Happy September!

Can you even believe it?! I’ve been reflecting on my whirlwind summer, full of lots of travel and work=fun. In July, I was delighted to attend Thermador and Traditional Home’s 2nd Annual “Great Kitchen Getaway” event in sunny + beachy Southern California. I was joined by  a fabulous team of designers and lifestyle bloggers from across the country; Dana Wolter, Nancy and Eric Dalton, Karen Williams, Lisa Mende, Beth Le Manach, Jennifer Markanich, Karin Edwards, Kelly Morriseau and Courtney Price. We hung out at the Thermador Experience & Design Center where we learned about this leading luxury appliance brand, talked about what’s hot in kitchen design, and also got into a heated social media cooking contest……more about that later.

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We toured the design center learning all about the vast array of luxury cooking and refrigeration appliances offered by this innovative brand.  Thermador has been providing “Real innovations for real cooks” for more than 75 years and continues to do so with their evolving iconic line of products. The Smithsonian Museum has Julia Childs actual kitchen on display- I’ve seen it and it is interesting how truly timeless the kitchen feels. Think also of the Brady Bunch- Alice cooked within a Thermador kitchen as well!

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We were then able to get the true feel of the Thermador cooking and kitchen experience (also putting to the test our cooking skills!) during an interactive cooking lunch.

To make things a little bit more interesting, we had a fun social media contest which brought out all of our competitive spirit!

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We teamed up and took to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share all of our culinary creations cooked up using the Thermador Pro Heater.

My lovely partner-in-crime was my friend, Nancy Dalton, Owner of Baywolf Dalton out of Seattle where she and her hubby create amazing kitchens and bathrooms for their clients. Here we are looking ever so fab in our Thermador aprons cooking up a storm!

Our finished product….An herb-crusted tuna with a carrot-ginger puree. Bon appetit!!

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It looks pretty delicious if I do say so myself….unfortunately we did not have the most likes/retweets/shares to win. Sigh…next time.  We all had a riot and dined together to indulge in each others divine creations.

Some other mouth-watering plates cooked up in the Thermador kitchen included  steam-roasted asparagus with warm irvine beets (the crowd winner by a bunch), seared diver scallops, zucchini blossom succotash and grilled chicken skewers with cumin scented rice. Yum.

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 It was a great trip learning all about latest in kitchen design with fab friends and food! What else could a designer ask for?

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Hanging with Lore McKenna from BSH Group and Kelly Morriseau as we head out to one of our FABULOUS beachside dinners

And, if you haven’t checked out the latest Traditional Homes Great Kitchens issue here it is. A must read!

                                          Thank you for including me in the festivities Thermador, Traditional Home, BSH Group + Finn Partners!!

xx, Julia

This trip was sponsored by Thermador and Traditional Home. Photo credit: Thermador.

All written content and insight within this post are my own.





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For the second year in a row, I am honored to be selected- along with four amazing design colleagues from New York, Atlanta, Sacramento and Austin- as one of Silestone’s “Trendspotters”. The whole gang was blessed with the opportunity to be whisked off to Spain for an adventurous week. Nothing like being immersed in a vibrant new culture to get the creative juices flowing.

It was a week full of inspiration and some powerful trend statements- melding both past and present.

First stop was beautiful Barcelona where we spent 2 days exploring the town and taking in the sights. As is every single time that I visit this gorgeous city, I was blown away by the architecture and it’s timeless and seamless entry into the modern world. I found classic, modern- day inspiration around every corner…

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Greek Key staircases within The Hotel Catedral in Almeria, the architectural splendor of ceiling details of Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Spanish tile mania spied within an historic building-now a cafe near the beach in Barcelona (Love the colorful mix!) and simply the breathtaking views of the city.

Architecture even came to life in the sand! Spotted this elaborate replica of La Sagrada Familia as a sand castle on the beach in Barcelona.

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My travels to Spain reinforced my love for timeless color inspiration and the influence that color- alongside neutral earthy bespoke elements- creates architecture that has been shared and that has lasted throughout the ages. The patina of ages old color still hold their treasured elements and show that color and architectural shapes in design and architecture only age more beautifully with the passing of time. We take away a sense of history when we reuse and repurpose the elements within our modern day designs.
The aged become pure examples of modern art in many cases…
Look at this castle, Alcazaba, in Almeria where after an alfresco dinner in the city square we were feted by a modern violin concerto.
The long trek upward into the castle were steps upon steps of historic, architectural splendor that felt clean, sleek and timeless.
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Between the trend and style spotting my fabulous cohorts and I had a lot of fun and giggles. We managed to take a fair amount of selflies and group shots along the way. This is one of my favorite group snapshots from the trip as the backdrop of the amazing historic architecture was simply stunning.

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The pic was caught at precisely the right moment with the natural illumination of a gorgeous sunset on the rooftop of  this Moorish castle alive with Art Nouveau influences and touches within.

Sitting halfway up a mountain overlooking Barcelona, it is now the home of El Asador de Aranda- a fabled restaurant known for its Castilian cooking. The building has a “modernist” feel throughout the interior that enhances my intrigue, obviously, with the melding of the old and the new.

(Side note–I especially love this picture because the handsome guy standing behind me is my  son, Alex, who met us with a quick flight from his hometown of Berlin. This made the trip for me all that much more special. Huge thanks to everyone for welcoming him with open arms!)

After bidding adios to Barcelona, we spent two days at the  Cosentino global headquarter’s in Macael for exploration and inspiration into our designs for the “Designer Series” of color. We were able to view the first prototypes of our new Silestone Color Series which the product development team based off of our initial creative meetings in New York City a couple of months ago.  It was exciting and rewarding to see our colorful designs coming to life. The final reveal will be in January 2015 at The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (#KBIS) in Las Vegas. Exciting stuff!

Easy to “spot” us, yes? #orangevestsderigueur

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At the end of our trip while back in Barcelona, I was filmed sharing my latest thoughts on color and design trends amidst the color and excitement of one of my fave markets in the world…La Boqueria.

I was so energized by the buzz of all of my surroundings!

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 There was inspiration in all of our travels… included one of my favorites here. Spotted this amazing sphere of light in a Spanish courtyard in Almeria.

Love Modern Art in unexpected historic locales!

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Oh… the memories of Spain collaborating with my fellow Silestone trendspotters… Miss all y’all Kim, Courtney, Kerrie, Patty and Mark! And Nicole and Lorenzo too!

See you soon!

xx, Julia

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I love, love, love COLOR–So when Peachy Magazine recently asked me to select my fave finds in home decor all focused in one color, of course my answer to was an immediate “YES!!!”

The only tough decision was just “What color to choose??” 

I went with one of my all-time faves….my birthstone and a tie to my Southwestern Arizona roots….Turquoise!

I knew right away some ah-mazing turquoise accessories to highlight from some of my best vendors that I showcase at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago.

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I was joined by some fabulous designer friends of mine who had some stand-out design picks of different hues!

The dynamic duo Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Schwartz of Cloth & Kind were inspired by all shade of pink–from blush to raspberry….

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And the talented Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room had some vibrant finds of my other fave color, orange!

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Thank you so much Peachy Mag for including me in this fab “Color Wheel” feature!!

Xx-Julia





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Happiness, longevity, good luck, success, strength, pride, and honor. Those are just a few of the symbolic meanings of elephants. In many cultures, the elephant is considered a sacred animal. In others, it is regarded as the most wondrous creature ever created and is greatly admired. Many have come to use elephants in their homes as a form of feng shui–depending on the placement in the home, it can symbolize different things. Placing a statue of an elephant at the front door brings good luck, protection and strength to the household. In a bedroom, it can symbolize love, faithfulness, and fertility. In a children’s room, it can serve as a symbol of promoting knowledge and success.

In my travels and antiquing, I have always been drawn to elephants. Above is one of my favorites that my daughter, Madi, actually spotted for herself in the antiquing fields of Brimfield (like mother, like daughter!) We had to pry it out of the hands of many a visitor to our Showroom until I sent it home with her. #NFS I guess :)

I recently found this fun lil’ brass elephant….After a very brief stint in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom, one of my fabulous Design Assistants quickly snatched it up for herself!

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I just came across this elephant lamp that I may have to buy….I love it’s simplicity.  So darn cute!

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Elephants have found their way everywhere. I’m loving this wallpaper from Cole and Son–echoing the beautiful French scenic wallpapers of the eighteenth century, this wallpaper in fresh pink, chartreuse, and lime is just stunning!

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You can incorporate an elephant as a small accent piece to your room….

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In the form of art, a table, or a sculpture….

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Decorate your bathroom and even shower!

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Besides holding symbolic meaning and feng shui, elephants have certainly become a trend in home decor.

A door knocker, trinket or jewelry tray, rug, or candleholder, elephants come in all forms!

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Try one today in your design space! After all, if it’s a symbol of good luck and the grantor of wishes, why not??





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With the warm summatime weather soon approaching (We Chicagoans hope at least!!), I am looking forward to all of the outside entertaining and parties! For ideas on throwing the perfect party, there is no better person to turn to than design guru Annette Joseph! A nationally recognized photo stylist/producer, Annette often appears on The Today Show and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio, and has specialized in lifestyle editorial images for national magazines for over 20 years!

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From lifestyle + interiors…

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To food + entertaining….

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Annette Joseph does it all! AND she is sharing her arsenal of tricks for the FIRST time in her book “Picture Perfect Parties”. This engaging how-to guide provides blueprints for a year’s worth of get-togethers, covering every holiday and occasion. From her many years of experience, Annette has developed her secrets for making entertaining easy!

YES, EASY! and dare we say….INEXPENSIVE too??

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Annette’s focus is on using objects that you ALREADY have at home….turning everyday objects and reinventing them, ingeniously transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

In Annette’s words, “My philosophy centers around the idea that the best way to bring people together and make food enjoyable is to create table presentations that excite the eye and delight the imagination as much as they do the palate.”

I am thrilled to soon be welcoming Annette to my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago to host a book-signing event on Wednesday, May 28th 6-8pm! Mark your calendars and rsvp to info@buckinghamid.com!

Don’t miss out as Annette shares her tips and tricks of entertaining with effortless style. Hope to see y’all soon!

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For anyone that knows me, or has seen my work, color is of HUGE importance to me and my work. Color is synonymous with emotion and that being said, I crave it.

No color is off limit and quite frankly, the correct, unique pairings of color can make or break a space. Success as an Interior Designer with color depends on a cool and unflinching confidence.

One of my favorite colors of all time is TURQUOISE. It is youthful, refreshing, hip, sophisticated, calming, and enthusiastic all at the same time.

I mean….doesn’t a beautiful ocean view of a compilation of turquoise waters just make you happy??!

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Or an Essie “Turquoise and Caicos” mani just make you smile? I’m currently sporting this as a new fav.

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I love turquoise in all forms…. stone, metal, glass, fabrics…..all pics here from my Buckingham I+D Showroom provided by the amazing photographer, Eric Prine for Lonny Mag. Come back and visit soon y’all!

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You can throw on a LBD and add a dose of color with turquoise earrings or a classic white T and jeans and spice up the look with a fun turquoise necklace.

Even add it to purple or magenta like these Hollywood actresses. It is just one of those colors that can accent anything!

I used to think it was only a summer color-this news flash from my Mama Audrey while I was a babe, but now it is definitely a GO-TO all year round! Plus, as an added bonus it is my December birthstone. Thinkin of my AZ roots right about now….and I collect vintage pieces of course :)

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Here is some “Turq at work”!!:)– a couple past projects that I was thrilled to incorporate this fantastic hue….

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And last but certainly not least…cannot forget the turquoise wallpaper statement made in this gorgeous dining room.

Go big or go home- or, go home to your turquoise. Thank you to my clients that share the love of this rich and lovely hue.

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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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High Point Market was a whirlwind week as usual!! So many amazing new innovations into the world of design and furniture. We purchased a myriad of goodies that will soon be arriving into our  Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom in Chicago!

Among those will be some ah-maazing candelabras designed by one of my favorite chic + wonderful pals, Stacy Kunstel, Proprietor of the acclaimed  Dunes and Duchess line and blogger extraordinaire- Stacystyle’s blog. We are so excited to announce that we will be the EXCLUSIVE dealer in Chicago for this fabulous line!

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The work of photographer Michael Partenio and stylist and writer Stacy Kunstel appears regularly on the covers of interior design magazines and books. When they’re not creating memorable images for clients, they’re playing the roles of Dunes and Duchess in their bohemian island getaway, where they dream up wildly romantic products for the home. Each Made-in-the-USA, hand-finished piece carries a little of their love with them to you. Ranging from candelabras, lamps, tables, and etageres, all available in custom bright fun, lacquered colors, we cannot wait for these to arrive to Chicago! Gotta. Have.

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  One trend we noticed at Spring Market was the use of agate. We’ve been carrying these amazing agate side tables by Sophia Martin Home , a new bespoke Chicago-based furniture line, for the last few months and they have been a huge hit! Sophia’s love of organic materials was the design kismet motivation behind these handcrafted tables which are made by local Chicago craftsmen and composed of Brazilian agate–each unique in size and color, interlocking layers of fine hard wood, and a variety of custom finishes. We have placed these beauties in a current raging Arizona home- uh huh.

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We were happy to see more of this beautiful stone introduced from tables to sconces this High Point Market!

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Agate top nesting tables from Global Views


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Agate Burst Sconce from Emporium Home

 One of our other purchases were these aged and gilded gorgeous angel wings atop selenite that we spotted at Tritter Feefer. Love them! Book ends…. me thinks?

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We continued to see the theme of gold and angel wings as we traveled to Natural Curiosities and admired their beautiful artwork!

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A few more of our faves: The new Giselle collection from Loloi Rugs (colors and patterns were eye-catching) ….I think we need within our showroom…., an art collection by Mitchell Black (love discovering other fellow Chicago businesses!), and the colorful gemstones adorning the chandelier collection at Ro-Sham-Beaux. Simply stunning.

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 This could go on and on and on….Around every corner we turned was another beautiful showcase of gorgeous design.  Last, but not least, we can’t forget our new boyfriend…As a chick heavy firm we welcome this dude into our lair! While he may be short-we aren’t judging! Props to a couple of my fave gals, Pam and Mary, stellar owners’ of  Tuesdays On The Boulevard. I have shared many an antique moment with these experienced and brilliant gals. Hail to the High Point Antique and Design Center! That’s my cue for my mantra #Modernique :)

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For everything else, as our shuttle driver told us as he drove us from party to party, “What happens in High Point, Stays in High Point”.

Come check out our new finds soon at our Modernique Showroom at 1822 W Grand! Please disregard any typo’s or omissions- we were delayed 16 hours leaving Greensboro…Never loved Chi so much in my life! xx

 





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NAPA 2013 A

As of last Sunday, the 2013 Napa Valley Showhouse at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena California is history. Sometime next year, many of its beautifully designed rooms will appear in the glossy pages of Traditional Home Magazine,  but nothing tops visiting a quality show house in person and seeing it firsthand. And speaking of firsts, it was a first for me. Not just doing a show house: I’ve been privileged to take part in a number of good ones over the years.  But I had never done one on the West Coast before. And if you haven’t been there, let me tell you, the Napa Valley is one of this country’s most beautiful areas.  So of course I said Yes when they asked me! Yes yes yes!

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Trad Home has been sponsoring showhouses for a number of years but the house they chose this time was unique: an expansive hundred-year-old farmhouse owned by vintner Peter Mondavi and designed by Willis Polk, one of San Francisco’s most important historically architects. And while you know I always love to see what’s new in the design world, I also love history, so this was a perfect chance for me to do one of my favorite things–blend the two!

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The dining room still retained its historic wood paneling, so we introduced color with fabric–the fun Kravet Kelly Wearstler print upholstery on their custom chairs (thank you so for a fabulous job with expediting), the crazy cool Jonathan Adler for Kravet fabric sourced for the roman shades and the glistening Maya Romanoff wall covering above the plate rail-one of my favorite local Chi town vendors. Thank you also to Benjamin Moore   for donating the paint for the ceiling and another shout out to Bloomingdale’s for supplying all the tabletop accessories. Speaking of my dining room tabletop…. the showstopper was a one-of-a-kind ceramic masterpiece by Ohio artist Tara Winslow. I became obsessed with Tara’s works when first spied at the High Point Market last Spring.

One thing I didn’t do was use any wine-themed motifs–old labels, bottles, grape leaves, that stuff–because those things were all around us already.  What would be the point? Instead, I used a series of blues & greens in our room: some soft, some vibrant, all beautiful, and, together, perfect complements to the warm tones of the wood. Plus a gigantic table big enough for the whole Peter Mondavi family. It featured a glass-topped gearwheel out from a historic European water mill, and let me tell you, getting that beast into place was a real feat for our heroic installers, who had to roll its ancient wood–very carefully--through the other designers’ rooms without wrecking the floors. When we finally got it into place, we were all ready for a glass of wine. Maybe more than one!

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But it wasn’t just the installers whose efforts I need to mention.  To everyone involved in this massive project–the magazine that invited us, the other talented designers I got to meet, the Charles Krug winery, the Napa Film Festival that benefits from all the visitors, and all the patient and professional work crews, a big Thank You from all of us at BID. Thank you for making me feel welcome at my first California showhouse.  And to my own team–back in rainy, cold Chicago, while I was basking in the glory of a California autumn–you are the best! (But you already know that.)

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