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Your home is a TEMPLE, and we want to be the high priests.

Archive for the ‘1st Dibs’ Category

Please Hold, Exciting Changes Afoot…

Friday, January 24th, 2014


Demystifying Design is evolving, we are taking the blog to the next level… It’s going to be bigger, bolder, and brighter. So stay tuned! We will be back this spring with a fabulous and frisky new look.

In the meantime, take a look at our website,, or join the conversation with us on social media.




A Madcap Cottage Close-Up!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013


And how is your week going?

John and I are always thrilled to receive coverage in magazines, especially publications in Europe and abroad (maybe that will get us a client in London or Beijing, and then we could then spend months abroad!).

So here’s a lovely feature in the Dutch magazine Residence on our Brooklyn home that has just hit top Amsterdam newsstands.

Who know what the Dutch folks wrote about us, but, hopefully, it is all about how fun we are and why we should be hired to design top Dutch households…

Dutch Delight!

Here's the first spread of the multi-page feature on Madcap Cottage in top Dutch design magazine Residence. Our den is a fabulous mix of patterns and hues. The chandelier hails from a flea market in Miami, Florida. The ottomans will be up for sale on our next One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale on May 4. The rug is from Merida, and the coffee table is for sale on our 1st Dibs boutique.


Before & After: Wow Them With Wallpaper!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

One Kings Lane-O-Rama!

Here's a selection of the Madcap Cottage wares that went "live" on One Kings Lane today. Shop our sublime sundries...


I hope that everyone is having a fabulous week…

Have you bookmarked our two online boutiques?

One Kings Lane


1st Dibs

We have gleefully giddy new items going up daily and weekly, so look us over…

Bring some Madcap Cottage home, and right this very second.

On another note, I wanted to show you how to take a white wall and oomph it up with wallpaper. Here’s a “before” and “after” of our guest bedroom in Brooklyn. Why not “wow” a dull space with a deliciously patterned paper.

And, no, that was not a suggestion.


Here's our guest bedroom at Chester Court with a wallpapered ceiling but before we decided that the space needed extra "punch" courtesy of wallpaper on the walls.

A Glorious Guest Room!

Here's the very same guest room with the formerly white walls done up in Thibaut's Baron wallpaper from their Residence collection. Click on the image, above, to see the paper on the Thibaut website.


How to Spend 24 Hours in NYC!

Saturday, January 12th, 2013


Happy weekend!

John and I are happily ensconced at Madcap Cottage in upstate New York, and it’s deliciously snowy. I am blaring Ellie Goulding and drinking Southern Comfort, and John is watching the original Brideshead Revisited series that ran on PBS back in the day. We are a study in contrasts.

On another note, the fabulous Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel recently asked me how I would spend 24 hours in NYC, and they graciously featured my responses in the “Fan Mail” e-mail blast that goes out to their database.

Check it out, you might discover a few design-driven spots that you don’t know.


Fan Mail!

Click on the image, above, to read the story that the Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel did on me and my favorite must-visits in New York City.


Come Visit Us at 1st Dibs @ NYDC!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012


Happy holidays!

As you might know, John and I have just unveiled a retail space at 1st Dibs @ NYDC, situated on the 10th floor of the New York Design Center on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The floor is a treasure trove of 1st Dibs dealers, and there is something for every taste and sensibility. Best of all, the floor is open to the public AND is open on Saturdays.

If you are looking for glorious holiday gifts, the Madcap Cottage space at 1st Dibs @ NYDC offers loads of colorful and bespoke options.

Here are some shots of us pulling together the vest pocket-sized space.

Come pay us a visit!

Small Slice of Heaven!

Here's our tiny "booth" at 1st Dibs @ NYDC. We painted the white walls a creamy hue and then set about giving the walls horizontal stripes in jaunty colors to make the space really magical!

Paint, Please!

After taping the walls with painter's tape, John and I painted the space in Madcap Cottage signature pink-and-orange stripes. We plan to change the booth monthly to give it a very fresh and editorial quality.

Stripe Tease!

Here's our booth with the painter's tape removed. The stripes look amazing, n'est-ce pas? Why not stripe a room in your own home--it's easy!

Mirror, Mirror!

John installs a groovy rug from Urban Outfitters that perfectly matches our sensibility. The mirror on the wall is for sale and is truly a stunner.

The Best of Everything!

Our Madcap Cottage goodies are in place. All that is missing is our logo upon the wall.


John installs our Madcap Cottage logo upon the walls of our booth at 1st Dibs @ NYDC, and we are open for business! The two vintage Venetian-style chairs are from Baker Furniture, and note all of the beautifully priced objects upon the whimsical side table.


Tip, Top Tole!

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Petal Pushers!

Here's a showhouse that John and I designed in New Jersey a few years back. Note the tole foxgloves in little tole pots upon the mantel. Tole is fabulous and requires no maintenance.


Apologies for not giving you any updates last week… It was a whirlwind of activity! But I am back… So get ready for lots of fun and fabulous installments.

As you know, John and I are crazy-ass gardeners, and we love nothing more than plodding about in our garden. But since we are constantly traveling, it really makes no sense for us to have lots of houseplants at our home in Brooklyn. So how do we bring a taste of the outdoors in?


Er, tole? Never heard of tole?

Tole, dear friends, is enameled or lacquered metalware–often from Italy–usually with gilt decoration for trays, lampshades, etc. And tole can often be found crafted in the form of fabulous flowers and plants that adorn chandeliers, table lamps, and follies. Best of all, tole requires no watering, just the occasional dusting.

So if you want some floral flavor at home without the maintenance, try some tole. You can find tole at your local antiques store and often at a delicious price. I was just in California and snapped up some tole-laden goodies at a jumble sale…

Steel Magnolias!

Here's a massive tole sconce that John and I are currently selling on 1st Dibs. There's nothing like a bough of steel magnolias to add some oomph to your walls, n'est-ce pas? Click on the image, above, if you'd like to purchase the sconce.

Mellow Yellow!

A glorious room at the incredible Sanssouci Palace at Potsdam near Berlin. John and I lapped up this palace like it was free wine at the package liquor store. This room was loaded with motifs culled from nature, including this tole chandelier.

Hot Pot!

I snapped up this tole lily of the valley at an antiques shop in Pasadena, California. I plan to use this as a centerpiece upon our dining room table. No fuss, no muss, n'est-ce pas?


Let’s Go A-House Hunting!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Houses Beautiful!

The fabulous folks at 1st Dibs have run a feature on the Madcap Cottage boys in their "House Hunting" section... Check it out. Click on the image, above, to read the multi-page feature on little old us. Click through the various pages of the feature at the bottom of the page. What a delicious treat!


Whew, John and I are just back from a few weeks in Florida, and, as you can see from our Pinterest posts, we had a lovely drive up the East Coast back to NYC as we hit various antiques and consignment shops (and BBQ joints!) along the way. Frankly, I plan to spend more time in Tampa: Life in NYC is just too complicated and stressful. And there are such amazing sources for vintage furniture in the F.L.A! But more on all of that later.

We returned to Brooklyn late last night and received a lovely e-mail from the divine folks at 1st Dibs that our “House Hunting” feature had just gone live. Assuredly, you know the 1st Dibs website, THE go-to source for the world’s finest antiques and vintage jewelry and fashion… as well as real estate listings for the world’s chic-est homes. But if you don’t know 1st Dibs, let this be an introduction.

I hope you enjoy our usual sass and wit as John and I discuss a few of our favorite properties for sale on the 1st Dibs website.

And now I have to go deal with a mountain of mail…


Have You Shopped Our Madcap Cottage Finds?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Fabulous Finds on 1st Dibs!

Browse the Madcap Cottage selection of one-of-a-kind items for sale on our website. Simply click on the image, above, and get ready to browse an exceptional selection of fabulous finds, all of which are currently for sale courtesy of the Madcap Cottage gents.


How’s everyone?

Any good stories to tell? Any dirt to dish? Bring it…

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has browsed our fabulous selection of one-of-a-kind finds on the “Shop” section of our website,… Um, you should be shopping, and how!

Click on the “Shop” tag, and you will be taken to our shopping portal that resides within the divine 1st Dibs website… If you want to know more about, say, the almost-lifesize brass deer or the gorgeous hood chair done up in a sublime Tony Duquette fabric, simply click on the product and then click through “Contact the Designer” and fill out the easy-breezy form. John or I will get back to you with details on the product and its price within minutes.

So look us over!


Shop Our New Boutique on 1st Dibs!

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Madcap & Marvelous!

Click on the image, above, to visit our just-opened "One of a Kinds" boutique on 1st Dibs. John and I have searched the world for an amazing selection of goods that will transform your home.


As you know, John and I love doing sales, both online and off…

We are constantly scouring the globe (and we mean, the globe) for fabulous finds… We have unearthed divine textiles in Turkey, furnishings in India, and table lamps in the hinterlands of Florida. Each of these items receives the Madcap Cottage tweak and twist, and then we offer them up to you to bring some magic, color, and verve into your own home.

So bring on the sales!

John and I are hosting a Tastemaker Tag Sale on One Kings Lane on May 8th, so MARK your calendars.

And we will be hosting our World-Famous Annual Yard Sale over Memorial Day weekend at Madcap Cottage in Hobart, New York, smack in the center of the Catskill Mountains.

And, now, drumroll please…

The Madcap Cottage boys have unveiled our “One of a Kinds” boutique on the fabulous 1st Dibs website. I am sure that everyone is familiar with 1st Dibs, but if you aren’t it’s the most divine collection of antiques, real estate, fashion, and jewelry to be found under the sun. We are truly honored and excited to be included in the 1st Dibs mix.

Here are some of the fabulous items that John and I have collected and are now offering up through the 1st Dibs portal. Each item is truly unique and special. So get ready to shop!

Look us over, and tell your friends!


Wicker, Didn't Even Know Her!

John and I unearthed this simply stunning vintage wicker hood chair in Pennsylvania, and we poked and prodded it back into shape. The chair is amazing, and now boasts Tony Duquette fabric and signature Madcap Cottage flourishes such as shocking pink welting. We are sort of sad to part with this lovely looker.

Shell Seekers!

A vintage shell-shaped console table with a glass top. Does your front entry need a terrific table to create some visual verve? Um, this plucked-from-the-sea beauty would fit the bill, and how.

Tip, Top, Tole!

A vintage tole metal lamp shaped like a delicious leafy plant with a bold black shade. Every room needs a whimsical and wonderful table lamp, and this oversized beauty is a stunner.

Deer Me!

A nearly life-size brass deer with Asian flair and flourishes that would make a real impact in the corner of a room, perhaps a den or library. This piece is really special.

Tweet, Tweet!

A fabulous vintage table with a tree trunk-like base and utterly charming feet in the form of birds. This table is just so unusual and stunning, n'est-ce pas?


A Little Fanfair at 1st Dibs!

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

A Family Affair!

Here's the family striking a pose for the 1st Dibs "Saturday Shopping" section. Jasper gives a masterful gaze... Weenie was snoozing, so you can barely see her asleep in my lap on my Liberty for Target shirt. Look over our Saturday Shopping selections, we pulled some fun stuff. Thank you, 1st Dibs! Click on the image, above, to go directly to our "Saturday Shopping" picks. Enjoy...


John and I hope your weekend is rocking…

We were upstate last night at the actual Madcap Cottage, and tomorrow morning I zip off to Minneapolis for a week and, from there, on to Los Angeles for the Design Bloggers Conference, oops, #dbc2012. Fun, fun, fun!

And what a delicious treat to be featured in the fabulous “Saturday Shopping” section on that super-cool site 1st Dibs that went live today.

Wow, John and I are over the moon…

Check out a few of our 1st Dibs selections, from fashion and accessories to furnishings, and let them inspire you to create your own Madcap, Madcap, Madcap, Madcap world.


Patchwork Perfection!

John is ape-shit for this terrific vintage patchwork rug... This would be such a stunning focal point in a library or den and adds a revved-up folksy touch. J'adore!

Go, Go, Gio!

I am crazy for this high-backed chair created by Italian designer Gio Ponti. I would add some crazy-ass fabric and welting upon the pillow, and, voila!, Madcap Cottage

Green with Envy!

John and I simply adore New York- and LA-based interior designer Todd Alexander Romano, and how about his painted Louis XIII-style chairs with their jaunty green-and-white upholstery. Stunning!


Viva Valentino!

I am mad for this Valentino Couture buttercup-yellow cashmere coat. This would have looked so smart upon Sunny von Bulow before she had her little run-in with that coma, n'est-ce pas?