I was so excited to see that Chicago Home + Garden recently featured the home of the creative director of FLOR, a modular flooring company based outside of Chicago. This home was beautifully captured and photographed by the uber talented Chicago photographer Nathan Kirkman.  Chicago Home + Garden always features fine Chicago Design-I look forward to each issue.

Not only do I love the look of Flor, but also several of my projects, my own home, and now my own dogs (as part of the set) have been featured in their campaigns.  We actually have a shoot later this week with the FLOR Photography Crew at the home of one of my clients-sans dog models. And, one of my oldest daughter’s roomies was the model in their latest catalogue.  She had a blast at the shoot with our Wheaten Terriers, Jane and Frankie, but stole the show!

FLOR is a great solution for affordable, custom sized carpeting, and the broad selection is amazing.  The look of Flor trends toward modern with basics to suit any decor style.  I have the “Fine Feathers” pattern installed inside my offices. Having worked closely with Chip and Cynthia over the years, it was so much fun to “peek” into their home. It comes as no surprise that the home of this creative director in suburban, family-friendly Elmhurst would have a very midcentury look…I love it!

The look of Flor…

What an charming 1940′s ranch home.

Dying over this orange couch.

Love the original stove and oversized chalk board…perfect for a home with creative little ones.

Fabulous onyx entry table.

Such a fun room for the little guys.

I could get some serious R&R in this patio area…

Please visit the Chicago Home + Garden site for more images of this amazing home and much more!





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Greetings from the City of Lights!  I am here with my hubby John to attend the Maison & Objet Home Fashion Showcase, and we couldn’t be having a better time eating, drinking, sightseeing and shopping our way through this magnificent city!  Although the weather has been a bit dreary at times, that hasn’t stopped us from taking in all that Paris has to offer. Also a blast meeting one of my Chicago client’s at the flea market to find goodies for her new home.  I am so excited to bring the best of European chic back to the U-S of A for my clients and showroom!

Here is a look inside what we have been up to…

Hotel Plaza Athenee…our amazing hotel!  So Paris chic.  Lavish glam to the max! The Gallerie and Night Club were elegant and happening.  The Dior Spa and Fitness Center was one of my favorite haunts during my stay. Fitness was much sought out after foie gras intake daily.

Beautiful nighttime at our lovely hotel with the twinkling lights of the Tour Eiffel in the background. There is an ice skating rink in the courtyard of the hotel with children skating daily to the tunes of french music.

Restaurant Le Jules Verne at the Eifel Tower

Hands down the best meal and views of our stay in Paris.  I highly recommend for lunch, sipping champagne of course!

Clignancourt Flea Market…I was like a kid in a candy store even though I have visited many times….

My client and I trying to wrangle best prices while amusing the crowd :)

Vanves Flea Market…another endless world of treasures!

The main attraction of our trip, Maison & Objet Home Fashion Showcase.  Five days of the most amazing home furnishings and decor in the world!  What is it about Paris that makes everything so oo-la-la?

Check out these chairs…j’adore!

Some exhibitors and me in the Hall of Garden and Home Furnishing’s………..

A few little treats from Laduree to end the perfect day in our hotel …These are mostly gifts I swear!





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Diva Delivery

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 17, 2012 | 1 Comment | Category: Celebs

Wow, things have really changed since I had my children.  Take a look at these pictures from Beyonce’s maternity suite.  It looks more like a luxury hotel than a hospital room.  The diva gave birth to baby Blue Ivy (as I’m sure you know because this news has been everywhere) at Lennox Hill Hospital in NYC, and clearly no expenses were spared.

Ok, ok…I guess this isn’t the norm.  But if this is the precedent Beyonce has set, expectant moms might be asking for the diva hospital treatment too! What do you expectant Mom’s think of these digs??? Pretty posh,no?

Photos courtesy of TMZ.





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Browsing Pinterest is like a great day of window shopping, except from the comfort of my own home or office (shhhhh)!  I open Pinterest and vow to only spend a few minutes for inspiration gathering.  However, those 5 minutes somehow turn into an hour.  This evening’s visit to Pinterest, per usual, produced many inspirational images that I want to share with MG readers-heck the editing process took at least an hour.  Check out my latest finds on one of my favorite sites.  Follow me so that I can see what your favorites are!






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Prime Real Estate

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 04, 2012 | 2 Comments | Category: Magazines

Lake Forest, Illinois

6 bedrooms, 6 baths

15,000 square feet

$6.95 million

Pedigree: Celebrated architect David Adler built this Tuscan-style lakeside villa in 1916. It is considered one of his finest residential estates, due to the classically symmetrical interiors, stately loggia, and stone-paved courtyard.

Property Values: The three acres feature an original sunken garden, conceived in collaboration with landscape designer Ralph Rodney Root, and direct access to a white-sand beach on Lake Michigan.

Talking Point: Watching over the grounds are statues of Neptune and the nine muses, among other mythical figures.

Contact: Coldwell Banker, 847-987-8517; coldwellbanker.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgoVZbC

From time to time I love indulging in the Architectural Digest feature “Homes for Sale Around the World.” Having lived in many houses myself (and naturally as a designer), I have a fascination with houses.  Leave it to AD to feature some of the most glam, luxurious and decadent estates from around the world.  Although I am not sure that purchasing a $50 million private island in the British Virgin Islands is in many of our realms of possibility, but, a girl or guy can dream, right?  Check out some of the latest listings on “Homes for Sale Around the World.”  Maybe AD will be coming to your block next!

Text and listing information courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Peapack, New Jersey

31 bedrooms, 14 baths

60,000 square feet

$4.9 million

Pedigree: Designed by Carrère and Hastings, the venerable architecture firm behind the New York Public Library, this secluded Beaux Arts mansion was constructed in 1903 for financier C. Ledyard Blair. The house, which has undergone an incomplete restoration, still exudes Gilded Age grandeur thanks to bespoke mantels, elaborate moldings, and imported marble.

Property Values: The 34 acres feature Italianate gardens by James Lyle Greenleaf.

Talking Point: With its unique past—reclusive nuns owned the place for some 50 years—Blairsden, as the house is called, has long been the subject of local lore.

Contact: Turpin Realtors, 877-788-7746; turpinrealtors.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMeM4fPg

Ojai, California

4 bedrooms, 3 baths

4,300 square feet

$4 million

Pedigree: In 1959 architect Rodney Walker, best known for his three contributions to the Case Study House Program, erected this hilltop retreat as his personal residence. Modeled after an equilateral triangle, the ethereal structure merges indoor and outdoor spaces using glass curtain walls and pointed overhangs.

Property Values: The three-and-a-half-acre plot, accessible by a winding private drive, enjoys sweeping views of the surrounding valley.

Talking Point: Vintage linoleum and wood surfaces and a paint-box color palette lend midcentury cool to the open floor plan.

Contact: Crosby Doe Associates, 310-428-6755; crosbydoe.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMez2N17

British Virgin Islands

7 bedrooms, 8 baths

17,000 square feet

$50 million

Pedigree: Natural beauty abounds on Buck Island, a 43-acre private haven boasting pristine beaches, protected coves, and coral reefs. Presiding over it is a contemporary masonry compound, comprising a main building, a satellite master suite, and three guesthouses.

Property Values: An infinity pool, a helipad, and a cabana dot the land, while two additional villas occupy a base on nearby Tortola.

Talking Point: A partially built bridge adds archaeological intrigue.

Contact: Smiths Gore, 284-494-2446; smithsgore.co.uk

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgDBwEi

Como, Italy

7 bedrooms, 4 baths

7,530 square feet

$34 million

Pedigree: Built in the late 19th century, this stucco-clad villa is perched on a superlative lot overlooking Lake Como, with views of the village of Bellagio on the opposite shore. Refined ornamentation, a grand scale, and neutral decor give an airy feel to the interiors, which have been restored by Milan-based architects Alberto Brugi and Elio Messi and are available furnished.

Property Values: The leafy seven-acre grounds include a gymnasium, a spa facility, a boathouse, and a pool.

Talking Point: A helipad allows for easy arrivals and quick departures.

Contact: Christie’s International Real Estate, 011-44-20-7389-2631; christiesrealestate.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgV4cjf

Hickory Creek, Texas

6 bedrooms, 6 baths

36,630 square feet

$35 million

Pedigree: Just 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this attention-grabbing mansion—built in 2002 for CellStar founder Alan Goldfield—continues to linger on the market despite huge price cuts. It was modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th-century château that inspired Versailles, and overflows with baroque flourishes.

Property Values: Ninety acres with a lake, tennis courts, a pool, and a cabana.

Talking Point: Over-the-top amenities include a two-story Chanel-themed dressing suite, an indoor pool, a hair salon, a home theater, and a bowling alley.

Contact: Briggs Freeman, 214-350-0400; briggsfreeman.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMhA03Wk





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Here’s to another great year for MG!  Where has this time gone?  It seems like just yesterday that I was blogging about the Business of Design Conference back in August or debuting my space at the Chicago Merchandise Mart Dream Home back in June.

I did this post at the end of 2010, and I can’t believe the time has already come to do it again!  Here’s to you, 2011!

What MG Chicago and my firm Buckingham Interiors + Design were up to these past 12 months…

Wishing all MG readers health and prosperity in the new year!

December

“Fun for the Whole Family”

This post was about a very family friendly project I recently completed in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.  I wanted to showcase bold colors, textures and patterns in a space that is just as whimsical for adults as it is for children. Look for this home being featured in the January issue of CSInteriors on bookstands January 19th. Written by Tate Gunnerson and photographed by Anthony Tahlier, this should be a very good read.

November

“The Luxe Life”

This is a post about a project I recently completed in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood that was featured in Luxe Magazine.  I tried to play up the homeowner’s love and appreciation of fine art as well as the unparalleled views from this stunning modern high rise.

October

“Affordable Modern? Sign Me Up!”

CB2 did a promotion called “Unlock Affordable Modern” throughout the country, and while it has since ended, my affinity for CB2 certainly has not.  As a lover of all things modern and antique, it was around this time that I coined the term “modernique” to define by aesthetic. I was asked to speak at the  High Point Antiques Market to elaborate on my visions of design nirvana achieved by the mixture of using antiques and modern furnishing’s within each space that I design. Thank you Karen and Amanda!

September

“Totally Wu-ed”

The month of September was a busy one for me!  I was here, there and everywhere, including the Brizo event for Jason Wu in NYC during Fashion Week.  I was invited to the Blogger 19 event (as you can see, there are 19 of us) and had a fabulous time mingling amongst some of the blogosphere’s finest!  Not to mention being up close and personal with Jason Wu’s stunning couture creations was worth the trip in itself! I made some amazing new pals- we are connecting again in February of this year for the 2nd annual Design Blogger’s Conference in LA. So looking forward to seeing them and friends who will be speaking and presenting this year.

August

“Staying in Style in NYC”

One of my assistant’s stayed at the Surrey Hotel in NYC in August and came back to Chicago raving about it.  Of course, I had to check it out for myself! I must say I was very impressed!  Sleek, modern, sophisticated yet so comfortable and livable…I didn’t ever want to check out when I was staying here!

July

“A Gift for You, A Gift for Me!”

I became obsessed with Layla Grace when I had to purchase a birthday present for a friend in July.  While I bought her a monogrammed lucite tray, I inevitably found many things that I was obsessing over for myself! Needless to say that the BID Team has been on the wire many times since then sourcing for our client’s galore.  This orange side table being one of my faves…

June

“Dreaming Big at the Merchandise Mart Dream Home”

I was thrilled to be a part of this year’s Dream Home at the Chicago Merchandise Mart!  Above is an image of my space.  Many thanks to my wonderful team and vendors at the Mart-Bradley Hughes, Baker, Dessin Fournir, Boyd, Paris Ceramics, Holly Hunt, Cai, Jim Thompson, Joanne Trestrail, Richard Norton and Lee Jofa…couldn’t have pulled this together without you! I am looking forward to seeing what next years chosen Chicago designer’s do with these spaces.

May

“Come out to See the Lake Forest Showhouse!”

May was the month of the highly anticipated biannual Lake Forest Showhouse.  My firm designed the foyer, front staircase, and second floor front hall.  May was a fantastic, albeit very busy, month for me.  All worth it because I love what I do!

April

“Victorian Era”

I finished this Lincoln Park Victorian in April.  I loved this project because like many of my projects, this was a historic home that had unbelievable architectural details beneath the surface of some subtle digging and that we were able to bring back upon restoration.  It was amazing to see the history of the house come alive while being updated with modern furniture, art and finishes.

March

“Sunny Side Up”

Spring break month!  One of my assistant’s spent a week in beautiful Palm Beach, Florida and sent me this article about the Lauder Estate there.  Can anything top this view?!  Aerin…I will come hang out anytime ;)

February

“Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!”

February is truly is the doldrums of winter, and during this time nothing looks better than a blue sky, crystal clear ocean and tropical drink.  Included in Travel and Leisure’s 500 Best Hotel issue were many beach resorts, and I couldn’t resist indulging and fantasizing that I was was lounging on this chaise above.

January

“No ‘Breaking Up’ With This!”

“The Breakup” is one of my favorite movies because a. I love Vince Vaughn b. it takes place in my hometown of Chicago and c. it features my good friend and wonderful artist Francine Turk!  I use Francine’s work all the time (and exhibited her work in my showroom as seen above) and wanted to share with MG just how talented and amazing she is! Hopefully Francine will be joining me this month at Maison et Objet in Paris. Can’t wait for that- not just Paris but to see and learn the latest and greatest in design for the upcoming year.  More to share with y’all!

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