a splurge. $125 at a local thrift store. It will multi-task as a lamp table and a buffet if he entertains. The ottoman can be called to duty as extra seating. The small bookshelf will eventually hold his collection of books.

Next to the half wall is this small table with two chairs. Perfect for dining or working at the computer.

The kitchen has a nice built-in bookshelf for his many cookbooks and jars of spices. He is very excited to cook in his new kitchen, although the oven doesn't work and the refrigerator has an ice box that is full of ice!

It is hard to believe that this little studio apartment costs $1150/month! Actually, for San Francisco, it is a bargain.

I feel good that I was able to come up with just the right amount of furniture to not only serve a purpose, but look good too. There are plans to paint the walls in the living area and hang some art, but for now Number One Son is settled in and loving his new apartment!

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Be sure to visit the other participants for more before and after photos.


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28 comments:

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Great change! The apartment is just charming. He's lucky to have you to help him get settled in so nicely.

Kathysue said...

Delores, Lucky for him that he has such a talented Mom with great cast-offs. Looks really good. I am sure as time goes by you will find even more wonderful things for him and he will appreciate it. We moved son #3 into an LA apart. while he finishes up at UCLA. He is an older student returning back to school but I am glad he went back. We spent 3 days down there and made one big trip to Ikea. It is so fun to see them in their own places and hear what they want it to look like. My guy is pretty much white, gray with a touch of black but mostly white. He has surprised me with his taste. He really has a definite aesthetic going on. How fun to have a son going to culinary school. I have a friend that her son did the same thing and is now the head chef at a very nice restaruant in Alamo called Postino's. I bet you love when he cooks for you. Nice that he is so close to home. I miss my guy terribly wish he were closer. you did an amazing tranformation, Love it, Kathysue

Glenda/MidSouth said...

You did a great job of making use of every corner.

Kammy said...

You will get there and much quicker shopping at the thrift stores...I know there are lots of great flea markets in the bay area too ( I was born and raised there - live in Colorado now.)
Hugs ~ Kammy

Angie said...

Looks great! How exciting for your son!!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

What a great job you did! Now he needs to invite you over for dinner!

Jan said...

That does look great, the way everything works together must really please you.
The monthly rentals are high in Australia too.

A 2 Z said...

Its my first time visiting! I like what you did with your son's place. Your son is lucky. My oldest daughter is maybe moving in July. My garage is full of items for her. I cant park the car its so full. Will be back!

Anne-Marie

Razmataz said...

It looks great!. Nice cast off! oh..and a good looking guy who plants he own veggies and owns cookbooks......too bad my daughter is a few thousand miles from him or I would arrange some bloggy matchmaking.

Julienne said...

How cosy does that look! What a lucky son.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I am sure he is thrilled! Yeah, zero dollar buggets...aren't they the best????

It looks warm, inviting and pulled together....you thought of so much! Bet the ladies that visit will be noticing! HA!

kim said...

Delores, you did a great job of transforming his apartment. I knew the cost of living was ridiculous out there. That is a lot of money for such a small place, but it looks good anyway.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

That so reminds me of a studio I once had in LA. It was so expensive too. You did a fabulous job and I know he loves it. Great kitchen. Hugs, Marty

Bonnie said...

Your son is so blessed to have your help. You made such a difference and you will find more and more to embellish as time goes by. The courtyard is so charming and such a nice retreat.

Scribbler said...

Wow, this brings back memories! I have helped my son, first with an apartment, then a house, then another apartment when he moved to LA. (He is in the film business). It is a great way to move along some furniture that you'd like to replace, no?
Scribbler
http://scribbler-unfocused.typepad.com/

Debby said...

You did a fantastic job turning a small space into a comfortable inviting place to live and visit. I love it.

Lou Cinda said...

I love it! How lucky he is to have you with your impecable taste! San Francisco *sigh* how awesome! So happy for him!!

Lou Cinda :)

Anita @ Far Above Rubies said...

Definitely nice to have you do this for him! Looks so warm and inviting!! LOVE that rug too!

Pam @ Design Fanatic said...

Delores, your son is lucky to have a studio with such a large kitchen! It is much larger than the kitchen in the 3 bdr apt we rented while our house was being built! You did a wonderful job in such a tight space and with a zero dollar budget!

Mary said...

I'll raise a nice glass of red later wishing your son great times in his kitchen - once the oven and 'frig are up and running! You've made a small space look organized and comfy - he's going to love it.

Wow! those are high rents but of course not unexpected in a major city. The little courtyard could be made to look really pretty and his pots of herbs will help - reminds me of Europe!

Delores in answer to your ? today - yes I hang the roses upside down from the chandelier in the potting shed where it's warm and dry - they don't take long to change into 'vintage'!!

Happy week to you.
Mary.

Designs on 47th Street said...

It was great fun to see how you've helped his son with challenges of decorating a SF apt. You really did do well and I know he loves you for it. It looks quite charming. My dd lives in Chicago...similar story when she first moved there! :)

Donna

Debra Phillips said...

how much a month?! oh well the joys of such a beautiful city and the sheer luck of having a talented mom
great job!
debra

aneyefordetail said...

It's always quite a challenge with a budget of 0! My daughter, who lives in D.C., has just the same budget! And yes, off to Ikea we went (once for each apt.). It's so much fun to see them develop their own style,no? And yes....I do think they are lucky to have Mom's who "know" how to furnish a place, whatever the budget! No, that rent is not bad at all.... daughter is paying a lot more than that in D.C....

Mary said...

I found your post from BNOTP.

WOW, you did a wonderful job decorating your son's new home. You are so clever using the twin bed as a sofa! Like others said you have wonderful cast offs!

I wish your son well!

Mary
From Virginia

once in a blue moon... said...

i would love to shop your garage too! cute little place you have set up for him.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I want to come shop in your garage (if there is anything left). What a cute apartment he has now tht mom has worked her magic on it! laurie

Cottage Dreamers said...

I want to shop your garage too! What a fun challenge. It looks so nice and masculine without screaming bachelor pad. Bravo!
☺ Celeste

LambAround said...

You did a great job! I'll admit, though, that my jaw pretty much hit the floor when I read the amount for rent. Seriously, that is like our mortgage payment for a $300,000 house! Tell Number One Son that it's time to move to Albuquerque ;)

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