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

Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

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.


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.


The Mighty, Mighty Lampshade!

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Light Up My Life!

Look at this amazing ruched fabric lampshade that John and I spotted at the shop of uber-designer Robert Kime in London. Divine! Why not take your boring lampshades, and give them some sparkle...


Morning! I hope you had a lovely weekend… John and I holed up in the snow and watched movies and designed pillows. Yes, we design pillows for fun. And they will be debuting at the High Point Market in the spring, so stay tuned.

Here’s our “Idea of the Day.”

Have fun with your lampshades. You can take even the most vanilla of lamps and transform them with a magical lampshade. But if you don’t have access to a custom lampshade source, bust out the glue gun and have it. Target and Hancock Fabrics are both great sources for inexpensive lampshades, and then embellish, embellish, embellish! Think decoupage, rhinestones, grosgrain ribbon… There are really no rules: Just have some fun.

A standout lampshade will really help add oomph to a room, quickly and economically.

Send us photos of your handiwork!


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...


I hope that everyone is having a fabulous week…

Have you bookmarked our two online boutiques?

One Kings Lane


1st Dibs

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.


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.


Green with Envy!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Spring Fling!

Enjoy these images of a spring-kissed sun room that John and I designed for a show house in Montclair, New Jersey a few years back. We used lots of green to create a cool, soothing environment embellished with pops of yellow and pink. We eventually sold the two armchairs on One Kings Lane. The tole flowers on the mantel now sit above our fireplace at Chester Court in Brooklyn.


It’s a cold and blustery day in New York City, so I decided to post some images of a spring-like sun room that John and I designed for a show house in Montclair, New Jersey a few years back. The space was a boring white box, so John and I pumped the room full of color to maximize the impact. We used gobs of green and oodles of pink, and I think the results are refreshing and simply delicious.

Tell us what you think!

Loving Me Some Lattice!

John and I slip-covered a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofa in a jaunty lattice pattern and floral print, both from Schumacher. The plants on the stand in the window hail from Ikea, and the rug came from West Elm. Good design (not to sound not humble, natch) doesn't have to be expensive.

Amp Up Your Lamps!

John and I embellished the lampshades of these gourd-shaped table lamps with grosgrain ribbon. Did you ever read John's book "John Loecke's Grosgrain Style?" We unearthed the chinoiserie-style chandelier at a flea market in Miami, and the stools are from Baker Furniture.

Think Pink!

The fabulous Bamboo Lattice wallpaper from Thibaut's Spring Lake Collection took the ceiling of the sun room from boring to brilliant. The fabric on the green, white, and yellow window treatments came from Schumacher.


Refreshing Your Kitchen at Lowe’s!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012


Merry Christmas!

John and I are happily ensconced in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s a wonderfully snowy holiday…

As you start to think about your 2013 resolutions, why not consider giving some oomph to your kitchen. The fabulous folks at Kohler asked me and John to visit our local big box store to offer up some cheap and chic ideas to take your kitchen from tired to tip, top terrific.

Refresh, refresh, refresh!

Click on the image, below, to read about our kitchen transformation…


Big Box Brilliance!

Click on the image, above, to read about our adventures in kitchen design at our local Lowe's in Oneonta, New York.


An iVillage “Before” and “After!”

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

The Boring "Before!"

Here's a "before" image of a project that John and I tackled on Long Island a few years back. The iVillage website has featured this project as part of their "before" and "after" series. Click on the image, above, to see the "after" image of our design and to view the projects of some of our peers...


I hope you had a splendiferous weekend! John and I are still in London and head back tomorrow… It’s been an amazing trip.

On another note, the iVillage site recently invited us to submit a “before” and after” project, and the project has just gone online. Take a look, and let me know what you think. This was a fun project because John and I tackled much of the fix-it work ourselves, including painting the beat-up wood floors and thinking up creative ways to mask the wonky walls.

We love to hear feedback!


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.


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.


Letter from London: Street Numbers!

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Sloane Ranger!

London calling! John and I are crazy for this big, bold, and bodacious address that we spotted painted upon a terracotta-hued column near Sloane Square in the heart of London.


As you know, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making a statement with your front door.

Paint your door a bright color.

Add interesting plantings in pots.

Hang up a big brass door knocker…

Or take a page from our perambulations around London…

John and I are in the British capital again this week shopping for a client, and we love the painted door numbers that your favorite two-some has spotted all over town. Simple, chic, and MAJOR impact!

Why not order a stencil kit from Martha Stewart, and create a totally bespoke door number with a little paint and a paint brush.


Wine Me, Dine, 64 Me!

If you have a column or a planter in front of your home, why not paint a street number upon it? Or paint a big number directly upon your front door.

Big & Bold!

This number 47 was totally wow-ee! I love the use of a primary color and a background hue to really create an impact.


A Little Labor Day Inspiration!

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Lemon Lovely!

John and I found these lemon sconces at a flea market in Marseille, France and scooped them up and stuck them in our suitcases. When we got back to the States, we trotted over to our local Michaels crafts store for the round disks upon which we mounted the fixtures. High-low. Love it!


Here’s hoping you are having a fabulous and relaxed Labor Day… John and I are upstate and spent the whole weekend gardening. And Madcap Cottage looks terrific!

Here’s a quick idea to hopefully give you some inspiration…

John and I love finding vintage light fixtures at yard sales and flea markets, but what to do if the fixture doesn’t have a large enough base for mounting the fixture, say, upon a wall? Buy the light, and then march right over to Michaels and pick up their inexpensive and whimsical wooden “plaques” that can be painted and then mounted to use as a base for your fixture.

Cheap and chic. We love it!

Gilt Trip!

We unearthed these gilt and "vining" wall sconces at an antiques shop in Tampa, Florida. We then had lampshades made in Venice, Italy with the letter "J" on them. Unfortunately, we had the "J"s put on upside down, so now the "J"s read as big question marks. This keeps people guessing. And then we paired this high-low combination of inexpensive fixtures and expensive lampshades with whimsical wooden plaques from Michaels. Genius, no? Just saying...


An Affair with a Chair!

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Red or Dead!

Here is a "before" shot of one of the red chairs on my parents' front porch that I decided to overhaul. The rattan caning on the seat looked fine, but it was beginning to rot in the Florida humidity and needed to be replaced. Hence, a trip to Hancock Fabrics was a must! John and I had had the chairs powder coated bright red a few months before when they had begun to flake.


I am currently down at my parents’ home in Tampa, Florida, but I fly to Los Angeles tomorrow and I can’t wait. Stay tuned for some West Coast design updates.

Meanwhile, whenever I come down to Tampa I always like to get a few projects going. But I am just not sure if I terrorize my Mom and Dad with my myriad putterings-about. For example, Lois and Jary (aka, Mom and Dad) do not seem to be too keen on my idea to transform their guest house into a Chinoiserie Chateau, a Palace of Pagoda Perfection. Stay tuned to see if I win this battle and get to lacquer their furniture and wallpaper their bathroom with a scenic scene from Peking back in the day.

Well, here’s one project that I did tackle today. My parents have terrific vintage French cafe chairs on their front porch, but they were getting a bit downtrodden and the rattan caning on the seats was beginning to rot. A few months back I had my parents powder coat the chairs as the original red paint was peeling off.

And then more recently I tackled the rattan caning. The rattan was not especially comfortable and was crumbling, so John and I decided to create custom seat covers with a very graphic indoor-outdoor fabric that we picked up for a song at Hancock Fabrics. I took one of the original rattan seats up to New York after my last visit to Florida to have our terrific upholstery guru craft five matching seat cushions in a festive Carnival print.

And, voila!, here are the results. The chairs offer a big punch of color and are far more comfortable than before. Success!

Now how do I convince Mom and Dad that a Chinoiserie-styled, painted bar and matching disco ball are must-have accessories for the guest house. To be continued…

Love Stack!

Here are the new seat cushions crafted of an indoor-outdoor fabric from Hancock Fabrics awaiting their star turn.

I Came, I Saw!

Jary removes the old rattan caning with a saw so that we could re-use the wood frame that sits within a lip in the chairs.

Shake It Up!

While my Dad and I worked on recovering the front porch chairs, my Mom practiced her hula hooping skills.

Weaving a Spell!

After my Dad used the saw to remove the edges of the rattan caning, I peeled off the remaining fibers and nails to create a clean base that could be then attached to the new seat cushions.

What a Screw-Up!

Getting ready to screw the new upholstered seat cushions to the original wooden frame that sits within a narrow lip on the chairs. I had the cushions made with a hollow center in their wooden frame to allow them to drain if they get wet in the rain or after a good hose-down.

Color Me Crazy!

The big reveal! And here are the five front porch dining chairs in all of their recovered glory. The seat covers can be popped off the chair to be hosed down, and the new fabric adds a "pop" of color that was lacking with the rattan caning, n'est-ce pas?