Modern or Coastal ||Flip List Item No.2||

So I'm trolling craigslist [like I've been known to do] and I found a modern dresser in need of some TLC.  Now normally, I would pass right by a laminate dresser but this piece was... special.

It's hard to tell in this pic, but this "white monster" as I've affectionately nicknamed it, had a weird cream/white two tone thing going on.  But it was still a modern dresser with glossy-fronted drawers that slide like butter.  It the perfect candidate for Furniture Flip Bucket List item No.2: wrap a piece in a wood shim treatment.  

wood shims taper off to one end so that you can wedge them in to help level something.  I could have used flat wood and gotten more of a butcher-block look, but I wanted to use shims to recreate this uneven affect in my inspiration photo:

So I went about covering the bright-white yucky laminate portions of the dresser with the wood shims: the top, sides, and toe-kick.  I started out with the intention of creating a polished modern look like the photo above but as I worked on it, it began to steer me in a different direction.

I liked how raw and rustic the cedar shims looked untreated (and not to mention the cedar smelled AH-MAH-ZING).  So I just went with it and ended up with a piece that's both modern and coastal:

To play off the unfinished wood's beachy vibes, I styled it with some tropical leaves [that I may or may not have harvested from a decorative potted plant in a parking lot.  I kinda felt like Chelsea did when "smuggling" home some paint sticks for this DIY project].

I then added a couple seaside touches like this piece of coral.

To play up the dresser's more modern side, I added vintage candle sticks with clean lines.  Despite the uneven surface, the shims are narrow enough that items large and small can find a flat surface to rest on anywhere across the top.

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And modern satin nickel knobs on the glossy drawer fronts make a nice modern finishing touch.

All together the piece sings a modern-coastal song:

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Modern Coastal Dresser


As for the progress on my 2015 flip bucket list, that means I've got 6 down and 1 to go before the end of the year.  Woot Woot!

Want to catch up?  Since January, I've crossed off items:
and now No.2: wood shim treatment

Here's to hoping that I can squeeze in item No.1: Build my Own Bakers Rack before 2016!

Reader Design: Amber's Peaceful Backdrop

Hi friends! As Summer and Fall seem to be in a bit of a tug-of-war here in Northern Virginia, this coastal inspired home tour seems pretty perfect for this 80 degree Friday in November! Amber, (Restless Arrow, @restlessarrow) has been a beach lover her whole life, but more recently began using it as her primary inspiration for decorating her home. After a good run with loads of color, she's found her nitch with creamy neutrals - and it suits her young family just right!

From Amber:

My first living room had one brown wall, yellow walls and black and red furniture! I used so much color and used it so wrong! Now, please know: I absolutely love color and so many of my friends do it so extraordinarily well. But me?  I’m much better with soft whites and neutrals. Our white couches stand up to the test of our wild boys, yet provide the perfect backdrop for my love of neutrals.

Fact - White slipcovered seating is incredibly easy to keep clean. Zip off, toss in wash with a bit of bleach, and it's new again. NEW I tell ya!

This mantle was dark, dark wood and one day, I finally got the nerve to paint it white and I never looked back!
I found this table at Goodwill when we began the process of renovating our foreclosure. I painted it white, of course, and then added stripes since I can never find a tablecloth long enough.

Well there's a fun trick - paint on a pattern rather than use a tablecloth!

I love this little bench in the corner because, again, it provides just a few extra seats for any surprise guests.
Our kitchen is by far the biggest transformation in our entire home. Tearing down a chimney and ripping out all of the walls allowed us to start from scratch. Laminate counter tops, stock cabinets and open shelves helped us achieve this look on a budget. A DIY hood my dad made and butcher block counter tops as our island made our kitchen complete.

Can't you just smell the salty air of the beach from looking at this space?!

As the story of our yellow house evolves, we fall more in love each day. It seemed the more I started doing what I loved and not what I thought I was “supposed to do,” I saw my style evolve. What worked for us turned out to be comfort first then style. And somehow, for us, it ties together perfectly. Not for anyone else, but for our wild family of young boys and a little girl on the way. It may not look perfect but it welcomes a basketball team on Saturday mornings and a group of girls every Tuesday morning to gather around this imperfect little ottoman and stained couch cushions. And that, we would not change for the world. The story of our house is a true story of love at first sight. A relationship that certainly took way more than it gave for the first three years of the journey, but today, it is our dream come true.

We sure love a happy ending - thank you, Amber, for sharing yours!

If you've got some time to swoon, head over to our SPACES page where we collect all our Reader Designs for your viewing pleasure - and then tag your own home so we can feature you, too! Tag #stylemuttspaces on Facebook or Instagram, or email a few photos to


Thank you so much for kicking off your weekend with us! Have a good one!

Reader Design: Summer's Coastal Inspired Bungalow

Hi Friends! You know what's one of my favorite things about this time of year? Evening walks. And my favorite part of evening walks? Snooping around pretty homes! When you see a home that looks warm and inviting from the outside, you've just gotta see the inside! I've gone so far as to walk up driveways for a better peek, but am still working up the courage to just give a swift knock and ask for a quick tour. (My husband would NEVER support this hah!)

Here is such a house I would definitely ask for a tour if I were passing it by on the street. And lucky for all of us, we're getting one today!

Summer, from Simple Stylings, has created the sweetest, coziest little home for her and her family in Charlotte, NC. With an affinity for coastal elements, there is a relaxed, 'come and stay awhile' vibe.

From Summer:

We live right outside of Charlotte, NC in a small and cozy three bedroom, two bath bungalow. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger, better space but I love our 1500 square foot home so much especially because of all the blood sweat and tears we’ve put into it. 
One of my favorite parts of our home is our outdoor spaces. Although tiny, we have a great front porch and last year my dad built us a beautiful back deck perfect for hanging out and entertaining. Aren’t Dad’s the best?!
I also have a deep love for the coast which definitely plays a roll in almost every room. You’ll find lots of seagrass, clam shell bowls and capiz shells around here with blues, greens, white and tan as the back drop. I love cozy slipcovered pieces and painted furniture with some beautiful wood thrown in the mix.
 I love that my home is part of my job and deep down I think I enjoy the chaos of having three or four projects going on all at the same time. I grew up nearby and my parents have bought and sold many homes which has fueled my love for decorating and design.

Can you believe this is Summer's closet? Lovin' that large scale pattern on the wall. Gooorgeous!

Currently we have a top secret kitchen project in the works as well as some living room updates! My son’s playroom has also fallen victim to my need for change and will be revealed soon. I would love for your guys to come by for a virtual visit (and literally too if your in the Charlotte area!). Thanks again for having me!

Well, Summer, the pleasure has certainly been ours! We will definitely be stalking your blog for that kitchen reveal! If you'd like to follow Summer's daily decorating adventures, you can check her out on Instagram @simplestylingsblog.

Thank YOU all for stopping by and inviting StyleMutt Home in to your day!

 *Don't forget, these Reader Designs are an ongoing open invitation to share your personal touch on your home! No requirements to be a professional designer or even a blogger. If you've created a home which reflects you and you're willing to let us share it, that's what we're all about! You can post your photos directly to our Facebook wall, or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram! You can browse all our Reader Designs on our SPACES page for a taste of the range in styles, walks of life, and geographical locations that have been shared here!