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What They Covet / Karrie Kaneda from Happy Habitat

This week we sit down for a chat with Karrie Kaneda, owner and designer of Happy Habitat:  a line of eco-friendly throw blankets. We absolutely adore her work, both as an environmentalist and a fellow Midwest designer (Karrie is a local Kansas Citian!).

We hope you enjoy our conversation as much as we have.  

Continue reading What They Covet / Karrie Kaneda from Happy Habitat

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Restore & Refresh

Finn Juhl “FD136” lounge chairs for France & Son, in the designer’s residence.

Perhaps there’s a chic but scruffy family heirloom in your basement. Maybe you’re on the hunt for the perfect vintage accent but wish to renew a less-than-prime piece. Or maybe you are an ardent vintage buyer who always needs a project. Regardless of the reason, breathing new life into a formerly undesirable piece is as satisfying as it is surprisingly simple. We’ve rounded up the most helpful methods and hints for doing just that.

Material: Wood

While some always practice the “If it’s rough, cover it with paint” mantra, it doesn’t have to be this way. Unlike a lot of furniture produced today, vintage and antique pieces were designed to last and made to be refinished. And with craftsmanship and materials like that, it’s easy to see why.

For many hardwoods, such as walnut, maple, teak and oak, a simple and breathtaking option is a rubbed-oil finish. Easier to achieve stunning looks with than a glossy and toxic-smelling varnish, only rudimentary skill is involved. Our favorite oil finishes include the Watco family of oils, and Tried & True Wood Finish, both noted for their easy application and durable, beautiful appearance. Even on veneered furniture, oil finishes impart a modern, smooth, gorgeous finish with a slight lustre all its own.

Maintaining piece finished with oil is simple as well. On tables and oft-used pieces, always use a drinks coaster, as most oil finishes are susceptible to rings. If piece shows wear, and to keep the finish resilient, it is necessary to re-oil occasionally.

Helpful Hint: Between coats of any oil-finish, a quick but thorough once-over with .0000 (ultra fine) steel wool not only enhances the final finish, it allows the wood to absorb more oil more deeply by opening the pores of the wood.

Material: Woven (Wicker/Rattan/Papercord/Bamboo)

A walnut & papercord Wishbone chair by Hans J. Wegner

You’ve found the most gorgeous, structurally sound rattan and iron side chair. It’s sturdy, it’s vintage, it’s perfect for your desk. It’s also filthy from decades of sitting in a dusty garage or basement. Luckily, this is yet another simple procedure. If the rattan has a clear finish, simply clean with water and a soft-bristle brush, and allow to dry. If the finish looks dull, it can be wiped down with lemon oil or refinished with a coat or two of clear spray lacquer. Wicker can be treated in this manner. If it is painted, it may be lightly scrubbed with soapy water, allowed to dry, and re-sprayed or touched up.

For papercord surfaces, a dry, soft-bristle brush may be used to clean between the cords. Avoid getting unlacquered or otherwise unsealed papercord wet.

Helpful Hint: Because seating materials like this are likely to be used frequently, it is usually a good idea to seal them to protect against spills and stains. Use either a brush-on or spray-on product, and remember to never leave woven seats in direct light for extended periods, as it can have a destructive drying effect.

This is the first installment of a series on how to best bring back to life hand-me-down or found vintage furniture and accessories. As always, let us help you design your life.

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Design and Cocktails in Cuba : Movements Blog

Beyond the Mambo, guitar strumming streets of Communism, Cuba hides one of the richest fields of design and interior inspiration. Earth tones merge naturally into bright pastels and woods and metals collide in a look that can only be called organic industrial.

Design elements throughout Cuba infuse native island culture, African sentiments and Spanish colonialism. All this and with a twist of Art Deco. What may appear gaudy on the surface, is far deeper and more charming in its depths and we’ve just begin to plunge into this extraordinary sea. We eagerly await for Cuban/American relations to soothe as more and more of the tiny Caribbean island comes into the spotlight

So pour yourself a Cuba Libre (recipe below) let the tunes flow* and dive into the world of Cuban design.

Continue reading Design and Cocktails in Cuba : Movements Blog

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Curated: Vegan Taxidermy

Taxidermy has been around for centuries. Its recent revival as an interior design trend has found many fans and detractors alike. The ethical and moral debate over using once living animals as home decor is not one we take lightly at Coveted Home. Quite simply, we love animals! Some of us feel comfortable owning vintage taxidermy but wouldn’t dream of purchasing a new specimen. Some are ok with using ethically sourced hides or specimens. Others think the whole taxidermy thing is wrong and wouldn’t dream of owning any formerly living creatures. One thing that we can agree on is faux or vegan taxidermy. Faux taxidermy pays homage to the beautiful animals that we adore without causing any animals harm. The vegan taxidermy movement has been around for a while, so we’ve rounded up a few of our new favorites.

772b8834793d090dd0e48746d803d85bPaper Mache via anthologymag.com

zebra_rug_largeCanvas Zera “hide” via laurierblanc.com 

3217232_z Brass Heron lamp via 1stdibs.com


Walrus_fda1c638-765f-4722-a9b5-af5bfa112566_1024x1024Paper Walrus via nickeykehoe.com

il_570xN.725619642_6ri7Black Resin Bison Head via etsy.com

Okita3Textile Moth via etsy.com

Crane_16de04af-108c-4755-af24-40a3040c54b9_1024x1024Paper White Crane via nickeykehoe.com

1824962_lBrass Elephant Head via 1stdibs.com

Top image via lonny.com

Follow our “Curated” collections on the blog to see some of our favorite interior design and home design trends. Most items are available to purchase through Coveted Home in Kansas City and are also available to view through their appropriate links. As always, let us help you design your life.

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Pro File: Kelly LaPlante of Trove Market on New Adventures

When Kelly LaPlante calls, I am all ears. We reconnected back in 2007 just as I was finishing up my degree in interior design. We hadn’t seen each other since we were children–we are cousins or second cousins rather and I happened to visit her mother with my parents, who informed me Kelly was an interior designer as well. I looked her up and therein began my secret obsession with Kelly–someone for me to look up to. She is whip smart, obvious from the moment you meet her but also a creative force to be reckoned with. You won’t find Kelly marching in line with the rest of us–she marches to her own beat and I greatly admire her for that. She is best known for her involvement in sustainable design, from her interiors work to the online magazine she launched and directed from 2010-2013. She is now on a new venture with Trove Market and we caught up with each other via a little “designer Q & A flip flop”. I got to ask her all of my burning desire questions about her career–which you will see here. To read her questions and my answers, head over to the Trove blog!
 Kelly-LaPlante
 Kelly with her adorable son, Stosh
JJ: I’ve watched you go from an amazing LA based interior designer to founding and being the editor of Standard Magazine, which was a favorite publication of mine. Can you tell us what inspired you to branch out into the media side of the design business?

KLP: I like to say that journalism is in my blood. We’ve got lots of journalists in the family, so I figure it is my birthright to put words down on a page. I caught the editorial bug while writing my book and there was no going back. I started Standard a couple of years later and adored being the Editorial Director… since we closed in 2013 I’ve just been missing that kind of work so much! So when the opportunity came to be the Editorial Director of Trove Market—how could I resist?

When I lived in LA, there were lots of opportunities for on-camera designing and now for Trove we produce videos that are similar to that (but much faster!). I love designing with the challenge of cameras rolling.

I wear a lot of hats—designer, writer, editor, producer. In the same day I can be both on camera and behind the scenes. But somehow it all comes together to form a fairly seamless career and I’m really grateful for that.

JJ: These days it seems as if everyone has a book out! When you published your book, écologique back in 2008 did the market feel as saturated with design books as it does now? What was the process of putting the book together like?

KLP: There weren’t as many design books—and certainly not as many about sustainable design! I truly felt like there was a need for a book like écologique because there were many misconceptions about green design, at the time.

I was living in LA and was lucky to be working with a lot of interesting people— authors, actors, politicians—they had each come to me specifically because they wanted green design. A friend suggested that we start photographing the projects specifically with the goal of making a book that would illustrate how green design could coexist with any style, and I loved the idea. Then I started reaching out to people in other parts of the country to see if they wanted to participate and the response was really wonderful. My team and I would just travel all over the place, working on the homes of people we’d just met and becoming fast friends with them. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
JJ: You are a pioneer of the sustainable design movement. Using vintage is sustainable and is so hot right now in design–something I saw you implementing years ago in all of your projects. How has your design aesthetic evolved over the years and are you still loving vintage now as much as you used to?

KLP: I’ve always loved vintage and I still do! I believe the greenest (and often, the most stylish!) thing you can do is to use something that is already existing. There’s no new environmental footprint—and that’s pretty fantastic!

Trove vintage chairs

Mid century chairs available on Trove

Trove vintage chests

Set of MCM chests available on Trove 

As I type this, I’m sitting in Round Top, Texas, during the antiques fair. It’s so much fun to see what people bring out and what people go home with. A lot of trends start here, out in the dusty fields. A few years ago we spotted some antique pommel horses that one vendor was selling and months later we saw them peppered into chic little shops all over the country! It’s funny to think that there are trends in vintage and antique, but there definitely are… especially with the quirky stuff!
Trove team at Roundtop
 The Trove team visits Round Top, Texas

JJ: Your career path has been an inspiration to watch. Can you tell us more about your current venture with Trove?

KLP: Thank you! Like everyone, I’ve had my ups and downs and, truthfully, I was a little lost after closing Standard a couple of years ago. It took me some time to find my way to something that was a perfect fit. It was the first time I hadn’t just catapulted from one adventure to the next and I was incredibly frustrated by that.

Trove and I found each other organically, through mutual friends, and one thing lead to another. I was Guest Editor for a couple of months and then was offered the opportunity to stay on as Editorial Director, which just felt right to all of us. I deeply identify with our mission of helping people connect to vintage and other unique pieces that are local to them. There are so many cool technological bells and whistles that we make use of at Trove that encourage the local shopping experience—that means a lot to me because shipping has such a huge impact on the planet.

Being an Editorial Director for a brand like Trove is a little different than holding the same position at a magazine, so I’m getting to learn a lot of new things! There is some inevitable trial and error in finding Trove’s “voice” but it is such a fun endeavor—and I’m blessed to know so many talented designers (like you!) who will come and play with me in the sandbox as I create content.

JJ: Since minimalism is the current topic on the Trove blog can you share with us what minimalism means to you and possibly a favorite minimalist space?

KLP: I’m definitely a less-is-more kind of person. I’ve always under-consumed and thought a lot about what I buy and what role it will play in my life. I want the pieces I own to bring me joy, every day—that’s a tall order and it sort of makes me a minimalist by default, although my personal taste is a bit more eclectic what one typically thinks of when they think of minimalism.

A designer who does a fantastic job of capturing my aesthetic is Lukas Machnik, who won American Dream Builders with his beach house design. It was a controversial win—his look definitely pushes the envelope and not everyone can envision themselves living in a space like that. But, to me, it was so spot on! He layered textures and merged styles to create an eclectic space but also kept everything relatively monochromatic, which gave the overall design a more minimal aesthetic.

Lukas Machnik
Lukas Machnik
Thank you, Kelly for sharing a glimpse inside of your impressive work life, past and present! To read my answers to Kelly’s question, head over to the Trove blog.
xx-jaclyn
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Measuring Up

Bigger isn’t Always Better : How to maximize your space with style

At Coveted Home we offer many pieces that will help make your living space more efficient, comfortable, and stylish. Unfortunately, downsizing or rightsizing (e.g., choosing to live in a smaller home that suits your needs) isn’t as easy as moving all of your stuff into a smaller space. Some of your pieces will fit right in, but others will need to be updated. Here are some decorating tips and product ideas that will help you create the perfect environment to suit your lifestyle. Need more ideas? Visit us on the Country Club Plaza to discuss design solutions for your challenging space.

MoodBoard

 

Get More Bang for your Buck with Multipurpose Pieces

A well chosen arm chair is a must have for any small home. Find a good place for an extra small chair in your living room or bedroom and you’ll always have extra seating for visiting and dining with guests.

Ottoman/Bench/Cocktail Table combos are great multifunctional pieces for small spaces. Add a tray on top of this one for displaying objects or holding drinks and there will still be room for seating or kicking up your feet.

Open Up

Exposed legs on furniture can create an illusion that the room is actually larger than it is. Remember this when choosing large pieces like sofa, chairs, and cabinets.

A Bright Idea

Floor task or arc lamps are perfect for putting in a corner near your sofa or favorite reading chair. They won’t take up much room and add another useful and beautiful layer of light to any room.

Go Bold, Go Big

Just because your room is small doesn’t mean your art has to be. Try going with a large print or original piece of art to make a big impact in your small room.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Don’t feel like you have to always choose smaller pieces – sometimes having one large sofa/sectional might make more sense than multiple sofas or chairs. However, if you won’t need lots of seats feel free to go with a smaller sofa and chair. BSC has every sofa available in a small (72”) version like this one.

The Oldest Trick in the Book

You’ve probably heard it before, but a well placed mirror really can help make a space feel more open. Try placing a mirror on a wall facing a window to reflect the light into the room. A mirror hung over a mantle or sideboard will create the illusion of a window to another room.

Accessories Shown

 

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Serious Furniture

I just got back from a week spent in California between Los Angeles and San Diego. It was a fantastic trip filled with delicious food, fun, inspiration and relaxation. The purpose of our venture to San Diego was to visit my good friend Jacqui who moved there about a year ago to take the position of Operations Manager for a custom furniture company called  Seventh & 7th.

John Cortese is the man behind the beautiful furniture of Seventh & 7th. Cortese hails from Brooklyn and apprenticed under a Japanese woodworker  where he learned the fine art of using hand tools, which he still uses today. From tables to chairs to beds there isn’t much they don’t make, but the stamp he leaves on his furniture is visible in every piece. The attention to detail, the solid foundation, the artistic & custom approach to fine woodworking–such a refreshing sight in this age of our desire for fast, cheap design.

I did an impromptu photo shoot of the workshop and their studio/showroom which also acts as John’s home.

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In John’s words: Modernism at its finest. Serious Furniture.

A big thank you for letting us visit your amazing space!

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Bali’s Green Village

My idea of a perfect Sunday morning: windows open, no alarm clock set, dogs are content with being equally as lazy as their humans, and the background noise while making breakfast consists of CBS News Sunday Morning. The 35 years running news program has been a pleasing addition to our household and this past Sunday was no exception. Focusing primarily on design, the most recent episode was right up my alley and one story in particular left me inspired.

Green Village is a small community nuzzled in the terraced slopes of the Ayung River in Sibang, Bali. There are 18 homes (and a school) within Green Village, all of which are “dramatically unique, custom designed, rigorously engineered, and hand-constructed to embody the inherent strengths and versatility of bamboo”. Some of these homes can rise up to six floors!

D7H3565

D7H32801

Why bamboo? Ibuku, the design group behind Green Village, describes bamboo as this; “It’s strength, beauty,  flexibility, 4-year growth cycle, and carbon sequestration capacity make it the most environmentally conscientious building material conceivable.” Bamboo is used in every step of the design process, from the bones of each structure to the furniture inside of it. This is the ultimate example of conscious design. Not only are these impressive buildings sustainable, they are abolutely breathtaking!

GVV4-04-living-riohelmi

GVV4-07-study-riohelmi

GVV4-31-master-bedroom-riohelmi

Although most of the homes in Green Village are individually owned, community tours and rentals are available. If this doesn’t make you want to watch CBS News Sunday Morning, I don’t know what will!