|The Madcap Cottage gents, albeit minus their trusty companions, los perritos Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia. The threesome was snoozing, apparently.|
John Loecke and I are thrilled to be the “face” of the Antique & Design Center for High Point Fall Market 2013. Wow, we are over the moon to be appearing in adverts and on blog banners. Move over, Kate Moss.
The Madcaps have just returned from a long weekend in High Point where we organized our space at the Antique & Design Center and met with a few of our sub-contractors to discuss wallpaper hanging and other tweaks. Our goal is to create a Madcap Cottage booth that feels one part Shanghai Surprise and two parts English Country Cottage and six parts An Evening in Byzantium. As you can see, we like to put a heck of a lot of shots into our design cocktail. Shake, shake, shake, and then pour. Hopefully, you will walk into our space, get a little tipsy, and find items that will inspire, surprise, and delight. To paraphrase our most favorite retailer Mr. Marshall Field, “Give the lady what she doesn’t know what she wants.”
John and I love to create magical environments—whether that be a bungalow in Los Angeles’ Venice Beach neighborhood, an apartment in Midtown Manhattan, a Florida beach house, or a breakfast room in a Greensboro, North Carolina show house. Not to mention a retail space in the heart of a turn-of-the-century furniture factory. And so much of the sparkle that we bring to the table comes from our far-flung adventures.
The Madcap Cottage gents spend several months of the year traveling the world, and that might be a weeklong jaunt to Des Moines, Iowa or a month in India or China. We assimilate and then distill down our adventures to bring some giddy glamour into our clients’ homes, whether in the form of an overall design plan or a spot-on pillow that helps take a sofa from so-so to sublime.
|John walks the Great Wall of China. We adore China… It’s one weird and wonderful place. But it’s certainly no India, our most favorite spot anywhere.|
We decided to sit down and ask ourselves some questions… When you are the “face” of a brand, you get to do such non-humble things as ask yourself questions.
Read on, dear bloggerati, and get inside our mixed-up and fun-filled heads. And then come visit us at Market at MS G-24 ADC. Our booth will be a cornucopia of candy-colored cool. With lots of liquor. For real.
What is your most valued design tip?
The Madcap Cottage duo develops an overall storyline that guides our clients’ interior design process. We curate and edit your vision. The result is “you,” just you with a capital “Y.” And with some brush fringe on the side.
What makes your style unique?
The Madcap Cottage team takes tradition and tweaks it. We have a strong foundation in the classics and then we revv it up with whimsy, color, and fun. Vroom, vroom! Let’s get this rig a-rocking.
Who is your design icon and why?
Dorothy Draper, Nancy Lancaster, and Oliver Messel. We love how these glorious gals and gent took tradition and added delicious drama and kicked-up colors that created interiors that are accessible and supremely comfortable. Who wants to live in a home that’s precious?
If you were a piece of furniture, what would you want to be and why?
The Madcap Cottage team would want to be reincarnated as the over-the-top, glamorous, and exuberant secretary that Tony Duquette designed for Elsie de Wolfe. Magic!
Every room needs?
Antiques and vintage finds. We love nothing more than flea market finds, antiques, and dumpster diving. You never know what you might find sitting next to a dumpster at Chick-fil-A! Seriously. John and I spend most of our time “picking” when we travel, and we are not always purchasing “important” antiques. We also brake for fabulous and funky pieces that we re-jigger with paint and new upholstery. Come visit our Antique & Design Center booth in action (code name: Faster, pussycat, kill, kill!), and you can see our passion for one-offs in action. And, of course, we like to embellish our wallpaper with Indian wedding rhinestones in candy-colored hues that we purchase by the bucketful at bazaars in Jaipur and Delhi in India. Wallpaper was meant to be embellished, no?
What is your ideal getaway/escape?
We are crazy about India, especially the desert outside of Jodhpur. The colors are so vivid and acid-tinged against the dry desert landscape. You can be out in the middle of nowhere, and then there’s a group of women wearing bright green, orange, yellow, and tangerine who appear mirage-like walking down the road. Amazing! We are constantly inspired, challenged, and intoxicated.
What is your favorite movie set?
The Madcap Cottage gents love anything by Busby Berkeley, like the Carmen Miranda/“Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” scene from the film The Gang’s All Here. So chic, so over the top, so fabulous. Monkeys! Check. Bananas! Check. A gaggle of chorines and Carmen Miranda bedecked in tropical treats. Check, check, check. We want to move right in.
You are NY-based designers, are you inspired by your surroundings on a daily basis?
John and I suck up inspiration like two very stylish Hoovers wherever we are, whether it’s a walk through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, a road trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, or a cruise up the Yangtze River in China. We are former editors, so we are constantly lapping up experiences and meeting new people and trying things wherever we go. Keep your eyes open at all times, and never poo-poo anything.
|Here’s John at a noble pile outside of Moscow. John was totally inspired by the pastel hues of this estate and promptly returned home and repainted our living room. The antiques at this estate were stunners, too, and so contemporary.|
You were recently in Russia. How did that inspire you?
Russia is amazing. John and I are lucky enough to have visited the country on several occasions, and we are obsessed. We love the mix of gorgeous palaces and on-the-move sensibility with the crazy, almost feudal-like, wild, wild west society and money’s-no-object attitude amongst the top 1%. We have seen many sides of the new Russia, and it’s fabulous and frightening at the same time. Of course, we are smitten with St. Petersburg, but one of our most favorite spots is Kuskovo, a Russian noble family’s summer palace outside of Moscow that boasts stunning pastels, glorious fabric pairings, and a sublime grotto. We have brought some of that Kuskovo chic back into our own home, and watch for Jordan Almond hues to appear in designs for our clients.
What did you bring back from your trip to Russia?
John is obsessed with the Romanovs and has stated collecting vintage prints of Nicholas and Alexandra. I stocked up on colorful textiles and Russian magazines to see what is trending there right now. We want to be big in the BRICs. John and I were lucky enough to have dinner with Eugenia Mikulina, the fabulous editor in chief of Architectural Digest Russia, and we are wrapping up some colorful projects to show her. She loves our work. Wow, we are lucky gents.
What are some other places that you have traveled that have been inspirational?
John and I have been to Istanbul a half dozen times, and that fabled city sends us over the moon. The culture, the food, the architecture, the history… Sublime! We hope that they figure out their troubles and soon. Rajashtan in India (think Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur!) is a favorite and so, too, is London. Paris is OK, but we’d rather visit Amsterdam or Barcelona. And we are just koo-koo crazy for High Point, North Carolina and Des Moines, Iowa.
Would you say that travel in general is one of the main things that inspires you? What else does?
Travel is our number one inspiration. But we are so inspired by anything lifestyle—whether that is fashion, food, history, magazines, style… Give us a stash of English design magazines such as The World of Interiors and some vintage design books, and we are in heaven. And music is so inspirational, we are sort of channeling Miss Lana Del Rey AND Miss Peggy Lee. Lately.
What are you working on now?
John and I are developing a line of fabrics and a top-secret product line that’s super fun and really different. We are designing two apartments in New York City and a home in Tampa, Florida. And we are transforming Madcap Cottage in upstate New York into a decadent den of Indian deliciousness.
Photos and article courtesy of Madcap Cottage.