House & Home

Modern meets vintage at Coveted Home housewares boutique

Coveted Home on the Plaza has modern furnishings on its main floor. Owner Jaclyn Joslin is also an interior designer.
Coveted Home on the Plaza has modern furnishings on its main floor. Owner Jaclyn Joslin is also an interior designer. tljungblad@kcstar.com

The conscientious consumer has a new place to shop: Coveted Home, at 610 W. 48th St. on the Country Club Plaza.

The shop carries American-made, fair-trade, ethically produced and, as of two months ago, vintage goods. Boutique owner Jaclyn Joslin turned a storage space downstairs into a retro haven, open Thursday through Sunday only; the upstairs is open daily. Joslin also juggles an interior design business, catering to clients with a modern edge.

Q. How did a high-end store like yours come to add a vintage component?

A. When I opened the store, I had no idea I’d be doing that. It evolved. Coveted Home Flea is like an employee-run business inside of Coveted Home. The employees put so much work into making it a success, and they source and run it on their own. I couldn’t have done it without them.

It allows us to reach a bigger range of clientele. A lot of younger girls can’t necessarily afford to shop here for the higher-ticket items, but they can still find fun, cool things we’ve curated. Our hope is that they stay a customer and as they age or become part of a dual-income household, they can start shopping upstairs.

Vintage is also sprinkled upstairs, but you might not know it. We sell a good mix of both. The vintage sales are slowly taking over a portion of our sales, but I don’t have any intention of turning the store into a flea market.

Q. What do you look for?

A. We tend to collect midcentury and art deco items. I have a harder time finding furniture. Vintage upholstery is fine, but I typically want to reupholster things. Sometimes they’re just dingy or smelly.

It’s easier to find good art and accessories. We have a lot of awesome pottery and glass art.

And I just traveled to Morocco and brought back these vintage Turkish rugs, which have been popular.

Q. What’s your favorite type of find?

A. I love vintage lamps. I have them rewired and put new shades on them. I love vintage chairs, too, but it can be hard to find them in good shape. They can be rickety, like rattan, which I love, but it’s not too sturdy. And Lucite chairs. I had a friend over once who sat down and broke one in half. They’re really for looks only.

Q. How do you source your new stuff?

A. I love to showcase small-batch lines and hand-made things, such as Mexican handbags, a niche perfume line and a couple of jewelry lines.

I tend to have a lot of things made in Brooklyn or Portland, Oregon. We also carry some local things, like ceramics from Convivial Production. We do bigger accessory lines, too, to fill in the gaps.

Q. Do you have a signature style?

A. My look is definitely modern, but which side that falls on depends on the client.

There are different facets of modern that can look contemporary, eclectic or midcentury. There’s even modern/traditional, which still slants traditional but has a modern perspective, where you’ll see furniture with tufted pleating and rolled arms, but it’s paired with a modern side table.

I’ve never designed anything fussy. I blend feminine and masculine elements, and my clients include husbands who tend to be very involved and have lots of opinions and ideas.

Q. How do you pull a design together?

A. I’ve worked with a lot of homeowners who have spent a lot of money on furniture, but their rooms are falling flat.

Recently I’ve worked with clients who are into a clean-lined aesthetic like Room & Board, and they’ve bought a few pieces that they love, but they need help adding personality to the space with rugs, pillows and artwork. I help them liven it up.

I capture a lot of clients in the store, who say, “I love the way it looks in here. Can you help me with my living room?”

Q. Why do you believe in mixing styles and eras?

A. It steers a room away from feeling sterile. A room full of all new pieces has no personality. Things look staged and formulaic.

A mixed space feels collected versus looking like you just went out and bought everything in one fell swoop. When you inject vintage, you have to be way more thoughtful and search to find the exact right color or size or shape of something. And you have to be patient because you might not find it right away.

Q. You’ve been in business since 2008, but under a different name. Why the change?

A. I changed our name from Urban Dwellings after three years because people out south thought the shop would be too contemporary. The name was boxing us in, and people weren’t giving us a chance or they were coming in with preconceived notions. Coveted Home is more broad.

Q. You’ve also moved locations a few times?

A. We started in the River Market when I moved back after being away for 12 years. In 2008, that area was developing, but the traffic wasn’t there for me. If I didn’t leave, I would have gone out of business.

Then I moved to Corinth in Prairie Village because my customers lived there, but it always felt temporary. I was on a shoestring budget, and I never did much to the space.

When I reached out to the Plaza, they embraced us and that made it an easy decision to move here. Plus, having the store on the Plaza is nostalgic for me. It was a special place when I was a kid. Walking around here, I feel fortunate that this is where we are. We are where we need to be.

Q. Normally I would give readers a website to visit, but you rely more on social media?

A. Our clients use Instagram a lot. We have #covetedhome for pretty vignettes styled together in mixed settings, and we started #shopcovetedhome specifically to sell. We post individual pictures of items with size and price, and if someone’s interested in buying an item, they leave their email in the comments and we send them an invoice.

We just hosted a flash sale on our Turkish rugs this way and it generated a lot of interest and four or five sales. Instagram has become an extension of our website. Customers don’t have to leave the app and take time to search objects in our categories. That’s a pain, especially if you’re using your phone. If you see a photo of something you like, you can stay right there and make the purchase. It’s a new and easier way to do business.

Q. If you’re not working, what do you do in your free time?

A. I’m never not working! I’d like to be able to travel more and have a more international feel in my designs.

When I went to Morocco, it was so cool and such a big hit. I love seeing how people in other parts of the world design and decorate. I’m fascinated by design for functionality and the environment. In Morocco, they have to design for the harsh desert climate. Here, we can be more whimsical and not as practical.

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