Wink of Wood


This pair. This pair of 3 drawer chests. This pair of 3 drawer chests with their clean lines and their gold buckle hardware. I wanted them so bad that I drove two towns over to pick them up. Twice.  No - not because they didn’t fit in my car but because for the first time in my furniture flipping career, I had to call an audible on account of the screaming baby in the car.

When I set up the meet, I figured all I really had to do was get baby H and me dressed enough to be considered decent, drive out there to pick them up, throw them in the car, then head home. Easy, peasy lemon squeezy.

That was my first mistake.

Baby fell asleep on the way. The seller was running late - no big! We can just wait in the car.

Strike two.

I had scheduled this pick up during what I learned later that many moms call “the witching hour” - that hellish time of day where baby can seem inconsolable…


Never. Stop. Driving. If baby is asleep in the car, you keep that magical motion going or you’ll have hell to pay. Unbeknownst to me, the delicate window to get these pieces and be on our way without a nuclear meltdown BEGAN TO CLOSE as soon as we pulled up to the rendezvous. After 10 minutes of waiting, baby H went all Chernobyl and we had to evacuate STAT.

Driving home, my hormones triggered a meltdown of my own. I had been so hell-bent on maintaining my need to create that I hadn’t stopped to consider her needs. What if we drive all the way out there and we can’t get the pieces to fit around her car seat? Where will baby wait if I have to finagle them down some stairs?? What if something breaks in transit and there is super sharp debris rattling around her in the car??? These questions were raising an unforeseen growing pain of new motherhood (emphasis on the pain): how to rewire a ME to better think about SHE.

As she was wailing for relief from the car seat, I realized I had popped her in the car like an accessory. Something I could just bring along with me on a craigslist pick up like a tape measure or moving blanket. Yeah… NO. Babies are not tape measures people. And they will (un)happily let you know that.


It was a valuable lesson about new motherhood and I have a hunch that I’m not done learning it. And perhaps never will be. Yes these dressers were a great buy for the business but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I pulled a new-mom mulligan and reached out to the seller to explain our no-show. She was gracious enough to reschedule with me the following day so I had a second chance to make juggling baby and a small business work. So we set out again - this time I made sure that baby had a full belly and a clean diaper first, and that the pieces were grab-and-go ready, and that they would fit safely around my most precious cargo (the baby… not the dressers). Fortunately for us this time, it worked out in the end but I’m acutely aware that that might not always be the case. And that’s ok. The beauty of owning your own business is that you should make it work for your family. Not make your family work for it.


With the challenges of my first postpartum pickup behind me, I worked on the dressers when it wouldn’t interfere. Stringing together bursts of productivity during naptime or when Dad was home - and even sometimes with baby snuggled up and strapped to my chest.


A series of nicks and dings meant I had to paint the majority of the pieces after all the repairs. I chose a favorite sIlky black paint finish for the body but still wanted some way to keep at least a touch of wood.


The only place I could salvage ended up being a unique opportunity for a wink of wood. I knixed the original concave metal backplate in favor of staining the recessed cavity behind the gold buckle pulls.


It’s just a peek but I hope someone will appreciate the subtle detail.


I added dark walnut legs with brass sabots (that’s fancy furniture talk for brass shoes) to play up this little detail.


With such richly dark pieces, I decided to keep the styling simple with a couple white accessories and a pair of arched floor-length mirrors.


These babies are ready for a new home and I’m ready for a new project - provided I’ve figured out how to be a mom and a maker… *wink*


Black 3-Drawer Dresser Set
Now Available for Sale
32”W x 18”D x 30”H
$795 for the pair

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at


Design Reveal: Dani's Master Bedroom

We’re back! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! In case you missed it on Friday, I’m sharing the last couple rooms in our client Dani’s full home we’ve been designing over the last couple of years! Friday was the family room reveal, and today we have the master bedroom. Thursday I’ll be back to share a full final post of the entire home altogether so you can see the cohesion from room-to-room.

The master bedroom was such a thoughtful process that involved collecting pieces over the span of a year. By the time we got to this space I knew Dani’s style fairly well. Our formula has been less, but interesting, pieces. Plain and simple. Dani doesn’t love excess but she appreciates interesting details that set an item, and room, apart. We’ve approached each room this way, and the pieces that have gone into them.

I’m not sure which came first, but the wrought iron bed and vintage rug were two such details that kicked off the design of this room. The bed was a never used Anthropologie piece that we found on Craigslist, and the rug on ebay - such second-hand finds saved over a grand from what these pieces would have been otherwise!


We ended up holding onto Dani’s existing nightstands since they were in great condition and we didn’t want to spend unnecessarily, so to marry the two unique styles between the campaign tables and romantic vintage inspired bed, we used sconces that incorporated aspects of both. There is almost always a way to connect two very different pieces in a room with a bit of intention!


We pretty much let the rug play the diva in this show and chose bedding that was easy to lay eyes on, but not distracting! Even the pillows pull subtly from colors in the rug, but don’t scream for attention.


The agate stand we have affectionately named Humpty Dumpty. PLEASE TELL ME YOU SEE IT TOO! That’s another thing you should know about Dani - she and her beau, Nate, have a fantastic sense of humor. I found our friend here at Pier 1 and liked him right away. I almost second guessed grabbing him when I saw the resemblance, but figured Dani would get a kick out of it. Hah!


I cannot get over how lovely this pallette came together! These pillows were collected over time and from various sources, and I truly couldn’t be happier with the end result. So soft and serene.


The beautiful ornate mirror belonged to Dani’s mother, a true treasure if ever I saw one. Isn’t it gorgeous? When I first saw it I knew we could take the bedroom in a bit of a romantic vintage direction - in fact, there are more vintage pieces in this room than anywhere else in the home. We sure had a good time digging up these treasures!


The green velvet chair is a prime example. Found at an antique market and priced to sell fast, we loved the shape and color for this space. Nate’s grandmother’s original artwork hangs above, and flanked by crisp white curtains and a simple hanging planter, the antique chair looks anything but tired.


Dani and Nate’s own photography skills came in handy for a solo statement piece above their desk - so stunning! You may recall from Friday’s reveal, they have a special place for Greece.


That’s a wrap, folks! By far one of my very favorite bedrooms I’ve ever had the honor of designing. I truly believe creativity breeds new inspiration, and I’m quite inspired by this space; ready to do another!

Thank you all so much for stopping by today! Don’t forget I’ll be sharing the entire home on Thursday - it wouldn’t be ridiculous if you wanted to set a reminder. It’ll be so worth it!


Design Reveal: Dani's Family Room

Well hello there! I feel like a gopher every time I pop my head up for a post - unexpected and out of the blue. Hah! Truth is, Cate and I have always put life and family before our little corner of the great web, and these last few months have been richly full to say the least!

With a few design projects wrapping up this month I am going to do my very best to share things as close to live time on here as possible, but if you want the full StyleMutt Home design experience, you may want to head over to Instagram if you aren’t on there already! That’s where projects end up first, (sometimes weeks before the blog), since it’s just so convenient to upload the photos, (with far less words, you’ll be glad to know hahaha)!

But for today, I hope you enjoy the first of several reveals coming up in rapid succession - starting with Dani Barbe’s family room! We have worked through this beautiful home for the past 2.5 years, room by room, and now we are done. Holy smokes!. I’ll save the master bedroom for early next week and then finish with one final full home tour so you can see the cohesiveness of the home as a whole.

So here we are, Dani’s comfy family room!


This space went from dark walls to light walls with dark furniture. It let’s the space pretend it’s cave-like without actually being a cave. While the rest of her home is light and bright, we went a touch moodier with this room, focusing on rich colors and bold contrast.


One of the first stops in the process was reorienting the room and moving the tv between the front two windows. This far wall was suddenly opened up and very, very blank! I absolutely did not want to add another furniture piece here just for the sake of filling space, and since Dani and her beau are seasoned globe trotters, I thought this space was the perfect opportunity to add some personal photos from their travels! This simple square grid of black and white iPhone photos framed in $15 IKEA frames might just be my favorite element in the room, (or tied with the chair…).


A framed port in Greece is a nod to the framed black and whites which were all taken in Greece. It’s a special place to this fun-loving couple and I wanted to tie it in someway that wasn’t screaming obvious. The pillows were all chosen intentionally to tie this room into the rest of the home, which I can’t wait to share in entirety next week!


Family rooms tend to get used hard in the very best way, which can sometimes result in style sacrifice. I totally get that. From personal experience, I get it. But I love that this space shows an alternative option - a comfy lounge space with durable pieces can also be beautiful. And there isn’t even that much going on! It’s my favorite kind of space; simple, comfortable, and interesting.


I had the pleasure of stealing Shire away from school to join me when I visited Dani’s home for the last time! We used to paint furniture in the garage together! Design is a different type of work but I have always treasured my kids’ being a part of things, however it suits their interest. And right now, missing school to join Momma totally suits her interest! Special thanks to Dani for taking these sweet pics during our time there.

If you stop by on Monday I’ll be sharing the full reveal of the master bedroom! Then I hear Cate has a little eye candy for you as well before I end this project with one final look-through. So bittersweet!

Thank you for stopping by, friends!