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.

Barrister Bookcase ||a subtle makeover||

Why don't I talk about bookshelves more often?  They add height to a room and critical vertical storage.  I guess because I don't have a HUGE book collection, I don't think about just how awesome these pieces of furniture are.  Bookshelves are like the Jan of the Brady bunch and dressers the Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.  In fact, with the exception of the white triplets from my own home, this is the first time I've refinished shelves to sell!

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It's hard to tell, but this piece was originally as glossy as a 90's kitchen cabinet.  And the base painted (not stained!!) a fake brown.  Womp womp.  So first order of business was stripping off the polyurethane and the stain and sealing it with a Danish oil instead.

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Barrister bookcases (also known as lawyer's bookshelves) are handy because they have glass doors to protect from dust.  Which makes them perfect for protecting your books or other precious collections.  When staging this piece, my first thought wasn't actually to use books.  This is partly because I don't have a big juicy book collection, but mostly because of a photo my dear friend Amanda from Our Storied Home recently posted on Instagram:

Genius way to display the all-precious shoe collection no?  I mean, WOW-ZA!  (And who wants dibs on those red satin peep-toes?!?!)  But alas, I actually have less shoes than I have books - so I styled with books after all and filled in any spaces with my plant children.

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The Danish oil is a nice contrast from the original "plasticky" finish.  It gives it something a little softer and (as I like to call it) buttery.

I also completely stripped the paint finish off the base and custom-mixed a new stain to match.

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And switched out the original yellowy brass knobs to splurge for more modern pulls from anthropologie.

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What's $7 for a knob when you only need three lol?!?

This Barrister Boy is an original Hale bookcase - which means he was made in the USA and is built for versatility: the top, the three units, and the base are all stackable so you can add, subtract, and rearrange them however you please!

Each glass pane slides up and stiows away for easy access to your displayed goodies.

And in my case (pun so intended), I'm showing off Big Jade, Tuscon the Succulent Garden, Melvin the awkward leafy thing, Penelope the String of Pearls, Little Jade, and the Jades' cousin Jasper.

And for the record, all my plant kiddos are still alive and (mostly) well. 

Black Thumb out. 

3 Shelf Barrister Bookcase (Barrister Boy)
34"W X 14"D x 60"H
Price: $425 SOLD

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please contact cate@stylemutthome.com.