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.

Easy + Inexpensive Home Upgrades

Hi Friends! I don't know about you, but I tend to start piddling around our house looking for SOMETHING to do by mid- January. When the excitement of the holidays is behind us and life moves back into regularity, I start getting a little itch to do something creative. And when my furniture pieces are so cold that a single brush of paint frosts over before my eyes, I'm limited to the indoors.

If you're looking to do a few creative home improvements over the long winter months, we're here to help you get inspired! The following ideas are simply meant to be jumping-off points to get your wheels spinning. 

Let's have some fun!

1. Wall Decals - Here's a trend that I am revving to jump on! Wall decals are such a whimsical way to complete a room, and the best part is, there are so many beautiful choices! You can create an entire statement wall with decals, or a specific focal point. These choices are a great mix of fun and sophisticated:

Sources from Left to Right: Raindrop Flower, Seagull Wall, Triangle Wall

2. Hardware - One of my personal favorite ways to switch things up is a simple hardware upgrade! The options are endless so your bound to find a style that's right for you, (and your piece of furniture)! Here are three favorites floating around right this minute:


Sources, Left to Right: Gold Tone Mushroom Knob, Netherbury Knob, Antique Tear Drop Knob, Rustic Cabinet Pull


If you have a retired belt, (or you can find one for a few bucks at a thrift store), then you can cut it up and make leather pulls! On the piece blow, I made tab pulls by folding 6" pieces in half and sticking my screw through the top, as well as full length handles by sticking a screw through each end, with the middle bowing out a bit.


3. Sofa Cushions - By far the most popularly switched out item in the home, sofa cushions are a zero effort option that offers dramatic results. Fabrics and patterns can be mixed and matched any which way you please, so if you can make the tough decisions, it's a great way to give a room a noticeable face-lift! It was hard to narrow my favorites down, but the companies below are my personal, tried and true favorites for price, style and quality.


Sources from Left to Right: Stocholm Pillow, Striped Aztec Pillow, Velvet/Linen Pillow 


Using leather cord and a white cover, stitch just the ends of the cord placed in a criss-cross pattern.

4. Gallery Walls - This completely DIY option can be as clean and simple or as random and haphazard as you'd like! There are really no rules when it comes to gallery walls, but it's highly recommended to lay your pieces out on the floor first so you can play around with placement and design. Use personal photos, pages from books you own, or downloadable prints you find online! Here are a few gallery walls we've designed here at StyleMutt:

Sources, (complete with how-to tutorials), from Left to Right: Botanical Prints, Downloaded Prints, Sentimental Wall in White

There you have it! A few good indoor-weather projects to get you through the Winter! Is there anything you hope to work on this Winter or any other ideas you can add? We'd love to hear what you're up to!

Thank you all for stopping by!