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

Archive for the ‘News Flash’ 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 Tour of the Traditional Home Showhouse!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013


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...


Transforming Your Dining Room Table!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Dining by Design!

Why not transform your dining room table when it's not in use by loading it up with lots of delicious objects. Here, a stunning table that I spotted at The Rug Company showroom in NYC's SoHo neighborhood.


Are you ready for Memorial Day? I sure as heck am. Give me a bottle of rose wine and a daybed, and I will be conked out in the shade with Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia. I need some serious sleep catch-up time.

If you are a Facebook follower, you know that last Sunday I guided a terrific group from WithIt, Professional Women in the Home Furnishings Industries, on an afternoon-long tour of NYC’s bustling SoHo neighborhood. We started our tour on a drizzly and dark day at one of my most favorite outposts, The Rug Company, on Wooster Street. The Rug Company is the genius British company that crafts the most delicious rugs in all sorts of amazing colors and sizes. Plus, the Rug Company folks have developed relationships with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith for fashion luminaries to bring their vision to the floor, literally.

As I was looking about the stunning Rug Company showroom, I noticed their wonderful displays upon a dining table and a library table, and that got me thinking. Why not “prop” your dining room table when it’s not in use… Add gorgeous coffee table books, a few glass garden cloches, some objects, and maybe a gorgeous orchid… Transform that barren landscape into a whimsical wonderland.

Here are a few ideas.

Wonder Full!

I am obsessed with the cheap-and-chic items to be had at C Wonder. Here, the Monogram Geo Plate emblazoned with an "N." Yummy! They have all sorts of colorful finds for the home.

Table Talk!

If you are starting your dining room from the ground up, Arhaus is a wonderful source for inexpensive dining tables. Here's the Kensington Small Dining Table, on sale for $1,999.


Turn to the folks at Terrain for glorious accessories, such as this bell jar cloche, a steal at $32.

Natural Selection!

Taschen is a great source for wonderful coffee table books, such as the color-packed and very graphic Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.


Round We Go!

Use this library table that I spotted at The Rug Company as your style inspiration, and have fun (and confidence!) with your selects. This is the perfect project for the Memorial Day weekend...


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.


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.



Showhouse Showdown!

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Amazing Adamsleigh!

Jasper and Weenie loll about the front yard at Adamsleigh, the site of the 2013 Junior League of Greensboro showhouse. The 14-acre estate was built by High Point textile magnate "Hamp" Adams and boasts amazing details and stunning architecture. Jasper and Weenie approve.



John and I have been down in the High Point, North Carolina area for the past week preparing our room for the Junior League of Greensboro showhouse. We have designed the breakfast nook in the amazing, circa-1930 Adamsleigh estate, and we have been hanging curtains, steaming, scrubbing, and propping.

John and I are thrilled to be working with our dear pals at Thibaut, and we employed their fabulous fabrics, wallpapers, and upholstery in the room. Plus, we added loads of vintage case goods and “props” to add a layer of dimensionality to our room and take it from looking like a showroom.The showhouse opens tomorrow night with a Gatsby-themed gala, and we are so excited to show off our wares.

Here are a few photos from our room in progress.

See you at High Point Market!

Windows on the World!

Here's the exterior of the breakfast nook... The fabulous leaded-glass windows let in loads of light and make the breakfast nook airy and delicious.

Once Upon a Time...The breakfast nook at Adamsleigh “before”… I can’t wait for you to see the “after” shots.
To Market!

Here's the fabulous jute rug that we picked up at a World Market in Florida and drove up to the showhouse. There's a World Market just down the street from the showhouse, but it did not have the rug that we needed. Happily, we were in Florida, so it was easy for us to swing by the WM outpost near Orlando. John and I just love World Market!

Viva Valance!

Our workroom in Iowa crafts a stunning valance in Thibaut fabrics...

So Many Questions!

So what does our room look like now? Come to the Junior League of Greensboro showhouse, and pay us a visit. The showhouse opens this Saturday... See you there!


The Marvelous Miromar Design Center!

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Marvelous Miromar!

Next time you are anywhere near Naples, Florida be sure to visit the stunning Miromar Design Center, an incredible resource both for the design community and engaged consumers alike. P.S. Superstar interior designer Juan Montoya designed the Center's public spaces, and they are stunners.


Morning! Apologies for being a tad remiss of late with our blog posts… Our dance card has been full to the brim. Between working on the Junior League Showhouse that opens in mid April in Greensboro, North Carolina, redesigning my parents’ guesthouse in Tampa, Florida, and John having surgery to repair damage from a car accident three years ago, holy moly!

Calgon, take me away!

Last week, John and I were in Florida to give a presentation at the truly amazing Miromar Design Center. Situated just north of Naples, Florida and right off I-75, the Miromar Design Center is a delicious surprise. With the Miromar Outlets just across the street, you might think the Design Center would be an amalgam of home-focused outlet shops, but it’s not. Rather step inside, and enter a Juan Montoya-designed, sprawling center that houses world-class showrooms including Baker, Ann Sacks, and our favorite, Webster & Company.

John and I were invited by Webster & Company’s wonderful Mark Fanta and the Miromar Design Center’s fabulous Lynne Groth to talk about color and pattern, and we had more than 200 engaged design enthusiasts attend our lecture. John and I were also lucky enough to meet the visionary behind the various Miromar developments, the lovely and gracious Margaret Antonier, who introduced us. Afterwards, we were all treated to champagne and cupcakes in the Webster & Company showroom. We met wonderful folks and had a blast.

John and I are thrilled to now be part of the Miromar community… Here’s to further madcap adventures at the Miromar!

P.S. Previous lecturers at the Miromar Design Center have included Charlotte Moss, Mary McDonald, and Martyn Lawrence Bullard, so John and I were humbled to be included in the mix.

Dapper Dudes!

The Madcap Cottage gents with the amazing Mark Fanta who oversees the Webster & Company showrooms at the Miromar Design Center. What a stylish gent, to boot!

Let's Get Madcap!

The topic of our presentation was "Madcap & Marvelous: A Passion for Pattern." We had a blast pulling the presentation together and tried to offer lots of take-away tips for the audience.

Meet and Greet!

The Madcaps address queries from audience members after our lecture. Such fun, and such great queries!

Chit, Chat!

John and I love nothing more than working with excited consumers. Here we are in the stunning Webster & Company showroom talking with some design enthusiasts after our presentation.



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.


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.


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.


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...


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!


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.