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Facade of one of my recent design projects in the heart of Lincoln Park in Chicago

If you know Chicago, then you know that its Lincoln Park neighborhood is one of the most beautiful and family friendly areas of the city.  Its streets are lined with stunning antique brownstones, lovely newly constructed row houses, and as its name suggests, a very substantial + gorgeous park or two.

One of my latest projects was for a fabulous young, active family whose taste was just as energetic.  The traditional facade opens up to interiors filled with bold hues, modern shapes and worldly elements.  Particularly when it is this “hazy shade of winter” (like it is today), a colorful home provides welcome positive energy. I get this vibe from merely hanging with these clients of mine :)

After living in the house for several years-where I had been working all along- and becoming decidedly more interested in adding color and their “personal” touches, we traded in the “traditional” wooden staircase railing for a more sleek and modern steel that outlines the modern interiors perfectly. That along with my favorite color (orange!) stair runner sealed the staircase deal.

We also gutted the kitchen to expand the space by eliminating an unused Butler’s pantry to enhance the storage space and overall functionality for a busy family with three young sons. Shopping one day for some modern goodies, I stumbled upon a dramatic mid-century textile art-piece that fit the dining room wall perfectly. Already equipped with the original modern lucite hanging accessories- this this made my client whoop with joy!  The addition of the mod yet antique Murano Chandelier (1920)..” made with a glass-forging technique developed to amplify flickering candlelight in the 17th century and produced on the island of Murano, it represents the grandeur of centuries-old craftsmanship.” Dramatic in its scale, color and delicate filigree, it complements the antique Chinese table and seating in a whimsical way adding some important design tension.

Out last design step was to create a powder room that literally “lit it up!’ Backlit art by a local artist was custom fit to illuminate this room. Colorful brick floor tiles….a-mazing, no?

As a “color-obsessed” girl myself,  I had a blast working on this project-to say the least!

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Living room filled with bold and eclectic elements-the soft and textural “Pebbles” rug is a fave. Fabrics by Romo.

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Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 1.23.50 PMModern Fiber Art, Murano Glass Chandelier alongside antique Chinese furniture.

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Ann Sacks tile gleaming with combination of metal and colorful glass. BluDot counter stools add a dose of color.

Can you tell that turquoise is a fave color of ours?

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Custom furniture pieces for a smaller “city” family room on top of a Jonathan Adler Lollipop rug. Orange mohair….so dreamy!

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 Crazy cool tile floor in the powder room along with modern art that makes me wanna sing!

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Lacquering an inherited vintage cabinet in a bright turquoise changed this landing forever!

I hope that you enjoyed a glimpse of one of my favorite client projects. As interior designers, we are only successful given the perfect storm of possibilities, humor, architecture, fantastic collaboration, trust and friendship with our clients- and a little love of color, texture, unique art and artifacts along the way. Cheers!





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Josh Garrett’s work in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom

I absolutely love the atmosphere of my office.  Not only does it serve as the working hub of my interior design business, but it also functions as a showroom and gallery space as well.  I have been an art fanatic for countless years, so bringing the best from the art world is part and parcel with my interior design work.

I am thrilled to announce that we are now exhibiting the work of local Chicago artist, Josh Garrett, at my Buckingham I+D Showroom!  Josh works primarily with metallics (copper, steel, aluminum) that have been etched, painted or treated.  The results of his painstaking creation process are truly breathtaking.

Here is a little bit of what Josh has to say about his work:

“When I started in 2005, I wanted to make art with a perfect, machine-like quality. My first pieces actually revealed a rawness that was unexpected but inspiring. The LINES series includes symmetrical designs in metallic or black paint. Some of the lines are broken, as a result of the process done by hand. Other pieces of mine include a fire treatment to create texture and abstraction. The use of fire was inspired by those unexpected qualities I discovered early on. Choosing that medium became an exciting means to create visual complexity with minimal control.”

Did I mention that Josh is also an accomplished guitarist?  What a cool dude!  To check out Josh’s work and to see what other Modernique® goodies we have in store, stop by our showroom at 1820 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago.

Take a look at some of my favorites from Josh Garrett’s collection…





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{Monaco Blue Chairs in One of My North Shore Projects}

My apologies for my absence on Material Girls as of late!  Between holiday festivities, a gut renovation of my new home in Arizona (stay tuned for pictures!), client projects here in Chicago and throughout the country, and all of the other madness that goes along with the design bizz, I’ve been thoroughly occupied.  Can’t complain, though…busy=booming!

I was thrilled when one of my favorite vendors, Silestone, asked me to weigh in on Pantone’s color of Spring (Emerald Green) and Pantone’s color of 2013 (Monaco Blue) in conjunction with their  amazing quartz countertop surfaces (check out the feature here!).  I absolutely love the playfulness yet richness of Monaco Blue, and have used hues similar to it in many design projects.  I must admit, I am not necessarily a green person, but upon thinking about Emerald Green, I found myself intrigued by this classic hue.  I may now be a “green” convert…the latest look of my showroom is actually very green!  Guess Emerald Green is rubbing off on me :)

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{My recently “greened out” showroom}

Take a look at some of my favorite ways to incorporate Pantone’s “Happening Hues” into your decor!

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{Pantone Color of Spring 2013: Monaco Blue}

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  { Pantone Color of 2013: Emerald Green}

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{Monaco Blue Walls in my Hinsdale Design Project}

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 {Monaco Blue in Lauren Santo Domingo’s Paris Duplex via Mark D. Sikes}

 

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{Emerald Green in Lauren Santo Domingo’s Paris Duplex via Mark D. Sikes}

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{Monaco Blue Walls and Chairs via Decor Pad}

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{Emerald Green Wallpaper, Headboard and Accents via Elle Decoration}

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{Emerald Green Drapes via Splendid Sass}

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{Monaco Blue Painted Furniture via The Aestate}

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{Emerald Green Walls via HGTV Blog}

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{Monaco Blue Walls and Furniture via All Things Stylish}

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{Monaco Blue Painted Door via Create Girl}

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(Emerald Green Walls and Accents via Good Life of Design)





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Lafco New York Candles at Buckingham I+D Showroom

The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year…friends, family, and an occasion to eat as much food as you want without guilt?  Love it!  With Thanksgiving being last week, the official holiday shopping season has begun!  I am thrilled to announce that my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom is now carrying all sorts of goodies that will make just the perfect gift for your chic friends, coworkers, loved ones…whoever!

I am so excited to now be a vendor of Lafco New York Candles.  They are seriously some of the best candle fragrances that I have ever come across, and one of the best parts is that they are all named after rooms or types of houses!  Perfect for the design lover, don’t you think?  Not to mention, they have been listed as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” a number of times.  Gotta trust the O :)

We will also be carrying a variety of other gift-giving must haves!  Be sure to stop by our showroom at 1820 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago to say hello and check out our selection in person.  Don’t forget!  We’re now open on Saturdays from 10 AM- 6 PM.

Happy Festive Shopping Season to you all!

xx Julia and the B I+D Team (Colette, Brenna, Paulina, Leah, Marla, Nancy + Rebekah)

 

Vintage Fork Molds

Gold Urchin Object

 

Vintage Red Alabaster Grapes

Set of 5 Mini White Vases

Ombre Vase

Silver Nesting Bowls

Set of 3 Vintage Jacks

Turquoise Glass Vases

Green Glass Vases

Grey Glass Vases

Vintage Peruvian Mirror

Vintage Peruvian Candlesticks

Coral on Lucite Bookends

Vintage Van Briggle Pottery





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Holiday tablescape inspiration via Indulgy

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I woke up the other morning and there was snow dusting my home.. Welcome to Chicago!

I have to say it did put me in the mood to do a bit of holiday thinking.  My Chicago showroom recently expanded its hours to include Saturdays to showcase our holiday goodies for weekend shoppers (come say hi at 1820 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago!), I had a meeting with my team to discuss the all important office Christmas tree that will be on display shortly, and I have been ordering entertaining goods in prep for the holiday season for clients left and right.  Part of my business for many years was holiday decorating, so I have to say this sort of stuff gets me really excited.  Take a look at some of my favorite ways to create a festive tabletop for this holiday season!

 

Breadbasket, $189 from Annieglass

Chip and Dip Server, $200 from Annieglass

Holiday Platter, $67 from Annieglass

Oval Tray, $53 from Annieglass

Holiday Tray, $84 from Annieglass

Kaleidoscope Placemats, $75 from Neiman Marcus

Matouk Table Linens, $153-$487 from Neiman Marcus

Bianca Scalloped Cake Plate, $40 from Neiman Marcus

Six Marseilles Flutes, $70 from Neiman Marcus

 Kim Seybert Baroque Beaded Table Runner, $506 from Neiman Marcus





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My kitchen design for the CS Interiors Ritz-Carlton Residences Anniversary Home- mixing gold and silver!

Thank you to Kohler + to Albar for this dramatic impact within my kitchen space. Can’t resist a shout out to one of favorite tile resources, The Fine Line for my Missoni inspired custom backsplash-Heck ya!

We have vendor presentations at our showroom weekly and during these informative tete a tetes  we see the latest and greatest collections from some of our favorite lines-along with the new.  The other day, we had a presentation where I spotted several fabrics that mixed silver + gold….too many to be a mere coincidence.  Is this a “thing”?  If so, are you digging it?

Personally, I love it.  I am a metallics chick (what girl doesn’t like something sparkly?) and think if it is done carefully it doesn’t look disjointed but rather sophisticated and chic. Along with that is the idea that there are no longer any “rules” within design. Love this!

Let’s look at jewelry, for instance.  David Yurman has been mixing metallics for years!  Often paired with colorful gemstones, a Yurman piece is classic and lovely.

Silver  + gold David Yurman jewelry

I say same goes for interiors.  Here are a few of my favorite mixed metallic designs and spaces.

{via Lou Lou’s Decor}

{via Houzz}

{via House Beautiful}

{via Decorpad}

{via Fantabulous Design}





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I am thrilled to announce that my Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom is now open on Saturdays from 10-5!  We are located in the bustling West Town design district- just west of the Merchandise Mart- and we would love to see some of our wonderful MGs for a gab and meet.  Our inventory is constantly being updated with the best of both modern and antique goodies (hence my registered trademark, Modern-ique®!), and we will be receiving soon many items perfect for holiday gift giving!

Our showroom is located at 1820 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago.  Take advantage of this beautiful fall weather and stop by…we’d love to see you!

xx,

Julia, Colette, Paulina, Brenna, Nancy, Marla, Leah, Linlee, Rebekah + our resident pet, Queen Victoria





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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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Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

It has been quite a whirlwind past couple of weeks for us over at Buckingham ID!  We participated in the CS Interiors Anniversary Home at The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Chicago (my firm completed the kitchen/patio), and we also just wrapped up DIFFA Dining by Design!  We partnered with one of our favorite fabric/wall covering companies, Romo, to create our Dining by Design space, and I must say that I was thrilled with the results.  Not only was this a fun way to mix and mingle amongst the Chicago design community, it was also a wonderful way to participate in a very worth cause.  DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS), is such an amazing organization, and I am honored to contribute to its charitable efforts. My husband had absolutely no luck in restraining me from doing one of the things that I do best…bidding and winning some fabu silent auction items!

We used Kirkby Spectrum plaids for the chairs as well as for framed art, Romo Kingfisher Hexagon wall covering, a mid-century marvelous lighting pendant (that we fondly refer to as “the gummy fixture”) to anchor the space, oversized Richard Kooyman “food” art, and recycled glass objets d’art on stands as part of the tablescape.

I was also inspired by a current Arizona project that I am working on (will share photos with you soon!) to add unique vintage leather Western belts to the back of the chairs.  It was an unexpected touch but I am delighted by the eclectic effect.  After all, what fun is design if not unexpected?

I cannot forget to mention our centerpiece (and new BID showroom pet), Betta Fish Queen Victoria.  She is a true looker and beautifully complimented the scheme.  Nature is the greatest inspiration for design, after all.

Many thanks to H. Bloom for providing the stunning floral arrangements and to Werner Straube Photography for the fabulous photos.

Stay tuned for more Buckingham Interiors + Design news to come…never a dull moment over here at BID headquarters-we have just begun the design for our David Adler designed Lake Forest Showhouse in the “Original Party Room.” How perfect is that for me? :)

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design Space

Belt Detail from our DIFFA Dining by Design Chairs

BID girls (L-R: Paulina, Brenna and Colette) with President of Romo USA Frederic Henry at DIFFA Dining by Design Cocktail Party

BID gals (L-R: Shannon, Colette, Paulina, myself and Brenna) at the DIFFA Dining by Design Gala

Team BID (plus hubby John) acting silly at the step and repeat with the Romo girls at DIFFA Dining by Design Gala

L-R: John, Shannon, Paulina, Colette, Julia (me!), Catrina, Maria, Christi, Brenna, Heddi

Yummy signature cocktails at DIFFA Dining by Design Gala (by one of the event’s sponsors, EFFEN Vodka)

Our guest of honor at the Buckingham ID/Romo table- Betta Fish Queen Victoria!

Kehoe Designs display at DIFFA Dining by Design, always a stunner!

Jonathan Adler + Kravet

Ethan Allen showing off preppy chic

Classic Charles Eames quote





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I am thrilled that my firm- Buckingham Interiors + Design- is participating in this year’s DIFFA Dining by Design, taking place from November 1-3 on the 8th Floor of The Chicago Merchandise Mart (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago).  This year we were paired with one of my favorite fabric + wall covering brands, Romo, and my team and I have been hard at work crafting a truly Modern-ique® space filled with color, whimsy and unexpected surprises (hint, hint….live animals!).</p>For those of you who are not familiar with DIFFA, it is the amazing organization “Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS”.  Every year, DIFFA hosts Dining by Design, a fabulous event in which local designers create, quite literally, a dining space to showcase their design aesthetic for a great cause.  I participated in 2010, and am very excited to be back on board.

 

Not only does Dining by Design raise awareness and funds for a very special organization, it also plays host to several events that are exciting celebrations of the design community.
“Cocktails by Design” will be taking place this Thursday, November 1 from 5:30- 8:30 PM.  This is a great way to get the first look at the tables and to mix and mingle with those in the Chicago design community.  Come and enjoy yummy drinks and a silent auction!  For tickets ($100), click here.

 

The public viewing will be taking place this Friday, November 2 from 10 AM- 2 PM.  Looking for creative and inspiring ways to bring pizazz to your own dining space?  Be sure to stop by to see what myself and the other Chicago designers have whipped up.  Come one, come all!  For tickets ($10), click here.
The “Table Hop and Taste” will be taking place this Saturday, November 3 from 11 AM – 3 PM.  This open house pairs La Crema wines, EFFEN Vodka and Stella Artois with tastes from Chicago’s top restaurants, including, 312 Chicago, RL, Spiaggia, Province and Piccolo Sogno (one of my personal favorites in my West Town hood!).  This is a great way to take your sommelier skills to the next level, as winemakers from La Crema will be on hand to discuss distinctive flavors, wine pairings, elegance and the natural balance of La Crema’s wine selection.  For tickets ($40 pre-purchase, $50 at the door), click here.

 

The “Dining by Design Gala” will be taking place this Saturday, November 3 from 7 PM- 11:30 PM.  Cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and a pretty party dress all for an amazing cause?  This is surely not an event to miss!  For tickets ($500) click here.

 

Not a Chicagoan?  Dining by Design takes place in many cities!  To see if your city participates, click here!

 

 

 Snapshots from Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design 2010

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design 2010

 

Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design 2010

A sneak peek at some things we have in store for Buckingham Interiors + Design DIFFA Dining by Design 2012…

Be sure to check out our space live at The Merchandise on the 8th floor  tomorrow through Saturday!


Embracing this fall’s plaid trend

Spectrum by Kirkby

Art minicing design

“La Grande Ricette” by Richard Kooyman

Recycled materials are always in style!

Recycled Glass Sculptures

Fabulous rug

Homegrown Blue from The Rug Company

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