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Home on the Range!

Home on the Range

The fabulous BlueStar Cooking range in the House of Bedlam kitchen.

Gang:

John and I are so tired of sterile white-on-white kitchens with white countertops, white subway tile zipping across the walls, and stainless-steel appliances. B-O-R-I-N-G!

Who wants clinical when you can bring color and pattern into your kitchen. And, no, that was not a question.

“Oh, but white is classic and never goes out of style,” you say.

Well, frankly, color doesn’t go out of style either, just don’t choose “of-the-moment” hues such as the avocado and orange color ways that were so popular in the 70s. Choose colors that aren’t too bright and garish. If you need something “on trend,” go for it with your kitchen wallpaper.

As for colors to employ, think pale greens, buttery yellows, gray, inky blues, and more when it comes to cabinetry.

As for appliances, stainless is so 2007. Snore. Boring. Why not bring some color to your appliances such as we did at the House of Bedlam with our divine BlueStar Cooking range in a pale green shade.

So let’s talk about BlueStar Cooking.You can choose from over 750 colors.

And the configuration options are equally endless. Bespoke chic, we are crazy about customization in this decidedly un-customized world.

Plus, of course, the performance of the BlueStar ranges is exceptional and chef quality.

And the ranges are built in the United States, and we love that!

We asked our friends at BlueStar for a few testimonials from satisfied customers.

Here’s one from a gent in Vancouver, Canada:

“I was able to fire up my shiny new BlueStar for the first time yesterday, and I can’t thank you enough. Everyone who I spoke/emailed with at BlueStar has been outstanding with fantastic and friendly service, and the entire experience has really been top-notch. The stove itself really is an amazing piece of machinery. My contractor, who had never heard of BlueStar, couldn’t stop talking about how nice it was, and I think that may have turned him into a future customer as well. My 2 year old daughter walked into the kitchen and saw it for the first time and just said “cool!” She obviously has excellent taste.”

And here’s another from a woman in Newton, Massachusetts:

“Yippee! I just ordered my second Blue Star RNB. I own a 30″ RNB in a home in Wisconsin. I’ve had that for two years, and it is a workhorse and looks as good as the day I bought it. I did exhaustive product research before buying BlueStar. I focus on reliability and functionality instead of talk-show celebrity endorsements. This product hands down beats the competition. So, since we are moving to South Dakota, my new kitchen has to have a BlueStar range. So, Blue Star #2 will soon be on the way. Thanks for an outstanding product.”

So when it comes time to refresh your own kitchen, the Madcaps suggest giving BlueStar a once-over.

We are smitten.

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Five Questions for: Anne Rainey Rokahr, Owner, Trouvaille Home, Winston-Salem, NC

Gang:

Every once in a while you stumble upon a small slice of wonderland, a magical place where everything is chic, gracious, gorgeous, and welcoming. Such was the case a few years back when John and I discovered Trouvaille Home, an incredible, beautifully curated home and design outpost in the heart of buzzy, fun Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

So who was the brains behind this world-class casbah of chic, John and I wondered. We finally met the grand poobah of panache herself Anne Rainey Rokahr, the owner of TH, and, naturally, we were instantly smitten and have become fast friends.

Anne Rainey Rokahr, the style siren behind Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s chic Trouvaille Home.

So what makes Trouvaille Home so exceptional? The mix, folks, the mix, the mix!

  • Vintage furnishings!
  • Gorgeous new finds!
  • Scintillating vignettes!
  • Surprise and delight!

Trouvaille Home offers the perfect pairing of old and new served up with gracious, just-right service. Plus, we are crazy for Anne’s dog, Henry, who is always holding court at Trouvaille Home, but that’s just an added bonus to the all-around chicté.

So how did the ravishing Madame Rokahr hone her spot-on sensibility?

Here’s Anne’s bio in her own words:

“After graduating from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia, Anne landed in NYC and began her career as a film and commercial producer in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Her documentaries and features have premiered and been nominated for awards at the Cannes, Tribeca, and Dubai International Film Festivals. Anne relocated to Dubai in 2006 as the Head of Production for film company Desert Door Productions. While in Dubai, Anne was voted one of Ahlan Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Dubai.” Anne was also Agency Director of NYC Fashion and Beauty PR firm RED PR and named a top 25 Publicist by Women’s Wear Daily. Anne returned to her hometown of Winston-Salem, NC from Dubai in 2008 where she settled in working as a consultant for clients in NYC. In 2009 she purchased The Snob Shop, a high-end consignment boutique where she had once worked as a girl of 13. In 2014 Anne brought to fruition a longtime vision and passion by founding Trouvaille Home, an extraordinary interior design and home furnishings store in Winston-Salem, NC.”

So let’s learn a bit more about this peripatetic style maker:

The exterior of Trouvaille Home.

  1. MADCAP COTTAGE (MC): What sparked your passion for design? Did you rearrange your room as a child or teenager?

ANNE RAINEY ROKAHR (ARR): When I was around 7 or 8 years old my mother snuck into my room on Christmas Eve while I was sleeping. She somehow managed to put a new comforter and pillowcases on my bed and hung curtains that she had made out of a set of matching sheets. That Christmas morning—and that Springmaid riotous floral print—is etched in my memory. Waking up to a transformation of my little room was so magical. I think I’ve spent my life trying to recapture that feeling and deliver the same to my clients.

  1. MCC: You were in films for many years. How did that background shape your eventual foray into owning a home design store and crafting bespoke interiors?

ARR: Yes, my first career was as a commercial and film producer. I was always drawn to the art department. The way that a great Set Designer and Director of Photography can create such a depth of emotion with color, texture, and light—before the people, words, or music even come into play—is remarkably powerful. A well-designed room should evoke feelings the moment you enter. Creating an interior design shop in which every piece is selected and staged with the same level of passion and attention to detail was manifesting itself in my brain as early as I can remember. It took me years of experience, travel, living abroad, entertaining, historical reading, and conversation to develop the full vision and execution of the shop.


3. MC: Tell us about Trouvaille Home and the magical mix of new and old. What are you trying to accomplish at TH? What makes TH so unique and special?

The charming Henry, Trouvaille Home’s scampish mascot.

ARR: What makes Trouvaille special is the fact that every piece in the shop is selected by me. I only buy what I love, with no particular bent towards contemporary, antique, or mid-century. Each piece in the shop is inherently well proportioned and specific in its beauty. I sit in every piece of custom upholstery we consider to make sure it’s comfortable and functional. I don’t carry complete collections of new furniture, I carefully select my favorites. I never build a room or a setting from a neutral. I start with a spectacular piece and fill in the rest. The result is a pleasant tension between old and new, glamour and comfort, texture and form. It’s a complete departure from the pre-fabricated, neutral, and fearful design that unfortunately saturates the market currently. Plus, we serve champagne.

  1. MC: Favorite room?

ARR: My porch

MCC: Hotel?

ARR: Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf in Dubai

MCC: Cocktail?

ARR: Old Fashioned

MCC: Destination?

ARR: Any capital city in Europe

MCC: Favorite interior designer of the past?

ARR: Tony Duquette

  1. MCC: Describe your perfect room.

ARR: A giant parlor with tons of French doors leading to a slate garden area and a vista beyond. Sunny and bright during the day and moody incandescent lighting at night. Citrus trees by the windows in winter and a baronial fireplace.  Dedicated to entertaining friends and family. Tons of intimate, lush seating areas. Sparkle and gold. Antiques and family heirlooms. Hand-painted scenic wallpaper. No TV. And a fully stocked bar, of course.

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How To: Refresh That Interior

Gang:

The Madcap Cottage gents believe that good design should be available to all, whether you have access to an interior designer or not. Hence, the Demystifying Design blog is all about bringing good, accessible—and yet always-aspirational—design home and thinking outside of the box to craft interiors magic. If you want to look like your neighbors’ home, go read another blog. But if you want to create bespoke interiors that overflow with personality (not ours, but yours!) and pizzazz, then you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we are taking you down a short path to a few fun tweaks that can quickly and easily transform your home and take that “nice” and make it a knockout.

  1. Layer, layer, layer! Use antiques and vintage pieces to bring decorate with layeringyour home’s storyline to life. Rooms that feature all-new furnishings and accessories look like showrooms, and who wants that? In the former Madcap Cottage front hall in Brooklyn, an antique English hall tree mixes with vintage and contemporary art. The ottomans tucked under the faux bamboo table offered the perfect occasional seating at the frequent dinner parties.
  2. Add a game table. Why always sit in your dining room at dinner parties? And the kitchen can become such a mess withadd a game table cooking and whatnot, so you might want to always pull up to the kitchen island. Our suggestion is to find a vintage game table that you can place in a cozy corner of the living room where you can segue from cocktails to dinner, board games to more cocktails. Here, the Madcap gents’ House of Bedlam living room with a vintage chinoiserie game table that we painted to give it new life.

  3. Use wallpaper to hide a room’s architectural flaws. wallpaper in decoratingFor example, here’s a 1950s-era bathroom that the Madcaps are designing in Sarasota, Florida. We kept the original pink tile and added a fun tropical wallpaper not only to play up the tile—but also to mask the soffit that runs along the ceiling. The wallpaper tricks the eye into not noticing the soffit thanks to the profusion of traveler’s palm leaves.
  4. In the same Sarasota, Florida design project, we used a jauntydecorate with stripesgreen-and-white cabana stripe paper from York Wallcoverings to lend visual interest to a long hallway that had anything but pizzazz. Thanks to the paper, the hallway now has architectural élan and seems much larger than it truly is. Some artwork upon the walls, and the space will be complete.
  5. The Madcaps are huge fans of catalogues and big-box stores: Good design resides everywhere. Here, we took the Naples

    chair updateRattan Chair from Grandin Road and custom upholstered it in the Mill Reef pattern from the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @Home collection. A rich blue contrast welt adds the perfect punctuation mark to the seat. Lesson to be learned: Take the “store bought” and tweak it to make it your own.

Raleigh, North Carolina Showhouse
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2017 Raleigh, North Carolina Showhouse

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls:

Recently, we were asked to participate in a showhouse in our backyard—well, Raleigh, North Carolina—that would benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs Serving Wake County, and we decided to jump in.

John and I have designed several showhouses over the years, and we love using our passion for interior design—and our love for telling a good story—to help a great cause.

Soon thereafter, however—and over multiple martinis—we questioned whether we were taking on too much…

Raleigh, North Carolina Showhouse

We arrive at the stunning custom home crafted by DJF Builders that would soon transform into the Boys & Girls Clubs Serving Wake County Showhouse.

The Pros:

  • The wonderful team behind the showhouse asked us to design the home’s main public space, the Family Room, hurrah!
  • We would showcase our fabrics for Robert Allen @Home, including the just-released A Collector’s Eye collection
  • We love the Boys & Girls Clubs, a great cause that can really change a child’s life!
  • We are crazy about the quality and vision of DJF Builders, the Raleigh-based custom-home firm that was building the showhouse.

The Cons:

  • John and I had heaps of travel planned just before the showhouse opening, so would we be able to pull off a showstopper?
  • Honestly, we are a bit nutty with the workload right now, so, again, could we pull it off with grace under pressure?

Well, John and I rallied—and aligned ourselves with amazing partners—and our Family Room has come together swimmingly.

Stay tuned for updates from the gala party on March 23. Will we see you there?

Here’s the storyline that we wrote and some behind-the-scenes images from the work in progress:

Step inside the Family Room, aka, the Rumpus Room, and you are whisked off to the isle of Mustique, that glorious British enclave that mixes a spirited dose of tropic-luxe tempered with continental chic.

“Would you care for a libation,” she offers. “Call me Canasta. Canasta Jones. And how about a rubber? A rubber of bridge, you naughty boy!”

Raleigh, North Carolina Showhouse

Of course, we broke out our watercolors and set to work sketching our vision for the Family Room.

Ah, but that’s a tale for another day, n’est-ce pas? To bring our whimsical storyline to life in glorious, cinematic Technicolor, we turned to our friends at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams for a mix of crisp, chic upholstery, upholstered in Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @Home fabrics. All upholstery will go to Raleigh’s Green Chair Project after the show house wraps up to make a family in need’s life that much sunnier! We layered-in our Cove End pattern in Daffodil upon the window treatments from the Madcap Cottage for Smith + Noble collection. The case goods from Woodbridge Furniture shimmer in the sun with their bespoke brilliance, from the Linwood game table and the Merrion side chairs to the Montecito Etagere that holds far-flung accessories courtesy of Ballard Designs. The lighting was plucked from Currey & Co., and the shimmering Mansion chandelier that dangles overhead offers just the right mix of tall, tan, and absolutely terrific.

“Hello, stranger, peel me a grape,” you coo, and he obliges.

The heaven-sent wallpaper, the tantalizing Bali Leaves from York Wallcoverings, pairs deliciously with the Stonington Gray hue from Benjamin Moore.

Welcome aboard, close your eyes, and dream of balmy, palmy afternoons. “Destination unknown,” she purrs, and you follow her lead, visions of endless, sun-kissed legs and Cherries in the Snow lips filling your head. Dream, dream big. Bold. And bespoke. For no one remembers the shrinking violets, mon petit chou. “Share the fantasy,” she says, the sound of thunder, the crash of a far-off drum, a whiff of opium and Fracas, mixed, and night fell like a shade.

See some of the details of our room:

fast, fabulous, and fun design

Design: Fast, Fabulous, and Fun!

Gang:

We hope you are having a great week! The Madcap Cottage gents are in Sarasota, Florida working on the overhaul of a mid-century ranch home as part of our “Fast and Fabulous” interior design program, a flexible program that allows for a design overhaul at a reasonable cost and fast-tracked time frame.

fast, fabulous, and fun design

The Madcap Cottage gents understand limited budgets and tight time constraints, so we have developed an interior design program that makes getting a piece of us easy…

Have you heard of this Madcap Cottage offering?!

No? Here’s an overview:

The “Fast and Fabulous” scheme allows us to create the home of your dreams from a distance, on a controlled budget, within a retail-ready framework, and on a narrow time frame.

Instead of meeting in person, we schedule a series of Skype calls and email questionnaires that will allow us to get inside your head to bring your design vision to life. You will need to be quite involved in the process and provide us with detailed measurements, etc. All items that we select will be retail available so that you can order furnishings, accessories, window treatments, etc. on your own.

The Timeline:

  1. Pre-Virtual Meeting #1
    1. You provide us with the following:
      1. Detailed measurements: we provide a template that delineates exactly what we need
      2. Description of a story line: i.e. How do you want the home to function and how do you see the home being used
      3. Design likes and dislikes
      4. Any inspiration pictures you want to share
      5. Overall budget broken down by category: from construction & finishing to furnishings
  2. Pre-Virtual Meeting #2
    1. We collect all information from Pre-Virtual Meeting #1 and send a package of inspiration interiors to you
    2. After you receive the package, you give us your feedback and comments
  3. Virtual Meeting #1
    1. We send a presentation with initial broad thoughts on the space and how it would be used
      1. This includes suggestions for:
        1. Wall treatments
        2. Lighting
        3. Other matters that impact construction, remodeling, and space planning
    2. We delve into furniture placement, but not specific pieces
    3. You give your thoughts and responses, and we discuss via Skype
  4. Virtual Meeting #2
    1. We present a final design plan using the information and discussion from Virtual Meeting #1
    2. You give your feedback and we cover one set of major changes/revisions
  5. Virtual Meeting #3
    1. We present any revisions, budget and numbers from the selections made from Virtual Meeting #2

Your final plan includes:

  • Specifications and pricing on all products
  • Ordering information on all products
  • Detailed drawings of each space based on client’s measurements
  • Detailed paint and finish plan

Are you ready to get fabulous fast?

Learn more about the Fast and Fabulous design program by emailing us at jason@madcapcottage.com

We can’t wait to get started!