It’s amazing to see that what used to be a dreaded growing out phase of hair color and roots is now the “IT” trend literally EVERYWHERE! From hair and nails,   to interior design and the home accessory craze, it is all about OMBRE.

If y’all watched the Academy Award season, you couldn’t miss actor Jared Leto and his long ombre locks. Or Hollywood reality star turned fashion designer Lauren Conrad who seems to have started the trend. Or Bachelor contestest, soon-to-be The Bachelorette, Andi, who famously said “See ya!” to Juan Pablo while rocking her brunette ombre tresses.

Nail polish too–whether it be gradual variations on each nail or on each hand, or given the ombre effect with glitter–have jumped onto this trend’s bandwagon.

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Design has seen its share of ombre too. It’s so fun to search and find a plethora of projects and everyone’s individual take on this look. Here are a few of my faves.

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Ombre walls…..

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Furniture….

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and bathroom tiles!

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We currently have some cool ombre pieces in our Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago too! On our dining table we feature these cool blue-green ombre tapered vases from Global Views

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and this fabulous Kelly Wearstler rug from The Rug Company, appropriately named…ummm.. “Ombre” d’accord!

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There are fabulous new introductions in fabric too that we are loving like this one from Beacon Hill….

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Lighting has not been spared from this trend at all.  This “Flamingo” chandelier from Currey and Company is amazing in all of it’s color washed glory!

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Even food has jumped on the ombre bandwagon. Ombre donuts? YES PLEASE!!

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Goes to show, pretty much anything can be given an ombre makeover. Looks like this trend is here to stay…at least till the next big craze- of which I have quite a few ideas!





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 Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to Traditional Home Magazine! It was such a surprise to be featured in their latest issue! Trad highlighted one of my dearest client’s kitchens  titled, “Stage Presence”- one that allowed me to design “outside of the box”. I am fortunate beyond measure to have amazing clients that become oh-so-much-more- than- that.  We had some serious fun along the way…so much so that project #3 has commenced in Scottsdale, Arizona :)

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My client LOVES to entertain and often has 50 people over in a heartbeat! A mother of four, she often hosts holiday open houses, school and neighborhood gatherings, and pre-prom dinners for up to 80 teenagers!! That was the driving force behind this kitchen remodel. We tweaked the original layout to enlarge and add seating to the island. The wood table originally was supposed to be attached to the island, but we made it freestanding for flexibility. Now, when she entertains, she can pull the table forward to allow room for a bartender to stand between the table and island and serve bubbly.

Cube-shaped stools upholstered in turquoise tinged ostrich leather  provide additional seating and blasts of color that repeat blue-green accents from the adjoining family room. Vintage light fixtures from the landmark Chicago Theater dating to the 1920′s add texture, warmth, and complete the “Modernique” room. If only those lights could talk…..

Kitchens are always one of my favorite projects to design. It is where we often spend most of our time, so it’s impact is crucial within a home. This Traditional Home feature took me down memory lane of some of my most memorable kitchen projects throughout the last couple of years…..Hope you enjoy!

“Urban Sophisticates”

What a view in downtown Chicago to enjoy your morning coffee!! P.S. Awesome view of Barneys ;)

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“A Wave of Modern Luxury”

This high-rise project where we combined two units into one within the Aqua Building in Chi allowed us to mimic the undulating wave detail within the exterior architecture of the building. Kitchen by O’Brien Harris.

 

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“A Charming Escape”

This historic over 200 year- old Nantucket home was ripe for a kitchen makeover. Imagine it’s beginning with a green sink-and that was just about it!

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“Young at Heart”

This Bucktown builder’s home needed some tweaking. The kitchen was designed and inspired by the couple’s love of the Northern California lifestyle. Think The Carneros Inn kinda inspiration where the outside meets the inside…

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“Modern Zig-Zag”

This residence within the Ritz Carlton in Chi combines “Mad-Men” + modern glamour. Petrified Wood island and Silestone perimeter sourced from the Cosentino Center in Chicago.

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“A Delightful Desert Escape”

Last but so very much not least, is my very own kitchen in our Phoenix, Arizona vacation home that we call “Casa Lantana”. Wearing my jeans and boots while relaxing in this-our dream getaway- is nirvana. I gather a terrific amount of inspiration and much needed rejuvenation while we soak up the sun here. Remember when I mentioned just how important a kitchen is integral as the heart of the home?

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If only it were always this clean!! I love unwinding here after a long day surrounded by my beloved hubs, our family and pals with a glass of Rombauer Chardonnay watching the sunset…

Night night to y’all and sweet dreams-don’t forget to manage your coffee makers now for the am :)

 

 

 





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The gorgeous tall ceilings and pristine white brick walls of our Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom are the perfect canvas for showcasing the talented work of Chicago artists and artists nationwide.  We’ve been proud to showcase work in the past of the talented Linc Thelen, Richard Shipps, and Lynn Basa to name a few!

 
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“Jellyfish” and “Grid Study” by Linc Thelen

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“Evolution” by Linc Thelen

We are absolutely honored to be featuring the work of the amazing artist Amy Cannady in our new Spring art exhibition!

In Amy’s artwork, tensions and serenities coexist, inviting the viewer to consider life’s mysteries and ambiguities.

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“I Stood in Awe” by Amy Cannady

Through a reduction and layering process Amy allows line and form to emerge, disappearing again into obscurity. There is a deep sense of time and space. Painting is a language, and Amy Cannady’s has been described as a form of “Glossolalia.” The viewer is invited to ponder that something has happened, is happening, or is about to happen. She intentionally seeks no control, but looks for the possibilities in the paint and the painting process.

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 “How We Do It” by Amy Cannady

The artist shares, “There will surely be different interpretations of that which is seen in my work!

I hope this acknowledges the pluralistic world we live in and that a painting may be a point for open dialogue.”

 Cannady holds a BFA from Southern Methodist University, where she also completed postgraduate studies in Art. In recent years Amy has lived and painted in Santa Fe, Florida, and the Midwest, She currently resides in Dallas, Texas, also the location of her studio. Her work is in private and corporate collections throughout The Americas and Europe. She is currently represented in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Nashville. We were fortunate to feature a collection of her paintings in collaboration with KM Fine Arts in Chicago.

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“In Full Regalia” by Amy Cannady

Can’t help but stare at this beautiful piece as I walk through the showroom…Gorgeous!

A collection of Amy’s paintings are currently on display at our Modernique showroom through Mid-June.

Be sure to stop by 1822 W. Grand and check it out, as well as much, much more…

And stay tuned for our next featured Artist!

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“The Approach to Perfection” by Amy Cannady

Looks pretty perfect to us!!

 

 





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High Point Market was a whirlwind week as usual!! So many amazing new innovations into the world of design and furniture. We purchased a myriad of goodies that will soon be arriving into our  Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom in Chicago!

Among those will be some ah-maazing candelabras designed by one of my favorite chic + wonderful pals, Stacy Kunstel, Proprietor of the acclaimed  Dunes and Duchess line and blogger extraordinaire- Stacystyle’s blog. We are so excited to announce that we will be the EXCLUSIVE dealer in Chicago for this fabulous line!

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The work of photographer Michael Partenio and stylist and writer Stacy Kunstel appears regularly on the covers of interior design magazines and books. When they’re not creating memorable images for clients, they’re playing the roles of Dunes and Duchess in their bohemian island getaway, where they dream up wildly romantic products for the home. Each Made-in-the-USA, hand-finished piece carries a little of their love with them to you. Ranging from candelabras, lamps, tables, and etageres, all available in custom bright fun, lacquered colors, we cannot wait for these to arrive to Chicago! Gotta. Have.

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  One trend we noticed at Spring Market was the use of agate. We’ve been carrying these amazing agate side tables by Sophia Martin Home , a new bespoke Chicago-based furniture line, for the last few months and they have been a huge hit! Sophia’s love of organic materials was the design kismet motivation behind these handcrafted tables which are made by local Chicago craftsmen and composed of Brazilian agate–each unique in size and color, interlocking layers of fine hard wood, and a variety of custom finishes. We have placed these beauties in a current raging Arizona home- uh huh.

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We were happy to see more of this beautiful stone introduced from tables to sconces this High Point Market!

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Agate top nesting tables from Global Views


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Agate Burst Sconce from Emporium Home

 One of our other purchases were these aged and gilded gorgeous angel wings atop selenite that we spotted at Tritter Feefer. Love them! Book ends…. me thinks?

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We continued to see the theme of gold and angel wings as we traveled to Natural Curiosities and admired their beautiful artwork!

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A few more of our faves: The new Giselle collection from Loloi Rugs (colors and patterns were eye-catching) ….I think we need within our showroom…., an art collection by Mitchell Black (love discovering other fellow Chicago businesses!), and the colorful gemstones adorning the chandelier collection at Ro-Sham-Beaux. Simply stunning.

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 This could go on and on and on….Around every corner we turned was another beautiful showcase of gorgeous design.  Last, but not least, we can’t forget our new boyfriend…As a chick heavy firm we welcome this dude into our lair! While he may be short-we aren’t judging! Props to a couple of my fave gals, Pam and Mary, stellar owners’ of  Tuesdays On The Boulevard. I have shared many an antique moment with these experienced and brilliant gals. Hail to the High Point Antique and Design Center! That’s my cue for my mantra #Modernique :)

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For everything else, as our shuttle driver told us as he drove us from party to party, “What happens in High Point, Stays in High Point”.

Come check out our new finds soon at our Modernique Showroom at 1822 W Grand! Please disregard any typo’s or omissions- we were delayed 16 hours leaving Greensboro…Never loved Chi so much in my life! xx

 





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What city am I in today? (Between the weather in Chicago this winter and the sunshine in Arizona, that answer is clearly obvious!) The last few months have been a whirlwind. I’m reminded every day of how lucky I am to be living my dream. Next week I have the huge honor of hosting my first seminar at the Decoration and Design building in NYC! Hosted by Kravet fabrics, and joined by my dear friend and Executive Editor of Lonny Magazine, Irene Edwards, I will be sharing my experience of building an interior design brand and my trademark design aesthetic, Modernique.

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Whether you are just beginning your interior design career or your realize that being an interior designer is your next must-do career, I hope you can join Irene and me as we share our secrets of building a successful business and brand within the exciting world of interior design.

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“Modernique” Living Room featuring Kravet Chairs! This recent project of mine is hot off the pages of the most recent Luxe Magazine! Photography by Hausman and Associates

After a quick trip to NYC, it is then off to North Carolina for High Point Furniture Market! It’s hard to believe it is that time of year again. I LOVE High Point Market. The most amazing thing about market is that you get to touch, see, hear, and visualize all the latest and greatest in interior design. It always inspires me and I bring those ideas back to share with my team and my clients.

I am thrilled to be asked to return as a host of a “Suite Spot Tour” at the Suites at Market Square! Please join me and my fellow fabulous cohorts- Crystal Palacek, Christian May, and Corey Damen Jenkins- as we share design trends and innovation as we see it. My tour is Sunday, April 6th at 2:00pm! Sign up today! A huge shout out to the International Market Centers and my pal, Gretchen Aubuchon for spearheading the fabulous festivities!

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That Sunday, I am also taking over Instagram for market! Follow me on Instagram @designonhpmkt as I takeover and snap pics of all my fab finds!

 

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Here is a sneak peak at some of my tour stops…

Aidan Gray

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Chan Geo Collection Look # 8 Chandelier, Gold

 

Ro Sham Beaux

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Fluted Table

 

 Louise Gaskill

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Mae Chandlier in gold/silver gilt with vintage blue Murano Glass

 

Tommy Mitchell

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Lucite Gilded Flower Side Table

Stray Dog Designs

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Oberon Chair

I’m counting the days till market. It is not only wonderful seeing all the beautiful introductions in the world of interior design, but also seeing old friends, making new friends, and who could forget eating your way from showroom to showroom and party to party!! Hope to see y’all there!

 

 





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NAPA 2013 A

As of last Sunday, the 2013 Napa Valley Showhouse at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena California is history. Sometime next year, many of its beautifully designed rooms will appear in the glossy pages of Traditional Home Magazine,  but nothing tops visiting a quality show house in person and seeing it firsthand. And speaking of firsts, it was a first for me. Not just doing a show house: I’ve been privileged to take part in a number of good ones over the years.  But I had never done one on the West Coast before. And if you haven’t been there, let me tell you, the Napa Valley is one of this country’s most beautiful areas.  So of course I said Yes when they asked me! Yes yes yes!

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Trad Home has been sponsoring showhouses for a number of years but the house they chose this time was unique: an expansive hundred-year-old farmhouse owned by vintner Peter Mondavi and designed by Willis Polk, one of San Francisco’s most important historically architects. And while you know I always love to see what’s new in the design world, I also love history, so this was a perfect chance for me to do one of my favorite things–blend the two!

Napa chairs

The dining room still retained its historic wood paneling, so we introduced color with fabric–the fun Kravet Kelly Wearstler print upholstery on their custom chairs (thank you so for a fabulous job with expediting), the crazy cool Jonathan Adler for Kravet fabric sourced for the roman shades and the glistening Maya Romanoff wall covering above the plate rail-one of my favorite local Chi town vendors. Thank you also to Benjamin Moore   for donating the paint for the ceiling and another shout out to Bloomingdale’s for supplying all the tabletop accessories. Speaking of my dining room tabletop…. the showstopper was a one-of-a-kind ceramic masterpiece by Ohio artist Tara Winslow. I became obsessed with Tara’s works when first spied at the High Point Market last Spring.

One thing I didn’t do was use any wine-themed motifs–old labels, bottles, grape leaves, that stuff–because those things were all around us already.  What would be the point? Instead, I used a series of blues & greens in our room: some soft, some vibrant, all beautiful, and, together, perfect complements to the warm tones of the wood. Plus a gigantic table big enough for the whole Peter Mondavi family. It featured a glass-topped gearwheel out from a historic European water mill, and let me tell you, getting that beast into place was a real feat for our heroic installers, who had to roll its ancient wood–very carefully--through the other designers’ rooms without wrecking the floors. When we finally got it into place, we were all ready for a glass of wine. Maybe more than one!

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But it wasn’t just the installers whose efforts I need to mention.  To everyone involved in this massive project–the magazine that invited us, the other talented designers I got to meet, the Charles Krug winery, the Napa Film Festival that benefits from all the visitors, and all the patient and professional work crews, a big Thank You from all of us at BID. Thank you for making me feel welcome at my first California showhouse.  And to my own team–back in rainy, cold Chicago, while I was basking in the glory of a California autumn–you are the best! (But you already know that.)





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Birds, like colors and shoe shapes, fall in and out of style. Flamingos were hot in the Depression and they came back in the Miami Vice era. Wood-&-copper mallard ducks flew across family room walls in the 1950s and a few years ago, we had a short, meaningless fling with owls (what was that all about?) but still, the list of birds used in decoration is pretty short. When was the last time you saw, say, a flock of crows used as a decorative motif?  It’s been a long time.

Let’s face it, certain birds are simply more popular than others.  I mean, its hard to think decoratively about birds that wreck crops or carry away cute baby bunnies for their midnight snacks! With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that, this season, peacocks, the quintessential Art Nouveau bird, are having yet another one of their many moments, the same way they did in 1966, at the beginning of the Psychedelic era.  Like the poet says “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

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I spotted the beautiful mounted specimens above while treasure hunting for antiques in Paris last summer and when I got back to the studio, I found an addition (one of many!) to our recently renovated conference area: this incredible PEACOCK DARK rug  by English fashion designer Matthew Williamson, whose brand is known for incredible prints.  It was gifted to BID from our good friends at The Rug Company!

The Peacock designed rug is available in a light colourway as well as this dark one.

The Peacock Rug is also available in a light colourway.

And for those who might hesitate to put such such a gorgeous piece of art on their floors, I have good news! Matthew Williamson’s new Autumn 2013 collection of fabrics and wallpapers for Osborne & Little also features one of his signature peacock designs:  “The Eden Collection  is as heavenly as its name suggests: a riot of colours and patterns reflecting the British fashion designer’s diverse influences, from exotic birds to 1970s-style animal prints” - ELLE Decoration.  This richly colored jewel toned collection (filled with lots of deep emerald, cobalt blue, plum, and gold tones) will be sure to inspire you as we enter into late Fall. It definitely inspires me!

How insane is this wallpaper?

How insane is this wallpaper? And I love how the polished chrome of the furniture echoes the metallic sheen of the paper!

For years, there was a silly prejudice about combining certain colors.  ”Blue and green must never be seen” used to be a common saying.  Didn’t those folks ever see a bed of iris? Or blue hydrangeas against bright green grass? Or–hello!–a peacock? For people not so hemmed-in by arbitrary decorating rules, peacocks have served as the direct inspiration for a lot of  to-die-for rooms.

The Peacock Room at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Peacock Room, now at the Smithsonian in Washington, has been all over the place, but it started out in London, as an 1870s collaboration between shipping tycoon Frederick Leyland, the English architect Thomas Jekyll (who designed the room’s walnut paneling and shelving to display Leyland’s collection of Oriental porcelain and panels of antique Spanish leather) and the American artist James Whistler (yes, that Whistler) who proceeded to gild Jekyll’s wood and completely paint over Leyland’s treasured antique leather panels. The big reveal must have been like the Victorian version of Trading Spaces–OMG!–and not in the good way, either.

Yes, the finished room was stunningly gorgeous–it is in a museum, after all!–but it wasn’t at all the what client asked for and the whole thing ended up in a nasty lawsuit. Quelle hot mess! So this room contains two important lessons for designers, one good and one bad:  1) Blue & green DO go together,  but 2) Ignore the client’s wishes at your own risk.

Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing[/caption]

Fortunately, that kind of  disaster doesn’t happen very often. In fact, here’s another interior of the same period and with the same kind of richly glowing colors (this time, in glazed tile, not painted leather) and this time, the client loved the results! The room is in the Driehaus Museum in Chicago–just off Michigan Avenue, so don’t miss it–and if you visit in the next few weeks, you can see another peacock-inspired creation in the museum’s current Tiffany exhibit:  this iridescent gold-mounted Favrile glass vase.

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OK, this beauty isn’t for sale, but these are exactly the kind of colors I’m always drawn to, so if you see the show and decide you’re wanting a swirly glass piece in those colors–one that you could actually buy, that is, not just look at–we have the little piece below  in the BID Studio. With a coat of Tiffany Blue lacquer on your walls and a few feathers in a tall nickel-plated cylinder,  you can create your very own Peacock Room!  And if you do, send us a picture!

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Last stop: a rendering of a Peacock Room (painted for the Crane Company of Chicago) that doesn’t contain a single peacock reference, only the colors of its plumage. This subliminal approach is often the most interesting, because instead of stating a theme explicitly, it lets the room’s occupants discover it on their own. Sometimes, less is more,  although, considering the level of finish in this room, “less” isn’t quite the word. Either way, it’s a knockout!

Crane Roman Peacock Bath

The takeaway lesson is simple: inspiration is everywhere.  How you use it is up to you.





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Morticia

OMG!! Last time I checked in, there was just a hint of a chill in the air and the trees still looked like summer, and then, suddenly, it’s cold, half the trees are bare already–and tomorrow’s Halloween! How can that be? What happened to October? Or, for that matter, September? Oh, wait.  That’s right.  Since my last post…

Napa Show House

Buckingham Interiors + Design opened a brand new showroom next door to our Design Studio on Grand Avenue, we took part in Traditional Homes‘ 2013 Showhouse out in Napa Valley and we did those things at the same time that we were designing & installing several major projects for clients here in Chicago.  All that stuff  might have had something to do with my absence around here lately.  But, still: Halloween—tomorrow ? ? ? I just hope somebody else remembered to buy candy at home.

Guatemalan Ottoman

Speaking of sweets, though, am I the only person who looks at our way-cool Guatemalan ottomans and suddenly starts craving a snack? Say, iced donuts? With sprinkles? And, considering the season–apple cider?

Morticia Chair

And surely, other people besides me think of Mexican sugar skulls when they see our Morticia Chair–named after the seductive, black-gowned mistress of the decaying Victorian mansion on TV’s The Addams Family. Tell me they do! They have to.

Morticia Chair2

Morticia, of course, was the original Goth chick, and her slinky getup and dead-white makeup still inspires some people’s Halloween costumes, but let’s be honest: not everybody is (0r was) into black crape and seaweedy sleeves. I don’t need to tell you who it was that always went out trick-or-treating in a sparkly pink princess dress or a fairy godmother’s cape or a ballerina’s tutu. I am convinced that Material Girls are born, not made.

Halloween

Not me. Soooo not me, not even as a kid. I wasn’t even born in 1951. But Happy Halloween, anyway, and if you haven’t yet visited the showroom yet, do stop in.

Afrodite, Goddess of Candy keeps watch over the loot.

If the team hasn’t already eaten them all, you might even get a treat or two.





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Between the renovation and BIG MOVE next door, a couple of  fabulous new additions to the Buckingham I + D team, an upcoming project with Traditional Home Magazine (which I will be spilling about soon), and a trip to Paris with luxury brands expert, Steve Nobel, alongside 13 fellow designers from all over the country later this week- our office and studio are completely buzzing with the winds of change!

The big unveiling Gala of our new space will take place on Thursday evening, September 26, to usher in the annual weekend Design Harvest street festival on Grand Avenue in West Town – mark your calendars! This one of a kind fest features some of our favorite local furniture and home accessory makers, vintage and antique collectors, and home design stores. Grand Avenue will be closed from Wood Street to Damen Avenue for the fun and festivities!

1820 W. Grand

Come in, meet our design team, and peruse our new finds – we’d love to have you!





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Are you ready to par-tay?!!! If so, you must have heard about the latest trend in fine dining…mixing the table itself with a table top sport.

The fascination with “table tennis”  that blew up on the bar scene a couple years ago, beginning with the elite club, SPiN New York, has now made its way into the world of high end interiors.

These new versions are definitely more aesthetically pleasing, and most even double up as indoor/outdoor dining tables.

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This ultra-modern version from James de Wulf, made from reinforced concrete, comes in white (pictured) or light grey.  I actually just selected the light grey option for my home away from home in Arizona, that we have named Casa Lantana due to the abundance of this colorful foliage surrounding our property. Cannot wait to grab my paddle within our friendly confines! Last weekend in Phoenix we actually warmed up playing with our friends at The Yard , a local eatery repurposed from a car and motorcycle dealership, after eating way too many oysters. Crel and the hubs blew me away pretty quickly…I need some practice!

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Perfect for a pre party, dinner party, or after party! Beer pong anyone?

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Moving along to the latest in billiards, the master of making casual cool, James Persecreated this limited edition teak version, which doubles as a dining table when covered with the teak top (included).

With price tags for both options beginning at approximately $8000, they better double up as something!

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If you’d rather not bring this trend directly into your own home, you can get your Ping-Pong fix on some old school tables at local hot spots like Parsons Chicken and Fish and Ada Street.

The tables on the patio are first sign up, first serve. Sounds like the perfect end of summer activity to me!

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Enjoy these last days of summer before we all head back into the Fall grind. I am heading into a huge renovation of the space next door to our Buckingham I+ D Showroom to showcase even more design goodies for our 1stdibs presence as well as for our design clients. Also, a brand new website sharing 6 new projects will be unveiled before the end of the month. We are growing and I am so very proud and humbled. Much love to our chillens that are heading back to schools both new and comfie-and also both domestic and international.

Cheers to all!

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