From Drab to Dapper

Dapper is the first word that came to mind when I finished flipping this dresser found last week:

First - I found this piece the same day that Cate shared her Hairpin Legged Map Chest. I was so inspired by her flip that I snatched this one right up, (although mine is not a map chest; the drawers are deep wannabees)! I really wanted to do this in a rich tone which is not an inclination I typically have, (maybe I was channeling my inner Cate in more ways than one!) But there is something so suave about this hunter green ('Secluded Woods' by Behr), paired with brass; it makes me think of my husband when he's lookin' sharp! (Always) 

But this flip was anything but snappy! By first look I figured it would be easy enough to remove the scalloped piece at the bottom of this thing. And it was:

Okay, so this photo shamefully portrays how horribly out of order I do some things. I did remove the scalloped trim first, but then I painted away and added the hardware before I solved my biggest problem: What next?

I shared this photo with Cate telling her my latest flip and I had some major unfinished business to tackle together. And boy, did we! This shot doesn't show the magnitude of what was underneath but it took me several days and sleepless nights to finally figure out how to deconstruct the underpart of this dresser without ruining it. After solving the puzzle we gave our friend here a new base:

Now I could add the sleek legs I'd imagined when I saw this piece in the thrift store!

Oh - and a chair lying in a heap outside a thrift store found me. But that's a story for another day.

While 'dapper' is how I would describe this piece I wanted to style it with a more feminine presence and contrast that green with something sweet - peach! Hunter green and peach are a favorite combination at any time of the year, but seem especially fresh in the Spring. If a pastel palette doesn't work for you, try mixing deep rich tones with softer colors at the opposite side of the color spectrum. I found just the colors I was looking for during an early excursion to Trader Joes where I had the first pick of the days' stock:

My jolly green pal here is now available for sale to DC area locals!
45.75"L x 32"H x 17.5"D
Please contact me at if interested in this piece or a similar custom order!

Thank you guys for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Hi friends! Every now and then we have the pleasure of refinishing a matching set of furniture, per custom request. Whenever a set comes in, whether it's a coffee table and end table set for a living room, or a matching bedroom set, it's always fun to imagine the room created around the pieces. 

I was definitely day dreaming about this while working on a bedroom set that was requested to be finished similarly to this beauty:

The dear gal who purchased this piece asked if I could use the same ultra distressed technique on her daughter's bedroom set. After she sent pictures of her daughters pieces, I knew it wouldn't be a stretch. The set had great bones and lines already! Here's what I came up with:

How to get this look:

I refinished these pieces in several layers, just as I did the large dresser several weeks ago. I painted them in Old White, by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Then I went over in Layla's Mint by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. The final coat is a mix of Pure White, (by ASCP), and Grain Sack, (by MMSMP). The mix of milk paint to chalk paint gives a chippy-er finish, drawing the paint up a bit so it flakes off easily. I finished by taking my electric sander with rough 100 grit sandpaper over both pieces and removing as much paint as possible in a few key spots - on the dresser I heavily distressed the frame of the drawer fronts and the protruding side panels. On the headboard, I focused on the protruding middle section, as you can see below.

The most important piece of information I about on the girl who this set will live with is that she is NOT a girly-girl. Her sweet Momma told me that she wanted the white distressed look, but nothing too 'sweet'. I think with the extra distressing, these pieces have an edgier, butt-kicking, 'don't mess with me' kind of look. Do you see it? :)

Love, love seeing side-by-side Before+Afters! These pieces were in great shape before - just needed a bit of character.

But then again, my stance is anything can be improved with a bit of character. ;)

Thank you all for stopping by!

New Feature Launch: Portfolio!

Hey guys! The weekend is here and it's looking glorious - our garage is full of fresh pieces ready to be refinished, I went out with my little ones this morning to get some paint, (including a color I've never used before but have been dying to try), and Matt and I are goin' on a date tonight! I can't wait to spend time together; life has been full from dawn to dusk, (and a few hours in between due to a certain little boy's habit of coming into our room at odd hours of the night). It'll be a sweet time, indeed. (We're checking out MacDowell's Brew Kitchen in Leesburg - any locals ever been?)

To kick off the weekend we're launching a new feature today! Our Portfolio page is now up and ready for browsing. This page is exclusively for refinished furniture and home accent pieces, therefore is a great way to get a feel for our style and range of work. Before StyleMutt, there was Chelsea's Garage, and before Chelsea's Garage, I was simply refinishing furniture out in our garage and selling it on Craigslist. As that business grew, I started blogging about it on Chelsea's Garage. Although the business has grown to include DIY projects and home design elements, refinsihing furniture remains a very large part of what we do and will talk about on StyleMutt.

We are still in the process of finishing a couple more features which will cover more how-to ground for those of you interested in refinishing furniture yourselves. However, if you ever have any questions about anything you see here or are interested in trying yourself, please don't hesitate to contact us at!

Many of the pieces in our Portfolio album were custom orders refinished for clients - something we thoroughly enjoy doing. If you have a piece which you would like to give a fresh look, just email a picture of it to and tell us your vision. We'd be happy to work your dream to reality!

Have yourselves a lovely weekend and thank you so much for stopping by!