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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Little Brother Bookcase

Earlier this year, I scored two vintage West Michigan Furniture Co. bookcases off craigslist.

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I shared what became of the bigger one in my last post but what became of his little legless brother?

Meet Little Brother:

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He may be more petite than his big bro, but he is certainly just as stately.

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I wanted the option for these bookcases to get adopted together so I used the same color to do a similar finish with some small changes - can you spot them?

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This time, I painted only the sides and top and left the front trim in the original wood finish. This waterfall paint treatment has honestly become one of my favorite refinishing techniques. It allows me to maintain what I can of the original wood finish while still providing a pop of contrast in an unexpected way.

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Little bro also go a new pair of legs.

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They are a matte black powder-coated steel that matches the matte black paint finish.

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Like his brother, he still has his original glass sliding doors to prevent the accumulation of dust on your collectables (provided you dust the inside before you put anything in there… unlike me).

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For styling, I really had fun with this one. I liked the idea of incorporating some moody mother nature - considering she’s been quite moody here in VA lately.

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And what’s more moody than a dramatic oversized tree branch?

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Or some scraggly scavenged moss?

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To class it up, I added a few porcelain mushroom figurines (thank you Target for yet another random purchase I don’t really need be somehow really want).

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On our staging hunt, Thor even found some tennis balls that have grown a more mature shade of green moss. Leave it to the dog to sniff out old tennis balls like a truffle pig.

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And yes, Thor tried to play with each piece of our haul on the walk home from the walk in the woods. Let’s hope baby girl Henderson will have a better appreciation for décor than my men do.

Hit me up if you’re in the market for this little guy (and/or his big bro)!

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Little Brother Bookcase
Now Available for Sale
36”W x 12”D x 30”H
$395

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

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Back to Black || 2019 Flip List Item No.4

Black. And wood. These have been banner forces in some of our projects for a while now and the reason I wanted to turn up the contrast on my two-toned flips.  That dark mysterious black against a warm and welcoming wood. Yes please and I’ll have another.

Then last week, I came across this listing on Craigslist for two original mid century bookcases made by the West Michigan Furniture Co. They were a great price which made for the perfect opportunity to scratch this jet black itch I’ve been having…

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If you’ve been following the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List then you’ll know where I’m going with this.. item No.4 is in my sights:

 
 
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Now just let me dangle the carrot here for a minute - look at that contrast!

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Instead of keeping the cases stacked as a single unit, I decided to make them two separate units. The top surface on the lower, larger cabinet was damaged so it was already asking for a fresh coat of paint.  Painting the casing in a new-found favorite Limousine Leather by Behr allowed the interior to electrify. 

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Unlike my prior flirts with dark tones, this black is much more severe.  It’s still my trademark dark and moody and it’s so very stately - especially contrasted against that wooden interior.

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This West Michigan Furniture Co. piece still has its original glass sliding doors to protect your treasures from collecting dust.

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Truth time - I hate photographing pieces with glass surfaces.  I end up obsessing about the reflections or how I apparently don’t know how to keep glass clean. Does anyone out there have any tips??? Asking for a friend…

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It also has the original brass capped peg legs which I cleaned up a little but left a lot of the natural patina. I’m so used to working with tapered or metal legs but these little gams are just so cute, I might have to replicate this look again.

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For styling, I leaned into the monochromatic look with terra-cotta, books, touches of brass, and white decorative accents. I felt like the piece called for a more “masculine” look with an emphasis on interesting shapes and varied heights.

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You’ll have to tune back in to see what will come of his little leggless brother!

 

Back to Black Bookcase
Now available for sale
48”W x 12”D x 31”H
$425

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

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One down, four to go. Catch up on the 2019 Furniture Flip Bucket List.