While perusing the cosmetic department of Bloomingdale’s SoHo the other day, a friend of mine spotted possibly the hottest, coolest most exciting pairing since Brad and Angelina: Jo Malone + Farrow & Ball.  Well…maybe not quite to that extent.  Nevertheless, I can’t stress enough how much I love the sophisticated and classic look of Farrow & Ball paint and wall coverings as well as the fresh, intoxicating, sexy scents of Jo Malone.  Both self proclaimed “British lifestyle brands,” the two joined forces to bring F&B’s signature colors to Jo Malone’s signature scents in the form of scented candles.  Don’t they compliment each other perfectly?  Both the scents and colors of these respective brands are classic, timeless and sophisticated.

Find the Farrow & Ball Jo Malone collection at Farrow & Ball showrooms as well as Jo Malone stores. (And perhaps some Bloomingdales too?)

Deja Vu

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jul 28, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Decorating, Fabric, Material Girls Projects

{Donghia Casino in Barney’s Co-Op in New York}

My former intern Colette spotted these ottomans in the Barney’s Co-Op shoe department in New York and immediately sent me a picture with the caption…”seen this before?!”  Indeed I have…many times!  The fabric is Donghia Casino, and I have in fact used it in projects from traditional to modern in design.  Coming in an astonishing 9 color ways, this fabric has long been a go-to of mine for its versatility and ability to be paired with a variety of other fabrics, textures and patterns.  However, no matter which color you choose, Casino adds that retro-chic flair that brings that special twist to any space. In the past I have used it on pillows and an ottoman myself.  I am creating my first chair beauty in the “Stardust” colorway as we speak.  It is going to be gorgeous!

{Donghia Casino}

{Spot the Donghia Casino on the throw pillow on the bed?  Used this fabric in my own daughter’s room}

I often forget that department store fabrics are not necessarily mass produced, industrial strength textiles, especially in the high end variety.  Any fabrics you’ve spotted that you either know or specifically like?

Here are the Casino color ways: (notice all their Vegas inspired names?)


{Desert Inn}








{Absalom Boston House…epitome of Nantucket style}

I recently just got back from a trip to Nantucket to put the final touches on the vacation home of a client that I have been working on (from my Chicago office) for quite some time.  I have to say…I am in love.  So quaint, charming and beautiful, Nantucket really takes your breath away.  One gets the sense that not much has changed on this island in generations, taking comfort in the tradition and steadfast dedication to its way of life as a simple retreat. Furthermore, the homes in this intimate community have retained the classic look so associated with the island….shingled structures of muted grays, blues whites and soft neutrals.  While I was adding a modern spin on my client’s 1800’s classic charmer, many of the homes still retain that rustic,old world feel that so many of the beach getaways of the East Coast (Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod….) are known for.  Take a look at some of the images from Lisa McGee’s book, “A Home in Nantucket” and feel the instant comfort and ease of the Nantucket life.

Stay tuned for photos of my spin on the Nantucket home!

Stair Master

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jul 22, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Magazines

I spied this unbelievable staircase in last month’s Chicago Home + Garden.  Located in an 1880’s converted Lutheran church in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, these stairs makes quite a statement.  Crafted from salvaged wood from the structure’s original ceiling joists, floorboards and rafters, LEED certified firm Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson created this staircase for the family’s third floor addition.  It is located above the foyer, creating a dynamic view from the home’s second floor.  Are you are wowed by this as I am?

{Door County, Wisconsin}

If you’re from Chicago (or the Midwest in general) you’re probably familiar with summer’s “lake culture.”  Door County, northern Michigan, Lake Geneva…all household names for those who like to kick back and relax during the hot summer months.  Replete with charming shops and pristine shores of the Great Lakes, these havens are wonderful places to spend some time.

I in fact did a Michigan summer home for a client a few years ago.  Such a fun, different project!  Here are some pics.

These resort communities are well known for their charming old cottages and lake homes, but many are also deciding to go with new construction.  Check out this fabulous lake home from Chicago Home + Garden.  Makes you want to take a dip in the lake, doesn’t it?

{Michigan lake home}

{Michigan lake home}

{Michigan lake home}

{Michigan lake home}

{Michigan lake home}

{Michigan lake home}

{Chinese Courtyard Panels, Original Price: $2,280/pair, Sale Price: $1,596/pair}

Just wanted to give all Chicago Material Girls a heads up that my good friends over at Pagoda Red are having a fabulous weekend sale!  I am a big fan of this wonderful Asian home and garden outpost for their incredible variety and unique selection of antiques, artifacts and art work.  While Pagoda Red has two locations, the 30% off sale is taking place in their Winnetka garden (their other location is in Wicker Park).  Take a look at a few of the items on sale, and be sure to take advantage of the beautiful (albeit hot) weekend by stopping by Pagoda Red!

Pagoda Red, 902 Green Bay Road, Winnetka IL, 60093 PH 847.784.8881

{Pair of Stone Finials with Peaches and Persimmons, Original Price: $12,800/pair, Sale Price: $8,960}

{Large Turquoise Glazed Jar, Original Price: $2,880, Sale Price: $2,016}

{Large Reclining Dragon, Original Price: $6,280, Sale Price: $4,396}

The day has finally come when Buckingham Interiors + Design moves out of its long time North Shore home and into its new space.  The space is far from all work, no play however.  I wanted it to feel like a comfortable home in which clients are able to get a feel for the BID design experience.

With an ever expanding project list and the addition of several more (wonderful!) employees, it was time that BID moved into one of the hottest design district’s in the city- the West Town neighborhood. Naturally as a designer, this was an exhilarating new project!  We took an old industrial plant and crafted it into an urban gallery setting.  I have done several commercial spaces before, but this was the project that I really had been waiting for for years.

In addition to being the hub of our design firm, we have an ever-changing array of featured artist’s and furniture designer’s that are exclusive to Buckingham ID in Chicago.  Some of these artists’s are brought to us by the Outdoorz Gallery in Paris. We also are lucky to feature Marjorie Skouras lighting rooted in Los Angeles and Marilyn Borglum- a local amazing artistic find. And, of course there are many of my unique finds culled from all over the world to add to the mix of my classic design- meets modern world aesthetic.

Thanks to Jo and Kim at Desire to Inspire for featuring our new showroom on their blog.   Also, many thanks to my family, friends and my fantastic design team; Nancy, Paulina, Alison, Shannon, Adrienne- and our summer interns, Danielle and Madeline- and our amazing clients for being so supportive and enthusiastic.  Couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Come swing by the Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom at
1820 West Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60622.

Stay in Style

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jul 09, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Decorating, Designers, Fashion

{Gisele Bundchen in Versace}

Love wrapping yourself up in a Diane von Furstenberg dress, throwing on a Missoni scarf, donning a seductive silk Versace gown or heading out the door with an Armani bag? If so (or even just in your dress up fantasy), it’s time to take it to the next level with your designer friends…sleeping in fashion designer outfitted hotels!

Claridges Hotel in London recently unveiled 12 DVF designed guest suites, the Armani Burj Dubai Hotel within the Burj Khalifa sports sleek Armani Casa furniture, the Palazzo Versace in Dubai sports the decadence expected with the Versace name, and the Hotel Missoni opens this fall in Kuwait.  Surprised that most majority of these swanky hotels are appearing in the Middle East?  Hardly!  The Middle East is one of the fastest growing markets for luxury goods…so these brands are being smart by getting involved in all sectors of the luxury market.

{Diane von Furstenberg in Claridge’s…couldn’t find any pictures of the DVF designed suites themselves!}

{Armani Hotel Dubai, image courtesy of Wallpaper}

{Armani Hotel Dubai, image courtest of Arabian Business}

{Armani Hotel Dubai, image courtesy of Arabian Business}

{Armani Hotel Dubai, image courtesy of Arabian Business}

{Palazzo Versace Dubai}

{Palazzo Versace Dubai}

{Palazzo Versace Dubai}

{Palazzo Versace Dubai}

{Hotel Missoni Kuwait, image courtesy of Hotel Chatter}

{Missoni Hotel Kuwait, image courtesy of Leisure Opportunities}

{Hotel Missoni Kuwait, image courtesy of Hotel Chatter}