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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

What Becomes a Legend Most?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Gang:

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!

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Please Hold, Exciting Changes Afoot…

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Gang:

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, www.madcapcottage.com, or join the conversation with us on social media.

Tra-la-la!

 

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Lessons Learned at Burghley House!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Burghley Brilliance!

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.

Gang:

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…

Kitchen Confidential!

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.

Thoroughly Modern, Silly!

Why not mix a modern sofa with ancestral portraits and paneling? The Cecils did, and it works swimmingly!

Fringe with Benefits!

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.

Mix, Match, Marvelous!

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.

Bucket List!

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!

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Spend a Long Weekend with the Madcaps!

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Meet Us in Manhattan!

Enjoy a long weekend of fabulous lifestyle-themed events, tours, lectures, and insider "hotspots" in New York City with the Madcap Cottage gents this September 19-22!

Gang:

John and I have lived in New York City for more than twenty years, and, truly, no one knows NYC better than the two of us. Don’t forget that I was the Editor in Chief of Gotham magazine, the city’s Bible for glamorous living, for almost ten years… We are constantly sniffing out the latest and the greatest.

Hence, it was only natural that John and I decided to celebrate the city in which we live by offering a lifestyle-themed long weekend during which we open up our little black book.

Think design.

Fashion.

Food.

Lectures.

Insider tours.

Access.

Meet and greets.

A glittering dinner at Madcap Cottage in Brooklyn.

A fabulous hotel…

And lots of surprises!

Is this a so-called “design camp?” Hello, no! It’s a long weekend for folks who want to enjoy the best that NYC has to offer. This is open to anyone, from designers to NYC aficionados to style mavens and foodies.

Thursday-Sunday. September 19-22.

Contact us at jason@madcapcottage.com for more information and pricing.

It’s going to be one Madcap and Marvelous Weekend! Join us!

Let's Be Madcap!

See you in NYC come September!

 

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A Tour of the Traditional Home Showhouse!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Gang:

Come along for a tour of the fabulous Traditional Home/Junior League of Greensboro showhouse and the breakfast room that John and I designed with loads of Thibaut fabrics, wallpapers, and furnishings…

Breakfast at Adamsleighs!

Traditional Home magazine's stunning Tori Mellott interviews me and John for Editor at Large TV. Click on the link, above, for a video tour of the showhouse...

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Tip, Top Terrific Thomasville!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Pearl of a Girl!

Here we are with the absolutely delicious and innovative Lisa Hanly, the wonderful vice president of communications at Furniture Brands International, the parent company of Thomasville.

Gang:

John and I are just back from an amazing two weeks in North Carolina for the High Point Furniture Market… We launched our fabulous new Madcap Cottage pillow line (available on our website for now, Madcap Cottage, and coming soon to a very chic retailer near you) and crafted a room for the Junior League of Greensboro/Traditional Home magazine showhouse. We also met many amazing folks, including the terrific Lisa Kahn-Allen and her spot-on husband, Phillip Allen; gorgeous and fun Lisa Mende; Southern spitfire Anita Phipps; antiques guru Todd Nabors; and so many other wonderful folks. Lots more to tell on that front.

A highlight of our visit to furniture market was the tour of the stunning and really exciting Thomasville showroom. John and I used to drive out to the Thomasville factory-cum-showroom in tiny Thomasville, NC during Furniture Market, and the experience wasn’t very illuminating… The Thomasville brand was a bit tired and needed a big kick in the butt. The best thing about our visit to Thomasville was the giant Duncan Phyfe chair sculpture downtown (John and I would scamper about the enormous chair and pose provocatively, natch).

Well, that was then, and this is now.

Fast forward a few years, and Thomasville now occupies a high-style showroom in the High Point nexus, the IHFC tower. And it is headed up by two dynamos: Lisa Hanly is the head of corporate communications for Furniture Brands International, the parent company of Thomasville, and she really gets “it.” Lisa is a dynamo, capital “D.” And Greg Heller is Thomasville’s vice president of retail, and he has brought his beautifully trained eye to the furniture company.

And, folks, the results are stunning.

Thomasville is back, and in a big, bold way. And not just for Heller’s gorgeous furnishings, but also for bed linens and all sort of other delectable home goods.

Here are a few of our favorite Thomasville introductions…

And just to come clean, Thomasville did “host” my hotel room for three nights at High Point in their role as a blog sponsor, but I wouldn’t write about the brand if I wasn’t goo-goo, ga-ga for it. A stay at a Sheraton can only go so far, n’est-ce pas?

Hello, Heller!

Greg Heller, the creative force behind the "new" Thomasville, gives the Madcap Cottage gents a tour. And, wow-ee!, we were smitten.

Rhombus Remarkable!

The gold-flecked good looks of the Rhombus Accent Table had us wanting to sip cocktails so that we could perch them just-so upon this libidinous looker.

Ting, Tang!

Wow, the Tang Etagere left me reeling. Chic, and an amazing price point, to boot!

Scarlet Fever!

John and I fell in love with the arresting Broome Tray Table, and we want two of these for our home upstate. Faux bamboo and a deep red, delicious.

 

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A Madcap Cottage Close-Up!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Gang:

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.

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Refreshing Your Kitchen at Lowe’s!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Gang:

Merry Christmas!

John and I are happily ensconced in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s a wonderfully snowy holiday…

As you start to think about your 2013 resolutions, why not consider giving some oomph to your kitchen. The fabulous folks at Kohler asked me and John to visit our local big box store to offer up some cheap and chic ideas to take your kitchen from tired to tip, top terrific.

Refresh, refresh, refresh!

Click on the image, below, to read about our kitchen transformation…

Enjoy!

Big Box Brilliance!

Click on the image, above, to read about our adventures in kitchen design at our local Lowe's in Oneonta, New York.

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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.

Gang:

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!

NOVEMBER 13.

NOVEMBER 13.

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.

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An Affair with a Chair!

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Red or Dead!

Here is a "before" shot of one of the red chairs on my parents' front porch that I decided to overhaul. The rattan caning on the seat looked fine, but it was beginning to rot in the Florida humidity and needed to be replaced. Hence, a trip to Hancock Fabrics was a must! John and I had had the chairs powder coated bright red a few months before when they had begun to flake.

Gang:

I am currently down at my parents’ home in Tampa, Florida, but I fly to Los Angeles tomorrow and I can’t wait. Stay tuned for some West Coast design updates.

Meanwhile, whenever I come down to Tampa I always like to get a few projects going. But I am just not sure if I terrorize my Mom and Dad with my myriad putterings-about. For example, Lois and Jary (aka, Mom and Dad) do not seem to be too keen on my idea to transform their guest house into a Chinoiserie Chateau, a Palace of Pagoda Perfection. Stay tuned to see if I win this battle and get to lacquer their furniture and wallpaper their bathroom with a scenic scene from Peking back in the day.

Well, here’s one project that I did tackle today. My parents have terrific vintage French cafe chairs on their front porch, but they were getting a bit downtrodden and the rattan caning on the seats was beginning to rot. A few months back I had my parents powder coat the chairs as the original red paint was peeling off.

And then more recently I tackled the rattan caning. The rattan was not especially comfortable and was crumbling, so John and I decided to create custom seat covers with a very graphic indoor-outdoor fabric that we picked up for a song at Hancock Fabrics. I took one of the original rattan seats up to New York after my last visit to Florida to have our terrific upholstery guru craft five matching seat cushions in a festive Carnival print.

And, voila!, here are the results. The chairs offer a big punch of color and are far more comfortable than before. Success!

Now how do I convince Mom and Dad that a Chinoiserie-styled, painted bar and matching disco ball are must-have accessories for the guest house. To be continued…

Love Stack!

Here are the new seat cushions crafted of an indoor-outdoor fabric from Hancock Fabrics awaiting their star turn.

I Came, I Saw!

Jary removes the old rattan caning with a saw so that we could re-use the wood frame that sits within a lip in the chairs.

Shake It Up!

While my Dad and I worked on recovering the front porch chairs, my Mom practiced her hula hooping skills.

Weaving a Spell!

After my Dad used the saw to remove the edges of the rattan caning, I peeled off the remaining fibers and nails to create a clean base that could be then attached to the new seat cushions.

What a Screw-Up!

Getting ready to screw the new upholstered seat cushions to the original wooden frame that sits within a narrow lip on the chairs. I had the cushions made with a hollow center in their wooden frame to allow them to drain if they get wet in the rain or after a good hose-down.

Color Me Crazy!

The big reveal! And here are the five front porch dining chairs in all of their recovered glory. The seat covers can be popped off the chair to be hosed down, and the new fabric adds a "pop" of color that was lacking with the rattan caning, n'est-ce pas?

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