Reader Design: Amira's Boho Home

At 550 square feet, Amira's Washington, DC space packs a serious punch with a seemingly small footprint. When you enter the door, it's not the decor that captures you, or the finishes, or furniture. 

It's a feeling

Amira set out to create an interesting space, one that accurately reflects her own global third culture kid upbringing in Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and New England and one that is warm, collected, and beautifully curated. 

From Amira:

The most inviting homes, and humans, are sanctuaries that make us feel, and inspire us to be, our best selves. I love the Danish concept of hygge because its definition embodies the positive impact that environments can have on our well-being.

Things weren't always as curated as they clearly now are. When Amira moved across the world from Abu Dhabi six years ago, she defaulted to the same thing maybe of us do: the easy thing. She loaded up with items from big box retailers and called it a day. That all changed once she bought the home she lovingly refers to as the "treehouse."

I wanted to create a space that couldn’t be defined as anything but a place people wanted to spend time. Homes are personal - and, while I’m so inspired by many interior designers and the trends they embue, I was selective and patient in the process.

Making my home a delightful experience for my guests is a priority. Taking my time has allowed me to decorate with pieces that have stories I can share with guests, either because they’re made by artists I know personally or found on a memorable trip… or that I found at a neighborhood store where I’ve built relationships with the shopkeepers. Supporting local businesses and budding artists and makers has a huge influence on what I buy.

And so the collecting began. If you mutts have the same observations as me, you'll see that two elements in particular tie Amira's home together: #1 everything comfy & cozy (blankets, poufs, and pillows) and #2 PLANTS. 

Let’s be honest. I love everything in my home, but Dolly’s the real star. She’s the graceful fiddle leaf fig tree you see in the photos. I brought her home before I had any furniture, so she’s been a faithful presence and has inspired my love of plants. I named her after my favorite florist Dolores, who found her for me.
AEGforSMHTour - 18.jpg

Other homeowner favorites: the mantle she created with found materials from a Leesburg, VA treasure trove; the round hallway mirror which she ran into traffic for at the Georgetown Flea Market; and the bright light of the dining nook.  

It is all just so exactly right. Amira, we're giving you a big StyleMutt thumbs up and totally commend you for focusing on comfort and individuality with your space. We're hooked. 

Follow Amira along in Instagram @amiraelgawly for more.

And on a personal note, thank you to the SMH community for the kind thoughts and well wishes this week for my engagement. What a wonderful group this is! 

See you next week,

A Vvvvery Interesting Piece, Indeed

Hi friends! I posted this stack of pieces the other day that we collected after a particularly lucky weekend on Craigslist a few weeks ago. I've already shared how the mid-century cabinet in the middle turned out, and how Shire flipped those accent tables on top. If you're an Instagram pal you may have seen a teaser of that bottom piece already. Well here it is, done and ready for a new home!

I really wanted this piece to be something unique when it was finished. It didn't need hardware as there is a deep lip underneath each drawer for easy opening and closing, but even before I began painting it just seemed to fall a little flat. As soon as I saw it I wanted to add some visual interest here. I sketched a few things out on paper, and while my drawings are at the artistic skill level of a 1st grader, seeing them side by side made the decision easy!

There was just something about these 'V' pulls that was so unique, but not in a 'what in the world are those' kind of way, (unless I'm missing something). So I measured out some 3/8" wood trim and cut all the pieces I'd need. Each individual pull is made up of two pieces, which you can see below. My '1' marked pieces were 4", and my '2' marked pieces were 3.6". I made 9 pairs in total, one for each drawer.

I used a very small nail to tap the pieces together as shown. It didn't really matter that they be attached well at this point, since I would ultimately attach both pieces to the drawers. At first I thought I would attach the pieces to the drawers facing down, as shown below. I didn't hate it but wanted to see both ways. I really loved the pieces opening upward; I can't explain why, but it just looked better!

V piece 2.jpg

Gentle distressing, (with my go-to tool, a medium grit sanding sponge), along all the edges and corners of the piece brings out the shape and lines without being too distracting.

Now available for sale!
66"L x 29.5"H x 18"D
Contact if interested in this piece of a custom order like it!

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

¡Olé! for Serape

So besides settling into our new apartment, I've also been settling into my new job.  My schedule has been rather unruly as of late but the new gig does have perks... like it's own private thrift store!  Yup, you heard me right - the company I work for has a monthly thrift store where the proceeds go toward a charitable fund.  And the beside the remarkable prices, the best part is that employees get first dibs!  Twas there that I scored this er... beauty...

What I liked most about it was its lines: tapered mid-century legs with brass feet and the beautifully bowed wood back.  What I did NOT like however, was the icky gray-brown stain [the picture really doesn't do it justice] and well that... interesting floral print.   

Now let me shed some insight on the inner-workings of my head when I'm hunting for a piece to flip.  First, I scan the thrift store for a piece with "potential."  Once I identify my target, I then assess my options.   Sometimes I know exactly what I would do to cute-ify it, sometimes all I have to go on is a je ne sais quoi.  Next step is to check the price - is it a steal?  If it is, I pull the trigger and buy - plan or no.  I'm sure inspiration will strike sooner or later...

And sometimes inspiration strikes sooner rather than later.  In this case, it struck while I'm walking back to my office with my haul.  Have you also noticed this recent design trend of reupholstering mid-century furniture in unexpected textiles...?

Source: Modernhaus

Source: Modernhaus

I think I love this budding trend because of [you guessed it] all of the colorsssssssssss.  

Now I begin to take stock of potential supplies and remember that I brought home a stray Mexican serape blanket a few months ago.  It's PERFECT and now I officially have a plan of action.  The end result? 


The bright pinks, greens, blues, and reds of the serape are a happy pop of color to what was once a ho-hum floral.

I spent 6-ish hours stripping stain to reveal the original warm wood underneath but it's so worth it because now the wood is a buttery soft texture instead of a shellac.   

The backrest cushion was a happy accident.  I didn't really care for the original metal bars as a decorative element.  I realized I had some spare batting from my cowhide bench so I wrapped it in extra serape fabric and hand stitched the cushion into place.

I also got that epic rattan plant stand at work for $5!

It's such a simple idea with a BOLD impact.  ¿No?  If you like statement pieces then be sure to check back in with us on Friday for our next #stylemuttspaces reader design!  Hasta la vista mis amigos ;)

Mid-Century Serape Chair
Now available for sale

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please email me at