Other People’s Money

I love to shop with other people’s money.  My father and I spent the weekend shopping to outfit his new apartment.  After living with me since January, when he was hit with the double whammy of my mother’s death and his own need for open heart surgery, he is ready both physically and emotionally, to strike out on his own again.  During our trip back to Colorado last week, we realized that there was very little, apart from his collection of Western art, acquired slowly over a lifetime in a labor of love,  that he could use.  Everything in their home there was exactly to my mother’s specifications, that is, feminine in tone and color, and scaled to the vast vaulted ceilings of a ski chalet.  It is all staying behind for the new owner.

My sister had tried to help with the outfitting of the new place.  She lives in close proximity to the Short Hills, New Jersey mall, where you can buy just about anything, including, last time I was there, a DaVinci Robot for robotic surgery.  Well maybe you couldn’t actually buy it, but you could play with it.  Hoards of teenaged boys stood in line to work the controls while their mothers vied for the latest Louis Vuitton.  I felt certain that between Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware, they could buy what he needed in the air conditioned comfort of the mall, and have it delivered via the stores’ California warehouses.  But alas, the couches and chairs at these furniture stores, were all “special order”, meaning a six to eight week wait for delivery.  My father is a surgeon:  it goes without saying that he is not very good at waiting for anything. Just ask his scrub nurses.

So off we went to my own personal idea of shopping heaven, the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, a place where I have had so much success in my own decorating efforts that not one, but THREE stores give me a decorator’s discount, though anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am no interior designer.  I just know what I like.  My eclectic repertoire ranges from simple Shaker wooden furniture to faux lux upholstered pieces that need only a Scottish deerhound draped elegantly as an accent.  Dad was game and had the high limit platinum credit card, which he jokingly explained to a baffled salesgirl that it was “just a little something I found on the sidewalk outside.”

One gorgeous distressed leather couch, a free form coffee table cut from a single slab of acacia wood, a leather covered burnished walnut desk and console fit for a Fortune 500 executive, a new queen sized bed with a padded taupe linen headboard, outfitted in high thread count linens in a cool beige, accented by a silk burgundy prayer rug on the floor later, Dad is nearly ready to move in.  The art collection will arrive in August, courtesy of an artist friend who is willing to make the drive from Colorado to San Diego and who will actually take CARE of the art.  I made the new bed in the new apartment today, stepped back and with my Dad, took a look at our work.  He said, “My new place is beautiful. Do you think it might attract any of the ladies in this place?”   He’s baaack!