Monday, May 23, 2016

Mad for Madcap Cottage!

It's Madcap Cottage week at The Glam Pad! I am a huge fan of John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, the dynamic duo behind the design firm Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, John says "If you are looking for beige and boring, bark up someone else’s tree. We live and breathe whimsy..." Now that is my kind of design!

Based in North Carolina and New York, The Madcap Cottage gents are a whirlwind of activities including a recent renovation of their 1930s Regency style home in High Point, North Carolina, a bedding and home goods line for HSN, a garden inspired fabric collection for Robert Allen, and specially curated vintage and antique collections for 1stdibs and One Kings Lane.

Today, let's tour Jason and John's incredible High Point home, which was featured in the April issue of Traditional Home.  After 25 years in New York City, they decided it was time for a change... The pair had visited High Point twice annually for more than 15 years to attend Market, the furniture industry’s “fashion week.” The community spoke to them, and kismet led them to find their dream home. They dove into a renovation, removing early 1990s “improvements” and channeling a modern-day English country estate.... 

The 5,000-square-foot, white-brick, 1930s-era Regency Revival is situated on almost three acres with a meandering stream. Diehard anglophiles, Jason and John fell under the spell of the exterior’s plucked-from-across-the-pond sensibility, crafted by noted North Carolina architect Louis Voorhees. Its elegant proportions and gracious flourishes appeared to have stepped straight from Bath, England.

The foyer gleams with decorative-paint wall treatments inspired by British muralist Rex Whistler that march up the main stairway and play off the whimsical, hand-painted floor.

Inside the architecturally rich home, period motifs continue with lovingly crafted fluted moldings, plus a Greek key pattern wrapping the grand living room’s mantel. 

The living room nods to fabled Anglo-American interior designer Nancy Lancaster. The gathering space marries scenic, bespoke Gracie wallpaper with varnished papers that date from the home’s 1930s origins. Beautifully scaled, low-slung furnishings—a Hickory Chair sofa and vintage armchairs covered in Madcap Cottage fabric from Robert Allen—pair deliciously with a red-lacquer secretary and an antique Nichols rug.  

Inspired by the bar at Venice’s fabled Gritti Palace hotel, the formal dining area pairs bold florals—from the vintage wallpaper to the Portuguese needlepoint rug—with rich silks, jewel-tone leathers, and plenty of mirrored sparkle, including a vintage Murano glass chandelier. 

Today, the house is rich with antiques, color, and patterns, many culled from the just-launched Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen fabric collection.

Taking a page from the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, Jason and John chose rich green tiles from Ann Sacks and trellis wallpaper from Thibaut, which pair swimmingly with an antique fretwork table and new pieces like Century Furniture stools, a BlueStar range, and a Big Chill “Fridge.” 

The inviting kitchen island is an 18th-century Chinoiserie fretwork table purchased at an auction and then raised to its current height. Overhead, elegant vintage lanterns are another nod to the Royal Pavilion’s great kitchen.

What was once the pantry was transformed into an inviting arched bar space. Vintage tiles picked up on a trip to Lisbon offset white subway tiles from Ann Sacks. The vintage metal sconce pairs wonderfully with a Moroccan-style pendant to illuminate the space. 

Madcap Cottage fabrics in exuberant patterns and colors create an inviting retreat, where reimagined vintage furniture mingles with eye-catching Thibaut wallpaper.

Three closets were removed to create the arched, upholstered alcove, which now holds the vintage canopy bed. 

An 18th-century chinoiserie panel anchors the tub surround and a Nichols rug serves as the bath mat in this enticing sanctuary. 

Pale yellow doors and green trim enliven a chic laundry... Bob Collins wallpaper adds an additional dose of whimsy. The Greek-key embellished doors were salvaged from an estate designed by the late Otto Zenke. Click here for additional sneak peeks! 

John Loecke (left) and Jason Oliver Nixon tote art into their new home.

John and Jason have truly turned this architectural gem into a masterpiece through their historical appreciation, attention to detail, and impeccable taste.  It is positively stunning! Did you notice the salvaged Otto Zenke Greek key doors? Throughout the home, there are many additional Zenke treasures... Are you familiar with the mysterious Mr. Zenke? Stay tuned to learn more about this legendary decorator on Wednesday... Jason is guest posting at The Glam Pad! And Friday I will feature another Madcap/Zenke treat.

To learn more about Madcap Cottage, please visit their website. You will also want to follow their blog and Instagram. To read more about their High Point home renovation, please visit Traditional Home.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chic Caftans by Carla Christoph

For thousands of years, the elegance and comfort of the caftan has been impossible to deny. In fact, the caftan (or kaftan) has roots all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia. But it wasn't until the 1960s that they came into mainstream western fashion. Style icons including Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Diana Vreeland, Babe Paley, and Barbara Hutton helped popularize the caftan. Designers such as Pucci, Yves St. Laurent, and Halston crafted chic creations for these stars and socialites, and the caftan quickly became synonymous with a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle. Today, I am happy to say, caftans are enjoying a resurgence. Therefore I have asked my favorite caftan designer, Houston-based Carla Christoph, to join us today for a Q&A on these fabulous frocks...  and a special treat!

Grace Kelly

In 2011 Carla became obsessed with caftans. "Every woman should own at least one in her wardrobe," she says. She finds them perfect for all occasions and any body type. Carla loves caftans so much, she wears one every day! Her more elaborate caftans are great for weddings, black tie events, and cocktail and dinner parties. The casual caftans can go anywhere. She also now is designing gorgeous tops and tunics. Carla prides herself on one of a kind caftans, never duplicating, unless it is going to another city.

Carla Christoph

Q: What originally piqued your interest in caftans, and how did you begin your business? 

A:  Five years ago I had a few weddings to attend and some black tie events. I looked in my closet to think about what I might want to wear. I owned four kaftans and thought how comfortable they are to wear. I really don't like showing my upper arms these days, and every time I went to shop for a party dress, everything was sleeveless.  It was at this moment I decided to design three caftans for these events.  After being stopped by numerous people at every event, I thought "maybe I have something here." I decided to design 24 pieces and have a show at my home.  I nearly sold out of them and have never looked back.  In the beginning it was just my long caftans, but now I do short dress length and tops/tunics.

Q: Where do you find your greatest source of inspiration?

A:  My inspiration always comes from my fabrics and trims.  I do follow colors and trends each season.  I might look for certain colors or change up my designs accordingly.  For instance, this season I am doing some kaftans with exposed shoulders.  I will say I have a very good sense of visualization of the end product and have always gone with my gut.  It has yet to disappoint me!

Pat Altschul wearing her Carla Christoph caftan. 

Q: Who are your favorite fashion icons, and is there a time period that particularly appeals to you style wise? 

A: Fashion Icons: I have loved fashion since I was a child.  I used to look at every catalog that came to the house when I was young.  I remember sitting in a chair with my sister and looking at each page. We would ask each other, "If you could have either dress on either page, which one would you get?" There are many fashion icons but to name some would have to be, Diana Vreeland, Talitha Getty, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Hutton, Grace Kelly.  Is there a time period that appeals to me in fashion, heck no!  I love it all!

Elizabeth Taylor 

Q: What are your favorite accessories to complement a caftan? 

A:  Jewels, jewels, and more jewels.  I have been an avid collector of costume jewelry for many, many years.  I really love big and bold pieces with my kaftans.  That's not to say you have to wear it that way, that's just me.  Because my evening kaftans are more elaborate with pretty neck pieces, really all you need is a pretty chandelier earring and a great shoe or sandal.

Q: Why do you think caftans are currently experiencing such a resurgence? 

A:  Kaftans have been around forever but certainly since the 60's here in the United States. I think every woman should own at least one.  I believe there has been a  resurgence in the last couple of years because of how comfortable they are to wear.  As most women get older they don't want to show there upper arms or they my have a little tummy and the kaftans takes care of all those issues yet you still look very glamorous. The big major designers have always had a kaftan or two in their Resort or Spring line but now seem to be doing more.

Lee Radizwill 

Q: I love that you wear a caftan every day! Walk me through a few examples of what type of caftan you select for various occasions from a casual to formal. 

A:  Because I am now in the business of selling kaftans, I do wear one everyday!  It starts first thing in the morning, instead of a robe I wear the softest of fabrics like modal knits. For daytime, depending on the weather, you may find me in a pair of skinny jeans and one of my kaftan tops or a great jersey or linen for the hot summer months.  In the cooler months, I wear boots with my warmer weather fabrics and a poncho or wrap that I design.  My favorite to wear and design is still the classic long kaftan.  I wear my casual long out to lunch and dinner and the more dramatic to black-tie events, weddings.  All styles go with me when I'm traveling as they pack wonderfully and don't take up much space, leaving me room to bring more shoes and accessories!

Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in purchasing their first caftan? 

A:  Advice for owning their first kaftan would be to "Just go for it!"  I would suggest getting a classic long style and choosing either a casual or dressy depending on lifestyle.  The best way to explain wearing one is that you feel very exotic, glamorous and you definitely will stand out in a crowd. Owner beware, you MUST be confident!  They are perfect for resorts, cruises, dinner parties or even a backyard pool party. For all those shorter women who think they can't wear a long kaftan, I say "nonsense!" It is just a matter of getting your proportions right.  I can't begin to tell you how many customers started with just one piece and now they say "You should see my closet, I have a whole Carla section."

Q: Each of your caftans is truly a work of art, customized to accentuate its owner. How do you go about creating a perfectly personalized caftan? 

A:  Creating each kaftan is like a piece of artwork.  I really enjoy designing my kaftans and am happy when a customer finds just the right piece for them. I have designed many kaftans for mothers of the bride, mothers of the groom, and even mothers to be for their special baby shower.  If a customer doesn't see one that is currently available then I start by asking what colors they like.  Then I will suggest certain fabrics from my studio that I think will work for the occasion.  I then finish with showing the customer possible trims or elaborate neck pieces.  A lot of my beautiful trims come from India.  I do not buy fabrics in bulk.  I do one of a kind kaftans so you never have to worry about running into yourself at a party, and they are all custom fit to the clients measurements.

My Carla Christoph custom caftan! 

Q: When you aren’t busy making caftans, what are your favorite hobbies and activities? 

A:  I love to cook.  Sunday nights is always Mexican food.  I will make either my homemade pork carnitas or chicken enchiladas with my guacamole and green tomatillo sauce.  Always a big crowd pleaser! Another hobby of mine is going to consignments shops and flea markets.  There is nothing more wonderful then "being on the hunt."  I do love to travel and I use to have a mean game of tennis until my business took over my life.  However no complaints, I love every minute of it!

Princess Grace in a Pucci silk caftan, 1972

Thank you Carla, for all of your wonderful insight! Carla's caftans are so comfortable and addictive that I am tempted to wear one every day myself. And now is the time to stock up, as Carla is offering a treat of 20% off beginning now through Friday, May 27. Prices range depending on fabric and trim, with long caftans generally $350 - $400, short dresses from $190 - $250, and tops from $140 - $225. Please visit Carla Christoph and use code "GetGlam" to begin your custom caftan today! 

Use code "GetGlam" for 20% off all Carla Christoph caftans now through May 27!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Old School Dallas Chic

Located on Armstrong Parkway in Highland Park, Texas, this French estate designed by Anton Korn is one of the most significant architectural properties in Dallas. It was the final interior design project of John Astin Perkins, the decorator credited with creating the classic "Dallas look" - bright color and patterns, traditional (but not staid) furniture, and highly accessorized rooms filled with antiques - according to a fascinating article by D Magazine. Let's take a look inside this intriguing piece of Dallas history, available for sale...

4248 Armstrong Parkway 

“John was able to capitalize on the knowledge that Southern women love color,” designer Cathy Kincaid said. “He gave the decorators permission to use bold color.” 

Perkins boldly blended English and French styles.  He is credited for bringing the French Country influence to Texas homes. His choice of bright colors including parrot and apple greens, pink, lavender, and mustard was considered avant-garde.

Known as "Mr. Dallas," Perkins' client list read like a who's who of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, including Ross Perot, James Ling, Perry Bass, and Clint Murchison. His signature parrot-green-and-white wallpaper and Asian lamps became known and recognized everywhere, including the Dallas Country Club, Brook Hollow Golf Club, and River Crest in Fort Worth.

The .9 acre lot is shaded by approximately 50 large trees and features a pool, terraced gardens with fountains, blue stone pathways and wrought-iron gates.

Built in 1924, this magnificent home features over 8,000 square feet, five bedrooms, and five and a half baths. The listing may be viewed here and here. To learn more about the colorful life of John Astin Perkins, please visit D Magazine and Texoma Living! I find it interesting that such an influential designer is virtually unknown today... Texoma Living! claims his work appeared in Architectural Digest more times than that of any other designer, and yet examples of his work are almost impossible to find now.  If you have any additional information on John Astin Perkins, I would love to hear from you. I am intrigued to learn more!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Classic Palm Beach Home for Sale

Today I have a classic Palm Beach real estate listing to share... Located on El Brillo Way in the Estate Section, this traditional home embodies tropical Palm Beach style. It is loaded with bright citrusy oranges, greens, and yellows, timeless blue and white, faux bamboo, and tropical accents. Let's take a tour...

I could move right in! Built in 1950, this Palm Beach classic features four bedrooms, six and a half baths, 5,950 square feet, a large lot, and an elevator! The listing can be viewed here. And if you would like to recreate this look, One Kings Lane is having a specially curated "tropical elegance" sale. Click here to shop the look.

Tropical Elegance via One Kings Lane

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