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

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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! 

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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:

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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.

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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.

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After the thorough sanding came a thorough waxing.

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

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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.

 
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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.

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

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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.

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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.  

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

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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.

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Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser
Now Available for Sale
42ʺW × 20ʺD × 34ʺH
$795

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

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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!

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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!

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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! 

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

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

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

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

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

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Complete with cubbies for stationary and office supplies.

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

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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Vintage Hotel Secretary Dresser
Now Available for Sale
40"W x 19"D x 38"H
$545

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

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MCM Dining Chairs ||2017 Flip List Item No.4||

 
 

I must have been riding a real high from last year's bucket list upholstery project when I added item No.4 to this year's Furniture Flip Bucket List.  I mean, what's 6 more chairs right?  So when I stumbled on a set of dining chairs at the thrift store I jumped at the chance to cross another item off my list.  

Mid-Century Modern Dining Chairs

I figured they'd be easy-peasy: just recover the cushions and I'd be in business.  But not only did each chair need new fabric, they also needed to be sanded, touched up, and oiled.  I'd like to say my biceps are bulging from all that elbow grease I put in, but who am I kidding - biceps need actual muscle definition to be visible.  Ha!

Although they don't have an obvious maker's mark, these chairs have the signature Y-backs and tapered legs from the Broyhill Premiere Sculptra line - a collection of walnut pieces "luxurious in appearance...[but] modest in price" dating back to 1957.  

**Update** Since publishing this post, I have learned that although very similar to the Broyhill Premiere Sculptra line, these chairs are actually Kent Coffey Perspecta pieces.  Kent Coffey was also a mid-century designer and a leading Broyhill competitor in addition to being a friend and neighbor to James Broyhill himself. 

But if I was going to restore them back to their mid-mod glory, the suspiciously sticky brown vinyl  on my thifted chairs had to go.

So taking a cue from last year's chair, I recovered them in a white linen. 

I did think about recovering them in a patterned fabric but figure the white linen will make them more versatile for a buyer's decor.  Plus you can easily accent them with pillows or other other colorful accessories.

The set comes with 5 armless side chairs

and one captain's chair.

If you're in the DC metro area and in the market for some restored retro cuties (or a custom order like them), hit me up!

Set of 6 Kent Coffey Dining Chairs
Now Available for Sale
$475

Three down, four to go.  Catch up on the 2017 Furniture Flip Bucket List.