Wink of Wood

 
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This pair. This pair of 3 drawer chests. This pair of 3 drawer chests with their clean lines and their gold buckle hardware. I wanted them so bad that I drove two towns over to pick them up. Twice.  No - not because they didn’t fit in my car but because for the first time in my furniture flipping career, I had to call an audible on account of the screaming baby in the car.

When I set up the meet, I figured all I really had to do was get baby H and me dressed enough to be considered decent, drive out there to pick them up, throw them in the car, then head home. Easy, peasy lemon squeezy.

That was my first mistake.

Baby fell asleep on the way. The seller was running late - no big! We can just wait in the car.

Strike two.

I had scheduled this pick up during what I learned later that many moms call “the witching hour” - that hellish time of day where baby can seem inconsolable…

YOU STRAIGHT FOOL YOU.

Never. Stop. Driving. If baby is asleep in the car, you keep that magical motion going or you’ll have hell to pay. Unbeknownst to me, the delicate window to get these pieces and be on our way without a nuclear meltdown BEGAN TO CLOSE as soon as we pulled up to the rendezvous. After 10 minutes of waiting, baby H went all Chernobyl and we had to evacuate STAT.

Driving home, my hormones triggered a meltdown of my own. I had been so hell-bent on maintaining my need to create that I hadn’t stopped to consider her needs. What if we drive all the way out there and we can’t get the pieces to fit around her car seat? Where will baby wait if I have to finagle them down some stairs?? What if something breaks in transit and there is super sharp debris rattling around her in the car??? These questions were raising an unforeseen growing pain of new motherhood (emphasis on the pain): how to rewire a ME to better think about SHE.

As she was wailing for relief from the car seat, I realized I had popped her in the car like an accessory. Something I could just bring along with me on a craigslist pick up like a tape measure or moving blanket. Yeah… NO. Babies are not tape measures people. And they will (un)happily let you know that.

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It was a valuable lesson about new motherhood and I have a hunch that I’m not done learning it. And perhaps never will be. Yes these dressers were a great buy for the business but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I pulled a new-mom mulligan and reached out to the seller to explain our no-show. She was gracious enough to reschedule with me the following day so I had a second chance to make juggling baby and a small business work. So we set out again - this time I made sure that baby had a full belly and a clean diaper first, and that the pieces were grab-and-go ready, and that they would fit safely around my most precious cargo (the baby… not the dressers). Fortunately for us this time, it worked out in the end but I’m acutely aware that that might not always be the case. And that’s ok. The beauty of owning your own business is that you should make it work for your family. Not make your family work for it.

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With the challenges of my first postpartum pickup behind me, I worked on the dressers when it wouldn’t interfere. Stringing together bursts of productivity during naptime or when Dad was home - and even sometimes with baby snuggled up and strapped to my chest.

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A series of nicks and dings meant I had to paint the majority of the pieces after all the repairs. I chose a favorite sIlky black paint finish for the body but still wanted some way to keep at least a touch of wood.

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The only place I could salvage ended up being a unique opportunity for a wink of wood. I knixed the original concave metal backplate in favor of staining the recessed cavity behind the gold buckle pulls.

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It’s just a peek but I hope someone will appreciate the subtle detail.

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I added dark walnut legs with brass sabots (that’s fancy furniture talk for brass shoes) to play up this little detail.

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With such richly dark pieces, I decided to keep the styling simple with a couple white accessories and a pair of arched floor-length mirrors.

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These babies are ready for a new home and I’m ready for a new project - provided I’ve figured out how to be a mom and a maker… *wink*

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Black 3-Drawer Dresser Set
Now Available for Sale
32”W x 18”D x 30”H
$795 for the pair

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.