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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Reader Design: Bonney's Collected Farmhouse

I had never been to Oregon (or the PNW for that matter) before we moved out to this region last summer, but let me tell you: there is a reason why Portland is so trendy these days. Although it's changing and growing a ton, along with the rest of the Upper Left, there's still a lot of the city's original character to see.

Bonney's 1904 Portland home is one of those character spots that is standing the test of time. From Bonney:

My whole house is pretty classic Pacific Northwest. It’s vintage, eclectic, and improvised. It’s a really genuine representation of my personality. Everything in here has a story. My mom has had a huge influence on my style. She and I spent a lot of weekends during my childhood rummaging through yard sales and thrift shops. I really love to surround myself with things that have a past, even if I don’t know what that past is.
 
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There is a tribute in every corner of this home, perhaps to someone Bonney knows intimately or an unknown person whose beloved belongings ended up in a thrift store and are now cherished here. In the same way, Bonney is also paying tribute to the homeowners before her by living in and loving this space today.

My house was built in 1904, and as soon as I walked in, all the details and charm immediately caught my eye, especially the corner hutch and the curved staircase! I love feeling like I’m a part of the home’s history, as well as the home being a part of mine. My mother was a real estate agent before becoming a history teacher, and she instilled in me a deep love of old homes.
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I want my home to feel warm and nostalgic. The matriarchs of my family have passed down a few of my favorite pieces. My dining room table originally belonged to my great-grandmother; my grandmother sewed the quilt on the back of my couch, and there are countless things scattered around that were given to me by my mother. It’s really humbling being around so many things that meant something to the women that came before me.
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So much of my house has been found or thrifted, but I’ll scrimp and save for a beautiful rug. They feel like such a luxury, and are an easy way to completely change a room. Good rugs are never a mistake.

You know what's also never a mistake? Using said vintage rug as a headboard - pure brilliance, Bonney!

 
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And even though they may occasionally suffer from short life spans, Bonney also will never turn down a good plant.

I’ve got a lot of plants, and I try my hardest with them, but I’m only human. I always hear of these real grown ups that have watering schedules- I water when I feel like it, and only the strong survive. Every time I get a new plant, I whisper to it “you won’t end up like the others, I promise.”
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This home is nothing if not warm, welcoming, and nostalgic. Bonney, thank you so much for welcoming us in!

Follow Bonney along on Instagram @prettygoodpdx for more nostalgia and design.

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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!