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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As kids, we loved finding “secret spaces” around the home or in the backyard to call our own. Well it turns out those special spots are definitely not just for the little ones. Check out some of these very cool secret spaces for the home—and be sure to comment and let me know which ones are your favorite!!

Take this one for example: who would have thought to use steps themselves as storage?! Think of the endless options!

Last week I wrote a post about wine storage and how storage can be a part of your home’s design element and let me tell you, I found some very cool wine storage options. This secret space reminds me of a wine celler in my last post except a little more “undercover.”

Clever, clever!! You know that dead space under your cabinets that just collects dust? This is a very cool way to use that space in a bit of a mysterious way. Who would ever think to look under there? Now what would you put in these drawers?

Is this not Narnia or what?! I can just imagine how this would become a kid’s favorite space in the house. It would make for such a special reading room!

An ordinary looking dresser “magically” opens up to contain a hidden safe! My only question is: Don’t robbers usually look in drawers anyways? I wonder if this adds an extra security or if it’s just for fun!

A bookshelf that pushes back to reveil a secret room! The owner of this home has left the space unfinished for the moment, but wouldn’t that make for an awesome library or a home fitness space?

I know many people that use this little trick to their advantage already! Ordinary looking cabinets pull back to show numerous storage options. Clever and clean looking, don’t you think?

This has got to be one of my favorites and it reminds me of something I was discussing with my Facebook fans a few days ago.  Laundry rooms are a necessity, but not all of us necessarily want this space to be prominent in the home. This cabinet, turned laundry room is such a great idea to hide that little space away from the rest of the world!

Simple and clever indeed. For those of you with little ones running around, you understand the usefulness of this one!

The last one I found was another stairs option. What a great secret space, and a great way to use often-wasted space!

Which secret spaces are your favorites? Do you have any secret spaces in your home? Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences below!





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One of my favorite elements of design is that inspiration comes from many different places. I was recently quoted in CS Interiors’ “It’s Glow Time” Summer 2012 issue. I was asked what I felt about a horned CT Chair. Although opinions were differed, it sparked an idea. Why not write about some interesting (whether you like them or not) designs that are inspired by nature!

1. Custommade designer Naturalism Furniture
2. Smarin Designs
3. Vine Bowl Baskets
4. Studio Aisslinger
5. VivaTerra
6. Tshuka
7. Unknown- photo credit: designer Jarlath Mellett
8. Cappellini
9. Nadezhda Moiseeva
10. Christian Norhave
11. Bodo Sperlein
12. Jesse Shaw

As you can see, I ran across several different and intriguing designs. Some modern, all unique- I certainly had a fun time finding all of these! So here goes the hard part, who can name the nature-inspiration behind all 12 pieces? I’ll comment later and give you the answers. No cheating! Comment below!





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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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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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Biscuits, grits, and High Point Market!  That’s what I’m doing down South this weekend- in High Point, North Carolina.  My assistant Paulina and I headed to the famous home furnishings market for their “Market Week,” not only to check out goods from some of the best vendors in the country, but also because I have been asked to be a speaker at the High Point Market in the Antique & Design Center at Market Square this weekend.  I will be giving a talk on the “Modern-ique” style, which is, as you may have guessed,  is the fusion of modern + antique.

{Sneak peek of my High Point presentation!}

Having been an interior designer for many years, the owner of several shops and showrooms and an inhabitant of many historic and one modern home, “Modern-ique” has come to define my work.  This hybrid style is truly my passion, and I really try to infuse all of my client projects with that special   “Modern-ique” look and feel.

If you happen to be at High Point Market this weekend, I would love for you to come and join me!  The event will be taking place from 2-3 PM at Market Square, Antique and Design Center- Mezzanine Level Seminar Space. The space in which I will be speaking is quite appropriate for it has a rustic and modern vibe all for itself.

To get a sneak peek of my “latest” Modern-ique completion, see images below!  I recently completed this apartment in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Images courtesy of Luxe Magazine.

Stay tuned for more on this project and its feature in Luxe Magazine-both in the Chicago edition and was recently unveiled in the National Luxe Issue- very soon!





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{Ad in Rue Magazine that prompted my research into the Duralee ad campaign}

After being featured in the debut issue of online shelter mag “Rue” I like to check back in with them to see how they’ve been doing over the past 6 months. I am constantly inspired by their featured interiors and the innovative copy. Every time I “flip” (with a click of a mouse) through the magazine, I come across Duralee ads that I have been meaning to share with MG readers.

Ads for Duralee fabric and furniture collections are some of the best out there in my opinion.  With eye popping color and extraordinary set design, these advertisements make me want to run to the Duralee showroom at the Chicago Merchandise Mart and grab a bundle of their samples to share with clients-which I often do.

I guess I am not the only one who is delighted over Duralee’s ads.  They have a whole section of their website devoted to their ad campaigns.





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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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If I had to sum up my personal aesthetic in one word, it would be modern + antique.  Ok, two words plus a punctuation symbol.  Having been in this industry for many years, living in many homes, and owning/operating several shops and showrooms, I have become accustomed to searching high and low for artifacts- both new and old- to fit a space.  More often than not, such pieces can be very pricey, but I am always on the lookout for things that won’t break the bank.  One of my go to’s for affordable modern is CB2, the fun, funky and well-priced kid sibling of Crate and Barrel.

I was very excited to learn of CB2′s “Unlock Affordable Modern” event taking place in various cities across the country this fall/winter- including Chicago, DC, San Francisco, LA, New York and Atlanta.  The concept behind this initiative is the handiwork of some very creative minds…CB2 representatives will be traveling to the cities listed above (as well as five others) to hand out 95,000 “orange keys”, each with a unique code.  Orange key…you’ve got my attention right there!  These keys can be redeemed at CB2 locations for a chance to win a CB2 card, worth $10 up to $1000!

Over the weekend, the CB2 team dropped off keys for this event at my showroom and we all scrambled over to the store- but no winners yet.  Better chances for the rest of you!

Chicagoans…if  missed the drop off at my showroom and across town this weekend and want a key respond “Attending” to the “Unlock Affordable Modern: Chicago”event and swing by the CB2 store (800 W. North Ave., Chicago) October 8-9 to pick up your key!

If you are unable to get your hands on a physical key or want to learn more, you can receive a “virtual key” via text by visiting the “Unlock Affordable Modern” website.  Oh the joys of modern technology!

And…ONLY for MG reader’s a “secret” phrase mentioned at the Chicago or Washington DC stores for the first 20 reader’s will garner you another key..announce that “Material Girls Love CB2″ and you will grab another chance at winning.

To learn more about the event, what cities the CB2 team will be visiting and where the representatives will be handing out keys visit their website here.

More from CB2….





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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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