Chicago Home + Garden is hosting their first ever “Chairs for Charity” event that I as well as 13 other Chicago designers/design teams will be participating in.  The gist of the event is that each design team has refurbished a vintage chair to be auctioned off that night.  I know I’m very excited about it (and gotta say proud of our chair :)) The charity event will be taking place on November 3, 6:00-8:00 pm at the Tile Gallery (555 N. Franklin St. Chicago).  Tickets are $32.50, and auction proceeds/portion of the ticket proceeds will be going to Designs for Dignity.  Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to be served…sounds good to me…a little retail therapy here.  Would love to see some MG out there to check out the Buckingham Interiors + Design chair as well as to support a great cause.  Thank you to Romo for the amazing fabric, Burchell Upholstery for the custom handiwork, Craig’s List for the fab chair- what an amazing previous owner story here- and to Ballard Design for the ultra secret surprise that we are keeping from the paparazzi until the event 🙂

{Buckingham ID chair!}

{our chair!!}

While 60 Minutes may be CBS’s longstanding news show, 60 seconds is the length of the micro Skype interview that I will be doing for an online media project that launches today, October 28!  The mini interview will be conducted by Hana Kamm, who is curating and hosting the digital media series on her site called “She’s Next.” The She’s Next project will be a “24 hour vigil on October 28, 2010 which will include 60 second video segments from inspirational women each hour, and be followed up by a 60 second interview each day for the rest of the month.  The entire series will be focusing on what it means for a 21st century woman to find happiness, cultivate leadership, and help change the world for the better….” words straight from Hana’s mouth!  Doesn’t it sound like an amazing, unique and fascinating project?  Kudos to her for dreaming up such a fabulous idea!  I will be watching and listening feverishly!

Hanna is a recent transplant to Chicago from NYC, so I am excited to be representing her adopted hometown 🙂  I’d love if all you MGs out there checked out at least one of the interviews….after all, they are only 60 seconds each!

My inspirational image for today……

Print Happy

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 26, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Decorating, Design Inspiration, Fabric, Fashion

{Diane Von Furstenberg at Claridge’s Hotel, London}

Diane Von Furstenberg’s name has become synonymous with the printed wrap dress.  Her latest venture is the print, minus the wrap, plus a bolt of fabric.  The designer has snagged 87 of her own prints and rather than put them on the body has gracefully created upholstery  for the couch, chair, pillow and more.  The prints are super chic, fun and innovative.  Such a great idea, as just about every DVF print is fabulously eye catching.  Want to see the fabrics in use?  Check out these photos from her decorating collaboration with Claridge’s Hotel in London.  What are your thoughts….would you rather wear them or lounge on them?

Photos courtesy of Elle Decor and Claridge’s

{Dress from fall 2008 collection…see a resemblance?}

{Claridges Room with China Vine pattern}

{Room at Claridge’s}



Paint My Life With Color

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 20, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Color, Decorating

Powder-coated recycled-brass Wharf Light comes in more than 180 colors, $900 to $1,125, at Urban Archaeology, Merchandise Mart, 312-527-4627,

The gloomy days of winter might be swiftly approaching, but that certainly doesn’t mean your life has to become drab.  This month’s Chicago Home + Garden offers a variety of color-ific options for to brighten up your home.  I have always been a huge advocate of color in my own designs (…recently just did a special for WGN on how to incorporate color in the home actually).  From lighting to chairs to throw blankets to even a mini grill, there is something for everyone in the following array of brightly hued items.

Descriptions courtesy of Chicago Home + Garden…thanks guys!

Mondrian-ian cashmere throw made in Italy, about 51 by 71 inches, $995, at Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St., 312-587-1700,

Auden sheer drapery fabric, created by Rodarte for Knoll Luxe, features wide bands of soft color inspired by the fashion house’s dip-dyed ombré gowns. From $130 a yard, at Knoll, Merchandise Mart, 312-454-6920,

Party-in-a-glass color-swirled blown-glass tumblers are three inches high, $45 each, at Barneys New York.

Bodum’s cheerful Fyrkat portable charcoal grill, 13 ½-inch diameter, enamel-coated steel, $65, at Space519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519,

What do Kartell’s Dune trays by Mario Bellini bring to the table? Ripples of vivid color, for one thing. The thermoplastic dazzlers come in two sizes, $83 and $113, at Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312-664-9582,

Wegner Wishbone chairs now come in four lovely blues and a zippy orange, as well as black, white, and oak finishes. Beech frames, woven-papercord seats, $830 to $930 each, at Room & Board,

Ligne Roset’s Pumpkin armchair in eight shades of red wool, inspired by the 1971 original designed by Pierre Paulin. Offered in a 150-piece limited edition, $2,100, at Ligne Roset, 440 N. Wells St., 312-222-9300,

Space-smart foldable stepladder, by Karl Malmvall for Design House Stockholm, comes in red, white, or black lacquered rubberwood, $329, at I.D., 3337 N. Halsted St., 773-755-4343,

Farmhouse style, de-rusticated: The 95-inch Walker table has a cherry-red lacquered-wood top, powder-coated steel base, $999, at Crate & Barrel,

Basket-like glazed stoneware fruit bowls by Eucalyptus come in tasty colors, three sizes, from $43, at Les Tableaux, 131 Marion St., Oak Park, 708-524-8200,


Wu Hoo

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 18, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Designers, Fashion, Shops and Showrooms

{Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu dress at the Inauguration Ball}

Having recently opened my own showroom space, I always love to check out what other designers are doing with their shops and showrooms.  This month’s Elle Decor featured designer Jason Wu’s new studio in the garment district in New York.  Of course he would never leave behind one of his most prized possessions, “the” table where he signed his first deal with Bergdorf Goodman in 2008, the table on which he crafted Michelle Obama’s gown for the inaugural ball.  Decorator Jesse Carrier was enlisted to deck out Wu’s new space, which certainly wouldn’t be complete without “the” table at the forefront.

{Jason Wu in his New York studio}

{“The” table}

{Wu’s couture filled showroom}

{Wu’s fabulous designs are simply breathtaking}

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{Article from Chicago Home + Garden, on sale now!}

Everyone has a favorite color.  Although I have many, one of my most favorite is orange.  However, color is truly personal, and furthermore is something that can define a space.  Although everyone has a color of choice, pairing hues can be a tricky task.

{Chicago Home + Garden editor, Jan Parr}

This coming Wednesday (October 13) I will be a guest on WGN’s midday show at noon, chatting with Chicago Home + Garden’s editor, Jan Parr, about adding/using color in the home.  With virtually any color in the rainbow at a homeowner’s disposal, those who crave the bold or those who prefer the subdued will find tips and tricks on color schemes during this segment.  Whether color is incorporated in a big way (a brightly colored accent wall) or a more subtle way (a few brightly colored books and nicknacks in a bookshelf or a bowl of lemons on the kitchen counter), mixing up hues can make all the difference.  So kick that color fear to the curb and tune in Wednesday!

All images courtesy of Buckingham Interiors + Design.

Fabric Lust

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 08, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Designers, Fabric, Magazines

I am in the midst of organizing the endless sea of home, travel and fashion magazines that are scattered throughout my office, showroom and home.  Some are my daughers’, some my assistants’ and some my own, and each contain a treasure trove of material and inspiration I can’t bear to part with.  I guess you could say that I am a bit of a design hoarder.

I came across the back cover of this month’s House Beautiful which features a beautiful fabric from the Thom Filicia collection for Kravet, which is a glorious take on the so right now Ikat craze.  I love the pairing with the geometric prints, contemporary nicknacks and especially the fabric ottoman in lieu of a traditional coffee table.  Such a cool space!  How do you feel about it? Here are some more great fabrics from this cool collection. So glad to be back in the blogging business after our malware snafu! I missed posting and reading my fellow Material Girl’s posts 🙂

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