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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 Twice a year, I head to High Point Market in North Carolina along with two partners in design from my office.  High Point  is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world which attracts more than 75,000 people every six months. Anyone and everyone in the interior design, furniture and accessories world can be found at High Point Market to showcase and shop all the gorgeous new product introductions. This past April, I was delighted to discover an amazing new company, Mitchell Black, and I was even more delighted to find out they were also from Chi-town!! They were only a few blocks away from my Buckingham Interiors + Design offices in Chicago this whole time! Well, hello neighbor!!

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Mitchell Black is a lifestyle brand that celebrates the aesthetic from the past through modern living (Um, how perfect to fit my trademarked Modernique mantra??)  In 2012, Mitchell Black was created from a collection of vintage copper and silver plate etchings. These etchings have taken on a new life as a luxurious line of lifestyle products designed for those who covet exquisite trappings to accessorize their lux lives. The brand’s trademark designs are displayed throughout tabletop, wall art, stationery and fragrance product lines. Mitchell Black effortlessly amplifies the way we live, entertain and celebrate.

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As we settled back in Chicago, we quickly arranged a visit to talk business, and soon it evolved into a perfect collaboration. The custom wall art studio offered so many options for my interior design clients!

With over 200 images to choose from ranging from anything architectural, modern, sweet, sexy, masculine, romantic, or royal and over 18 designer color choices, the options are endless.

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It was hard to narrow it down, but take a look at the newly installed Mitchell Black art pieces inspiring my design team in our design studio!!

“Float” in color Midnight

Lucite frames give this broken up image a modern, edgy feel. The art is also accented my two of my other fave accessory lines Dunes and Duchess (another deal struck up at Market!!) and Global Views- which is very dear to my heart!

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“Phonograph” in Royal, Periwinkle, and Midnight

We loved the statement of the repetition of 3 in ombre colors!

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Of course I couldn’t resist the “Crown England” in Violet….My last name is Buckingham after all and purple IS our BID color!

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“Columns” in another ombre color combination: Mitchell Black, Charcoal, Moon, and Ghost

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How perfect are these Metallic Mini’s again the glimmering wallpaper?? Loving this assorted collection of crowns, keys, hilts, scissors, and chess pieces!

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I’m thrilled to showcase this ultra cool line and look forward to a long-lasting business partnership!

Can’t wait till the next High Point Market in October where I will be speaking at both The Antiques and Design Center and the High Point Theatre!

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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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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When it comes to new product development, it’s often challenging to stay on top of all the trends and know what the cool new thing will be! More and more companies now often look to creatives—Interior Designers, Architects, Product Designers, Costume Designers and Artists—to collaborate on product development.

 Silestone, by Cosentino, leader in the kitchen and bath industry, continues its Trendspotting program for a third year, and also introduces a new component to their program–Silestone Color Design. They have selected five “trendspotters” from across the country to share their design expertise and regional market insight for the development of the next color series for the Silestone natural quartz line and I am SO, SO thrilled and honored to be selected again as part of the bunch!! Going to share just what Chi-town design is all about!

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My fabulous trendspotting cohorts include NYC  designer and TV personality Courtney Cachet,  Sacramento Interior Designer and Author Kerrie Kelly, Austin-based Designer and alum of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Addition Kim Lewis and Interior Designer Extraordinaire Mark Williams hailing from Atlanta. Here we are all in the fabulous kitchen at Kip’s Bay Show House…some fun was had there with this talented crew.

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We kicked things off a few weeks ago at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in NYC where Silestone was perfectly featured in the kitchen. One of the leading experts in kitchen and bath design, Matthew Quinn, created this AH-mazing kitchen using Silestone by Cosentino “Helix” in the suede finish. Matthew is known for creating aesthetically gorgeous spaces while also creating function for his client’s lifestyles. His innovative and creative concepts highlight his keen awareness of the synergy between design and lived experience. His use below of Silestone for the pair of integrated island corner sinks was pure genius!

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Later this month, we will be traveling to Cosentino’s global headquarters in Almeria, Spain, to test our initial colors (Ah, Spain, perks of the job!) We will be working alongside the talented and creative Product and Innovation Director, Valentin Tijeras Garcia, and his team. The final hues will be tested in the marketplace, sent into production, and finally unveiled at The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in early 2015! I’m delighted and so looking forward to be traveling to Spain again this year for the 2nd time as part of Cosentino’s Trendspotting group. I cannot tell you the thrill of brainstorming and creating color materials and then actually seeing them roll off of the assembly line at the production plant!

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If it’s anything like last year, there will be work, but tons of laughs and fun!!

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Silestone and the latest product to be created by Cosentino, Dekton, are such great options for kitchens, baths-and so much more….so many colors and textures available to create different looks for both inside and outside of the home, and soon after our trendspotting trip, a few more!

Stay tuned y’all!

 





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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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It’s no secret that I love color. Color is a huge part of my design process as color for me is synonymous with the word emotion. No color is off limits! It can often be challenging…how do you choose the “right” color for the space?

Thanks to Traditional Home magazine, fear color no more! Please join me and my uber talented crew of fellow designers for the Traditional Home Color Master Class! We will all be sharing our tips and tricks for incorporating color into your home. Every week for 12 weeks, you will receive an email with ideas of how to decorate with color–from rich hues to soft neutrals, and even how to decorate seasonally throughout the year!

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Best of all, all the tips are FREE! They will not be published in the magazine, so be sure to sign up for the master class today!

Color me HAPPY! xx

TradHomecoverJune AM

 





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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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