April 17th, 2014 by Demystifying Design
Our blog is on hiatus for a while, but I decided to open up the vault and post about my upcoming spin as an Ambassador at the Legends of La Cienega festivities in Los Angeles. John will be with me, natch, but I get to wear the sash or whatever… Two years ago, I moderated a panel discussion at Legends, and it was a blast. This go-around I only have to sip cocktails and look pretty and engaging and Instagram with wild abandon.
The 6th annual Legends of La Cienega runs from May 7-9 and boasts the theme “Novel Interiors: Storytelling By Design.” The three-day event in the heart of West Hollywood’s design district includes terrific lectures, presentations, open houses, and all sorts of amazing activities. Expect lots of design aficionados and the editors of all the major shelter magazines.
Highlights include a keynote speech by dashing Veranda editor in chief Clinton Smith on the Power of Authenticity, a power lunch hosted by dapper Elle Decor editor in chief Michael Boodro, a meet and greet cocktail tea (um, how fabulous is that?) with House Beautiful power player Newell Turner, and a talk with Hutton Wilkinson on our heroine Elsie de Wolfe. Um, heaven.
Plus, John and I get to rub very chic shoulders with our fellow ambassadors, including the divine Lisa Herring Mende, Ronda Carman, Stacey Bewkes, and other blog-world luminaries… And we get to see folks like Joe Lucas, Suzanne Rheinstein, Karyn Millet, Darra Baker, Emily Docken Webster, and others.
We plan to scamper about and cause some mischief and mayhem, so get ready. See you at the Sunset Tower after hours!
For more information on the #lcdqla festivities, visit www.lcdqla.com.
The Madcap Cottage gents cannot wait to see you in LA!
September 5th, 2013 by Demystifying Design
Here I am outside of Burghley House, the Cecil family's 16th-century pile in Stamford, north of London. Note the "ha-ha" behind me, the cut in the lawn that separates the manicured portion from the section where the livestock roams. From the house the ha-ha is not visible and the lawn looks seamless.
As you know if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, John and I are just back from three weeks in England. We are lucky enough to visit the UK several times a year, and it is truly our second home. In fact, I think we know London better than we do New York City. Which, by the by, is A-OK with us.
Each August, we travel to the United Kingdom for an extended visit, and we tick off a slew of great country homes… We rent a car and head off from London. There’s nothing better than seeing an amazing home to offer design inspiration. John and I always return from England with gobs of ideas floating about in our heads.
This past trip, we visited several amazing homes and palaces, including Kelmarsh Hall, Waddesdon Manor, Hatfield House, and more. First up was Burghley House, the amazing 16th-century home crafted near the market town of Stamford by Sir William Cecil. The house is a stunner and well worth a good long morning’s visit. There’s so much history there…
Go pay a visit to Burghley for yourselves…
Here are some ideas that I lifted from Burghley House that you can bring to your own home…
Why not display your pots and pans on your walls... If they are good-looking pots and pans, that is. And granted, you might not have a 40-foot-plus ceiling like the Cecils, but you can still make an impact whether your kitchen is postage stamp-sized or sprawling.
Why not mix a modern sofa with ancestral portraits and paneling? The Cecils did, and it works swimmingly!
Embellish a chair. Add some embroidery, add some brush fringe... Have fun with seating. Why not take a humble chair, and use a glue gun to take it from so-so to sublime.
As the Madcap Cottage gents always say, mix and match patterns. Here's a sitting room in Burghley House with gobs of patterns in it. Do try this at home, even if it's simply having some fun with your throw pillows.
Here's a fabulous barrel that I spotted in Burghley House's gardens. Take a garden barrel from the like of Lowe's or Home Depot, and give it a eau de Nil paint treatment... Voila, perfection!