Vintage Hotel Dresser || And a Giveaway ||

Have you heard the news?  We're hiring!  We were so thrilled and humbled to find ourselves wrapping up 2017 with a waitlist of eDesign clients.  But making our customers wait is not our MO so we're onboarding a new design assistant to keep 'em happy and keep 'em coming!  If you meet our qualifications and are interested in applying, we want to hear from you!  Applications are due February 12th so get to it!


While Chelsea is heading up the expanding design branch of our business, I'm still steering the furniture front - and I've landed a new piece with quite the untold history!

Photo Jan 14, 11 06 18 AM.png

The seller told me that his dad rescued it from a closing DC hotel somewhere on Florida avenue.  Let me tell you, he is certainly durable enough to have survived many-a-hotel stay.  But despite being built like a tank, he does have a few marks I couldn't mask: a scratch on the side, a sliver of missing veneer, and a faded water mark on the top.  All things I could have hidden with paint but OH that wood grain!  I couldn't bring myself to do it! 


So I shined him up and celebrated the scars of his rich and storied life.  


I removed the old damaged apron (those housekeeping sweeps had not been kind to that thing) and added sleek metal legs. 


I did want to  keep the original knobs so I refinished them to match the new gams.


He's also hides a secret: his top drawer is a hidden desk!


The drawer front folds down to create a handy little work surface or mail drop spot.


Complete with cubbies for stationary and office supplies.


But the crowning jewel of this vignette is this canvas print by a local artist!


This piece is just one of the many stunning abstracts by Laura Gunn Art.  I mean just go to her website and you'll be mesmerized by her process - its a riot of color in a dreary world (name that movie!).

Laura Gunn Art

Originals + Canvas Prints
Washington, DC

To me, art has always been personal.  I'm most drawn to the emotion in a painting.  Which my abstract mind most often finds in abstract paintings.  I doesn't matter what it makes me feel just that it makes me feel. 


I could stare at Laura Gunn's "Still" for hours.  Sometimes I think it's a quiet ocean horizon.  Sometimes its a soundwave with the gentlest flutter, a tiny reverb.  I love that it changes for me, and yet stays the same.


And we're delighted to announce that we at SMH are teaming up with Laura Gunn for a very special giveaway!  You could win your very own 24" giclee reproduction of a Laura Gunn original on gallery-wrapped canvas (that's a $149-$169 value!).  Follow these 3 steps to enter:


1) Follow @cate_stylemutthome and @lauragunnart on Instagram
2) Browse Laura Gunn's the Gallery Wrapped Canvas collection and
3) Comment below with the piece you'd like to win!

Winner will be announced next Wednesday, February 7th on Instagram!

New Logo FINAL.png



Vintage Hotel Secretary Dresser
Now Available for Sale
40"W x 19"D x 38"H

And if you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at for availability or to ask about our third-party shipping policy.


Tricked-Out Industrial Desk

I seriously never know what's going to jump into my cart when I go thrifting.  But that's kind of the point though: go out with open expectations and see what projects will reveal themselves to you.  And on a recent treasure/ trash hunt, I came home with these babies:


Right away I noticed they were just the right height for an industrial-style desk but I needed to find a desk top.  In the spirit of using what you have, I dug up that old  tri-fold chalkboard we used as a giant program at our wedding and decided to repurpose one of the panels.

The chalkboard had been collecting dust in our garage for a few years with the exception of when it got a moss & bookpage makeover to be the "something borrowed" at a dear friend's wedding:

But collecting dust does no one any good (especially if you have allergies) so I introduced a chalkboard panel to one of the sawhorses and they hit it off!

How perfect is that?  The chalkboard surface makes it easy to jot down tasks that can be wiped clean when completed.

I built the hutch out of 3 old drawers that can be reconfigured to suit.  They were also collecting (saw)dust in the garage from a dresser that was too damaged for me to repair and were serving no purpose until I also introduced them to the sawhorse and chalkboard.

They're like a blended family - Mr. industrial Sawhorse meet slender Chalkboard and they adopt three orphaned drawers to make a little desk family.


The desk also comes with a pet cLamp (which is Cate for "clamp lamp").  

It has adjustable angles and an on switch on the cord.  And unclamps for easy repositioning.

(To be honest with you, I'm not sure what person I staged this piece for: a college-bound hipster majoring in psychology with a double minor in botany and art maybe?)

Chelsea and I are currently hatching a plan for the other sawhorse as we speak so you'll have to stay tuned to find out what juicy client project that will turn out to be...

Oh and the lucky buyer of the Desk family can also opt to take home uncle Chair (complete with black leather and thick retro vibes) at no extra charge. 

Industrial Sawhorse Desk [ + Hutch + Lamp + Chair]
[Sawhorse Desk] 72"L x 17.25"D x 30"H
[Re-Configurable Hutch Drawer Shelves] 34"L x 14"W Each
Price: $245

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please contact

Reader Design: Kelly's Effortless Bedroom

Guys, I have a new happy place.  It’s the StyleMutt SPACES page.  I mean, would you LOOK at all that eye candy?!?  But you wanna know why it’s my favorite place – or collection of places rather?  Because of you

Seriously, this page is all you.  This gallery represents décor from all over the world, all walks of life, and all kinds of Style Mutts.  And you don’t have to be a designer, a blogger, or a betty-homemaker to join this league of extraordinary rooms!  Just use the tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram or post to our Facebook page to enter your pics. 

Today’s reader design is from San Diego, California.  Kelly from House of Aqua started with a desk and a magazine rack and built an entire bedroom around it!


From Kelly:

Our master bedroom design was inspired by my desk nestled into the corner of our bedroom. The desk was originally in our living space but I no longer had room for it so I moved it into my daughter's room. My daughter wasn't using the desk and wanted more floor space for playing so it ended up in my room, awkwardly placed behind the bedroom door as it was the only available place in our small house to put it. I realized that if I had a stool or chair without arms it could function as a desk without interfering with the bedroom door. I've logged many hours in my cozy desk area while conducting research and writing my thesis for my graduate degree! 

Those oversized acrylic numbers once belonged to a Gas Station marquee!  Clever clever salvage.


I keep my desk supplies to a minimum by only keeping what I need so that everything fits into the shallow drawers of the desk. For example, I only keep one set of pencils and a couple of pens which are in the cup on my desk.

Our bedroom furniture it just over ten years old and I was ready to replace the set with an upholstered bed and white furniture until I thrifted a midcentury modern magazine holder that sits next to my desk.
For whatever reason that magazine rack helped me link together a design that I didn't know I wanted and helped me fall back in love with the bedroom furniture I already had.  Most of the decor is hunted down in HomeGoods and thrift stores. I find that I gravitate towards a mix of elements such as acrylic, wood, stone, and nature. I like crisp white bedding but I bring in different textures with functional pillows.

That’s funny, Thor sleeps almost exactly the same way as Emmy there…


Gah!  Where'd she find those Swiss cross sheets?!

The mirrors propped on our nightstands help to make the room feel larger by reflecting light...  We maximize storage by using the decorative vase and box to store belts on our dresser.


UGH!  More adorable terrariums!  I want them all.


Aren’t you just amazed that this whole room effortlessly started with such a relaxed workspace?!  I just wanna set up camp at this desk and blog for dayssssssss…


Thank you Kelly for opening up your home to us this Friday!  Follow Kelly (@houseofaqua) for more easy-breezy style!  And if you are on the fence about submitting your own room for your chance to be a Friday feature, then ask yourself one question: do you like what your style has to say?  If the answer is yes, then we want to hear it!  You never know who else out there will be empowered to develop their own voice...xoxo