Today is National Dog Day. Another made-up holiday? Perhaps, but let’s take minute to love on our furry friends, and our family favorite dogs is the English Springer Spaniel, a cheerful, intelligent, attentive dog. Read on about our three ESS loves…
We’re looking forward to a fabulous fall working with the equally fabulous duo behind the magic that is Madcap Cottage – Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke! Keep an eye out for some exciting happenings between steve mckenzie’s and Madcap Cottage, taking place soon. In the meantime, enjoy getting to know one of the madcaps, Jason Oliver Nixon in our latest “Who you NEED to Meet” installment…
John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the dynamic duo behind North Carolina- and New York-based interior design firm, Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, the Madcap gents—along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia—scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their unique and gimlet-eyed viewpoint. Imagine a British country house that pairs Granny’s antiques and a spirited dash of Chinoiserie chic with a dash of Morocco-meets-India élan. Shake, stir, then pour.
steve mckenzie’s: Will you please share a bit about your background/how you and John started Madcap Cottage and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?
Jason Nixon: John and I both come from backgrounds as magazine editors and television producers, we really see ourselves as storytellers. In our previous lives, we produced, styled, and wrote stories, and at a certain point we asked, Why are we writing about everyone else? We started the design business and the first project we crafted was snapped up by a magazine, and the phone started ringing and we were off and running. We kept the day job as long as we could, and then took the plunge. We are thrilled to have 4-5 interior design projects each year and to have moved into the realm of product development–from fabric and bedding to window treatments, wallpaper, and wall art.
sm’s: What inspires you and John/your work?
JN: Travel is a huge part of our world, and we carry sketch books and diaries when we travel and document our adventures. We find inspiration everywhere we go–from Iowa to India. We also lap up great homes and gardens as well as vintage movies and design books. The legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland once said, “The eye has to travel,” and we couldn’t agree more.
sm’s: What is your vision, not only for the Madcap Cottage brand, but also the individual designs/products you create??
JN: We want to create designs that make you dream–but that are also attainable and affordable. We believe that good design should be available to all. Everything that we do is hand touched, sketched, and painted, whether that is a 40,000-square-foot home or a bedding collection for Home Shopping Network. Our goal is to be a lifestyle destination such as Laura Ashley back in the day.
sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to?
JN: Of course, we are smitten with prints and patterns and offer opportunities for consumers to bring florals, graphics, stripes, and more into their lives–from baby steps to all-in. Think a classic, relaxed American sensibility paired with an English vibe, and that’s our vibe. Timeless. Sophisticated. And fun. We always have vintage and antique pieces in our design projects and offer surprise-and-delight details such as contrast welting and buttons, unexpected matting and frame treatments, and more.
sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of the Madcap Cottage family?
JN: John and I craft colors and patterns that run between our various fabric collections to give tools that allow designers and consumers to connect the dots easily. We layer-in new colors in each collection that adds a further storyline and moves the adventure forward. Each collection takes you on a new journey: We think of each collection as a chapter in a book that moves the story along.
sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase a Madcap Cottage design?
JN: Nothing! Dive in. We give you the tools to bring the adventure home.
sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you and John/Madcap Cottage?
JN: Lighting! Rugs! Fashion accessories! Paper products! And maybe a TV presence. And we would love to start another book project.
sm’s: As artists/business people how do you recharge?
JN: We love hanging out with our three pound-rescue pups and lounge about with them and read books on the weekend. We also love having friends over for long, boozy dinner parties. And gardening is our favorite hobby
sm’s: Anything else you can think our readers would enjoy learning about you and John/your business/designs?
JN: We believe that design should be fun and put a smile upon your face.
Smiles and fun are absolutely what design should be about. Cheers to the men of Madcap and all the fun and smiles we have planned in the upcoming months! And a big thank you to Jason Oliver Nixon for participating in our “Who you NEED to meet” feature!
It’s time to freshen up our tables – spring is here! Let’s recap the fun from our recent Spring Tea Open House~
Waiting on Martha‘s, Mandy Kellogg Rye kept a soothing green palette for her table and incorporated topiaries.
Erika Preval of Charm Etiquette refreshed our manners – start on the outside for the cutlery, leave politics out of the conversation, etc. She even offers classes for everyone to enjoy – young people, adults, corporate situations – remember good manners will open doors the best education cannot, as says Clarence Thomas.
We fell in love with the jasmine tea from Just Add Honey and will add it to our next menu. So many flavors; if you attended, please let us know your favorite!
A special thank you to Christi, our ambassador of Gien, Terrafirma, Le Jacquard Francais, Match Pewter and Royal Crown Derby, as she brought in so many delicious layers of textiles and plates for us to play with.
Thanks to all who came out for our Spring Tea Open House! If you couldn’t make this event, visit the showroom soon – spring inspiration abounds!!