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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Pets’ 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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And It’s Showtime!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Fabulous Fabrics!

As you know, the Madcap Cottage gents are simply mad for wonderful fabrics. Here's a room that we designed a few years back that serves as a testimony to our passion for texture, pattern, and color. See you at the ITMA Showtime Market this weekend in High Point, NC to scope the latest and greatest in textiles and trims.

Gang:

John and I love nothing more than looking at fabrics… Honestly, it’s perhaps our favorite pastime after drinking cocktails and hanging out with the dogs and doing interpretive dance to the dulcet tunes of Miss Olivia Newton-John in her “Xanadu” days.

Says John, “Fabric gets my heart racing. I love the colors and the patterns and the possibilities. Fabric is transformative… And transfixing.”

I concur as I swirl the blue cheese-infused olive in my vodka martini and peruse the Madcap Cottage-designed living room in which I sit that features about 23 unique fabric patterns and about 63 different trims.

“Fabric and trims are just the best,” I note. “Give me some brush fringe and a blowsy cabbage rose on a fabulous linen, and it’s like the gates of heaven have opened and Mata Hari is doing the dance of the seven veils as liquor flows from the skies like pennies from heaven. I mean, fabric is maybe not so great as winning the lottery, but that has yet to happen, n’est-ce pas?”

As you can see, the Madcap Cottage gents like fabric. And how, and how!

So the Madcaps are over the moon to have been invited to attend this weekend’s ITMA Showtime Market, the twice-annual fabrics show hosted by the International Textile Market Association in our new favorite city of High Point, North Carolina. Convenient, n’est-ce pas? The ITMA Showtime Market takes place from December 8-11, so you can expect the Madcap Cottage boys to be bopping about from showroom to showroom as we take in the latest and greatest in textiles.

“Hello, Covington! Hello, Classical Elements! Hello, jobbers!”

I am still not exactly sure what a jobber is, but I am sure that I will like them.

Tra-la-la!

Oh, how we cannot wait to see what’s trending in textiles right now. Will there be graphics in abundance or bouquets of florals? And will Radiant Orchid rear her purple-clad head?

Stay tuned, and do check out our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts on all of our finds. From a rundown of which fabulous flower patterns we spotted where to who drank too much and who ran amok, the Madcap Cottage social media plan will keep you covered.

See you in High Point, toots!

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Chester Court: A Work in Progress!

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Welcome to Chester Court!

Welcome to Chester Court, our historic dead-end street next to Prospect Park in Brooklyn!

Gang:

As you may know, John and I live on a historic cul-de-sac in Brooklyn in an up-and-coming neighborhood called Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. It’s a neighborhood that’s on the move, but it still has some “rough and tumble” moments. Not that it’s violent, but we need some street calming on our major artery of Flatbush Avenue (the Broadway of Brooklyn) and there’s a real problem with littering. But it’s definitely getting better… And John and I are helping…

As one of the folks spearheading the Chester Court Block Association, I am always thinking global and acting local. Little by little we are taking Chester Court from nice to knockout, and lots more on all of this later, including some history on this wonderful oasis. Last summer, for instance, I helped get street trees planted, and the city put in a new sidewalk and repaved the streets.

This morning, I tackled the two tree beds on my side of the street that really need some TLC. Last summer, these just-installed beds were covered in mulch but over the winter they got rather nappy and have been “used” both by dogs and careless cigarette smokers to throw their butts. So I brought home some 90 iris and day lily plants that I dug up at Madcap Cottage upstate, and I planted the stash bright and early before it got too hot. P.S. By using plants already in my arsenal, I was able to transform a space dramatically without spending any money… Do try this at home!

Check out my handiwork.

Bed Head!

Here are the two tree beds on Chester Court that really needed some TLC. Scroll down to see what two hours and about 100 irises and lilies can do to a once-forlorn space.

Green with Envy!

Here's the tree bed on the other side of Chester Court that I planted with irises last summer. The irises have held up swimmingly and inspired me to use them on the two tree beds across the street. I gave this tree bed some weeding today, and it looks great.

In the Bag!

Here are garbage full of iris and lily plants that I dug up last weekend at Madcap Cottage in upstate New York. Irises don't need much water and require an annual thinning out.

Pick Up, Please!

I crafted signs that I laminated at my local FedEx Office outpost to remind folks to clean up after their dogs. Plastic ties keep the signs in place.

Lots of Turnover!

I turned all of the dirt over in the tree beds to aerate the soil and make planting easier. The soil is surprisingly rich...

Dirty Deeds!

And here's the finished results with the lilies and irises in place. A few neighbors will help water the tree beds, and the hearty perennials should take off quickly. I petitioned the city for metal tree guards, and those should be installed by October... I will report back on how the plants are doing.

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Tip, Top Trellis!

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Height of Style!

Here's a trellis confection concocted by the legendary Elsie de Wolfe. Stunning, n'est-ce pas?

Gang:

Welcome to summer! Let’s really make this a truly amazing season and celebrate delicious design.

John and I have been spending a lot of time in the garden with the dogs, so I am channeling a little al fresco fabulousness. My current obsession is trellis. I love it outdoors, but I especially love it indoors and am thinking to redo our foyer up at Madcap Cottage with a wonderful peony-wrapped Chinese wallpaper topped with a trellis from the folks at Accents of France.

Isn’t trellis just delicious?

Capital Style!

I spotted this trellis-wrapped ballroom at The Capital hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas on our recent trip to speak at Tobi Fairley's design camp. Look beyond the banal banquet tables and chairs, and soak up the perfection upon the walls!

Gorgeous at The Greenbrier!

John and I love nothing more than a visit to The Greenbrier, the fabled resort designed by Dorothy Draper in West Virginia. The Greenbrier is sort of design nirvana for us. Here's a clever use of trellis in a sitting room off of The Greenbrier lobby.

Potsdam Perfection!

A metal trellis-wrapped folly that John and I went ga-ga for at the Potsdam palace outside of Berlin. I want one of these. Pronto.

Westbury Wonderland!

If you haven't visited the home and gardens at the Old Westbury estate on Long Island, make a pilgrimage this summer. The estate is a stunner. Check out these gorgeous trellises that surround a lily pond at Old Westbury. Divine!

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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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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.

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Holiday Gifts Galore!

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Lemon Luxe!

A vintage Italian ceramic pot bursting over with ripe lemons, the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table.

Gang:

OK, OK, I know that this is being very self promotional, but I need to keep flogging our upcoming–and fabulous–One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale that takes place on November 13th.

Mark those calendars!

If you need gorgeous, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, our sale is a total treasure trove of affordable and east-to-wrap delicacies.

Here’s a taste of what will be on offer… And, of course, there will be lots of more substantial items, too, such as sofas, armchairs, and dining room tables.

Have a glittering weekend, rock stars!

Mellow Yellow!

A trio of vintage Italian ceramic planters done up in a lemon-yellow rope-styled pattern. Pizzazz-o-rama!

Doggy Style!

A veritable gaggle of vintage bulldog statues in all sorts of shapes and sizes, the perfect addition to a mantel or shelf.

Bread and Tulips!

A simply stunning Italian ceramic centerpiece of deep purple tulips. No muss, no fuss. Terrific!

Something's Fishy!

A pair of vintage--and heavy!-- brass fish-shaped candelabras that would look amazing next to your Thanksgiving turkey. Gobble, gobble.

Japanorama!

A vintage Japanese writing box emblazoned with gorgeous fans... A sublime addition to a desk or a hall table.

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Hello, High Point!

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

High Point Honies!

Here I am in the beauty pageant, I mean, the Style Spotter program at this season's High Point Market that kicks-off today. John and I leave for High Point, NC and the furniture shows this morning. See you at the Cracker Barrel in Virginia, folks! Crank up the Lana del Rey and crack open a beer.

Gang:

Morning! It has been an especially busy week as John and I returned from Europe and then we went into the photo shoot for our next One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale that hits the airwaves on November 13th. So mark those calendars!

And apologies that my blog posts have been few and far between this week, it’s been a whirl.

Today, we are road-tripping down to High Point, NC for the twice-annual furniture market. John and I love our visits to High Point as we get to see old friends and scope the latest and greatest trends that will soon be hitting showrooms, magazines, and retail stores near you. And Jasper and Weenie will be traveling with us, too, and they go ape-shit for a good road trip.

I am lucky enough to have been named as a “Style Spotter” for this High Point market, so I will be going around with a handful of other top-tier design bloggers and reporting back on my favorite finds. I am the only boy amongst a gaggle of glamorous women, so bring on the testosterone.

Here’s the official release from the High Point brass on what the Style Spotters do:

“Style Spotters are trendsetters that see ahead of the curve in home fashion trends. Watch for them at Market as they walk the show, capturing images of their favorite looks and on-trend products. The Style Spotters will pin those photos to their Pinterest board and will list the exhibitor’s name and showroom number. They will also present the exhibitor with a sign that highlights the Style Spotter’s name with a QR code and URL for the Pinterest board.”

So get ready, I am no shrinking violet when it comes to my likes and dislikes. I hear you like the bad girls, honey, is that true? Sadly, I do not get to wear a sash or a tiara as I Style Spot, but I am sure I will come up with some equally fetching get-up as I perform my official duties.

See you in High Point, folks!

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A Trip to London’s Decorative Fair!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Park It Here!

John heads into London's verdant Battersea Park to pay a visit to the thrice-annual Decorative Fair. The Fair is truly a treasure trove of delicious finds!

Gang:

This past week John and I made a pilgrimage to the fabulous Decorative Fair that takes place three times each year in London’s stunning Battersea Park on the south side of the Thames.

And, wow!, we were so inspired, and not only by the fabulous goods but also by the very approachable prices. I am not one for “important” antiques unless you inherited them, so it was great to see that there were so many pieces at the fair that John and I could actually afford.

Here’s a little tour…

Floral Fever!

A pair of floral-patterned armchairs that felt very "Madcap Cottage," n'est-ce pas? There's nothing like multiple fabrics and delicious details to take furniture from ho-hum to super-ho.

China Syndrome!

A gorgeous Chinoiserie-styled lantern. Swoon!

A Nice Big Basket!

John and I adored this oversized concrete basket, one of a pair. These baskets would be perfect for sitting atop pilasters at the back of a yard.

Tip, Top, Tole!

A stunning tole metal palm tree! If John and I could have carried this back to NYC with us on the plane, we would have snapped it up!

Green Goddesses!

A very yummy pair of green chairs with terrific nailhead detailing.

Pets, Please!

There were lots of dogs at the Decorative Fair. We wished that Weenie and Jasper could have been in attendance, too.

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Calling the Cotswolds!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Weenie the Wonder Dog!

Here's a totally non-sequitur image of Weenie, just because. Says Weenie, "The dog days are over." Get it, Weenie!

Gang:

I hope you are having a sin-filled week.

John and I are in London and running around like modern-day Sloane Rangers and scoping out design trends and shopping for a client.

And while I am one half of the Madcap Cottage terrible twosome, I am also the Global Lifestyle Editor at Delta Sky magazine with its six million monthly readers. Wow, six million! Um, yep.

With that said, I thought you might enjoy reading a story I penned in the October issue of Delta Sky about my passion for the Cotswolds region of England. The Cotswolds simply rock. Chic, and picture perfect. And the gardens are simply glorious!

If you have never visited this fairy-tale region of England, book a trip. And pronto.

Here’s the piece!

Calling the Cotswolds!

I love nothing more than the Cotswolds region of England except maybe listening to some Lana del Rey. Read my story on the bucolic region in the October issue of Delta Sky magazine. Click on the image, above.

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