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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Reader Design: Ashlee's Calm & Comfy Home

After a bit of a hiatus on these reader design features, we're back and headed to sunny California! Ashlee is a sweet mother-to-be and talented interior design who draws inspiration from the calm and comfortable Sacramento surroundings.

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From Ashlee:

I’m a true California girl, and my personal style and interiors style, I think, are a reflection of that. I would have to say one geographic place that describes my homes aesthetic would be Venice or Ojai, just that simple modern California feel. I love evoking feelings of calm and comfort. I want my home to be a place where people just want to hang out for long periods of time and can truly zen out.
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The home is classic and soothing, but still entirely on trend without it being too much. That's the California way, isn't it?

I have to admit I have dabbled in a few trends myself. Brass being one that is seen in my space. When making the decision to add some more trendier elements in my house that I know may not be around forever I kept it to a few select things (lighting, coffee table). It is easy to get carried away, but if you keep them to a few select items you can always switch them out later.
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Amongst the brass and plants are plenty of older and vintage touches. Take the dining room for instance.

While not a piece of furniture, the built-in element of our apartment is a total favorite. The building we live in is over 100 years old and recently went through a complete renovation. They kept the charm of the molding, built-ins, and doors that I truly love and appreciate. Plus I fill it with treasures that represent us as a couple.
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It's a home that's as classic today as it would have been years ago - and will for years to come. Ashlee, thank you for letting us in and showing us around!

Follow Ashlee along on Instagram at @ashlee_berry. And for more gorgeous photos, follow photographer Nicole at @nicoledianne.

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Reader Design: Erin's Fresh Space

We're off to Pittsburgh today, mutts! A great, interesting East Coast city that's especially great (or so I hear) during football season. Erin's fresh and ecletic home, though, is perfect in any season. 

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This place is chalk full of unique and interesting finds. The closet home I've seen like Erin's is an Airbnb I stayed in in London earlier this year that had artwork of actual human skulls...  you know your home is different and interesting when you're on THAT level. Erin's design inclinations may be due to her inherent taste, her attraction to rare things, and perhaps, something as simple as geography.

Well, I was born and raised in South Carolina, and I spent 6 years in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, so I like to think my style is combination of those regional elements— the laid-back, classic comfort of the south sprinkled with the refined glam of New York City.
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You'll probably quickly note that Erin's home doesn't have many traces of trendiness; she does a great job of staying true to her tastes, using trendy elements sparingly. 

There are definitely trends that I have gone ga-ga over, and it is hard to refrain sometimes. I fell prey to a chevron duvet a few years ago, which still makes me cringe a little looking back! It’s one of the oldest design mantras in the book, but I think the key is using in moderation, and keeping the super trendy things limited to throw pillows or artwork, items that can be easily (and inexpensively) changed out later if you decide you are tired of it or the trend has passed.

Reeling yourself in and only keeping trendy elements to ones that are easy to swap out later is truly easier said than done, but Erin, you make it look easy - and the trends Erin does select, like over-saturated rugs and a pedestal table, still look timeless and functional. In addition to being unique, Erin values comfort just as much.

You know when you see pictures of beautiful rooms that stop you in your tracks and think - “Wow, that is so stunning! But I don’t feel like I could sit on any of that furniture!” I want it to feel the exact opposite of that.
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Every choice in Erin's home seems to just invite you in - either physically, saying 'take a seat,' or emotionally, inviting you to ask a question or dive deeper into the story. 

In the bedroom, one of Erin's favorite pieces is the framed art above the bed, which is actually a vintage Hermes scarf. 

I love the nautical theme & pastel colors (I grew up sailing). I based my entire NYC studio design around it when I lived there, and later our master bedroom when I got married. Luckily my husband isn’t too picky about the pink!

Erin, your home is special indeed. Thanks for the tour! Follow Erin along on Instagram at @mediumalistdesign.

See you next week!

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