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

Archive for the ‘China’ 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.




Gorgeous! Glamour! Glitter! Get Ready!

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Think Pink!

A pair of stunning and custom ikat-upholstered chairs that we are offering at our next One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale on November 13th. Think pink, folks! This sale is going to kick some major ass.


Have you marked your calendars for our next One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale on November 13? It’s going to be an extravagant extravaganza, and how, and how!



Crank up the Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Dear Prudence,” and get ready to shop. Think gorgeous. And there will be LOTS of small and affordable holiday gifts, too!!!

Cocktail sets. Mirrors. Chairs. Lamps. Out-of-this-world objects. Sofas. Tables. Whimsical wonders.

Here’s a taste of our stash… We have 300 items going into the sale.

Shell Seekers!

Vintage brass seashells and a shell box to add some briny brilliance to a table in your home.

Floral Fever!

A vintage floral-embellished coffee set with a matching tray. Total fetch!

Get Lit!

Our One Kings Lane sale will offer gobs of gorgeous lamps, like this pair of beautifully detailed Chinoiserie table lamps.

Winging It!

John and I crafted this wingback chair in marvelous Indian-inspired fabrics. Anchor a room that lacks pizzazz with this perch. Who needs pie when there's India?

Think India!

A pair of armchairs upholstered in multiple Indian-influenced fabrics... Comfort. Check! Clever. Check! Totally unique! Naturally.

Bench Set!

A Chinoiserie-styled bench with a fetching floral pillow that the Madcap Cottage gents crafted from a fabulous retro fabric. Jason's mom had this fabric in her bedroom circa-1975.

Game Face!

A wonderful burled wood card table with Chinoiserie chairs done up in a pink upholstery that are totally bananas.

Petal Pusher!

A gorgeous armchair with all sorts of floral patterns as only the Madcap Cottage boys can do. Push some petals, blossom dearies.


A Trip to London’s Decorative Fair!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Park It Here!

John heads into London's verdant Battersea Park to pay a visit to the thrice-annual Decorative Fair. The Fair is truly a treasure trove of delicious finds!


This past week John and I made a pilgrimage to the fabulous Decorative Fair that takes place three times each year in London’s stunning Battersea Park on the south side of the Thames.

And, wow!, we were so inspired, and not only by the fabulous goods but also by the very approachable prices. I am not one for “important” antiques unless you inherited them, so it was great to see that there were so many pieces at the fair that John and I could actually afford.

Here’s a little tour…

Floral Fever!

A pair of floral-patterned armchairs that felt very "Madcap Cottage," n'est-ce pas? There's nothing like multiple fabrics and delicious details to take furniture from ho-hum to super-ho.

China Syndrome!

A gorgeous Chinoiserie-styled lantern. Swoon!

A Nice Big Basket!

John and I adored this oversized concrete basket, one of a pair. These baskets would be perfect for sitting atop pilasters at the back of a yard.

Tip, Top, Tole!

A stunning tole metal palm tree! If John and I could have carried this back to NYC with us on the plane, we would have snapped it up!

Green Goddesses!

A very yummy pair of green chairs with terrific nailhead detailing.

Pets, Please!

There were lots of dogs at the Decorative Fair. We wished that Weenie and Jasper could have been in attendance, too.


Ra-Ra for Rue!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012


I hope you are having an absolutely beautiful week…

John and I are in Provence, France, and we are loving it.

And we are also loving the write-up that online magazine Rue has just published that features us… Click on the image, below, to read the story.

Rue, Who!

Many thanks to Rue magazine for their lovely write-up on us. Such a treat! Click on the image, above, to check out the story.


Mark Your Calendars: Our Next OKL Tastemaker Tag Sale Takes Place on November 13th!

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Comfort Zone!

John and I crafted two of these fabulous and relaxed rattan "poufs" with a frisky floral pattern. You will find these and so much more at our November 13th Tastemaker Tag Sale on One Kings Lane!


I hope you are having a delicious weekend… John and I are working away in preparation for Labor Day. We will be up at Lake George, New York later this week with a dear pal from Tampa, Florida before we hightail it off to Madcap Cottage for a few days of hardcore gardening. Plus, we plan to explore the charming town of Millerton, New York.

But, wait, NEWS FLASH!

Mark those calendars! Our next Tastemaker Tag Sale will take place on One Kings Lane beginning on Tuesday, November 13th. Not only will we have amazing, colorful furniture, but we will offers loads of perfect-for-the-holidays gifts.

November 13th!

November 13th!

Get ready to shop…

It’s going to be madcap and marvelous. Natch!

Be Seated!

A stunning upholstered chair with all of the pattern-crazy flourishes for which the Madcap Cottage boys are renowned. Get this chair at our November 13th Tastemaker Tag Sale on One Kings Lane.

Basket Case!

A fabulous vintage office chair that the Madcap Cottage boys have "done up" in a lovely floral pattern with yellow welting. This chair will be featured on the November 13th Tastemaker Tag Sale. Why not make your office jaunty and exuberant? That was not a question.

Bamboo You!

There will be a pair of these bamboo-patterned stools at our sale. You can never have enough bamboo "moments" in your home, n'est-ce pas?


Memories of China!

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities.

Curious about the far-flung charms of China? Read my feature on Shanghai and Beijing, A Tale of Two Cities, that appears in the August issue of Delta Sky magazine. Scroll down to access a pdf of the story.


Good morning! I am in Florida and headed from Tampa to Sarasota to scope the fabulous Chinoiserie-style furnishings at the warehouse of one of our favorite sources.

But reading the Wall Street Journal this morning and the outcome of the Gu Kailai “trial” in China turns my thoughts back to our recent visit to Shanghai and Beijing (the Kailai scandal broke just as John and I arrived in Shanghai). I wrote a feature on our trip that is running in the current issue of Delta Sky magazine, and I thought you might enjoy reading about our adventures in this mixed-up, crazy, wonderful, and totally weird country.

Welcome to China!

Click on the pdf, below, to read about the Madcap Cottage gents’ adventures…

A Tale of Two Cities


A Visit to the Brand-New De Gournay Showroom!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

De Gournay Delicious!

Here's John outside the soon-to-open de Gournay showroom on the corner of 59th Street in Manhattan. De Gournay's handpainted wallpapers are too delicious for words. The Madcap Cottage gents were thrilled to be invited for a pre-opening tour.


Are you familiar with the de Gournay line of wallpapers, mirrors, furnishings, and fabrics? If not, you should be!

John and I are simply smitten with the London-based firm’s incredible handpainted wallpapers, and we were thrilled to be invited to visit their not-yet-open showroom on the corner of East 59th Street and Second Avenue yesterday for a sneak preview of their new digs.

The de Gournay wallpapers are quite expensive, but then again they are crafted by hand on the likes of dyed silk, slub silk, and India tea paper. The scenic papers are our favorites: We are crazy for the Early Views of India paper with its elephants and gentlemen in turbans prancing about. And don’t even get me started on the glorious Deco Monkeys!

Here are some images from the soon-to-open showroom to inspire you.

P.S. The showroom officially opens on October 3.

Deco Drama!

I think you can see why John and I are over the moon for the Deco Monkeys wallpaper from de Gournay. Um, this paper makes me bananas!

Look Book!

John peruses the de Gournay collections with the lovely Gwendolyn Rayner, the director of the New York showroom.

Panel Discussion!

A panel from the glorious Early Views of India wallpaper. Because the wallpapers are created by hand, each detail can be changed and custom-colored. You'd like a gent in a pink turban, no problem! And the wallpaper is crafted around your architectural renderings, so you can wrap the paper around doors and windows with the pattern placed accordingly to maximize the impact. Genius!

Memories of China!

A very dramatic Chinese-inspired vista anchors a wall in the de Gournay showroom.

Blue Velvet!

A rich blue lacquered wallpaper with a de Gournay mirror and armchairs at the entrance to the showroom. Chic, n'est-ce pas?



The Brilliance of the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Beauport Brilliance!

Perched at the edge of the rocky coast in charming Gloucester, Massachusetts, the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann home is a gem for fans of whimsical decorative arts and glorious interiors. This home is an undiscovered gem, and I want to move in and never leave.


This past week while John and I were bopping about Massachusetts and Maine, we had something of a life-changing moment. And, no, we didn’t win the lottery, but rather we paid a visit to the stunning Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester, Mass.

Built by interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper circa 1907, Beauport is a gorgeous, eclectic, and totally whimsical former summer cottage that is packed with ideas and gorgeous details. Stepping into the shingle-clad home from the verdant gardens is transfixing: John and I lapped up the ideas like we were Veruca Salt at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Oh, the Chinoiserie wallpaper!

The Federal details!

The sea foam green-painted dining room!

The double-height library!

The octagonal room that houses Sleeper’s collection of toleware!

Frankly, John and I had never heard of Beauport before, so visiting this home was even more revelatory than touring a spot that gets gobs of press such as The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island or the Biltmore estate in North Carolina. We had only heard of Beauport because someone who toured our house in Brooklyn back at the recent Prospect Lefferts Gardens House & Garden Tour suggested that our pad reminded them of the Gloucester estate… So John and I added a visit to Beauport to our must-do list.

Interestingly, the guides at Beauport make a point to let guests know that Henry Davis Sleeper was a gay man, and that is totally refreshing: Usually, a gay man from the past would be referred to as a “bachelor” or something, so it was really kind of cool for that information to be put out there.

I see a total Beauport “moment” in our near future, so get ready.

Let’s take a tour.

Strawberry Sublime!

The Strawberry Hill bedroom, named for the estate of Sir Henry Walpole situated just outside of London. Do you remember the post I wrote a few months back about our visit to the Strawberry Hill estate? This room boasted lacquered wallpaper and a dramatic chandelier. And I love the rich green door.

Octagon Opulence!

The Octagon Room was crafted to house Henry Davis Sleeper's collection of metal toleware. The room is perfection.

The Golden Rule!

The Golden Step dining room with its sea foam green furnishings and long window overlooking the craggy coast. I am just crazy for a Fortnum & Mason-ish green, so this room is heaven.

China Syndrome!

The gorgeous, jewel-hued China Trade room with its hand-painted, antique Chinese wallpaper and arresting niches. I love the vaguely Indian balcony with its stunning wall coverings.


Talking Trends at the Hearst Tower in NYC!

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Poster Children!

The Madcap Cottage boys are ready for our close-up at last evening's presentation at the Hearst Tower sponsored by Silestone, the makers of fabulous natural quartz surfaces.


Last night John I were invited by the fabulous folks at Silestone, the makers of glorious natural quartz surfaces, to talk about trends.

Specifically, the Madcap Cottage gents talked about the trends that we spotted at the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago. The setting for our presentation was an amazing sky-high conference room on the 44th floor of the Hearst Tower in midtown Manhattan. What incredible views!

Guests sipped wine and sampled tuna tartare and crab cakes before the Madcap Cottage boys took to the stage. By all accounts, our presentation was engaging, funny, interesting, and informative. And no one in the audience fell asleep.

Thank you to our dear pals at Silestone and the crew at Sharp Communications for putting us in the spotlight. What fun!

Sublime Silestone!

John and I chat with the wonderful Lorenzo Marquez, Silestone's charismatic VP of Marketing.

Room With a View!

Here's the bar at our presentation with a killer backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Chic, n'est-ce pas?

Crowd Pleasers!

Here's the crowd sipping white wine before our presentation kicked off. There was a terrific mix of editors, designers, and kitchen industry professionals in the audience.


Did You Make It To Our House Tour?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Hello, Madcap Cottage!

Several hundred visitors toured our Brooklyn home yesterday as part of the 42nd Annual Prospect Lefferts Gardens House & Garden Tour... Thank goodness for booties! The very able volunteer Frank manned the front door with grace and good humor...


I hope you had a wonderful weekend…

John and I opened up our home in Brooklyn yesterday as part of the 42nd Annual Prospect Lefferts Gardens House & Garden Tour, and we had so much fun… Our neighborhood has wonderful camaraderie, and everyone was so complimentary about our home. And, frankly, there’s nothing like a good house tour to get a pad into tip-top shape, so we scrubbed and scrubbed and then scrubbed some more.

During the day, we even got to mix and mingle with pals like the fabulous blogger and design aficionado Ivy de Leon who drove in all the way from Princeton, New Jersey.

What a very fun and rewarding day…