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Sitting Pretty!


Hello, hello! It’s the Madcap Cottage gents, the fun and frisky fellows behind the print and pattern-packed fabric line Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home, available through Calico outposts (and online) from coast to coast.

Think of us as your virtual interior designers… We love to hear from our friends and fans and are happy to tackle your design queries. So be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook so that you can reach out to us and follow our decidedly Madcap and marvelous adventures.

A little more about us, so that you can really get inside our head and see what inspires us—and our fabric collection.

We split our time between North Carolina and New York and are known for our whimsical use of color and pattern. Along with our pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia, we scour the world for eclectic finds that capture our unique and gimlet-eyed viewpoint. Imagine a British country house that pairs Granny’s antiques and a spirited dash of Chinoiserie chic with a dash of Morocco-meets-India élan. Shake, stir, then pour. “If you are looking for beige and boring, bark up someone else’s tree,” quips Jason. “We live and breathe ‘whimsy,’ but our projects are bespoke, sophisticated, and perfectly catered to our clients’ sensibility and ‘brand.’ They are also spectacularly livable. John and I have dogs and nieces and nephews—we get it.”

In this installment of the Madcap Cottage mandate, let’s talk about mixing multiple fabrics upon upholstery.

“What,” we hear you saying, “Mix fabrics?!”

Yes, dear friends, let’s think out of the box and have some fun with pairing multiple fabrics upon a chair or sofa to craft a comfortable, chic piece that is utterly unique. Think about the back of a dining chair, for instance: The back is just as important as the front, and, in fact, you probably see the back a whole lot more than you do the reverse where you actually sit. So why use a different fabric to give your dining room seat’s exterior some extra élan. Or cover the back of a wingchair with a print to round out a neutral upon the front. Even throw in contrasting decorative pillows to freshen up a chair or settee that lacks verve and vigor.

Think big, make a statement, and have some fun. Those are the only “rules” in the Madcap Cottage playbook.

Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing…

At the Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse, the Madcaps covered terrific slipper chairs in our Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home collection, including seat cushions in Isleboro Eve and throw pillows in Mill Reef. We used a Robert Allen inky blue neutral for the body of the slipper chair that references the hue of the Isleboro Eve floral. Fun, right? If you don’t want to go all out, slipcover your seat cushions to get a lot of look. Then layer in some fun decorative pillows to add a pop of color.

Weenie and Amy Petunia, two of our pound-rescue pups, love to loll about the Madcap Cottage sunroom in High Point, North Carolina. We covered a vintage chair and ottoman in Windsor Park from the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home collection and added a bright yellow welt and rich pink tape trim to add extra impact. Welting is a great way to add another layer of visual interest to a piece of upholstery. It’s the details that really take a house and make it a home.

In the Madcap Cottage master bedroom, pattern takes center stage—and how! Note the vintage bench at the foot of the bed that we recovered in two Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home fabrics, Mirador Morn and Cove End, and finished off with a chic, emerald-green welt. And take in the two slipper chairs at the foreground that boast Cove End from Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home upon the back and base and a vintage fabric upon the seat cushion. Again, contrast welting adds just the right finishing touch.

The Madcaps took a beige-colored wingback chair and gave it new life with multiple patterns. The Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home Bermuda Bay wraps the front of the chair, and the back features the Madcap Cottage Cove End fabric. A kicky yellow welt is the cherry upon the top of this delicious sundae of a chair. Once reupholstered, we took this chair and floated it in a room so that guests can enjoy both the front and the back. Hint: When mixing pattern, choose one color—say, green—and use that to connect the dots between multiple fabrics. The greens can be different hues, so don’t try to match the shades but rather move up and down the color scale and have some fun.

Click here to see all that the Madcap Cottage Collection has to offer!


Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith

Madcap Cottage Interview

Madcap Cottage Interview