White After Labor Day

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Sep 29, 2011 | 11 Comments | Category: Color, Kitchens

While the “official” season of rocking those white linen trousers or pearly leather pumps may now be over, who says you can’t flash your fab light side in the kitchen?  All white (or primarily white kitchens) are so serene and calming, which can help to offset the clutter and chaos that often take place in what tends to be the hub of the house.  White kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, from classic to modern, large to small.  While summer may be on its way out, white kitchens are here to stay!

Photos courtesy of Decor Pad.





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{Me and designer Jason Wu }

Things have been quite hectic for me lately!  I have been in New York (twice), Boston, Florida and Arizona all within the last month, and I feel like I hardly have had time to  sit down- except while I was in the air.  Can’t complain, though, because all of these trips were extremely worthwhile.  We moved our son Alex into his new apartment at Boston University-a charming vintage home in Brookline- was sprucing up a client’s home in the Sunshine State, visited our youngest daughter during the University of Arizona Parent’s Weekend, attended the 8th annual BoD (Business of Design) Conference and the Blogger 19 Event with Brizo and Jason Wu- both of which were in the Big Apple.

{Enjoying cocktails and conversation with the other amazing bloggers in attendance at the Blogger 19 event hosted by Brizo}

{Hanging out with other inspirational women!}

I blogged about the Brizo/Jason Wu Blogger 19 event beforehand, but I can’t believe how much it surpassed my expectations!  As I’m sure you gathered, there were 19 of us designers/bloggers all together, and as part of the event schedule we were split into five different teams.  Each team was given 3.5 hours and a specified area of Manhattan (my team’s designated area was Midtown), to create a proposed bathroom scheme for Brizo, the luxury bathroom outfitter.  Each team had the chance to create a concept board for the group, all of which was presented in front of the other bloggers as well as members of the Brizo company.  The guest judge was Michelle Adams, editor-in-chief of Lonny Magazine.  Brizo really knows how to throw a fabulous event!

{Our team-Team Solna- inspiration board}

Not only was the challenge amazing, but we had the opportunity of attending designer Jason Wu’s show during NY Fashion Week as well as a special cocktail party with the man of the hour.  Brizo has sponsored Wu for several years, and now he is collaborating with them on a line of faucets.

Although I was well acquainted with Brizo before this event, I learned so much about the company and their wonderful team through this experience.  Brizo has been sponsoring the talented, young Wu since 2006, several years before he was quickly launched into the fashion stratosphere with Michelle Obama’s iconic Inaugural Ball dress.  Remember that dreamy white, one shoulder creation?  That was a Jason Wu design!

Seem like an odd pairing?  Think again.  Both Brizo and Wu are very cutting edge in their respective fields, and fashion and interiors have always had a great deal of creative crossover.  Brizo is known for their whimsical ad campaigns, green initiatives and elegant designs.  Wu’s similar aesthetic of a seamless blend of timeless and classic lends itself well to the Brizo line.

{Wu’s collaboration with Brizo- unveiling this fall}

{At Jason Wu’s fashion show with fellow bloggers}

{Fabulous gowns by Jason Wu…I wish I had an occasion to wear them all!}

It was great to see old friends, make new ones and get to attend one of the most stylish and inspiring events I have had the pleasure of attending!

{Me at the Jason Wu event with fellow blogger, Kerrie Kelly}

{All 19 of us at the Wu after party}

{Amazing Q&A session with the designer himself}

I love blogging for MG so much and it was wonderful to be in the company of those who were equally as passionate about sharing inspiration with their audience.  I will be sure to follow the blogs of my new friends from now on and hope you will do so as well!  Here is where (in cyberspace) you will find them located…Miss you guys!





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{Chinchilly, Essie}

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

Fall has officially come to Chicago, and chilly it is!  Today it barely broke 60 degrees and what does cooler weather mean besides boots, scarves and jackets?  Autumn nail polish, of course!

Today was the first time I got my autumnal manicure/pedicure for the season, and what better color to choose than Chinchilly by Essie!  I discovered this color around this time about two years ago, and it has been a cool weather staple ever since.

Here are some of the colors that I am look forward to painting my nails this fall, and in the spirit of MG, here are some cool interiors to go along with them!

{Carry On, Essie}

{Lonny Magazine}

{Very Structured, Essie}

{Elle Decor}

{Glamour Purse, Essie}

{Rue Magazine}

{Power Clutch, Essie}

{Lonny Magazine}

{I Break for Manicures, OPI}

{Architectural Digest}

{Suzie Takes the Wheel, OPI}

{Decor Pad}

{Roadhouse Blues, OPI}

{Decorpad}

{I Eat Mainely Lobster}

{Architectural Digest}

{Are We There Yet}

{Decorpad}





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{Wire deer head that was the inspiration for this post! Featured on Casa Sugar in 2009}

I was having a meeting with one of my assistant’s, Colette, the other day, and she mentioned in passing a wire deer head that she had purchased from PB Teen that the gal who had rented her apartment near Northwestern U after her was coveting. This request was ultimately denied as Colette couldn’t give it up.

We pulled up PB Teen’s website on my computer, and unfortunately they do not still have the wire deer head (aptly named Oh Deer!) that Colette purchased nearly two years ago, but they do have many interesting wire wall decorating accessories. In fact, a wire shark was installed in a young boy’s room in a clients home next week (you should see the full size surfer mural behind his bed!)

PB Teen?  Who would have thought! Although they are displayed in a very “teen” setting on PB Teen’s website (well it is a teen brand after all), given some imagination and foresight I think these wire pieces could find a place in any almost any room, dorm room,  poolhouse or  playroom- while adding a bit of my favorite whimsy.

{Wire Starfish Set, $35}

{Wire Starfish Hooks, $15}

{Wire Sea Turtles, $39-$59}

{Wire Sailfish, SALE! $29}

{Wire Jellyfish, SALE! $54}

{Wire Zodiac Signs, SALE! $8.99}

And I couldn’t help but feature these mirrors from PB Teen too…Wire and wood is always a good combination.

{Driftwood Mini Mirrors, $59}

{Driftwood Mirror, $99}

{Know Your Ropes Mirror, $99}





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{Urban Smoke Ball Fixture}

Lighting has long been one of my favorite parts of any design project, but it can also be one of the most difficult and time consuming part of the process.  First off, lighting really comes in bulk.  In some of my larger projects, I have upwards of 100 fixtures!  Wattage, placement, dimensions, shades….so much to think about when choosing just the right lighting schemes.

When I was blogging about the 2010 San Francisco Elle Decor Showhouse, I realized that the various designers had one common lighting theme: Urban Electric.  I often use UE myself, for their diverse collection of fixtures can appeal to a broad range of clients’ tastes.  I really admired the pieces used in the showhouse, but I wanted to also share with you some of my personal favorites.  Enjoy!

{Anson Ribbon Fixture}

{Athena Fixture}

{Chisholm Hall Fixture}

{Diamond Fixture}

{Dover Ball Fixture- Elle Decor Showhouse}

{Gwendolyn Hang Fixture}

{Kings Road Fixture}

{Poppy Fixture}

{Morris Ribbon Fixture}

{Sprig Fixture}





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OMG Obsessed!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Sep 08, 2011 | 4 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Gifts

Per my usual evening web browsing, I stumbled across another website outfitter of all sorts of home goods and trinkets.  This time, I came across “Shop Furbish” by way of Rue Magazine, an online shelter mag that I was featured in several months ago. Greets to my friend’s, Crystal and Anne the Editor’s of one of my fave online mag’s.

I was really taken with their lighting and furniture, however I was most impressed with their gift-worthy products that are so well priced.  I know where I will be getting all of my birthday presents and hostess gifts from now on!

{Navy and Orange Zig Zag Ottoman Tray, $95}

{Metallic Gold Zebra Jar, $16}

{Coral Double Gourde Petite Vase, $16}

{Plum and Gold Lacquer Bowl, $18}

{Blue and White Lattice Dish, $5}

{Spot Coasters, $18}

{Brass Urchin Accent, Large, $42}

{Bronze Nugget Vase, $18}

{Brown Zebra Porcelain Tray, $39}

{Decorative Coral on Lucite Base, $45}

{Faux Python Tray, Large, $65}

{Set of 3 Geo Nesting Bowls, $24}

{Jolly Roger Horn Box, $28}

{Lucite Ice Bucket, $30}

{Mr. and Mrs. Hand Towels, $30}

{Sea Urchin Vase, $16}





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My Office/Showroom nearly always functions as a shop, with virtually anything in it being up for sale at any given time.  I have been an avid collector and antique junkie for many years, so acquiring and selling things has become a natural life cycle in my business and personal life.  I have learned to not become overly attached to particular pieces, as I am always shifting/gifting/selling/moving things around, and thus acquiring more.  In fact, my family has become accustomed to this “here today, gone tomorrow” mentality in which anything is fair game, including artifacts in my own home.  I have about 10 treasures that will always remain in my possession (the inspiration items that mean so very much to me) and remain NFS-not including my three “Jewels” and my “Prince”-aka children and my husband.

It has happened on more than one occasion where I have been asked “Didn’t we used to have a different lamp here?”  Like my love for fashion and searching for beautiful things, I am always craving something new and different for my own spaces.

The look of my Office + Showroom has changed  along with my latest art exhibits. Since I initially opened my latest Showroom in the West Town Neighborhood of Chicago last year (check out a post featuring the original decor here), I wanted to share the changes and  the current state of the BID headquarters. We have gone through changes all along- this keeps our inventory evolving and introduces our clients to many new and different artists and artifacts. Along with the virtual changes, we are thrilled to be aligned with the most amazing new clients- it is a pretty thrilling time on Grand Avenue.

If you are in the neighborhood, I’d love for you to stop by.  As we all know, everything looks much better in person!

Buckingham Interiors + Design 1820 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago.  All art and artifacts are available for relocation into your home-as always- but may change at any time :)

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