We recently had some of our favorite vendors visit our Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom to share with us all the latest and greatest in fabric line introductions. One trend I continued to see in textiles was pixelated prints! Who knew?! Have y’all seen any lately?

Whether a large pixelated pattern, or a pixelated solid to add some dimension, these “blurred” lined prints were everywhere. Here are a few faves…..

This fabric, appropriated named “Pixus”, from Sahco is a shiny ombré velvet adorned by a large pixel pattern of abstract blossoms. Interpreted into a modern digital printing technique, Pixus boasts fresh colors and a silky sheen!

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The fabric “Suri”, also from Sahco, is a small-patterned plain jacquard. Woven on a fine polyester warp, it looks and feels like a rich silk fabric. The contrasting weft colours create the tiny pixel design.

In the finishing process, the shrinkage yarn creates a fine, raised structure. SURI is a luxurious drapery available in an extensive palette of 14 colors!

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The fabulous fuchsia fabric is from Camengo. Entitled “Sagunto”, the pixelated effect gives great depth and interest to an overall solid fabric!

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Here is a close up so you can really appreciate the beauty!

Camengo

and lastly, in the spirit of Spring, I love the extravagant bloom of “Peony” from Pollack!

Taking a slightly different approach to the pixelated effect, this fabric features eight embroidery colors, with the dots themselves intricately toned and feathered, and each leaf and petal shading from the center to the outer edge in an ombre effect. I featured ombre as a trend a few posts ago as you may remember. Trends upon trends!

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Whether interior design follows fashion and art or vice versa, the trends always seem to be intertwined!! I personally love to see the connections when these design worlds collide.

PixelCollage





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Currently at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Studio in Chicago, I am thrilled to be displaying the photographic work of my talented and dear friend Chicago-based photographer, Maggie Meiners. On display through mid-June are works from her series “i hear with my eyes”. You just have to see her pieces up close and personal in order to really capture their graphic, simple and yet captivating photographic message.

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MMstudio

In Maggie’s words:

“I felt isolated as a kid. I’ve always assumed that it was because of the profound hearing loss I developed as a result of continuous ear infections and subsequent surgeries. Not being able to hear made me feel left out—of the conversation, of the gossip, of the joke. To make sense of my silenced world, I tried to find ways to compensate while proving to myself that I belonged.  Visual cues provided that bridge.  Lip reading, body language, gestures, the clothes people wore and the objects with which they surrounded themselves were like pieces of a puzzle. I continue to rely on these cues to help make sense of the world from which I came and of which I am still a part.

While my state-of-the-art hearing aids capture sound, I still rely heavily on the visual world for clarification and direction.  This body of work encompasses the various visual cues that, like totems, certify my sense of belonging.  Whether it is a father and son walking together or people playing cards, I feel connected by these components, using them as signposts to point me in the direction of self in concert with the world in which I find myself.”

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A few of my fave images…and titles….

“Cocktail Costumes”

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“Cut from the Same Cloth”

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and of course “Chanel”!!

MMChanel

 We are taking some of Maggie’s pieces to a client installation today..more on that to be featured soon in the summer issue of Sheridan Road Magazine!





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Choosing the right fabric for a room is so important in the design process….It’s all about choosing the right color and the right texture. Now, with all the innovations in wallpaper, the walls are another great “fabric” to choose! Whether it is a subtle wallpaper adding in texture, or a patterned piece making the statement for the room, or even BOTH color and pattern for an even bigger “WOW” factor, wallpaper that used to get a bad rap as being “outdated” is now cooler than ever and definitely here to stay!

Here are a few favorites from Elitis with great colors, patterns, and dimension….

Wallpaper

And a touch of elegance and glammy glimmer….

Elitis1

Pierre Frey also offers some fabulous wallpapers….I’m loving the exotic charm of this print with elephants, lions, and my fave- peacocks! Visiting the private home of Vincent Frey while in Paris last year for a small dinner party, I spied some gorgeous fabrics…no surprises there :)

PierreFrey

And of course I can’t forget a crown print like this one from Rubelli!

A flock-on-flock printing technique  allows imitation of the typical 3D appearance of Venetian two-heights velvet, where the pattern is created by the two different heights of the pile. Gorgeous!

Rubelli

Although I’m totally in love with the white brick walls of my  Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago, I am equally obsessed with the spaces I was able to wallpaper!

This Fornasetti wallpaper from Cole & Son  in my own office adds amazing depth and movement… Thank you Lee Jofa!

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While this Malachite wallpaper also from Cole & Son in our powder room keeps the neutral grey palette interesting- and never dull!

Powderroom

So whether it is a great geometric print in a hallway like this one from a downtown Chicago renovation project….

Nessinger

Or a vibrant dragon print (This fab one is from Schumacher) off of a bedroom in a young girls sitting room….

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…..I never miss an opportunity to add an eye-catching wallpaper to a space!! After all, with the incredible options in wallpaper now, how can I resist?!?! xx





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For anyone that knows me, or has seen my work, color is of HUGE importance to me and my work. Color is synonymous with emotion and that being said, I crave it.

No color is off limit and quite frankly, the correct, unique pairings of color can make or break a space. Success as an Interior Designer with color depends on a cool and unflinching confidence.

One of my favorite colors of all time is TURQUOISE. It is youthful, refreshing, hip, sophisticated, calming, and enthusiastic all at the same time.

I mean….doesn’t a beautiful ocean view of a compilation of turquoise waters just make you happy??!

Ocean

Or an Essie “Turquoise and Caicos” mani just make you smile? I’m currently sporting this as a new fav.

Caicos

I love turquoise in all forms…. stone, metal, glass, fabrics…..all pics here from my Buckingham I+D Showroom provided by the amazing photographer, Eric Prine for Lonny Mag. Come back and visit soon y’all!

Turqsnapshots

You can throw on a LBD and add a dose of color with turquoise earrings or a classic white T and jeans and spice up the look with a fun turquoise necklace.

Even add it to purple or magenta like these Hollywood actresses. It is just one of those colors that can accent anything!

I used to think it was only a summer color-this news flash from my Mama Audrey while I was a babe, but now it is definitely a GO-TO all year round! Plus, as an added bonus it is my December birthstone. Thinkin of my AZ roots right about now….and I collect vintage pieces of course :)

TurquoiseJewelry

Here is some “Turq at work”!!:)– a couple past projects that I was thrilled to incorporate this fantastic hue….

Turqrug

Tiles

ArtTurq

Bedroom

And last but certainly not least…cannot forget the turquoise wallpaper statement made in this gorgeous dining room.

Go big or go home- or, go home to your turquoise. Thank you to my clients that share the love of this rich and lovely hue.

Dining

 

 

 

 





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It’s amazing to see that what used to be a dreaded growing out phase of hair color and roots is now the “IT” trend literally EVERYWHERE! From hair and nails,   to interior design and the home accessory craze, it is all about OMBRE.

If y’all watched the Academy Award season, you couldn’t miss actor Jared Leto and his long ombre locks. Or Hollywood reality star turned fashion designer Lauren Conrad who seems to have started the trend. Or Bachelor contestest, soon-to-be The Bachelorette, Andi, who famously said “See ya!” to Juan Pablo while rocking her brunette ombre tresses.

Nail polish too–whether it be gradual variations on each nail or on each hand, or given the ombre effect with glitter–have jumped onto this trend’s bandwagon.

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Design has seen its share of ombre too. It’s so fun to search and find a plethora of projects and everyone’s individual take on this look. Here are a few of my faves.

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Ombre walls…..

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Furniture….

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and bathroom tiles!

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We currently have some cool ombre pieces in our Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago too! On our dining table we feature these cool blue-green ombre tapered vases from Global Views

Ombrevignette

and this fabulous Kelly Wearstler rug from The Rug Company, appropriately named…ummm.. “Ombre” d’accord!

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There are fabulous new introductions in fabric too that we are loving like this one from Beacon Hill….

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Lighting has not been spared from this trend at all.  This “Flamingo” chandelier from Currey and Company is amazing in all of it’s color washed glory!

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Even food has jumped on the ombre bandwagon. Ombre donuts? YES PLEASE!!

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Goes to show, pretty much anything can be given an ombre makeover. Looks like this trend is here to stay…at least till the next big craze- of which I have quite a few ideas!





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 Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to Traditional Home Magazine! It was such a surprise to be featured in their latest issue! Trad highlighted one of my dearest client’s kitchens  titled, “Stage Presence”- one that allowed me to design “outside of the box”. I am fortunate beyond measure to have amazing clients that become oh-so-much-more- than- that.  We had some serious fun along the way…so much so that project #3 has commenced in Scottsdale, Arizona :)

NolanKitchen

My client LOVES to entertain and often has 50 people over in a heartbeat! A mother of four, she often hosts holiday open houses, school and neighborhood gatherings, and pre-prom dinners for up to 80 teenagers!! That was the driving force behind this kitchen remodel. We tweaked the original layout to enlarge and add seating to the island. The wood table originally was supposed to be attached to the island, but we made it freestanding for flexibility. Now, when she entertains, she can pull the table forward to allow room for a bartender to stand between the table and island and serve bubbly.

Cube-shaped stools upholstered in turquoise tinged ostrich leather  provide additional seating and blasts of color that repeat blue-green accents from the adjoining family room. Vintage light fixtures from the landmark Chicago Theater dating to the 1920′s add texture, warmth, and complete the “Modernique” room. If only those lights could talk…..

Kitchens are always one of my favorite projects to design. It is where we often spend most of our time, so it’s impact is crucial within a home. This Traditional Home feature took me down memory lane of some of my most memorable kitchen projects throughout the last couple of years…..Hope you enjoy!

“Urban Sophisticates”

What a view in downtown Chicago to enjoy your morning coffee!! P.S. Awesome view of Barneys ;)

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“A Wave of Modern Luxury”

This high-rise project where we combined two units into one within the Aqua Building in Chi allowed us to mimic the undulating wave detail within the exterior architecture of the building. Kitchen by O’Brien Harris.

 

NessingerKitchen

“A Charming Escape”

This historic over 200 year- old Nantucket home was ripe for a kitchen makeover. Imagine it’s beginning with a green sink-and that was just about it!

Nantucket

“Young at Heart”

This Bucktown builder’s home needed some tweaking. The kitchen was designed and inspired by the couple’s love of the Northern California lifestyle. Think The Carneros Inn kinda inspiration where the outside meets the inside…

Hornbuckle


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“Modern Zig-Zag”

This residence within the Ritz Carlton in Chi combines “Mad-Men” + modern glamour. Petrified Wood island and Silestone perimeter sourced from the Cosentino Center in Chicago.

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“A Delightful Desert Escape”

Last but so very much not least, is my very own kitchen in our Phoenix, Arizona vacation home that we call “Casa Lantana”. Wearing my jeans and boots while relaxing in this-our dream getaway- is nirvana. I gather a terrific amount of inspiration and much needed rejuvenation while we soak up the sun here. Remember when I mentioned just how important a kitchen is integral as the heart of the home?

AZKitchen

If only it were always this clean!! I love unwinding here after a long day surrounded by my beloved hubs, our family and pals with a glass of Rombauer Chardonnay watching the sunset…

Night night to y’all and sweet dreams-don’t forget to manage your coffee makers now for the am :)

 

 

 





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NAPA 2013 A

As of last Sunday, the 2013 Napa Valley Showhouse at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena California is history. Sometime next year, many of its beautifully designed rooms will appear in the glossy pages of Traditional Home Magazine,  but nothing tops visiting a quality show house in person and seeing it firsthand. And speaking of firsts, it was a first for me. Not just doing a show house: I’ve been privileged to take part in a number of good ones over the years.  But I had never done one on the West Coast before. And if you haven’t been there, let me tell you, the Napa Valley is one of this country’s most beautiful areas.  So of course I said Yes when they asked me! Yes yes yes!

Napa Show House 3

Trad Home has been sponsoring showhouses for a number of years but the house they chose this time was unique: an expansive hundred-year-old farmhouse owned by vintner Peter Mondavi and designed by Willis Polk, one of San Francisco’s most important historically architects. And while you know I always love to see what’s new in the design world, I also love history, so this was a perfect chance for me to do one of my favorite things–blend the two!

Napa chairs

The dining room still retained its historic wood paneling, so we introduced color with fabric–the fun Kravet Kelly Wearstler print upholstery on their custom chairs (thank you so for a fabulous job with expediting), the crazy cool Jonathan Adler for Kravet fabric sourced for the roman shades and the glistening Maya Romanoff wall covering above the plate rail-one of my favorite local Chi town vendors. Thank you also to Benjamin Moore   for donating the paint for the ceiling and another shout out to Bloomingdale’s for supplying all the tabletop accessories. Speaking of my dining room tabletop…. the showstopper was a one-of-a-kind ceramic masterpiece by Ohio artist Tara Winslow. I became obsessed with Tara’s works when first spied at the High Point Market last Spring.

One thing I didn’t do was use any wine-themed motifs–old labels, bottles, grape leaves, that stuff–because those things were all around us already.  What would be the point? Instead, I used a series of blues & greens in our room: some soft, some vibrant, all beautiful, and, together, perfect complements to the warm tones of the wood. Plus a gigantic table big enough for the whole Peter Mondavi family. It featured a glass-topped gearwheel out from a historic European water mill, and let me tell you, getting that beast into place was a real feat for our heroic installers, who had to roll its ancient wood–very carefully--through the other designers’ rooms without wrecking the floors. When we finally got it into place, we were all ready for a glass of wine. Maybe more than one!

NAPA TABLE A

But it wasn’t just the installers whose efforts I need to mention.  To everyone involved in this massive project–the magazine that invited us, the other talented designers I got to meet, the Charles Krug winery, the Napa Film Festival that benefits from all the visitors, and all the patient and professional work crews, a big Thank You from all of us at BID. Thank you for making me feel welcome at my first California showhouse.  And to my own team–back in rainy, cold Chicago, while I was basking in the glory of a California autumn–you are the best! (But you already know that.)





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Birds, like colors and shoe shapes, fall in and out of style. Flamingos were hot in the Depression and they came back in the Miami Vice era. Wood-&-copper mallard ducks flew across family room walls in the 1950s and a few years ago, we had a short, meaningless fling with owls (what was that all about?) but still, the list of birds used in decoration is pretty short. When was the last time you saw, say, a flock of crows used as a decorative motif?  It’s been a long time.

Let’s face it, certain birds are simply more popular than others.  I mean, its hard to think decoratively about birds that wreck crops or carry away cute baby bunnies for their midnight snacks! With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that, this season, peacocks, the quintessential Art Nouveau bird, are having yet another one of their many moments, the same way they did in 1966, at the beginning of the Psychedelic era.  Like the poet says “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

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I spotted the beautiful mounted specimens above while treasure hunting for antiques in Paris last summer and when I got back to the studio, I found an addition (one of many!) to our recently renovated conference area: this incredible PEACOCK DARK rug  by English fashion designer Matthew Williamson, whose brand is known for incredible prints.  It was gifted to BID from our good friends at The Rug Company!

The Peacock designed rug is available in a light colourway as well as this dark one.

The Peacock Rug is also available in a light colourway.

And for those who might hesitate to put such such a gorgeous piece of art on their floors, I have good news! Matthew Williamson’s new Autumn 2013 collection of fabrics and wallpapers for Osborne & Little also features one of his signature peacock designs:  “The Eden Collection  is as heavenly as its name suggests: a riot of colours and patterns reflecting the British fashion designer’s diverse influences, from exotic birds to 1970s-style animal prints” - ELLE Decoration.  This richly colored jewel toned collection (filled with lots of deep emerald, cobalt blue, plum, and gold tones) will be sure to inspire you as we enter into late Fall. It definitely inspires me!

How insane is this wallpaper?

How insane is this wallpaper? And I love how the polished chrome of the furniture echoes the metallic sheen of the paper!

For years, there was a silly prejudice about combining certain colors.  ”Blue and green must never be seen” used to be a common saying.  Didn’t those folks ever see a bed of iris? Or blue hydrangeas against bright green grass? Or–hello!–a peacock? For people not so hemmed-in by arbitrary decorating rules, peacocks have served as the direct inspiration for a lot of  to-die-for rooms.

The Peacock Room at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Peacock Room, now at the Smithsonian in Washington, has been all over the place, but it started out in London, as an 1870s collaboration between shipping tycoon Frederick Leyland, the English architect Thomas Jekyll (who designed the room’s walnut paneling and shelving to display Leyland’s collection of Oriental porcelain and panels of antique Spanish leather) and the American artist James Whistler (yes, that Whistler) who proceeded to gild Jekyll’s wood and completely paint over Leyland’s treasured antique leather panels. The big reveal must have been like the Victorian version of Trading Spaces–OMG!–and not in the good way, either.

Yes, the finished room was stunningly gorgeous–it is in a museum, after all!–but it wasn’t at all the what client asked for and the whole thing ended up in a nasty lawsuit. Quelle hot mess! So this room contains two important lessons for designers, one good and one bad:  1) Blue & green DO go together,  but 2) Ignore the client’s wishes at your own risk.

Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing[/caption]

Fortunately, that kind of  disaster doesn’t happen very often. In fact, here’s another interior of the same period and with the same kind of richly glowing colors (this time, in glazed tile, not painted leather) and this time, the client loved the results! The room is in the Driehaus Museum in Chicago–just off Michigan Avenue, so don’t miss it–and if you visit in the next few weeks, you can see another peacock-inspired creation in the museum’s current Tiffany exhibit:  this iridescent gold-mounted Favrile glass vase.

Louis_Comfort_Tiffany_Peacock Vase_c1897-98_mounts_c1898_Photographed_by_John_Faier_©_Driehaus_Museum_2013

OK, this beauty isn’t for sale, but these are exactly the kind of colors I’m always drawn to, so if you see the show and decide you’re wanting a swirly glass piece in those colors–one that you could actually buy, that is, not just look at–we have the little piece below  in the BID Studio. With a coat of Tiffany Blue lacquer on your walls and a few feathers in a tall nickel-plated cylinder,  you can create your very own Peacock Room!  And if you do, send us a picture!

photo copy

Last stop: a rendering of a Peacock Room (painted for the Crane Company of Chicago) that doesn’t contain a single peacock reference, only the colors of its plumage. This subliminal approach is often the most interesting, because instead of stating a theme explicitly, it lets the room’s occupants discover it on their own. Sometimes, less is more,  although, considering the level of finish in this room, “less” isn’t quite the word. Either way, it’s a knockout!

Crane Roman Peacock Bath

The takeaway lesson is simple: inspiration is everywhere.  How you use it is up to you.





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Between the renovation and BIG MOVE next door, a couple of  fabulous new additions to the Buckingham I + D team, an upcoming project with Traditional Home Magazine (which I will be spilling about soon), and a trip to Paris with luxury brands expert, Steve Nobel, alongside 13 fellow designers from all over the country later this week- our office and studio are completely buzzing with the winds of change!

The big unveiling Gala of our new space will take place on Thursday evening, September 26, to usher in the annual weekend Design Harvest street festival on Grand Avenue in West Town – mark your calendars! This one of a kind fest features some of our favorite local furniture and home accessory makers, vintage and antique collectors, and home design stores. Grand Avenue will be closed from Wood Street to Damen Avenue for the fun and festivities!

1820 W. Grand

Come in, meet our design team, and peruse our new finds – we’d love to have you!





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Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 11.20.09 AM I am psyched to see my fellow Material Girl, Jill, during the action packed Brizo Reunion for Blogger 19 taking place in Memphis this week! We are very lucky to have been invited to attend this all-expenses paid reunion. Yahoo! We will be staying at the historic Peabody Hotel, which I have heard has some famous inhabitants that have thrilled the likes of Justin Timberlake, Michael Jordan + President Jimmy Carter just to name a few.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 11.23.07 AMThe Peabody Ducks pictured above are apparently a “Must See” while in Memphis. They proudly march through the lobby at 11am and 5pm daily. I am pretty sure that this will be an event to remember…my hubby who has witnessed the ducks waddling says that I will likee.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 8.30.46 AMI am so looking forward to reconnecting with my pals from our Brizo group. Here we are posing during our gala event during New York Fall Fashion Week in 2011. I am lucky to see my pals often during other national design events throughout the year and I treasure the friendships that were made through our mutual love of design and fashion. And, meeting Jason Wu was a huge bonus! I am also thrilled to be hanging with familiar faces from other Brizo groups…all in all a terribly fun time is ahead. Memphis are y’all ready for us??!!

Follow our fun and experiences from visiting the Brizo Manufacturing Plant, hanging at a private Jazz Club to our work with St. Jude Hospital via #Blogger19 on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram @BrizoFaucet

 

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