When he was the editor-in-chief of Hamptons and Gotham magazines, Jason Oliver Nixon revamped his white-on-white, year-round rental in Water Mill with loads of pattern-packed color pillows, scatter rugs in Moroccan hues, and window panels inspired by the kaleidoscopic Hotel La Banane in St. Barth’s. Nixon’s partner, John Loecke, arrived via train on the weekends and loaded up the home with far-flung vintage finds that he collected at antiques shops from Hampton Bays to Montauk. The duo’s hue-centric, eclectic cottage became a go-to for spirited dinner parties and led to their first commission, a small cottage on Meeting House Lane in Southampton.
“Our first client liked our high-low mix and use of amped-up hues paired with an easy-breezy sensibility and global influences,” says Nixon. “When her cottage was completed, O at Home, the Oprah magazine’s shelter offshoot, asked to publish the project. The magazine ended up giving it 8 pages, and the phone rang almost immediately with our second project. We were up and running!”
Fast forward ten-plus years, and today the Brooklyn-based Madcap Cottage gents are busy at work on projects ranging from a historic farmhouse on Shelter Island to a shotgun-style home in New Orleans, an Arts & Crafts cottage in Los Angeles, and a sleek-chic contemporary modified ranch in Tampa, Florida.
“Our goal is to design an apartment in Shanghai,” says Loecke. “Or a home in Istanbul or Moscow. We are lucky enough to have spent a great deal of time in the BRIC’s countries, and we’d love nothing more than to bring our passion for passion and color to these countries on the move.”
So what characterizes the Madcap Cottage sensibility? Says Loecke, “Banish the beige and the boring. Saturate your world in color-rich whimsy and sophistication. Most importantly, have fun with your home.”
Adds Nixon, “We love glamour and style and are able to bring that passion to the most contemporary of home as well as the ultra-traditional. Frankly, we are all about the ‘F’ words: frisky, fabulous, and fun to be around.”
What’s next for this duo a-go-go? Says Loecke, “We launched our line of Madcap Cottage pillows at the High Point furniture market this past spring, and you will soon find these at top Hamptons home stores. And, of course, we have a few other tricks up our Liberty-print sleeves. Stay tuned for our world domination plan.”
Mary Williams is a style and design writer who knows her Nancy Lancaster from her David Hicks. She can be spotted on the East End tooling about in her vintage Fiat or at the bar at Almond.