John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the dynamic duo behind North Carolina and New York-based interior design firm Madcap Cottage. Known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, the Madcap gents—along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie, and Amy Petunia—scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their 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. The Madcap Cottage gents run their firm—an ever-changing design laboratory—from a former pharmacy in the heart of High Point, North Carolina, and are currently writing a book entitled “Prints Charming” for Abrams on how to bring color and pattern into your home; the book will be released in October 2017.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
We live in High Point, North Carolina’s historic Emerywood in a Regency-style home that dates from the 1930s. We have a stream that rambles through our yard and yet we are exactly five minutes from our office. The nabe is almost like Los Angeles’ stunning Hancock Park in that there are all types of 30s-era architectural styles, from French chateau to Spanish Mediterranean and Georgian. It’s really a special community where homes can still be had for a song.
DeBeen Espresso on Lexington Avenue in High Point has wonderful coffees and baked goods and is locally owned. Debbie, the charismatic owner, also has a yoga studio behind the coffee bar that attracts devotees. John and I don’t do yoga but we feel like we worked out watching everyone plunk down upon their mats as we sip a delicious flavored coffee.
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
98 Asian Bistro on North Main Street is a fantastic, world-class pan-Asian eatery with a giant golden Buddha in the center of the restaurant. It’s a small slice of Buddha Bar in the heart of High Point. The cocktails are potent and perfect, and the eats are stunning. Try the chicken lettuce wraps as you canoodle under the red lanterns that dangle lazily overhead.
Date night destination?
Fourth Street in nearby Winston-Salem, NC for dinner at the Honey Pot (try the Korean-style fried chicken with kimchi) followed by an art house film at the Aperture Cinema. If the date goes really well, we would check into the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, housed within the historic, Deco-era former R.J. Reynolds tower, and lap up the atmospheric luxe.
Buzziest new resturant?
The Full Moon Oyster Bar in nearby Jamestown packs in the crowds for roll-up-your-sleeves oysters paired with craft beers. A buzzy, fun spot with spot-on service. Just plan to wait a while for a seat at the wraparound bar.
Favorite find in the neighborhood?
The Bienenstock Furniture Library is the world’s largest design library and is situated in the heart of downtown High Point and is open to the public. Spend a day here pawing through the incredible selection of design books that date back several centuries, and find your bliss. An amazing resource that doesn’t receive the PR that it should.
Where do you find your favorite go-to hostess gift?
A candle or Madcap Cottage bespoke cocktail napkins from the Madcap Cottage outpost on Church Avenue in downtown High Point, of course! Just call to make an appointment.
Learn more about the Madcap gents here.