How to create the perfect porch: Madcap Cottage at the Hampton Showhouse

Transcripts for 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse “Inspired Spaces” John Loecke: One of the things that we try to do with design at Madcap Cottage is create spaces that feel lived in, create spaces that feel like they’ve accumulated over time and that aren’t straight out of a showroom, and I think that can be achieved in many different ways. A lot of it has to do with layering and mixing and matching, and that’s something that we’re known for. Jason Oliver Nixon: Madcap is so excited we designed the covered porch at the Hampton Designer Showhouse. An outdoor space is always a challenge because you’re dealing with weather, the elements, but we were up for the challenge, and I think we’ve brought it together swimmingly. John Loecke: What we were really excited about with doing that space is that the outdoor porch is really an outdoor room. Because it’s covered, we can do a lot more architecturally with it to make it feel like it works with the interior spaces. Jason Oliver Nixon: We wanted to create a focal point that was just off the kitchen that the family that lives in the house can say “wow this is just the perfect space to retreat, relax and very much this sanctuary.” When we designed the space, we were in Portugal, so we were very much inspired by the colors and the feeling and the vibe we saw in Lisbon. The covered porch has a lot of whimsy and fun and you have to look a little bit to notice all the details. The elephant shaped base at the dining table, for instance – it’s really a patio umbrella stand. We decided to turn it into the base for the handpainted table, and it works wonderfully. So there are all these wonderful elements like elephants, tassels that we’ve used, little details that bring that moment to life. John Loecke: The thing that most people get wrong is not having a mix of furnishings in the space. One of the things we do is bring in a mix of materials. Jason Oliver Nixon: We want to show people how to bring prints and color back into their life. Life is short, and it should be lived in Technicolor Both: I’m Jason Oliver Nixon, I’m John Loecke, and welcome to the Hamptons.

For long, languid summer afternoons, there’s no more traditional setting than a porch in the Hamptons. Time slows as you page through a paperback or sip a Sancerre, gazing at the garden and pool.

On the porch at the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse, the decorating directive was to not settle for sameness. As John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of Madcap Cottage designed the covered porch in partnership with Frontgate, they bypassed staid staples, instead employing an eclectic mix of products and patterns.

“When we designed the space, we were in Portugal, so we were very much inspired by the colors and the feeling and the vibe we saw in Lisbon. This covered porch has a lot of whimsy and fun.”

“We wanted to create the perfect space to retreat and relax,” John said. “When we designed the space, we were in Portugal, so we were very much inspired by the colors and the feeling and thevibe we saw in Lisbon. This covered porch has a lot of whimsy and fun.”

With exotic accents, their design reflected a passion for travel and a desire to bring one’s adventures home. Exuberant patterns burst from a rich palette.

“We want to show people how to bring prints and colors back into their life,” Jason said. “Life is short, and it should be lived in Technicolor.”

“The outdoor porch is really an outdoor room,” John said. “We try to create spaces that feel lived-in, that feel like they’ve accumulated over time and  – that aren’t straight out of a showroom. The thing that most people get wrong is not having a mix of furnishings in a space.”

The handwoven rattan of two chaise lounges created a tropical feel, pairing with the natural seashells of the Seashell Side Table. A Tropical Bamboo Lantern and Margaritaville Bamboo Flatware extended the vibe.

Pagoda Lanterns suggested an Asian influence, as did an elephant motif carried through a ceramic statue, pillows and a Handpainted Elephant Umbrella Table. John and Jason used that blue-and-white table as the base for a Handpainted Round Dining Table in matching colors. Jaunty cabana window treatments enclosed the porch and gave it a Southern France sensibility.

And yes, you can pair stripes with patterns as long as there are consistent tones to carry through the space – in this case, green and blue. In short: Don’t be afraid to be a little madcap. “We want to show people how to bring prints and colors back into their life,” Jason said. “Life is short, and it should be lived in Technicolor.”

See all the outdoor furniture and decor John and Jason used in furnishing the Showhouse porch. Please also enjoy guest blogs they wrote during the design process and view other designers’ work at past Hampton Showhouse events.