Heywood-Wakefield Restoration

Yeah ok. I was warned. Newborndome is no joke. Midnight feedings… sleep deprivation… a bazillion dirty diapers. How have people been doing this for centuries?!? Jk. Baby H is totally worth the effort - even if I officially can’t have a cup of coffee in the morning without it going cold.

Caleb has been fabulously supportive. Even though he is back at work, he’s found ways to give me little breaks when he can like downtime to make a craigslist run or have a glass of wine on our deck. He even gave me a block of baby-free time to knock out a new piece:

A Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser


I actually scored this dresser somewhere in my 3rd trimester (I think I might have played my last preggo card to convince Caleb to help me pick it up one morning before work) - ha!  It was obvious that the previous owner did not realize what a rare find they had considering they put it in their sticker-loving son’s room.  Just look at the damage to the signature H-W finish! 


The watermark on the back revealed that it’s a “wheat rub.” This means it was truly vintage and not a reproduction since newer H-W pieces sport their signature Amber finish.  This piece could date somewhere in the 1930’s-1950’s when Heywood-Wakefield art-deco-inspired mid-century modern style rose to popularity.  I debated long and hard about how I was going to tackle this project and eventually decided on:


A restoration

I was seriously on the fence about restoring vs transforming.  After consulting my brother-in-law the wine-cellar-building-carpenter-and-fellow-vintage-furniture-lover I realized it would be practically criminal to alter it with paint or new hardware.


First order of business to get it back to its former glory was to SAND THE HECK OUT IT.  Yeah that sticker residue had to go.


After the thorough sanding came a thorough waxing.


The wax gives it a buttery finish that’s much closer to that trademark Heywood-Wakefield buff.


This is actually not the first Heywood-Wakefield piece I’ve gotten on my hands on.  Some of you may remember this gimpy coffee table find from 2017 that I ended up keeping for myself.


Although a little patinaed, the coffee table had an original H-W “champagne finish” which, if you ask me, looks practically the same as the “wheat rub” on the Airflow dresser.  That could be due in part to the fact that all H-W pieces are made out of the same wood: northern yellow birch.


Sealing the Airflow dresser in a wax allowed the natural golden tones of the northern yellow birch to shine.


Besides the finish, another trademark feature of a H-W piece is the sculptural lines - like the unique curves in the drawer fronts and the architectural details in the handles.


I know Heywood-Wakefields can read a little too George Jetson to some so I wanted the styling to show how it can still have its moment in the modern day. The quirky lines of this vintage dresser play well with the mod lines of my velvet cantilever chair flip and cheeky llama prints.  


And I just had to pull out my face vase and add a touch or two of terracotta.


This newly restored bad boy is now available for sale if you’re in the market for a piece of American-made history!  Email me for purchasing or shipping options.


Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser
Now Available for Sale
42ʺW × 20ʺD × 34ʺH

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


The Finishing Touches Pt. 2: Bedroom Reveal!

Today is the day. Today, I'm finally sharing my bedroom reveal (it's the second bedroom design I've had in a couple of months, but let's just pretend that's totally normal). 

Now, you may recall my post from a couple of weeks ago, here. I was this close to being done, but needed some inspiration to complete the space. Cue Furniture.com and their awesome local deals that I used to buy... drumroll please... 


...the most perfect brushed brass curtain rod from Crate & Barrel and those window panels from World Market. These two pieces have finally made everything feel complete. 

Here's the rest of the new space - remember, it's a small, basement rental in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, but I did what I could! 

I completely changed my bedding after getting rid of some dark gray hand-me-downs from my mom in an effort to brighten up the space. The cactus photo above the bed, which I took on a trip to Palm Springs, and the mirrors are new. I already had the gold-framed cow print (which someday will live in an office I do not yet have, if I get my way), the black table lamps, and the side tables - so those had to stay. 


I also already owned this amazing antique phone table and the stainless steel bedframe from my childhood home. 

I am so pleased with how this space turned out - and I hope you all enjoyed coming along for the ride! 

And now, my wallet and I rest. 

Allow Me to Introduce Myself || McKenna's Cozy Basement Rental ||

Let me be upfront about this: I live in a basement rental right in the middle of Washington, D.C. There are two windows - well, one, but my front door has a plane of glass that I lovingly refer to as a window. It's a massive 600 square feet. Gray walls in every room. And, I LOVE it. 

You already know a little bit about me from this introduction, but I'd love to show you around and share some more about myself. 

My space is 100% mine - for the first time ever, I live alone. Each pile of laundry, dirty plate, and, most excitingly, design choice is mine. While design for me is never done, my space right now is perfectly illustrative of my "mid-century / industrial / glam aesthetic." You already know that I love gold, and nothing proves it better than my living room! 

That being said, my living room is the source of my latest internal struggle: symmetry or asymmetry? Note: the pillow asymmetry on the couch is  not intentional. The other orange pillow is just housed in my bedroom to hold while I sleep. Design has to be practical, right? 

Something else I love about my apartment: how it smells. Let's call it "Apartment Quality #2 that I love." I have a huge bundle of dyed eucalyptus that smacks me in the face every time I walk in the door. And then there's my favorite candle ever - the LA Noir - one of five scents from Scenthouse LA

From Scenthouse owner CJ:

These are subtle but highly cognitive fragrances that are designed to set a mood. We’ve all had different experiences that inform what memories are recalled when we smell something – so if I can evoke a reaction, positive or negative, then I’ve done my job.

To me, this candle - with its hint of lily, French perfume, dust, and tobacco - takes me back to one of my two favorite vacation destinations: Palm Springs, CA (the other is Copenhagen, Denmark, in case you were wondering).  I think traveling to Palm Springs with my parents when I was little girl subconsciously embedded a love of mid-century design deep in my soul... 

Now, on to "Apartment Quality #3 that I love" - there are so many great stories. The amazing orange lamps were a gift from my parents (by gift, I mean they no longer had a need for them in their new condo), and the bar cart is a pass down from my great-grandmother. It was made in the 1930's and cycled through several colors before returning to its original bronze. Every time I look at it, I feel incredibly nostalgic. 

That bedside table - or what we actually think is a 1920's phone table - was purchased by my parents in an estate sale in Richmond in 1986, the year they got married. It had many layers of paint, which my dad meticulously stripped off to uncover that beautiful oak. And the stainless steel bed has been in my room since I was nine years old. That beautiful giclée above my bed was painted by my boyfriend's very talented uncle.  

I love this little nook: the West Elm lamp, the  weird mirror  that somehow (maybe?) works, and my  watercolors  by a local DC artist. 

I love this little nook: the West Elm lamp, the weird mirror that somehow (maybe?) works, and my watercolors by a local DC artist. 

I will be eternally grateful to the woman I found on Craigslist who was selling this dresser. Cate & Chelsea are right... DC Craigslist is a treasure trove. 

I will be eternally grateful to the woman I found on Craigslist who was selling this dresser. Cate & Chelsea are right... DC Craigslist is a treasure trove. 

It's a work in progress. And someday, of course, I hope to have even more space to put my mark on. But for now, it's home. 

Please follow me along at @mckennabegin for more, and email me at mckenna@stylemutthome.com if you're interested in having your Space featured!