Posted on

Lavender Grows Up

ashleywhittaker_housebeautifulashleywhittaker_housebeautiful1

Though I love lavender, I have never been compelled to use it as an accent color in my home. I tend to opt for shades of pink instead (think berry, rose, and coral…). But then, I saw the above Ashley Whittaker-designed space on the cover of House Beautiful’s July/August issue. When paired with smart art and clean lines, lavender looks anything but childish. This is the space of a strong, independent, feminine woman. And I want what she’s having!

madelineweinrib_covetedhome

We currently have a few beautiful Madeline Weinrib rugs on our showroom floor in various shades of lavender (which are SO beautiful in person). With neutral seating and complimentary throw pillows, one could easily achieve a pretty and sophisticated lavender-infused space. That is, unless I take these rugs home first : )

jr2

As Lavender is a calming color, it’s perfect for the bedroom. Coveted Home will soon be carrying John Robshaw bedding, and we find his Lavender solid sheets and printed pieces to be quite lovely. Stop by the shop soon to what we have in store… I have a feeling you’ll be as enamored by his line as we are!

(1 & 2, 3, 4)

Posted on

Undercover Designer

I haphazardly came across an old ‘do it Yourself’ magazine from Spring 2012. While turning pages I came across an image that I recognized. A living room that I had seen published years before in another magazine. The reason why the image was so memorable to me was because I spent weeks in my rendering class around 7 years ago replicating the image.

The home featured was that of designer Kate Schintzius. Upon further inspection the room was not exactly how I remembered it, although a few stand out items were the same: coral drapery, beautiful sofa and of course that amazing tree mural. I was intrigued–how had I seen such a similar room so many years ago in another magazine–was it the same owner or did the new owner inherit that sofa along with the mural and drapes?

Kate Schintzius

I had to know so I started digging. (For the record, if you asked me what I would have been if not a designer it would be a detective. I love solving mysteries like this.) Luckily I had an easy place to start-the mural. Its stated in the article as being inspired by a mural done by the French fashion designer, Paul Poiret. It wasn’t long before I came across the image I had seen so many years ago, published in Elle Decor.

Molly Luetkemeyer

And here is my rendering of it:

covetedhome_rendering

You can’t even actually see that black and white inlaid bench in front of the coffee table in the photo. I spent hours drawing the details of that bench! Between that and the rug, I don’t remember which one was harder!

Upon further investigation I found out the designer of the room I rendered 7 years ago is a designer who’s work I admire greatly–Molly Luetkemeyer. The current owner/designer Kate is a Project Manager & Senior Designer at Molly’s firm!

It was a day full of lovely design discoveries and I will leave you with the image of the exquisit original mural by Paul Poiret done in 1924.

tree-mural-paul-poiret

Images 1, 2, 4

 

Posted on

Floored by Good Design

Madeline Weinrib once called her induction into the business of textile design “ironic”. Although her great-grandfather, Max Weinrib, was the founder of ABC Carpet & Home, Madeline became a painter and eventually taught drawing at CUNY before she ever found interest in handcrafted carpets and textiles. Inspired by the idea of modernizing “folkloric and traditional patterns”, she eventually launched her first carpet collection with ABC in 1997 and has since become a household name in the industry.

blkwhiteMW

MWpinkrug

Weinrib’s rugs exude an heirloom quality that is luxurious and sensible. We have several of her gorgeous styles showcased and available for purchase at the store. Something I have learned from Madeline Weinrib is that a rug should command attention without separating itself from the environment it dwells in. Keeping this in mind as well as practicality, construction, and design should help you in choosing the perfect rug for any space.

MWrugphoto2

Along with Madeline Weinrib, we also feature rugs from Dash & Albert. They have an amazing selection of high quality, affordable cotton, indoor/outdoor, and wool rugs in all sizes. Made from 100% polypropylene, I particularly adore their indoor/outdoor rugs for high traffic areas, if you have pets, or even small children in your home. Their hand loomed woven wool rugs come in gorgeous color combinations that are positively unexpected. What is equally impressive about both Madeline Weinrib and Dash & Albert is that they transition seamlessly in traditional to modern spaces.

Rhapsody

 

 

[Information and Images via The Style Saloniste, Madeline Weinrib, Dash & Albert, and Pinterest]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Modern Mexico in Kansas City

I had a busy and refreshing weekend spent with friends and loved ones, taking advantage of some of Kansas Cities great treasures. The Nelson Atkins Museum is certainly high up on my list of one of the places that makes KC great. This summer the museum has the Natasha & Jacques Gelman collection on display. The Gelmans immigrated from Eastern Europe to Mexico in 1942. They were close friends of Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, among other Mexican artists. They fell in love with Mexico and acquired quite the impressive collection of pieces by various Mexican artists. We spent several hours strolling through the Bloch building engulfed in the beauty and creativity of work from the 1940’s through the 90’s.

Since the museum allows photography I decided to snap a few photos to share. Clearly I am partial to Frida’s work since I really only took photos of hers. I did include one of Diego’s pieces as well though to try and be fair. It was just such a great experience seeing her work in person after admiring it for so many years.

art7

IMG_2886

IMG_2880

IMG_2882

IMG_2888

A portrait of Natasha Gelman by Diego Rivera.

IMG_2890

IMG_2900

IMG_2901

You may think that all Frida painted were self portraits. I believe I read that out of 140 some pieces of work close to 50 of those were self portraits. However you will find other subject matter in her work, like this still life composed of an odd variety of objects, with the most peculiar being that little bride doll in the corner!

If you live in or around the Kansas City area I highly recommend seeing this exhibit, it shows through August 18th and is well worth the $8 admission fee.

Posted on

Mud Cloth Trending

Mud cloth drying in the sun
Mud cloth drying in the sun

I recently saw a post about decorating with mud  cloth on Apartment Therapy (full post here). We happen to have a few pillows made with mud cloth in the shop and now I am trying to get my hands on some more of it so I can do something custom like upholster a chair or use as a wall hanging or something else creative and fun.

Bogolanfini, referred to as mud cloth is a handmade Malian cotton fabric that is traditionally dyed with fermented mud. According to Wikipedia, traditionally the men weave the fabric and the women dye it. The dyeing process is apparently cumbersome and long as the cloth is soaked in a dye bath made from mashed and boiled, or soaked, leaves of the n’gallama tree. Then the cloth is sun-dried and painted with designs using a piece of metal or wood. The paint, carefully and repeatedly applied to outline the intricate motifs, is a special mud, collected from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year in a clay jar. Thanks to a chemical reaction between the mud and the dyed cloth, the brown color remains after the mud is washed off. Finally, the yellow n’gallama dye is removed from the unpainted parts of the cloth by applying soap or bleach. [info via Wikipedia]

Quite the process, right?! I am constantly amazed by the techniques that go into making textile products such as this. Techniques that are easy for us to take advantage of here and not even consider the source or what went into making such a beautiful creation.

Mixing modern and contemporary furnishings with global textiles and art is hugely popular right now in interiors and demonstrated pretty well in these two photos from the Apartment Therapy post.

 

 

mudcloth2 mudcloth

 

 

IMG_0647

 Here in the shop we have one of our mud cloth pillows on this mid century style leather sofa, paired with a vintage brass table and modern task lamp.

 

IMG_0649

 To some mixing the mud cloth pillow with this hand carved chair upholstered in gold mohair with nailhead would be a stretch. I happen to love unexpected combos like this.

 

IMG_0652

 Up close shot of the 2 pillows we have in the shop.

 
Posted on

Summer Entertaining Essentials

I love having intimate gatherings at my apartment with a handful of friends. My apartment is small at 600sf so we cant fit more than a handful of friends in at one time! I am not a great cook and I honestly just don’t care to spend much time in my tiny kitchen preparing elaborate meals. But a party with cocktails and finger food..I am always game for that and pretty much have a fool proof method for hosting a memorable evening among friends.

foodtable

 Melanie and I styled this table with food made by me and accessories from the shop for a night of cocktails at Tobe’s (the popular blogger of Because It’s Awesome). The night was centered around the drinks courtesy of Smirnoff Vodka, see the full post here. I got to thinking that this would be the perfect opportunity to offer some great entertaining tips.

cheeseboards

Cheese is a must at my place for a low key gathering. I have both a wood and stone board at home and it just depends on the rest of the mix and how I want it to all lay out on which one I use. We used the long marble boards at Tobe’s and I put all of the meats on one and all of the cheese on another. To make things feel more upscale I highly recommend buying quality blocks of cheese and letting your guests cut their own pieces. My boyfriend works at a cheese shop and admittedly I have turned into a bit of a cheese snob because I now totally scoff at the regular sliced variety from the grocery store.

cheeseknives

Whats a nice cheese board without some fancy knives? I love this Gold Feather set that we have in the shop.

mercurytealights

These mercury glass votives have a silver lining that really makes a pretty sparkle in a dimly lit setting. We scattered these on just about every table surface at Tobe’s party. I don’t think you could over-do it with these!

napkins

Want to really class things up and also be a good steward of mother earth while you’re at it? Switch from paper napkins or paper towels to cloth napkins. I don’t just use these on special occasions, they are an every day staple at my house.

 

forks

For an alternate to the predictable flower arrangement try using succulents instead. Smaller sized pots like these hand thrown, raku fired, terra cotta vessels are the perfect size for using as a center piece or accent on any surface. For the party we clustered about 3 on the main table and then scattered the rest on the bar cart, side tables etc.

Although we didn’t get to use the hang forged iron forks at the party I think they would be perfect for a multitude of purposes. Obviously great for grilling, how about roasting hot dogs or marshmallows in a fire pit? I’ve had several customers tell me they would just use them in their kitchen cooking steaks or other meats on the stovetop.

Here are some great finger food ideas that always go over well when I use them: deviled eggs, figs or dates wrapped in prosciutto, cheese tray, meat tray, hummus with veggies & crackers, roasted & seasoned nuts and the ultimate lazy persons go-to, frozen spanakopita from Trader Joe’s.

Lastly but arguably most importantly, music. In my opinion good music with good audio goes a long way for setting the mood. I can’t tell you how many gatherings I’ve gone to where the music has been either non-existent or barely audible. Make a play list, put it on Pandora or Songza, whatever you need to do, but make your guests feel like they are at a bar with good music just not as loud and with only their favorite people.

The second photo is by Jason Hanna Photography, the remainder of photos are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Finding Comfort in Consistency & Quality

I eagerly left for Comfort College in North Carolina early on a Monday morning. I came back that Wednesday completely impressed. Not because of the view of the Appalachians to the West. And not because I could be an afternoon’s drive to the Atlantic Coast. Both of those are equally as amazing, but I came back to Kansas City still reeling from my humbling visit to the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams production facility located just north of Charlotte in Taylorsville.

With “relaxed design” being their primary focus, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams partnered up in 1989 to initiate production of upholstered dining chairs.  Almost 25 years later, the line includes not only dining chairs, but slipcovered and tailored upholstery, leather, sectionals, sleepers sofas, ottomans, and much more. All of which being produced in North Carolina since the beginning.

The itinerary for this three day business excursion was a dense one. Shelly, a sales associate at Coveted Home, was to meet me in Charlotte upon arrival Monday afternoon. Although the “Travel Gods” were against us from the start, Shelly and I finally landed separately in Charlotte a little less than 4 hours behind schedule. After several departure delays and a few too many complementary gingersnap cookies, we were ready to start our journey to Lake Hickory, where Mitchell and his partner have a waterfront home. We made it just in time for a delicious meal, good conversation with Mitchell himself,  and a beautiful sunset.

Tuesday began with a few more introductions. Before our official factory tour, we met Bob, as well as a few individuals from the production and design crew . Shelly and I both were so pleasantly surprised at how down-to-earth the entire staff was. What a fantastic group of people! We could tell immediately that each employee conveyed an intense sense of ownership for their brand and was eager to express this to each of us throughout the tour. Within the 267,000 sq-ft. factory, we were given the opportunity to see firsthand each step within the production process for all custom upholstery. From start to finish, each area of production was as impressive as the last. I really did not expect such a well oiled machine. The concentration, dedication, and consistency that every individual on the factory line possessed gave me the indication that not only do they make the product well, they take pride in each piece that comes off that production line.

We had dinner Tuesday evening at Bob’s home in Hickory. I fell in love with his “colonial outside mid-century modern inside” dwelling. Every room in that house had something so interesting to gawk at. I adored his mid-century chair collection, the tray showcasing old cigarette lighters on the coffee table, and the numerous groupings of vintage McCoy and Haeger pottery intermixing with furniture pieces from their own line. I never wanted to leave, but they probably frown upon lingerers.

BobsCoffeeTableA shot of Bob’s coffee table & curiosities

Wednesday was a day of design. Shelly and I were thrilled to hear about the new Fall 2013 Collection and how the team was inspired by the political, social, scientific, and economic views of the late 60’s to early 70’s. After a brief quiz and a nice lunch in the factory’s health-conscious cafe, all of us that participated in the three days of Comfort College were given a diploma by both Mitchell and Bob. Only some of us received kisses on the cheek from Mitchell, Shelly and I included. I would say that was a perfect way to end our North Carolina adventure!

Mitchell, Melanie, BobMitchell, myself and Bob

Posted on

Coveted Home + Because It’s Awesome + Smirnoff Cocktails

B.I.A. Smirnoff_CH5

We recently had the pleasure of co-hosting a Smirnoff Vodka mixology party with Tobe from Because It’s Awesome. Tobe’s back yard and patio is cush–with a loungy sectional and vintage fan chairs set against a lush green yard complete with a fountain, fire pit and beautiful plants galore–it was the perfect spot for a night of relaxing with cocktails and friends.

Our job was to bring in the finishing pieces and deck it out with some fab accessories. Challenge accepted! A slew of new pillows arrived just in time. They lined the back of her sectional perfectly and added some fun pattern and color. The blue stripe rug is one of our indestructible indoor/outdoor rugs by Dash & Albert.

B.I.A.+Smirnoff+3

B.I.A. Smirnoff_CH4

We littered the tables with some potted succulents, lanterns and new mercury glass tea lights that have mirrored lining on the inside, giving them an extra shimmer.

B.I.A. Smirnoff_CH3all photos by Jason Hanna Photography

Melanie and I were thrilled to be a part of this lovely evening! Head over to Because It’s Awesome to see her post with all the details, more pics and recipes for the yummy drink concoctions that we indulged in.

All of our featured products from the post are available in our shop!

 

 

Posted on

What to expect from the unexpected.

Color inspiration found on Pinterest.

     Let me introduce myself. My name is Melanie Clouser. I am the new Creative Director at Coveted Home. And I love it here.

I consider myself unconventional. Proudly atypical. And my path to acquiring the position of Creative Director at Coveted Home was just that. With that being said, I also consider myself very lucky. Although I am still getting settled, I have never felt so completely impassioned, excited, and eager to grow like I do with Coveted Home. As most of you know already, I had an amazing mentor to help me transition into the role. It was bittersweet to see Amanda move to Portland last month. I looked forward to being the new Creative Director, but I also grew very fond of Amanda and I did not want to see her go. I am thankful for the time she spent with me so that when the time came to “pass the torch”, it felt seamless.

What an extraordinary feeling to love your job. I have already established such a sense of ownership to Coveted Home. When I am not working, I am still working, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that! Jaclyn’s vision is contagious. Not only is my background in Retail Merchandising, but I have a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, so naturally, I am a strong believer in self-expression through design. That personal space should mirror individual style without sacrificing comfort or quality. The first time I walked into Coveted Home, I could tell that Jaclyn was wanting to convey that exact approach to her customers.

Immediately after I became a part of this store, I started to reflect on my own personal style. What does my space say about who I am as an individual? Am I representing myself appropriately? Am I telling a story, and if so, are people listening? I contemplated on what truly inspires me by using tools like Pinterest and Houzz. I sifted through numerous issues of every major home furnishings magazine to get a solid feel of what my eye initially is drawn to. What I had concluded to was not surprising, nor would it shock anyone who knows me well. I am intrigued by the unexpected. I revel in contrast and differing forms. To marry unlikely objects that would otherwise never meet. This is my “style compass”. I will let it guide me as I begin this new and thrilling endeavor at Coveted Home.

Living room found on Houzz. Love the overlapping prints on the walls.

Bedroom inspiration found on Houzz. I am a sucker for tufting.

 

Posted on

A house in KC, A house in DC

This house belonged to some of my very first (and some of my favorite for that matter) design clients that I started working with back in 2009 when I first opened up shop. We worked on their home over the course of about 3 years, the bulk of it being done in the beginning and over time getting to finishing touches and extra bedrooms etc. Then last year in August they moved to the quaint town of Alexandria, Virginia, right outside of DC.

Their KC abode was adorable with some unique characteristics and is situated in a desirable neighborhood. Take for instance the hay that was plastered into the walls. I thought for sure they would want to get rid of it, but they liked the quirky charm of it and they way it correlated with the Spanish pavers in the living and dining room.

This house has been featured on my portfolio for a while and has also made appearances in our ads as well as a few local magazines. When they made the move they asked me to help them get situated in their new house (a rental for the time being), which is about half the size of their former KC home. I happily agreed and flew out for moving day. We knew we would  have to move things around to make it fit and some pieces were just going to have to go into storage.

Here is the KC house

_DSC8697 72

I loved those black & white chairs at the dining table.

_DSC8734 72 _DSC8760 72

Can you see the hay in the walls? It definitely grew on me.

_DSC8777 72

 

Loved the feeling of rustic modern we brought to the house mixed with some unexpected elements.

In their new house the sectional was not going to fit so we got them an adorable small size sofa (the Mona from MG + BW) in a luxurious mink colored chenille and added some velvet and silk pillows.

023 019

We kept the green leather ottoman and moved the head chairs from the dining room in the previous house to the living room. They simply would not fit in their new dining room and I love how they turned out in here! We also added that awesome bronze mirror crosshatch tray to the ottoman from Notre Monde and a Madeline Weinrib rug.

020

 

The beautiful Oly Studio Elisabeth Cabinet was previously in their bedroom but in no way would make it up the tight staircase to their new DC bedroom so it landed here in the living room and luckily works quite well there! And although its hard to see in these photos, that amazing faux bois white resin table from Oly Studio that was also previously in the master bedroom (with the blue walls) now serves as their entry table next to the front door–behind the black and white stripe chairs.

I loved being a part of their new home and being able to help them get settled. I was so glad we were able to work in the majority of the pieces even if it is a bit tight in some spots! I certainly miss seeing them around Kansas City but I can tell they are quite happy in their new home and fingers crossed they call me the next time they move:)

Photo credits:

Kansas City home photographed by Roy Inman

Alexandria home photographed by the homeowner, Jessica Allen