Styling: One Hour to a Curated Collection

Hi Friends! With several design projects wrapping up simultaneously right now, I've got styling on the brain 24/7! It's not uncommon for our design clients to have few to no styling accessories, (with the exception of books), so we're always keeping our eyes peeled for shops that we can head to when we need a lot of goodies!

Now, Cate and I love to find accessories when we're out at thrift stores, barn sales and vintage markets. Little by little, we've curated styling accessories that suit our taste and the spaces we need to fill. This exploratory approach has taken each of us years of digging and picking up and turning over in our hands. So how does one create their own collection in a single afternoon? When it comes to the final touches in our clients spaces, we turn to the great world wide web!

Here are some of our favorite online shops where we can find all the patina or polished, modern or time-worn goodness we need to complete any space.

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As seen in a StyleMutt Home project:

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As seen in a StyleMutt Home project:

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As seen in a StyleMutt Home project:

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Example pottery styling in a StyleMutt Home project:

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We hope you find these sources as useful and inspiring as we have! Now, I'm off to round up some final touch shopping lists for some very awesome clients! This weekend we are off to shoot a finished project that combines my love for industrial urban spaces and bohemian flair. I CANNOT wait to share it with you, friends! Here's a quick peek of the progress our client sent last month:


Thank you so much for stopping by!


Tina's Trendy Condo

Happy pre-weekend, friends! I hope you all have plans in the works in take advantage of the temperatures that are finally dropping - at least on the East Coast!

Today's Reader Design is the perfect way to end the week. Tina is actually my neighbor in the great Bloomingdale neighborhood of D.C. For those of you planning visits to our nation's capital, be sure to check out our far NW corridor for the local spots. And Tina here happens to have one of the best places in the neighborhood. 


First things first about Tina. After getting to know her over the past month, there are a couple of things she takes very seriously: her adorable dog Riley (who you will meet in a little bit, I promise), her 5 o'clock cocktails, and her perfectly-executed shelfies. If you're not yet convinced, check this proof from her dining room / kitchen area. 

Now, I'll turn the talking over to Tina. 

My favorite part of our condo is the all of the amazing natural light. So I wanted to keep everything white, clean, and crisp — and let our furniture + textiles pop. I really love having white makes our 900 sq/ft condo feel so much bigger.

In every room of Tina's home that she shares with her husband Ricky, these white walls lend themselves to be the perfect backdrops for her styling. She's making our StyleMutt Home fave Emily Henderson proud! 

My style is definitely ever evolving and I love that I’m able to integrate some of my favorite old pieces in with the new. At the moment, I would call my style very boho with a hint of modern. My pinboards are currently filled with tons of Scandinavian design — I love anything that is simple and clean looking.

What I love about Tina's place is that it pays homage to the trends of today - the casual boho ease of it, the greenery and plants, the styling simplicity - while still staying true to Tina & Ricky. 

I think our place kind of represents a little bit of everywhere we’ve lived [on the list: DC, Austin, and San Francisco]. I think it’s a good mix of East + West coast styles!
Our West Elm bed frame was the first nice piece of furniture Ricky and I ever bought together — six years later, it’s still my favorite piece. Also, since I’m not much of a DIY fanatic...I’m pretty proud of the hanging light chords in our bedroom. Avoided a Pinterest fail on that one :)

I'm sure Cate & Chelsea could spare some DIY advice, but I say those lights look just fine! As a fellow urban-dweller, I know how hard it is to find the space to really dig in to projects. We don't tend to have the luxury of spare rooms, garages, or yards like you rural folk! Y'all just don't know how good you have it.

Tina, thank you for sharing your home with us. I've been admiring it via Instagram for months - and Mutts, you all should absolutely follow Tina along too @tinaheileman

Barrister Bookcase ||a subtle makeover||

Why don't I talk about bookshelves more often?  They add height to a room and critical vertical storage.  I guess because I don't have a HUGE book collection, I don't think about just how awesome these pieces of furniture are.  Bookshelves are like the Jan of the Brady bunch and dressers the Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.  In fact, with the exception of the white triplets from my own home, this is the first time I've refinished shelves to sell!

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It's hard to tell, but this piece was originally as glossy as a 90's kitchen cabinet.  And the base painted (not stained!!) a fake brown.  Womp womp.  So first order of business was stripping off the polyurethane and the stain and sealing it with a Danish oil instead.


Barrister bookcases (also known as lawyer's bookshelves) are handy because they have glass doors to protect from dust.  Which makes them perfect for protecting your books or other precious collections.  When staging this piece, my first thought wasn't actually to use books.  This is partly because I don't have a big juicy book collection, but mostly because of a photo my dear friend Amanda from Our Storied Home recently posted on Instagram:

Genius way to display the all-precious shoe collection no?  I mean, WOW-ZA!  (And who wants dibs on those red satin peep-toes?!?!)  But alas, I actually have less shoes than I have books - so I styled with books after all and filled in any spaces with my plant children.


The Danish oil is a nice contrast from the original "plasticky" finish.  It gives it something a little softer and (as I like to call it) buttery.

I also completely stripped the paint finish off the base and custom-mixed a new stain to match.


And switched out the original yellowy brass knobs to splurge for more modern pulls from anthropologie.


What's $7 for a knob when you only need three lol?!?

This Barrister Boy is an original Hale bookcase - which means he was made in the USA and is built for versatility: the top, the three units, and the base are all stackable so you can add, subtract, and rearrange them however you please!

Each glass pane slides up and stiows away for easy access to your displayed goodies.

And in my case (pun so intended), I'm showing off Big Jade, Tuscon the Succulent Garden, Melvin the awkward leafy thing, Penelope the String of Pearls, Little Jade, and the Jades' cousin Jasper.

And for the record, all my plant kiddos are still alive and (mostly) well. 

Black Thumb out. 

3 Shelf Barrister Bookcase (Barrister Boy)
34"W X 14"D x 60"H
Price: $425 SOLD

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