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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘Road Trip’ 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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High Point Highlights!

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Bookish Charms!

Here's John outside of the wonderful and inspiring Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library just down the street from the Krispy Kreme in High Point, North Carolina.

Gang:

As you know from reading this blog religiously, John and I are simply smitten with High Point, North Carolina. High Point is an amazing small town perfectly situated between two larger cities, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. It’s actually a wonderful walking burg, especially if you live in the charming Emerywood neighborhood. And now that the city is starting its Ignite! program to revitalize its downtown, things are going to heat up even more.

Granted, High Point is a town where you have to dig a bit for the hidden gems. On the restaurant front, I love Blue Zucchini, Kepley’s BBQ, Tipsy’z Tavern, the Penny Path Cafe, and Mayberry. There are some terrific antiques shops, and the homes in Emerywood are gorgeous.

On our last visit to HP, John and I stopped into the Bienenstock Furniture Library on Main Street, and we were frankly blown away.

From the Bienenstock Furniture Library website:

“With more than 5,000 furniture and design specific volumes, The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is the largest furniture specialty library in the world. The rare book collection contains volumes published since 1640 and includes a collection of the original works of 18th century furniture masters Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite, as well as a complete 26 volume set of Diderot’s Encyclopedia published in 1776.

This is one of the few, if not the only place in the world where design professionals, scholars, students, and the public can don a pair of white gloves and examine the original works of the pioneer designers in our industry.”

John and I were in heaven as we browsed the amazing books that fill this charming former private home. We cannot wait to hunker down for a few days amongst the collection and cull inspiration.

Next time you are in High Point–perhaps in the days leading up to fall market–stop in at the Bienenstock. It’s true treasure!

Shelf Life!

Design enthusiasts will go nuts for the bookshelves that are filled with every design book imaginable.

Be Seated!

The Bienenstock interior is chic and contemporary, and there are plenty of comfortable seats for settling in to peruse the amazing design books.

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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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Scenes from a Showhouse!

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Breakfast Club!

Here's a "before" shot of the breakfast room at Adamsleigh, the historic home in High Point, NC that John and I transformed in partnership with Thibaut Design. The gentleman to John's right is Jerry, our fabulous North Carolina wallpaper hanger.

Gang:

As you know from reading our blog religiously, John and I were asked by Traditional Home magazine to team up with the fabulous folks at Thibaut Design and transform a roof at the Junior League of Greensboro, NC showhouse this past spring. The Madcap Cottage gents had a blast, and working with Thibaut was divine.

The images of our transformed breakfast room will appear in the October issue of Traditional Home magazine, but I wanted to give you a teaser of just what some wallpaper and some vision can do to a room.

Let us know what you think!

After Glow!

Here's our breakfast room transformed. All of the fabrics, wallpaper, and upholstered pieces are from Thibaut Design. We layered in lots of antiques and a rug from World Market so that the room wouldn't look like a showroom. Fun, n'est-ce pas?

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Scenes from Randolph Street Market!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Gang:

As you know if you follow us on Facebook, this past weekend John and I were invited by our dear pal and interior design guru Kenneth Ludwig to display our vintage wares at Chicago’s Randolph Street Market. So John and I packed up the trusty Subaru with all sorts of fun finds and headed to the Middle West. Once there, we unpacked and combined our treasures (along with larger pieces that we had left in Chicago on a recent visit for this very purpose) in the striped Sally’s Cabana with Kenneth’s gorgeous upholstered pieces and case goods. Along with Kenneth’s terrific staff and his wonderful partner, Darren, we hawked and hustled and had a blast.

Here are some scenes from our long weekend at Randolph Street Market. Enjoy!

Escape from New York!

All packed up and ready to go. We left the dogs behind in NYC with a pal who house sits for us often.

The Big O!

Randolph Street Market sits just down the street from Oprah's studios. If you are a fan of Oprah's, this might impress you.

Men of the Moment!

John with the incredible Kenneth Ludwig, our host. Kenneth runs a divine showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart AND has Studio KL nearby. If you don't know Ken, you should.

It Takes Two!

Hanging out with the wonderful and hilarious Darren Fink, Kenneth's partner. Darren is a treat!

Banner Day!

Here's one of the Madcap Cottage banners that we had "run up." Fun, no?

All Wrapped Up!

John unpacks our wares...

Propping, propping!

John and I hung loads of Chinese lanterns and created charming "vignettes" throughout the tent. Amazingly, the green-painted pine hutch didn't sell, but it can now be purchased at Kenneth's Merchandise Mart showroom, #1445.

Stripe Tease!

Here's Sally's Cabana in action... Chic, nest-ce pas?

China Syndrome!

Two of our fabulous vintage Fitz & Floyd china figurines that we sold...

Top Germans!

Here I am hanging out with the gal who ran Randolph Street Market's rollicking beer garden. Lord have mercy.

Mildred a Go-Go!

The delicious Mildred who works with Ken gets packed up by Miller and John Covington... Mildred is a pistol and goes by the nickname "Whitney Houston."

Packed Up

The trusty Subaru is packed up and ready for the long haul back to NYC. The drive is fine until you reach Pennsylvania, and then it is endless and D-U-L-L!

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A Pilgrimage to Old Westbury Gardens!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Wonderful Old Westbury!

The exterior of the Old Westbury estate, a home that you have seen featured in numerous films such as "North by Northwest." Do pay a visit!

Gang:

Morning! How’s your week going?

On this hot summer day, John and I are taking his mom and dad out to Long Island and one of our most favorite estates, Old Westbury Gardens. If you have never paid a visit to this Gilded Age palace, hop in the car and hit it pronto. It’s only about an hour from Manhattan via the Northern State Parkway…

The home!

The gardens!

The nursery!

Oo, la, la, perfection.

Won’t you join us?

Garden Glory!

The gardens at Old Westbury are breathtaking and always inspire us. I wish we could recreate this fabulous Fortnum & Mason-hued folly at Madcap Cottage upstate. Stay tuned!

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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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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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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.

Gang:

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.

 

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