Loecke & Nixon
If you find yourself amid a wonderland of whimsical drapery and patterned upholstery, chances are the design was dreamed up by designers John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon. After leaving the hype of New York City, where they worked as magazine and television editors, the duo established their design firm, Madcap Cottage, in High Point, North Carolina, a town imbued with Southern charm and artisan tradition. Nixon explains how punchy color can be used to craft an elegant home.
Q: Where do you start when trying to gauge what colors, and how much color, to use in a client’s home?
A: We’re very much about pattern and punch, but it’s not like all our clients’ houses look like ours. What we try to do is push deeper into their experiences, to incorporate colors that bring in more personality. Everybody needs an editor, so it’s a conversation with our clients. We end up editing each other, understanding better what they want as we go, and elevating the content through dialogue.
Q: Are there any colors you find you use again and again?
A: Green is a neutral for us and always has been—it’s cool and soothing, fresh and inviting in all seasons. We do a lot of moldings and baseboards in it. I think pink—a salmon, conch shell pink—makes you look good, and can put a smile on your face. It can be masculine or feminine, and it attracts all ages.
Q: You recently launched your own fabric line with Calico Corners. Why did you decide to partner with them?
A: We are all about building a community—taking what we know and engaging others. Clients can go to Calico Corners and create custom pieces from our designs with or without a designer, so the process is very accessible and approachable. I think there’s been a real democratization of design—where people want bespoke pieces, but on a budget—and companies like Calico Corners make that possible. Q: What advice do you give clients who are afraid of color? A: Try to use pattern as a way to introduce layers and personality. It’s a more neutral way to add color than through solids. Pattern can be many things—it can be fabric or tile, traditional or modern—it’s very versatile.
Q: What are your time-tested style tips?
A: We’re all about layering—of fabrics, and of old and new. In every room we design, we incorporate vintage pieces. We want a home to feel accumulated over time, and well loved.
“Working as editors taught us how to be great storytellers. We just reached a point where we thought, why are we writing everyone else’s stories? We should create our own. So we did.” —DESIGNER JASON OLIVER NIXON