"Built-In" Benches

Guys I'm behind.  This happens to me every year: as I round the corner on Thanksgiving and enter into the Christmas season, I am caught off-guard by the extra stack of things to do in my personal life: Christmas decorating, holiday parties, gift shopping, cookie baking... (jk on that last one - I don't bake), so... cookie eating, you get the idea.

It's T-minus 20something days to 2017 and I still have two items left on my 2016 furniture flip bucket list (including the delinquent DIY bakers rack from 2015 *hides face in  shame*). At this rate I might as well walk naked all the way to the Red Keep with a bell ringing nun behind me (that's the standard punishment for not meeting your New Years resolutions right??).  I even have a line up of flips in the shop that I have yet to share with you here!  

Well, I might as well work on my penance now and share one with ya now ;)  A while back I ran across this pic on craigslist for a "stackable dresser."  Intrigued I clicked to read more to find out that they were solid pieces with two drawers each.  

It was clever of them to use both as a makeshift dresser but they looked a little odd when stacked to me.  I decided to buy them with the plan to un-stack them and figure out a better way to use them...

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Storage benches!!!  

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When I got my hands on these twin pieces, I realized just how SOLID they are.  They could totally handle the everyday demands of a mudroom or entryway: book-dropping, boot-pulling, galosh-flinging.  So I painted it in our favorite glossy white by  Glidden Door and Trim to give it a matching indestructible finish.

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I replaced the old handles with shiny new brass ones and moved the pulls up you wouldn't have to bend down as far to pull the drawers open.

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Putting them side-by-side makes for a super long mudroom bench - perfect if you have the space but not the budget for a built-in.  I could also easily see these underneath a window as a window-seat plus toy storage.

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Wherever you decide to use it, the drawers are deep and can hide a multitude of clutter (my kind of storage piece ;)

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Hoping to really sell the mudroom bench idea, I styled this shoot like a typical "command center" for the on-the-go mom complete with a calendar, fresh flowers, coat hooks, and a basket for dumping.

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"Faux Built-in" Mudroom Benches
48"L x 19"D x 18.5"H each
Now Available for Sale
$500 for both or $265 each

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please contact cate@stylemutthome.com.  My hope is that these handy fellas will help ease someone's organizational needs out there - especially during this busy busy season.  And that reminds me, despite how hectic the holidays can get, don't forget to spend your time thoughtfully and wisely!   And on that note, I leave you with the lyrics from a favorite underground Christmas song:

No gifts to give, they’re all right here
Inside our hearts, the glorious cheer
And in the house we see a light
That comes from what we know inside

I’ll come to you, I’ll sing to you
Like it’s Christmas in the room
I’ll dance with you, I’ll laugh with you
’Til it’s Christmas in the room
— Christmas In the Room, Sufjan Stevens
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Quirky MCM Nightstand

One of the perks of being the furniture flipper in my friend group is sometimes they give me er... presents...  In the form of discarded furniture.  

This asymmetrical wonder came to me when a friend got a fish tank off craigslist that came with a quirky base.  They kept the tank and were about to kick it to the curb when they probably thought, "Waste not: Cate not" and passed it off to me for some hail Mary refurbishing.  

But the good news is, being quirky has its perks.  In fact, mid-century modern furniture is iconic-ly quirky.  Besides making the piece stand out in a space, there's something... endearing about their asymmetrical lines: 

Source:  1st Dibs

Source: 1st Dibs

Upon closer inspection, this little odd-ball was certainly a little worse for wear: deep scratches in the finish, funky Christmas tree pulls, yellowing paint...  It would be undoubtedly be easier to paint the whole thing but that burled wood grain!  So in the end I put in the extra elbow grease and restored him with some repurposed leather pulls.

Yes those stylized tree pulls had to go.  They were easy to unscrew but the awkwardly-placed holes made finding new pulls to fit difficult.  And the textured drawer fronts made filling them in to drill holes for new pulls just as challenging.  So here's where I had to get creative with a touch resourceful: I had an old camel leather string belt lying around and cut three lengths that were long enough to fit the off-center holes with a some extra slack for easy grabbing.  

I punched holes in the belt for the cabinet screws, threaded them through with a washer for extra reinforcement, and secured them on the inside with a nut.

To add to the quirk of this piece, there is a slot cut into the left side of the nightstand.  At first I couldn't make sense of it.  I mean, was the nightstand designer so lazy that he didn't want to have to open the top drawer to put some papers away?  But then I realized, this designer wasn't lazy - (s)he's tech savvy!  This slot turns the top drawer into a charging hub for your personal electronics so instead of having a rats nest of cords cluttering up your bedside surface real estate (like I do), you can stow them away discretely!

Keeping the piece two-toned lets the texture of the drawer fronts play off of the banding in the warm wood grain.

Keeping the burled wood grain did mean I couldn't mask some of the discoloration along the edges.

I'm not sure what caused the "worn" edges but they are completely flush so the surface is still baby-butt smooth.  Plus, I think the markings lend themselves well to the vintage character of the piece.  

As a beloved teacher once told me, you have to earn your wrinkles.  I think the same goes for vintage pieces: they don't get to be this old without collecting some storied markings along the way ;)  

Two-Toned Mid-Century Modern Nightstand
21.5"W x 14"D x 24.5"H
SOLD
$85

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

Muted Teal Apothecary Chest

It's been a long time since I've been in touch with my shabby chic side.  In fact, I don't think I've heavily distressed a piece since this dresser .  But once-in-a-while, only for the most spectacular of clients, do you roll up your sleeve and distress the heck out of something to get that chippy-vintage-storied look.

As Chelsea hinted at with some teasers in this post, we've had the joy nay the honor of styling a hip condo for our latest client in DC.  One of the unique challenges we've faced with her space is a quirky triangular entryway with very little space and very little going on to greet you when you first walk in.  After weighing a few options, we decided that a narrow piece in a bright but sophisticated color would do the trick.

And it just so happened that I had a 12" deep faux apothecary chest in my possession ;)

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Recognize it in our first apartment?  This skinny little piece has served us well over the years.  But the inevitable shift of my personal style combined with our lack of entryway in our new apartment meant it was time to move on to bigger better things.  I was pondering how to refinish it for resale just when our client brought up her need for some super-skinny entryway storage!  Twas meant to be.

After running some custom refinishing ideas past our client, we decided on a muted teal that played well with the rest of her newly designed home and a "weathered" look for some added character.

In my experience, it is really rare to find a storage piece as narrow as 12" - I mean just look at how thin this lady is! 

All she really needs to be for our client is a happy little place to catch her keys and store her weather-wear (scarves, mittens, and such).

Giving a nod to the piece's vintage vibes, I styled it with the replica botanical prints salvaged from our old master bathroom (which have been sitting in a box since we moved) and a blown-glass vase with foraged thistles.

I am so happy to see her go to a beautiful new home and even happier to offer our client a custom piece that I've had the chance to product-test myself!

You'll have to circle back to us to see how she'll fit into our client's digs!