Design Within Reach is literally down the street from me in the neighboring town of Evanston.  Whenever I am running errands- or working out around the corner (although this is mainly before the sun rises)-  in the charming downtown, I pass by DWR’s ever changing, always intriguing windows.  Although I rarely have time to actually stop in, I took a minute to “flip through” their latest online catalogue. The gals in Evanston as well as the team in Chicago at the Tree Studios location and, of course Curtis in Hawaii have helped me to deck out many clients homes with their cleverly modern- yet timeless pieces.

I am always impressed with what I see in its pages.  Lots of beautiful patio furniture, interesting artwork and fabulous rugs. In my office, we are constantly sourcing from these pages…The Evanston team even loaned us chairs for an event that we recently held when our Eames chairs were not able to be delivered in time.  What fantastic customer service.  Keeps me coming back again and again!

Ever seen this movie?  Yes, it’s kind of creepy but the house is truly stunning.  When I came across this home in Chicago in a recent issue of Architectural Digest that very much resembled “The Glass House,” I couldn’t help but be blown away by it’s breathtaking beauty.  A waterfront plot of land in Chicago is the most coveted real estate in the area, so it would be a virtual crime to not take full advantage of the lake views.

Architecture firm Peter Gluck and Partners created this modernist masterpiece, dubbed “The Cascade House,” as it is literally tiers of glass boxes that cascade towards the water.  Although the family originally commissioned the architect to design a townhouse in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, they soon realized they would need more space to accomodate their growing family.  Even though the home is family friendly, its sophistication and elegance is undeniable. With a pool, half basketball court and expansive outdoor space, the Cascade House is a kid’s paradise.  While the North Shore is full of glorious, historic estates, this home bucks tradition yet truly honors the most splendid of all design elements: Lake Michigan.

On the Cusp

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 17, 2011 | No Comments | Category: Fashion, Shops and Showrooms

{Cusp, Northbrook IL}

On a very gloomy day yesterday in Chicago, (it’s April and it’s SNOWING?! 1#@#dkasl!@$@$@!!) I headed indoors to find some relief in the form of retail therapy after a long day at the office with three of my favorite clients and with a potential new client whose project sounds AMAZING.  One of my favorite stores these days- thanks to my daughters Caroline and Madi, is Cusp, an offshoot of Neiman Marcus that is essentially their contemporary department on steroids.  Not only do I just die over their clothes, but the decor inside the store is also extremely cool.  I snapped a few pictures (very stealthily, as I don’t think paparazzi are really welcome inside Cusp) to share with you!

Some great looks from Cusp…

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{Jamaican Wedding}

With the royal wedding just around the corner (ok, I may or may not be following the “Countdown to the Royal Wedding” on Twitter…) as well as my wonderful assistant, Paulina, tying the knot this summer- and one of my other fabulous assistant’s, Shannon, getting hitched next year,  wedding bliss seems to be on my mind these days.  While the Brits are keeping their lips sealed about the deets on Kate and William’s nuptials and Paulina’s big day several months away, I have been antsy to check out wedding styles for myself.

{New York City Wedding, Cipriani Restaurant}

Weddings surely have come a long away from the days of big frills, veils and a zillion tier cakes.  There is such a wide variety of wedding styles these days, and there really is no “right way” to do it anymore.  Weddings have become so much more personal and therefore meaningful to the bride and groom, lovingly capturing their personal tastes and relationship; it no longer requires a 20 foot train or a monumental bouquet toss to create the perfect wedding.  Non-traditional is all the rage!  Wedding planners phones must be ringing off the hook.  After perusing Brides Magazine’s website, I found sundry wedding inspirations (even if a wedding in my own family may be a ways away, a girl can dream, right?).

And if you can’t tell, I’m kind of into the whole “al fresco” wedding thing right now 🙂

{Bahamas Wedding}

{Seaside Wedding}

{New York City Wedding}

{Greece Wedding}

{Wedding at New York’s Fig & Olive Restaurant}

{Palm Springs Wedding}

{Wedding reception created with $10,000 and eBay materials!}

{Guatemala Wedding}

{Malibu Wedding}

{New York City Wedding}

{Beach Wedding}

{Oheka Castle, Huntington New York Wedding}

{New York City Wedding}

{New York City Wedding, Hill Country Barbecue Restaurant}

{Lake Placid Wedding}

Victorian Era

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 09, 2011 | 8 Comments | Category: Decorating, Material Girls Projects

We tend to think of Victorian homes as being stuffy, formal and certainly not kid friendly.  One of my most recently completed projects, a Victorian in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, was to transform the home into anything but these conventional stereotypes.  The home, built in 1872, came under foreclosure in 2008, and an imaginative couple jumped at the opportunity to transform this historic dwelling into their modern dream (family!) home.  Working with both my firm (Buckingham Interiors + Design) as well as the hugely talented architect, Jean Dufresne, of Space Architects + Planners, the family painstakingly overhauled every square inch of the dwelling.  One of the main reasons they fell in love with this house, however, was its expansive yard, perfect for a family of six and unusual for this part of town. This fantastic project is the third home that I have designed for one of my hands- down favorite client families, who moved around the corner from our previously designed home into this grande dame 🙂

One of the most exciting parts of working on this project was certainly the addition to the back of the house.  Totally deviating from the Victorian style of the original structure, this modern space represents the eclectic taste and open-minded nature of these visionary homeowners.

{addition to the back of the residence}

Skrebneski exhibit at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

…to the exhibit I am hosting at my Chicago showroom of world renowned fashion and celebrity photographer Victor Skrebneski The exhibit, Homage Magritte, featuring never before seen works,  will run through May 13, so I’d love to see ya’ll stop by to check out this iconic artist’s incredible work.

Skrebneski exhibit at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

Skrebneski’s love of photography began at an early age, and at the age of 70 the prolific artist is still actively practicing his craft. His broad body of work includes portraiture, fashion shots and beauty photography, all imbued with a non-traditional twist.  Some of the most famous names in fashion, film and art have been immortalized in his portraiture, and celebrated brands and magazine publications have employed Skrebneski to create works of art through editorial and advertisement photography. As a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the artist began his career as a painter and sculptor, yet a chance encounter with a friend’s discarded dark room equipment would forever change the course of his life and career.

Although Skrebneski’s early career objectives included a relocation to New York, an assignment for Marshall Field’s in Chicago called him back to the Windy City, eventually influencing him to settle permanent in the city where it all began.

Skrebneski’s work has been featured in countless museums, periodicals and books, most recently including an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and in the publication of Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years.  With no plans to slow down any time soon, the artist has embarked on a new project to create 33 portraits of Steppenwolf actors to commemorate the theater’s 25th anniversary.  The lively artist is a true inspiration both in his artistic practices and his life experience whose work is both captivating and revolutionary. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Victor and delighted to call both him and Dennis friends of mine. What gentlemen and a whole lot of fun!  What’s next you two?  Count me in!

Skrebneski exhibit at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

Skrebneski exhibit at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

Portrait of Andy Warhol. Skrebneski Photographs.

Portrait of Audrey Hepburn. Skrebneski Photographs.

Portrait of John Malkovich. Skrebneski Photographs.

Portrait of Carolina Herrera. Skrebneski Photographs.

Portrait of Dennis Hopper. Skrebneski Photographs.

Town and Country Magazine. Skrebneski Photographs.

Chanel advertisement. Skrebneski Photographs.

Florida International Magazine

Florida International Magazine

Let’s Make a Deal!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 03, 2011 | 1 Comment | Category: Decorating, Magazines

Although a Groupon deal is only valid for a day, the featured product often deserves lasting attention.  I was pleased to see that a subscription to one of my favorite shelter mags, Chicago Home + Garden, was the deal of the deal this past Sunday.  The publication is already vastly popular, but extra press is always welcome.

With its diversity of material, broad range of featured articles and eclectic mix of home styles highlighted, this magazine appeals to a wide audience of design junkies both locally and nationally.  Having been featured in the publication several times myself, I have great respect for the quality and integrity of Chicago Home + Garden.  And above all, it really makes me proud to be practicing design in my fabulous hometown, Chicago.

Although the deal is now over, I thought I’d feature some of the best from the magazine, hopefully drawing you in despite the missed Groupon discount 🙂

Photos from Longman and Eagle Inn, Chicago

One of Chicago’s chicest lodging posts (doubles as a bar/restaurant downstairs!)

Featured Article, “Longman and Eagle Inn Style” Chicago Home + Garden

Photos from Winnetka home

Cool before and after article of North Shore home

Featured Article, “Trading Spaces” Chicago Home + Garden

Photos from Wicker Park Home, Chicago

Featured Article, “Making it Work” Chicago Home + Garden

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