Man Cave || 2019 Flip List Item No.1

So last Spring, my husband and I were on the hunt for our next lease with a very specific list of must-haves in mind:

  • End unit townhouse (less walls to share with noisy neighbors)

  • Green space (for Thor and also so Caleb could exercise his supreme lawn skills)

  • At least 3 bedrooms (little did we know one of them would become a nursery)

  • A garage (a girl’s gotta have her in-home workshop, you feel me?)

  • And a MAN CAVE (Caleb’s non-negotiable)

By some miracle, we managed to find something that checked everything off our list - complete with a dungeon-like ground-level media room worthy of Caleb’s video-game playing and sports-game watching needs. The only thing was it was a already painted a very distinctive shade of blue:

“Thalos Blue” to be exact

 
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It’s not that the blue was all that bad. In fact our landlord would have let us paint it if we really wanted, but after giving a fresh coat of paint to the other 80% of the house, we kind of ran out of steam. We decided that the color was workable even though I would have chosen a more masculine navy than a cornflower blue for a media room.

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Caleb immediately took up residence down here and I set to work on the rest of the house (you can see our progress here and here). In exchange for giving me practically 100% design control of the upper 2 floors of the townhouse, Caleb asked that I limit my… interference… in his sacred basement space. I admit, this was very hard for me to do and I definitely snuck a few decorative items in there every once in a while. He did allow my expertise however to source a comfy sectional. I scoured Craigslist until I found an affordable leather one that was perfect for lengthy lounging and felt manly but still stylish enough for me to tolerate (I mean I have to watch movies down here too ya know ;).

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But after a couple months, Caleb came to me with a surprising request to… interfere… with this space after all. See Caleb and I have often disagreed on form vs function when it comes to a space - meaning I like things “pretty” and he likes things “comfortable.” We’ve found little ways to compromise throughout the house but he was very resistant to my initial input on his man space. Me thinks he just wanted a place to set up shop without making any concessions for once. Hence my surprise when he actually approached me about making it feel a little more homey and how this item ended up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.

Challenge Accepted

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The plan was to use the blue to our advantage and make it as a backdrop for some rich colorful accents coupled with some touches brass to mature the space a bit.

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The sectional was working out well, but I switched out the boxy man legs for some sexier gams to give the couch a more high-end look.

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Legs Before

Low profile + a little frumpy

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Legs After

Glam gams = soooo classy

Next we had to figure out what curtains to hang in a true blue room? I tried white for a bit but the contrast was too stark.  I could do red but I didn’t want to take away from all the pops of red I was adding elsewhere.  Eventually I landed on a blue to match the walls.  In a velvet no less to add texture and black-out any light on movie nights.

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Finding the right TV stand was another fun project.  First we had to source one large enough for our monster TV (almost kept this guy for that very reason).  But we found a deal on this MCM credenza with minimal wear and tear.  I waterfalled the outer edges in a persimmon paint color for another fun by subtle pop.

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My alternative coffee tables did get a little push-back from Caleb the Client. Instead of doing one large table, I found two brass martini side tables a varied heights. It’s not his favorite design concept (a coffee table should be more of a foot rest according to Caleb), but it allows us a classy take on TV trays when we are eating down there (which is basically on every movie night). 

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Behind the couch is a small-space bar area when we want to get our Mad Men on.

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Extra lighting sits on a narrow storage piece that flanks the back of the couch. We keep our small LP collection and record player on the shelves underneath.

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A few of our records hang on the wall to make a “man art” moment. They can easily be switched out for a sports poster or two if the mood strikes.

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Now this space has the family’s full stamp of approval - Thor included. 

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And I’m crossing this project off this year’s list!

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Two down, three to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.

Little Brother Bookcase

Earlier this year, I scored two vintage West Michigan Furniture Co. bookcases off craigslist.

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I shared what became of the bigger one in my last post but what became of his little legless brother?

Meet Little Brother:

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He may be more petite than his big bro, but he is certainly just as stately.

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I wanted the option for these bookcases to get adopted together so I used the same color to do a similar finish with some small changes - can you spot them?

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This time, I painted only the sides and top and left the front trim in the original wood finish. This waterfall paint treatment has honestly become one of my favorite refinishing techniques. It allows me to maintain what I can of the original wood finish while still providing a pop of contrast in an unexpected way.

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Little bro also go a new pair of legs.

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They are a matte black powder-coated steel that matches the matte black paint finish.

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Like his brother, he still has his original glass sliding doors to prevent the accumulation of dust on your collectables (provided you dust the inside before you put anything in there… unlike me).

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For styling, I really had fun with this one. I liked the idea of incorporating some moody mother nature - considering she’s been quite moody here in VA lately.

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And what’s more moody than a dramatic oversized tree branch?

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Or some scraggly scavenged moss?

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To class it up, I added a few porcelain mushroom figurines (thank you Target for yet another random purchase I don’t really need be somehow really want).

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On our staging hunt, Thor even found some tennis balls that have grown a more mature shade of green moss. Leave it to the dog to sniff out old tennis balls like a truffle pig.

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And yes, Thor tried to play with each piece of our haul on the walk home from the walk in the woods. Let’s hope baby girl Henderson will have a better appreciation for décor than my men do.

Hit me up if you’re in the market for this little guy (and/or his big bro)!

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Little Brother Bookcase
Now Available for Sale
36”W x 12”D x 30”H
$395

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

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Back to Black || 2019 Flip List Item No.4

Black. And wood. These have been banner forces in some of our projects for a while now and the reason I wanted to turn up the contrast on my two-toned flips.  That dark mysterious black against a warm and welcoming wood. Yes please and I’ll have another.

Then last week, I came across this listing on Craigslist for two original mid century bookcases made by the West Michigan Furniture Co. They were a great price which made for the perfect opportunity to scratch this jet black itch I’ve been having…

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If you’ve been following the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List then you’ll know where I’m going with this.. item No.4 is in my sights:

 
 
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Now just let me dangle the carrot here for a minute - look at that contrast!

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Instead of keeping the cases stacked as a single unit, I decided to make them two separate units. The top surface on the lower, larger cabinet was damaged so it was already asking for a fresh coat of paint.  Painting the casing in a new-found favorite Limousine Leather by Behr allowed the interior to electrify. 

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Unlike my prior flirts with dark tones, this black is much more severe.  It’s still my trademark dark and moody and it’s so very stately - especially contrasted against that wooden interior.

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This West Michigan Furniture Co. piece still has its original glass sliding doors to protect your treasures from collecting dust.

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Truth time - I hate photographing pieces with glass surfaces.  I end up obsessing about the reflections or how I apparently don’t know how to keep glass clean. Does anyone out there have any tips??? Asking for a friend…

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It also has the original brass capped peg legs which I cleaned up a little but left a lot of the natural patina. I’m so used to working with tapered or metal legs but these little gams are just so cute, I might have to replicate this look again.

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For styling, I leaned into the monochromatic look with terra-cotta, books, touches of brass, and white decorative accents. I felt like the piece called for a more “masculine” look with an emphasis on interesting shapes and varied heights.

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You’ll have to tune back in to see what will come of his little leggless brother!

 

Back to Black Bookcase
Now available for sale
48”W x 12”D x 31”H
$425

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

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One down, four to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.