Reader Design: Oksana's Charming Home

A home is nothing if not a place of love, and love is clear in Oksana's home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The family home, which Oksana shares with her husband and their baby girl, is full of European charm in the middle of the South.

Oksana fell in love with interior design in July of 2015, when she and her husband bought a 1930 bungalow that was previously abandoned for 20 years. Since then, the couple has worked to bring the house back to life, tackling DIY projects like nobody's business and documenting the fun renovation adventures on their blog, Foxy Oxie

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From Oksana:

I wouldn’t say I have a particular style, but I am drawn to an aesthetic of clean lines and geometric elements juxtaposed against more traditional silhouettes. The key, for me, is balance. I want our home to feel sophisticated but also real and honest and truly reflective of our everyday life, especially now that we have a young daughter and another little one on the way. I find that playing up opposing styles – feminine and masculine, soft and edgy, modern and traditional – is a great way to showcase personality in design.

I am a compulsive redecorator by nature, and my style is ever-evolving. But I always, always gravitate towards a neutral color palette with lots of texture. Every now and then I’ll add in a pop of color – the latest being a moody teal – but it never lasts.

More important to me than a specific style, however, is the overall feel of our home – and that’s something that is based on individual design intuition and varies greatly from person to person.
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You’ll find a lot of European design influence in our home – from our Italian cantilever dining chairs to the French-inspired dining table to our Chesterfield-style sofa.
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I know first-hand the transformation nature of a well-designed room. Our surroundings have the power to instantly lift our spirits, increase productivity and improve our quality of life. Beyond the aesthetics, I strive to make our home feel relaxed – and a big part of that is maintaining a clutter-free environment. You have to give rooms breathing space. For example, I am one of those rare individuals whose countertops are (almost) always empty. Decluttering sprees are a regular occurrence in our home. And as much as I love arranging pretty vignettes, I am not a fan of displaying decorative tchotchkes for the sake of filling a space.
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Instead of knick-knacks, Oksana gravitates toward more permanent fixtures.

I am very particular about our light fixtures and am always willing to splurge for just the right one. Lighting is truly the jewelry of a room, and just like a well-designed piece of jewelry can instantly elevate a rather simple outfit, light fixtures have the same effect on a room.
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Every room is full of love, yet simple; graphic and bold, but timeless. Perhaps it's the combination of Oksana's career as a graphic designer and her family life as a wife and mother that brings balance to bear. Regardless of the reason, it sure has created a beautiful home!

Oksana, thank you for the tour today! 

Follow Oksana and her family along on Instagram at @foxyoxie.

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Boston's 'D Street' Reveal!

Hello again! My last post was ridiculously text heavy so I won't waste time with too many words here, but I just want to say thank you for all of your incredibly kind words of encouragement for Cate and me as we pursue new and exciting challenges with our work here at StyleMutt Home. Your words lift our hearts so.

I'm really excited to dive right into sharing some of the units I've been working on with Sonder, (see this post for details on my new freelance position)! I've completed 7 units since mid-July and am looking forward to seeing more of them photographed and listed! The work is completely digital - they send me a floorplan with measurements of the space, and sometimes, if I'm lucky, pictures of the space as well! A lot of times there are still renters in the units so I don't get listing pictures, but with this unit I did!

I won't even try to hide how much of a nerd I am for factory windows - factory windows, interior brick, and unfinished warehouse ceilings are probably my top three favorite architectural elements in a home, so getting to work on urban condos and apartments is an awesome fit. And doing this unit in my favorite city of Boston was another big perk! I lived there for 6 years and it's one of my favorite places in the world. Go Sox!

So after Sonder sends me the floorplan and any pictures or video tours they may have of the unit, I start a Pinterest board, (just like we do with our clients)! Unlike client boards, however, I keep my Sonder boards public. So if there's anything you see that you're interested in, you can find it all here on my Pinterest! I create a different Pinterest board for each unit and use that to save inspiration and pieces. Sonder always gives me a very strict budget, (right to the cent), a 'turn-in' date of when they need the design completed, (usually around 2 days), and a 'need by' date of when they need every last item to ship by, so I need to make sure every piece can be delivered on time! Below is a sample of the board I used for today's apartment!


After pinning the main furniture pieces I want to use I then create a floorplan based on the measurements Sonder sent. When doing eDesign it's absolutely imperative that you understand the space you are working with, right down to the inch. I'm getting MUCH better with my floorplans, but have definitely been in a position of asking whoever is on the installation end, (clients, or Sonder operations), to squeeze this way or that or try to explain a new layout. Not fun and totally embarrassing. Floorplans are priority!


And finally I create the design boards! I typically make one design board per room in the apartment, (unless the layout is wonky and I need to show some super specific styling or layout details). Below is the design board for the living room, and following is the living room in completion!


For some reason they did not use the gorgeous Rose Swiss Cross engineer print I had sourced from our dear friend Vol25, and yes, I am taking it personally. Hah! I had chosen that for my closeted infatuation with red and pink, as well as the lovely contrast between the dusty pink and the cow print. Oh well. I don't love the feathers but I can move past. Shall we?


Other than that Rose Swiss Cross print, it's crazy fun seeing every other last detail implemented exactly as I had presented in the design, (even the books). So cool!


Bedroom 1: We've had the opportunity to work with two clients this year who wanted sage green walls in their home. While the specific direction with style and color scheme was unique to our clients, I had a little fun of my own in this room with sage green. Here is the design board followed by the real deal:

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No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, they switched out the black mudcloth pillows for these dusty blue ones....but I'm not sad about it. They picked a really earthy, dusty blue, which I think goes well. Otherwise, the room represents the design to a 'T'!


Bedroom 2: Same feel, different route to get there. Design board followed by the completed space.

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One thing I forgot to mention! All beds get dressed in 'hotel white' bedding, so I don't ever do comforters, duvets or sheets. So I try to pick beds, pillows and throws, (as well as overall room colors), that will go with crisp white.


A huge thank you to the folks I will never meet who worked on installing this space for Sonder! It turned out just as I had imagined. Except for the Rose Swiss Cross. :)

Til' next time! Thank you all so much for coming by today!


Occupation: SAHM / Small Business Owner

Hi guys! I've had this post on my mind for a while but the start of a new year seemed like the perfect time to get it done and finally share! It's my story. Well, not the full story, but the part that connects the points between becoming a new Mom to a small business owner. It's my 'just start' story, and I think there are a lot of folks who may be able to relate, even if the circumstances are different.

I know there's a small number of you out there who have joined me on this adventure from the very beginning, the Chelsea's Garage beginning. At the very likely chance you're a new friend since those early days, my first blog, 'Chelsea's Garage', was created in about 10 minutes using a basic available template on blogger, nothing custom. The blog was a place to share refinished furniture finds, DIY ideas, and every now and then, to discuss balancing life as a new stay-at-home-Mom to a litter of puppies. I mean kids! In fact, my babes were the very reason I decided to start a small business!

Meet the litter: twins, Colin and Shire, and our very special surprise, Mason.

Meet the litter: twins, Colin and Shire, and our very special surprise, Mason.

Motherhood. I revel in being Colin and Shire and Mason's Mom. It's one of the greatest pleasures in my life to watch the little beings my body carried now crack me up, read, rest their heads on my shoulder. Being their Mom is my very special honor, responsibility and gift. But generally speaking, motherhood has always intimidated me, more after I had children than ever! While I've always felt confident in how we are raising our children, I've felt insecure being labeled a Mom.

I like this picture because it looks like I may have actually washed my hair that morning.

I like this picture because it looks like I may have actually washed my hair that morning.

Especially a stay-at-home-mom.

Over the past 7+ years that I've been a Mom so far, I've filled out 30,000 forms on behalf of my family members, (school, doctor, insurance, etc). And every single one has a line to fill in your occupation. I dread this line. I inevitably get flustered and scratch in 'N/A', (which doesn't even make sense!!!), and hope the person I hand the forms to doesn't notice.

'Clean plates, full diapers, can't lose.' Any Friday Night Lights fans?

'Clean plates, full diapers, can't lose.' Any Friday Night Lights fans?

It's not that I think there is anything wrong with filling in SAHM, (Stay-At-Home-Mom), where the form asks you to write in your occupation. It's that I don't feel qualified to do so! I don't love to bake, I'm terrified about getting head lice when I spend any amount of time in the kids' school, I hate glitter, I feel panicky at the thought of helping my kids with their homework... In fact, thinking about keeping track of homework and due dates was the only thing during my pregnancies that made me nauseous. My list of un-qualifications goes on!

Being a stay at home Mom felt too big a pill for me to swallow and finding an outlet was my survival. Even when the twins were still cooking I was researching how to refinish furniture so I'd have some sort of plan of action once they arrived. As it turns out, twins legitimately cost you a full year of your life, especially when you find out half way through the year that you're pregnant again! So my plan didn't start right away; it began when my third was born and the twins were 17 months.

You can see the snow coming down! And look at the turnout of shoppers....LOL!

You can see the snow coming down! And look at the turnout of shoppers....LOL!

I started Chelsea's Garage after I had accumulated enough refinished pieces of furniture to throw a big garage sale complete with hot cider, shabby chic finishes and a few surprises, like snow! It was February, afterall; perhaps not the best time for a small business grand opening outside, but it was my small business and it gave me a job and a purpose outside of motherhood. I collected furniture to refinish for months and then advertised my first garage sale on Craigslist. I hosted another a month later of more refinished pieces, another 6 months after that, and a fourth a year after that. By that point I was full of custom orders to occupy my work hours which were 1-4pm every day during the kids' nap time - I hypnotized them every day to sleep all together that long. (Kidding! But truly, nap time was never optional. We didn't magically get three awesome nappers. It twas most definitely trained and the Lord was so gracious in allowing that to be fruitful. To this day it remains my single greatest achievement as a mother. LOL!)

This is all she wants to do when she grows up - work with Mom. Be still my heart.

This is all she wants to do when she grows up - work with Mom. Be still my heart.

There was never a perfectly convenient time that felt opportunistic to start. I just did. A snowy day in February while my husband managed our three diaper-butts inside was quite possibly the worst time to start, but there was no stifling the ambition to get going. A lot has changed since that February garage sale but the fire is still strong! It's such a joy to do this work and I feel so incredibly grateful that the Lord has guided me to a career where He has gifted me. Design and refinishing feels effortless; I can't say the same about motherhood! The opportunity to work with someone on creating their home, whether it's a single room they're renting or a full house, is an honor that neither Cate nor I take lightly. We love people and we love design; what a blessing to combine the two in our work!

Our favorite day is an install day!

Our favorite day is an install day!

It's been 5 years since I started a small furniture refinishing business and I can say with clarity that owning a business has made me a much braver, stronger, and more confident Mom to my kids. It's also given me the courage to fill in that pesky Occupation line on paperwork: SAHM / Small Business Owner.

If you feel the flickering of a flame to build your own small business, I hope this inspires you to just start. At least start the conversation about it with someone you love and respect and who will give you honest feedback. My husband, Matt, is really the reason I'm doing what I do today - he was my person that I had that late night conversation with about starting all of this in the first place. He's been 100% on board from the very start, and continues to provide wise council, encouragement and tremendous support to this day. Truly, an amazing man!

The greatest gifts, all 4 of them.

The greatest gifts, all 4 of them.

Thank you all for stopping by today! If this gave you any encouragement to start something of your own this year and want to talk a bit more, please don't hesitate to contact me at!