Fashion and Interior Design quote by MieleThis quote by fashion designer Carlos Miele is very dear to me. His no-boundaries outlook on fashion is similar to how I design spaces. My philosophy of Modern-ique® , integrating antiques and artifacts with modern design, is just that. I truly believe that success can often come from the most unexpected pairings both in fashion and decor! My career-beginning with my Fashion Merchandising degree from the University of Arizona brought me to work for Neiman Marcus and now I have brought that “fashion passion” alive within my  interior design firm.

So imagine my excitement when I was invited to participate in the Oct. 8 Fashion + Design #Oliohop. OlioHops are blog hops organized by Olioboard. Olioboard is a new tool in “social commerce.” It allows you to  create interior design moodboards and even 2D and 3D room designs using real products clipped from your favorite websites.

I will show you two examples of how to bring together fashion and decor, built with the help of Olioboard. And I will be back on this topic throughout October as I head to High Point Market later this week. I am extremely excited about my role in this year’s High Point Market as a Style Spotter — the entire market will be focused on fashion and home decor!

Fashion trends, materials and colors affect home decor in a big way. A few weeks back I wrote a post about interior color predictions for fall/winter, many of these being based on fashion color trends. This time I wanted to do a deeper dive into the fashion trends that will have a big impact on the furniture and decor design we will see in everyone’s homes tres soon.

The Plaid Fad

Plaid isn’t just for your great-grandmother’s pillows or just for lodge decor anymore (although, these both evoke fond and warm memories that make us reach out toward it).  Bold and contemporary plaid pieces in a variety of colors are a fashion statement and must-have wardrobe items. Who else just LOVES the visual impact of the plaid plates on the wall (upper right within the images)? So chic! And just check out that swatch of sassy aqua and brown, such a well-balanced and unique palette, a defining characteristic of Kirkby fabrics (part of the The Romo Group). That’s just one of the fabulous fabrics I’m using in my DIFFA Dining by Design room where I am aligning with Romo next month here in Chicago. Plaid is going to be center-stage in my dining space!

All That Glitters is Gold

Metallics have been all the fashion rage these past few years but we’re now starting to see that same trend in home decor. I love adding hints of gold touches especially to lighting pieces, such as a gorgeous antique chandelier as well as accessory accents like plush Pyar & Co. pillows (featured on the bottom right). The owner of Pyar , Paula Queen, is one of my favorite design clients – big design things happening that I will share soon- and an entrepreneur mixing Indian textiles within a plethora of exquisite pillows. The pieces reflect the philosophy of Pyar, pieces that tell stories, “Pure love. Pure luxury.”

The photo in the middle is from one of my favorite design projects. The whimsical gold details on both the chandelier and table make the room feel warm and royal. Another of my favorite client dining rooms shown upper right and the powder room of another project, seen below, are just a few recent examples of how to use gold accents in the home.

In your opinion, what are some fashion trends that you expect will make it’s mark in home decor? Follow me as I head out to High Point Market this Saturday to see just what is the hottest in home design. As a Market Style Spotter you will be able to see just what I view as this season’s top picks for your own homes. Be sure to follow my Pinterest board for all the delicious details. And I certainly will be “spotting” for my interior design clients -they are counting on me!

Leave your comments below and share your thoughts with all of our Material Girls. I hope you’ve been inspired to create some of your very own dreamy moodboards on Olioboard.

Going Bold

And who says that two bold trends can’t mesh together into one fabulous room? 😉 Again, please hop on over to these other fabulous design blogs for our Fashion + Decor #Oliohop! Get all the details on the Oliohop Facebook page. Thanks and Happy #OlioHop-ing!

People I #OlioLove:

Erin || @apartment_34
Marilyn || @Marilyn_Russell
Jane || @JaneGianarelli
Euro Style Lighting || @EuroStyleLight
Lamps Plus || @LampsPlus
Franki || @frankidurbin
Lynda || @ncylq
Robin || @robinpedrero
Selma || @DesignerSelma 

And an Olioboard Contest!

There is a fabulous CONTEST being run by Olioboard and Layla Grace right now. Design the ultimate sleeping sanctuary using anything you desire from Layla Grayce. The top three winners – chosen exclusively by Rue Magazine’s Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Crystal Gentilello (a wonderful pal of mine) – will earn cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. You must use at least two products from Pine Cone Hill and/or Dash & Albert to be eligible to win. Winners will be announced October 16. Be sure to check out all details for a chance to win up to $4,000 in prizes!





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I recently ran across a post on Vintage and Modern where American interior designer Christopher Coleman and Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez combined forces to create a surprisingly gorgeous space consisting of mainly primary colors. The idea may seem childish, but when mixed properly- primary colors really can give a space that special “pop.” Check out some of the unique examples of how to perfect the use of primary.

Primary Residence:

Going Google:
Google is known for inspiring and unique spaces. Check out the interiors of Google’s headquarters In Zurich.

Locally Known and Loved: 
If you haven’t taken a tour of Red Frog Events, then you simply must take the time to admire their innovation. Complete with a treehouse, lego conference table and (gasp!) even a fully stocked bar- Red Frog’s fun personality definitely shines through their space.

Buckingham Goes Primary:
Last but not least- one of my previous client’s offices perfectly resembles their modern style in mainly primary colors!

So what do YOU think of the use of primary colors? Would you ever consider featuring the colors together in a space? Leave your thoughts below!





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Spring Trend Alert!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Mar 31, 2012 | 3 Comments | Category: Color, Fashion, Trends

As the story often goes, what hits the runways is often hitting the shelter mags and blogosphere as well.  I am loving this spring’s trends, especially the bold hue color blocking and of course, orange!  Orange has long been my signature color, so I’m glad it’s getting the recognition it deserves :)  These trends are accompanied by many other exciting ones as well, such as futuristic prints and pastels.  I love that there is great variety this season, proving there really is something for everyone to wear.  Oh, and to put into their home too!

Take a look at how runway translates to home!  Fashion photos courtesy of Glamour.

Sig Bergamin’s Sao Paolo home in Architectural Digest

Super Bold Prints

Houzz

Orange and Tangerine

Trendir.com

Pink Shorts Suits

…for the sake of this blog, let’s just abbreviate this trend to “Pink”

Schuyler Samperton

Futuristic Prints

Kelly Wearstler

Pastels

Pinterest

Metallic Basics

Aerin Lauder’s Dressing Room, Habitually Chic





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Decor Pad

I confess…it is not over for me.  I love the heartfelt messages from my oldest brother, our daughters, and hearing that our son liked his edible fruit bouquet. I thought that he would mock but he and his roommates dug in. Healthy choice, no?.  Thank you boyfriend’s of my girlz that you provided amazing flowers and dinners and gifts:)

What better way to perpetuate and  to celebrate the holiday of love than by featuring red and pink interiors?  As seen from the photos below, red and pink can be used in virtually any space, from a small scale to a large scale.  Floors, walls, doors…you name it, red and pink have got it covered. Did I mention that my gift of choice was a bevy of Lush bath bombs? I am addicted!

Pairing red and pink with white or black are traditional combinations, but I love the unexpected color combinations- pink + gold, red + yellow, red + light blue, pink + blue, pink + yellow.

Take a look at some of my Valentine’s Day inspired picks below! I am hoping that we can keep the day going for awhile here…..

Pinterest

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Houzz

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

Decor Pad

Decor Pad

Decor Pad

Decor Pad

Decor Pad

My very own kitchen.  Images from Rue Magazine .

Photographer Werner Straube





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{Kitchen in my recently completed Bucktown project}

Funny I stumbled across this article in Chicago Home + Garden, as I was just sporting my winter white coat today!  I did a post not too long ago entitled “White After Labor Day,” which featured the season-less elegance of monochromatic, white kitchens.  Once again, I want to emphasize that white should not be limited to spring and summer, especially when it comes to home decor.

There is something dreamy and elegant about incorporating a wintry shade of white throughout your home.  Softer than stark white yet still very neutral, winter white is extremely versatile.  I love creamy colored walls, buttery settees, even white roses will do the trick. What are some of your favorite ways to “beat the winter blah’s” with white as a design element?

{Living room in one of my North Shore projects}

Chicago Home + Garden has some great ideas of how to brighten up with your winter with  white!





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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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{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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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!





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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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Paint My Life With Color

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 20, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Color, Decorating

Powder-coated recycled-brass Wharf Light comes in more than 180 colors, $900 to $1,125, at Urban Archaeology, Merchandise Mart, 312-527-4627, urbanarchaeology.com.

The gloomy days of winter might be swiftly approaching, but that certainly doesn’t mean your life has to become drab.  This month’s Chicago Home + Garden offers a variety of color-ific options for to brighten up your home.  I have always been a huge advocate of color in my own designs (…recently just did a special for WGN on how to incorporate color in the home actually).  From lighting to chairs to throw blankets to even a mini grill, there is something for everyone in the following array of brightly hued items.

Descriptions courtesy of Chicago Home + Garden…thanks guys!

Mondrian-ian cashmere throw made in Italy, about 51 by 71 inches, $995, at Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St., 312-587-1700, barneys.com

Auden sheer drapery fabric, created by Rodarte for Knoll Luxe, features wide bands of soft color inspired by the fashion house’s dip-dyed ombré gowns. From $130 a yard, at Knoll, Merchandise Mart, 312-454-6920, knoll.com


Party-in-a-glass color-swirled blown-glass tumblers are three inches high, $45 each, at Barneys New York.

Bodum’s cheerful Fyrkat portable charcoal grill, 13 ½-inch diameter, enamel-coated steel, $65, at Space519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519, space519.com

What do Kartell’s Dune trays by Mario Bellini bring to the table? Ripples of vivid color, for one thing. The thermoplastic dazzlers come in two sizes, $83 and $113, at Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312-664-9582, luminaire.com.


Wegner Wishbone chairs now come in four lovely blues and a zippy orange, as well as black, white, and oak finishes. Beech frames, woven-papercord seats, $830 to $930 each, at Room & Board,roomandboard.com


Ligne Roset’s Pumpkin armchair in eight shades of red wool, inspired by the 1971 original designed by Pierre Paulin. Offered in a 150-piece limited edition, $2,100, at Ligne Roset, 440 N. Wells St., 312-222-9300, lignerosetchicago.com

Space-smart foldable stepladder, by Karl Malmvall for Design House Stockholm, comes in red, white, or black lacquered rubberwood, $329, at I.D., 3337 N. Halsted St., 773-755-4343, idchicago.com.

Farmhouse style, de-rusticated: The 95-inch Walker table has a cherry-red lacquered-wood top, powder-coated steel base, $999, at Crate & Barrel, crateandbarrel.com.

Basket-like glazed stoneware fruit bowls by Eucalyptus come in tasty colors, three sizes, from $43, at Les Tableaux, 131 Marion St., Oak Park, 708-524-8200, les-tableaux.net.

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