Haute Secrets: Madcap Design Duo John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon

RE Jason Oliver Nixon,David Zarin, John Loecke
Jason Oliver Nixon, David Zarin, and John Loecke at the launch of Madcap Cottage’s new fabrics collection, “Into the Garden,” a collaboration with Robert Allen@Home, sold exclusively at Zarin Fabrics.

John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the major design talents behind North Carolina- and New York-based interior design firm Madcap Cottage. Known for their bold use of color and pattern (think Sister Parish meets Lily Pulitzer), the design duo—along with their pound-rescue pals Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia—scour the world for eclectic finds, which they use to create stylish one-of-a kind settings for their far-flung clientele.

re sun room
A sun room in Hight Point.

“We are a little Auntie Mame,” says John. “And a helluva lot of Carmen Miranda in one of those delicious Busby Berkeley films.” Jason notes that if you are looking for beige and boring “bark up someone else’s tree. We live and breathe ‘whimsy,’ but our projects are also spectacularly livable. John and I have dogs and nieces and nephews—we get it.” Notable Madcap Cottage interiors have included a  jewel-hued loft in SoHo; a color-rich beach house in Southampton; a sophisticated 1920s-era bungalow in Des Moines; a historic shotgun-style cottage in New Orleans’ French Quarter; and a Grade II-listed former mill on the outskirts of London.

A master bedroom for a High Point project.
A master bedroom for a High Point project.

John and Jason run Madcap Cottage from a former pharmacy in the heart of High Point, North Carolina, a center for American decorative arts. They recently launched a new fabric collection, called ’Into the Garden,’ in collaboration with Robert Allen @ Home. It sells exclusively  at Zarin Fabrics, a lower East Side institution, known for its great selection of textiles and fabrics. Madcap’s curated selection of vintage and antique finds can be viewed on One Kings Lane and 1st Dibs. Their bedding, window treatments, and pillows lines are sold exclusively on HSN and at HSN.com. 

A living room in High Point.
A living room in High Point.

Where were you born?
John: Iowa
Jason: Florida

How long were you in New York?
The Madcaps were in New York City for 25 years before we sold our Brooklyn brownstone to the head of PR at Vogue and moved to High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world.

When did you start Madcap Cottage?
12 years ago.

Favorite stores for sourcing furniture for your work:
We love vintage finds and scour the world from London to Jaipur,  Antigua, and Guatemala. For new furnishings we’re partial to Century, Highland House, and Bassett.

Favorite places to buy antiques:
Bermondsey market in London is a favorite. We also adore the Yard Sale in East Hampton,

Favorite flea market:
Any of the London markets–Bermondsey, Covent Garden, Spitalfields.

Favorite New York City neighborhood:
Cobble Hill for the fantastic restaurants and throwback vibe.

Favorite restaurant:
Chez Josephine is such a classic. And the lunch counter at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. We adore our go-to server, Mary Mac, a lovely Irish lass.

Best French restaurants:
La Bonne Soupe and La Grenouille.

Best Italian restaurant:

Best dessert in New York City;
The after-dinner cotton candy at the Four Seasons

Best bar:
The Gander

Best Sunday brunch:
The Carlyle

Best place for a power business meeting:

If you have out of town guests, which hotel do you recommend?
Nu Hotel in Brooklyn. Fabulous and affordable, and they really get service, a New York City rarity.

Favorite place for suits, shirts, shoes:

Best gym/athletic facility:
We walk a lot. 

Favorite charity:
Green Chair in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Night on the town favorites:
In our day, The Tunnel and Sound Factory. Today, Netflix.

Best museum/exhibit:
Anything at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
’21’ Club, The Four Seasons, La Grenouille.

Favorite “out of the way” city spot to relax/reflect:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Describe New York in three words:
Fast. Furious. Fantastic to visit.

The secret to your success?
Hard work, organization.

For more information: Madcapcottage.com; Madcap Cottage, 128 Church Avenue, High Point, NC 27262. Phone: 917-318-0006. Check out their blog Demystifying Design on madcapcottage.com for great decor tips.