Before & After: Colorful Stair Masters

Madcap Cottage

Stairways are often throwaway spaces, dismissed and undecorated save for the random diagonal march of old school photos. Not if you venture down the colorful rabbit hole of Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke, the dapper duo behind Madcap Cottage. Hang on to your knickers boys and girls, because the After is like Dorothy's first step outside Kansas. White, it's not.

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For this client project, ("a charming-on-the-outside cottage on Long Island," says Jason) fearless colorists and daring decorators John and Jason (of The Madcap Cottage) did what they do best, and what has become their signature style: a modern cottage jumble of cheek and cheer. Nothing matches, but everything goes, partly for the riot of pattern, color and obvious sense of happy the guys regularly impart, with paint, paper, a love of textiles and trim.

"The staircase," says Jason, "was boring, glaringly white and lacked soul." In their colorful wake, nothing remains of the original. But soul, it now has.

With "Coco" wallpaper from Thibaut's Chelsea collection, bright buttery yellow on baseboards and trim, and a zippy runner from Dash & Albert, no inch was left unconsidered. But it's not all whimsy: that striped runner is hardwearing, space-expanding, color-unifying and dirt-defying.

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Above the window, a jaunty valance in a Jim Thompson fabric, edged in a bold orange grosgrain ribbon. "We love using grosgrain ribbon: It's so chic and so economical."

This Long Island lily was further gilded with a gallery-style installation of prints that give the walls instant history, and dare you not to run up the stairs. That mix of fun and fine art is also another Madcap signature. "Really have fun with your artwork... mix square and rectangular pieces with circles and ovals for visual interest and engagement."

"We wanted to make the staircase into a focal point, a place to linger and enjoy the journey up and down the stairs." Step by step, its seems like they did exactly that.

You might remember the color-fearless John and Jason from their Brooklyn House Tour, so chock-full and detail-laden it had almost as many installments as the Twilight saga. See it here, here, and here!

(Images: The Madcap Cottage)

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