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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

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

Archive for the ‘upholstery’ 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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London Calling!

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Go, Go, Glamour!

Here's an image of our finished installation at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. All furniture is from Baker, and the fabulous wallpapers, pillows, and throw are from Thibaut. John and I want the Tony Duquette Abalone chandelier in our home, what a stunner!

Gang:

It’s been a while, and I apologize. John and I have a zillion projects going on, and while they are all fabulous they have dramatically cut into the amount of time that I have to blog. Hopefully, you follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and enjoy our mad, mad, mad, Madcap ride.

The Madcap Cottage gents are just back from a week in London where we designed an installation at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre entitled “A Celebration of Archive 2013: Design Encounters Between Old and New.” Wow, we were lucky boys to be asked to participate in this event. In fact, of the seven designers represented, we were the only Americans! Yahoo!

The purpose of the exhibit? Leading interior designers and international design houses come together for the first time to showcase the influence, beauty, and diversity of archives on past, present, and future of design. We partnered with our dear pals at Baker Furniture and Thibaut Design and used “glamour” through the lens of the Tony Duquette Collection as our theme. Our mission statement: “Float high above the Hollywood Hills in this plucked-fromthe-silver-screen sanctuary. Shimmering metallics, technicolor-hued textures, and whimsical opulence come together in cinematic splendor.”

Thank you to Robin Richter and Heather Wiroll at Baker, Stacy Senior and Cortney Wilkins at Thibaut, Becky Metcalfe at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, our London agent Alice Barrington-Wells of Carter Wells, the lovely staff at Baker Furniture Chelsea Harbour, and design goddess Arabella McNie who helped make our long-distance vision into a stunning reality!

Here’s a look at the project coming together. Remember that we did all of this via email and over the phone. Happily, there was no drama whatsoever!

Duquette-o-rama!

The fabulous Tony Duquette furniture for Baker arrives from the United States. The upholstered pieces had to be fire-proofed to hold up to British law.

Almost There!

The walls have been papered with a fabulous cork wall covering from Thibaut, and the furniture is in place. The electricity still wasn't working, and we needed to add one more piece of furniture to fill the space behind the Tony Duquette chairs. One day to opening!

Tube Time!

John and I jump on the Tube and head for Chelsea Harbour. We love the London Underground--it's so clean and the staff so helpful, unlike NYC.

Time to Tweak!

John and I visit the terrific team at the Baker Furniture showroom at Chelsea Harbour to tweak the display. We switched out a few props to mix it up a bit more. We loved this oversized white urn.

Takes Three to Tango!

John and I enjoy a glass of champagne at the opening night party with the dashing Nick Barrington-Wells, the husband of our London agent, Alice Barrington-Wells. Nick is the PR guru at London's Langham hotel just off Oxford Street.

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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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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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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.

Gang:

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.

 

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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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Viva Africa!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Last Night I Dreamed of Africa!

The March issue of Elle Decor magazine raves about the designs of African designer Duro Olowu that will soon be appearing at J. C. Penney. Channel Africa right now, and you will be right on-trend!

Gang:

John and I are having a total Africa “moment”… And it seems that publications like Elle Decor are, too. Plus, we have spotted African prints in the windows of the sizzling Selfridges department store in London…

Speaking of Africa, the Madcap Cottage gents are so inspired by wax-print African fabrics with their colorful hues and magical patterns and have been incorporating these textiles into our pillow designs and upholstery. Many of the African prints actually hail from Holland where famed companies such as Vlisco craft these color-packed textiles.

Check out some of our wax-print pillows, all available for sale on our Madcap Cottage website…

Red or Dead!

John and I took a jaunty teal-and-red wax-print African fabric and paired it with a zippy green welting and backing, and the results are pillow talk perfection.

Think Pink!

A pink-and-purple wax-fabric pattern with a deep purple welt and backing makes for the perfect Madcap Cottage pillow.

Mellow Yellow!

A custom-crafted Madcap Cottage throw pillow in a jaunty aqua-and-red pattern with a zingy yellow welt and backing.

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Tip, Top Terrain!

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

It's Just Lunch!

John enjoys a late lunch at Terrain's amazingly chic Garden Cafe, housed within a vintage greenhouse that spills over with flowers and candles. Terrain really "gets" the details. The bread, for instance, arrives in a terracotta pot. Divine.

Gang:

If you follow this blog regularly (and God help you if you don’t!), you know that I am obsessed with the nursery-cum-lifestyle store Terrain located outside of Philadelphia. Last February I did two blog posts on this amazing spot, and I am here today to write yet another installment.

John and I were in Philadelphia last week to do some antiquing, and we made a pilgrimage to the Urban Outfitters-owned Terrain outpost in nearby Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The first of the two Terrain outposts–the other opened last year in Westport, Connecticut–sits on the busy Baltimore Pike and occupies what was once the Styer family farm. Surrounded by urban sprawl–including several big-box stores–Terrain is a gem-like sanctuary that will wow you and definitely provide heaps of inspiration.

Here are some images from our visit.

Wintry Wonderland!

It was a cold and damp afternoon when John and I arrived at Terrain, but the whimsical decor quickly transported us to far warmer and more inviting climes. Look what some outdoor curtains and a Moroccan-styled lantern can do to take a space from nice to knockout.

Wood is Good!

While Terrain boasts incredible plants, it also stocks gorgeous furnishings and lighting. Soak up the wonderful displays, too, such as this wonderful shelving unit that houses firewood. Why not bring this idea home?

Have a Heart!

Check out this genius espaliered tree that has been trained to grow in the shape of a heart. What a fabulous Valentine's Day gift for the plantsman/woman! And FYI: Espaliering is the horticultural practice of controlling woody plant growth originally for the production of fruit, by pruning and tying branches to a frame so that they grow into a flat plane, frequently in formal patterns, against a structure such as a wall, fence, or trellis.

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Loving Our New La-Z-Boy!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Truck Stop!

The La-Z-Boy truck arrives at Chester Court in Brooklyn. The delivery men were so lovely and nice and accommodating... They must not be from New York.

Gang:

Morning!

As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, John and I were invited to design our own La-Z-Boy chair when we were in High Point, North Carolina in the fall for the twice-annual furniture market. And we were thrilled to create something fresh and fun, with a dash of the Madcap Cottage flair.

Frankly, John and I were surprised by the range of La-Z-Boy products… I had always thought of La-Z-Boy as being stuffy recliners that maybe my grandparents owned and that sat in front of their honker-sized stereo-cabinet television set in Sarasota, Florida. Actually, this is an exact portrait of my grandparents in Florida, ha!

Well, La-Z-Boy has come a long way. John and I chose a lovely spindle chair and selected fabrics from the La-Z-Boy range. Sadly, we couldn’t add different weltings or tweak other elements of our chair, but we are still deliciously happy with the results. We had hoped to customize the lumbar pillow on the chair to match the ottoman fabric, but that wasn’t possible… We should do a pop-up collection for La-Z-Boy, n’est-ce pas? It’s all about the details, folks.

The chair? The Caroline Stationary Occasional Chair.

The ottoman? The Caroline Ottoman.

The fabrics?

Chair upholstery: Bronze Q959148
Ottoman: Raja Q974107 Zamira

 

What do you think of the results? Chic, comfortable, and a great price point!

In with the New!

The La-Z-Boy delivery gents carry our new chair and ottoman into our basement office on Chester Court. We couldn't wait to see our creation.

Wrap Star!

The very nice delivery man from La-Z-Boy unwraps the Caroline chair and ottoman. Note the photo of me and John with design editor Tori Mellott in the background.

Et Voila!

Here's our brand-new La-Z-Boy chair with the Madcap Cottage "tweaks." Apparently, John and I are the first people ever to create a La-Z-Boy product where the chair fabric and ottoman fabric don't match. Go figure! The black finish on the frame provides a bold, but works-anywhere neutral tone.

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Shop, Shop, Shop Madcap Cottage!

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Gang:

How’s your early New Year coming along? Are you sticking to those resolutions? My diet is going swimmingly, and I have already lost 5 pounds. 15 more pounds to go!

As you think about possibly purchasing new furnishings in the year ahead, why not look over our BRAND-NEW SHOPPING SECTION on our Madcap Cottage website.

We offer loads of bespoke pillows and private-label furnishings in wonderful paint treatments. And the price points are really terrific!

Click here to browse our Madcap Cottage wares!

Let's Go to Grey Gardens!

The Let's Go to Grey Gardens chair, a stunning and comfortable bobbin chair crafted by the Madcap Cottage gents with lots of love. Foam cushion wrapped in down.

 

Evening in Byzantium!

The Evening in Byzantium ottoman, a beautifully tailored ottoman or occasional table upholstered in a bold zigzag linen fabric. Bespoke brilliance courtesy of the boys at Madcap Cottage. Tight seat.

 

A Jewel in the Crown!

The Jewel in the Crown armchair. A gorgeous and beautifully proportioned chair custom-crafted by the Madcap Cottage gents with turned legs and rich detailing. Tight seat and back.

 

Sunnyland Sojourn!

The Sunnyland Sojourn chair. A stunning turned-leg and uber-comfortable chair custom-crafted by the Madcap Cottage gents that can be painted in any Benjamin Moore color for extra-bespoke brilliance. Foam cushion wrapped in down.

 

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