eDesign Reveal: A Fresh Start & Our Biggest Reveal Yet

Hello, sweet friends! This is a special reveal and one that’s been close to my heart for quite some time. Last April during my kids’ Spring Break I read through Chip Gaines’ book, Capital Gaines. It’s an all-around motivating, get-it-done read, but the thing that stuck with me the most was the encouragement to bet on yourself. And it got me thinking that one person betting on their own selves can’t possibly have the same power as people betting on one another. I started mulling over the idea of looking for a design job to do for peanuts for someone in need. I wanted to give someone that oomph to keep on keeping on, even if just through the simple act of improving the way they feel at home. One month later in May, we were contacted by an amazing woman who was at a point of reinvesting in her life. Gods timing astounds me.

I think most all of us can attest that life doesn’t always, (or usually!), go as expected, and this woman had just been pitched a curve ball. With two young children in toe she was starting fresh with a new home, an old sofa, and a very happy fiddle leaf fig tree. The thing that just overwhelmed me with emotion while speaking with her was the fact that she wanted to make the most of this next chapter. It was apparent that there hadn’t been joy in her home for quite some time, and that’s what she wanted to bring back. ‘Happy’ was a frequent word that came up when discussing the vision and design of her home.

So with a strict $5,000 budget, I waved more than half of my design fee and cracked down on tackling her Family Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Living Room. And this reveal may be one of our happiest yet! :)




The first order of business was rotating that sofa and pushing it against the wall! This family room space is shared with the children in a big way, and the original placement of the sectional floating in the middle of the floor just made it too chopped up and separated. Also, PSA: With $40 and an 8 minute YouTube video, you, too, can update your overhead lighting.


So. Much. Beige. With an emphasis on creating an environment that feels happy, color was top priority. The catch, however, was that because this is a rental, the wall color and carpet could not be updated. And because the client requested to use her sofa, (a smart move that allowed her to put her budget in SO MANY other places), that was another shade of beige to overcome.


Picking pillows and accent pieces for this space was an absolute blast. With a bland canvas to work with the sky really was the limit, so I had to uncover what palette spoke to my client best. She is extremely inspired and rejuvenated by the coast, but I didn’t want to do anything too literal. Creating a relaxing vibe with pops of vibrant color was the way to go. Blue is a favorite color of hers so I peppered it around subtly.


Ah, yes - the wall mounted Ikea IVAR cabinets. This is the third design since last Spring that we used wall mounted IKEA cabinets to create a custom, clean-lined storage option, (see here and here). You can always add hardware, legs, etc to these to blend them into your own space, but my favorite way to use them is to mount them over the floor 6-8” and give them a fresh coat of paint, (they come in wood). And at just $80 per set of cabinets, that means this massive custom media storage unit cost just $240 + cheap paint.


There wasn’t much to do in the kitchen but change out the pendants and add some stools - leather for the win!


More beige! For the particular vision and feel this client wanted, I knew the dark matching dining set had to go. A new mix of pieces pieced together from various retailers creates a one-of-a-kind dining set for the family. The first item we decided on was that rug - even prettier in person if you can believe it!


This cheery space feels special to me - the colors echo the rest of the home but there’s something about it that makes it feel set apart. It’s grown up but fun, simple but interesting, stunning but functional, (the cabinet is packed with board games)! I have never ever used a sofa in that color before but my gut was pulling for it and I was excited to fill in around it with some contrasting tones - even moodier rich and earth colors!


I think the vibrancy of the sofa just adds some sophisticated drama here when surrounded by earthier tones and textures.


Anchoring one whole side of the room by itself is one of my favorite go-tos; an oversized black framed mirror. Not right for every home, but right for this one in this place. It’s a beast in person, and emphasizes the drama of this room.


Well that’s a wrap! The first thing this sweet client told me when I sent her a sample of these photos was that she can’t believe this is her home and can’t wait to start on her bedroom together in the new year. I can’t wait, either!!!

You all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! It’s a treat every time I have an opportunity to jump on here and share something with you. You make this landing place so much fun and it brings me joy to get to bring finished projects here to show you. So thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by - it really touches our hearts!


eDesign Project Progress: Dani's Modern Bohemian Living Room & Breakfast Nook

Hi guys! I'm trying something new today and stopping by to share....wait for it....PROGRESS! I've never been great at jumping on to let you how things are going with a particular project, but if project progress is your love language, I'm going to do my best to speak it!

At the beginning of the year multi-talented jewelry designer Dani Barbe reached out to us for help with her and her fiance's rental home. Although they are renting, they feel a deep desire to establish roots and create a home that truly feels 'them'. During our first discussion I just knew Dani was going to be a joy to work with, and I can honestly say several months later that the process has been a delight every step of the way. Maybe it's working with a fellow creative, maybe it's personality, but we're having all kinds of fun with this one, (so much so that we're keeping a good thing going and just added her formal dining room and studio work-space to the list of rooms to complete)!

If you haven't checked out our eDesign process you're going to get a glimpse of it today! After our initial consultation with Dani we took to Pinterest to pin inspirational rooms. Dani had a single leather sofa from Article, as well as a round breakfast table for her kitchen nook. Otherwise, we had some serious space to fill! It can be daunting to start with so much empty space and the impulse to fill it can feel overwhelming. But my strategy for this one was to make this space special with a few choice pieces and minimal filler.

Living Room

This was the 3D rendering I designed of her living room shortly after gauging her style through the rooms that spoke to her on Pinterest. Although we knew we wouldn't be using a lot of things for the space, we also didn't shy away from mixing antiques with modern elements.

After getting a thumbs up from Dani and her fiance on the 3D rendering, the StyleMutt Home team researched precise pieces to use for the space and we tried them on in design boards, (below). The toughest piece to find - a vintage turkish rug! The problem was not that we couldn't find the right rug; the problem was that every rug we mocked up looked SO good in the space! Ultimately, we all agreed that a warm, glowing pastel piece would suit the glowy space best. Can we use glowy to describe a space? It's my favorite adjective for this home!

See?! Glowy!!! This is a recent progress shot Dani sent and it makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it. You may notice a few key pieces still missing, (coffee table, mantle piece, plant), but those items are en route now and we're nearly there, you guys! See that big guy to the far left? 1900s Craigslist find. Isn't he a charmer! (Psst! I actually found it before doing ANY designing for this space; I saved it to my phone and it inspired a lot of other pieces that we selected).

Breakfast Nook

The process for the adjoining breakfast nook was the same, starting with a 3D rendering! We nailed down the basic concept for this space but the specific elements changed pretty dramatically when we really started researching products.

This space started with the wooden table and that was it! We wanted to incorporate some color into this space and at first I liked the idea of using patterned upholstered chairs and a neutral wall hanging in a natural un-dyed fiber. But as soon as I spotted these gorgeous vintage inspired blond cane chairs I was smitten enough to bag my original inclination and do the reverse! We paired the blond wood chairs with the warm wood table, (definitely a 'do'), and are having the incredible Filia over at Fibers by Filia create a custom piece similar to this one below! I refinished the thrifted cabinet in a simple glossy white to match Dani's kitchen cabinets that she just painted, and spared the original aged brass hardware. A timeless brass and glass multi-faceted pendant completes this cozy nook.

And here is a recent progress shot that Dani sent over! I can't wait to see it finished with the cabinet and Filia's fiber art piece on that empty wall, but as far as progress goes...I have no words. I just love this space so much. This work is the best!

We are all so thrilled to see this eDesign coming to life and can't wait to share the final reveal of these two spaces! We are currently working on Dani's formal dining room and studio space now but we thought we'd break things up to spare you from a novel of a post!

So what do you think, is a progress post your kind of thing? Because I've got more to share if you're feeling loved by it! ;) Either way, I so appreciate you coming by. Thank you!

First Design of 2017: Function + Character in a Century Old Home

Hi Friends! We can't believe we're already rounding the end of February here; it feels like we just celebrated the new year, just sat down and outlined our goals, just put together our new design packages and just said, 'I will put lipstick on every day'. Hah! Hard to believe that after all the work done to prepare for the year ahead, we're ready for the work of the year ahead.

Our first design project of the year wrapped up last week - at least from our end. Now it's up to the sweet Abrosimoff family to take their design concepts and run with them! This sweet couple contacted us from Canada to help them finish off the beautiful 100+ year old home they've been renovating. Let us just say, ANYONE brave enough to take on a century old house always has a spot on our schedule! Here are some snaps they sent over:

Right off the bat we were excited to get to work with such cool stuff in such an amazing space! They're avid thrifters/yard-salers/Kijiji-ers, (fun fact - Kijijji trumps Craigslist up there!) The two red rugs are actual vintage persians they found on Kijiji, but they both agreed that the two pieces together were too much red for the conjoined space.

The gray sofa and mid-century media cabinet were sure keeprs, while the funky mid-century bookshelf was a maybe, and the greenish loveseat was getting the boot.

These parents of three young kids requested a clean, open space that includes storage for kids' toys, a bohemian sitting area tossed with pillows, and layers of color and pattern. The Abrosimoffs chose our brand new Style Try-On package, which is where we design TWO concepts for a client space after getting to know their style and functional needs. One week after our consultation, during which we collaborated together on Pinterest sharing inspirational ideas, we sent them their two design concepts!


Entering from under the archway we added a long storage bench up against the wall that serves double duty as a toy keeper and pillow clad seating. A sophisticated leather Eames lounge with small side table is the perfect place to kick back and observe the beautiful chaos of kids.

We gave the archway white built ins with room at the top for pottery or other sculptural pieces you wouldn't necessarily want at kid height, and an oversize arched mirror to bounce a bit more light in that darker corner of the room.

The kick-back part of this space was kept clean and open, with the addition of a neutral but bold black and white geometric rug and round glass coffee table. Light fixtures in brass and black are distributed to balance the space, while the funky mid-century bookshelf is placed under the window as a plant sanctuary to anchor the room with a strong focal point.


We shook things up a bit with the second design, really tapping into the old character of the home with vintage inspired pieces, including a denim blue chaise lounge! This piece is topped with various leather, fur and patterned pillows and a leather ottoman serves as a scale-appropriate table or child size perch. A storage cabinet under the far windows is home to some happy plants and hides children's toys and games when they aren't being used.

Since the Abrosimoffs clearly aren't afraid of vintage pieces and happen to have a fabulous sense of humor, we included an ironic portrait of a woman on a chaise lounge to represent this spot as a perfect place for an oversized vintage piece of similar colors and proportion. You may also notice we included wallpaper in this design! We wouldn't include wallpaper in just any job, but in a century old home it couldn't be more fitting. We chose a simple, modern paper that is white with an oversize dark green pattern, (it happens to be dragonflies, but this was just to give our clients a visual idea), and we used it throughout the space, so keep your eyes peeled. ;)

See it in the mudroom on the other side of the archway? For this design we swapped the modern white built-in shelves for rustic industrial shelves, again leaving room at the top for various architectural artifacts.

The family kick-back space is anchored by our chosen wallpaper on the facing wall, and grounded with a saturated blue rug, (a fabulous addition our talented intern, McKenna, pulled for this space). The pattern on the chair isn't literal, but we love the idea of giving this room an extra dose of cozy with a floral patterned chair that compliments the surrounding colors and reminds the family of the history of their home.

Two designs for one home - both very different but as Cate would say, they speak the same language. The point of creating two different designs is not for our clients to pick their favorite and follow it verbatum, but rather to show them options - how two different looks and layouts under the same style umbrella would look in their own home. It's literally trying different looks on a home!

So, while we do not pit the two designs against each other, do you happen to have a favorite here? We'd love to hear what you think! And stay tuned, because the Abrosimoffs have hit the ground running and we can't wait to share these shots when all is said and done!

Thank you so much for stopping by today! If you'd like to give our Style Try-On package a try for $165, please don't hesitate to contactus here! We'd love to hear from you.