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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Have you ever read the section in Us Weekly about interesting facts that you didn’t know about your favorite celebs?  I love it!  I was asked to do a similar feature in Design Dose which is is the online extension of the inspiration, advice, and scoop that Chicago Home + Garden provides every other month, only in smaller doses. Editors Jan Parr and Gina Bazer of Chicago Home + Garden share news and trends from their in-boxes, confess their latest design obsessions and dilemmas, and take you behind the scenes to exclusive design events and showrooms. The fun questions about my personal taste, interests and loves in life made me smile. Of course, my family is at the top of my list, but I do have some spare time to dabble in a few other things. Design, design, and design related that is- mostly.  I enjoy the guests that they feature from around town and have learned some new things about some of my Chicago design pals. You should all join the fun and see what the CH+G gals provide us with next!

 

Check out how I finished each of the following sentences…

 

1. If I could live in any movie or TV setting it would be Gone With the Wind. I’m intrigued by every element—the fashion, interiors, Southern hospitality, and opulence.

 

2. I eat like a pig when I go to the Twisted Spoke. The fried-egg sandwiches and banana buckwheat pancakes (washed down with a Bloody Mary) are musts. My husband, children, and I head there after participating in the fun-runs around the city—it’s a family tradition that, when combined with a run, makes me feel less guilty.

 

3. My libation of choice is Veuve Clicquot. There is always a reason to celebrate with a glass of bubbly!

 

4. The most aesthetically pleasing place I’ve visited recently was the Hermès flagship boutique in Paris. The brand is iconic and true to its history, and this is reflected in every flawless display and vignette.

 

5. The best music for a dinner party is jazz pianist Bill Evans’s 1961 album, “Sunday at the Village Vanguard.” That is, of course, if my son, Alex, isn’t in town to put on a bass recital.

 

6. My turn-to item of clothing is BIG coats that make LARGE fashion statements.

 

7. Most people don’t know that I have an obsession with laminating. Over the years, I’ve collected images and clippings from design magazines and laminated them to archive in my inspiration bin. I love the glossy finish!





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I had such a blast shooting a segment for Chicago Home + Garden’s “Bring It Home” series that was featured on WGN!  The host Rochelle Vayo Adkinson was such a doll-along with her assistant, Maddie Yastrow.  And, y’all know how much I love all my peeps over at CH+G Magazine.  The segment was all about how to create a functional and beautiful breakfast nook, and we featured a space in one of my North Shore projects in Evanston as inspiration.  This fun and active family has three young children, so the area had to be bright, cheery and kid friendly.  My “Modern-ique” mantra was a driving force here, as I brought in quite the mix of old + new pieces to create a feeling of layering and depth without overcrowding or cluttering the area.  Click here to watch the segment online and learn the tips and tricks to making a great breakfast nook in your home. And, not to miss the indulgence of a couple of Krispy Kremes for both of our teams. #loveagooddoughnut.

To see more photos from this particular project on the Buckingham ID website, click here!

Breakfast nook, pre curtains

Having fun at the shoot!





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I fell in love with the style of cosmetic heiress Aerin Lauder when I featured the Lauder family estate in Palm Beach last year.  I was very excited to come across her Hamptons home in Wainscott, New York in Vogue.  With the same traditional elegance infused with modern comforts as her family’s home in Florida, Lauder’s country home is lovely and elegant, yet oh so comfortable.  Don’t you just want to dive into that cheetah sofa?  I love the personal touches throughout the home…signed photograph from Grace Kelly to her grandmother, Estee (your home has one of those too, right?), knick knacks from her young sons strewn throughout the kitchen (if you have young children, you know sports equipment and homework assignments become decorator accessories), and a framed letter from her grandmother next to her bed.  The home, like Lauder herself, is effortlessly stunning.





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I was so excited to see that Chicago Home + Garden recently featured the home of the creative director of FLOR, a modular flooring company based outside of Chicago. This home was beautifully captured and photographed by the uber talented Chicago photographer Nathan Kirkman.  Chicago Home + Garden always features fine Chicago Design-I look forward to each issue.

Not only do I love the look of Flor, but also several of my projects, my own home, and now my own dogs (as part of the set) have been featured in their campaigns.  We actually have a shoot later this week with the FLOR Photography Crew at the home of one of my clients-sans dog models. And, one of my oldest daughter’s roomies was the model in their latest catalogue.  She had a blast at the shoot with our Wheaten Terriers, Jane and Frankie, but stole the show!

FLOR is a great solution for affordable, custom sized carpeting, and the broad selection is amazing.  The look of Flor trends toward modern with basics to suit any decor style.  I have the “Fine Feathers” pattern installed inside my offices. Having worked closely with Chip and Cynthia over the years, it was so much fun to “peek” into their home. It comes as no surprise that the home of this creative director in suburban, family-friendly Elmhurst would have a very midcentury look…I love it!

The look of Flor…

What an charming 1940′s ranch home.

Dying over this orange couch.

Love the original stove and oversized chalk board…perfect for a home with creative little ones.

Fabulous onyx entry table.

Such a fun room for the little guys.

I could get some serious R&R in this patio area…

Please visit the Chicago Home + Garden site for more images of this amazing home and much more!





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Prime Real Estate

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 04, 2012 | 2 Comments | Category: Magazines

Lake Forest, Illinois

6 bedrooms, 6 baths

15,000 square feet

$6.95 million

Pedigree: Celebrated architect David Adler built this Tuscan-style lakeside villa in 1916. It is considered one of his finest residential estates, due to the classically symmetrical interiors, stately loggia, and stone-paved courtyard.

Property Values: The three acres feature an original sunken garden, conceived in collaboration with landscape designer Ralph Rodney Root, and direct access to a white-sand beach on Lake Michigan.

Talking Point: Watching over the grounds are statues of Neptune and the nine muses, among other mythical figures.

Contact: Coldwell Banker, 847-987-8517; coldwellbanker.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgoVZbC

From time to time I love indulging in the Architectural Digest feature “Homes for Sale Around the World.” Having lived in many houses myself (and naturally as a designer), I have a fascination with houses.  Leave it to AD to feature some of the most glam, luxurious and decadent estates from around the world.  Although I am not sure that purchasing a $50 million private island in the British Virgin Islands is in many of our realms of possibility, but, a girl or guy can dream, right?  Check out some of the latest listings on “Homes for Sale Around the World.”  Maybe AD will be coming to your block next!

Text and listing information courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Peapack, New Jersey

31 bedrooms, 14 baths

60,000 square feet

$4.9 million

Pedigree: Designed by Carrère and Hastings, the venerable architecture firm behind the New York Public Library, this secluded Beaux Arts mansion was constructed in 1903 for financier C. Ledyard Blair. The house, which has undergone an incomplete restoration, still exudes Gilded Age grandeur thanks to bespoke mantels, elaborate moldings, and imported marble.

Property Values: The 34 acres feature Italianate gardens by James Lyle Greenleaf.

Talking Point: With its unique past—reclusive nuns owned the place for some 50 years—Blairsden, as the house is called, has long been the subject of local lore.

Contact: Turpin Realtors, 877-788-7746; turpinrealtors.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMeM4fPg

Ojai, California

4 bedrooms, 3 baths

4,300 square feet

$4 million

Pedigree: In 1959 architect Rodney Walker, best known for his three contributions to the Case Study House Program, erected this hilltop retreat as his personal residence. Modeled after an equilateral triangle, the ethereal structure merges indoor and outdoor spaces using glass curtain walls and pointed overhangs.

Property Values: The three-and-a-half-acre plot, accessible by a winding private drive, enjoys sweeping views of the surrounding valley.

Talking Point: Vintage linoleum and wood surfaces and a paint-box color palette lend midcentury cool to the open floor plan.

Contact: Crosby Doe Associates, 310-428-6755; crosbydoe.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMez2N17

British Virgin Islands

7 bedrooms, 8 baths

17,000 square feet

$50 million

Pedigree: Natural beauty abounds on Buck Island, a 43-acre private haven boasting pristine beaches, protected coves, and coral reefs. Presiding over it is a contemporary masonry compound, comprising a main building, a satellite master suite, and three guesthouses.

Property Values: An infinity pool, a helipad, and a cabana dot the land, while two additional villas occupy a base on nearby Tortola.

Talking Point: A partially built bridge adds archaeological intrigue.

Contact: Smiths Gore, 284-494-2446; smithsgore.co.uk

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgDBwEi

Como, Italy

7 bedrooms, 4 baths

7,530 square feet

$34 million

Pedigree: Built in the late 19th century, this stucco-clad villa is perched on a superlative lot overlooking Lake Como, with views of the village of Bellagio on the opposite shore. Refined ornamentation, a grand scale, and neutral decor give an airy feel to the interiors, which have been restored by Milan-based architects Alberto Brugi and Elio Messi and are available furnished.

Property Values: The leafy seven-acre grounds include a gymnasium, a spa facility, a boathouse, and a pool.

Talking Point: A helipad allows for easy arrivals and quick departures.

Contact: Christie’s International Real Estate, 011-44-20-7389-2631; christiesrealestate.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMgV4cjf

Hickory Creek, Texas

6 bedrooms, 6 baths

36,630 square feet

$35 million

Pedigree: Just 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this attention-grabbing mansion—built in 2002 for CellStar founder Alan Goldfield—continues to linger on the market despite huge price cuts. It was modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th-century château that inspired Versailles, and overflows with baroque flourishes.

Property Values: Ninety acres with a lake, tennis courts, a pool, and a cabana.

Talking Point: Over-the-top amenities include a two-story Chanel-themed dressing suite, an indoor pool, a hair salon, a home theater, and a bowling alley.

Contact: Briggs Freeman, 214-350-0400; briggsfreeman.com

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/homes/homes/2012/01/estates-for-sale#ixzz1gMhA03Wk





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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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{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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Upper Pacific Suite- Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA

May be the most beautiful!  Well, at these hotels at least….. the bathrooms give the rooms themselves a run for their money.  Ranging from sanctuary like retreats to provocative, funky spaces, these bathrooms are truly sights to be see in and of themselves.  You will pay a premium for a “deluxe” bathroom (or more like bath suite)…the Presidential Suite at the Mandarin Oriental in New York will set you back $18,000 a night!  Tempting…that does look like a very nice tub…

Thanks to Conde Nast Traveler for this great article!

The Terrace Suite- Maritime Hotel, New York, NY

Told U So Yacht by Molori Private Retreats

Men’s Lobby Bathroom at 25Hours Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany

Deluxe Garden Room One- Barnsley House, Cirencester, England

Lifestyle Suite, Le Royal Monceau Raffles, Paris

Presidential Suite, Hyatt on the Bund, Shangai

Amber Suite- The Tides Miami, South Beach

Presidential Suite- Mandarin Oriental, New York, NY

La Suite- Clos de Lethe, Languedoc Roussillon, France





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{My own foyer, included in this feature in Chicago Home + Garden}

The first space a visitor often sees into a home (as well as the homeowner)  is the foyer, and whether the space is grand with soaring ceilings or a beachy front entry, a foyer is a great place to set the tone and feel of the home.  Use this opportunity to bring in bold statement pieces, fabulous pieces of art and personal touches.  The foyer is also a a justifiable place to splurge, as this space will literally be seen every time you and your guests walk in and out of the house and it is also the first blush as to the homes vibe. Go beyond an ordinary table and average looking mirror whenever possible.

Chicago Home + Garden recently did a feature entitled “Eight Foyers to Inspire,” and I’m very excited to say that two of my own projects were featured in the piece.  You, too, can play and stage just the right amount of emotion into the first glimpse into your homes decor. Perhaps surprise a pal or two.

{Front entry into one of my projects, a lake home in Michigan, also in this feature in Chicago Home + Garden}

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