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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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.