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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Mirror’ 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!

 

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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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And We Have A Winner…

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Hotel Stories!

The Madcap Cottage gents love nothing more than a fabulous wall full of mixed-media art. Here, the incredible staircase leading from the lobby at the Hotel Lincoln in Chicago. Do try this at home!

Gang:

I hope your week is going along swimmingly! John and I are up to our eyeballs and loving it… So much fun! John is on the mend from his surgery, so he is up and about and the Madcap Cottage team is full-steam ahead…

During our presentation at the Miromar Design Center near Naples, Florida a few weeks back, we announced to the audience that they should email us and tell us about a room in their home where they best used color and pattern. John and I would review the entries for the most creative use of color and pattern and general all-around fun, and the winner would receive a Madcap Cottage pillow and a one-hour consultation with us over the phone.

Well, we had many entries, but we have selected a winner…

Drumroll, please.

Miss Sue Ann Till of balmy Bonita Springs, Florida has won the golden ticket. John and I loved Sue Ann’s eagerness to take a dull wall and transform it with art. Talk about a terrific mix of high-low!

To quote Miss Sue Ann Till:

“I attended your presentation, and I was so inspired by your design! We purchased a 2,400SF home in Bonita Springs 3 years ago, and I have 50% decorated from consignment and goodwill etc. I have this blank wall (gasp! I know), so I came right home and began planning. I am an amateur artist, and I had three art pieces unframed in a closet. I went to consignment and found some frames and a few things and this is what I came up with! It makes me want to keep going. I think I need to fill in with a few more things but this is the beginning of something happy. I also switched out some pillows with color and more. Thank you again for your inspiration.”

Well, Sue Ann, we love nothing more than a blank wall that transforms from a caterpillar into a glorious butterfly.

Here’s Miss Sue Ann’s handiwork… Voila!, Miss Till’s work just after we inspired her at our presentation and, again, after we encouraged to keep pushing the envelope.

Let’s talk, Sue Ann, you are Miss Madcap Cottage Miromar Design Center 2013!

And, Sue Ann, spread out over the wall… Don’t just cluster everything in that one tight space. Expand, and fill that entire blank wall and make it fabulous!

Wall Flower!

Here was Miss Sue Ann Till's first stab at taking a dull wall and making it dramatic after attending our presentation at the Miromar Design Center. We are thrilled, Sue Ann, that we helped inspire you!

Yahoo, Sue!

John and I emailed with Miss Sue Ann Till, and she was open to adding more art to her wall. Bravo, Sue Ann! You are our Showcase Showdown winner!

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Viva Liberace!

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Loco Liberace!

Performer extraordinaire Liberace pushed the boundaries, both in life and in interior design. How about this crazy-ass bathtub?! I want one.

Gang:

As you know, sometimes John and I live by the “more of more is more” sentiment… Not that we are always over-the-top, but it can be fun to push the envelope.

Someone who certainly lived life over-the-top was renowned performer Liberace… Watch for his biopic, Behind the Candelabra, to air on May 26, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Yesterday, the New York Post asked me my thoughts on Liberace’s interior design aesthetic and whether we will see mirrored pianos and gobs of chandeliers hitting interiors anytime soon.

And here is what I said…

Flickering Flame!

Click on the image, above, to read my comments about Liberace style in today's New York Post.

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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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A Dining Chair Dilemma!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Dining Room Delicious!

Here's our dining room in Brooklyn. John and I were inspired by the famous Gritti Palace hotel in Venice to craft something of an indoor garden with lots of Venetian references and whimsy in the space, and I think the results are wonderful. But the dining room chairs needed some work so that they wouldn't scratch the painted floor...

Gang:

Happy Monday! Um, er. Well, anyhow, the week is off and running…

I am just crazy about our dining room. There’s a fabulous mix of patterns and colors, and the whole space is very soothing and cool and offers a sanctuary from the urban scene just outside the front door. I am especially partial to our vintage Venetian-style dining chairs that we purchased from our dear pal Frannie in California a few years back.

However, the dining chairs had me flummoxed.

Here’s the deal: Our dining room is floor is painted with Farrow & Ball paint, and I didn’t want to scratch the floor when we used the dining chairs. Hence, I hightailed it to Lowe’s for chair pads, the kind that have stickers and attach to the bottom of furniture. But after trying several different types of pads, none would stay put on the bottom of the chairs so I was constantly replacing them. How droll!

My solution? I found a company that creates clear plastic sleeve floor protectors. The small plastic “cap” slips over the leg of each chair and hugs the chair leg, and the felt pad at the bottom of the “cap” stays put as a result. It’s a little like a condom for a chair, albeit with a felt pad at the end.

And I am smitten! Our dining chairs now have felt pads that stay perfectly in place, and the floor has nary a scratch.

John thinks the sleeve floor protectors are sort of ghetto and remind him of slipcovering furniture with plastic, but I disagree.

Thoughts?

Plastic Fantastic!

The clear plastic sleeve protector slips up over the chair leg and hugs the leg thereby keeping the felt pad at the bottom of the sleeve in place. Genius! Before you order a sleeve protector, double-check the measurement of your chair leg to make sure you purchase the correct size as the plastic doesn't have much "give."

Padding Perfection!

Here's a dining chair with the clear plastic sleeve protector attached. I barely notice the plastic "cap" that wraps each chair leg. The cushion of felt on the bottom of the sleeve protector slides wonderfully across the painted floor and has solved my woes. John disapproves, but I made an executive decision and the sleeve protectors are staying put.

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Come Hear the Madcap Cottage Boys Speak!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Let's Talk Trends!

Come hear me and John talk design trends at the Hearst Tower on June 13th from 6pm-8pm. Plus, there will be cocktails, you can drink up, darling buttercups! Bites and spirits, um, yes, please! And don't be stingy with those pours, folks!

Gang:

What ARE you up to the evening of June 13th?

Why not come hear the Madcap Cottage boys talk about trends, design in general, why we hate beige, and what we spotted at the recent Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago…

We might tell a few jokes, show a video or two, and do a little dance. Just because.

We’d love to have you! Follow the RSVP information in the invite, above.

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Love is a Warm Gun! And Other Tales…

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Foyer Fabulous!

Here's the vest pocket-sized foyer at our Chester Court home. We wallpapered the walls and ceiling and added rhinestones to the paper for further pop. And then there are all sorts of ethnic "moments" scattered across the wall. The Chinoiserie mirror hails from eBay. I want to add a disco ball next. This is the "before" shot: Check out our further-embellished foyer at the end of the post.

Gang:

As you read in our last post, John and I spent this past weekend moving furniture, hanging artwork, and embellishing various spaces in our home at Chester Court.

Of course, we broke out our most favorite tool of the trade, the glue gun. There’s nothing better than having at a wall or a ceiling with the trusty glue gun, and if you don’t have such a tool in your possession, run to your nearest craft store and stock up.

Says John, “A glue gun is like water. An essential item.”

I retort, “A glue gun is like a crate of wine. An essential item.”

Our foyer at Chester Court is a small space that we have done up with glorious wallpaper from Matthew Williamson and gobs of ethnic-inspired “moments” to add loads of visual impact. The foyer could have been a simple, unadorned pass-through space, but we want people to really savor the entry to our home. We have objects that we have collected in India and Turkey, a pair of coral-like metal candleholders, Chinoiserie figurines, and a wild Balinese mask hanging over the inner door named Maude.

But we felt like the space could use even more punch and pow.

And so we busted out the glue gun and inexpensive sari trim that we found in a bazaar in Delhi, India and went to town.

Why not try a similar project in your own home? And you don’t need to hightail it to India for trim: A jaunt to JoAnn Fabric will do just swell thanks to their collection of embellishments and ribbon.


 

All That Glitters is Gold!

John and I found this inexpensive and highly gilt sari trim at a bazaar in India. If you want to embellish a room, why not use grosgrain ribbon that you can pick up at your local craft store... That's my furry hand holding the trim.

Love is a Warm Gun!

John gets busy on the walls of our foyer with his glue gun. "Love is a warm gun," says John. Er?

Camel, Ho!

John and I found these fun camel and elephant adornments on our travels, and we tacked them to the walls of the foyer for fun. These look chic, n'est-ce pas?

Getting Busy!

John continues to wrap our foyer with the sparkly trim. Maude, our Balinese mask, gives John the googly eyes as he works magic with his trusty glue gun.

The Foyer "After!"

Here's our new-and-improved foyer after its embellishment. The sari trim running along the ceiling adds sparkle and brings the eye up. Since this is such a small space, we wanted to use embellishment to maximize the "experience" of passing through this room. Guests walk into our home and feel like they are entering another world. And they are, dearie, they are...

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A Pilgrimage to Colefax & Fowler!

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

 

Colefax & Fowler!

Here's John outside the Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler antiques-shop-cum-decorating-service at 39 Brook Street in London's Mayfair neighborhood. Um, chic!

Gang:

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and ate way too much turkey and drank gobs and gobs of Champagne. John and I have been continuing our European tour, and it has been smashing. We have traveled from London to Amsterdam and from there through various Dutch and German towns and cities including Apeldoorn, Cologne, and Koblenz, only to end up in Berlin. Of course, we have lapped up all of the various and fabulous design moments: We toured Het Loo, Charlottenburg, and Sanssouci palaces and browsed the wares at The Frozen Fountain.

And now we have just arrived in Paris for a few days via overnight train from Berlin. Whew!

But let’s backtrack more than a week to London: John and I are crazy about Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, the legendary London-based interior design firm founded by Lady Colefax back after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Eventually, Sibyl Colefax passed the firm along to the equally fabled John Fowler to run before Anglo-American design guru Nancy Lancaster purchased the firm in 1948. Well, maybe that’s all too much to follow. Let’s just say that the Colefax-Fowler-Lancaster design martini has one heck of a punch. And we want to drink it up like water after a drought.

Anyhow, Colefax & Fowler–with Nancy Lancaster at the helm–basically created the “British country house” look, so if you are passionate about interior design, hightail it to the multi-floor Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler shop  at 39 Brook Street (and just down the street from Claridge’s hotel, not to mention that it’s just up the street from the Paul Smith Sale Shop!).

C&F is packed with glorious finds, from furnishings and lighting to fabrics and gifts. Plus, you can view the legendary, 46-foot-long and 14-foot-high yellow drawing room designed by Lancaster that has become one of the most famous spaces in the realm of interior design. And there’s also the sumptuous backyard that can be ogled through the windows as well as myriad nooks and crannies filled with stunning objets and design inspiration.

So next time you are in London, make sure to make a pilgrimage to Colefax & Fowler.


 

Stairway to Heaven!

John climbs the stairs at Colefax & Fowler to scope the scene. Speaking of stairs, we plan to recreate this cord railing at our Madcap Cottage in upstate New York. Only in pink.

Loves Me Some Lancaster!

Nancy Lancaster's famous yellow study at 39 Brook Street with its barrel-vaulted ceiling. Stop into Colefax & Fowler if only to view this famous room with its sunny paint scheme and glorious furnishings.

A Chair So Fair!

This vaguely Shanghai circa-1935 vintage chair at C&F sent me reeling. The lines, the back, the elegance... Glorious!

A Fabulous Chair!

I am in love with this very chic chair at C&F and want to have one of my own. I love the retro lines and the Victoriana nods. I am so digging anything Victorian right now. My current trend report: Victoriana, Arts & Crafts, and anything mustard.

Gardenmania!

Here's a peek at the Colefax & Fowler backyard with its chic pond and verdant foliage. The pond seems to be covered in emerald-green duck weed with a little fish-shaped fountain spouting away. Sadly, there were no ducks bobbing about... J'adore a good duck.

Fowler-o-rama!

Here's a photo of legendary design star John Fowler's famous country escape in Hampshire, outside of London. If I could have any house in the world, it would be this amazing, centuries-old former hunting lodge where London designer Nicky Haslam currently weekends.

 

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All About One Kings Lane!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

One Kings Lane!

See what they have to see about us on One Kings Lane. Click on the image, above.

Gang:

Not to hit you over the head with our One Kings Lane sale that begins tomorrow, but we’re going to hit you over the head anyhow.

Albeit with a delicious, rainbow-hued, watery ikat silk pillow from Turkey.

Get ready…


 

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