Although I spotted these plates in a bridal magazine (CS Brides), I decided I liked them enough to suggest them to clients- and possibly even consider them for myself.  However, it is no doubt that they would make a great gift for a bridal shower, baby shower or a gift for any special occasion that would be appreciated for its personal touch and commemorative nature.

The My Private Sky collection from Nymphenburg consists of a set of 7 plates, each piece unique, showing the night sky at the time the purchaser was born at his or her place of birth.  Although Nymphenburg uses computer programming to determine the precise look of the night sky for the set, eat piece is meticulously hand crafted to absolute perfection.  About 500 stars, nebulas, constellations and planets are individually painted by hand for precise accuracy…what a task!

This collection is limited edition, so if you are interested in owning this one of a kind (literally!) set, act fast!  The My Private Sky collection can be purchased at Kneen and Co., a luxury tableware company in Chicago (I actually did a post on them recently).

That’s A Wrap!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Dec 22, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Design Inspiration, Gifts, Holiday

I was wrapping Christmas presents today, and it dawned on me…I absolutely love wrapping paper and all the accessories that accompany the gift wrapping process.  I’m pretty picky about what I choose to wrap my gifts in, and no place has a better assortment of fun and unique wrapping goods than Paper Source.  I don’t believe that holiday presents have to be covered with Christmas trees, snow men and candy canes…plenty of room to get creative using the unexpected!  With innovative touches, your gift recipient is sure to appreciate the wrapping as much as the gift itself.  From start (scissors, tape) to finish (ribbon, gift bags, tissue paper), they’ve got you covered (pun intended).

Here are several start to finish combinations for wrapping presents.  Who knows, maybe gifts wrapped like this may end up under your tree! And remember, if you are “wrapping challenged” Paper Source does provide a wrapping service 🙂

Very Merry and Happy Holidays to all MG readers and their special ones…..

All items available at Paper Source.


Christmas On My Mind

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Dec 14, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Gifts, Holiday

{Ikat Bowls, Anthropologie, $14…featured these back in September of 2009!}

It’s most definitely that time of year again, but doesn’t it seem like last Christmas was just yesterday? Where did 2010 go?!  Beats me!  Anyway, Elle Decor is featuring a Best of 2010 gift guide (all under $100), all great ideas for that design junkie in your life.  But what really caught my eye were the Ikat bowls from Anthropologie, a cool find that I had previously featured (all the way back in September of last year, I guess we were ahead of the curve!).  It really was the year of Ikat, wasn’t it?

Take a look at what else you might be placing under the tree this year…

{Rwandan Baskets, Trading4Treasures, $48-90}

{Nautical Print Hammer, $26, Alice Supply Co.}

Postcards from Penguin, Penguin, $25}

{Patterned Books, Victoria and Albert Museum, $13 each $48 boxed set of 4}

{Grapefruit Muguet Scented Candle, Belle Fleur, $48}

{Postcard Holder, $48, Jayson Home and Garden}

{Cream Mugs, Ancient Industries, $22}

Museum Quality

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 31, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Art, Gifts, Shops and Showrooms


On one of the last days before my children headed back to school for the Spring Semester- one back to Los Angeles, one back to Boston and one just back to the books at home, we decided to head to the city for a visit to the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.  As I reported in a post back in September, the Modern Wing is one of my favorite places in the city and is truly as beautiful on a cold winter’s day as is was back in the summer and fall.


Located in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, the highly anticipated Terzo Piano is a must-stop for lunch and Thursday dinner. It featuresthe signature cuisine of Chef Tony Mantuano, who has been delighting Chicagoans for years at the four-star Italian restaurant, Spiaggia. The food is all fresh, local, organic and sustainably produced. There is even an authentic cava di stagionatura (cheese cave), where some of America’s most interesting artisanal cheeses are kept at ideal temperature and humidity. Outside you can dine al fresco on the covered piazza, while enjoying spectacular views of Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue and the Bluhm Family Terrace. Unfortunately, today was not one of those picture perfect piazza kind of days with the temperature hovering at around 28 degrees…..

Here is the beautiful rooftop deck of Terzo Piano- this picture was obviously taken in another season. Only 5 more months until we will feel that kind of sunshine here in Chicago…..

The interior of the restaurant is white, fresh and endearingly modern. Our lunch being over was quite a sad event but now was the time- after browsing countless priceless pieces of art that we came to the part of the museum experience that makes my credit card start to exit my wallet in anticipation: the gift shop.


Museum gift shops have become destinations in themselves.  Filled with unique, tasteful gifts, museum gift shops are the place to go to find a hostess gift, birthday present or even a little something for yourself!  Needless to say…I did not leave empty handed that day 🙂

Check out some of the cool finds in the gift shop at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute….


Computation clock…Color and style will work with almost every  decor. Adds a bit of whimsy.


Modern lighting galore…


These vases would be beautiful with a single bright bloom to help us get through these gray days of winter.


Interesting and textural bowl for a dose of color on a tabletop or placed on a shelf for a more rugged perspective.


Lucite candelabra.  Just add candles and you have an amazing centerpiece.  Have placed this on a white Saarinen table.  Looked really nice. Clean and simple.


Check out the online shop here for more amazing finds.  What are some of your favorite museum shops?  And, what did you find?

One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago with Dates

The One of a Kind Show and Sale, celebrated in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and the Windy City is back. Our very own Merchandise Mart has opened it’s doors to over 500 unique artists and artisans and has asked Buckingham Interiors + Design to celebrate the 9 year tradition by crafting a truly “One of a Kind Design Living Space” for all to enjoy.  Blending furnishings from sensational Mart showrooms (including Holly Hunt, Farrow & Ball, Interior Crafts, Boyd Lighting/Donghia and Atelier Lapchi) with exclusive pieces from artists exhibiting at the show, we have put together one show-stopping space and had so much fun unveiling and celebrating it amid unparalleled company and design last night.


Stop in this weekend and and enjoy the most “ONEderful” time of the year with us amongst exceptional art, gourmet goodies and holiday inspiration galore… For those of you who can’t make it to the Mart, check out more of our space in today’s issue of the Examiner Chicago.


Chicago Crave!

Chicago Crave!

Woohoo! The 1st edition CRAVE Chicago guide has gone to-print.
CRAVE guides connect urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in town. This is Chicago’s first edition, and it is only reproduced every two years! The first edition CRAVE Chicago guide features a great variety of renowned entrepreneurs from an orthodontist to a dry cleaner to a dance instructor, and every fabulous entrepreness inbetween! I am happy to announce that our Interior Design firm, Buckingham ID, is a part of this dynamic group.
Other cities that offer CRAVE guides can be found at Crave Headquarters and the following cities have just begun their CRAVE orientation: LA, Washington DC and New York City!


Inspired by Inspiring Women in business…Sound like you could be a part of the magic?