Image 01 real viagra stories

DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category

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!

 

Share

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!

Share

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.

 

Share

The Mighty, Mighty Lampshade!

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Light Up My Life!

Look at this amazing ruched fabric lampshade that John and I spotted at the shop of uber-designer Robert Kime in London. Divine! Why not take your boring lampshades, and give them some sparkle...

Gang:

Morning! I hope you had a lovely weekend… John and I holed up in the snow and watched movies and designed pillows. Yes, we design pillows for fun. And they will be debuting at the High Point Market in the spring, so stay tuned.

Here’s our “Idea of the Day.”

Have fun with your lampshades. You can take even the most vanilla of lamps and transform them with a magical lampshade. But if you don’t have access to a custom lampshade source, bust out the glue gun and have it. Target and Hancock Fabrics are both great sources for inexpensive lampshades, and then embellish, embellish, embellish! Think decoupage, rhinestones, grosgrain ribbon… There are really no rules: Just have some fun.

A standout lampshade will really help add oomph to a room, quickly and economically.

Send us photos of your handiwork!

Share

Green with Envy!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Spring Fling!

Enjoy these images of a spring-kissed sun room that John and I designed for a show house in Montclair, New Jersey a few years back. We used lots of green to create a cool, soothing environment embellished with pops of yellow and pink. We eventually sold the two armchairs on One Kings Lane. The tole flowers on the mantel now sit above our fireplace at Chester Court in Brooklyn.

Gang:

It’s a cold and blustery day in New York City, so I decided to post some images of a spring-like sun room that John and I designed for a show house in Montclair, New Jersey a few years back. The space was a boring white box, so John and I pumped the room full of color to maximize the impact. We used gobs of green and oodles of pink, and I think the results are refreshing and simply delicious.

Tell us what you think!

Loving Me Some Lattice!

John and I slip-covered a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa in a jaunty lattice pattern and floral print, both from Schumacher. The plants on the stand in the window hail from Ikea, and the rug came from West Elm. Good design (not to sound not humble, natch) doesn't have to be expensive.

Amp Up Your Lamps!

John and I embellished the lampshades of these gourd-shaped table lamps with grosgrain ribbon. Did you ever read John's book "John Loecke's Grosgrain Style?" We unearthed the chinoiserie-style chandelier at a flea market in Miami, and the stools are from Baker Furniture.

Think Pink!

The fabulous Bamboo Lattice wallpaper from Thibaut's Spring Lake Collection took the ceiling of the sun room from boring to brilliant. The fabric on the green, white, and yellow window treatments came from Schumacher.

Share

A Bit of Color on this Drab Day!

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The Unloved Little House!

Here's the former garage at Madcap Cottage in upstate New York when John and I purchased the property. The garage was a mess and was totally shrouded with out-of-control greenery. Our goal was to take this forlorn folly and make it fabulous. Hopefully, you can pluck ideas from our plan of attack to employ in your own home.

Gang:

John and I are hunkered down in Brooklyn as Sandy terrorizes the East Coast… We have wine and I made tacos, and I am cleaning out my closet and am still wearing my pajamas at 1:30pm so it’s not all bad… John is listening to Christmas carols on Pandora for some reason. Curious, n’est-ce pas? Weenie and Jasper are snoozing.

As the day is totally drab and dull, I thought I would offer some color, a Technicolor-hued punch…

Here’s a photo tour of our former garage at Madcap Cottage in upstate New York that John and I transformed from a tumbledown structure into a rainbow-hued screened-in porch.

I hope you enjoy the journey…

Stay dry, and stay safe!

Al Fresco Elegance!

New roofing, screened doors, and a cupola that John and I purchased online take the exterior of the garage and make it gorgeous. The cupola is vinyl-clad, so it will never need painting. I am not a fan of vinyl siding, but here it makes total sense.

Interior Motives!

John and I had the interior patched and a new cement floor poured. And we carved-out screened windows that look onto our backyard. A pale blue ceiling helps open up the space.

Patio, Daddy-o!

John and I found some beat-up old garden furniture and had it powder coated a bright lemon yellow. The results are perfectly sunny and delicious! Find garden furniture at a yard sale, and have it powder coated to give it new life.

Fabric of Life!

John and I came up with a fun fabric scheme that mixes lots of easy-to-care-for indoor/outdoor fabrics in big, bold hues.

Dog Days of Summer!

Jasper eyes the work in progress. Almost complete!

Hello, Jasper!

And here's the finished product... John and I were lucky enough to have the screened-in porch appear in the magazine DIY. Jasper makes himself right at home in the finished screened-in porch, now renamed The Little House. Floor paint transformed a cement floor into something fabulous. John crafted the window treatments from Ikea using a stamp that he picked up at a flea market with fabric paint.

Et Voila!

Note the inexpensive Chinese lanterns that dangle overhead, an inexpensive way to add "punch" and "pizzazz" to any space. The cupola adds further "architecture" to a roofline that was sorely lacking interest.

Share

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.

Share

Learn by Looking!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Shelf Life!

John explores terrific stacking bookshelves at the Baker Furniture showroom in High Point, NC. Bring these ideas home. Why not go to your local unfinished furniture store and purchase bookcases that you can paint at home and then stack. Paint the exterior of the shelf black and the interior a rich color for contrast. And note the curtain behind John that helps separate the room into two distinct sections. Genius! And simple.

Gang:

This past week has been a wonderful whirl… John and I arrived in High Point, North Carolina, and we have so enjoyed lapping up the trends and exploring the fabulous showrooms that dot the so-called furniture capital of the world.

John and I also love the styling that goes into creating amazing showrooms in High Point, and we always walk away with loads of inspiration and take-away ideas. And many of these ideas can be recreated at home without breaking the bank.

This evening John and I toured the wonderful Baker Furniture showroom–truly a High Point favorite–and we were totally inspired.

Mellow Yellow!

Pair books by color on your shelves. Or wrap your books in colorful paper to add some visual interest. Here, some clever ideas for storing books at Baker Furniture.

Layered Looks!

Layering is an important aspect of creating a wonderful, inviting room. Here, an eclectic mix of furniture in a Baker Furniture model room creates a unique look, especially when paired with vintage artwork, mismatched table lamps, and an oversized Chinese lantern that dangles overhead. And note the layered rugs...

Cook the Books!

A Barbara Barry twin bed at the Baker Furniture showroom sits in front of photo wallpaper of books in bold colors. What a fun way to create a high-impact wall covering that is totally bespoke and brilliant. Search online for a company like Casart that can create interesting, custom wallpapers.

Share

A Little Labor Day Inspiration!

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Lemon Lovely!

John and I found these lemon sconces at a flea market in Marseille, France and scooped them up and stuck them in our suitcases. When we got back to the States, we trotted over to our local Michaels crafts store for the round disks upon which we mounted the fixtures. High-low. Love it!

Gang:

Here’s hoping you are having a fabulous and relaxed Labor Day… John and I are upstate and spent the whole weekend gardening. And Madcap Cottage looks terrific!

Here’s a quick idea to hopefully give you some inspiration…

John and I love finding vintage light fixtures at yard sales and flea markets, but what to do if the fixture doesn’t have a large enough base for mounting the fixture, say, upon a wall? Buy the light, and then march right over to Michaels and pick up their inexpensive and whimsical wooden “plaques” that can be painted and then mounted to use as a base for your fixture.

Cheap and chic. We love it!

Gilt Trip!

We unearthed these gilt and "vining" wall sconces at an antiques shop in Tampa, Florida. We then had lampshades made in Venice, Italy with the letter "J" on them. Unfortunately, we had the "J"s put on upside down, so now the "J"s read as big question marks. This keeps people guessing. And then we paired this high-low combination of inexpensive fixtures and expensive lampshades with whimsical wooden plaques from Michaels. Genius, no? Just saying...

Share

Shaking Our Moneymakers for Tobi Fairley!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Fairley Tame!

Be sure to read our guest installment on the lovely interior designer Tobi Fairley's blog. John and I were asked our Expert Advice, and so we gave it, and gave it good. Click on the image, above, to read our wry martini of a linguistic cocktail.

Gang:

I hope you have had a fabulous, relaxing weekend! John and I are upstate and have been getting Madcap Cottage into order: The recent heatwave has our plants needing some major TLC, so we have been watering wildly and drinking wine all weekend. Happily, my dance card is nearly empty this week, so I plan to spend much of the upcoming few days happily ensconced in tiny Hobart, New York.

Today, John and I woke up to a lovely and generous blog installment from our pal Tobi Fairley, the Little Rock, Arkansas-based interior designer who also has her well-manicured hands in all sorts of other businesses. Tobi has been running a series on “Expert Advice” on her blog, so she graciously asked me and John to offer up the goods on what we have learned along the way.

And, as you know, we are no shrinking violets when it comes to offering advice. We are tempestuous tulips and reckless roses to paraphrase E.M. Forster. Give us a microphone, and we will probably pole dance whilst reciting William Carlos Williams poetry as we shake our moneymakers hither and yon and yon again.

So little did Tobi Fairley know what she was getting into when she gave us her platform.

Let’s get down and dirty, designerati.

Read it and weep. Hopefully, as you chuckle.

Enjoy… And thank you, Tobi!

Share