A New Kind of Play for an Old Toy Chest

Grandpas are special.  They let you eat sugary cereals and watch early morning cartoons when you’re parents are out of town.  They slip you gas money before you drive back to school.  They build things in their basement workshop and teach you all about their tools.  And sometimes they even give you the old family toy chest he built for your mom and her siblings and tells you to “have at it!”

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 If you’re popping by from Apartment Therapy, welcome!  We are StyleMutt Home, a sister-in-law duo  (Chelsea & Cate) who love to mix and match a myriad of styles in the pieces we refinish and the spaces we design...

Now my husband (Chelsea's brother) and I don't have any kids of our own yet so I was challenged to rethink what else I could do with this piece of family lore.  So I got to thinking... what if it could still be used for a more grown-up sort of play...


It was a simple transformation really.  I took the lid off the toy chest and flipped it on it’s side to screw in some hairpin legs I had from a thrifted find and boom: record player stand.


Inspired by grandpa's original paint color, I refreshed the muted black paint on the exterior. of the box.


But for the interior I couldn’t bring myself to sand out the assortment of dings.  To me, they are the map of a playful childhood.  


So I just waxed the wood to at least give it back its buttery sheen.


It turns out that the chest is the perfect size for a standard LP sleeve!


For the styling, I used plumb foliage (scavenged from the parking lot no less) + DIY moon phase chalkboard art + a framed floating ghost lady (taken from Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer ).  To me, they all subtlety tip their witches' hats to Halloween without being overly ghoulish.


Adding legs gave it the height it needed to be used as a record cabinet or even a bar - either way it's ready for a more grown-up type of play.

And as much as I’d love to keep this bad boy in the family, we simply don’t have the space!  So DC Metro area: my loss is your gain.  If you are interested in this piece - pop over to our shop to get more info.  

Hairpin Legged Record Cabinet
Now Available for Sale


Mirrored Suitcase Bar

Happiest Christmas style mutts!  We hope you spent the day snuggled with family (or framily: friends-who-are-basically-family) and made some special memories.  Be it the gifts or the gathering that made your day great, Chelsea and I sincerely wish the best to you and yours.  

Well, if you're anything like my tinsel-happy husband, you may be experiencing some PTCD today: post-traumatic Christmas disorder.  Am I right?  364 days of build-up can certainly leave you a little lack-luster on Dec 26 ;)  But fear not my friends!  There is still one more celebration just around the corner: New Year's Eve!  

Who's ready to host and end-of-the-year bash?  [insert eager hand-raising emoji right here].  Except I do have a teensy-weensy problem.  About 800sq. ft. teensy-weensy to be exact.  Other than the occasional family pop-by, Caleb and I have not hosted much of anyone in our small (but adorable) apartment.  As with our last place, floor space is prime real estate when you're renting so having a dedicated space to mixology isn't always a priority.  

This time last year, I introduced many of you to our small space solution pop-up bar.  So this year I'm actually putting one in the shop for any of my fellow apartment-dwelling, space slim DC area peeps.

This one is made from a vintage suitcase in impeccable condition.  Which I purchased at Sweet Clover Barn last spring while treasure hunting with Chelsea.  It's a gorgeous camel leather with a glossy sheen and brass accents.

The suitcase even comes with a key if you ever need to lock it up your liquor from Uncle Henry or your boosy cat (hey - I'm not judging, I just don't know what kind of parties you throw...).

The bar also comes with a natural wood base and a vintage tri-fold vanity mirror.  Both can be easily folded up if the bar needs to be stowed away - and the folded mirror even fits in the suitcase lid compartment.

Whatever your NYE will bring (be it throwing parties or just throwing back drinks) we hope you'll be safe while you're celebrating!

Mirrored Suitcase Bar
Now Available for Sale
Dimensions (open): 21"W x 15" D x 33"H
Dimensions (closed): 21"W x 15"D x 46"H
Price: $145

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

Modern Bar Table ||and treat yo self to a Giveway!||

One of my favorite parts about furniture flipping is finding something that could be cool - even if I don't know how exactly.  I've mentioned it before, but I often run through a checklist when I'm debating a new potential project at the thrift store: 1) Is it cheap?  2) Does it have good bones?  and 3) Can I make it cute?  When I found this chrome and laminate table, it hit points 1 & 2, but I was a little fuzzy on 3.  

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I thought at first it should be transformed into a glamorous marble and gold console table.  But it was a little too short to be a suitable console and I wasn't really loving the cost of two custom-cut marble slabs.  But this is where it's handy having a partner in the biz.  I bounced some ideas off of Chelsea and was inspired to start simple and see if I liked where the project was heading before investing an exorbitant amount of time, money, and energy into it.

I took a long look at it again and realized this petite table might not be the best height for and entryway piece, but the unique gaps between the chrome trim and the flat surface of the top shelf made for some handy handles...

I replaced the bowing fake parquet with white melamine for a more modern look.

The porcelain pyramids are a Sweet Clover Barn find from their May sale weekend.  Chelsea and I braved the rain and mud and were rewarded with all the goodies.  Guys, if you're anywhere REMOTELY near the DC area, you should plan a day out to Frederick, MD for one of their sale weekends and capitalize on the best barn deals around my friends.  

You heard it here first ;)


I've been a little obsessed with brass lately, but something about the bright reflection of the chrome [can you spot me??] made me reconsider applying a faux gold finish.  Chelsea advised me to finish the table without painting the chrome to see if I liked it as-is.  And BOY am I glad I listened to her.  I never thought I would like to look of chrome so much!

This time of year Chelsea and I have a lot to celebrate: my birthday falls and the end of May with Chelsea's bday and anniversary right behind in early June.  Being the party people that we are, we thought we'd extend the invitation to you all and invite you to also

Treat. Yo. Self. 

To a StyleMutt Giveaway that is!!!  In the spirit of celebration, we are giving this wall hanging to one lucky winner.  Handmade by yours truly, this wall art is made from a swatch of Milton & King wallpaper, some vinyl letters, and white spray paint.  Their array of patterns is so diverse and downright juicy that it was difficult to pick just one.  But I stumbled on a sinful yet playful pattern named Gluttony and thought the Parks & Rec quote was too perfect.  [That little framed art print is also a swatch of the same wall paper].

To enter, comment below with what you would most like to treat yourself to today and find us on Instagram [@chelsea_stylemutthome and @cate_stylemutthome] for more ways to enter.  US/ Canada residents only. Winner will be announced next week!

And if you're in the DC Metro area, this smashing bar table is now available for sale ;)

Modern Chrome Bar Table
41"W x 17"D x 26.5"H

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