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!


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! 


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


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


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


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


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


Complete with cubbies for stationary and office supplies.


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


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. 


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.


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

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


Tricked-Out Industrial Desk

I seriously never know what's going to jump into my cart when I go thrifting.  But that's kind of the point though: go out with open expectations and see what projects will reveal themselves to you.  And on a recent treasure/ trash hunt, I came home with these babies:


Right away I noticed they were just the right height for an industrial-style desk but I needed to find a desk top.  In the spirit of using what you have, I dug up that old  tri-fold chalkboard we used as a giant program at our wedding and decided to repurpose one of the panels.

The chalkboard had been collecting dust in our garage for a few years with the exception of when it got a moss & bookpage makeover to be the "something borrowed" at a dear friend's wedding:

But collecting dust does no one any good (especially if you have allergies) so I introduced a chalkboard panel to one of the sawhorses and they hit it off!

How perfect is that?  The chalkboard surface makes it easy to jot down tasks that can be wiped clean when completed.

I built the hutch out of 3 old drawers that can be reconfigured to suit.  They were also collecting (saw)dust in the garage from a dresser that was too damaged for me to repair and were serving no purpose until I also introduced them to the sawhorse and chalkboard.

They're like a blended family - Mr. industrial Sawhorse meet slender Chalkboard and they adopt three orphaned drawers to make a little desk family.


The desk also comes with a pet cLamp (which is Cate for "clamp lamp").  

It has adjustable angles and an on switch on the cord.  And unclamps for easy repositioning.

(To be honest with you, I'm not sure what person I staged this piece for: a college-bound hipster majoring in psychology with a double minor in botany and art maybe?)

Chelsea and I are currently hatching a plan for the other sawhorse as we speak so you'll have to stay tuned to find out what juicy client project that will turn out to be...

Oh and the lucky buyer of the Desk family can also opt to take home uncle Chair (complete with black leather and thick retro vibes) at no extra charge. 

Industrial Sawhorse Desk [ + Hutch + Lamp + Chair]
[Sawhorse Desk] 72"L x 17.25"D x 30"H
[Re-Configurable Hutch Drawer Shelves] 34"L x 14"W Each
Price: $245

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

Sleek, glam desk || Before+After

Hi friends! Quick rhetorical question for ya: Would you bring this desk home with you from a thrift store?

It certainly wasn't much to look at when I saw it a month or so ago. In fact, I passed it by twice before removing all the junk stacked on top to take a closer look. And let me tell you, the closer look did NOT help! Peeling contact paper on the drawer fronts, unattached corners of veneer, and what appeared to be a coded treasure map etched into the top surface. So, I took all of this and weighed it against the one pro - the shape! I thought, if I can do something, anything to help this desk, it could be da bomb diggity!

So I painted it glossy white and sprayed the handles gold. Done and done.

It's not every day that a simple coat of white paint impresses me this much, but if there were ever a piece to paint white and be DONE with it, this was the piece! I used Glidden's Trim, Door, Furniture paint in Bright White. I've shared this paint before with this custom three-piece set, but let's just say it again: If you want a high gloss finish that's as easy to achieve as the no-prep chalk paint, THIS is your paint. It's thick as molasses, and adheres to anything. I didn't do any prep on this piece other than cleaning it up a bit, (and I did use strong wood glue to reattach the veneer and peeled off the loose contact paper). But with a paint this thick, it's going to hold everything together anyways. 

When dry, the surface settles to a smooth, glassy finish that is reflective and durable as anything I've seen. I've banged pieces covered in this paint and not a single thing happens. The paint won't chip, peel, or get a single ding.

This piece is now available for sale to the DC metro area
46.5"W x 28.5"H x 23.5"D
Contact if interested!

Check back tomorrow for you know what! ;) Thank you all for stopping by!

Celebrating this one turning 4 today! Happy Birthday to our Mason! You are larger than life and it's a pleasure to be your Momma.