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

Posts Tagged ‘pillows’

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!


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.


Shop, Shop, Shop Madcap Cottage!

Sunday, January 6th, 2013


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.



Pillow Talk!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Color Me Crazy!

The Madcap Cottage boys have whipped up a limited-edition selection of pillows that have just been selected by the Four Seasons Hotels magazine as one of their favorite holiday gifts. Um, funplex! Click the image, above, to peruse the whole story.


As you know from yesterday’s installment, John and I are talking about designing a private label pillow collection. And while that conversation is still taking place, John and I have not been sitting idle.

Mais non!

In fact, John and I have already been whipping up a select stash of pillows in fabulous African-inspired prints that are loaded with color. And, heehaw!, our pillows just made it into the Four Seasons Hotels magazine! These pillows are super chic and very affordable… And they will transform any room presto, change-o!

Be delicious.


Eastern Promises!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Swatch Watch!

Here's John with the divine Lydia Pomey in the swatch room at Eastern Accents, a sprawling factory in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood that makes the most amazing pillows, bed linens, headboards, and other home goods.


I hope that everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

John and I were in Baltimore for the holiday are are now currently in London and loving every second of it.

But let’s backtrack two weeks (we certainly keep you on your toes, n’est-ce pas?)…

John and I flew out to Chicago to tour the amazing Eastern Accents factory in the city’s Avondale neighborhood and to discuss some possible business. Might there be private label Madcap Cottage pillows in the works?

Do stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here’s a little tour of Eastern Accents.

Trim Time!

John goes bananas for the vast selection of trims to be found at Eastern Accents, including the myriad ribbons.

Fabric of Life!

Eastern Accents boasts massive machines that cut the fabrics with lasers.

Sew What?

Here's the immaculate and light-filled sewing room at Eastern Accents. John and I love anything Made in America.

Details, Details!

An Eastern Accents worker sews delicious details into a pillow.

Don't Give a Down!

Here are bundles of down feathers ready to be stuffed into pillows.

Fabric of Life!

John and Lydia peruse Eastern Accents' vast fabric library. We unearthed some real treasures that reflect the Madcap Cottage duo's passion for color and pattern.


Strawberries, Ikats, and Boot Sales, Oh my!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Strawberry Hill!

Here's the Gothic and magical Strawberry Hill, the home of Horace Walpole that sits outside of London in the town of Twickenham. To visit the museum, catch the Underground out to Richmond then hop on the R68 bus out to Strawberry Hill. A visit to this 18th-century estate is a must for lovers of whimsical design.


Hope you have had a super-spiffy weekend…

Our Turkey voyage has come to an end, and we are now in London and gloriously ensconced at the sublime, brand-new Corinthia hotel in London. The hotel is amazing, we are simply blow away…

The Corinthia is going to give The Connaught and Claridges a run for their money.

But more on that later.

Well, maybe just a little bit more on our Londontown adventures: Today we jumped on the Underground and hightailed it to Wimbledon for the amazing car boot sale that takes place every Sunday at the village’s greyhound racing track. Um, amazing finds. And P.S. A “boot” is the “trunk” of a car in England, just in case you didn’t know. Hence, this flea market is basically a big rummage sale that takes part half in the trunk of the vendor’s car and half scattered about on the sidewalk. Such fun, and we unearthed some real treasures amongst the dross.

Then we hopped on the bus and headed out to Richmond to visit Sir Horace Walpole’s stunning 18th-century Strawberry Hill, the fabled Gothic estate that once looked out onto the Thames. Completely refurbished and reopened only a year ago, Strawberry Hill is a stunner, albeit very much a work still in progress. We lapped up the Gothic details, the whimsy, the color scheme, and the astonishing clam-shaped garden bench…

But while we love to think of England, let’s return to Istanbul to shop for ikat fabrics and pillows.

Ikat is a tie-dye-like dyeing technique that creates the most gorgeous fabrics with a “washed” feel… Ikats can be cotton or silk as well as cotton-silk, so the range of ikat fabrics is vast. Ikat colors are sumptuous and delicious, and John and I are mad for these far-flung fabrics.

Vintage Ikat!

Here's Jason Oliver wrapped up in a vintage silk ikat throw. Aren't these colors just amazing? And I quickly learned that a busy ikat pattern makes me look skinny. TIP: When you are feeling fat, wear ikat. A busy pattern such as ikat distracts from a chubby tummy AND works wonders upon a sofa.

We spent a recent afternoon shopping for ikat fabrics to create samples for our pillow collection. Wait, you didn’t know that John and I are creating a Madcap Cottage line of products? Oh, yes! You, too, can live the Madcap Cottage lifestyle…

Think gorgeous items for the home inspired by our travels and passion for color served-up at a delicious and accessible price point.

Are you in?

Take a look at some of our ikat inspiration…

Pillow Talk!

This was just one of dozens of silk and cotton ikat fabrics that John and I purchased in Istanbul to craft our Madcap Cottage line of bespoke pillows. Isn't this green-and-yellow fabric stunning?

Gorgeous pillow!

Here's a wonderful ikat velvet pillow that we picked up in a small shop in Istanbul. The back side of this pillow is a different pattern from the front of the pillow: The contrast between the velvet, pictured here, and the purple and orange cotton fabric upon the back is stunning. TIP: Should you ever have pillows made, why not use two different fabrics to create some extra visual interest. Tie the two fabrics together with a jaunty welt.


Bring a Bit of Bodrum Home!

Monday, September 19th, 2011


Jason looks out to the sea over a fun, cheap, and chic lunch of grilled sea bream with a peppery arugula salad and perfect tomatoes with white wine at a charming eatery in Gumusluk on Turkey's Bodrum peninsula. The chairs and tables at the restaurant were painted fun colors, and a bamboo fence stretched over metal supports provided shade from the sun. I plan to create a similar "moment" at Madcap Cottage next summer with a bamboo-shaded pergola and grape vines.


John and I arrived this morning back in Istanbul, and we had a glorious afternoon wandering through the Spice Market followed by a late lunch at wonderful Hamdi restaurant with its amazing views of the Golden Horn waterway and the entrance to the Bosphorus. Tonight, we are off to check out the W Istanbul hotel’s Minyon restaurant and then tomorrow, it’s a few museums followed by a hamam treatment at the fabled and centuries-old Cagaloglu Hamami then dinner at the Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet.


But let’s backtrack to Bodrum, the resort community that is the Hamptons of Turkey. As John and I explored the Bodrum peninsula yesterday, we took photographs of ideas that could easily be brought home. From a “moment” at a beachside restaurant to a pillow-strewn seating area on the terrace of a hotel and jaunty rattan beach umbrellas painted a shade of indigo blue, here’s some inspiration to create a taste of Bodrum chic in your own home or apartment.




Turkish beach towns boast thousands of these fabulous umbrellas woven of rattan that have been painted all sorts of candy-kissed colors. These indigo umbrellas were very chic and inviting. Does anyone know where to find such umbrellas in the United States? I'd love to hear of a good source. These would look amazing scattered about a backyard, like magic mushrooms. Fabulous!

Lounge Lizard!

Um, don't you just adore this seating area that we spotted on the patio of a hotel in Bodrum... Simple, woven reed mats and oversized pillows crafted from Turkish towels are an invitation to relax and perhaps take a nap. What a fun idea...


As we discussed in yesterday's installment, there's nothing like a pillow to create instant magic and attitude. Check out these simple red-and-white pillows scattered about a super-green lawn. Don't you just want to loll about and think dirty thoughts about splendorous things that can be done in the grass? So simple, so clever. Use a Sunbrella outdoor fabric to create pillows for the outdoors... It's that easy.


The Power of Pillows!

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Sunset over Bodrum!

A sunset view of the resort city of Bodrum in Turkey. What a delicious vista, n'est-ce pas?


John and I are in the resort community of Bodrum, Turkey, and while I am not crazy about the very touristy main town of Bodrum, I love the Bodrum peninsula and quaint Torba and Gumusluk. We had lunch yesterday at a wonderful cafe in tiny Gumusluk right at the edge of the sea, and dining upon just-caught sea bream with a cool Sauvignon Blanc was simply sublime. But more on all of that later.

John and I have been picking up vintage Turkish textiles along the way–from pillows to kilim rugs, Suzanis, and gorgeous throws. The colors, the energy, the verve! Stunning.

Speaking of pillows… Frankly, there’s no better way to bring a travel experience home that with some punchy pillows, and remember that you don’t have to buy pillows with the inserts that fluff them out. You can buy the pillows covers flat and pick up inserts back at home courtesy of such easily accessible spots such as West Elm. Without the stuffing, you can load up with dozens of pillows and not worry about fitting everything into your perhaps already-overloaded suitcase.

Well-known Turkish designer Rifat Ozbek has this to say about the “experience” of collecting pillows whilst traveling: “A cushion is a luxury; a reminder of a journey, a memory of a dream.” And John and I could not agree any more. Says John, “There’s nothing like a pillow to transform a space from boring to brilliant. Pillows are relatively cheap and very chic and work wonders. Why recover a sofa when you can just add pillows… And change out your throw pillows every season to bring a fresh new look to your rooms.”

Besides, pillows can take the boring and make it simply brilliant. We photographed a white couch at our hotel in Bodrum without pillows and then we added colorful cushions: See for yourself the gorgeous, transformational power of pillows…

Viva la pillow!

And remember to mark your calendars as we will be selling a wonderful assortment of Turkish pillows at our One Kings Lane sale on November 1. It will be like a little Turkish bazaar at your fingertips without having to board a plane or get a visa. Not that’s the sort of armchair travel we like.

A Vanilla Sofa!

BEFORE! Here's a "plain Jane," although well-tailored sofa, that is just so white-on-white vanilla. Boring. This sofa needs a makeover, but why recover it? Let's see what an assortment of colorful Turkish pillows can do to this little wall flower...

The Sofa "After."

AFTER! Here's that same white sofa "after" John added wonderful Turkish pillows. Pillows are quite the game-changer, huh? This sofa was super dull before but now it looks like a million bucks. When in doubt, just add pillows. And then add a few more.

Punchy Pillows!

Colorful pillows in a far-flung style add some ethnic flavor and glamour to this once-boring white couch. Brilliant!

Colorful Pillows!

Here's a close-up of the Turkish pillows upon the white couch. You will find many of these pillows for sale at our One Kings Lane sale on November 1, so if your couch needs a little overhaul, get ready to stock up.


Weekend Warrior: Dreaming of India!

Friday, May 20th, 2011


There's nothing like a little Doris Day to brighten a banal morning.

It’s another blar, blah rainy day here in New York City, but I am happily cocooned in the Brooklyn pad and watching Doris Day movies and writing stories… Pure bliss! I just finished Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and next up is With Six You Get Eggroll. Fabulous. There’s nothing like Doris to raise your spirits and add a little Technicolor into your life, n’est-ce pas?

Speaking of which: I want to make a pilgrimage out to Carmel, California to meet the winsome Miss Day, but that’s another blog post in of itself.

So what the hell does this have to do with India you are probably asking yourself right about now?

Doris Day?


You don’t see the connection.

It’s all about fabulous color and energy, doubting Thomases and Thomasinas! Verve! Excitement! Doris Day is like a delicious pink bon-bon. And that’s how I feel about India, too.

So on this dreary day, I am dreaming of Indian colors–turquoises, pinks, acid greens, and glorious yellows.

So why not add a little Indian-infused color to your home this weekend?


A "moment" in the Thar Desert outside of Jodhpur. Look at that sunset and the dramatic, crenellated architecture. Sublime!

Maybe paint your powder room shocking pink…

Or buy yellow pillows for your outdoor furniture…

Lovely Ladies!

Gorgeous ladies in the Jodhpur market. I am crazy about their Technicolor-hued saris. Use these sassy minxes to inspire you this weekend.

Perhaps paint your front door blue?


Hot Pink!

The interior of the Hot Pink "concept" store in Jaipur. Fabulous colors and a jaunty sensibility. Bring some of this look into your home. My advice: Make a run to World Market this weekend!


Makeover Madness Monday: Pillow Talk!

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Bedroom with pillows.

Here's our bedroom in Brooklyn. Note the fun and frisky use of pillows in different shades and patterns. Have fun with your bed. "And in it!," chirps potty-mouth Nixon.

Gang: You want to freshen up your bedroom now that spring is finally here, but you don’t want to spend a fortune. There’s no need to re-paint or buy wallpaper or purchase a new bed. Here’s a quick pick-me-up that is sure to work wonders.

Buy new sheets.

What? It’s that simple?!

Yes, blogeratti, it is. But instead of buying a head-to-toe look in the linen department, shake it up: Buy a fitted sheet in one color, a flat sheet in another, standard pillows in another, and throw in some shams in a jaunty pattern. The results are stupendous. Have fun with your bed…

Maybe buy a yellow fitted sheet and pair it with a bright green flat sheet. Add in some standard pillowcases that have a green background but maybe have a coral pattern upon them then layer in European shams with a green lattice pattern. Your duvet can be anything from white to yellow to green to a pattern that has a shade of either green or yellow upon it.

Try it: This simple fix will leave your feeling fresh and fabulous! And you won’t break the bank.