Chic Femme Bedroom Moodboard

I know that I’ve been a little MIA lately, but life has been busy around these parts lately and my other project has kept me glued to my computer. Besides working on Covered Style, I’ve also been having fun helping a friend with her house remodel. She has beautiful taste and her house is going to be gorgeous. I honestly can’t wait to show you all of the rooms that we’re designed and put together. Enter the chic femme bedroom and a whole house full of gorgeous rooms!

Unfortunately, the house is still very much under construction, like the flooring and cabinets aren’t installed yet, so I thought that I’d post some of the moodboards that I put together. My client wanted her bedroom to be modern, yet feminine so we’re balancing the crisp clean feel of the black and white look while still keeping it soft, light, and chic.

As a warning, this is not some gorgeous moodboard where everything is completely in place and proportionally correct- it’s just a general feel of the room. I promise that once we get everything set up and styled, I will post

chic-femme-bedroom-moodboard

Lamps, Nightstands, Bed, Bedding, Art, Rug (Fun Rug), Curtains, Blush pillow (cheaper option), Gold pillows, X Bench, Dresser

So what’s your favorite piece? Do you love the more stark, modern look or do you lean more towards a warmer, cozier bedroom?

You know I’d love to hear our thoughts!

-Katy


The Two Best Places to Buy Original Art & How to Get the Best Deal

 

estate_sale_painting_find I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: You can absolutely afford original, beautiful art. You really can. For most of us out there, we can’t afford art gallery prices. That’s OK. You just need to know where to look and when to buy. I’ve hesitated to write this piece because I’m giving away some of my secrets and possibly adding competition, but fortunately my desire to help outweighs my desire to look expensive and posh. So let’s dive in before I change my mind and delete this whole post.

ESTATE SALES

Estate sales are THE best place to find art, in my opinion. Let me give you an example to prove my point. The painting above is a magnificent original oil by a renowned English artist, set in an antique gilded frame. His work runs $2-5k. This painting is a bit smaller so I’m guessing it would be on the lower end of that range, but who knows. The frame, not original to the painting, is much older and worth several hundred dollars as well. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just estimate the value on the low end- $3,000. Now my favorite part begins. Guess how much I paid for it??

What did you guess? If you guesses $300, you’d be correct. Yep, paid literally one tenth of the lower-end estimated value. How did I do that? Well, first of all, you always have to remember that estate sale companies are interested in liquidating everything. That’s what they’re paid to do. Follow a few simple rules I’ve developed and you’ll get an amazing deal.

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Rules For Estate Sale Purchases:

  1. Know when to go. Try to be there the first day of the sale 30 minutes before opening, if possible. Many of the best deals will be snatched up within the first 5 minutes. I know that it sounds crazy, but it’s totally true. I’ve kicked myself quite a few times for being just a little bit late and missing out on gorgeous pieces. Always go the last day of the sale as well, and again, right when they open. Usually the last day of the sale will be 50 to 75% off of original prices. If something was too expensive for you the first day, it might still be there the last day, and at a much more reasonable price.
  2. Know where to go. Estatesales.net is probably one of my most visited sites if you were to look at my browser history. The site allows you to punch in your zip code and then shows you all estate sales within a hundred miles. You can click on the sales and view pictures, descriptions, sale times, and even GoogleMaps locations for each sale. It’s golden. Bookmark it. Now.
  3. Know what to look for. Sometimes the best artwork is above the mantel but most of the time, it’s not. I’m always surprised how often I see over-priced reproductions on the mantel while beautiful original art is in the bedroom, dining room, or other spaces. That huge red painting above is almost 5 ft by 5 ft and originally quite expensive. I found it in a super traditional home in their finished basement closet. My husband would murder me if I told people how much we paid for it so I’ll just say this: pennies on the dollar. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time I’ll buy beautiful work that I found in a storage area. So check all over the house, not just the main common areas.
  4. Remember that liquidating is their business and don’t forget to negotiate. Estate sale companies want the house to be nearly clear when the sale concludes. Many times they’ll donate unsold cheaper items and ship expensive ones to auction houses. It’s extra work and cuts down on their profits. Knowing this, you can and should negotiate on the last day of the sale. Remember that first oil painting? We negotiated the price down to 75% off original asking price because it wasn’t moving and the sale was ending. He won because he saved auction house fees and we won for obvious reasons. Offer a reasonable price and wait for an answer, sometimes they won’t budge but 90% of the time they will.
  5. Make friends with the estate sale company owner. If you’re going weekly or even monthly, you’ll start to see the same people work the sales. Find out who the company owner is and make friends. I’ve seen people get crazy deals because they’re frequent customers who are kind to the people who work there. It always pays to be kind.

rsz_p1020742 ANTIQUE STORES 

The painting above our mantel was the first original piece of art I ever purchased and I found it in antique mall. Hidden away near the end of the booth, this beauty hung in the most awful colored frame imaginable. Beige-y puke is the color that comes to mind. But we loved that painting and we decided not to let the frame stop us. The frame has since changed and we’re even more glad that we purchased this large original, Texas oil painting for less than $100. We got lucky, but we also followed some of our own rules to score this beauty.

Something to keep in mind is that while some of the rules can overlap, buying at an antique store is very different than buying from an estate sale. Margins and personalities are VERY different as well as retail vs. liquidation setting. The differences don’t have to keep you from scoring that perfect piece though. Some of my favorite finds have been at antique stores.

Antique_store_painting_deal Rules for Antique Store Purchases 

  1. Look for the odd man out. Many antique dealers specialize in certain types of antiques, or even just a certain type of piece. Much like car dealers, you’ll get the best deal on what they don’t specialize in. You’ll find the best price on a Honda at the BMW, just as you’ll often find the best deal on American art in a booth with mostly European imports. The Renoir-esque painting above was found in a store that is filled with Asian art and pottery. I’m not sure how she came upon this painting, but I do know that she gave it to us for a steal!
  2. Look beyond the frame and surrounding. I chatted about this before about frames but seriously, don’t let them get you down. You can change the frame. And if that is cost prohibitive due to size, remember than a can of paint can change the whole look and feel of the piece. Also don’t forget to imagine the piece in your home vs the booth. The store might be gross, have funky painted walls, or be surrounded by clashing artwork. Don’t let that distract you. Good art is good art and needs a loving home. Preferably yours.
  3. Always be complimentary. Estate sale companies sell other peoples things while antique stores sell curated pieces. Some things are acquired by chance but most of the time, they have been painstakingly hunted, cleaned, and priced. While you don’t have to love everything in the store, if you’re serious about buying anything, make sure you keep any less than flattering opinions to yourself. Love something in the store? Tell them. It’s nice to hear and it’ll soften up even the most crusty owners.
  4. Be honest about what you’ll pay. You might find a gem that is such a good deal, you’ll gladly pay asking price. Many times however, you’d like a better price and that’s totally fine. Tell the owner that you love the piece but that you’d like to talk about the price. Then suggest a price, but make sure it’s not extremely lower than the original listed price. The last thing you want to do is to ‘insult’ them by suggesting a price that is too low- 25-30% off is about all I’d ask. Anything more than that and you might make them less inclined to do any business with you.
  5. Bundle, bundle, bundle! If you like multiple items, suggest buying all of them for a set price. I’ve found that prices are far more negotiable if you buy more than one item. The additional plus side is that you get to bring home multiple beauties as well.

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I hope that you found some advice that will work for you. I’m sure that there are other tips that work (and I’d love to hear about them in the comments) but these are the ones that have consistently worked for me time and time again.

And thanks for your patience as I’ve been MIA. I’ll have more details on why soon, but my life has been busy with my other project and a fun experiment.

-Kate

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A Fun New Fashionable Project

Capsule Dress cm

So we did get a new kitchen but while I’m finishing up puttying a few spots before I reveal it, I thought you’d like to know what I’ve been up to since I last posted. I’ve started a site that curates modest, fashionable dresses that women actually want to wear. So if you’d like, head over to my new site www.coveredstyle.com to see if there’s anything there that tickles your fancy.


Valentines Gifts for Him (with FREE shipping)

Raise your hand if you still haven’t purchased a valentines gift for that special guy in your life. I know that I can’t see any of you but I’d like to imagine I’m not the only one with my hand in the air right now. When I’m feeling that desperation that certainly accompanies holiday gift procrastination, I like to turn to my happy place, which like most women in my demographic is Target. That magical place has saved my bacon more times than I can count.

So here’s a roundup of gift ideas that I’m sure nearly any man would like. They’re an easy win and won’t break the bank that’s probably still recovering from Christmas. And with your handy dandy RED card you don’t even have to pay for shipping!

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I’m tempted to buy that stone cutting board for my husband but both he and I would know that it’d really be for me. No mistake. That shaving kit would be a clear gift for just him and would fancy up our bathroom vanity, which is never a bad thing.

Anyone else out there want to confess that they haven’t purchased anything for their S.O. yet? Bueller? Anyone?

Happy Valentines!

-Katy


Be Open…And You May End Up Nicknaming a Dog Gaylord and Achieving Your Goals

Mr Gaylord/Perry

How cute is he? And how equally strange is that title? Well, we had an interesting night last night. It started off like any other night with dinner at our fav pho place and a trip to Target (who else goes multiple times a week? I digress…). We were just getting home when our friends call to say they found this cute little guy chasing cars and after an exhaustive search, were unable to locate his family. I was thinking “sad story… what do you want me to do?” like any semi-reasonable person when my friend asked me to watch him and help find his family. That’s when it all clicked.

You see, I’ve been a little down on myself lately because I’ve been feeling like I’m not setting and achieving enough goals. I was bathed in the waters of Franklin Covey and 7 Habits and was truly converted. But like with most things, after a while your conviction can fade and mine was no exception. But then this dog.

You may remember back on my birthday last year I wrote a list of 30 goals before 30 and one of them was to foster a dog. I thought that this would be an easy one considering my friend runs a rescue and Austin is a no-kill city but heavens, the timing was always off. It was not for lack of trying, believe me(!), but I felt like life was constantly in the way and sending me the same message my husband was: Not now! That can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to achieve a goal that you feel like is a worthy and fairly selfless act.

So last night, after much cajoling and eventual husband acquiescing, this little guy came to stay and play with us. I wish I had videoed him because he has the most adorable little gait and walks like a little gentleman. This is where the whole Gaylord thing comes in. We couldn’t not give him some sort of name and after scrolling through other fancy British sounding names, he somewhat responded to Gaylord and it stuck. I’d like to say that it was all sunshine and roses but there was crying on his part and a slight allergy attack on mine. Thankfully we both made it and I awoke from my allergy med-induced sleep to texts and calls from his owner.

All the coughing and watery eyes were worth it because watching Gaylord (whose real name is Perry) see his owner again was the closest I’ve ever come to witnessing one of those touching reunification stories you see on Hallmark movies. Definitely my feel-good moment for the week. And selfishly, it feels like I can cross off “fostering a dog” from my list. It might not be considered fostering 100% but I feel like this was the universe lobbing me a slow pitch, letting me get an easy hit. And because my friends (and Google) are so awesome and it fit in so well with my baseball analogy, I feel like I have to share with you that there is actually a Hall of Famer named Gaylord Perry. He was a renowned cheater but let’s save that story for another day and keep our eye on the ball, er story.

So there’s my story on how being open and ready to help can also help you. It’s totally a cheesy trope but they exist for a reason, right? And getting to call an adorable little animal Gaylord was hilarious and almost as satisfying as completing one of my goals.

-Katy


Sometime Life…

Thinking Girl Oil Painting

Sometimes life gets busy. And messy. And totally breaks your heart. And I coming to realize that it’s OK. Not everything has to be a win and not everything has to go the way that you planned it. Life moves on.

The picture above is an original painting that I bought at an antique mall for a steal. The price and colors were a huge selling point but she just had something about her, a je ne sais quoi if you will, that I loved. I’ve thought about her quite a bit since she’s come to live with me and I think what I love most about her is that she doesn’t look particularly happy or joyful. Some days she looks bored, or disappointed, or even sleepy. Even with her apparent displeasure, the picture is truly beautiful. It’s a reminder to me that life can be beautiful, even in those imperfect moments. And if you could see the whole picture (I’ll post it when I’ve replaced the frame and styled the room) you can better see how gorgeous and verdant her surroundings are. She hangs out, across the sofa from me and reminds me to step outside my particular moment and realize things are far more blessed and perfect than what’s in my head and heart at the time.

So I guess this post is telling you where I’ve been. In my my own head a bit too much. I hope you’ll excuse the absence and still check in from time to time. And here’s a little enticement: We’re installing new countertops, sink, backsplash, and more in the next few days.I know everyone loves seeing the whole “Before and After” pics so stay tuned.

And if you haven’t already, check out Amy Poehler’s book, Yes please!  She’s part of the reason I’m emerging from my funk. And she’s freaking hilarious too.

Until later,

Katy


Cleaning Up- Christmas Storage Ideas

This is the time of the season when I always feel like I have too much stuff and while that’s probably at least a little true, part of it has to be that I don’t own any Christmas organizational storage containers. I always thought that they were for fancy people who didn’t have enough other things to buy but honestly, with each year, those boxes look better and better.

Our tree is not some gorgeous designer, pinterest-worthy tree. We fill our tree with ornaments from our life and travel and while they aren’t all antique, handmade, glass blown, bajillion dollar ornaments, they’re priceless to me because they represent us. While the world would certainly not end if one of them broke, it’s not like I can just pop over to Paris anytime I wish to replace it (although wouldn’t that be lovely!). And really, the boxes aren’t that bad if you know where to look. Check out this one from Target.

Holiday Ornament Storage

It’s in-store only (sorry guys) but it’s less than $10 and holds 64 ornaments. What’s also nice is that seeing your ornaments is now so much easier. No more digging through boxes and unwrapping paper for 15 minutes trying to find that one ball or another.

Tree Keeper Ornament Tray

For all of you who don’t want to leave your house, this option is $5 off right now and has great reviews. It hold the balls a little bit more snuggly and let’s face it, the bag looks pretty and these can be easily stacked.

Large Wire Basket

This last deal that I’ve found is this brass basket that is just north of $20 and would be perfect for beautifully holding all of those throws and blankets you’re surely going to need now that the weather is cold. Just roll up each blanket tightly and it becomes a beautiful and convenient way to add texture and interest into your room.

So wish me well as I desperately try to get myself off the couch and back to cleaning the house and clearing up decor.

-Katy


The Easiest “Fancy” Bread

The Easiest Fancy Bread

Hey everyone! I’m popping in to share my latest obsession: this bread. I have to start off saying that in no way am I a baker. You might even remember when I made it a goal to learn how to make a decent cake which I feel like is fairly decent proof that I’m not always amazing in the kitchen. But this bread is foolproof. I’ve made it multiple times now and it’s always turned out beautifully, which for me is probably a first in regards to anything I’ve ever attempted to bake. It’s truly a testament to the ridiculous easiness of the recipe which is why I had to share it. This recipe is for you, all my timid baker friends (as well as my generally lazy friends too).

No Knead Fancy Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 11/2 cups of lukewarm water
  • Swirl of olive oil

Prep: 12-24 hours before baking

Mix flour, yeast, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl then add the lukewarm water. Mix until fully combined. Swirl just a bit of olive oil on the top of the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside at room temp for 12-24 hours. In a pinch, you can do as a little as 9 hours but it will result in a smaller loaf.

Baking:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Dust flour on the counter and place all the dough on the flour. Lightly cover the dough with flour (dough will be sticky) and fold in edges to create a round shape. Place dough into a deep baking dish (I use my dutch oven) and cover it with a lid or foil. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is a medium golden color. Then grab butter and eat.

If you’re more visual (or don’t trust me- it’s OK), Mark Bittman has a great 5 minute video showing you the whole step by step process.

It’s really that simple and it’s such a delicious and beautiful bread that would be perfect for entertaining or even as a gift- just wrap it in a simple white a red dish towel. Although I’m sure my friends and neighbors would a love a loaf, I’m probably going to sit here with the bread and butter and call this lunch!

Have a great day and happy baking!

-Katy


Talk About It Tuesday: Instant Cameras

 

Polaroid Camer

Let’s take a step back in time and remember when cameras and cell phones were separate, before Instagram, and people took polaroids for fun. How many of you remember taking selfies with your friends before selfies were even a thing? Then remember the day they announced they’d no longer be making the film back in 2008? Sadness abounded but we were soon mesmerized with our shiny new iPhones and forgot all about our former friend.

Well now it’s totally a thing again. I guess enough people out there didn’t forget about their previous Polaroid fun because they’re back and better than ever.They definitely look a little more modern these days (or maybe just more like bubbles) but the concept is pretty much the same. There are new fun settings, higher quality photos, and better designs. They’re seeing a huge comeback at weddings and other events and even bloggers like DesignForMankind are starting to use them for various projects.

Fuji Film Instax

So my question today is: Would you consider taking a nostalgic stroll down memory lane with one of these instant cameras? Do you think that they’re a fun, but antiquated toy or would you put one to good use? Check them out HERE– could be a fun gift!


Falling Water- Frank Lloyd Wright

Hey guys. I’ve really sucked at posting lately. I could give you the typical excuse that I’ve been busy but who wants to hear excuses? Yeah, exactly. Anyway, I went to visit my in laws this past weekend out in western Maryland and has the chance to go and check out what’s arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous work.

Black and White Falling Water

We mostly went because it’s the most famous thing out that way and it’s on the husband’s bucket list. I think we’ve talked about how he loves all things modern and especially anything that could be classified as mid century so this was pretty much his heaven. And doesn’t he look so handsome in that picture? Still pinching myself that he’s mine. Oh, and the house was pretty too. Can you call Frank Lloyd Wright’s work pretty? I’m not quite sure but oh well.

Falling Water in Autumn I wish I had brought my camera on this trip because my iPhone photo definitely didn’t capture all of the beauty of the house and it’s environs. I also wish that we could have taken the in-depth tour but you have to book far in advance and we went kind of on a whim and tours were all sold out. Turns out over 1,000 people toured the house that day which is pretty nuts when you realize it’s about 2 or more hours from any major city. There’s no photos allowed inside which is a shame because it looks like this:

Falling water Interior

 

Falling Water 3

Fallingwater-sitting-area

It’s amazing and was painstakingly curated by Wright himself, supposedly down to the last vase. The was cost over $150k back in 1936- expensive and truly before it’s time. I’ve compiled some cheaper but still modern and fabulous finds that have a similar look and feel because having modern pieces shouldn’t always cost an arm and a leg.

Falling Water Inspiration

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So have any of you been out to Falling Water? Now that I’ve been to this one, I’m thinking we need to head to Chicago to see more of his work. Any other Frank Lloyd Wright homes that you love? And those wood chairs are from Target- can you believe it? I might have to pick some up for the husband’s office.

Have a great day!

-Katy