See the Dollhouse These Designers Bought From the Royal Family

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Instagram / @madcapcottage

From House Beautiful

If you've ever won in an auction, whether it's a vintage radio from eBay, or an exquisite rarity from Sotehby's (perhaps something from the spectacular collection of Mario Buatta pieces—if you were lucky!), it's pretty exciting when you finally get to bring it home. John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, the duo behind interior design firm Madcap Cottage, just got a special delivery all the way from England. Luckily, they unboxed the pieces on Instagram for us to see!

In December, Christie's of London was auctioning off items from the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (aka Queen Elizabeth's late aunt and uncle). The packages had finally arrived safely to the States, and Loecke was finally able to unveil to Nixon what exactly he splurged on. Any guesses? We'll give you a hint: it's something that we here at House Beautiful are very passionate about—we even started our own mini series where we challenged 11 designers to decorate one. Yup... a dollhouse!

Loecke bid on and won a 20th-century dollhouse from the Duke and Duchess's estate in Gloucester. While the dollhouse was used by the kids, the Duke had allegedly wallpapered the interiors himself. Nixon panned the camera to show the Duke's wallpaper job, but the biggest surprise came when the men spotted a picture of a pug laid on top of the wallpaper—even the royals can't resist some cute doggo decor! Loecke had bid on this doll house because it reminded him of one he had growing up, which he modeled after Chatsworth, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's house in Yorkshire.

But there was one still one massive 159 pound package waiting in the driveway. Loecke had also bid on a "sleeper of the auction,” which he explains, means that no one else had bid on it. With a pretty laborious unboxing due to all the heavy-duty packaging, Loecke finally revealed a serpentine cabinet. Despite the piece's massive size, he though this could make the perfect bar—we agree! Always better to have too much space than too little, right!?

To make room for these new pieces, the Madcap Cottage duo mentioned they will be auctioning off some of their old pieces in Hillsboro, North Carolina. Stay tuned for details!

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