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:


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.


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.


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


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


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.”


Let’s take a closer look shall we? 


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. 


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


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


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.


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

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

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 chelsea@stylemutthome.com if interested in this piece or a similar custom order!

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

My Daughter's Fresh Flip

Hi friends! As you can see by our recent posts, refinishing season is well under way for the StyleMutt Home girls - and I don't just mean Cate and me! My daughter, Shire, has been workin' on her own flipped finds to share with you! She started painting furniture a few years ago when she was 3. Her first piece was a child's chair she painted Antibes Green by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We listed it for sale and my Dad, Shire's 'Pops', bought it. :) These days she's learning more about the business of refinishing furniture - what sells and why. If you ask Shire what she would like to do when she grows up, this is it. In her 6 year old opinion, she's living the dream!

This is a healthy stack of pieces we stocked a couple weekends ago via our loaded DC Metro area Craigslist. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes not. We had a really hot week recently and I contacted around two dozen sellers. I've gotten picky in my old age, though. Since refinishing has become something I do more on the side as we're starting to focus on home styling and design, I invest only in pieces I'm really excited about. It's a lot of time and resources to refinish and it's got to be really worth it. The top of this stack, however, was not a premeditated purchase. Shire and I went to a mid-century modern warehouse flash sale in hopes of finding some authentic goodies, and she saw this pair of end tables stacked on top of a few other pieces. They were priced low and for the pair; done and done!

When the owner of this warehouse asked Shire how she was going to refinish this pair of tables, she didn't skip a beat when she answered, "white!"

She used a can of combined chalk paint, (Pure White) + milk paint, (Grain Sack), that we had on hand. Combining these two types of paint not only stretches my leftovers, but creates such an authentically time worn finish. Chippy pieces are so charming when they look aged by years and years of love. After Shire's pieces dried we sanded them gently using a medium grit sanding sponge, (favorite distressing tool), and the paint just flaked right off!

Before sanding I taped off the bottom 4" of the legs and took the power sander to that area to completely strip the paint and finish. Love the raw wood grounding this pair!

The best part about using milk paint is the unpredictability, in my opinion. The paint flakes where it wants to flake and there's not much you'll be able to do about it. It's fabulous! Perhaps not the best tool for a type A perfectionist since you really can't control where the chipping will happen. But it's for this reason that I think it looks the most real. Sometimes distressing looks a little too contrived. I want to look at a piece and be fooled into wondering if it actually has been sitting out on this antique store front's porch for the past 50 years. Shire painted these two tables at the same time in pretty much the same manner, and one tables top flaked way more than the other! How fun!

Shire's tables pictured below with a little teaser from Momma. :)

Chippy White Tables
$45 for the pair
Contact chelsea@stylemutthome.com if interested!

Thank you so much for coming by!