I am enamored with the latest Metropolitan Home edition.  It is white all over the place!  Clean and fresh and gorgeous.  The issue comes at us from all over the design palette of white inspired interiors.

Beginning with “Glamorous White,” we see grand gestures and a cleansing palette for a Seattle home by Stuart Silk Architects.
Next is “Country White,” which features a quirky home in the heart of Napa Valley decorated by Erin Martin for a pair of Toronto transplants.  Hey!  I have those “Bobo” light fixtures in my own home!  So much for the idea that we in the design world have any truly original ideas.
After country comes “Traditional White,” with a Daryl Carter inspired loft giving all sorts of new thoughts for a fresh start with the melding of antiques and modern furnishings.  He is one of my design heroes.  Not everyone can fuse these two ideas with such aplomb.
Not to be forgotten is “Architectural White,” poised in the hills of Columbia County, New York designed by the married partners of the NYC firm Leven Betts Studio Architects. Such sublime design without a hint of fussiness.
The breathtaking beauty of the “Classic White” feature is a home located in Litchfield, Connecticut where a creative couple enlarged a cape style home into a year round vision filled with antiques and photographs-ranging from Lartigue to Annie Liebowitz.  Divine!
May I just add one more image that makes me happy this time of year?  An image of almond crescent cookies along with the recipe by Chef Sara Jenkins.  I am not over this serious season of eating yet…and they are white!!!!

Happiest of Holidays!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Dec 22, 2008 | 2 Comments | Category: Holiday

I want to send you all a very warm greeting for the holiday season from the freezing zone that is Chicago.  Hard to believe that we have any warm thoughts at all here!

I shared the season with a group of very close friends this Saturday afternoon,  along with our extremely close daughters (they have shared high school and have since separated to five colleges from California to North Carolina) at the historic Fortnightly Club of Chicago.  We have celebrated all of our daughters milestones over the last seven years and are attached at the hip. There will be no separation in the near future 🙂

 This club is one of the earliest and most steadfast of the women’s clubs that have been called the “Light Seekers.”  It was founded on June 4, 1873 after being a private home.  Among its earliest members were many women who have since become icons of the literature and organized work fame:  Jane Addams of “Hull House” notoriety and Mrs. Potter Palmer a distinguished Chicago philanthropist.  

It is one of the most gorgeous examples of an age gone by.  Amazing architectural detail that you just don’t see in new construction and a bit of history that cannot be replicated.  

 We all felt so lucky to to be a part of an amazing day with fabulous friends and our beloved daughters.  What could be better than this?  Wishing you all heartfelt joy and happiness.  Tis the season!

When I was in LA last week enjoying the sights and sounds of this dynamic and sooo much fun design zone I was given a premiere copy of the “Angelo Interiors” mag.  This is a new venture by Modern Luxury Media, LLC which has a sister here in Chicago known as CS Interiors.  I was thrilled to view a piece by Meghan McEwen, who I have had the honor of chatting with via email.  She is an Editor-at-Large of this dynamite luxury interiors publication conglomerate.

Two design firms that were featured have totally taken my breath away… one being  Josh and Ryan Brown of the Los Angeles based brother decorating duo of Brown Design.  Their Italian limestone fireplace paired with a soothing palette of soft textiles makes for a oh so inviting Cali space. In a guest room, a Brown designed Four-poster bed is flanked by a pair of lamps from Mecox Gardens.

Per my last post, the design powerhouse that is Woodson and Rummerfield has provided Angelenos and Midwesterners (led by me, the president elect of their Chicago brigade)  with a living room and dining area that are full of “gasps.”  The staircase image is brilliant in its color and sculptural effect.

Congratulations to this premier edition!  There is a glorious future ahead!  You heard it here first at MGirls.

…and scares up a whole lotta design inspiration!  Just had a quick trip to attend an amazing party at Blackman Cruz (but more about that in a later post.)  Actually met our LA Material Girl, Jill, and had an elegant and fascinating lunch at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at the London Hotel (sorry, but more about that later as well.)

Just had to visit the showroom of the dynamic LA design team of Woodson & Rummerfield!
Black and white and gorgeous all over.  The term “Modage” coined by the duo seems to symbolize classic Hollywood glamour and a nod to the sleek and vintage.  Clearly, this collaboration of styles works for celebrity (Tori Spelling) and non celebrity alike.
Their new book, “High Style” is just out and is available on their website.  I snagged a signed copy 🙂

Especially appreciated the Sciolari mid century chandelier in the entry room as I have it hanging in my design office.  Always is an inspiration to me while I plot and plan.  When you log onto their website you will hear the tribal and yet elegant music that seems to define their style sensibilities.  Enjoy!

We all have our passions and ideals that we hold onto for dear life.

I have decided that I am a collector of oh so many things that I am afraid that I cannot be pigeonholed into one “collecting” genre.  But, I am sure that under intense scrutiny a pattern could be found..possibly 🙂
Are you…
A Modern/Socially minded Collector?  You have spare chairs for any random guests and you are ready to party at anytime….
A Traditional/Sentimental Collector?  One who anguishes about just the right placement for your treasures?  And even then, may be known to move things around a bit?
An Organic/Free Spirited Collector?  You travel long and hard and are just too exhausted to worry about symmetry and “matching?”
A Transitional/Politically Minded Collector?  Always ready to show your stream of consciousness and deliver an important “message?”
Let us know who you are and why you choose your collections.  It tells alot about us all.

We are Thrilled and Honored!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Dec 09, 2008 | 3 Comments | Category: Design Bloggers

It is one of the greatest entries into the Material Girls 2008 diary…..

A grateful and humbling thanks to Susie at eyespy.squarespace for her kudos and support of our blog by bestowing on us the “I Love Your Blog Award!”
This incredible honor comes with a huge and rewarding responsibility… to nominate a few blogs on our fav list to share and to pass along.
                                                              Here are the rules:
1.  The nominated is allowed to put the picture on their blogs.
2.  Link to the person who awarded you.
3.  Nominate seven other people + link to them.
4. Leave a message on those people’s blog to make them aware that they’re nominated.
So… here goes, after much consideration (and many hours spent surfing- but with all positive side effects for my clients!)
We have also followed Susies lead and hope to expose you to some new and uncovered gems.
Numero Uno:
This site expresses just what I am thinking about in my spare moments as the perfect architectural settings in exotic and breathtaking locations.  Once you bookmark this you will have a hard time recovering.
Numero Dos:
Brittnye sees things that are all bright and beautiful in a refreshing fashion.  Her posts are eloquent and provoking.
Numero Tres:
One of my favorite Chicago design magazines, Chicago Home + Garden has an intuitive and informative blog where you can find solutions to many of your design needs and to let you in on some secret haunts around the windy city.
Numero Cuatro:
Design Therapy has a stellar design sense that can transform you to another place!  What a wild and gorgeous ride!  Brad has an amazing design sense and energy abundant.
Numero Cinco:
When you check out anothershadeofgrey you will wish that you were the blogger.  What ideas and inspiration.  She rocks!
Numero Seis:
I am in awe of madebygirl!  Lots of ideas for holiday gift giving and beyond.
Numero Siete:
Last but not least in any blogway, thepeakofchic will make the lines blur for you between morning coffee and business power lunch.  Beware!  Jennifer is an Atlanta powerhouse.
Enjoy all and thank you again for all of your blog love this year!

The Power of Overhead Lighting

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Dec 05, 2008 | No Comments | Category: Lighting

Ever walk in a room and feel as if something magical is happening? You cannot place your finger on it but it just feels right.  Such is the power of the perfect placement of unique lighting.

It is my greatest victory when a client or guest will say, “Wow!  That light fixture is gorgeous.” They come out of nowhere but make the greatest statement in an environment just in front of wall paint color.
Here are a few of my favorites from the BID archives… Simple industrial fixture in a dark teal room next to an edited french chair and lovely peonies from belle magazine. An incredibly large and strong piece over a silvered shell form and a feathered beauty that feels like spring from the most recent issue of Metropolitan Home.
Two years ago in the December edition, Met Home featured an o- so- dramatic stairway fixture that cries out as the most unexpected departure from the somewhat traditional surroundings. The creme de la creme of the most spectacular ceiling drama is from Elle Decor.  Awwww …..