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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Photo via Freshome

A holiday that revolves around decorating?  Of course I love Christmas!  Oh yes….there is that gift giving aspect too :) The ways to trim your Christmas tree are endless.  Of course, little children love their fun, colorful ornaments, but for a more adult look monochromatic ornaments and white lights are very sophisticated.  Big tree, small tree, multiple trees, to even wild and crazy trees…got to love them all!

Check out some of my favorite Christmas tree ideas from around the blogosphere.  These trees show that there really is no right or wrong way to trim your tree!

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Freshome

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Photo via Homedit

Santa inspired tree!  Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Snowman inspired tree! Photo via Better Homes and Gardens





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A “hot off the press” design project of mine on the North Shore of Chicago.  Custom MS fixture in foyer!

Sitting in the pop-up showroom of furniture and lighting designer Marjorie Skouras at High Point Market was thrilling and  fulfilling.  A treasured friend of mine as well as the mastermind of a gorgeous new line for Currey and Co, I have used the work of Marjorie many times in my own design projects. It is because of my shopping and placing her works-from lighting to all sorts of gorgeous accessories into my projects that we became friends. I loved our last brunch in LA with my assistant, Amy, and dear Bruno and India.

Our friendship led to my showroom being the source for all things “Marjorie” as her midwestern rep. Nate Berkus Associates have become one of our most recent new client’s for that “Marjorie” style.  Her famed beaded chandeliers are to die for as well as her inventive and unique furniture. We have both on display in my Buckingham ID Showroom here in Chicago.

Check out some of my favorite pieces from Marjorie’s collection as well as the use of her work in several of my projects.

Custom designed piece using Tiger’s Eye and Amethyst in one of my latest design project’s in Chicago.  A pair of coordinating sconces seals the deal in this dining room.

Marjorie Skouras in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

A different Marjorie Skouras light beaded chandelier in my BID showroom

Same fixture in my showroom, different decor-and art exhibit!

Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

Same fixture as used in my Showroom in the kitchen of  a Nantucket home I designed. Different scale but still the same “wow.”

Marjorie Skouras piece in the Lake Forest Showhouse Foyer that I participated in for The Infant Welfare Society. I worked with MS to integrate the Fromental Paper via Holly Hunt Chicago into our hand selected beads.

Marjorie Skouras in my space at the Chicago DIFFA Dining by Design event. Bradley Hughes was also a huge hit in my space!

Image of the custom sconce hanging out in Chicago at my client’s abode.

The color of this “Honeycomb” is breathtaking.

This mirror in a rectangular space is sitting pretty at BID Headquarters

Love this rug! Look like someone you know?

These curtain tie backs are gemstones and are to treasure alongside amazing fabrics or stand alone with a subtle monochromatic linen.

Stop by anytime to say “hello.”  We are around from 9am to 6pm CST Monday to Friday. Except this week when I will be cherishing the return of my 3 children from both coasts.

Happiest of Thanksgiving’s to you all!!!!





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{Op Art Tables by Anne Herbst}

I wish I could consider Sunday a day of rest, but in this line of work, it is a 24/7 operation.  Even when I am “relaxing” at home, I am still glued to my computer combing the vast sea of internet based interior design for inspiration, furniture and accessories.  Sitting down at home (albeit in front of my computer) is as close as I get to truly “taking the day to rest.”  Sigh…

On the flip side, I truly do love searching high and low for the absolute perfect, special “somethings” to present to my clients and use in my projects.

This Sunday took me to 1stdibs, a favorite online marketplace of all sorts of extremely high-end goods- from furniture to fine art to vintage clothing.  If your budget allows, it is an excellent place to find one-of-a-kind, fabulous pieces that really have that “wow” factor. I was approached by Michael Bruno to exhibit my wares when he first began -and now, I have inquired and am waiting patiently for his response.  I think that he may have forgotten about me- but I am still VERY interested :0

Check out my latest finds…ironic it was my “resting” day when thousands of others were running 26.2 miles in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

{Set of 6 Lucite Bar Stools by Lion in Frost}

{Mid-Century Ceruse Credenza}

{Mid Century Biomorphic Dresser by Popel’s}

{Digit 1 Wool Rug by Cristian Zuzunaga}

{Large 60′s Op Art Mirror}

{Pair of club chars by Leon Rossen for Pace Furniture}

{Set of 6 Teak Spindle Back Round Chairs}

{1960′s Italian Frosted Glass Fixture (pair Available)}

{1970′s French Black Lacquer, Brass, and Agate Table Lamp}

{Pair of Silvered Metal and Wood Table Lamps}

{Art Deco Lamp Base by Frederic Weinberg}

{Chrome & Glass Ball Chandelier}

{Low Table By FranÇois Monnet}

{‘Le Yacht’ drinks tray by Hermès, Paris}

{Pair of Italian Brass and Lucite Side Tables}

{Mid Century Console / Sofa Table in the Manner of Paul Laszlo}

{Mirror, Italian Ca. 1960′s}

{1950s Italian Pair of Bronze-Edged Mirrored Chests}

{Burl & Chrome Etagere by Paul Evans}

{Pair of Flame Veneered Semaniers}

{Restored Brass Serpentine Chest}

Also loving this whole vignette!





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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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Tokyo at night.

A whole lot of action here.

Last nights dining experience. The New York Grill.

The 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel.  Remember the movie “Lost in Translation?”

Greetings from Tokyo!  My husband John and I just arrived via Hawaii to Japan to see our son, Alex, play with the Pacific Music Festival in Osaka and Tokyo…this is a HUGE dream come true for him and we could not be any more proud.  Add to that our 25th Wedding Anniversary and this is quite an amazing and wonderful holiday.

I have sometimes ventured into Asian influence in my design, but this trip is proving ever-more inspirational for me.  Can’t wait to bring back some great innovation and ideas.  Oh…the fashion…oh the eating….oh the shopping.

I am working on the transport of all the amazing pieces that I am finding here back to the Windy City.  Todays venture into the Tokyo Post Office was fun and fascination :)

I have always been able to get my fix for all things Asian-with an emphasis on Chinese treasures-  at Pagoda Red, one of my favorite shops in Chicago. Here are a sample of some of things that have caught my eye while sourcing for clients recently at home…

This first image is from a recent Pagoda Red exhibit featuring one of my favorite local photographers, Doug Fogelson. His works here are of Japan’s annual blooming of cherry blossoms. Doug has a way of allowing us to see each of his works as three dimensional and moving along with the eye.  Exquisite. I always feel lucky when I have the opportunity to install one of his pieces in a clients home.





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Gifts (Not) By the Book

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jul 22, 2011 | 3 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Gifts

Summer= weddings, and weddings=wedding gifts.  Choosing just the right something for the occasion can be difficult, and I myself must admit that sometimes I slack a little and just go with something off the registry.  However, if you really want to win the award for “WOW” gift of the night, consider these Spisani bookends from Barneys.  I highly doubt that blender or toaster Mr. and Mrs. Smith over there are getting for the bride and groom will hold a candle to these guys! If you check out Chelsea Passage at Barneys in Chicago, say hello to my buddies that work there. Hey Michael!

They range in price from $265-$365.  Check ‘em out below!





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{Dabney Lee Personalized Large Lucite Tray, $130}

Type of tray I am getting for my friend…hope this doesn’t ruin the surprise!

A friend of mine’s birthday is coming up, and I knew exactly what to get her.  She is all about lucite, and I knew that a personalized lucite tray would make the perfect gift, especially since she just moved into a new home.  Little did I know, however, that finding a gift for my friend consequently meant that I might be finding something for me as well!  (Ok, ok, shopping for someone else has resulted on more than one occasion shopping for myself too). Has this ever happened to you????

I found the perfect tray on Layla Grace, a Pasadena based company that has literally EVERYTHING.  While I’m not super into the whole monogram thing, lots of their furniture and other accessories really struck my fancy.  Check out some of my picks that might be making their way into my clients’ homes very soon! Or…maybe mine ;)

These two items really hit the spot with my obsession with crowns!

{Tara Shaw Maison Italian Gilded Wooden Crown, $955}

{Regina Andrew Lighting Royal Crown Table Lamp, $298}

…and my love for all things orange!

{Oly Studio Abe Lounge Chair, Call to order}

{Regina Andrew Lighting Encore Gold Pendant, $473}

{Aiden Gray Furniture Side Table Galvanized, $225}


{Wangright Orange Lacquer Cocktail Table, $548}

{Greek Key Silver Leafed Pendant, $658}

{Regina Andrew Lighting Seeded Oval Glass Lamp with Rattan Shade, $173}

{Regina Andrew Lighting Artifact Wall Sconce, $223}

{Notreddame Sofa Black, $2,376}

{Prince Chair White Oak, $462}

{Carved Chair Antique Black, $495}

{Aurelia Bed Mahogany, $2,310}

{Layla Grace Walnut Leather Chair, $1,934}

{Tara Shaw Maison Wooden Plaque Fragment, $1,298}

{Tara Shaw Maison Gilded Coffee Table Chest, $1,338}

{Tara Shaw Maison Swedish Corner Cabinet, $5,743}

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