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New in Shop: Natural Curiosities

I love how art can transform a room by infusing color, wit, emotion, pattern and personality. I have never seen a well designed home that lacked art; it is a key component in pulling a room together. 

Since I opened Urban Dwellings Design (our shop name prior to opening Coveted Home) in 2008 I have been in love with the art collections from Natural Curiosities. I remember walking into their booth at the NYIGF on my very first buying trip for the store. My friend Court who was helping me, looked at me and said “you have to have this line”. I knew he was right, I was completely struck by how elegant and beautiful yet completely unpretentious and natural their art collection was–“flawless” as we like to say. 

Over the years their vision has only gotten stronger and the collection more complex. Now almost anytime I open House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Lonny Mag, etc., I see their art on the walls of featured homes. I love what Christopher Wilcox, the founder of Natural Curiosities, says on their website: “Born from a deep love of the arts, and what art is capable of representing in culture and society life, Natural Curiosities is one of my proudest achievements. I consider it an accomplishment made possible by the love and loyalty of incredibly creative clients, both old and new, who believe in our journey and have become loyal supporters to the belief that art is not a decorative accessory, but an essential part of design and, in our case, work full of soul made by people who love what they do.” How honest and beautiful, exactly like the art collections they curate.  

We just got a new assortment of pieces at Coveted Home:

The Fernando Boher collection was inspired by the concept of “Collections of a Traveled Mind”.
Each has a different frame. I love their simplicity. 
Easy to display in a grouping or on their own. 
The prints are $185 each.

Their collection of Paule Marrot’s textile archives has captivated me for some time. She was a Frech engraver, painter and textile artist during the 1920’s-1950’s.

“Doves” is mounted on linen and framed in acrylic and is $1985. 

I love the movement and color, it captivates me.

I am sure you caught this NC, Paule Marrot print on the cover of the September 2011 House Beautiful issue. The room is stunning, but that art is what really sets it off. 

Now you would think that after all this gushing over how much I love NC art I would have several pieces at home. I don’t know how or why but it just so happens that I finally got my first piece a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it! 

It is a small Paule Marrot piece called Midi. 
Bright and cheery it makes me happy and it looks perfect on the wall in my sunroom. 
Check out all the complete Natural Curiosities collection HERE.

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Coveted Home: Before and After Story

Our new space needed a little work before we could open the doors. While it was habitable enough for some, there left much to be desired by me in terms of style and character. If you ever visited Urban Dwellings Design, my former store that was located in the historic River Market of KC, then you know we had “built in” charm there. The tall ceilings, exposed brick walls and concrete floors were loved by all. I too loved these qualities but came to realize they were actually detracting from our merchandise (not a good thing when you are trying to run a retail business). Nearly everyone who entered our downtown shop had the same reaction: “Oh wow, cool space.” I never got comfortable with people saying that–while it was true, it was a bummer because I had invested a lot of money into beautiful furniture and home accessories, and yet people were unanimously commenting on the space.
With this in mind as I set out on the search of a new location, I kept an eye out for a more blank canvas and knew the store would sport white walls wherever we went. The following photos showcase how we transformed a boring suburban location with no charm and lots of dated and dirty fixtures into a bright and chic shop where everyone that enters now says “Oh wow, I love everything in here!”


 Before: shot from the rear of the store, looking at front door
The space had lots of box fluorescent lights, dirty ceiling tiles, wall slats to hang clothing racks on, gray rubber baseboard, and ugly laminate wood floors.


 After: shot from the rear of the store looking at the front door
 Although I wanted to take out all of the fluorescent box lighting my electrician objected. The space does not get very much natural light and the track lights are more for highlighting settings and merchandise, not overall lighting. I was able to eliminate all but about 4 of the box lights. The ceiling tiles got painted Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain, a dark charcoal that really makes the lower ceilings recede. I had the walls stripped and the dry wall repaired and painted Benjamin Moore White Dove.  Over-sized wood baseboard painted in Black Beauty (Ben Moore) replaced the horrid institutional feeling rubber stuff. As for the floors we really lucked out. A little bit of downtown got to make an appearance as we peeled back the laminate to reveal concrete underneath. All it needed was a good scraping, cleaning and shiny epoxy coat.
Before: Taken from the front door.



After: Taken from the front door



 Before: Bathroom
I trust you can see why this would not work, I will not even bother describing except that the laminate floor was seriously grimy.



After: Bathroom
All the doors inside as well as the front door got painted Oregano by Benjamin Moore. The same black baseboard was installed with a large black tile and matching black grout. A snazzy new Kohler toilet replaced the 20 year old looking previous one. The real stunner is the wallpaper. A brand new print from Schumacher called Queen of Spain caught our eye in the catalog and was immediately the winner.
After: Bathroom
A new marble top vanity from Lowes and our mirror from the old shop complete the bathroom renovation.
Before: Future fabric wall/design consult meeting space
After: Fabric wall and design consultation meeting space


 Our custom sales counter was built with what our previous counter lacked: drawers and options for organizing sales materials, bags and tissue paper. The counter itself is a Cambria white quartz installed by Trendstone. The base of the cabinet was painted with a faux metallic finish by Jason Newton whom I use for all my faux finish needs with clients–he is amazing!


I love this setting! Amanda found the taxidermy head from a dealer in the West Bottoms. The blend of the modern leather Martin sofa from MG+BW with the rustic vine ottoman and Aoudad head is pretty awesome if you ask me.
Our new location provides exactly what we were lacking downtown–high traffic and increased visibility and exposure in the community. The interior provides a perfect backdrop to showcase all the amazing lines that we Covet!





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On Trend: Global Textiles

If there is one trend that I am loving, it is the use of global prints in textiles for the home, fashion and art.

I am not a formal person. I would go so far as to say I live an informal life. This spills over in the designs I create. Someone once said of me: “If you are looking for frou-frou, keep looking,” and they were right. I really love creating comfortable and casual yet beautiful rooms.

One thing I try to squeeze into almost every design is some sort of global element. It keeps the room from looking too matchy or stuffy and creates a layered and collected vibe. And I just love the casual and relaxed feeling these prints lend to a design.

Global textiles have been popular in interiors for some time now. Designers such as John Robshaw have built entire lines around global textiles and have been successful at doing so.
The patterns can appeal to applications in fashion and the home. Pillows, shower curtains and window treatments all look stunning in global textiles.

But the prints lend themselves well to fashion also. From bags to robes to shoes, the application is interesting and mixes well with solids and even other prints. For someone scared of color or wanting to keep a neutral color palate, using a global pattern in a neutral color can really add dimension and interest to a design.

In a recent House Beautiful article, Robshaw said, “Global textiles appeal to so many people — they’re fun, you don’t tire of them and they bring dimension to your life.” My sentiments exactly.

Read more here:

 First 2 images taken by Roy Inman for the KC Star. First image of the Lauralee chair by Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams in a global print called ikat. Second image of more MG+BW globally inspired fabrics.

 Remaining photos are my own.

 John Robshaw Duffle Bag & Dopp Kit sporting global prints
Some of my favorite global prints on pillows we currently have at the shop.
The above article was written by Jaclyn Joslin for the KC Star Magazine.