My Daughter's Fresh Flip

Hi friends! As you can see by our recent posts, refinishing season is well under way for the StyleMutt Home girls - and I don't just mean Cate and me! My daughter, Shire, has been workin' on her own flipped finds to share with you! She started painting furniture a few years ago when she was 3. Her first piece was a child's chair she painted Antibes Green by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We listed it for sale and my Dad, Shire's 'Pops', bought it. :) These days she's learning more about the business of refinishing furniture - what sells and why. If you ask Shire what she would like to do when she grows up, this is it. In her 6 year old opinion, she's living the dream!

This is a healthy stack of pieces we stocked a couple weekends ago via our loaded DC Metro area Craigslist. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes not. We had a really hot week recently and I contacted around two dozen sellers. I've gotten picky in my old age, though. Since refinishing has become something I do more on the side as we're starting to focus on home styling and design, I invest only in pieces I'm really excited about. It's a lot of time and resources to refinish and it's got to be really worth it. The top of this stack, however, was not a premeditated purchase. Shire and I went to a mid-century modern warehouse flash sale in hopes of finding some authentic goodies, and she saw this pair of end tables stacked on top of a few other pieces. They were priced low and for the pair; done and done!

When the owner of this warehouse asked Shire how she was going to refinish this pair of tables, she didn't skip a beat when she answered, "white!"

She used a can of combined chalk paint, (Pure White) + milk paint, (Grain Sack), that we had on hand. Combining these two types of paint not only stretches my leftovers, but creates such an authentically time worn finish. Chippy pieces are so charming when they look aged by years and years of love. After Shire's pieces dried we sanded them gently using a medium grit sanding sponge, (favorite distressing tool), and the paint just flaked right off!

Before sanding I taped off the bottom 4" of the legs and took the power sander to that area to completely strip the paint and finish. Love the raw wood grounding this pair!

The best part about using milk paint is the unpredictability, in my opinion. The paint flakes where it wants to flake and there's not much you'll be able to do about it. It's fabulous! Perhaps not the best tool for a type A perfectionist since you really can't control where the chipping will happen. But it's for this reason that I think it looks the most real. Sometimes distressing looks a little too contrived. I want to look at a piece and be fooled into wondering if it actually has been sitting out on this antique store front's porch for the past 50 years. Shire painted these two tables at the same time in pretty much the same manner, and one tables top flaked way more than the other! How fun!

Shire's tables pictured below with a little teaser from Momma. :)

Chippy White Tables
$45 for the pair
Contact if interested!

Thank you so much for coming by!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Hi friends! Every now and then we have the pleasure of refinishing a matching set of furniture, per custom request. Whenever a set comes in, whether it's a coffee table and end table set for a living room, or a matching bedroom set, it's always fun to imagine the room created around the pieces. 

I was definitely day dreaming about this while working on a bedroom set that was requested to be finished similarly to this beauty:

The dear gal who purchased this piece asked if I could use the same ultra distressed technique on her daughter's bedroom set. After she sent pictures of her daughters pieces, I knew it wouldn't be a stretch. The set had great bones and lines already! Here's what I came up with:

How to get this look:

I refinished these pieces in several layers, just as I did the large dresser several weeks ago. I painted them in Old White, by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Then I went over in Layla's Mint by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. The final coat is a mix of Pure White, (by ASCP), and Grain Sack, (by MMSMP). The mix of milk paint to chalk paint gives a chippy-er finish, drawing the paint up a bit so it flakes off easily. I finished by taking my electric sander with rough 100 grit sandpaper over both pieces and removing as much paint as possible in a few key spots - on the dresser I heavily distressed the frame of the drawer fronts and the protruding side panels. On the headboard, I focused on the protruding middle section, as you can see below.

The most important piece of information I about on the girl who this set will live with is that she is NOT a girly-girl. Her sweet Momma told me that she wanted the white distressed look, but nothing too 'sweet'. I think with the extra distressing, these pieces have an edgier, butt-kicking, 'don't mess with me' kind of look. Do you see it? :)

Love, love seeing side-by-side Before+Afters! These pieces were in great shape before - just needed a bit of character.

But then again, my stance is anything can be improved with a bit of character. ;)

Thank you all for stopping by!

Reader Design: Karen's Chippy Charm in Chile

Ok guys here's a fun fact about me: I grew up as a diplobrat.  Meaning my State Department family would up and haul our homebase to a new country in a constant three-to-four-year rotation.  We moved all over the world and I have had the pleasure NAY the honor of meeting so many wonderful internationals - many of whom, like me, had been uprooted and replanted in a foreign country as well.  It was often difficult for our grents and aunties and uncles and cousins, etc... to trek all the way across the globe to visit so our local friends became our surrogate extended family by distance default.  I spent many a Christmas celebrating with blood brothers instead of blood relatives :)

So it has been especially tickling to have StyleMutt Spaces submissions coming in from all over the globe!  You all are such a sweet reminder of my childhood and the amazing people I now count as family.  And whether you know it or not, you are such a vibrant and important installation to StyleMutt Home.  Thank you for sharing your slice of globe with us and we are so honored to all of you (natives and internationals alike) who have found our site.

Today's reader designer is a Chilean who has filled her living room with vintage European touches.  Karen's home is full of chippy charm and re-found, re-purposed, and re-loved pieces. 

From Karen:

I've always loved when a space has pieces that nobody else has that makes it unique. I know it can be difficult, but you can accomplish this by giving a new life to maybe an old piece of furniture, like I did here: the bookshelf it was made by my father twenty years ago... I took off the back side and the two glass doors from the front.  Then I sanded, painted, and distressed it.  Later I did the same with the chair. 
The brown side table is a second hand piece that I got to restore... for the moment, I love how it looks with the white details.
And finally, my gallery wall which I am absolutely in love with!!  It took me some time to gather all the right pieces, but I am so so happy with the result.

That accent wall is my favorite!  The french-inspired graphics, the black and white, and don't get me started on those gold and mirrored frames!!!  

Karen, this is exactly what we want to hear from our readers: that you love and are proud of your space!  You were one of the first readers to tag your #stylemuttspaces and we are so delighted that you did!  

Don't forget that StyleMutt Home is open to all you fellow mutts out there.  You don't have to be an international, a local, a professional decorator, or even a fellow blogger to share your favorite room with us!  The purpose of Reader Designs is simply to share beautiful rooms with fresh ideas and document these features in our SPACES page as a source of inspiration.  So tag #stylemuttspaces on your IG or FB pics people - we wanna see what your rooms have to say for themselves!