Art and design go hand in hand and I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented artists through the years, both curating pieces for my design clients and for the rotating art exhibits in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago.

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One of my absolute favorite installations in my Showroom still to this day is this gallery wall by Chicago-based Artist Francine Turk.

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Francine Turk breaks the rules of constraint. As artist and visionary behind Francine Turk Studio, Turk seamlessly blends thoughtful beauty with the dramatically raw and vulnerable nuances of life. Her artwork stems from a constant excavation of her truth and is revealed as a layered expression of emotion and discovery, evoking a connective and visceral response from the viewer.

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In its layered complexities and juxtapositions, she expresses this embodiment of her artwork as both delicate marks of charcoal on paper and fearless representations of what it means to be a rebel, a forger of one’s own path.

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Turk is influenced and inspired by great artists like Picasso and Matisse yet compared to contemporaries like confessional artist, Tracy Emin. She also draws inspiration from musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Jack White, who, in Turk’s eyes, have been fearless in their pursuit of personal truth. Given the complexity of influences and her own highly expressive and layered technique, she is not compelled to confine her work to a particular genre.

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Much in demand by collectors worldwide, Turk’s acclaimed works are housed in private and corporate collections across the globe. Her most well received solo exhibitions include Bad Ass (2011), A Decade of Evolution (2012) and Verite (2014). She has been part of group exhibitions alongside Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Andy Warhol, Helen Frankenthaler, Marlene Dumas and the like.

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I recently reached out to Francine to discover she was “headquartered” in Barcelona for the month of June! I was instantly wishing I was back in Spain as well taking day trips to the countryside. We certainly share our love of travel and inspiration!

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Francine was in Spain for continued inspirations for the “Love Letter to A Matador” series. For the first time ever, Francine sent a private invitation to collectors to be a part of this journey by purchasing work created in Spain that would mark the beginnings of an upcoming solo show. A limited number of “site unseen” pieces were made available to collectors only as a presale and quickly sold out within days. It was a true exercise in gratitude to thank collectors for supporting her over the years as the pieces were made available for a fraction of the market value.

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Picasso has always been a huge influence on Francine’s work and this trip was no exception- especially his “bous” (bull) studies. She named each of the 27 sold works in Catalan. She was influenced by cubist and expressionist styles using charcoal, ink and oil sticks. The culture in Barcelona was also a huge influence on this series.  Back alleys hosted a variety of street performers, opera singers and men fighting with fire at every turn.  She created bous and matadors with undertones of romance, mystery, sex and masculinity.

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Francine stayed in the gothic quarter where graffiti was prevalent and influential. She visited a flea market acquiring ledger books, antique hand written letters and vintage postcards, which she used as the background for thank you notes to her collectors.  She enclosed this personalized note with each piece and shipped the work in drawing tubes from Barcelona.

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Follow along Francine’s entire journey on Instagram (@francineturk) and at www.francineturk.com.

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An upcoming exhibit of Francine’s work will be in the Buckingham I+D Showroom. Stay tuned!

xx,

Julia





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As many of you know, Pantone recently released their color palettes for Spring 2013. But we want to talk FALL! Every week I’m honored to join in one of Twitter’s best chats, #IntDesignerChat. This week some of the industry’s top interior designers came together to discuss what is hot for fall’s interiors. Check it out and let me know what colors YOU’RE loving right now!

 





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I fell in love with the style of cosmetic heiress Aerin Lauder when I featured the Lauder family estate in Palm Beach last year.  I was very excited to come across her Hamptons home in Wainscott, New York in Vogue.  With the same traditional elegance infused with modern comforts as her family’s home in Florida, Lauder’s country home is lovely and elegant, yet oh so comfortable.  Don’t you just want to dive into that cheetah sofa?  I love the personal touches throughout the home…signed photograph from Grace Kelly to her grandmother, Estee (your home has one of those too, right?), knick knacks from her young sons strewn throughout the kitchen (if you have young children, you know sports equipment and homework assignments become decorator accessories), and a framed letter from her grandmother next to her bed.  The home, like Lauder herself, is effortlessly stunning.





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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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Staying in Style in NYC

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Aug 11, 2011 | 7 Comments | Category: Celebs, Dining Rooms, Floors

{Roofdeck…what a view!}

One of my former interns, Colette, recently moved to New York…so excited for her to start her post grad life!  She is currently seeking jobs and apartments, but she stayed with her mother for the past week in one of New York’s most fabulous hotels, the Hotel Surrey.  Located in a prime Upper East Side location, both Colette and her mom absolutely raved about it.  They have done quite a bit of traveling and said this was one of their favorite hotels they have ever stayed in.  Her mom will now be making any excuse to come back to NYC to visit Colette and her sister (who also lives in the Big Apple).

I checked out the hotel for myself, as I am heading to NYC for the BOD Conference and as a guest of Brizo during Fashion Week in September,  and it looks amazing.  Loving that roofdeck.

{Entrance}

{Lobby}

{Lobby}

{Lobby}

{Roofdeck}

{Bar Pleiades}

{Bar Pleiades}

{Presidential Suite}

{Presidential Suite}

{Presidential Suite Bathroom}

{Penthouse Suite}

{Penthouse Suite}

{Penthouse Suite}

{Penthouse Suite}

{Suite}

{Suite}

{Suite}





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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





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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}





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This year, like any year, has been an eventful year for design.  New doors opening, familiar doors closing, that fabric you just had to have for that armchair that you just had to have even more, those mugs you probably should have returned, those hedges that your landscaper convinced you (and therefore you convinced your husband) would “revolutionize” your garden, that amazing find on Ebay/Etsy/One Kings Lane…the list goes on and on.

With yet another 12 months behind us, why not take a look back down design memory lane and check out what we had our minds set on in January, February, March, April…

Here’s what Material Girls Chicago was talking about, thinking about, laughing about, lusting over, dying for, surprised by and excited for from January-December, 2010.

For more details, click on the highlighted link to be directed back to the original post.

January

“Living in the Movies…Literally!”

{Evanston home that has major on- screen appeal}

When a home in the north suburban Chicago town of Evanston was featured in the Chicago Tribune for its “star power,” or rather the many films that can credit this house for creating a lovely set, I decided to poke around to see what other films that have captivated audiences not only for their plot but also for the fabulous homes that make them worth watching.

{Father of the Bride}

February

“Picture Perfect”

{Winning design by Eddie Ross, “Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge”}

When my good friend Eddie Ross won the highly coveted title of victor in the “Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge” in NYC, I was so impressed not only by the design of the whole, but was really captivated by the large orange and white piece of art he used.  Turns out Eddie got this piece from……

March

“The Bachelor Life”

{funky antlers in lieu of stuffed game animal}

I loved this home for its sophisticated, modern yet totally fun take on the traditional bachelor pad.  No stuffed deer heads in this place!  Chicago Home + Garden featured living the good (single) life in the issue from this month. Congrats to my pal, Darren on a truly remarkable pad :)

April

“You Say Indoor, I Say Outdoor”

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

Coming from a place that endures the most extreme in weather climates, outdoor fabric durability is crucial.  However, you still want it to look good, right?  These indoor/outdoor fabrics have the ability to withstand all inclimate conditions-from 3 year olds to thunderstorms.

{I used this Holly Hunt indoor/outdoor fabric in a Chicago lifestyle salon-Buckingham Interiors + Design}

May

“It Takes Two”


Twin beds remind you of summer camp or your grandmother’s house?  Well…you’d be lucky to sleep in these swank beds out in a cabin or in your grandmother’s dusty house!


June

“Turquoise With Envy!”


It was the year of turquoise, literally.  Pantone declared “turquoise” to be THE color of the 2010, so naturally when the New York Times featured designer Ghislaine Vina’s picks for all things turquoise for the home, I had to share with MG.


July

“Homecoming”

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

The big move!  July was the month that my design firm, Buckingham Interiors + Design, took up residence in Chicago’s hottest new design district, West Town.  Seems like just yesterday that  I was arranging (and rearranging, and arranging again), in our new space.

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

August

“Kimmy K’s Swank New Digs”


As both a Kardashian fan as well as a design junkie, I was particularly excited to get a look at Kim Kardashian’s new Los Angeles home, which was revealed in August of this year.  I personally think that it looks very tasteful, but a tad monochromatic for my taste…what do you think?

September

“Fabric Lust”


I really fell for this Thom Filicia fabric (an Ikat, go figure!) when I came across it an ad for it on the back cover on House Beautiful from this month.  I still am a big admirer four months later and hope to use it at some point in the future! (Here we come, 2011!)

October

“Body Art”


I discovered the special edition Jeff Koon’s for Kiehl’s collection this month, a collaborative line from which proceeds go to the Koons Family Institute, an initative of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  This is a particularly personal cause for the artist, for his young son was abducted by his then wife, resulting in years of custody battles.

November

“Running Wild”


It seemed like everyone was getting in touch with their wild side this fall!  Animal prints were everywhere in fashion as well as interiors.  Elle Decor featured a piece on animal print design during this month.

December

“Got An Extra $50 Million Lying Around?”

The Bunny William’s living room heard round the world just so happens to be a part of a larger project, a $50 million dollar project that is.  The 2009 Kip’s Bay Showhouse (2009, I know a little bit off), happens to be for sale for a jaw dropping price tag.  Any takers? Name the date of the housewarming party, and I’ll be there! Hello, 2011 fete perhaps?






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Kimmy K’s Swank New Pad

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Sep 09, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Celebs

I have to admit I have a sucker for all things Kardashian.  “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami” was my guilty pleasure for the past few months, and I was anxiously awaiting the premiere of the new season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” that aired recently.  Per usual, there was Scott drama, Kris the “momager” doing her thing, and Bruce just being Bruce.  However, I was delighted to see Kim’s new ($4.8 million) digs!  About time the megastar moved into a home worthy of her superstar status.  Check out the photos from TMZ and the Daily Mail and tell me what you think!





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Hollywood State of Mind

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Apr 24, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Celebs, Decorating, Magazines

Say what you want about print media being a dying beast, but I still love flipping through the glossy pages of my favorite shelter and fashion mags every month.  Call me old fashioned, but I love to retire at night with my old standbys, Elle Decor, Harper’s Bazaar, and In Style.  One of my favorite- and I think most innovative features of fashion magazines, is the incorporation of interiors articles.  It’s like a two for one special!  Not only do I find my latest dress or shoe obsession, but I find an equally as fashionable home to pore over as well.  In this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, the uber glam Los Angeles home of Simon and Natalie Fuller was featured.  Natalie is a Los Angeles interior designer and Simon is the producer and industry mogul that created American Idol.  From the moment I saw the dramatic white staircase with the lady of the house dressed in an equally as dramatic crimson gown, I knew that this home would be quite captivating.  The home is completely over the top, complete with a giant swan lounge by the side of the pool.  It is an exaggeration of everything glam, old world Hollywood and larger than life elements that make up my Hollywood fantasy.  Hot pink, plush velvet, and dripping in crystal, this home really is the Hollywood state of mind.

1940’s Ico Paris dining chairs

Formal living room…1950’s Italian railway chairs

The wine cellar is Natalie’s favorite room.  Instead of asking people for wedding gifts, they set up a wine registry.  What a cool idea!….Especially if you have a wine cellar like this one.

Natalie and Simon are self proclaimed “winos, foodos, and travelos”

One of her other favorite rooms…she loves the interplay between vintage and contemporary- as do I.

Glamorous dressing room…Natalie is a total fashionista.

Beautiful deck view…1950’s chairs recovered with Bruno Triplet leopard print silk mohair..It doesn’t get much better than that!

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