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

Archive for the ‘Turkey’ 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.




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.


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!



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.


A Visit to the Brand-New De Gournay Showroom!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

De Gournay Delicious!

Here's John outside the soon-to-open de Gournay showroom on the corner of 59th Street in Manhattan. De Gournay's handpainted wallpapers are too delicious for words. The Madcap Cottage gents were thrilled to be invited for a pre-opening tour.


Are you familiar with the de Gournay line of wallpapers, mirrors, furnishings, and fabrics? If not, you should be!

John and I are simply smitten with the London-based firm’s incredible handpainted wallpapers, and we were thrilled to be invited to visit their not-yet-open showroom on the corner of East 59th Street and Second Avenue yesterday for a sneak preview of their new digs.

The de Gournay wallpapers are quite expensive, but then again they are crafted by hand on the likes of dyed silk, slub silk, and India tea paper. The scenic papers are our favorites: We are crazy for the Early Views of India paper with its elephants and gentlemen in turbans prancing about. And don’t even get me started on the glorious Deco Monkeys!

Here are some images from the soon-to-open showroom to inspire you.

P.S. The showroom officially opens on October 3.

Deco Drama!

I think you can see why John and I are over the moon for the Deco Monkeys wallpaper from de Gournay. Um, this paper makes me bananas!

Look Book!

John peruses the de Gournay collections with the lovely Gwendolyn Rayner, the director of the New York showroom.

Panel Discussion!

A panel from the glorious Early Views of India wallpaper. Because the wallpapers are created by hand, each detail can be changed and custom-colored. You'd like a gent in a pink turban, no problem! And the wallpaper is crafted around your architectural renderings, so you can wrap the paper around doors and windows with the pattern placed accordingly to maximize the impact. Genius!

Memories of China!

A very dramatic Chinese-inspired vista anchors a wall in the de Gournay showroom.

Blue Velvet!

A rich blue lacquered wallpaper with a de Gournay mirror and armchairs at the entrance to the showroom. Chic, n'est-ce pas?



The Marvelous Minarets of Tampa!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

A Taste of the Exotic!

The glorious minarets of the former Tampa Bay Hotel hover mirage-like over the skyline of my hometown of Tampa, Florida. The sprawling former hostelry--now home to the University of Tampa--is truly a stunner, and a visit to the building's Henry B. Plant Museum is a must.


I am slowly starting to re-appreciate my hometown of Tampa, Florida, a city that I really did not like for a long time. And why I didn’t like this burg, I am not quite sure. Was it Thomas Wolfe who said that you can’t go home again?

Little by little, though, I am beginning to enjoy Tampa’s charms, not the least of which is its airport, one of the best anywhere. There are wonderful eateries like Mise en Place and Restaurant BT, and I am just crazy about the glorious Tampa Theatre, one of the country’s pre-eminent movie palaces with its 1920s-era swags and flourishes. There are terrific consignment shops, and I love to zoom across the bay to St. Petersburg and Sarasota. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up spending more time at my parents’ guest house in leafy and historic Hyde Park. Just not during the upcoming RNC to-do…

Today, my parents and I went for a lovely brunch at Sono, the cafe at the city’s architecturally stunning Tampa Museum of Art. I love the view at Sono across the Hillsborough River that looks onto the historic University of Tampa, housed within the absolutely stunning former Tampa Bay Hotel. Crafted by railroad magnate Henry Plant in 1891, the massive, quarter mile-long brick-clad edifice features stunning minarets and other Islamic influences–including divine fretwork–that create a vaguely Morocco-meets-Istanbul in the heart of downtown Tampa.

I am totally inspired by the university’s massive minarets that reach skywards and that are topped with glorious crescent moon motifs. Watch for these stunning motifs to start appearing in the designs of Madcap Cottage… Perhaps on the back of a chair, in fabric, and carved into a table…

And in an upcoming blog installment, I will write about a recent visit to the Henry B. Plant Museum, housed within the former Tampa Bay Hotel that captures the lost glamour of the hotel when it welcomed the who’s-who of the Gilded Age to Tampa via railroad.

Tip, Top Turret!

A view of the University of Tampa from the Tampa Museum of Art, a stunning building created by architect Stanley Saitowitz that sits just across the Hillsborough River from the former hotel.

Al Fresco Elegance.

Here's the stunning porch at the former Tampa Bay Hotel. I am mad for the intricate wood fretwork that wraps the porch with its Islamic arches and decorative motifs. Stunning, n'est-ce pas?


Sofa City, Baby!

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Viva India!

John and I spotted this day bed in India and were instantly smitten. This comfy alcove totally inspired us to create a modified day bed that could function as a comfortable sofa with multiple functions. As I like to say, Always carry a digital camera or a smart phone. You never know where you might find inspiration.


Let’s talk about c-u-s-t-o-m! And I mean custom furnishings.

Ever wonder if you should go the route of a custom sofa?

Your space is awkward and the dimensions of your living room are anything but standard.., But, um, aren’t custom furnishings super expensive? So you call up Pottery Barn or Ballard and you order an off-the-rack couch, but it just doesn’t really fit the space that way that you wish it would.

So what do the Madcap Cottage gents think about going custom? We say, go for it! But you have to have the right craftsmen who can create something marvelous and at the right price.

Here’s a “for instance”: A client in Des Moines, Iowa (and, yes, we do lots of work in Iowa!) wanted a sofa for their basement rec room. They wanted a couch that could function as a sleeping space for grandkids, but the room wasn’t wide enough to accommodate a traditional sleeper. The second problem was that the doorway to room was narrower than normal–exactly 29″ so most ready-made or semi-custom sofas wouldn’t fit through the door.

That’s when we hit upon the day bed idea, a eureka moment lifted from a similar sofa style that we spotted in Turkey and will custom create for our Iowa client. This daybed style is as wide as a traditional twin mattress so it can function as a bed. Its two pieces can be separated as needed. The back will be an assortment of mismatched pillows that we are sourcing from Turkey and India. And because the piece is custom we will play with the dimensions. The room is small and storage limited so we designed the sofa base so baskets will easily fit underneath. This is where working with a professional really pays off: It’s like having a suit made. The sofa fits our client’s room and their lifestyle pefectly and it will more than likely outlast you.

Our atelier in LA crafted something amazing!

The price was on-par with sofas that we were sourcing from various North Carolina manufacturers, and it fits her space perfectly. And out client’s sofa was made in America, which we love.

So don’t overlook custom furniture!

If you need a custom furniture manufacturer, contact the Madcap Cottage gents, and we will happily price out a custom furnishing that will perfectly suit your space.

Turkish Delight!

This sectional in Turkey totally sparked our interest. We love a good, modified sofa that has lots of comfy seating for watching TV or reading a book.

Photo Finish!

And here's the finished custom sofa that we created for our client in Iowa. The multi-functional sofa fits our client's rec room perfectly, and it's super comfy thanks to the depth and the soon-to-come throw pillows that will sit against the wall. We will blog about the sofa once we have it installed and the pillows are in place.


Shop Our New Boutique on 1st Dibs!

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Madcap & Marvelous!

Click on the image, above, to visit our just-opened "One of a Kinds" boutique on 1st Dibs. John and I have searched the world for an amazing selection of goods that will transform your home.


As you know, John and I love doing sales, both online and off…

We are constantly scouring the globe (and we mean, the globe) for fabulous finds… We have unearthed divine textiles in Turkey, furnishings in India, and table lamps in the hinterlands of Florida. Each of these items receives the Madcap Cottage tweak and twist, and then we offer them up to you to bring some magic, color, and verve into your own home.

So bring on the sales!

John and I are hosting a Tastemaker Tag Sale on One Kings Lane on May 8th, so MARK your calendars.

And we will be hosting our World-Famous Annual Yard Sale over Memorial Day weekend at Madcap Cottage in Hobart, New York, smack in the center of the Catskill Mountains.

And, now, drumroll please…

The Madcap Cottage boys have unveiled our “One of a Kinds” boutique on the fabulous 1st Dibs website. I am sure that everyone is familiar with 1st Dibs, but if you aren’t it’s the most divine collection of antiques, real estate, fashion, and jewelry to be found under the sun. We are truly honored and excited to be included in the 1st Dibs mix.

Here are some of the fabulous items that John and I have collected and are now offering up through the 1st Dibs portal. Each item is truly unique and special. So get ready to shop!

Look us over, and tell your friends!


Wicker, Didn't Even Know Her!

John and I unearthed this simply stunning vintage wicker hood chair in Pennsylvania, and we poked and prodded it back into shape. The chair is amazing, and now boasts Tony Duquette fabric and signature Madcap Cottage flourishes such as shocking pink welting. We are sort of sad to part with this lovely looker.

Shell Seekers!

A vintage shell-shaped console table with a glass top. Does your front entry need a terrific table to create some visual verve? Um, this plucked-from-the-sea beauty would fit the bill, and how.

Tip, Top, Tole!

A vintage tole metal lamp shaped like a delicious leafy plant with a bold black shade. Every room needs a whimsical and wonderful table lamp, and this oversized beauty is a stunner.

Deer Me!

A nearly life-size brass deer with Asian flair and flourishes that would make a real impact in the corner of a room, perhaps a den or library. This piece is really special.

Tweet, Tweet!

A fabulous vintage table with a tree trunk-like base and utterly charming feet in the form of birds. This table is just so unusual and stunning, n'est-ce pas?


Scenes from a One Kings Lane Photo Shoot!

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Floral Fever!

John and Ellen Warfield, the fabulous One Kings Lane photographer, arrange a glorious custom-upholstered armchair on the white seamless "set" at our storage unit in Brooklyn. This super-comfortable chair is upholstered in a terrific fabric from Cowtan & Tout. Mark your calendars for our May 8 One Kings Lane sale.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am wearing green underwear and contemplating a Midori-splashed cocktail. Is it noon somewhere in the world?

John and I have spent the past few days photographing items for our MAY 8 One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale. Have you marked your calendars? MAY 8!

Anyhow, I thought it might be fun to show you some of the work that goes into photographing the Madcap Cottage duo’s items for our upcoming sale. It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun.

We spent about 20 hours this past Thursday and Friday photographing our One Kings Lane merchandise with the fantastic Ellen Warfield, one of OKL’s many talented photographers. From small items–including cocktail sets and whimsical bric-a-brac–to our fabulous furniture, we plowed through some 273 items that needed to be photographed.

Did I say 273 items? Yes, 273 items.

So get ready to shop our Tastemaker Tag Sale.

It’s going to be glorious. And so much fun!


Green with Envy!

John preps the "Green Goddess," a vintage chest of drawers with amazing hardware and an emerald hue. We love the Chinese-inspired lines of this functional piece.

Incredible Ikat!

A vaguely 70s-ish chair that John and I custom-upholstered in a vintage ikat fabric with a rainbow-hued welting. This chair is a stunner! And there will be a pair of these chairs in our sale, perfect for situating in a library or in front of a fireplace.

Queue Up!

A gaggle of chairs and tables awaits their turn in front of Ellen's camera. When John and I produce our One Kings Lane photo shoots, we basically take over the entire floor at our storage unit near JFK Airport in Brooklyn. It's quite a production!

Be Seated!

John and I custom-upholstered a pair of arm chairs in a fab fabric from Rose Cumming with bright orange buttons and acid-pink welting. Um, these ladies are just lovely.

Secretary City!

Ellen arranges a pale-blue secretary--let's call it an "assistant," that's so much more PC--that John and I custom-colored with coral-hued shelves and insets. This piece is super functional and totally a looker.

Bamboo Brilliance!

A faux bamboo game table topped with glass accompanied by four fabulous arm chairs done up in a fabulous, frondy fabric that reminds us of the coffee shop at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Palm Springs Perfection!

John fluffs a fabulous Monet-inspired sofa in polished chintz that we found at an estate in Palm Springs, California. There will be a pair of these glorious Giverny-like couches at our May 8 One Kings Lane sale.


A Little Potty Talk, Please!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012


Far-Flung Flavor!

The folks at Kohler asked us to write about how to bring color into the bathroom. Read our installment, "A Taste for the Exotic," by clicking on our inspiration board, above.


How the hell are we doing this week? Any good stories, any design travails? Do tell.

Let’s talk design. Actually, let’s talk a little about loos… Some good potty talk is definitely in order.

There isn’t a day when John and I don’t see an exceptionally boring bathroom. Yes, boring. B-O-R-I-N-G!

The Madcap Cottage boys think that your loo should be a real looker, that it should be packed with panache and verve, wit and style. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t love a good white sink and white toilet, but, come on! Add some further oomph.

Paint your walls… Better yet, wallpaper your walls.

Add interesting lighting.

Think about using a piece of furniture in your bathroom if you have the space.

Recently, the fab folks at Kohler asked us to do a blog installment for them on how to bring color into you bathroom. Our response?

A Taste for the Exotic.

Click on the link, above, to read how we suggest bringing some ethnic elan into your own home. And, granted, we selected several pieces from the high-end Baker line, but don’t overlook Target, Z Gallerie, and Home Goods for fabulous, well-priced ethnic inspiration.

So, go ahead, and take your bathroom to the next level. Then send us photos!



Far-Flung Flavor!

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Exotic Elegance!

Bring some exotic elegance into your own home, it's easy. Click on the image, above, to read my column in Minneapolis St. Paul Home magazine on "Ethnic Elan." I was inspired to craft this story based upon a recent visit to the glorious Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs. The chair is from Lee Industries; the ottoman from Pearson; and the prints from Barclay Butera.


Happy Monday!

As you know, John and I have our hands in loads of projects–from interior design to writing for magazines. One of my gigs is as a Contributing Editor for Minneapolis St. Paul Home magazine, a sister publication to Delta Sky where I am the Global Lifestyle Editor (fancy title, n’est-ce pas?).

This month for Minneapolis St. Paul Home I penned an article entitled “Ethnic Elan” on how to bring some far-flung favor into your home.

Take a look: I hope you find inspiration…

P.S. If the screen captures, above and below, are too small to read the text, e-mail me at, and I will send you a pdf of the story.


Fabulous Flair!

Here's page two of my "Ethnic Elan" story. Just look at that divine bed from Century and those glorious Iznik tiles from Ann Sacks... The Moroccan pendant is from Currey & Company, and the wallpaper hails from Thibaut.


London Calling (Or, Hello, British House & Garden)!

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Think of England!

Our Chester Court home is featured in the glorious pages of the April issue of British House & Garden magazine... Run, don't walk to your nearest newsstand that carries international editions. John and I are so thrilled: In fact, we are doing a small jig as we type this blog installment.


And how was your weekend? Any good design projects going on? Do tell!

And did you check out our new Madcap Cottage website?

John and I are so lucky to have our projects written about in the press, and we are especially thrilled that British House & Garden magazine has featured our Chester Court home in their April issue. Wow, we are over the moon.

And they had me write the story! How’s that for drop-dead gorgeous?!

Here’s a little sneak peak of the feature…


A Top Editor Talks!

Sue Crewe, British House & Garden's amazing Editor in Chief, opens her April "From the Editor" by discussing our house. I love that she calls our home "bonkers." Brilliant!

Hello, Chester Court!

Here's the opening spread to the story on our Chester Court home in British House & Garden. Jasper and Weenie get some major play in the feature... Jasper loves to pose.