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Inside Design MAY - JUNE 2019


Pretty in Pink

Paint & Paper

Issue no. 01


L U X U R Y | ST Y L E | C O M F O R T

COCO & DASH Invites You To

Celebrate Southern Style

Meet the Authors Refreshments

Saturday, June 22 3 - 5 pm

The Scoop O

ur vision for Coco & Dash has always been based on inspiring a true love of home through unpretentious luxury, style, and comfort. Beginning now we’re excited to share

with you our lifestyle point of view in the form of Inside Design, our new online magazine that will be published bi-monthly. In our inaugural issue we feature our good friends, the incomparable John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, founders of Madcap Cottage, in Designer’s Dozen. They answer questions about how they started, what inspires them, and what’s next—a FUN and informative read! We also share thoughts from Coco & Dash’s own in-the-know store director, Heather Turner, about shopping “then and now”, and our uber talented merchandising director, Trey Hoffmann, provides insightful reviews on the newest lifestyle and design books. We will talk style, shopping, interiors, and even share advance news on upcoming store events that are always a hit.   With all that is going on in the world these days it’s more important than ever to be mindful of the precious moments we experience with family and friends in homes that provide happiness and inspire gratitude. Hopefully, Inside Design will be fun, entertaining, and worth your valuable time.   Let us know what you think!

T&C | 03

Inside Instagram


f you don’t already follow us on Instagram you are missing out on the fun! Coco & Dash

shares about our unique aesthetic, lifestyle, in-store events, and much more. In the

meantime, here’s a look back at some of our favorite moments. Follow us @cocoanddash

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Shop Notes


hile visiting my mother a few months

ago, I was culling through several decades worth of recipes and noticed a few that were conspicuously written on the back of bank deposit slips. I asked her why in the world she would have recipes from the bank and her response was, “Well, you know, when I would go into the bank, I would just start chatting with the tellers about our families and dayto day life and, inevitably, we would end up exchanging recipes.”

I began to think about how different our way of banking is not to mention all the other interactions when we're out and about in our everyday life. When my mother would shop for clothing, the

women in the boutique knew her sizes and her

preferences. These days, the chances of finding a dressing room attendant are slim, let alone one that already knows

what we like.

That’s how we know Coco & Dash is special. We provide something that doesn’t exist at a big box store or from a web

site — an excellent customer experience. It is the key element that sets us apart.  Not only do we care that you are in

our shop, but we genuinely want to get to know you. We want to hear about

how your day is going. We want to meet your kids and your puppies. We are

proud to provide an environment where you feel a warm welcome while

perusing our beautiful furniture and home accessories. And, you never know . . .

you may end up with my grandmother’s strudel recipe on the back of your


Come say hi!

Heather Turner Store Director

Heather helping Midland designer Patty Lowery with some beautiful purchases. | 05

Designer’s Dozen

Channeling AUNTIE MAME

John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon are the creative forces behind Madcap Cottage, a lifestyle brand that

encompasses sophisticated fun, history, whimsy, and grace. Coco & Dash can’t get enough of them.

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oco & Dash: Everyone always wants to know how Madcap Cottage was drawn to design. Can you share a little about your path?

John Loecke: I grew up in a family in Davenport, Iowa that was constantly rearranging furniture and tackling renovation projects. There are 5 kids, so we were a scampish, rag-tag lot always “assisting” our dad with a deck addition or helping mom move the dining room furniture to the living room - and then back again to where it originally was. My parents were always reatrundling us off to see open houses hitting the market and perusing the home listings in the back of the newspaper. I guess I inherited that gene. I studied graphic design and journalism at Iowa State before moving to New York to work at various magazines including House Beautiful, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, and American Homestyle & Gardening. I got tired of writing about-and-styling-everyone else’s projects, so I took my magazine training and launched a design business. Jason kept his day job just in case! Jason Oliver Nixon: My parents were always rearranging furniture, too, and would jump between periods in their Mediterranean-style, 1920s-era Tampa, Florida home. There was a distinct “Spanish” period that morphed to “Memphis” and then “Miami Tropic-Luxe.” We were always at Calico Corners picking fabrics and thinking up new ways to slipcover a sofa. The “Dakota Jackson Minimalist” period seems to have lasted the longest at the Nixon household. In high school, I read every design magazine under the sun and would cover my textbooks with pages ripped from Cote Sud and Architectural Digest that I cobbled together

with Scotch tape. Fast forward, and I interned in college (Colby in Maine) at Conde Nast’s HG magazine in New York for creative director Charles Gandee before, eventually, running the Niche Media group of magazines (Hamptons, Gotham, Los Angeles Confidential, etc.). I was also a producer at E! and the Food Network and temped for a while just because I was between gigs. Eventually, John and I decided to hang up the shelter shingle for ourselves, and the business took off. C&D: What room do you enjoy designing most? John: A library. I love curating a space that can take you anywhere in the world in a wonderful arm chair thanks to the pile of books sitting beside you. Jason: Anything that opens onto a garden. I am a passionate gardener and much prefer plants to people. Give me a sun room or dining room that empties onto a terrace, and it’s Manna from heaven. What is Manna, by the by, note to self, must Google. As I like to say, “If it works in your garden, it will work in your home.” I think that’s why green is such a Madcap neutral. I also like to say, “Wine is the elixir of the gods,” but that’s fodder for another blog, n’est-ce pas?

C&D: What room are you most often asked to help with? Jason: If you’ve got the cash, we will show you the world. We are happy to tackle anything. Foyers are often the starting point for our storyline and then we scamper merrily about a home bringing sparkle inspired by travel, far-flung adventure, wit, and old-school glamour. Just don’t forget to leave the money on the table.

C&D: What is something we would always see in a room designed by you? John: The color green, fretwork, antique and vintage furnishings, wallpaper, florals, and a painted floor.

Jason: Green walls. Rattan. Chintz. Heaps of vintage design books. Houseplants such as orchids and begonias. A pug or three. Something ugly, just because. Nothing fussy. A racy novel to shock the neighbors.

Never match, match, match. Watch the variance of scale, and always have something ugly in a room. John Loecke

C&D: What is something we would never see in a room designed by you? John: Burnt orange. A recliner or any other motion furniture, unless we designed it and it was chic, chic, chic. That furniture you see at stores with drink holders built in. Dear lord in heaven. Velvet paintings. A matched set of furniture. And over-ruffled window treatments. Jason: Chairs with furry upholstery where you might find last month’s popcorn binge fest and chairs that hang from the ceiling like creatures in that film “Alien.” Anything Memphis. Farmhouse antics with pitchforks and directional signage and rusty clock faces. I want to hate the idea of a round bed and white carpet, but the Jayne Mansfield tendencies I harbor deep within could allow for a delightful dalliance. 

C&D: What are the biggest design mistakes you think people make? John: Never match, match, match. Watch the variance of scale, and always have something ugly in a room. I can’t take it when folks copy their neighbors and TV shows, eek. More risks need to be taken. Life is too short to be boring. Jason: We don’t really believe in “mistakes”. If you love something then embrace it and celebrate it. Who cares what your mother-in-law thinks? Just don’t wear white pumps after Labor Day. Although, I once created a “Flowers in the Attic”-themed bedroom that probably could have used a slight edit.

C&D: What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as a designer? | 07

Jason: Not firing a client early on who we knew wouldn’t be a good fit. Trust your gut.

C&D: What do you consider to be your biggest asset as a designer? John: We are not afraid to take risks, and we have a good understanding of color.

Jason: John and I are storytellers and have a passion for history and travel and old movies and cocktails and dining out and such that weave into our design web. Plus, we have a distinct point of view. We bring a client’s personal brand to life—not our brand. We guide the conversation and curate the content.

C&D: What’s the best piece of advice you would offer someone about hiring a designer? John: Hire someone who will challenge you—otherwise, you can do it yourself. Jason: Transparency is key. If you don’t understand the costs associated with hiring an interior designer, ask upfront so there are no misunderstandings down the road.

We bring a client’s personal brand to life - not our brand. We guide the conversation and curate the content. Jason Oliver Nixon

C&D: What do you think every designer should know how to do? John: You need to have an understanding of how furniture, window treatments, and such are made. Know the craft. Jason: Know how to mix a killer vodka martini and be able to create names for colors that are better than what you might find on the average nail polish. For example, in our world “purple” just might be “An Aubergine Sonata in C Major.” Sounds so much more dramatic and inviting, don’t you think, when discussing the hue that you applied to a client’s living room wall… Who cares that there’s no C Major—or maybe there is— but that’s irrelevant as our piano teacher flunked us as we were more interested in theater and putting Sun-in in our hair. Faction. Fact meets fiction. Heaven. I sort of wish I had learned stenography, but now I am too old and plus you can outsource tasks such as that. “Outsource” is my favorite verb besides “beaucoup encore” and that might be an adverb or dangling modifier.
 And two for fun...

C&D: What is your favorite way to entertain in the summer? 08 |

John: Outdoors with the dogs. Southside cocktails and

good music. Lots of candles and fun people. Easy, relaxed.

Jason: Tacos and rose wine in the back garden under a crazy assortment of paper lanterns with the Sonos speakers cranked up and hurricane lanterns everywhere and the dogs scampering about. High-low. Honestly, I could eat that lowfat shredded Mexican-style taco cheese from the deli section at Lidl all day long but I tell party goers that it’s organic from Vermont or Idaho and that adds an exotic spin to the “Night of the Iguana” or “Charro in Chihuahua” theme or whatever.
 C&D: If you could design any room for a celebrity from the past, who would it be and which room?

John: The Queen Mother. We would lap up the chintz and the gin. We would not discuss Wallis Simpson but would toast the bodacious bonhomie that Princess Margaret celebrated on the isle of Mustique. “On that note,” the QM would say, chuckling, “Fill ‘er up, I need a double.” Jason: Nero. The dining room. Oh, the opportunities and nuances. “Whilst Rome Burned” custom wallpaper from Gracie Studio and maybe a lovely sectional upon which the libidinous Agrippina could luxuriate and air her grievances while being fed grapes. Have you seen the Catullus console table, I would offer. Follow Jason and John on Instagram @madcapcottage

I love curating a space that can take you anywhere in the world in a wonderful arm chair thanks to the pile of books sitting beside you. John Loecke | 09

Insider’s Review with Trey Hoffmann Merchandising Director

Designers Shayla Copas and Eric Ross are coming to Coco & Dash! Plan to take an afternoon break and join us

for Celebrate Southern Style on Saturday, June 22 from 3 - 5 pm. You don’t want to miss it!


our Seasons of Entertaining will make you

want to have dinner parties if you don’t already

do so. Shayla Copas has created some of the most

beautiful table scapes I have seen. They really will take your breath away! What I like about this book is that Shayla

Enduring Southern Homes by Eric Ross tells us a

to the menu -- including recipes for every season. She has

south. This book showcases some of Eric’s most

your next dinner party will be the party that’s talked about

with his “Worth Noting” tips so we can get the look and

Entertain and enjoy!

the south.

gives you ideas for everything from decorating your table

story of home owners who are deeply rooted in the

taken all the guesswork out of entertaining. With this book,

fabulous projects over the years. Eric gives us a bonus

for the rest of the year. So send out the invitations.

charm of the southern style we are so drawn to here in | 11

Five Fabulous Favorites

Mid-Century Italian White Glazed Terracotta Monkeys, $3,400.

Scaled Ivory Lamp with Custom Color Shade. $675.

Linen Pillow, 22� x 22�, $175.

Bergamot Lavender Candle, $42.

Bistro Chair, $395.

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Pretty in Pink


1. Rive Gauche in Pink $815 2. Amaryllis Guinea Pillow $355 3. Pink Palm Pillow $385 4. African Beaded Animal $148



4 | 13



ne of the most fulfilling aspects of decorating a home is selecting art. While using a mix of styles and mediums when creating spaces reflects personality

and adds soul to a home, it can also energize traditional furnishings and keep things current. Here’s a look at some of our favorites. | 14

& Paper

Opposite Page, Clockwise: Snowy Westpoint Day, $1800, Winter Vineyard, $1200, Boats on Canal, $1850, San Francisco, $2700. Bottom, Left: Chair Still Life, $1050. This page, Left: Sevres Reunion, $445, Sevres Harvest, $445, Sevres Sea, $445, Sevres Portico, $445. Below: Snow Leopard, $3200, Cheetah, $3200. | 15

Life In Bloom


eeting the guy with the funny name was like finding a long lost friend. From the moment we were seated next to each other at an event for the Dallas Market Center, I knew I had found a sweet soul and a partner in crime. Meet J Schwanke. Fabulously talented, award winning, and known as THE foremost Flower Design Expert in the American Flower Industry. Seriously, he knows everything . . . about flowers. Born in a snowstorm during a flower convention in Nebraska, J has literally been in the flower industry since birth. He grew up running through the greenhouses of his families’ flower business and his love only continued to blossom. See what I did there? “Blossom”. J is the founder and CEO of the first online community for flower lovers, both professional and enthusiast alike: They share a passion for flowers through projects, photos, articles, blogs, and chat forums. encourages everyone to experience the joy and tangible benefits of including flowers in their daily lives. No stranger to public speaking or to the camera, J recently announced the launch of his new Television Show - J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom. It airs on PBS Stations all across the USA. For airtime’s in your area, check out I hope you enjoy watching. J’s charm and smile is absolutely infectious. | 16

In Memory of Jasper


2819 N. Henderson Avenue | Dallas, Texas 75206 214.370.9743

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Inside Design Magazine