Sweet Home Chicago

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 30, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Art

{Wrigley Field}

Are any of you familiar with Thrillist?  I recently discovered it, and I am a big fan.  I knew I’d like it when I saw the declaration, stated boldly on their homepage, “stop thumbing through crappy city guides and join Thrillist…the best of what’s new in your city, delivered once daily, always free.”  Sure is true, isn’t it?  There are a ton of mediocre city guides out there, and even the ones that seem credible never seen to actually have what you want.  Thrillist is like a cool word of the day calendar.  Even as a native Chicagoan, there is still so much I have yet to discover about my city, and Thrillist is like my hip, in the know friend who always seems to have some new find.  Thrillist is not exclusively for Chicago.  Three of the other MG cities- Los Angeles, Dallas, and NYC- are also represented!  Plus many more…

I received a Thrillist the other day that featured this Chicago artist, whose name remains anonymous, but who is the creative brains behind Mad Canvases.  The work of MC canvases utilizes photos of Chicago landmarks, and mixes them together in a sort of collage-esque/mash up style that successfully prevents these hallmark images from becoming like hokey, touristy souvenir posters.  And you won’t break the bank picking up a canvas or two!  Each are priced at $40 and can be found at my fave, Etsy.

{Art Institute of Chicago}

{Navy Pier}

{Marshall Fields}

{Giordano’s Pizza}

{Music Box Theater}

{Aragon Ballroom}

{CTA Green Line}

{Chicago Theater}

{Palace Grill Sandwich Shop}

{Coasters…get a taste of them all!}





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Sky High

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 26, 2010 | No Comments | Category: Commercial Spaces

{Sears “Willis” Tower, Chicago}

Unfortunately, Chicago’s Sears Tower is neither the world’s tallest building (it technically hasn’t been since 1998, sadly) nor is it still actually called the Sears Tower.  The recently christened “Willis Tower” was renamed for the London based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings that purchased the mega structure in 2009.  Trust me, this change was met with great resistence from native Chicagoans.  However, I digress…my feelings over the name change of arguably Chicago’s most notable landmark are not the subject of this post.

{Burj Khalifa, Dubai}

Even though things seem to be changing here in the Windy City, at least the renovations to the Willis Tower have been made by Chicago based architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill.  Not only is this design magnate in charge of the renovations of the world’s former tallest building, they are also responsible for the construction of the current tallest builing in the world- the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.  With Chicago being arguably one of the world’s most stunning architecture cities, it is no surprise that Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill both work and live here.  Their work is truly captivating and can be seen all over the globe.  I am still sad about the Willis Tower, but I am proud to say that a little piece (ok, a big piece…Smith and Gill were pretty important figures, I’d say) of Chicago went into the making of the world’s current tallest building.

Here’s an interview with Adrian Smith, the chief architect on the Burj Khalifa project.

Check out some more of AS+GG’s work.  It truly is some of the most spectacular, innovative and breathtaking architecture you’ll ever see.

{ASGG Headquarters, Chicago}

{ASGG Headquarters, Chicago}

{ASGG Headquarters}

{Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi}

{Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi}

{Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi}

{Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi}

{Meraas Tower, Dubai}

{Meraas Tower, Dubai}

{Elphinstone Mills + Jupiter Mills, Mumbai}

{Elphinstone Mills + Jupiter Mills, Mumbai}

{Elphinstone Mills + Jupiter Mills, Mumbai}

{Vancouver Housing Complex, Vancouver}

{Vancouver Housing Complex, Vancouver}

{Vancouver Housing Complex, Vancouver}





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{La Mimi}

No, no I don’t mean literally in your birthday suit (shout out to 50 Cent).  I mean the hottest trend for spring/summer…shades of nude. From nail polish (my favorite is Essie Jazz) to jewelery and bags, bearing it all is what’s hot right now.  Like always, this trend has made its way across the border to interiors.  Nude seems to be popping up all over the place.  Check out some of the photos I found.

Santa Barbara Beach House

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

Southern California Mediterranean

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

{Veranda}

Delphine Restaurant, Los Angeles

{Elle Decor}

Lake Forest, IL home

{Chicago Home + Garden}

Bucktown (Chicago) home…also featured in my “Just Because” post!

{CS Interiors}

{Southern Accents}

{Elle Decor}

{Elle Decor}

{Elle Decor}

{Elle Decor}

{Buckingham I.D.}

{Buckingham I.D.}

{Buckingham I.D.}

{Buckingham I.D.}

{Buckingham I.D.}

{Decorpad}





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Hollywood State of Mind

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 24, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating, Magazines

Say what you want about print media being a dying beast, but I still love flipping through the glossy pages of my favorite shelter and fashion mags every month.  Call me old fashioned, but I love to retire at night with my old standbys, Elle Decor, Harper’s Bazaar, and In Style.  One of my favorite- and I think most innovative features of fashion magazines, is the incorporation of interiors articles.  It’s like a two for one special!  Not only do I find my latest dress or shoe obsession, but I find an equally as fashionable home to pore over as well.  In this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, the uber glam Los Angeles home of Simon and Natalie Fuller was featured.  Natalie is a Los Angeles interior designer and Simon is the producer and industry mogul that created American Idol.  From the moment I saw the dramatic white staircase with the lady of the house dressed in an equally as dramatic crimson gown, I knew that this home would be quite captivating.  The home is completely over the top, complete with a giant swan lounge by the side of the pool.  It is an exaggeration of everything glam, old world Hollywood and larger than life elements that make up my Hollywood fantasy.  Hot pink, plush velvet, and dripping in crystal, this home really is the Hollywood state of mind.

1940′s Ico Paris dining chairs

Formal living room…1950′s Italian railway chairs

The wine cellar is Natalie’s favorite room.  Instead of asking people for wedding gifts, they set up a wine registry.  What a cool idea!….Especially if you have a wine cellar like this one.

Natalie and Simon are self proclaimed “winos, foodos, and travelos”

One of her other favorite rooms…she loves the interplay between vintage and contemporary- as do I.

Glamorous dressing room…Natalie is a total fashionista.

Beautiful deck view…1950′s chairs recovered with Bruno Triplet leopard print silk mohair..It doesn’t get much better than that!





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You Say Indoor, I Say Outdoor

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 19, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Fabric

{Donghia}

It’s all the same to me!  Indoor/outdoor fabrics are a great solution to any upholstery question.  Need a fabric to withstand the elements of the outdoors?  Check.  Looking for a print that will hold its own against your dogs, kids and everything in between?  Got it.  I am a big fan of indoor/outdoor fabrics, and actually just used a great Holly Hunt fabric from Jim Thompson that screamed  ”Salon Blonde“  in a lifestyle salon in  Chicago.  A salon is the perfect example of an environment that really needs a fabric that can withstand daily wear and tear.  Whether you are looking for a chic print for your kitchen, patio, playroom or virtually any space, indoor/outdoor fabrics are the perfect practical solution!

{Holly Hunt in Salon Blonde}

{Holly Hunt in Salon Blonde}

{Holly Hunt in Salon Blonde}

{Donghia}

{Donghia}

{Donghia}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

{Holly Hunt}

{Holly Hunt}

{Holly Hunt}

{Holly Hunt}

{Lee Jofa}

{Lee Jofa}

{Lee Jofa}

{Lee Jofa}

{Lee Jofa}





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Just Because…

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 16, 2010 | 17 Comments | Category: Decorating, Design Inspiration

I have an ever expanding folder on my desktop entitled “Interiors I Like.”  Short and to the point.  Up until recently, every time I’d stumble upon an interior I liked I’d mark the page in the magazine, vowing to go back to it.  Or take a mental note to revisit that website when I had more time…..never happened.  Although I have files and files of inspiration pages, I decided that the time had come to make it digital.  Alas, my “Interiors I Like” file was born.  I was going through it today and realized there were too many beautiful, chic and wonderful interiors to keep relegated to my cyber folder.  So frankly, this post is just because….





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As you  may have seen in previous posts and in myriad fashion magazines, the line between color trends in the world of interiors and fashion is very permeable.  What appears on the runway is quick to be seen in home decor, and vice versa.  As the official color barometer, many in the design world look to Pantone for tips and insights into the ebbing and flowing of the wide world of hues.  However, Pantone’s take on color trends is not limited to the world of interiors.  In its latest venture, Pantone took a look at some of the runway shows of hottest designers from New York fashion week and analyzed their hottest hues.  With more or less every color in the book, Pantone has matched these designer colors with their own.  Not only are they simply pairing the hottest hues in fashion with their comparable hues, they are bringing in expert opinions to inform consumers how to best utilize these colors.  I love this idea!  Take a look below…

There were far too many designers to feature in just one post, so stay tuned for another soon to come featuring more fabulous fashion hues!





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Modern Living

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 10, 2010 | 9 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating

For any of you that watch Modern Family, you surely know the frazzled yet hilarious modern mom Claire Dunphy.  Although I love Claire, I don’t know if I could pick just one favorite character…from Cam dressing up Lily in a Tina Turner wig, to Mani’s eulogy of Shell Turtlestein to basically anything Phil does or says, Modern Family never fails to deliver.  It is one of my favorite shows on tv right now, so I was really excited to see Claire’s house (ok, she is a real person….actress Julie Bowen) featured in In Style this month.  I learned several facts about Julie…that she was pregnant with twins during filming, that she and software developer husband Scott Phillips are New York transplants, and that the celeb-favorite designer, Molly Luetkemeyer, who furnished Bowen’s Studio City home, is actually her sister.  Keeping it all in the family!  Check out the photos below from M. Design Interiors (Molly’s design firm) from Julie’s chic home.





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Puppy Love

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 06, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Contests, Material Girls Projects

{Buckingham I+D dog bed, titled “Forest: Where Your Dog Can Stroll The Forest in Its Dreams}

As a huge dog lover (my Wheaton terriers, Frankie and Jane, really are my fourth and fifth children) I was thrilled when asked to be a part of the PAWS Chicago dog bed competition sponsored by Janus et Cie.  A number of Chicago designers  entered the battle to create custom dog beds- using only Janus et Cie fabrics-  to be auctioned off at the event held at the Merchandise Mart, with all proceeds going to the PAWS shelter.  Luckily, our design was selected from this elite group to be chosen as one of the 15 designs created live by Janus.  Our design was based on their highly touted “Forest” armchair- which I personally covet.

PAWS is  Chicago’s largest no kill animal shelter, so we were more than happy to participate in this worthwhile cause.  We had a lot of fun designing the bed- took us off the track a bit in the office- but all work and no play make for some dull designers!

With so many amazing designs, I couldn’t resist picking one up  for each for my beloved puppies.  I know Frankie and Jane will be very excited to see their new beds, although their favorite spots probably will still be my bed and my living room sofa :)

Detail of our dog bed

Baxter…the adorable dog our dog bed was benefitting!

Some of the other incredible and innovative dog beds at the event…

I loved this one….had to buy it for my pooches!





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Here Comes the Sun

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 02, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Decorating, Magazines

Well it looks like spring has sprung! With temperatures nearing the 70′s by this weekend here in Chicago, I thought it would only be fitting to feature House Beautiful’s tips on how to give your home an easy but purposeful spring makeover.  Knowing Chicago’s fickle climate I can only be tentatively excited for this warmer weather, because as any Chicagoan can tell you it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to have a freak snowstorm following such a glorious and well-deserved day.  While our weather here may be anything but predictable, you can count on these helpful insights to give your home a fresh new look!

1. Add a bit of wallpaper to the inside of your closet

2. Camp stool in a bright, colorful print

3. Host a garden party where each guest is asked to bring a plant of a specific color (i.e. purple)

4. Use a real rug in the bathroom, not just a bath mat

5. Create a colorful entryway…eliminate clutter and use colorful pieces that catch your visitor’s eye immediately

6. Paint the ceiling…especially in a pale blue or grey shade, it will give the illusion that there is no ceiling at all

7. Reorganize bookshelves…sort by size and subject, remove damaged books, line books both vertically and horizontally to avoid a monotonous pattern

8. Give something old a new look…find a bargain buy at an antique store or a flea market and give it a new life by painting it white or even a bold color

9. Add a modern piece…mixes things up especially well in a traditional home!

10. Add a pretty potted plant

11. Hang mirrors on opposite walls for an instant room transformation

12. Paint your front door

13. Split up a pair of lamps

14.  Styled storage….store out of season in another place and organize/color coordinate your closet…it will feel like a store!

15. Arrange flowers the easy way…buy one color and cut the stems short.  Buy twice as many as you think you should and just use the extra stems in a small glass.

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