Heywood-Wakefield Restoration

Yeah ok. I was warned. Newborndome is no joke. Midnight feedings… sleep deprivation… a bazillion dirty diapers. How have people been doing this for centuries?!? Jk. Baby H is totally worth the effort - even if I officially can’t have a cup of coffee in the morning without it going cold.

Caleb has been fabulously supportive. Even though he is back at work, he’s found ways to give me little breaks when he can like downtime to make a craigslist run or have a glass of wine on our deck. He even gave me a block of baby-free time to knock out a new piece:

A Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser

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I actually scored this dresser somewhere in my 3rd trimester (I think I might have played my last preggo card to convince Caleb to help me pick it up one morning before work) - ha!  It was obvious that the previous owner did not realize what a rare find they had considering they put it in their sticker-loving son’s room.  Just look at the damage to the signature H-W finish! 

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The watermark on the back revealed that it’s a “wheat rub.” This means it was truly vintage and not a reproduction since newer H-W pieces sport their signature Amber finish.  This piece could date somewhere in the 1930’s-1950’s when Heywood-Wakefield art-deco-inspired mid-century modern style rose to popularity.  I debated long and hard about how I was going to tackle this project and eventually decided on:

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A restoration

I was seriously on the fence about restoring vs transforming.  After consulting my brother-in-law the wine-cellar-building-carpenter-and-fellow-vintage-furniture-lover I realized it would be practically criminal to alter it with paint or new hardware.

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First order of business to get it back to its former glory was to SAND THE HECK OUT IT.  Yeah that sticker residue had to go.

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After the thorough sanding came a thorough waxing.

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The wax gives it a buttery finish that’s much closer to that trademark Heywood-Wakefield buff.

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This is actually not the first Heywood-Wakefield piece I’ve gotten on my hands on.  Some of you may remember this gimpy coffee table find from 2017 that I ended up keeping for myself.

 
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Although a little patinaed, the coffee table had an original H-W “champagne finish” which, if you ask me, looks practically the same as the “wheat rub” on the Airflow dresser.  That could be due in part to the fact that all H-W pieces are made out of the same wood: northern yellow birch.

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Sealing the Airflow dresser in a wax allowed the natural golden tones of the northern yellow birch to shine.

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Besides the finish, another trademark feature of a H-W piece is the sculptural lines - like the unique curves in the drawer fronts and the architectural details in the handles.

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I know Heywood-Wakefields can read a little too George Jetson to some so I wanted the styling to show how it can still have its moment in the modern day. The quirky lines of this vintage dresser play well with the mod lines of my velvet cantilever chair flip and cheeky llama prints.  

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And I just had to pull out my face vase and add a touch or two of terracotta.

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This newly restored bad boy is now available for sale if you’re in the market for a piece of American-made history!  Email me for purchasing or shipping options.

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Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser
Now Available for Sale
42ʺW × 20ʺD × 34ʺH
$795

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at cate@stylemutthome.com

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Huntleigh's Room || 2019 Flip List Item No.5

She’s real! That’s the first thing I said to my husband when they held up our daughter to us in the OR. We didn’t plan on a C-Section but when your baby’s safety is at risk, you quietly cry your way through your first major surgery and wait for the wet sounds of a newborn using her lungs for the first time. And you thank God that there’s a healthy baby on the other end of those 38 hours in labor.

And you name her Huntleigh Wild:

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Huntleigh is a blend of two family names - Hunt for Caleb’s grandma and Leigh for my sister. It seemed like the perfect way to honor both sides while still feeling unique and special. Yes, she’ll probably have to join the ranks of never-finding-your-novelty-keychain and spelling-your-name-for-just-about-everyone but I managed ok. And I grew to love being “Cate with a C.”

Wild became her middle name in utero mostly because it was all we knew about her at the time. We wanted a name that fit her personality but how do you choose one without ever having met? What we did know was she would kick up a storm until daddy wanted to feel and then mischievously stop right when he’d put his hand on my belly. She would demand bagels from me on the reg and then reward me with dragon-fire heartburn. She’d wait until I stood up and immediately slide into my bladder - pressing it like a gas pedal so I’d literally run to the bathroom. The little wildling. Don’t be fooled by that sleeping façade - she’s 8lbs of the best kind of trouble.

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Now, I promised you a tour of her nursery and am holding myself accountable to that since it’s item No.5 on this year’s furniture flip bucket list. Now that she’s here and we’ve had a chance to settle her little space, I’m finally ready to make good on the promise with today’s tour!

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It’s a shoebox of a room but we figure she won’t notice. When we found out we were pregnant, we gave our first born (the dog) the larger guest room as his consolation prize. That meant the wild child would have to make the little 3rd bedroom work so I set about painting over the “boy-blue” and gray racing stripe with a gender-neutral white (ironically over labor day weekend).

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The white walls are not only rental-friendly (you’re welcome landlord) but they are my favorite forum to allow for playful pops of color. The main one being this persimmon dresser which you may recognize from this post. I knew even then that I was going to keep this bad boy for baby’s room (but I wasn’t quite ready to share the news with you all yet ;)

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And what else but a wild honeysuckle branch to welcome our wild girl to the world.

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The dresser is a little tall for a changing table so we hid one of those in the closet for easy access. The orangey-red flirts with the olive and chartreuse velvets in the room. It’s edgy but still softened by the touches of blush like this fabulous fringe mirror.

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This mirror almost didn’t happen. It was a sweet steal on H&M Home which meant it went out of stock in a snap. I was actually crushed and kicked myself for slapping it on the registry instead of purchasing it. In my tunnel-vision desperation (I am my own worst client), I checked H&M Canada and UK just in case they could ship internationally. No luck. So I settled for keeping the browser open on my phone and would check it periodically just in case it magically went back in stock. And the day before I went into labor - I kid you not - I longingly opened the browser window to find that not only was the mirror back in stock, but it was half price! I was a mirror miracle!

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Across the room is her crib. I’ve admired the DwellStudio Mid-Century inspired nursery line for a while (I even modeled this dresser after their gray three-drawer dresser). My parents were kind enough to gift us their adorable 3-in-1 crib for baby H as the crib of my dreams (and hopefully hers - sleep training am I right??).

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The pillows are purely decorative and won’t actually be here during nap time but they capture the nursery color scheme and add some plush texture.

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The pink rabbit was a special gift from my sister - Huntleigh’s namesake. We each grew up with a stuffed bunny bff. Mine was technically her back-up if she ever lost Baby but me being the typical little sister… I just had to have one too. So I helped myself thankyouverymuch. I at least had the good sense to give mine a cool name (my sis is the self-proclaimed non-creative of the fam). I still have Gizmo to this day - and if you pay attention on this tour, you can spot him watching over Huntleigh’s room from his place of honor.

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The tricky thing about Huntleigh’s little room is there is no overhead lighting. A good floor lamp was crucial for any nighttime feedings or diaper changes. I registered for this one on Amazon and have been greatly pleased with it’s ambiance as well as it’s modern design. It even came with a soft-white LED bulb that won’t make the lamp hot to curious little fingers.

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The mobile is another modern touch in the room. Made in Croatia, this Calder-inspired hanging art is just one of the ways I’m hoping to introduce a love of art to baby H.

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I’ve also stocked up on some fun art-themed baby books that sit on drawers-turned-shelves along with some of her other fun toys. Oh and points for Gryffindor if you spotted Gizmo!

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For the most part, we’ve kept toys to a minimum knowing that baby stuff has a way of multiplying like rabbits (no offense Gizmo). I’m sure Huntleigh will have hoards stashed around the house when she’s graduated from the boobs and bowel-movement phase and becomes more interested in bells and whistles.

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I’d be remise if I didn’t mention one other special piece of art in the room - framed notes from Huntleigh’s cousins (Chelsea’s kids). It hangs by the window above my nursing chair - displaying personalized messages to their littlest cousin that I will cherish forever.

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We kept Huntleigh’s name a secret so they each addressed their notes “dear baby girl.”

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Alrighty folks! That pretty much concludes this nursery room tour and it’s time to cross item No.5 off the list.

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But for good measure, why don’t I throw in a quick little bonus tour of the dog’s…er… the guest room next door.

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Please ignore my postpartum bed-making skills. I promise to do better if you ever come to stay with us - what is with that crooked sheet-to-comforter ratio?!?! 

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This room design is rather simple - mostly white with winks of warm tones and greenery.

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The campaign shelves hold a lot of our mementoes and hide a lot of our paperwork in the lower cabinets.

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It’s no shoebox but the bed pretty much takes up the whole space. It has no headboard or nighstands but I did get some simple sconces mounted for some friendlier lighting.

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Blackout curtains were a must for my husband if either of us were going to get some quality sleep in my third trimester. These chartreuse velvet ones were a fabulous find on Amazon and ended up being such an easy lux touch in an otherwise simple room.

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Ok friends. Thanks for joining me for another peek at our little townhouse! And if you missed it, here’s our dining room, bedroom, and man cave tours.

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Four down, one to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.

Chrome Cantilever Chair || 2019 Flip List Item No.2

I know. I know.  I said that my last post would be the last flip before baby.  But what can I say?  She was apparently too comfortable to vacate the premises any earlier than she had to so I’ve been left to my own devices while she takes her sweet sweet time.  Is this any indication of what she’ll be like on the outside?  Heaven help us. 

We all know I love me a good cantilever chair (see here and here).  In fact, I’ve been hoarding a chrome cantilever chair in my workshop for a few months now so it was the perfect quick flip to crank out in my impatient 39-weeks state.

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It was a gray vinyl with a speckling of rusty patina on the chrome.  What drew me to it was the mod lines and I started to see it becoming something modern and lux.  Plus it was the perfect opportunity to try out a new decor crush of mine:

Burnt Orange Velvet

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We also know that I love me a good terra-cotta color but guys...if you put it in velvet then I’M JUST SMITTEN.

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As I said before, the chrome wasn’t in the most perfect but it was easy to shine up for the most part using some wadded up aluminum foil and water.

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That velvet - I mean COME ON!!! 

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On the back of the chair, I added some matching chrome nailhead trim.

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And styled the whole shebang with stark shapes and vivid contrasting colors (also faves of mine): chartreuse and aqua.

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Ok that’s it I promise - I’m officially on maternity leave.  The good news is, with baby’s due date being today and all, this means I’ll at least have one more bucket list item to share in the near future - No.5: the Nursery!  So stay tuned for that reveal and Baby H’s big debut!

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Burnt Orange Velvet Chair
Now available for sale
$295

 If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at cate@stylemutthome.com

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Three down, two to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.