Not Quite Modern Bathroom Mood Board

Marble Hex Tile/ Subway Tile/ Paint/ Vanity/ Faucet/ Mirror/ Shower Fixtures/ Shower Curtain/ Bathmat/ Toilet Paper Holder/ Towel Bar/ Art (Similar)/ Faux Flowers/ Towels (Love quality and price!)/ Best Toilet for the $$$

So is this the most beautiful mood board ever created? Well, no, but I think that it will give you (and my husband) a good idea of what I’m scheming for our guest bathroom. I’m hoping to create a balance between traditional and modern by using timeless finishes mixed with modern metals and lines.

Now that I’m working in real estate, I’ve found that I tend to focus more on balancing design with cost and general appeal. I’m still planning on designing to my our taste but I’m far more hesitant now to pull the trigger on something that’s fairly trendy if it’s on the expensive side or if it’s hard to remove. While some might say that white subway tile is tired, I think that it’s so classic that it’ll never truly be out. Marble and hex shaped penny tiles are also fairly timeless so marrying both styles together for the flooring made total sense. The current bathroom hasn’t been really changed in almost 50 years so I’m hoping that the subway and marble tiles will last another 50 years.

One of the main things that I love about mood boards is that you get to see all your ideas together in one place, hopefully in a cohesive design. While I do like most of the finishes, I’m not quite sure about the mirror and the the paint color. The mirror is simple, but I think that it might be a little too simple and a little too traditional. The paint color is a deep beauty that mostly reminds me of beautiful deep jewel tones, but also kind of reminds me of the 80’s color palettes which doesn’t make me feel joyous.

So while I don’t normally love having semi-finished designs floating about, I’m hoping that one or two of you might chime in and let me know what you’re thinking. Anything you love or hate or would absolutely change?

Modern Boy Bedroom MoodBoard

Order Online: Headboard, Bedding, Nightstand, Chair, Surf Pillow, Curtains, Dresser

Already Owned Items: Rugby Print, Lamp, Sheets

This is the first draft- we decided against the headboard and then the nightstand went out of stock so we switched things up by adding a full bed (instead of just a headboard), new nightstand, and new dresser color. We also added hanging book ledges for the wall near his bed to encourage reading.

Online Order: Bed, Bedding, Pillow, Nightstand, Curtains, Chair, Dresser,

Already Own: Lamp, Antique Rugby Print, Sheets

Customize for Room: Navy & Gray Book Ends, Hanging Book Shelves (Ikea)

Still a modern and boyish feel with just a few slight tweaks to a few items. All Target items at additional 10% with Promo code “HOME” at checkout!

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


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!


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 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.


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.


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.



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


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


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!


Bedroom Updates and Nate Berkus Crush

So this weekend I had my casual and cozy housewarming party. I thought about taking pictures but I really wanted to be present so alas, you’ll just have to imagine how fabulous it was. Hint: not that fab, mostly just fun. Anyway, I needed to make some changes to my master bedroom before I let anyone see it because it looked like this:

Before Master Bedroom

Not the absolute worst picture you’ve ever seen but definitely sterile, boring, and outdated. It’s hard to tell in this photo but the walls were a matte purple which again, wasn’t completely awful but wasn’t good either. And the furniture and accessories just blended into the walls and got lost. So I decided to do something crazy and paint the walls slate. In a gloss. I don’t have any “during” pictures because I don’t wear camera appropriate clothes while painting and the Internet really doesn’t need to see THAT much of me. Plus, who knows if I’ll try to do something of merit one day or run for office and then *BAM* this post comes back to haunt me.

But back to the room, we (and I did get husband’s approval) bought the one-coat-can’t-change-your-mind paint from Behr and got to work. And now our room looks like this:



Here’s the same angle as the “before” picture:



And my little afternoon reading nook.

Bedroom After 3

Doesn’t that just feel so much better??? I love going to bed now because it feels so intimate and cozy. By no means are we done, or even half way done with this room because we need to put more art on the walls, change out the ceiling fan, buy a more modern bed and end tables, and of course add about a million more pillows BUT even with that mile long list of changes, I feel like the room is finally at a place where I can stop and breathe and decorate more slowly and intentionally.

Now just because I’m taking my time doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking around. I’ve got to tell you that in my online and in-store wanderings, Nate Berkus’ line is killing it this season. Here’s a few things that I’ve had my eye on:

Nate Berkus New Line


All of them are from his new line minus the bed (Ethan Allen) and they are fabulous and crazy inexpensive compared to similar finds. As you’ve probably already noticed, I already bought the throw and it’s wonderfully soft and less than $20. The throw or the marble ring holder would be great Christmas gifts because we’re only 8 weeks out. #Yikes!

So what are your thoughts on the new dark color? Fab or drab? And anyone else have a design crush on Nate Berkus?



Another Reason to Love Target

Liberty Hardware Pulls

If you’ve read my blog at all you know that I have a crazy love for Target. We’re focusing on getting the repainted cabinets up and I’ve been scouring the web for beautiful glass pulls. Liberty makes the Victorian glass pulls above and quite a few stores sell them. What makes Target awesome is that their pricing on these (and other) items. Home Depot carries these pulls for $6.99 each while Target sells them for $5.69 each. Add on the Target’s 10% discount with your Red card and you just saved over $1.50 on EACH ONE. Buying just ten of these (which happens to be how many I need) saves you over $15. It’s not a million bucks but it’s basically like getting three for free! When you’re desperately trying to bring your home out of the late 60’s, you’ll take any savings you can get!

Glass Pulls

Don’t you love how they look here? The painted drawer blog refinished her drawers as well and the glass knobs look gorgeous!

The glass knobs and pretty traditional feeling and my husband is only now warming up to them. What’s your take- love’em or leave’em? And have you had similar experiences with saving cash by shopping at Target? I’d love to hear any deals you’ve scored!




Look For Less: Marble Lamps

Well, I think most of you have probably heard enough about Ireland for the next little while so I’ll cease with all things Emerald Isle for the time being, but if you have any questions about anything else trip-wise, send me a message. Thanks for all your sweet comments and I hope all of you who’ve asked about the trip get to make it out there! But until then, let’s talk about lighting.

You can ask my husband and he’ll verify that I have ‘small’ obsession with lighting. I also have a thing for marble so marble lamps are pretty much pure heaven to me. I’ve had my eyes on a few but haven’t broken down and purchased one and now I’m so glad I haven’t. I was strolling around Target today and came across their new beautiful marble lamp.

Marble Lamp Look For Less

Lamp 1, Lamp 2

The lamp on the right is basically a third(!) of the price of the one on the left and their styles are so similar and classic. Now if only I could convince the husband that I need new marble lamps for the bedroom’s new paint…

Have a great hump day and wish me luck!