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Last year, after Sven moved out of the apartment, I re-did the sucker. (The apartment, not Sven.) Painted, cleaned the carpets, threw out clutter… and bought furniture.

I’ve lived in this apartment since I moved out to L.A. in 1994, and for all that time, I was still living like a college student. Boxes in the living room. Crappy shelving. Low-rent kitchen stuff. Both Sven and I were over it. He moved out to get a place to, as George Carlin says, keep his stuff. I gained another room to keep my stuff.

Painting was time-consuming and true work, but the real challenge was furniture. I did not want to continue the frat-boy crap fest by buying everything on the cheap, yet spending good money on furniture was not in my makeup. Sure, I had no problem spending money on an HD TV and very nice new front and center speakers (excuse: it was a tax write-off), but spending that same kind of money on something you place drinks on? Hmm. Difficult.

But I got over it by choosing which things were most important to blow the good moolah on. A comfortable, big, custom sofa was the big-ticket item. Then a nice coffee table and matching side table. Then a rug. The rest of it all—shelving, mostly—was semi-cheap Ikea that matched well with the pricey stuff. I can tell you now, spending money on the sofa was a great idea. That sucker is the most comfortable thing I own. I even fell asleep on it Friday when I was home sick. Good money spent well is well-spent good money, I learned.

My apartment has been just shy of complete for maybe 9 months. The last thing I needed was a dining room set. I kept going to Ikea, since I had spent so much on the living room and figured I’d be okay with Ikea in the dining room. The problem with Ikea is that their chairs suck wicked major ass. Sure, I could get a mediocre table with self-storing leaves for $400, but not a single chair in that place was good to sit in for anything longer than a breakfast drive-by cerealing. So my place, while nearly nice, had the old dining room garbage in it, creating an eyesore and reminding me that I was still not truly beyond the dorm phase.

Two weeks ago, when Sven and I were making a pilgrimage to Venice for good pizza—good pizza is very hard to find in L.A.—we walked into a little store where a table set drew my eye. I have begun to learn now to trust the calling of furniture. If something is drawing me toward it, I can trust that it is something I will not regret buying. This table was one of those things. And seeing it made me impatient to finally get a dang table, the shopping for which I’d been putting off, and get my dang place finished!

So Saturday, I roped Marcy into going table shopping with me. Sure, she had to shop for a chair herself, but I still consider it a roping. For a few hours, we went around the Helm’s Bakery (a.k.a. Helm’s Deep) furniture stores, seeing what was out there. Some okay stuff. The best thing I saw would have cost me over $3,000. That’s sans chairs, mes amis!

Then I roped Marcy into going to Venice to see the table from two weeks ago. The set was still there, solid oak with six chairs and two leaves. The store owner had bought it in France, just outside Paris, and brought it back to the U.S. to restore and sell. Marcy liked the set. We discussed any shortcomings it might have (ex: an older style in an apartment with more modern items), but determined it would fit well. And the wicker chairs? I mean, wicker? Well, this was not rattan or nuthin’, and they were incredibly comfortable. The wicker was subtle and actually attractive.

Being as impatient as I am once I set my mind on something, I called the store back maybe 45 minutes after we’d left and told them to consider it sold for the price Marcy’d gotten them down to. Oh, and I wanted them to deliver it the next day, if possible. It was, they did, and here it is. (Click the picture below to see it bigger.)

My New Old French TableAll the worry is gone. As soon as the table was in my place, I loved it. It works perfectly with the décor. It’s solid and beautiful, with simple lines but a sturdy build. It gives my place has that “old furniture” smell, something I like because I grew up with it.

Most wonderfully, though… I’m done! I’m done, I’m done, I’M DONE! My place is done. I have finally graduated from thrown-together dorm space to purposefully-styled home. As my mom said last night in an e-mail, “You’re nesting!” True. I feel grown up. In a good way. I still have a Lego Y-wing in my living room, and until last Monday, I had a train set on my living room floor, but it’s my space, it’s cozy and together and clean and it’s mine.

I’m done!


Steve Expounded Thusly:

So in mentioning the new table to Bryon, I told him the one thing I’d miss about the old table is seeing the marks on it that he’d made with his Xacto knife years ago while working on an art project. Here, from him, is a slightly-doctored pic of that visit, sitting at that very same table. Ah, memories…

Bryon\'s Naughty Knife

Monday, October 10th, 2005 • 4:33pm • Permalink

Bimonthly Visiting Ken (Bimonthly as in twice a month, not once every two months) Expounded Thusly:

Wow! Love the table, Steve. Looks so comfy and personal. And, just look at the shadow cast by the flowers … so harmonious. You goddamned growed up thing you!

Monday, October 10th, 2005 • 11:51pm • Permalink

Bi-Half-Hourly-Visiting Steve Expounded Thusly:

Thank you, Ken! I’m glad you like. And thank you very mucho for defining which bimonthly you meant. I never could figure it out, and now that your post has prompted me to look it up, I see it can be BOTH! Huh? What gives? That’s no fair! Someone at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Words should fix this dual definition right away!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005 • 8:53am • Permalink

The Wren Forum » Fear of the Past Expounded Thusly:

[…] midnight, to pull out the collection of letters, faxes, and pictures I have from my time with Byron. I have kept them all together, in a neat stack, in the back of one of my closets. On top of this […]

Friday, April 11th, 2008 • 12:38pm • Permalink • This is a Pingback


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