Podcast, Episode 3: the Madcap Cottage Guys

How to Decorate podcast with Jason Nixon & John Loecke, the Madcape Cottage guys

We were so excited to have as our guests on this week’s episode, Jason Nixon and John Loecke, the Madcap Cottage Guys! Their style is on point, and their love for color and pattern is infectious. We picked their brain about combining furniture styles harmoniously, their upcoming travel plans, why they love decorating with the color green, and their pack of adorable rescue dogs.

What you’ll hear on the show:

  • Where Jason and John find inspiration, both abroad and at home. They’re as inspired by things they see in London as they are around their hometown in North Carolina. Inspiration is everywhere.
  • They talk about their next vacation spot — Tokyo — and why they’re dying to make it there next.
  • What do they do with all of the treasures they bring home?
  • What do they see as living a ‘well-lived life?’
  • They share their more casual approach to entertaining, like ways to entertain without making everything from scratch.
  • Why we should throw out the idea of having a ‘camera ready’ home all the time.
  • Jason and John’s decorating pet peeves
  • Inspirations for their fabric like for Robert Allen
  • How their mothers’ styles impacted their own sensibilities
  • What they would save if their house was on fire
  • They mention the Traditional Home Napa Showhouse which they decorated using many of our products. You can see a whole tour of their space here.

Decorating Dilemmas:

Question #1:
Do all bar stools need to match? I purchased two stools (which are actually too high), however, feel the need for two more and couldn’t find them so I opted with another set of two similar in colour. Should I just continue to look for four matching? -Cat

We all agree that it’s possible to pull off four barstools that aren’t matching, but it needs to look very deliberate. Our concern with having a pair matching and a second pair that’s similar but not quite matching, is that it all feel hobbled together rather than intentional. Our suggestion is either to collect four very different barstools — in varying finishes, shapes, and fabrics — or to get four matching barstools that are the proper height for your countertop.

Question #2:
Are there any rules or guidelines for the size of artwork to put above a console or sideboard style table in a dining room? We have two lamps on top of a sideboard (at each end). I am not sure if the prints (looking at Garden Whimsy prints) should fit between the lamps or if it is ok to extend behind them. Thanks. -Andrea

Jason and John insist that you can have your light fixtures overlap artwork. In fact, it’s preferable! Just so long as you aren’t loosing the artwork entirely. As a general rule, your artwork should be sized to about two thirds the width of your furniture piece.

Question #3:
The lower level of our walkout ranch is all oak. I would like to change the stain of the built in entertainment center to a darker colored stain but do not want to change all the baseboards, trim and doors. Can the entertainment center be treated as a piece of furniture even though it is built in or does it need to match all the other woodwork? -Melanie

John points out that it depends on how the baseboard in your room intersects with the built in entertainment center you’re talking about. As long as you can separate the baseboard from your entertainment center, we think you could pull it off! Another idea would be to just paint the back of your entertainment center a color (or maybe wallpaper), rather than painting the entire thing.

Notes from the Show:

  • This is the self-watering window box that Karen recommends to Taryn.
  • I finally found my perfect cachepot to use as a centerpiece on my dining table when I’m not entertaining. Here are some other cachepots that may fit the bill for you.

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.