An Iowa native is one half of the interior design duo that’s headlining this weekend’s first-ever Des Moines Holiday Boutique.
The event showcases the latest trends, jewelry, gifts, children’s items and gourmet foods for the holiday season. John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon run a so-called design laboratory with offices in New York and North Carolina. Loecke grew up in Davenport and Des Moines.
“I lived in New York for 25 years after graduating from Iowa State and now have an interior design business with Jason. We’re big into prints and patterns, that’s what we’re known for,” Loecke says. “We just had a book come out, ‘Prints Charming,’ and that’s what we’re here talking about. We’re getting Iowans on board with prints and patterns.”
Their design firm is called Madcap Cottage and Loecke says there’s a method to their madness. “Madcap Cottage is really a sort of sensibility,” Loecke says. “It’s this idea that your home should be fun and your home should make you happy and ‘cottage,’ it could be a really large Newport mansion or it could be a really tiny cottage.”
Nixon says changes don’t have to be expensive or radical to make a positive difference in your space. He suggests starting small, changing out accent pillows or window treatments or just getting new bed linens that make a bolder statement.
“It’s the idea that good designs should be accessible and fun,” Nixon says. “We both had grandparents where you couldn’t go into the living room. I had Italian grandparents where you stuck to the plastic-coated seat coverings. That’s not how we live today. It’s an idea that creating an environment that’s sophisticated and fun and that puts a smile on your face.”
The Des Moines Holiday Boutique runs today through Sunday at the Iowa Events Center and features more than 200 companies and vendors. Loecke and Nixon are making appearances each of the three days.