Reader Design: Hannah's Stunning Home Reno

If there was a home that personified that term "a picture is worth a thousand words," it's Hannah's. This total renovation project in Dallas, Texas isn't the first one for Hannah and her husband Chayce, who recently started a renovation business called Blank Slate Renovations. They got their start early - in fact, Chayce flipped his first home when he was a senior in high school! Life took them from Texas to England and back again, and in the process of moving around, they had a sort of awakening:

More and more, we’re becoming convinced that we were all made with special talents and unique gifts. True joy and lasting fulfillment aren’t far behind when you couple these with your profession—I think some of the best products come from these individuals. It’s almost like you become the truest and most natural version of yourself, and the products you create are just an extensions of who you are. Our goal for Blank Slate Reno is that we wouldn’t even be able to call it work, but that it would be more like play.

The home was completely opened up and updated with mid-century and Scandinavian elements, plenty of interesting architectural elements, and some bright colors to keep things interesting. 

For this particular project, my favorite piece in the entire house was an original midcentury fireplace (that we bought from our friend Craig off his List…;) that we placed in the living room and paired with a fun pink cement tile. We also experimented with a few new elements such as wallpapering, and wall panelling that turned out fab!

The experimentation has certainly paid off, even if it took some time.

Five years ago, I didn’t really have a specific aesthetic style, and when we first got married...I’m too embarrassed to even talk about it. Over the past four years of being more thoughtful and intentional about my look, the more my style has developed and evolved into what it is today. At the moment, Scandinavian minimalism particularly intrigues me. I love how blending neutral palettes, organic materials, natural lighting and live plants blurs the lines between the outdoors and indoors.

But even as styles and tastes change, the goal remains the same, whether you're designing for yourself or for a client:

My goal for most spaces is to create something simple and beautiful, while at the same time maintaining functionality and relaxation. Natural lighting, green plants and cozy nooks are key!

Hannah, we can't wait to see where you take Blank Slate Renos next; and thank you for letting us in to your home! 

Follow Hannah along on Instagram at @blankslatereno.

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Reader Design: Monika's Hygge Home

We're off to the birthplace of StyleMutt Home - also our nation's capital - to tour Monika's home for today's feature. This simple but cozy family home evokes all the feelings associated with the Danish concept of hygge that we've come to know and love. I myself am a major fan of Denmark (fun fact: I've visited three times and have plans to return as often as possible), and Monika's space would fit perfectly with the chic apartments of Copenhagen.

Let's take a look!


From Monika:

We strongly believe in atmosphere at home when everyone should feel comfortable and cozy. Light is one of the factors that make the room calm and peaceful, and it is so important to me to create relaxing and loving mood. I am inspired by “hygge” which is how I used to live when I was growing up. To me, that means a house full of laughter, homemade cake, and coziness.
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In design, I follow my inner creativity and decorate with whatever works for my family rather than follow one style. I am drawn to clean lines and all mid-century pieces that remind me about my parents house. We used inherited elements and priceless-to-us family heirlooms that are from all over the world and represent a few different styles.
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The combination of family pieces, vintage finds, and mid-century West Elm items creates a home that promotes togetherness and relaxation. Each room has something that makes it special and different, but the entire home speaks the same language. 

Monika, thank you so much for showing us around! Follow Monika along on Instagram @zigzagstudio for more.

See you in a few weeks, Mutts! 

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How to Repair A [Seemingly] Hopeless Dresser

As I mentioned on Monday, I finally found the perfect dresser for the next item on my 2017 Furniture Flip Bucket List.  


There's just a few little problems...

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And one big one.

See what I mean? Gasp!  There's a huge chunk missing from the decorative trim molding.  

Up until this point in my furniture refinishing career, I have only re-attached existing splintered pieces.  I've never conjured missing pieces of a dresser before.  I mean do I whittle it?  Cut the whole section of molding out and replace it with as close a match as I can find?  No my friends.  I am here to tell you today - there is another way.  And all you need is a few items from the hardware store:

A can of minwax wood filler with hardening agent
A wood shaver
A plastic putty knife
Scrap wood
Some sandpaper

After watching a couple helpful videos, I learned that step one is to attach a piece of scrap wood underneath the damaged area with a few screws.

Following the instructions on the Minwax can, I mixed the wood putty with the hardener and applied it quickly to the effected area.

And I applied some to the chips in the veneer on the drawers while I was at it.

After letting it set, I gingerly detached the scrap wood - first by unscrewing it from the dresser, then by cutting away the excess hardened wood filler.

Now comes the fun part - sanding the hardened wood to match the contours on the molding as close as possible.

To get those clean lines, I used a wood shaver on the bottom until the wood filler felt flush with the underside of the drawer frame.

And also on the front edge since sanding would have rounded the edges too much.

After that, it was a matter of sanding the entire body of the piece to prep for paint.

And sanding the drawers to smooth out the repaired areas of the veneer too.

Now it's time to paint.  

Can you spot the repair?

How about now?

Once painted, the damaged areas are virtually undetectable!

I am so pleased to find that such a seemingly "big" problem can be fixed by such a small can of wood filler!

I hope this little tutorial saves a dresser or two from the dump.  And if you end up giving this repair method a try, feel free to share your experience with us!

P.S. Read more about this dresser's transformation on Apartment Therapy!