Decorating: Second Hand Style {+ a brief MIA}

Alright, friends; it's about to quiet down here on the blog for a short bit. As we've been sharing over the past week or so, Cate and I are working on our new DIY resource blog, StyleMutt! We'll be using much of this coming month to work on the site and hope to have some fun sneak peeks to share with you soon! I'm sure a few posts will trickle in here and there over the next few weeks, but they'll be irregular. We'll sure miss you but feel that taking a little time off from publishing posts will enable us to make some big steps forward with StyleMutt. We can hardly wait!

And not to be sidelined, we are so delighted to report that we also have our first design project together! When a super sweet, fun and spunky gal contacted us to help makeover her English basement, we knew a really exciting door was opening. Over the past few weeks the three of us have been brainstorming style aesthetics, design logistics, and are moving forward with tackling each element on the checklist. We will absolutely be sharing projects with you here and there and are looking forward to a full before / after reveal once the job is complete!

Cate and I feel that one of our strengths as a design team is finding chic, quality used pieces. We thrift, sure, but we have a particularly sharp eye for pieces that reach a standard of quality and style. For this English basement project we will certainly be doing a fair share of thrifting; looking for one of a kind, cool pieces that meet both the expectation of quality as well as style. These pieces may be found on Craigslist, at thrift stores, flea markets, and the like.

I've been wanting to share a little example of something that could be 'thrown together' using only second hand pieces. With just an hour yesterday afternoon, I scoured Craigslist, finding beautiful pieces at fair, secondhand prices, and created a hypothetical 'Craigslisted Living Room':

Okay, so I added a small handful of decorative knick-knacks, (including my favorite pillow by Cushion Cut Decor Here is a 1000% Craigslisted living room:

Pretty sweet, right?! Every single item above was currently available for sale, (by various sellers), in the Washington D.C. / Northern Virginia area as of yesterday afternoon. I didn't double anything that wasn't being sold as a pair, and only used photos listed in the ads. Obviously, it's always important to go and see a used piece in person, but I think it's worth giving secondhand a chance! 

So, that's what Cate and I will be up to over the next month! Between StyleMutt and this English basement, we are so excited about sharing some fun projects when we come back! Please continue reaching out in post comments, Facebook, or via email with any suggestions you have for StyleMutt. Your input and advice is imperative!  

Thank you for stopping by and we'll be back soon!

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This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Steve. {Thrift Store Find No. 3}

Good news!  It's finally time to reveal the last mystery item from my fateful trip to the thrift store last Spring. 

Ok, so if you've been following my guest posts here and here, you may recall that I went to the thrift store looking for bookends {which I still have not found for myself by the way} and ended up buying 3 completely not-on-my-shopping-list things: a cane-backed chair, a picture frame, and mystery item No. 3.  Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, may I introduce to you... Steve.

{His name is a nod to Chelsea's post on Ricky the metallic Rhino.}

Now when thrifting it is important to keep an open mind.  You never know what you will find to take home and transform so you can't just look at things for what they are.  Let's face it, everything looks a little gross in a thrift store - sitting on dusty shelves under florescent lights, inevitably sporting some form of sticker residue.  When you're thrifting, you need to look beyond the items for their potential.  

I noticed this brass deer amidst a shelf of knicknacks because it was shiny {my parents can attest to my crow-like sensibilities: always gravitating towards things that sparkle}.  Upon closer look I realized there were two holes in his noggin.  This was no Debby the Doe, this was a Steve the Stag - he was just missing his antlers.  Nothing a touch of whimsy and couple twigs couldn't fix.

Now he has a position of honor where he can nobly pose next to the chandelier terrarium on our credenza.

And I'm not the only one in love with Steve.  His metallic profile is trending everywhere:


Here he is on some illustrious Anthropologie wallpaper.


And with a lady friend on One Kings Lane.


And even making a cameo appearance on Etsy via this lovely gilded portrait.

So when you're sorting through the flotsam and jetsam at your local thrift store, remember to keep an open mind to what you see.  You might find something you could love if you put your own spin on it.

And there you have it!  A happy addition to my credenza's vignette and No. 3 installation to this thrift store mystery series.

Also, this is what's happening right now as I type.  {And yes, he's dead asleep in that position}.

Happy Wednesday,


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.