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Furnishing An Apartment In The Pacific Northwest On A Budget, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:44am

My daughter has moved north to start her neurosurgical residency. She’s got an apartment, and furnishings as a graduation present. She and I collaborated on the furniture shopping by texting and pinning links to affordable stuff – it was fun.

That’s an understatement.

She’s living in a newish apartment building, one I’m fairly sure was built with young professionals in mind. I don’t like that term, much, “young professionals,” but it’s efficient. Conveys a lot of meaning. Her place is smallish: an alcove with a sleeping area closed off by glass doors; modern finishes; tall windows. She’s chosen warm and muted colors for living and eating areas, which seem right for the Pacific Northwest.

I haven’t seen her place in person yet, but if feels as though I have since she has sent me lots of photos. At my request, as you can imagine. Here are the shelves/desk surface she and her boyfriend installed, on the wall of the eating area.

My father and stepmother gave her some things they don’t use any more. I love the glass plates. The cute navy Urban Outfitters table is new, transparent chairs from IKEA.

Here’s the living area. My mother bought me that rug at Macy’s, in New York in 1979. China had just begun to export to the USA. Her choice of a blue sofa threw me for a loop at first – I’d been trying to match the rug colors just as my mother and I did 40 years ago. It’s a new century, we match less. In fact my favorite aspect of the style throughout the apartment is the mix of materials – brass and chrome cozied up to rattan, clear plastic lit by a semi-transparent capiz shell pendant.

The sofa is on on the way, but delivery dates keep shifting. I’m looking forward to more photos. Also I love that perforated Anthropologie lantern.

Her bed and bath areas are glam – gold, turquoise, and blush. My sister gave her a turquoise ceramic lamp last Christmas – I put in a similar one so you can see the color balance. Her comforter, not pictured, is turquoise silk with a mustard yellow lining. Hand-me-down from her mother. I do mean me. I’m keeping my voice very formal, otherwise I’m just going to blubber and weep incoherently about my baby growing up, family traditions, and the aesthetics of love.

Seemed only right to enable marine references, living as she does close to salt water. Flags not required.

It’s all very much her. A pretty homey place to cozy up in during any short time she has off. As we exchanged images she would refer to my mother’s house in Santa Barbara now and then. Which surprised me with happiness.

Have a good weekend my friends. Cozy as you please.

Some of these pins are Shopstyle links which may generate commissions

33 Responses

  1. Lovely!
    It is so nice to plan and buy things for the apartment with your baby- even when she or he is a grown up person,isn’t it?
    It makes me smile to see some photos-it seems that all “young professional” apartments are similar,no matter where they are :-)
    And,of course,IKEA…..!
    I hope that your daughter will have enough time to feel cozy and happy there
    I will think about you and her,visiting my son, in a very similar place,thousand miles apart
    Have a nice weekend,both of you

    1. @dottoressa, It is. And I love it that miles and miles away other young professionals are living in similar spaces. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your son.

  2. No matter what we profess to believe, how we dress or furnish our houses, the love for our children is universal. Great post.

    1. @MaryAnne, Thank you. And if we cannot or do not love our children, or at least care for them as if we do at the very least, there’s little hope for humanity.

  3. Love the table and the desk area. Love how you love your girl. Happy Saturday. xo.

  4. So fun to be able to do that together! Such a challenging/fun time ahead for her.

  5. I remember this time vividly with my son.
    Lisa it gets better and better!
    Everything that seems so permanent about her departure will likely not be.
    Regardless, she is extraordinarily lucky to have a mother with both compassion and excellent taste.


    1. @Luci, I love to hear that it gets better and better.

      Also I can assure you that I annoy my offspring as much as any mother does;). You probably guessed that.

  6. I remember, as a young woman, trying to match sofa fabric to a rug. Now I understand that this is not necessary. I wish I had understood it back then as my matching sofa was quite boring!

    Your daughter’s apartment looks like it is going to be beautiful and homey.

    1. @Susan D., Thank you. Your sofa might have been less than exciting but I am pretty sure your house was beautiful anyway. You have such a great eye for interiors.

  7. I consider us both very lucky that our daughters enlist our help when furnishing their places – honestly, most do not want any input. I think her place looks fantastic and the colors wonderful for where she is.

    When I was pregnant with my daughter some 36 years ago, I went with my mom shopping for a new coffee table. I had a glass one with sharp corners and wanted to replace it with something child friendly. We bought a small antique dining table with drawers at each end, and I had it cut down to coffee table height, bleached and stained a golden honey color – it has rounded edges and corners.

    That same coffee table now resides in her place and her kids play on it just as she did. It’s so heartwarming for me – and yes, it can reduce me to blubbering too.


    1. @KSL, I can see that coffee table in my mind’s eye, quite clearly. <3

      And I'm so glad you like the look of her place - affirmation. xoxox.

  8. In the course of the last three days, we spent a day with each child, all grown now with spouses or partners and homes of their own. As we drove home late last night in the dark after a lovely dinner with my son and daughter in law, my husband commented how different and amazing it is to see your kids grown, in their own spaces, with the jobs they went to school for, and with partners who love them. It is bittersweet, of course, but I have realized that the bitter tips the scales if I am not happy in my present moment, but when I am, the sweet is all I taste.

    1. @Loretta,” It is bittersweet, of course, but I have realized that the bitter tips the scales if I am not happy in my present moment, but when I am, the sweet is all I taste.”

      And long visits help:). It is amazing to have adult children as they have their very own lives.

  9. This is a timely post for me as tomorrow I’m headed to see my daughter’s newly rented apartment. While this is her 4th place in as many years since finishing grad school, it is somewhat of a milestone for her. First time without a roommate , first time without needing her parents to cosign the lease, first time choosing the place all on her own and navigating the move without help from her parents. She’s really “adulting” now!

  10. Love hearing how your daughter is weaving you all into her digs. My son is hosting a “housewarming” in his first apartment tonight. I’ve been stunned by how invested he is in his new space and how well he’s pulled together an interesting mix of materials and ideas. He lives in a 100+-year-old building converted into lofts that was originally a Sears and housed soldiers during WWI. If those walls could talk. Lots of exposed brick and steel with giant windows looking across the river to downtown. Their housing options and choices all seem so cool.

    1. @Mary, His place sounds incredible. Congratulations to him, and to you, for the new space and for all he’s done and you’ve done to get him there.

  11. Where in the Pacific NE? I am in Seattle! If your daughter is too, I earnestly hope we can connect when you come to visit. :)

    Quick comment prompted by the IKEA chairs: transparent furniture is brilliant in smaller spaces, because they don’t visually occupy the same volume as opague objects. I have a glass coffee table and dining table, and they make a big difference.

    The apt. looks utterly charming!

    1. @Alexandra Halsey, Thank you! Transparent is so nice, especially if you like the surfaces, the walls, the rugs, etc.

      I’ll ping you as to Kate’s specific whereabouts:).

  12. What a lovely post! Lucky daughter, to have you for a mom, and lucky you, to have such a lovely daughter who clearly loves you in return. And now she has a delightful apartment you can both enjoy!

    And thanks for taking me back to my own days of helping with the kids’ first NYC apartments: a large studio on W 89th for our daughter, just across from the (sadly now gone) Claremont Riding Stables (the clop-clop of horses’ hooves on concrete and that faint whiff of manure were an interesting addition to the aural and olfactory cacophony of Manhattan!); and for our son, a true railroad tenement 1 BR with a lot of “character” in the East Village – he moved up to Union Square with his second job, so I had another happy round of hitting Pier 1 for fresh pillows and curtains.

    Now they both do their own decorating, but I enjoy seeing glimpses of my own style – and of parental and grandparental pass-alongs put to interesting new uses – when we visit. And as with KSL above, there’s a very special coffee table involved (although my story is not as sweetly tear-inducing as hers!)

    1. @Victoire, Such vivid memories of your children’s places! Having lived in Manhattan I feel I can really recognize the neighborhoods. The UWS was my ‘hood.

      I hope to get to visit my daughter in her place before too very long.

  13. Helping our young adult kids is so satisfying. Seeing them pull together a new living space to accommodate a career transition is doubly satisfying. Much to be proud of. Light and airy with some beach inspiration sounds good to me. Even better, you’ll be visiting soon… I’d be thinking of a housewarming gift(s). See the helper in me? Incorrigible as my son would say.

  14. It’s seem like your daughter is starting a new journey, all the best to her for new place :)
    And I too agree with “susan” helping your kids when they are shifting outside are so satisfying.
    You did it nicely :)

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