Quirky MCM Nightstand

One of the perks of being the furniture flipper in my friend group is sometimes they give me er... presents...  In the form of discarded furniture.  

This asymmetrical wonder came to me when a friend got a fish tank off craigslist that came with a quirky base.  They kept the tank and were about to kick it to the curb when they probably thought, "Waste not: Cate not" and passed it off to me for some hail Mary refurbishing.  

But the good news is, being quirky has its perks.  In fact, mid-century modern furniture is iconic-ly quirky.  Besides making the piece stand out in a space, there's something... endearing about their asymmetrical lines: 

Source:  1st Dibs

Source: 1st Dibs

Upon closer inspection, this little odd-ball was certainly a little worse for wear: deep scratches in the finish, funky Christmas tree pulls, yellowing paint...  It would be undoubtedly be easier to paint the whole thing but that burled wood grain!  So in the end I put in the extra elbow grease and restored him with some repurposed leather pulls.

Yes those stylized tree pulls had to go.  They were easy to unscrew but the awkwardly-placed holes made finding new pulls to fit difficult.  And the textured drawer fronts made filling them in to drill holes for new pulls just as challenging.  So here's where I had to get creative with a touch resourceful: I had an old camel leather string belt lying around and cut three lengths that were long enough to fit the off-center holes with a some extra slack for easy grabbing.  

I punched holes in the belt for the cabinet screws, threaded them through with a washer for extra reinforcement, and secured them on the inside with a nut.

To add to the quirk of this piece, there is a slot cut into the left side of the nightstand.  At first I couldn't make sense of it.  I mean, was the nightstand designer so lazy that he didn't want to have to open the top drawer to put some papers away?  But then I realized, this designer wasn't lazy - (s)he's tech savvy!  This slot turns the top drawer into a charging hub for your personal electronics so instead of having a rats nest of cords cluttering up your bedside surface real estate (like I do), you can stow them away discretely!

Keeping the piece two-toned lets the texture of the drawer fronts play off of the banding in the warm wood grain.

Keeping the burled wood grain did mean I couldn't mask some of the discoloration along the edges.

I'm not sure what caused the "worn" edges but they are completely flush so the surface is still baby-butt smooth.  Plus, I think the markings lend themselves well to the vintage character of the piece.  

As a beloved teacher once told me, you have to earn your wrinkles.  I think the same goes for vintage pieces: they don't get to be this old without collecting some storied markings along the way ;)  

Two-Toned Mid-Century Modern Nightstand
21.5"W x 14"D x 24.5"H

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

Flip-Off: Cate's MCM Restoration

I'm driving down a country road and I'm hopelessly lost.  Typical.  But after reviewing google maps at quaint old-fashioned gas station, I'm on my way again practically chomping at the bit to see this craigslist find in person.  My GPS tells me to turn down a street that's not even paved - just gravel.  This is the moment where the banjo's from Deliverance start playing in my head.  Could some savvy psycho be luring me to my death with mid-century-modern furniture?  I'd have to hand it to them if so - MCM at a steal is the perfect bait.  I should really fear for my life more... but pieces are solid walnut...   By now I'm turning off the gravel road onto a gravel driveway.  It swoops around a shed and up a hill only to dead-end at the most adorable cottage with a charming garden.  I am greeted by kind smiles from the homeowners who have lined the chest quadruplets on their garden wall just for me - it feels like a homecoming parade.  


Clearly I didn't need to have my husband on speed-dial in my pocket for this craigslist interaction.  Turns out Donna and her husband couldn't have been more welcoming or accommodating.  We start talking while they helped me load up all four beauties and it became obvious that we were kindred spirits.  Not only do they have a Younglife background like Caleb's family but they have a daughter who's a fellow home decor enthusiast and is also married to a Special Ed teacher/ coach.  Uncanny.  


I'm convinced that stumbling across this ad was a divine arrangement.  And as Chelsea explained in yesterday's post, we had big joint plans for these babies.  So what do you get when two sisters-in-law take identical pairs of furniture pieces to flip in total secrecy from each other?


[Or just two creative sets of furniture relatives]

So let's take a closer look at my restorative approach to the flip-off:

Driving over to pick them up, I had every drastic transformation idea rolling through my head.  But once I saw them in person at Donna's house, I fell in love.  I just wanted them to see them returned to their former glory.

For starters, they need gold double-breasted-button-like hardware.  It just so happened that I had some I could harvest from the "white monster" and all I had to do was deepen the original yellowy/brassy finish with our favorite faux gold technique.  I also debated doing an angled tapered leg like Chelsea did but had four straight mounting brackets already lying around.  So convenience won out all around.

And of course I couldn't wait to grab Chelsea's Axel Co. reclaimed wood hexagon shelf to style with.  

Other than the hardware and legs, all I really needed to do was restore the glassy finish [I applied a coat of minwax polyshades in pecan with a foam brush].  Ugh look at that juicy wood grain shine!!

As we are in the throws of moving, and I'm scrambling to furbish our new 800 sq.ft. apartment with functional pieces, these dapper gentlemen are now flanking our bed for some much needed extra storage.  I'm still unpacking so more photos will be coming soon once the sea of cardboard subsides.  

And don't forget to stop by tomorrow to get more deets from Chelsea on her show-stopping two-tone flip!


Alternative Bedside Ideas

Hi All! Last week our sweet friend, Iris, (Around the Watts House), alerted Cate and me of a fun opportunity to submit some refinished work to HGTV and we couldn't wait to spread the word to you! (Thanks for lookin' out, Iris!!!) The call is for all madeover bedside tables and nightstands - they're asking peeps on Twitter and Instagram to tag their new and improved bedside pieces with #HGTVmakeover for a chance to be shared in one of HGTV's upcoming blog posts! How fun! You have until this Friday, 2/20 to tag your work if you've got something to share!




I think our girl, Cate, has a pretty good chance with these beauties, yes?!

Interesting fact: My home has not a single bedside table! I actually never thought about it until Iris shared this HGTV contest for bedside tables with us! Here's why we've skipped traditional nighstands: The boys need about as little furniture as possible in their room. We've got their beds, a bookshelf and that's it. The rest of the space is spared for wrestling. And by keeping their decor simple, I'm pretty confident we've spared ourselves some emergency room visits. :)

Our girl Shire's bed is snug inside a little nook in her room. It's a cozy spot that fits her twin bed, but with only a few inches on either side there's simply no room for a table. So we placed a shelf above her bed! This acts as both surface space for her water bottle at night, a spot for her beloved knick-knacks, (she's a true bowerbird), and topped with a piece of art, it's also her 'headboard'.


And then there's our master bedroom. A couple weeks ago I shared our bedroom after stenciling the accent wall behind the bed, but I didn't talk about any other details in our room. If you caught that stenciled wall post, you might recall me saying the bed is an antique family heirloom which has been passed through my family over several generations. With my bohemian driven style, I just couldn't see anything holding it's own right next to that headboard. So, I decided to do something minimalistic and just float a pair of shelves! 

We used basic white laminate board shelves from Lowes, but topped them with a piece of stained particle board cut to the exact same size for a customized two-tone look, (which we echoed on our floating wall shelves as well).

These shelves meet our surface needs and we never feel like we need more storage. I love how using something simple at either side lets the bed shine!


I'm not sure if our bedside solutions meets the criteria for the #HGTVmakeover contest, but I thought them worthy of sharing for anyone else who might be stumped on bedside surface space! 

Thank you all for stopping by!

Don't forget to tag your refinished bedside tables and nightstands with #HGTVmakeover on Twitter and Instagram! We'd love to hear if any of our friends get featured, so keep us posted!