I’m excited to announce that the two winners of  the signed copies of Nathan Turner’s fabulous new book “Nathan Turner’s American Style: Classic Design & Effortless Entertaining” are….

Michele Ranard and Tessa Bediz!

Thank you all so much for participating in this giveaway.  Be sure to check out the “Million Dollar Decorator’s” wonderful new book here on Amazon!

 

 





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If you couldn’t tell, I have been having so much fun with set designs lately……

First was True Blood and the fascinating set design evolution between seasons and next was chandeliers from some of my favorite shows and movies. Now on to the top set designs of 2012!

Art imitates life and visa versa and we can especially see this in the sets from some of our favorite TV shows and movies. From the ever-classic vintage look we all cherish and embrace to futuristic designs fit for teenage tributes- interiors of all sorts grace the small and big screens and understandably have influenced interior design trends. In my own backyard, a client recently emailed me to say that her master bedroom chandelier was in the train scene of The Hunger Games!

PAST BLASTS
Mad Men has been an innovator in interior design since it corrupted its way into our hearts in 2007. Low-slung modern office designs of the ’60s accented with flashes of space-age chrome and colorful mosaic art takes us back to a time when smoking and drinking at work was hip and cool.


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Will Schuester’s living room on Glee sings the mid-century modern blues, only in pops of orange against earthy tones. It looks like Mr. Scheu digs the Mad Men vibe, too!
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PRESENT PERFECT
2 1/2 Men had quite the challenge- killing off their main character and bringing in a new guy mid season. They managed to pull it off successfully, and while they were at it they gave the iconic Malibu beach house a makeover. Charlie Harper’s Tuscan-style bachelor pad was successfully made to fit the environmentally nerdy taste of Walden Schmidt.


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Modern Family makes us feel good about our lives because theirs are so quirky and messed up. But nothing’s messy about this clean white ultra-modern kitchen gone wild with safari savvy bar stools.
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A remake of Dallas with some of the original stars rides back onto Southfork Ranch with Texas oil baron opulence. There’s nothing country about the ornate wrought-ironwork staircase that takes center stage against elegant neutrals and a glimmering chandelier dripping with grand style.


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FAB FUTURE
The Hunger Games hammers home the frivolity and excess of the Capitol to Peeta and Katniss with a sumptuous and unique leather sectional on a rich plum shag and accented with gray geometric shapes and sparks of metallic. I already made mention of my love for the movie sets lighting :)
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Men in Black 3 is set in the present, but the headquarters look out of this world, mixing pure cream with sculptural gray structures and fabulous zesty orange on the futuristic sinewy upholstered pieces.
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THE DARKER SIDE OF DESIGN
We’ve already taken a look at some dark and edgy decor featured in True Blood, but another great vampire-esq set that definitely deserves some kuddos is Dark Shadows, a campy remake of the ’60s daytime soap. The interiors take us back to a simpler time, when bean bag chairs, shag rugs and black light posters make anyone (especially an ancient Vampire) feel young again.


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The Dark Knight brings us another grand view of Wayne Manor in the mythical city of Gotham. Pendant lights ornate Greek-inspired columns and a filigree staircase worthy of Bat royalty reminds us that Batman is more than just a pretty masked face.


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Do you agree with my top set design picks from this year? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment and share some of your favorite set designs that you absolutely adore!





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Whether you are craving a little bit of lighting bling or just looking for inspiration for “later” design additions, my last post highlighting some fab lighting on a current show ( popular TV and Movie set designs) got me inspired to dig a bit deeper into how lighting is showing up on the big screen. Hoping you will enjoy these 10 interesting and unique pieces found on TV and move sets. Lighting is- as most of you may be used to hearing me say- one of my favorite additions in bringing a room together. Lighting, while  functional also must be enchanting to look at in a room. It can most easily become a work of art!

1. Gossip Girl – David Weeks Aluminum Bullet Chandelier

This David Weeks Aluminum Bullet Chandelier that hangs above Lily’s desk is a uniquely clean lighting fixture that seems to float within the room. Lily’s apartment is a modern and simple place where this piece fits in perfectly.

Home Office
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2. True Blood – LAMF Crystal Chandelier

The LAMF chandelier over Bill’s desk in his office is a traditional crystal chandelier encased in a black lamp shade taking something simple and traditional and elegantly recreating it into something unique and modern. I know that I shared this image last week- but just couldn’t resist adding it again :)

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3. Sex and the City 2 – Lindsey Ademan Studio Blown-Glass Chandelier

The Lindsey Ademan Studio blown glass chandelier in Carrie and Big’s hallway in Sex and the City 2 is absolutely exquisite and screams “Carrie” the instant you look at it. The look of bubbles mixed with the champagne colors is the perfect example of how attuned to “the deets”  set designers are putting together with the perfect pairings.

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4. Mirror Mirror – Laeila Chandelier
In the movie Mirror Mirror, this three meter tall chandelier creates an elegant backdrop for the queens palace. The 6,000 pieces of handblown glass leaves give it a whimsical and beautifully sparkling look that is perfect for this Snow White tale. Mystical and magical!

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5. Gilmore Girls – Richard and Emily’s House

There are a ton of great lighting fixtures at Richard and Emily’s house, but one you see quite often is the one over the dining room table. Wether they are enjoying Friday night dinners or reading the morning paper, the chandelier here becomes a regular fixture during the show’s seven seasons. It is a traditional and timeless piece.


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6. The Phantom of the Opera – Swarovski Theater Chandelier

Words can barely describe this amazing 2 ton chandelier. This piece is made of over 20,000 Swarovski crystal pieces and measures 17 feet tall and over 13 feet wide. The chandelier has it’s own part in the movie, as well as a stunt double.

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7. True Blood – Gotham Chandelier

Bill Compton has too many pieces to only list one. This amazing Gotham Chandelier is hung in his foyer, placed after he became the King of Louisiana.


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8. The O.C. – The Cohens Kitchen

In the TV show The O.C. the Cohens have an amazing chandelier that doubles as a pot and pan holder in their kitchen. This is one of the most beautiful set designs showing how a kitchen can look elegant and still be functional in an Orange County home. Looks and feels perfectly “homey” and warm.


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9. Harry Potter – Gringotts Wizarding Bank

The Chandeliers in Gringots Bank that the children visit in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 are paired with beautiful marble columns to convey an amazing reflection of wealth, whimsy and grandeur.

Gringotts Wizarding Bank
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10. GCB – Gigi’s Foyer

The chandelier in Gigi Stopper’s grand foyer is designed to be elegant and show stopping. The two focal points of this space are meant to be the chandelier and the staircase. Classic elegance.


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What are some of your favorite chandeliers from TV and Movie sets? How do they add to the space or reflect the characters they belong to? All MG’s prepare to comment and share!





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Whether or not you’re a fan of HBO’s hit series True Blood, it’s hard to deny how gorgeous the set designs are and how elaborately cohesive they look. As the series heads into its fifth season, we’re introduced to new and intriguing interiors thanks to production designer Suzuki Ingerslev and set decorator Ron V. Franco. Each design is meticulously orchestrated to support character development. Here are some of the highlights.

Season 1 – A Sweet Home for Sweet Sookie
In True Blood’s premiere season, we view sweet Sookie Stackhouse in two environments: Sookie house (inherited from her Gran) and her workSam Merlott’s bar. Sookie’s house is enchanting, and surrounded by greenery. The interiors feature aged furnishings, antiques, delicate textiles and patterned wallpaper, clearly a distinctive, homey charm. The set design is warm, welcoming and representative of Gran’s personality-and that of many Gran’s that we may know ourselves.


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Merlott’s is another one of my favorite places from the showjust look at that fabulous chandelier! The bar’s interior is a mix of wood-paneled and slate-stone walls, creating the perfect pub setting. A bit too perfect for a small-town bar perhaps? I would have chosen that fixture myself for the space :)


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Season 2 – A Royal Dayroom
Welcome to Queen Sophie-Anne’s dayroom. The 1920s beachside feel mixed with touches of modern royalty perfectly compliment her personalitya 1,100-year-old vampire longing for human luxuries, such as soaking in the sun. Dioramas were placed at each window to create the illusion of natural sunlight and an ocean view. Once again I was very intrigued by the chandeliers in this set, but couldn’t get a close look.  But I was able to find a shot of the original Malibu home where the scene was shot! Multiple chandeliers over water – this space truly makes a statement.


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(images source: http://trueblood.wikia.com/wiki/Sophie_Anne’s_Mansion)

Season 3: Mississippi Royalty
As one of the primary locations for this season, King of Mississippi’s Longwood Mansion was set in a National Historic Landmark in today’s Mississippi. True Blood set designers used antiques, teak wood furniture, handmade rugs and drapes to create a luscious and regal feeling.


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Season 4: A Royal Change
In season four the décor changed dramatically as Bill Compton becomes the King of Louisiana. Breathtaking changes were made to his plantation home. (Check out what his house looked like from season one!) A new Hollywood Regency vibe, along with the hints of Bill Compton’s masculinity, elegant and mysterious demeanor and authoritative powers, can be seen… Once again, chandeliers take center stage with H.D. Buttercup pieces in the foyer and a gorgeous, if not unexpected, chandelier above Bill’s desk. I may have hung the fixture in the foyer a bit lower for added drama…..


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Season 5: Authority
So where to go after 4 seasons of royal luxury?  New characters require new sets. Most prominent are the interiors of the Authority Headquarters and Salome’s bedroom. The Headquarters highlights a modern sensibility mixed with historic artifacts. I love how the  lighting completely surrounds this interior. The ancient columns, accentuated by the clean furniture lines and bright blue color shout Modern-ique™. This is-as most of you already know-my favorite compilation of modern and antique finishes and architecture.

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Salome’s bedroom is another mix of styles with Oriental influences, hinting to a modern Scheherazade’s bedroom, lush with fabrics and color. I love how the designers used the bold print of the mural panels next to the subtle gold pattern. Very “Wow”, no?


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What do you think of the interiors of True Blood and how they reflect the personalities of the characters? Which are your favorite design elements? Please comment and share your opinions all MG Peeps!





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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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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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I am hooked on basically anything on Bravo, and their latest show is no exception.  “Million Dollar Decorators” chronicles the highs (and yes, the lows) of 4 well-known Los Angeles based interior designers.  Mary McDonald, Nathan Turner, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Kathryn Ireland and Martyn Lawrence Bullard are all big names in the design world, but getting to peek behind the scenes in the running of their successful businesses is very entertaining. Being an interior designer isn’t glitz and glamour all the time, it’s extremely stressful, very hard work, and the attention to detail keeps me up at night-all days of the week.

My  job requires lots of patience and many texts, emails and real-time conversations day and night.  I wouldn’t trade any of it as the rewards are bountiful and the relationships that are made last forever. Plus, it is a huge amount of fun.

“Million Dollar Decorators” shows also how ultimately rewarding/frustrating this fantastic job can be. The show can be pretty wild sometimes….

Check out these projects featured in the first few episodes.

Kathryn Ireland overhauls Shannon Factor’s home (her husband is the grandson of Max Factor, makeup extraordinaire).

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Mary McDonald: client guest house

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Martyn Lawrence Bullard redoes Sharon Osbourne’s apartment

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Home Alone No More!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | May 21, 2011 | 8 Comments | Category: Movie/TV Sets

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Well, looks like the McCallister family is finally moving out!  Ok, this might not be the actual owners, but this Winnetka, IL home was forever made famous by its depiction in 1990′s Home Alone.  As any Kevin McCallister fan knows, a lot of sh*t went down in this house, so owning this home is truly owning a piece of movie history.

The late, great producer/director John Hughes set many films in his hometown of Chicago, including Home Alone, Ferris Buellers’ Day Off, Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club. As a lifelong Chicago resident myself, I might be a little biased but I must say that Chicago is one of the best places to shoot a film, especially when architecture is involved.  Whenever anyone mentioned “the Ferris Bueller House,” you know exactly what they are referring to, right?  Cameron’s sterile, mausoleum-like glass box of a home.  And now for $2.4 million, you can be the proud owner of the “Home Alone House.”  While the home doesn’t come complete with overgrowing green and red Christmas decorations and a house full of frazzled relatives, it does boast 4 en suite bedrooms, a screened-in porch, and a coveted east Winnetka address.  If you moved in, I’d be happy to redecorate for you and throw a little housewarming party!

If you’re interested, contact Marissa Hopkins at Coldwell Banker for more info.

Listing photos courtesy of Coldwell Banker, original movie photos courtesy of Hooked On Houses.

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{Francine Turk in The Break Up}

The “Break Up” was on television the other night, and it is one of my favorite flicks not only because it is set in my beloved city of Chicago (I am partial to anything set in the Windy City) but also for its prominent exhibition of artwork by my friend, Francine Turk. Remember the lovely sketches all throughout the apartment in the Break Up, supposedly drawn by Jennifer Aniston’s character, Brooke?  Well, they are actually by Turk, a Chicago based artist.  Francine’s work is also featured in the new Vince Vaughn movie The Dilemma. I have been a big fan of Francine for quite some time, and when I opened my showroom last year I naturally had to feature her work.

{Francine Turk in the Break Up}

Her work is not only beautiful, but it is versatile as well.  From placing a large collection on a living room wall to hanging one or two in a powder room, Francine Turk’s work certainly is nothing with which to “break up.”

{Francine Turk in my Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom}

{Francine Turk in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom}

Turk’s official website is under construction, so the following images courtesy of “So Haute.”  Also, check out the tour of her fabulous Chicago townhouse!

{The artist with one of her pieces}





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This year, like any year, has been an eventful year for design.  New doors opening, familiar doors closing, that fabric you just had to have for that armchair that you just had to have even more, those mugs you probably should have returned, those hedges that your landscaper convinced you (and therefore you convinced your husband) would “revolutionize” your garden, that amazing find on Ebay/Etsy/One Kings Lane…the list goes on and on.

With yet another 12 months behind us, why not take a look back down design memory lane and check out what we had our minds set on in January, February, March, April…

Here’s what Material Girls Chicago was talking about, thinking about, laughing about, lusting over, dying for, surprised by and excited for from January-December, 2010.

For more details, click on the highlighted link to be directed back to the original post.

January

“Living in the Movies…Literally!”

{Evanston home that has major on- screen appeal}

When a home in the north suburban Chicago town of Evanston was featured in the Chicago Tribune for its “star power,” or rather the many films that can credit this house for creating a lovely set, I decided to poke around to see what other films that have captivated audiences not only for their plot but also for the fabulous homes that make them worth watching.

{Father of the Bride}

February

“Picture Perfect”

{Winning design by Eddie Ross, “Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge”}

When my good friend Eddie Ross won the highly coveted title of victor in the “Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge” in NYC, I was so impressed not only by the design of the whole, but was really captivated by the large orange and white piece of art he used.  Turns out Eddie got this piece from……

March

“The Bachelor Life”

{funky antlers in lieu of stuffed game animal}

I loved this home for its sophisticated, modern yet totally fun take on the traditional bachelor pad.  No stuffed deer heads in this place!  Chicago Home + Garden featured living the good (single) life in the issue from this month. Congrats to my pal, Darren on a truly remarkable pad :)

April

“You Say Indoor, I Say Outdoor”

{Trina Turk for Schumacher}

Coming from a place that endures the most extreme in weather climates, outdoor fabric durability is crucial.  However, you still want it to look good, right?  These indoor/outdoor fabrics have the ability to withstand all inclimate conditions-from 3 year olds to thunderstorms.

{I used this Holly Hunt indoor/outdoor fabric in a Chicago lifestyle salon-Buckingham Interiors + Design}

May

“It Takes Two”


Twin beds remind you of summer camp or your grandmother’s house?  Well…you’d be lucky to sleep in these swank beds out in a cabin or in your grandmother’s dusty house!


June

“Turquoise With Envy!”


It was the year of turquoise, literally.  Pantone declared “turquoise” to be THE color of the 2010, so naturally when the New York Times featured designer Ghislaine Vina’s picks for all things turquoise for the home, I had to share with MG.


July

“Homecoming”

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

The big move!  July was the month that my design firm, Buckingham Interiors + Design, took up residence in Chicago’s hottest new design district, West Town.  Seems like just yesterday that  I was arranging (and rearranging, and arranging again), in our new space.

{Buckingham Interiors + Design}

August

“Kimmy K’s Swank New Digs”


As both a Kardashian fan as well as a design junkie, I was particularly excited to get a look at Kim Kardashian’s new Los Angeles home, which was revealed in August of this year.  I personally think that it looks very tasteful, but a tad monochromatic for my taste…what do you think?

September

“Fabric Lust”


I really fell for this Thom Filicia fabric (an Ikat, go figure!) when I came across it an ad for it on the back cover on House Beautiful from this month.  I still am a big admirer four months later and hope to use it at some point in the future! (Here we come, 2011!)

October

“Body Art”


I discovered the special edition Jeff Koon’s for Kiehl’s collection this month, a collaborative line from which proceeds go to the Koons Family Institute, an initative of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  This is a particularly personal cause for the artist, for his young son was abducted by his then wife, resulting in years of custody battles.

November

“Running Wild”


It seemed like everyone was getting in touch with their wild side this fall!  Animal prints were everywhere in fashion as well as interiors.  Elle Decor featured a piece on animal print design during this month.

December

“Got An Extra $50 Million Lying Around?”

The Bunny William’s living room heard round the world just so happens to be a part of a larger project, a $50 million dollar project that is.  The 2009 Kip’s Bay Showhouse (2009, I know a little bit off), happens to be for sale for a jaw dropping price tag.  Any takers? Name the date of the housewarming party, and I’ll be there! Hello, 2011 fete perhaps?


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