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Orange certainly IS the new black! I have always had a huge crush on orange. It just makes me happy.  It instantly makes a space positive, energizing and warm. I love combining orange with grounding colors such as brown, navy and tan, or together with turquoise and purple, it forms my favorite mid-century color combination.

But orange doesn’t like to be toned down too much. It commands attention! This vibrant hue is often a recurring color in many of my design projects…

This orange shaggy lamb stool (available from my BID Showroom in a rainbow of colors) was the perfect pop within a sea of grays in this serene bedroom sitting area.

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I couldn’t resist these fab Knoll upholstered orange Milo Baughman dining chairs for my own getaway home in Arizona…

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or these stunning orange accent chairs by Bradley upholstered in one of my fave Jim Thompson fabrics in this Chi-town Ritz Carlton Mag Mile high rise!!

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Whether using orange as an accent as I did within this Nantucket third floor guest nook using antique quilts…

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or as a big WOW factor as in these orange Farrow and Ball ”Charlottes Locks” adorned walls of the Lake Forest Infant Welfare Show house I designed last year…

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You can’t go wrong with incorporating this fab color as exhibited in my fave Brunschwig & Fils fabric on my Rondelay.

And, of course at my Buckingham I+D Showroom in Chicago you can see orange waving out to you from every direction! Check it out my Rug Company pals!

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The latest item in the showroom to get an orange makeover via my go-to Orange Burst by Benjamin Moore
is this Mid-Century Modern beauty that we obviously use for BID parties and for some storage too :)

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 Grab yourselves a bouquet of some orange lilies or gerber daisies this summer and enjoy what we have going on in July! xx





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Happy SUMMER!!! As of June 21st, the summer season is OFFICIALLY here!! After an extremely excruciating winter, we are all so looking forward to an amazing summer in Chi-town. One of the many things that I love about summer, besides the warm weather, sunshine, family holidays and eating outdoors- of course, is that it marks the “nautical” season. Living on the shores of Lake Michigan, we take our boating very seriously. We have to pack a lot of it into the few short months that we actually can. There are many nautical inspired pieces in my closet from anchor prints to my new fave navy Chanel espadrilles (nautical doesn’t always have to be so overt :)

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With summer arriving, I couldn’t help but reminisce of a fave historic restoration client project of mine….my client’s gorgeous 200+ year old retreat in Nantucket that fortunately called for a hint and a nod to a pared down nautical theme all year round. My client and I (along with her daughter who I am lucky enough to have as one of our three summer interns at BI+D) shopped arose the Northeast and accumulated some crazy cool pieces. It was so fun working on this project!

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The family room is “literally” anchored by a pair of cocktail tables fashioned from old brass portholes!

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The mantle art is a found lead seahorse architectural staircase remnant.

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The “Smooth Sailing” sign is from an old tavern while the antique carved whale was found in the fields of my fave Brimfield Antiques Market.

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Did you notice the “wave like” detail of this restored antique mahogany bed that was placed in the master bedroom?

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A collection of antique whaling tools and a harpoon adorn the kitchen hearth. Also, an array of the families collected shells sit within an antique tray centered on the kitchen island. This collection is ever changing….

Here are some additional shots of this gorgeous home located on Orange Street- you should see the hydrangeas in season!

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Meanwhile back at the ranch, we are loving our collaboration at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom featuring fabulous pieces by Dunes and Duchess…they are available in an array of custom lacquered colors, but when done in their “Commodore of the Yacht Club Blue” (gotta love the name!!), these candelabras and light fixtures are given a cool shoreline vibe. In the classic white, their appropriately named “Lakehouse Chair” is definitely going in my next beachy project!

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Nautical doesn’t mean just anchor prints and blue and white. There are many ways to incorporate a subtle theme into any space. Loving these bespoke rustic wood painted art pieces and the ship portholes adorning this nautical inspired bathroom. I like that idea :)

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Nautical is of course a repeating big trend in fashion each summer. Here are some of Princess Kate Middleton’s revolving classic nautical looks….

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And how some other fashion bloggers and stars interpret the trend!!!

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 I’ll be rockin’ my nautical stripes and prints all season!

Happy 4th of July y’all!! xx

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What used to be so “unheard of” in both design and fashion was the mixing of metals–either you did silver or gold. Not both. These days-thankfully and finally- I am spying a turning of the tides and a generous dose of mixing metals. To me the mixing of unexpected pairings is what keeps things interesting and unique.

Speaking of interesting, how about a dose of gold sprinkled here and there in your next home project? I love, love, love adding in a gold element within my design projects. The metallic and luminescent qualities of gold adds an instant element of luxury and warmth.

In my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago, we have these fabulous pillows from Pyar and Co shown here on this equally fab Adrian Pearsall mid-century sofa. These soft, cotton-linen pillows feature hand-block-prints in metallic gold foil. I especially love the whimsy of the gold foil kites! How about our gold metallic ostrich eggs :)

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Another pillow line that we share within the Showroom is Kari Fisher Designs. Kari specializes in contemporary hand blocked textiles. The process begins with high quality solid white or natural linen. Inspired by design history and traditional printing methods, she designs each pattern thoughtfully and carves each block by hand in her home studio in Atlanta, GA. Each step of the process is completed by Kari herself. My favorite,  of course, is the gold!! Love this hand-blocked chevron print!!

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While at High Point Market this past Spring, gold was all the rage! Natural Curiosities had some AH-mazing gold art like these “Wings of Love”, “German Krystalle”, “Cartier Heart Strings” and the “Gilded Arrow”.

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While I love the simplicity of gold and white…I am also obsessed with incorporating gold with bright hues like orange, my fave! Loving this “Sunset” series.

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Tommy Mitchell also has these gorgeous gilded gold accent tables….one was just delivered to a client’s home in Michigan on Monday while I was there for an installation!!

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I am ga ga over gold in wallpaper….

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My Design Director is expecting TWIN boys any day now…can we just stop and admire this adorable nursery she designed with the gold stars??!?


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And- oh my- lets not forget about the tried and true power of gold in jewelry and fashion!

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Anything when given a gold makeover just automatically ups it’s luxury meter. Gilded gold bath tub? Um, yes.

Who isn’t sporting something gold at this very minute?! Sparkle away y’all!

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I love trend watching and enjoy it even more so when I see the trends trickle across various categories from interior design then into furniture and then trending into the world of fashion!  One hot thang that I love a whole lot is lucite. Lucite, or acrylic resin, brings an instant dose of glamour to any space….or outfit!

Lucite is great to use in small spaces where you need the function, but not the heavy visual weight. It’s clear quality just adds a touch of lightness and luminescence to any room. In some of my favorite past design projects, I have incorporated lucite in various ways.

As counterstools in this stunning kitchen of one of my favorite clients….

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 Seating in dining rooms….

I loved using lucite in contrast to the darker, industrial pieces in this project of ours on the Mag Mile

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Or even just a simple, small touch of lucite as a stand in an entry hall can make all the difference in how an artifact is displayed

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Currently at my Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom in Chicago, we’ve got quite a few cool vintage lucite finds including candlesticks and one of my faves that I can never ever  resist…lucite grapes!

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  Lucite can be used in so many different formats….in lighting, accessories (Love these amazing antlers shown below)…or even in cribs!

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Lucite also is everywhere in fashion, from jewelry….

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To shoes!

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Even Hollywood is jumping on the lucite bandwagon. Leave it to Miley C to make a major Lucite statement!! Hmmmmm…

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Just remember that a little goes a long way with lucite. Test it out in one of your rooms or your wardrobe- or maybe both!

 





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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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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”!!

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 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….

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And a touch of elegance and glammy glimmer….

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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 :)

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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!

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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!

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

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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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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

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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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The gorgeous tall ceilings and pristine white brick walls of our Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom are the perfect canvas for showcasing the talented work of Chicago artists and artists nationwide.  We’ve been proud to showcase work in the past of the talented Linc Thelen, Richard Shipps, and Lynn Basa to name a few!

 
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“Jellyfish” and “Grid Study” by Linc Thelen

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“Evolution” by Linc Thelen

We are absolutely honored to be featuring the work of the amazing artist Amy Cannady in our new Spring art exhibition!

In Amy’s artwork, tensions and serenities coexist, inviting the viewer to consider life’s mysteries and ambiguities.

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“I Stood in Awe” by Amy Cannady

Through a reduction and layering process Amy allows line and form to emerge, disappearing again into obscurity. There is a deep sense of time and space. Painting is a language, and Amy Cannady’s has been described as a form of “Glossolalia.” The viewer is invited to ponder that something has happened, is happening, or is about to happen. She intentionally seeks no control, but looks for the possibilities in the paint and the painting process.

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 “How We Do It” by Amy Cannady

The artist shares, “There will surely be different interpretations of that which is seen in my work!

I hope this acknowledges the pluralistic world we live in and that a painting may be a point for open dialogue.”

 Cannady holds a BFA from Southern Methodist University, where she also completed postgraduate studies in Art. In recent years Amy has lived and painted in Santa Fe, Florida, and the Midwest, She currently resides in Dallas, Texas, also the location of her studio. Her work is in private and corporate collections throughout The Americas and Europe. She is currently represented in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Nashville. We were fortunate to feature a collection of her paintings in collaboration with KM Fine Arts in Chicago.

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“In Full Regalia” by Amy Cannady

Can’t help but stare at this beautiful piece as I walk through the showroom…Gorgeous!

A collection of Amy’s paintings are currently on display at our Modernique showroom through Mid-June.

Be sure to stop by 1822 W. Grand and check it out, as well as much, much more…

And stay tuned for our next featured Artist!

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“The Approach to Perfection” by Amy Cannady

Looks pretty perfect to us!!

 

 





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What city am I in today? (Between the weather in Chicago this winter and the sunshine in Arizona, that answer is clearly obvious!) The last few months have been a whirlwind. I’m reminded every day of how lucky I am to be living my dream. Next week I have the huge honor of hosting my first seminar at the Decoration and Design building in NYC! Hosted by Kravet fabrics, and joined by my dear friend and Executive Editor of Lonny Magazine, Irene Edwards, I will be sharing my experience of building an interior design brand and my trademark design aesthetic, Modernique.

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Whether you are just beginning your interior design career or your realize that being an interior designer is your next must-do career, I hope you can join Irene and me as we share our secrets of building a successful business and brand within the exciting world of interior design.

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“Modernique” Living Room featuring Kravet Chairs! This recent project of mine is hot off the pages of the most recent Luxe Magazine! Photography by Hausman and Associates

After a quick trip to NYC, it is then off to North Carolina for High Point Furniture Market! It’s hard to believe it is that time of year again. I LOVE High Point Market. The most amazing thing about market is that you get to touch, see, hear, and visualize all the latest and greatest in interior design. It always inspires me and I bring those ideas back to share with my team and my clients.

I am thrilled to be asked to return as a host of a “Suite Spot Tour” at the Suites at Market Square! Please join me and my fellow fabulous cohorts- Crystal Palacek, Christian May, and Corey Damen Jenkins- as we share design trends and innovation as we see it. My tour is Sunday, April 6th at 2:00pm! Sign up today! A huge shout out to the International Market Centers and my pal, Gretchen Aubuchon for spearheading the fabulous festivities!

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That Sunday, I am also taking over Instagram for market! Follow me on Instagram @designonhpmkt as I takeover and snap pics of all my fab finds!

 

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Here is a sneak peak at some of my tour stops…

Aidan Gray

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Chan Geo Collection Look # 8 Chandelier, Gold

 

Ro Sham Beaux

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Fluted Table

 

 Louise Gaskill

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Mae Chandlier in gold/silver gilt with vintage blue Murano Glass

 

Tommy Mitchell

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Lucite Gilded Flower Side Table

Stray Dog Designs

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Oberon Chair

I’m counting the days till market. It is not only wonderful seeing all the beautiful introductions in the world of interior design, but also seeing old friends, making new friends, and who could forget eating your way from showroom to showroom and party to party!! Hope to see y’all there!

 

 





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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.

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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!

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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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