Loecke & Nixon

Décor - - Life In Color -

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

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