Reader Design: Miranda's Welcoming Nest

Oh style mutts, how I've missed you! I'm writing from the comfort of my couch, coffee in hand, because jet lag is real, my friends. And we're back after a brief hiatus with a reader design home that makes coming home oh so special.

Miranda and her family of four have lived in their Charlotte, North Carolina for 13 years, and over that time, Miranda has made it a loving reflection of how she views style and family. They love it so much that they plan to simply add on to the space as they need to grow and stay here as long as they can. 

The warm, welcoming, and eclectic design you see today isn't how this home always looked. As Miranda explains: 

My style came to life a handful of years ago when I was home all day, every day with two kids under two. With baby gear, and toys, and a large dog, I felt like there was just no room to breathe. During nap times, I found myself scrutinizing the living spaces, and trying to figure out how to make the areas feel larger. Over time, I realized our giant Rooms-To-Go couches and random knick-knack decor were suffocating the life and charm out of our home.

And one day it dawned on me: this house was built in the 50s, when furniture was made on a much smaller scale. Why not look for pieces that fit our home, and are meaningful to us? That change in perspective really helped me see the potential in our home, and opened my eyes to being more intentional about creating meaningful spaces for gathering and conversation.

With that revelation in mind, Miranda set out to curate a home that meant something real to her. She and her husband reached out to family and were able to bring in some amazing pieces from their parents and grandparents. There are photos that capture Miranda's husband's grandmother napping on one of the club chairs after Easter brunch, with the grandfather clock quietly keeping time in the background, and Miranda's mom as an infant blowing out her birthday candles at the dining table. 


This home continues to evolve and develop as new influences come and go. For instance, when Miranda read Myquillin Smith's The Nesting Place two years ago, she focused on one of Smith's main design tenets: "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." And, inherent to that principle, neither does it need to be expensive to be beautiful. 

That came to life in the bathroom, where Miranda actually made her own wallpaper with nothing but the wall and a Sharpie. Yes, those "I love yous" specially covering the wall were handwritten by Miranda. If only we all had hands that steady! 

The bedroom is simply beautiful - a relaxing place to lay your head at night after caring for your family. It's actually the newest addition to the home and replaced the original space which was small and dark. Miranda captured the airiness and brightness she was missing in the new space while still ensuring it "went" with the rest of the house. 

It captures her mindset perfectly. 

My approach to decorating is two-fold: 1) it doesn’t have to be expensive, just intentional. 2) it’s all about the people inside this home. Whether you live here and I see you every day, or you’re just visiting for the weekend or coming over to share a meal, you should always feel like there’s a place for you, and that you are welcomed, enjoyed, and loved.

Miranda, thank you for bringing us in to share your home with you today. It is a truly gorgeous space. Mutts, be sure to follow Miranda along on Instagram @thehousethatmercybuilt

See you all next week!

Art Deco Dresser

Hi friends! It's been a little while! I'm so glad to stop in here with you today; I've missed posting here but with such a full plate I've needed to let go of a few things, and regular posting has been one of them. But what a blessing to get to enjoy all of Cate's recent flips with you and McKenna's incredible Reader Design features!

One of the biggest things going on in my day-to-day right now is fuller-time eDesign work! I'm very excited about the amazing clients we've been blessed with these last few months and as some of our biggest jobs wrap up I look forward to sharing some reveals with you! The funny thing about eDesign is you don't always get to share the end result. Sometimes our clients don't live locally so it's not possible to take photos. And other times our clients can choose to carry out the design on their own time so we might not ever find out if/when it gets finished. So it's particularly fun to get to work with folks who are both local and choose to include us in helping see their home through to completion! Luckily, we have a few of those going on right now and as they wrap up we'll have some seriously fun homes to show you!

In the mean time I hope to pop in now and then with a flip! Today's piece is more of a restoration than a transformation. My long time friend Liz actually found this piece at a thrift store near where she lives several hours away. Prior to a visit she texted me a picture asking if I wanted it. Her reception usually stinks so as I replied, 'YES PLEASE', I crossed my fingers she'd see my message in time before leaving! I love Art Deco style and the beautiful wood grain patterns have been catching my eye a lot lately. If there hadn't been work to do on this piece I probably wouldn't have taken it, letting someone else find it for their home. But the top surface was in bad shape with water stains and various marks and it needed a little love to be restored back to it's former glory.


I used Walnut oil to revive the wood surface and now it's good as new!

Well, almost new - there are a few tiny little chips which I left alone, but when it comes to true antique pieces these things are to be expected. I like to focus on the big picture and what I can do to bring out the best in an old piece. For this one, restoring the wood tone was top priority and something I feel confident in tackling.

If you happen to be loving that mirror as much as I do, I just used black washi-tape to add the design! The mirror is from Target and I spray painted the brass frame black. The taped design is just something fun but can be removed as soon as it's...not fun! LOL!

Art Deco Dresser
Please email me at if interested in this piece or a custom order like it!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Heywood-Wakefield Coffee Table

This spring, I had the privilege of picking over my first ever estate sale with my very best pickin' buddy Chelsea.  And boy did we strike gold!  Just check out some of the smaller goodies that Chelsea scooped up:

Thanks to Chelsea's research, we stumbled into an eclectic gold-mine-of-a-house that was brimming with unusual finds.  One of which was an original Heywood-Wakefield coffee table with a missing leg.  But pieces with missing legs don't stop us - especially if it comes with a missing-leg price.

Known for their curved lines and lighter finishes, Heywood-Wakefield pieces are American made and date back to 1897.  Based on some of the clues outlined on their website (yes they are still making furniture) our gimpy little find was more likely circa the mid-century.  Without the fourth leg, I knew I couldn't restore it to it's original glory.  But as Chelsea pointed out - it still had 3 perfectly good legs.  They just need to be repositioned for some stability.

By centering the remaining good leg on the left side, the table could get back on it's feet again!

In my opinion, it looks like it could have always been a tri-base!  

I ended up leaving the patina as-is instead of restoring it to the typical Heywood-Wakefield satin finish.  I couldn't help it - I just love the story it tells!  The rustic wood plus the curved lip on the table reminds me of an antique dough bowl.

For funsies, I styled the wall around the table with some digitally-altered blank canvases. (Could you tell? As much as I'd like to, no I don't own an original Matisse sketch.)  That blue-green balcony view print was also an estate sale steal.

If you're in the DC Metro area and want to bring home this vintage score - email me at

Tri-Base Heywood-Wakefield Coffee Table
Now Available for Sale