photographs by Justin Bernhaut text by Ariana Speyer
the goal A place where guests feel as if they’ve
stepped into a British country manor souped up with splashes of color.
renovating fix The Tudor-style four-story
underwent a substantial yearlong renovation, but some rooms, like the living room, required less work, so they focused on emphatic decorating flourishes. However, they did invest in Andersen wood windows throughout (vinyl had been swapped in for some of the originals) for a sense of tradition.
decorating fix Decked in a deft mix of florals
and graphics, a cozy seating area lets visitors feel immediately at home. Less-than-perfect parquet floors were redone in playful stripes, introducing the fresh green that acts as a universal neutral.
time-saving tip Using a floor paint by Farrow & Ball,
which contains polyurethane, meant that they didn’t have to seal the surface afterward. It’s also super-durable; as Nixon says, “You can spill wine and just mop it up.”
the goal The two love to entertain and
cook (Nixon went to culinary school), so they needed a highly useful area that nevertheless captured their outsize personalities. “Just because it’s a work space doesn’t mean it has to be dull,” Nixon says.
renovating fix The kitchen lacked
modern conveniences, like adequate storage or a workable sink and stove section, so Nixon and Loecke gutted it and brought in designer Christopher Peacock to create furniture-style cabinets. “Custom can be expensive,” Loecke says, “but the trade-off is that it really lets us use the space.”
decorating fix Nixon and Loecke
continued the colorful mood with a decidedly un-kitcheny Brunschwig & Fils botanical wallpaper and tiles by Ann Sacks. The straightforward hues and classic design elements of the marble countertop and farm sink have a grounding effect.
time-saving tip An unusual object can
help give a spanking-new space a sense of history. What the pair call their “Palm Beach monkey sconces” (the one shown above is dubbed Sid; its mate, Nancy, hangs nearby) were Des Moines flea-market finds.
the goal An open area that was both fanciful and
functional—not something solely for dinner parties.
renovating fix Replacing the paneling with a chair rail made
the atmosphere lighter. The leaded glass above the doorway was lovely, but it was attached to a frame that had to be removed, so the couple installed a new frame, reusing the glass at their country house upstate.
decorating fix Positioning a bar at one end (left) and a settee near
the doorway made the room more multipurpose. Nixon and Loecke then added personal touches, commissioning friend Given Campbell to custom-color a wallpaper that has an interlocking “J” pattern (for Jason and John, natch).
DIY tip “ Ribbons are a quick way to customize for little money,”
says Loecke. To wit, the window-valance trim is fashioned from a strip of grosgrain ribbon.
the goal Transforming the three-flight staircase into a
gallery that would tie the whole house together.
renovating fix Although Nixon spent many late nights
stripping the banister, he ultimately decided that its ho-hum design wasn’t worth rescuing. The couple gave in and rebuilt it, but retained the original paneling for its detailing.
decorating fix Art keeps the eye “constantly engaged,”
Loecke says. They sketched out how to arrange their collection of more than 150 pieces—everything from a Mapplethorpe photo to prints bought on London’s Portobello Road.
pro tip Papering walls in grass cloth offers texture and
masks nail holes—a real plus when hanging so many works. “If you goof up, who cares?” Nixon says.
the goal Turning a quiet part of the house
into a comfortable, secluded retreat for friends and family.
renovating fix To concoct a distinct realm for
visitors, two petite rooms were morphed into one. A deck made by Trex, which uses reclaimed wood and recycled plastic in its designs, was also incorporated, extending from a new French door that overlooks the garden. Crown moldings were installed—an add that, according to Nixon, “can really provide some architecture and make it feel like a different place.”
decorating fix Cabbage-rose wallpaper on the
ceiling “draws your eye up and away from the sides of the room” for further visual interest, Nixon says.
quick tip High-gloss oil paint, which was used
on the moldings and trim, is “easy to clean and adds a little sheen,” Loecke says.
Design duo Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke
The stair runner is an easy-to-clean indoor-outdoor rug from Dash & Albert
This bold, traditional- with-a-twist wallpaper creates a lively backdrop!
Skyline Settee: Button Tufted Velvet Chaise Settee - Green