Reader Design: Erin's Fresh Family Home

I'm so excited today to be featuring Erin, who has a stunning family home in Raleigh, NC. Now, I remember when Erin's home popped up on Instagram a couple of months ago. At the time, I remember thinking to myself "wow - I've uncovered a seriously hidden talent. We have to share this!" Of course now, Erin's home has captured the hearts and eyes of many - and for good reason!

Erin's home is many things - bright, happy, homey, welcoming... and the perfect representation of "style mutt-hood." I'm coining that phrase now. 

I love all different types of styles, but I’m most drawn to classic mid-century modern pieces, clean and simple lines, and I love the Scandinavian aesthetic as well. I live in a more traditional home, so it has been a bit of a challenge mixing all the styles together to work in the house. I’m still working and revising (always), but overall, I just love what I love.

What Erin loves feels new while still feeling totally nostalgic. And I don't mean new as in "just purchased" or "this month's West Elm 'it piece.'" I mean it feels new - interesting, different, nuanced in a way we haven't seen, but still familiar. Am I making sense? Stay with me...

I can only guess that it is because of where Erin draws her inspiration. It's not Pinterest boards - though I will never detract from the inspiration a curated Pinterest board can bring.

It's her own inner compass. 

I think I found my style in my 20’s (vintage dresses galore), which more or less found its way into my home. Over the years, my style has evolved into more of casual look as I have two kids and work from home. I still love to dress up (if only some of those dresses still fit!) and have vintage in my home, but I like to mix it with newer pieces. I want my home to certainly have character and soul, but also I don’t want to be living in a time capsule.

In her office, those vintage elements are clear.

I love my vintage teal chairs in my office. They were a total impulse purchase many years ago in our old home and I still love them to this day.

And why fix what ain't broke, right? Erin, please keep on doin' you and stockpiling that stunning art, finding those perfect vintage rugs, and buying all the vintage furniture - chairs in particular. 

What a home! Thank you for letting us in, Erin. It's a delight. Follow Erin along on Instagram for more and stay tuned for her soon-to-arrive site!

Until we meet again (next week, don't worry!),

Reupholster a Chair ||Wrapping Up the 2016 Flip List||

Happy New Year StyleMutts!  Well, this may be a day (or two) late and an item short, but I'm wrapping up my 2016 Furniture Flip Bucket List!  Huzzah!  I don't know about you, but that's still a win in my book ;)

You may recall that I've been tackling these 7 items in no particular order:


Well my friends, I still have No.1 and No.2 to go and may-or-may-not-have completed one and a half of them.  Much like in 2015, the Baker's Rack has proved... problematic...  But fear not!  I still have some proof that I at least attempted it this year (that counts right?!?).  You'll have to decided whether or not a good ole' college try is admissible in New Year Resolutions court, but in the mean time there's still a fresh-faced new chair on the docket!

I have ALWAYS been interested in upholstery.  Primarily because I can't tell you how many times I see pieces with "good bones" but terrifying tapestry.  It seems so simple "just switch out the fabric and viola!" but there's nothing simple about reupholstery let me tell you.  To get it done right, you either need to pay an arm and a leg plus a foot and a toe or have a fairy fabric-mother.  And seeing as I have neither, I decided to challenge myself to try something a little more complicated than my Serape accent chair.  And it's no surprise that a project as intimidating as this one has been marinating on my Flip List for 12 months. 

I was very selective when choosing my test subject.  I wasn't ready for a "whale" of a project like a sofa or a chaise and a wingback armchair with it's flourishing angles would surely be a hot mess with my sewing skills.  So I cherry-picked a forgotten chair with clean lines (that's Cate for relatively fool proof) complete with frumpy maroon fabric straight out a dorm room.


Ok so this reveal is gonna go down a little like Project Runway: the opening silhouette may be simple but it's a classic color pallet. 

Now strike a pose...

And then turn on the runway so we can see the back...

Boom.  There it is!

The leather strap was actually was a Target belt in a former life.  For such a simple chair, I wanted it to have a little somethin' somethin'.

The chair disassembled into easy-to-recover panels.  I even left the two side pieces off so the chair could "breathe" (and also, let's be real, not trap as many crumbs). 

The fabric I chose was a heavy textured linen.  Also it's from a painter's dropcloth.

I simply wrapped each panel like a Christmas present complete with snuggly tucked in corners.

Now that I have a more complex reupholstery under my belt (pun so intended), maybe I'll have the courage to try (dare I say it)... piping.

Linen & Leather Chair
Now Available for Sale
Price $95

If you are interested in this piece, or a custom refinish like it, please email

Now, I know what you're thinking: Wait Cate!  What about the last item on your 2016 list?


Ahh yes, the very same delinquent baker's rack from 2015 that rolled over to 2016 with the caveat that I would attempted to build it out of reclaimed wood.  Well... let's just say I saved the best for last...

Or should I say the operative word was attempted...

Ha!  Ok so what I may have in amateur upholstery skills I certainly LACK in carpentry skills.  (Insert shameful grin emoji here) But at least this way we can go out with a bang (up job) and a laugh ;)

Here's to a complete(ish) 2016 and to posting a new 2017 Flip List in the coming weeks.  Stay classy friends.

Let's Recap The Year:

Card Catalog End Tables ||And a Nod to a Fave Chick Flick||

If you have been sweet enough to follow along with me on instagram, then you may recognize these fugly babies:

Photo Jul 03, 7 32 20 PM.jpg

Now I have BIG plans to convert these 2 sad end tables into 4 sexy pieces.  As of now, I've only halfway fulfilled my promise and converted them into 2 new beautiful pieces:

Did you even recognize them?!?  Changing the legs on anything really can go a long way!  (Need further proof, check out these chairs).  

The reason why I rescued these sorry lookin' little guys was actually for the 6-paneled drawer front.  I love the idea of a faux card catalog file (all the charm without the limiting compartmentalized storage).  Once I saw past the eyeball-like white knobs, I realized they could easily be replaced with brass library pulls.

Now I know what you avid readers are thinking, "But Cate!  Why did photographing these tables outside work for you this time when you wrote all about your al fresco staging saga in your Part I and Part II posts from last week?!?"  

Am I right?  Thought so ;)  Well what I realized last week was that staging outside wasn't capturing the "feeling" I was going for the piece I was photographing.  So what changed this time?  Well... the pieces!

Staging outside didn't create the right feeling for my cowhide bench, but it totally captures the exact ambiance I wanted for these card catalog tables...

Here was my chain of thought:

Card catalog tables make me think of old libraries.  Old libraries make me think of old books.  Old books make me think of old type writers.  Old type writers make me think of old-school authors typing away while on a secluded creative retreat...  Which then lead me to think of one comical scene in one favorite movie... can you guess it?

Yup.  Love Actually.  More specifically the scene where Colin Firth's character is typing outside only to have the pages of his book blow away and land in the lake.  

Lúcia Moniz [In Portuguese]: This stuff better be good...
Colin Firth [In English]: It's not worth it, you know.  This isn't bloody Shakespeare... 

Love it.

When I first saw the view at our "summer home" I couldn't help but think this scene.  And when I was looking around for things to stage the tables with, all I had on hand was my old type writer.  Perfeito [that's Portuguese for perfect].

This pair are still for sale at Sweet Clover and will be available to firthasize about [that's Colin Firth for "fantasize"] at our second  Pop Up Shop!  We hope you pop in and say hello - Chelsea and I will be there Saturday morning and would love to meet you in person!

Back to Style Event
Sept 5 & 6 10am to 5pm
Sweet Clover Barn 4051 Stanford Ct, Frederick, MD 21703