Wink of Wood

 
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This pair. This pair of 3 drawer chests. This pair of 3 drawer chests with their clean lines and their gold buckle hardware. I wanted them so bad that I drove two towns over to pick them up. Twice.  No - not because they didn’t fit in my car but because for the first time in my furniture flipping career, I had to call an audible on account of the screaming baby in the car.

When I set up the meet, I figured all I really had to do was get baby H and me dressed enough to be considered decent, drive out there to pick them up, throw them in the car, then head home. Easy, peasy lemon squeezy.

That was my first mistake.

Baby fell asleep on the way. The seller was running late - no big! We can just wait in the car.

Strike two.

I had scheduled this pick up during what I learned later that many moms call “the witching hour” - that hellish time of day where baby can seem inconsolable…

YOU STRAIGHT FOOL YOU.

Never. Stop. Driving. If baby is asleep in the car, you keep that magical motion going or you’ll have hell to pay. Unbeknownst to me, the delicate window to get these pieces and be on our way without a nuclear meltdown BEGAN TO CLOSE as soon as we pulled up to the rendezvous. After 10 minutes of waiting, baby H went all Chernobyl and we had to evacuate STAT.

Driving home, my hormones triggered a meltdown of my own. I had been so hell-bent on maintaining my need to create that I hadn’t stopped to consider her needs. What if we drive all the way out there and we can’t get the pieces to fit around her car seat? Where will baby wait if I have to finagle them down some stairs?? What if something breaks in transit and there is super sharp debris rattling around her in the car??? These questions were raising an unforeseen growing pain of new motherhood (emphasis on the pain): how to rewire a ME to better think about SHE.

As she was wailing for relief from the car seat, I realized I had popped her in the car like an accessory. Something I could just bring along with me on a craigslist pick up like a tape measure or moving blanket. Yeah… NO. Babies are not tape measures people. And they will (un)happily let you know that.

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It was a valuable lesson about new motherhood and I have a hunch that I’m not done learning it. And perhaps never will be. Yes these dressers were a great buy for the business but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I pulled a new-mom mulligan and reached out to the seller to explain our no-show. She was gracious enough to reschedule with me the following day so I had a second chance to make juggling baby and a small business work. So we set out again - this time I made sure that baby had a full belly and a clean diaper first, and that the pieces were grab-and-go ready, and that they would fit safely around my most precious cargo (the baby… not the dressers). Fortunately for us this time, it worked out in the end but I’m acutely aware that that might not always be the case. And that’s ok. The beauty of owning your own business is that you should make it work for your family. Not make your family work for it.

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With the challenges of my first postpartum pickup behind me, I worked on the dressers when it wouldn’t interfere. Stringing together bursts of productivity during naptime or when Dad was home - and even sometimes with baby snuggled up and strapped to my chest.

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A series of nicks and dings meant I had to paint the majority of the pieces after all the repairs. I chose a favorite sIlky black paint finish for the body but still wanted some way to keep at least a touch of wood.

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The only place I could salvage ended up being a unique opportunity for a wink of wood. I knixed the original concave metal backplate in favor of staining the recessed cavity behind the gold buckle pulls.

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It’s just a peek but I hope someone will appreciate the subtle detail.

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I added dark walnut legs with brass sabots (that’s fancy furniture talk for brass shoes) to play up this little detail.

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With such richly dark pieces, I decided to keep the styling simple with a couple white accessories and a pair of arched floor-length mirrors.

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These babies are ready for a new home and I’m ready for a new project - provided I’ve figured out how to be a mom and a maker… *wink*

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Black 3-Drawer Dresser Set
Now Available for Sale
32”W x 18”D x 30”H
$795 for the pair

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

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A Wink of Leather || First Flip of 2019

Welcome back StyleMutts! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family, friends, and food-but-not-too-much-so-you-feel-bloated food.

I myself tackled several projects around the house between Christmas and New Years (as I often like to do) and realized something...  It’s not so much the time off I enjoy most this time of year, but the moments leading up to a new year where all the challenges from the past year become eclipsed by the possibilities of the next.  What projects will I tackle? What ways will I surprise myself? What trouble will I get myself in to and then have to figure my way out of?

I like this mixture of hope and possibility.  And I’m not-so-much hoping I’ll become someone new or a better version of myself in 2019, I just want to keep being me. Doing what I love. With the people I love. And I recognize that I’m blessed already for having been doing just that all through 2018.

And I love what I do with you - sharing finished pieces or new ideas and pushing myself to try something I’ve never done before.  Friends, I managed to squeeze in one last project in 2018 to be the first project to share in the new year!

Meet Blondie:

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She’s not much too look at - just a neon shade of yellow wood finish but she had great lines so I brought her home to the workshop.  One of the things that stood out to me most was that she had such tall legs - and I got to thinking... I could really have some fun with that.

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First order of business: paint.  The original buttered wood wasn’t doing her any favors so I went with a good neutral: Silver Drop by Behr.

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The color is a soft blend of white and a delicate light gray.  It’s not too harsh but still very warm and fresh.

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To play up the height of the legs, I decided to add some interest with a “wink of leather” as Chelsea would say.

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I added crossing leather straps in an X shape that are secured to each leg.  They are completely removable if you need the under dresser storage but add such a fun surprise detail to an otherwise “Plain Jane.”

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Let’s take a closer look shall we? 

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Originally I tried riveting the leather together  but couldn’t get the straps to bind so I ended up using brass screws with a nut on the back to hold them taut and in place. 

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I also replaced the original ring pulls with bright brass whistle knobs.

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I love using these knobs in projects to give a easy modern upgrade (like here and here).

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If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece, this White + Leather moment is available for sale!  Email my contact info below for purchasing or third-party shipping options.

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White + Leather Dresser
Now Available for Sale
63”L x 18”D x 34”H
$695

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

Neon || 2018 Flip List Item No.7

Guys!  I made a thing.  Well technically I made two.  Besides a new dresser, I've got another 2018 Flip List item to reveal:

 
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Item No.7: Experiment with Neon

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You were expecting me to do a neon paint treatment werentcha?  Well I'm not ruling that out just yet, but when I set this goal in mind I actually really wanted to DIY a neon sign.

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I started researching my options and I found out there are actual kits for the stuff!  I decided to order this super affordable one from Urban Outfitters.

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The kit instruction were very easy to follow and basically just involved lashing the neon rope to wire which I twisted into the word "Mutt" for obvious reasons.  It does have a very subtle hum when it's turned on (like the kind you can only hear if you're under 30 years) so it's a good thing I'm creeping up on the big 3-0.  HA!

Switch gears with me really quick and let's talk about the other new kid in the room: this white and walnut dresser.

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The drawer fronts were in great shape so I really did debate highlighting the wood grain, but I was seeing a very specific vision for it in my mind so everything but the legs got painted a glassy white.

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The original dresser did have some damage to fix - the big undertaking being the mystery gnaw marks in the left front leg.  Normally, I would putty that in and slap on some paint but I really reeeeeeeeally wanted to keep the base wood so I had to hand paint the filler with some acrylic paint to match the rest of the wood grain in the leg.

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Can you tell?

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I love the contrast of the dark legs against the white enameled body - a luxury finish!

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You might actually recognize the unusual pulls on this piece from another StyleMutt refinishing project.  That's because this long-and-low is actually from the same line as that tallboy I did last spring.  Just like I did with that piece, I kept the original brass pulls as is 'cuz I mean, they are just. that. yummy.

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As for the styling, I wanted to punctuate the bright neon sign with some bright-colored art like that enchanting Laura Gunn gallery-wrapped canvas print (cue all the heart eyes!).  Accenting with my usual quirky décor also seemed like a natural fit.

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And if you're looking for a beautiful dresser to anchor your space, drop me a line (aka just shoot me an email) to discuss our pick-up or shipping options. 

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White + Walnut Sideboard
Now Available for Sale
60"W x 18"D x 30.5"H
$595

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at cate@stylemutthome.com to ask about availability and our shipping policy.
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Two down, five to go.  Catch up on the 2018 Furniture Flip Bucket List: