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« An inside look at a historic Houston home! | Main | Why do we love gray? »

Matthew Moves To Dallas!!

I always love sharing current projects that excite me. Although this one doesn't include paint, it certainly hits close to home!  My 24 year-old son, Matthew, is relocating to Dallas for a new job and asked for my help to decorate his pad. Jumping at the opportunity to spend more time with him, I said, "Yes, of course, when can we start!!!!"

I initially offered him some of our furniture that we weren't using, but he quickly responded, "Sorry, Mom, I don't think you own anything that I would like - I want my place to be modern!" Though a bit out of my comfort zone, I was excited to help him put together his mid-century modern apartment on a budget. We set out for a day of shopping so he could see a wide range of things and gain some understanding about costs.  Our first stop was Ikea.  It's probably the best bang for your buck so I felt it was good place to start.


He loved the bar, entertainment center and rug as well as some of their desks, but he decided to hold on all of his furniture purchases until he found a well-built sofa and chair to invest in.  We did outfit his kitchen though, complete with pots and pans, dish towels, dishes, glasses and barware.  As he pulled out his credit card, he said, "Boy, isn't $270 a lot to outfit a kitchen?"  Ha!!  Since Matthew loves leather and modern pieces, our next stop was Cantoni.

Sleek, mid-century modern, he had to have this one!  He loved the chrome and the way it transforms into a rocker when you take it off the base stand.

Matthew was instantly drawn to this espresso brown leather couch that had a cool feature: the back can lay low as shown here to be used as a seating ledge or it can pop-up for a higher back.  Although the piece was 30% off, we went off to comparison shop. 4 hours later, Matthew called Cantoni and gave them his credit card. That’s a change - your child footing the bill!!!  For the rest of the apartment, he wanted to furnish with pieces that had a nice look but were not so expensive.  


George, a friend of mine who owns Randall Edward, was having a huge up to 80% off sale so I scouted it out and took some pics to show Matthew.  Here are some of my finds that he liked: vintage seltzer bottles, a pair of lamps made from 200 year-old Greek tiles, a circle sculpture composed of ship masts from the 1700s, and wooden balls. He was very interested in the history of all these pieces and loved the idea of mixing the old with the new. The entire purchase was around $750 (Mom pitched in here)!


One of my favorite Houston shops, Denny Register, buys up large estate sales and puts their finds in a massive, un-air-conditioned warehouse filled to the brim!!!  We bought this unique side table a a bargin price. Love the bamboo and retro 60s style. 1001-A W 34th St. (713-817-5760).

Of course a home is never complete without something on the walls! I had so much fun painting this work for Matthew using his pop colors of orange and teal, and I've given him several other pieces over the years that can now come in handy. To add a little of the mid-century element, I also framed some pages from a 1930s suit catalog that I have in the store. He picked out the two that were my favorite for him plus one more!

The rest of the shopping was done online.  CB2 is a wonderful place to get cool contemporary pieces at very good prices!

The coffee table, stacking side tables, and bar were all purchased for about $500, a fraction of what we had found similar pieces for!


West Elm also has some great buys. He got the headboard and fun martini table there. Unfortunately, they didn't come in time for the final reveal!!! For the bedding, Matthew purchased hotel-type linens that were crisp white with gray stitching details from Rue la la for 75% off. It's one of my favorite online discount shopping sites.

The last purchase was a cow hide rug. CowHides International seemed to have the largest sizes and prettiest hides for great prices.  On sale for $199, Matthew was thrilled! He decided to go with this rather than the shag rug from Ikea he originally wanted.

For the big move, Matthew used Point 2 Point, a firm that I use to deliver furniture for us.  They were excellent, taking such good care of him and doing a fab job - on time, on schedule, and no breakage!!!!

And now for the Final Reveal!!!! (wish my iphone pics had turned out a little better)

Here's the view as you enter the door.

I love how all the pieces came together!

Of course, a 24 year-old boy's pad isn't complete without the TV!

The vintage suit catalog artwork is so fun!

Matthew, of course, loves the bar!

The kitchen has beautiful finishes. We'll see how much he actually uses it - hehe!

All his UT memorabilia is prominently displayed over his desk. Love how he mixed the clean lines of the chair and desk with the antique lamp which he stole from my shop.

There's a beautiful view of Dallas from the balcony.

We all had a wonderful time getting Matthew settled into his new pad!

He seemed so happy when we left!  Furniture set up, clothes put away, and ready to start his new adventure!!!!


We were all exhausted when we got back home and a bit sad that Matthew had moved away!  Chrissy's already missing him!!!  I wanted to thank my sweet friend Mimi from the blog A House Romance for writing a two part blog series, the first an interview with me and the second on after seeing her lovely home what finish recommendations I would give. To see the first go here, then for the second part hit newer post. She writes a great blog and I was honored she asked me to help with her home.  I hope everyone has a great week!!  xo Leslie

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Reader Comments (10)


Matthew's smiling face must make you so happy! And his place looks fabulous!! And what a lucky son to have you help decorate! You have such a lovely family.

Thanks for the sweet mention about my blog. I had so much fun working on the posts with you.

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

What a lucky guy Matthew is to have a Mom is willing to help decorate and with costs. His apartment looks great and he's off to a good start. Chrissy is so cute! I know she's a little sad but Matthew will be back and then watch her beam. Congratulations on a successful job with your son, he's handsome and seems to have a good head on his shoulders.


July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAcquired Objects

What a great mom! Your son is so handsome. The apartment looks fantastic.....and he looks right at home in his chair!

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGina Diamond

My oldest son (also Matthew) is 16. I'm sure when he gets his own apartment when he's older, he's also going to want something a lot more modern than what he's grown up with. I hope I can do him justice as you did for your Matthew! X Sharon

Matthew's apt. looks fantastic! You did it so effortlessly. It would have taken me 2 years to complete.
I have one question. Do you know the paint color of the walls in the first picture? I have brown marble vanity tops in
my bathroom and I really like that color with the brown marble floor.

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatty Bruni

I love Matthew's pad! I love that you kept it sleek and modern but yet warm and inviting! Love the lamp in his office it adds just a touch of history! Fabulous!!

Moving into that wonderfully decorated apt must take away a bit of the sadness of moving away from home....

Dear Leslie,

Mathew is a smart and handsome young man; also has very good taste like his Mother!
Everything you both picked out is amazing, your art just makes the living room! Loving that leather lounge!
It is a perfect bachelor pad!! (do they still say that) Anyway I know his friends will have so much fun there watching the games etc.
You went to all the right places and Mather even manned up and paid for a lot!

I can't imagine why he didn't take you up on the gorgeous settee and mirror! (hehe)
I hope you will visit soon...

2013 Designers Series & Giveaway

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarena

We just moved our son into his first place as well. IKEA was our main stop- he loves modern as well, but did snag one of my vintage European maps for the wall in the living room. So excited to see him out on his own and happy. PS- didn't you love that he called you to help?? Me too!

Fabulous!!! You are SO talented???

August 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Braniff

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