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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Paint’ 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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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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Beachy Keen!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Deep Blue Sea!

Here's the living room of a beach cottage in East Hampton, New York that John and I designed several years back. Note the soothing tones of blue and white paired with a mix of patterns. We also added some whimsical elements such as the wicker table to make sure that the space looked "layered" and never too retail. John and I used indoor/outdoor fabrics throughout this space to keep the feeling "easy-breezy." We don't ever want to create interiors that are too precious where you can't spill the odd glass of wine. Poo-poo the precious, we say!

Gang:

Morning! John and I are off to meet with a fabric company that might want to do a partnership with us… Stay tuned, we are super excited! And tomorrow we are driving down to High Point, North Carolina to take some meetings and meet a real estate agent, dogs in tow. We are on a multi-year plan to get out of New York City, and we are thinking that the Emorywood neighborhood in High Point might be the perfect next step. Stay tuned on that, too!

Turn to the image of the cozy East Hampton, New York cottage, above, that John and I designed a few years back. Why not bring some beachy-chic style into your home this summer. Think blue-and-white hues with lots of throw pillows and eclectic objects. And don’t think that a “refresh” need be expensive. Why not turn to spot-on retailers such as Restoration Hardware, World Market, and others to tweak your space. And, of course, don’t overlook flea markets and yard sales… As John always says, “Good taste need not be expensive, but it should always be expressive.”

See you in North Carolina!

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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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Tole is Terrific!

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Mellow Yellow!

Here's a tole lemon tree sconce at Madcap Cottage... Watch the video, below, to learn more about the temptation of tole.

Gang:

Here’s our first video lesson, “Tole is Terrific!,” a quick peek at why we love toleware, the vintage flowers and other objects crafted of metal. OK, so I am a bit shiny, but it’s Sunday night so cut me some slack.

Enjoy! Please click on the link, below.

Tole is Terrific!

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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.

Gang:

Morning!

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!

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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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Color, Color, Color: Moon Over Marrakech!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Pretty in Pink!

Better Homes and Gardens magazine asked the Madcap Cottage gents to come up with a color palette to inspire their readers, and here's what we selected... Ethnic elan! Bold, bright hues. Comfortable furnishings. And loads of patterns. Click on the image, above, to read the entire story.

Gang:

I hope your week is going swimmingly…

Hello?! Has anyone tackled their lampshade re-do yet?

John and I are currently in London and savoring ever drib and drab. London is so damn inspirational! We leave for Moscow on Friday morning, so get ready for lots of updates from the steppes.

On another note, Better Homes and Gardens magazine asked us–along with several other wonderful designers such as Elaine Griffin and Lauren McGrath–to come up with fun color palettes to inspire their readers. Of course, John and I did not do anything that was remotely beige. Instead, we turned to Morocco as our driving force and culled gorgeous wallpapers and fabrics from the likes of Thibaut and furnishings from C.R. Laine.

Take a look, and let us know what you think of our selects.

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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...

Gang:

I hope that everyone is having a fabulous week…

Have you bookmarked our two online boutiques?

One Kings Lane

https://www.onekingslane.com/shop/madcapcottage

AND

1st Dibs

http://madcapcottage.1stdibs.com

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.

White-O-Rama!

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.

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All That Glitters is Gold!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Bold & Gold!

Here's an article in Chicago's Daily Herald in which I am quoted talking about my passion for all things gold and bronze. Click on the image, above, to read the whole story from divine writer Elaine Markoutsas.

Gang:

Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing 2013…

What are your resolutions? I want to get into shape, spend more time at Madcap Cottage in upstate New York, throw more dinner parties, drink less, workout more, and get a product line going with Home Shopping Network.

Stay tuned!

As we move into the year ahead, I wanted to share my passion for all things gold…

Bow down, bronze goddess! Here are a few favorite golden “moments.”

Madcap & Marvelous!

Here's a custom striped silk and suzani pillow from the Madcap Cottage gents currently for sale on One Kings Lane right now. Click on the image, above, to look over this brassy confection.

Viva Francois!

The glittering and inexpensive Francois Table from the folks at Z Gallerie. A terrific deal at $249.

Brass & Glass!

Here's the incredible Biomorphic Console from Baker's Tony Duquette Collection. The table is amazing, but wildly expensive... Use this if only for inspiration.

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