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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“Nathan Turner’s American Style: Classic Design & Effortless Entertaining”

I had such a wonderful experience as a Style Spotter at this month’s High Point Market, and one of the many highlights of my trip was connecting with the fabulous designer/entertaining extraordinaire Nathan Turner.  Of course, I was familiar with Nathan’s chic interiors and his acclaimed event planning, and I was thrilled to learn that he has a new book out!  Aptly titled “Nathan Turner’s American Style: Classic Design & Effortless Entertaining”, this new publication is sure to impress.

As if Nathan weren’t enough of a gem, he is generously giving away a couple of his new books exclusively on Material Girls!  Simply comment on this post to enter.

If you are a Chicago area reader, be sure to stop by Pottery Barn in Lincoln Park (1000 W. North Ave. at Sheffield Ave.) this Wednesday, October 24 from 6:30-8:30 to meet Nathan Turner and yours truly for a book signing of “Nathan Turner’s American Style: Classic Design & Effortless Entertaining.

Be sure to RSVP with your full name and number of attendees to chicagorsvp@potterybarn.com.

Cheers!

The lovely and talented Nathan Turner

Some of Nathan’s fetes…can I please be invited to the next one? ;)

Beach Party

 

 

Moroccan Dinner Party

 

 

Baby Shower

 





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Fashion and Interior Design quote by MieleThis quote by fashion designer Carlos Miele is very dear to me. His no-boundaries outlook on fashion is similar to how I design spaces. My philosophy of Modern-ique® , integrating antiques and artifacts with modern design, is just that. I truly believe that success can often come from the most unexpected pairings both in fashion and decor! My career-beginning with my Fashion Merchandising degree from the University of Arizona brought me to work for Neiman Marcus and now I have brought that “fashion passion” alive within my  interior design firm.

So imagine my excitement when I was invited to participate in the Oct. 8 Fashion + Design #Oliohop. OlioHops are blog hops organized by Olioboard. Olioboard is a new tool in “social commerce.” It allows you to  create interior design moodboards and even 2D and 3D room designs using real products clipped from your favorite websites.

I will show you two examples of how to bring together fashion and decor, built with the help of Olioboard. And I will be back on this topic throughout October as I head to High Point Market later this week. I am extremely excited about my role in this year’s High Point Market as a Style Spotter — the entire market will be focused on fashion and home decor!

Fashion trends, materials and colors affect home decor in a big way. A few weeks back I wrote a post about interior color predictions for fall/winter, many of these being based on fashion color trends. This time I wanted to do a deeper dive into the fashion trends that will have a big impact on the furniture and decor design we will see in everyone’s homes tres soon.

The Plaid Fad

Plaid isn’t just for your great-grandmother’s pillows or just for lodge decor anymore (although, these both evoke fond and warm memories that make us reach out toward it).  Bold and contemporary plaid pieces in a variety of colors are a fashion statement and must-have wardrobe items. Who else just LOVES the visual impact of the plaid plates on the wall (upper right within the images)? So chic! And just check out that swatch of sassy aqua and brown, such a well-balanced and unique palette, a defining characteristic of Kirkby fabrics (part of the The Romo Group). That’s just one of the fabulous fabrics I’m using in my DIFFA Dining by Design room where I am aligning with Romo next month here in Chicago. Plaid is going to be center-stage in my dining space!

All That Glitters is Gold

Metallics have been all the fashion rage these past few years but we’re now starting to see that same trend in home decor. I love adding hints of gold touches especially to lighting pieces, such as a gorgeous antique chandelier as well as accessory accents like plush Pyar & Co. pillows (featured on the bottom right). The owner of Pyar , Paula Queen, is one of my favorite design clients – big design things happening that I will share soon- and an entrepreneur mixing Indian textiles within a plethora of exquisite pillows. The pieces reflect the philosophy of Pyar, pieces that tell stories, “Pure love. Pure luxury.”

The photo in the middle is from one of my favorite design projects. The whimsical gold details on both the chandelier and table make the room feel warm and royal. Another of my favorite client dining rooms shown upper right and the powder room of another project, seen below, are just a few recent examples of how to use gold accents in the home.

In your opinion, what are some fashion trends that you expect will make it’s mark in home decor? Follow me as I head out to High Point Market this Saturday to see just what is the hottest in home design. As a Market Style Spotter you will be able to see just what I view as this season’s top picks for your own homes. Be sure to follow my Pinterest board for all the delicious details. And I certainly will be “spotting” for my interior design clients -they are counting on me!

Leave your comments below and share your thoughts with all of our Material Girls. I hope you’ve been inspired to create some of your very own dreamy moodboards on Olioboard.

Going Bold

And who says that two bold trends can’t mesh together into one fabulous room? ;) Again, please hop on over to these other fabulous design blogs for our Fashion + Decor #Oliohop! Get all the details on the Oliohop Facebook page. Thanks and Happy #OlioHop-ing!

People I #OlioLove:

Erin || @apartment_34
Marilyn || @Marilyn_Russell
Jane || @JaneGianarelli
Euro Style Lighting || @EuroStyleLight
Lamps Plus || @LampsPlus
Franki || @frankidurbin
Lynda || @ncylq
Robin || @robinpedrero
Selma || @DesignerSelma 

And an Olioboard Contest!

There is a fabulous CONTEST being run by Olioboard and Layla Grace right now. Design the ultimate sleeping sanctuary using anything you desire from Layla Grayce. The top three winners – chosen exclusively by Rue Magazine’s Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Crystal Gentilello (a wonderful pal of mine) – will earn cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. You must use at least two products from Pine Cone Hill and/or Dash & Albert to be eligible to win. Winners will be announced October 16. Be sure to check out all details for a chance to win up to $4,000 in prizes!





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Find Me On Social!

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Sep 21, 2012 | 5 Comments | Category: Trends, Uncategorized

Social media is becoming quite the large community and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with who is where! (Whew!) I wanted to take the time and share with you what I LOVE about being a part of such amazing and diverse social networks!

Facebook:
I love  Facebook because it allows me to share some of the most visually stunning client projects and behind-the-scene photos of the daily happenings at Buckingham I+D. It’s also a great space to share upcoming events and happenings in the design world. I love utilizing Facebook to get people’s opinions on new trends and to discuss my favorite topic- design!

Twitter:
I LOVE connecting with other professional Interior Designers, students and design enthusiasts! Twitter is a great way to share info on the go and to connect with people from literally ALL over the world. Tuesdays are my designated favorite Twitter days thanks to my favorite weekly Twitter chat, #IntDesignerChat. Last week’s post was a great example of the great conversations we have about all things design! It’s great sharing and learning from other professionals.

Pinterest: 
Now this is a social site I might spend a little too much time on! ;) Pinterest is a great tool to keep up with trends and create design story boards. I love following some of my favorite people and brands and sharing ideas! Speaking of Pinterest, you can also find me on High Point Market’s Style Spotter Pinterest page. I am so excited to be a Style Spotter at this year’s market! I will be pinning some of my favorite items I see while I’m there. Every re-pin and like counts as a vote for me!! I’d love your support! So please pin and like away!

Instagram:
Last but certainly not least, Buckingham I+D just started an Instagram account! I’m so excited to use Instagram to show those inspiring moments and objects I run into every day! Be sure to search for “buckinghamid” and follow!

What about you?
What are your favorite social media channels? I would love to connect. Leave a comment below with some of your social links and let’s start getting social together!! 





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As kids, we loved finding “secret spaces” around the home or in the backyard to call our own. Well it turns out those special spots are definitely not just for the little ones. Check out some of these very cool secret spaces for the home—and be sure to comment and let me know which ones are your favorite!!

Take this one for example: who would have thought to use steps themselves as storage?! Think of the endless options!

Last week I wrote a post about wine storage and how storage can be a part of your home’s design element and let me tell you, I found some very cool wine storage options. This secret space reminds me of a wine celler in my last post except a little more “undercover.”

Clever, clever!! You know that dead space under your cabinets that just collects dust? This is a very cool way to use that space in a bit of a mysterious way. Who would ever think to look under there? Now what would you put in these drawers?

Is this not Narnia or what?! I can just imagine how this would become a kid’s favorite space in the house. It would make for such a special reading room!

An ordinary looking dresser “magically” opens up to contain a hidden safe! My only question is: Don’t robbers usually look in drawers anyways? I wonder if this adds an extra security or if it’s just for fun!

A bookshelf that pushes back to reveil a secret room! The owner of this home has left the space unfinished for the moment, but wouldn’t that make for an awesome library or a home fitness space?

I know many people that use this little trick to their advantage already! Ordinary looking cabinets pull back to show numerous storage options. Clever and clean looking, don’t you think?

This has got to be one of my favorites and it reminds me of something I was discussing with my Facebook fans a few days ago.  Laundry rooms are a necessity, but not all of us necessarily want this space to be prominent in the home. This cabinet, turned laundry room is such a great idea to hide that little space away from the rest of the world!

Simple and clever indeed. For those of you with little ones running around, you understand the usefulness of this one!

The last one I found was another stairs option. What a great secret space, and a great way to use often-wasted space!

Which secret spaces are your favorites? Do you have any secret spaces in your home? Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences below!





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I am definitely what you may call a wine aficionado. And the design possibilities when it comes to wine! Wine can actually enhance your living space. Why hide your wine when it can be out and make a statement! Check out some of my favorite wine cellars and wine storage design ideas.

Daun Curry really knows how to make wine shine. The lighting shining from behind the bottles creates a subtle, warm glow. Notice how the storage travels across the adjacent wall to continue the design and highlight the wine as a central piece of art. Who wouldn’t want to lounge at this home bar with family and friends?!

How about this space? This spiral staircase leads from the kitchen to a “hidden” wine cellar below. If you have the space (and budget!), this could easily become the family’s favorite storytelling subject.

This other example of wine storage takes advantage of the dead space under staircases. This is the perfect solution for smaller spaces and it would be a fairly inexpensive project. Love that each bottle has its own cubbie!

Now this is a hole in the wall that I could actually deal with! Again, this is a great use of otherwise dead space. Do you like how the color blends with the bricks or would you rather have a popping color to further highlight this unique wine storage option?

All you MGs KNOW that I love this one! A little mix of old and new, perfectly modern-ique(R).  Repurpose a vintage library card catalogue  unit to store your favorite bottles—and use the labels to easily find what you’re in the mood for! Use a little chalkboard paint instead of  labels and you add a sophisticated flair while creating even more usability—just erase and relabel after you drink up!

My oh my look at all that wine! Although the link doesn’t give much information on this wine wall, who doesn’t love a bit of mystery? It looks as if a the cooling unit was built into the wall with frosted glass to create glow and beautiful shadows. You would have to have quite the large stock of wine for this to work, but what a unique idea to create a magical space!

As you know, I love functionality and style. This island features convenient storage for your favorite wine! When you’re ready for a drink, it’s right where you need it! I love how you can fit up to 20 bottles of wine without taking up extra space in the room.

So many homes are cramped for space, so that little space between cabinets or in odd places around the kitchen becomes prime real estate. You will notice this dead space particularly around the fridge. If you have about 6 inches, this is the option for you. Although it doesn’t produce a lot of storage, it’s a great idea for the occasional red-wine night, or even just to store your favorite cooking wines!

And here is a wine storage area featured in one of my client’s homes. With just a little space, you can create your own wet/dry bar to create a splash in your living room. This intricate design can store a significant wine collection (and it looks pretty too!). Think of it as your own library of wine!

I like how this minimalist set-up sets the wine as a central design element in the room. The bottles are balanced on peg-like rods, easy to reach and easy to show!

This is an excellent wine storage idea for those who like to keep around a few of their favorite bottles in an elegant display. Love the modern teardrop shape  that accommodates the storage of wine necessities!

Which of these wine storage ideas would you use in your home? Do you have a large stock of wine or do you just keep a few of your favorites? I would love to hear what you’re currently doing in your home and what you would like to do in the future. Comment below!





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I’ve run into several people lately that have asked about my role in this year’s High Point Market. I am so psyched and honored to have been given such a fun role in the show so I wanted to write a quick post discussing High Point, my role as a Style Spotter and also some of the benefits for going!

So… what is High Point?
The High Point Market is the world’s largest furnishings industry trade show that happens every six months. With over 100 million square feet of show-space, this event attracts over 75,000 attendees at each market with 100+ countries representing more than 2,000 exhibitors. All in all, it’s a huge show with just an amazing group of people. (And have I mentioned the parties?!)

What is a Style Spotter?
As mentioned earlier, I am over the moon that I have been asked by the HP Market to be a Style Spotter during the festivities.  I will be among eight other special somebodies (I’ve highlighted three here in my last post) and I have been given the honor of showcasing my favorite products and top trends at the Market. To see what I discover during the Market (October 13-18) make sure you are following my High Point Market board on Pinterest! The idea behind it is simple, yet brilliant. Pinterest is a website that allows users to organize and share visual content on virtual boards. Everything that I come across during my High Point journey will be captured and will be visible on my dedicated board. The best part is that as an Internet user from home, you have total access to everything I see and love- and you can be involved too!

How to Vote:
One of the fun parts about being a Style Spotter is there’s some friendly competition. If you like what you see on Pinterest, like it and repin! Each time you “like” a pin it’s considered 1 point and when you “repin” it’s 2 points. These points add up, so to show your support vote for your favorite designs/designers like and repin often! The winning Style Spotter is chosen by who has the most points!

One Last Note For STUDENTS:
I could not stress enough how important it is to get in the game while you’re young and still in school. We were all where you are today and personally, I love meeting and mentoring young aspiring designers! You keep me young and greatly remind me of myself at your age. If you have the time and resources, you should seriously consider attending High Point Market this year. And guess what? It’s FREE ADMISSION. In order to apply for a student pass, you must be enrolled in as college/university degree program with a course of study that is relative to home furnishings and students may only attend the last three days of Market. You must request a pass by having your program professor email a request to registration@highpointmarket.org and it must be on letterhead. The deadline is October 1, 2012. I hope to see some fresh faces this year at High Point- please find me if you attend! :)

Again, I am so excited to be a Style Spotter this year at the High Point Market. Don’t forget to follow my Pinterest board and share your favorite pins! See you there (virtually or literally!)

 





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

1. Gossip Girl – David Weeks Aluminum Bullet Chandelier

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

Home Office
(Image Credit)

2. True Blood – LAMF Crystal Chandelier

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

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef014e89e9ee62970d-600wi
(Image Credit)

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

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

sex-and-the-city-movie-set-design-04.jpg
(Image Credit)

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

http://www.sharonmarston.com/img/fullsize/proj/Sharon%20Marston_Mirror_Mirror_Film2.jpg
(Image Credit)

5. Gilmore Girls – Richard and Emily’s House

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


(Image Credit)

6. The Phantom of the Opera – Swarovski Theater Chandelier

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

(Image Credit)

7. True Blood – Gotham Chandelier

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


(Image Credit)

8. The O.C. – The Cohens Kitchen

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


(Image Credit)

9. Harry Potter – Gringotts Wizarding Bank

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

Gringotts Wizarding Bank
(Image Credit)

10. GCB – Gigi’s Foyer

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


(Image Credit)

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





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One of my lovely BID girls, Paulina, tied the knot last year-and another BID gal Shannon is doing the same this month- and I have to say that I have always had a soft spot for weddings.  With two daughters (and a son) myself, I can’t help but dream about dresses, bouquets, cakes, shoes…(I am admittedly design obsessed, after all).

I was very excited when Chicago-based blog “The Every Girl” asked if they could use my Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom as the backdrop for their “Wedding Week” special!  This week long event highlighted budget conscious wedding decor, and I must say that I was very impressed!  Their styling was excellent and I was thrilled with their incorporation of antiques at my BID showroom.  Although they primarily used my bare white painted brick walls at the showroom, we certainly do have quite a bit on display…definitely stop by if you are in the Chi!  Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom is located at 1820 Grand Avenue, Chicago. We have sold quite a few pieces in our latest exhibit of local artists-with day jobs-so the walls will be refreshed soon…I promise!

Every Girl co-founders, Danielle Moss and Alaina Kaczmarski





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Have you ever read the section in Us Weekly about interesting facts that you didn’t know about your favorite celebs?  I love it!  I was asked to do a similar feature in Design Dose which is is the online extension of the inspiration, advice, and scoop that Chicago Home + Garden provides every other month, only in smaller doses. Editors Jan Parr and Gina Bazer of Chicago Home + Garden share news and trends from their in-boxes, confess their latest design obsessions and dilemmas, and take you behind the scenes to exclusive design events and showrooms. The fun questions about my personal taste, interests and loves in life made me smile. Of course, my family is at the top of my list, but I do have some spare time to dabble in a few other things. Design, design, and design related that is- mostly.  I enjoy the guests that they feature from around town and have learned some new things about some of my Chicago design pals. You should all join the fun and see what the CH+G gals provide us with next!

 

Check out how I finished each of the following sentences…

 

1. If I could live in any movie or TV setting it would be Gone With the Wind. I’m intrigued by every element—the fashion, interiors, Southern hospitality, and opulence.

 

2. I eat like a pig when I go to the Twisted Spoke. The fried-egg sandwiches and banana buckwheat pancakes (washed down with a Bloody Mary) are musts. My husband, children, and I head there after participating in the fun-runs around the city—it’s a family tradition that, when combined with a run, makes me feel less guilty.

 

3. My libation of choice is Veuve Clicquot. There is always a reason to celebrate with a glass of bubbly!

 

4. The most aesthetically pleasing place I’ve visited recently was the Hermès flagship boutique in Paris. The brand is iconic and true to its history, and this is reflected in every flawless display and vignette.

 

5. The best music for a dinner party is jazz pianist Bill Evans’s 1961 album, “Sunday at the Village Vanguard.” That is, of course, if my son, Alex, isn’t in town to put on a bass recital.

 

6. My turn-to item of clothing is BIG coats that make LARGE fashion statements.

 

7. Most people don’t know that I have an obsession with laminating. Over the years, I’ve collected images and clippings from design magazines and laminated them to archive in my inspiration bin. I love the glossy finish!

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