Although the forecast doesn’t predict 80 and sunny, I am excited to leave Chicago for Los Angeles for a few days for a reason other than weather…the Design Bloggers Conference!  Taking place at the Sofitel in LA from February 28-March 1, the 3 day long event will include a keynote speech from Jan Showers, presentations by Paloma Contreras (of La Dolce Vita), Ann Sage (executive editor of Rue magazine), Loren Ruch (director of original and special event programming for HGTV), Ann Omvig Maine (editor in chief of Traditional Home) and Michelle Adams (editor in chief of Lonny)…in addition to many others!

{Sofitel, Los Angeles}

Topics to be covered include:

Interior Design Trends of 2011

The Impact of Blogging on the Design Industry

Blogging With the Stars: Snapshot of Four Successful Blogs

Leveraging Social Media to Build Your Business

…and the list goes on!

I am so proud to be representing Material Girls at this extraordinary event, and I cannot wait to be in such good company with my exceptional (cyberspace) neighbors.

Although I spotted these plates in a bridal magazine (CS Brides), I decided I liked them enough to suggest them to clients- and possibly even consider them for myself.  However, it is no doubt that they would make a great gift for a bridal shower, baby shower or a gift for any special occasion that would be appreciated for its personal touch and commemorative nature.

The My Private Sky collection from Nymphenburg consists of a set of 7 plates, each piece unique, showing the night sky at the time the purchaser was born at his or her place of birth.  Although Nymphenburg uses computer programming to determine the precise look of the night sky for the set, eat piece is meticulously hand crafted to absolute perfection.  About 500 stars, nebulas, constellations and planets are individually painted by hand for precise accuracy…what a task!

This collection is limited edition, so if you are interested in owning this one of a kind (literally!) set, act fast!  The My Private Sky collection can be purchased at Kneen and Co., a luxury tableware company in Chicago (I actually did a post on them recently).


Posted By Julia-Chicago | Feb 24, 2011 | 8 Comments | Category: Designers, Fashion, Magazines

After having done a recent post on the most enticing warm weather destinations featured in the Travel and Leisure 500 Best Hotels of 2011 issue, I came across this remarkable Moroccan home in Elle Decor that I would be more than happy to visit and soak up some rays.  As the home of fashion designer Liza Bruce and artist Nicholas Alvis Vega, the home was destined to be remarkable from the start.  The home is brimming with color and light…a perfect combination of antique, honoring the home’s Moroccan heritage, and modern touches.  Check out the kitchen…who would have thought that a tree trunk would work in a space!?  In such an exotic locale, bending the rules of convention may be permitted.  While the home may be in Marrakech rather than Casablanca, I couldn’t help but dream of Humphrey Bogart  whispering “we’ll always have Paris” to Ingrid Bergman in this sensual abode.

A DeGiulio Kitchen in one of my Buckingham Interiors + Design Projects in Kenilworth, Illinois

While the title of this post is a nod to one of my favorite books (by Anthony Bourdain), the real reference here is to kitchen extraordinaire Mick De Giulio’s new book, “Kitchen Centric.” De Guilio is a veritable kitchen genius and is one of the most revered names in kitchen design not only in Chicago but throughout the country as well.  With over 25 years in the kitchen biz, De Giulio really knows what works.  With his versatility in design, De Giulio appeals to clients with almost any taste.  His projects have been featured in publications from Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens to House Beautiful, and his unbelievable showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart is definitely worth a visit.  De Giulio is a frequent speaker at industry events, but now his words are being immortalized in a beautiful book that I surely am looking forward to checking out!

Mick De Giulio’s new book, Kitchen Centric

De Giulio kitchen Glencoe, IL

De Giulio kitchen Glencoe, IL

De Giulio Highland Park, IL

De Giulio kitchen Highland Park, IL

De Giulio kitchen Highland Park, IL

De Giulio kitchen Atherton, CA

De Giulio kitchen Winnetka, IL

De Giulio kitchen Monte Sereno, CA

De Giulio kitchen Monte Sereno, CA

De Giulio kitchen Chicago, IL

De Giulio kitchen Chicago, IL

De Giulio kitchen Scottsdale, AZ

{One and Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Mexico}

With the record breaking snowfall and arctic temperatures that have been slamming the Windy City as of late (-20 windchill! Ouch!) my mind has been drifting to the warm, tropical paradise destinations that would be the sweetest escape during the doldrums of the bitter Chicago winter.  It just so happens that Travel & Leisure is currently featuring their 500 Best Hotels of 2011, many of which include beaches, pools and endless sunshine.  With 500 glorious destinations, how could anyone only choose one?!  I want to visit them all! 🙂  But for the purpose of this post, however, I had to keep it to my favorites, which was a difficult task! And while these may only be a tease on this cloudy February day, I can’t help but indulge myself in the hopes of (soon!?) visiting these luxurious (and warm!) hotels and resorts.  Anyone visited any of these remarkable destinations?  Please share!

{One and Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Mexico}

{Cap Juluca, Anguilla}

{Curtain Bluff, Antigua}

{One and Only Ocean Club, Bahamas}

{Sandy Lane, Barbados}

{Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis}

{Hotel Eden Rock, St. Barths}

{Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos}

{Jade Mountain. St. Lucia}

{Esperanza Resort, Los Cabos Mexico}

{Turtle Inn, Belize}

{Four Seasons, Costa Rica}

{Las Ventanas, Los Cabos Mexico}

{La Residence Phou Vao, Laos}

As I passed by the Chicago showroom of Roche Bobois the other day, I decided to check out what this uber chic Parisian home outfitter is up to.  I discovered their Jean Paul Gaultier home collection, which is fashioned in the same style as the designer’s couture creations.  Avant garde, opulent and oh so glamorous, I must admit that this collection isn’t particularly my style, but in the words of one of my most favorite taste makers, Carrie Bradshaw, it is undeniable that it is just “fabulous.”  This sophisticated and very unique line of furniture and accessories is so distinctive that it would take a bold designer and willing client to fashion a room out of this collection.  Perhaps a few pieces here and there might produce a more manageable effect.  What are your thoughts?  Hate it, love it, or somewhere in between?

{Jean Paul Gaultier Fall Winter 2010/2011}

{Jean Paul Gaultier Fall Winter 2010/2011}

{Jean Paul Gaultier Fall Winter 2010/2011}

You may have picked up by now that I have a slight (ok maybe more than slight…) obsession with orange.  Not only have I used this punchy hue throughout my own home, but it has also made its way into many of my projects, both commercial and residential.  Something about this color really strikes my fancy, for it has both a lively vintage quality yet also a sophisticated modern feel.  Furthermore, it can be paired with many other colors to create a dramatic effect (my favorite combos are orange and gray, orange and purple, orange and pink, orange and brown and orange and cream).

{Orange in my own home}

{Orange in Buckingham Interiors + Design space at Merchandise Mart Antiques Fair}

I was browsing Lonny’s online photo gallery and I was pleased to see just how many spaces used orange in some way, either big or small, and in many different rooms, from bathrooms to workspaces.  Check out some of my favorites!

Living Like a Star

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Feb 05, 2011 | 7 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating, Living Rooms

{Brad, Angelina and the kids racking up the frequent flier miles}

Don’t we all love getting a glimpse into the fabulous lives of celebrities?  US Weekly, People, even Star, there’s something so addicting about getting the inside scoop on the stars.  Not only do we like to see them at their “finest” (how can we forget Britney’s little getting out of the car mishap, Lindsay’s many lovely party pics, or the Olsen twins glued to the Starbucks and oversized shades), but we also love to see the way they live in their homes.

As I was browsing the Architectural Digest website, checking out what the recently appointed editor-in-chief Margaret Russell is doing for the magazine, I came across the “celebrity living room” feature.  And like any juicy deets about celebrities, I just had to take a peak.

{Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Beverly Hills}

{Angelica Huston, California Central Valley}

{Sting and Trudie Styler, London}

{Joshua Bell, Manhattan}

{Jennifer Aniston, Beverly Hills}

{Elton John and David Furnish, Los Angeles}

{Kimberly and Dennis Quaid, Los Angeles}

{Diane Keaton, Beverly Hills}

{Gerard Butler, New York City}

{Patricia Heaton and David Hunt, Los Angeles}

{Cher, Los Angeles}

{Sheryl and Robe Lowe, Santa Barbara}