{“Michael is a stickler about details, insisting, for instance, that the sofa be edged with French flanging. ‘This has been a very regal room for 100 years,’ he says. ‘I felt that was what the room deserved.’ To the right of the windows are three framed Hermès handkerchiefs, an ‘art installation’ he created for his first apartment. Michael is so proud of paying just $50 for the antique console table that he kept the price tag on it. The wrought-iron railing, now restored, is original.”}

Something, (or many thing) about this prewar duplex in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood really caught my eye…the breathtaking coffered ceilings in the living room, the elegantly simple color scheme with strategic pops of color (orange Hermes throw pillow, yay!), and that blue lacquered ceiling in the den, too good for words.  Although many descriptives come to mind, the most prominent most definitely is…WOW!

Chicagoan Jay Michael spent a year and a half meticulously renovating this gem of a house (as captured in Chicago Home + Garden), paying careful attention to not only fulfill his visions for the home but to also honor the its historic character.  The owner before Michael had resided in the duplex for over 50 years and had done little to the home during that time.  Therefore, it took a patient, creative and willing visionary like Jay Michael to restore the home to its original splendor.  However, this home isn’t all glamour and no comfort.  While the home is replete with one of a kind antiques and pricey accessories, Michael makes clear that he is not one to pass up a bargain. (nestled amongst the costly Hermes pillow are $30 pillows from CB2!)   Now if that doesn’t deserve a “wow”, I don’t know what does!

All quotes from article in Chicago Home + Garden.

{“In the study (formerly the dining room), walls covered with grass cloth, an antique sofa upholstered with men’s suiting fabric, a tufted otto­man, and a hide rug create an enveloping, richly textured space.”}

{“Homeowner Jay Michael in his Christopher Peacock–designed kitchen. Knocking out a wall where the island now stands allowed for the creation of a spacious room. A walk-in pantry with refrigerated drawers and shelves stocked with Champagne hides behind natural-finish wood doors from Peacock’s Refectory line.”}

{“An eclectic mix of vintage chairs from Brimfield surrounds the dining table. Tucking the apartment’s HVAC system into the soffit meant not having to lower the ceilings anywhere else in the home.”}





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{Mary Jeanne Kneen, owner of Kneen and Co., hosting a party of her own…lucky guests!}

Now that the traditional party season may seem like it is over, there are certain hostesses that are still going strong.  Mary Jeanne Kneen covers all your table topping needs so that throwing the party/giving the hostess gift doesn’t have to stop now.  Not only can this hostess with the mostest throw a fab fete (as featured in Chicago Home + Garden), but as the owner of the recently founded upscale Chicago-based tabletop company Kneen and Co., she’ll help you with everything from the perfect necklace to wear to the get together, exquisite crystal with which to serve your guests, and charming stationary on which to write thank you notes.

Check out some of my favorites finds from Kneen and Co.! And I just have to ask…Are you still all ready to party?

{Fferone design champagne flute set of 2,$70}

{Lobmeyr Sputnik Crystal Sconce}


{Snowflake Linen Cocktail Napkins, $48 each}

{Mandarin Border Linen Fingertip Towel, $65}

{Fancy Monkey Fill In Invitations, The Printery, $45}

{Lobmeyr Polka Crystal Water Glass, $104}

Although Kneen and Co. markets itself as a tabletop company, check out these amazing medallions that I couldn’t help but feature

{Nymphenburg Medallion with Skull in White Glazed Porcelain with Yellow Gold Clasp, $3269}





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Chicago Home + Garden, January/February 2011

The Windy City has always embraced  all things design- our design community harbors both established names and welcomes new ones.  So it is only fitting that the January/February issue of Chicago Home + Garden, one of Chicago’s favorite shelter mags, features what to check out in the new year, from Interior Designers to shops and showrooms to hippest trends.

I am so excited to say that my recently opened showroom in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood is featured on the cover. This is such a great thrill, as CH+G has always been one of my staple design publications. Plus, I adore working with everyone on the CH+G team from Jan, the Editor in Chief, to Megan, Adam, Gina, Barri, Elizabeth, Mary Helen and Joanne.

This latest issue is on newsstands now- go grab a copy as you wouldn’t want to miss out. Check it out to see what both Buckingham Interiors + Design as well as other Chicago design establishments and design happenings will be noteworthy in 2011.  It is going to be a stellar year for design here in this town.

And for those of you who are not in the greater Chicago area, you can hop onto Zinio Digital Magazine instead of snagging the hard copy.  The magazine will be live on the Chicago Home + Garden website on January 10.  Stay tuned!





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Chicago Home + Garden is hosting their first ever “Chairs for Charity” event that I as well as 13 other Chicago designers/design teams will be participating in.  The gist of the event is that each design team has refurbished a vintage chair to be auctioned off that night.  I know I’m very excited about it (and gotta say proud of our chair :) ) The charity event will be taking place on November 3, 6:00-8:00 pm at the Tile Gallery (555 N. Franklin St. Chicago).  Tickets are $32.50, and auction proceeds/portion of the ticket proceeds will be going to Designs for Dignity.  Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to be served…sounds good to me…a little retail therapy here.  Would love to see some MG out there to check out the Buckingham Interiors + Design chair as well as to support a great cause.  Thank you to Romo for the amazing fabric, Burchell Upholstery for the custom handiwork, Craig’s List for the fab chair- what an amazing previous owner story here- and to Ballard Design for the ultra secret surprise that we are keeping from the paparazzi until the event :)

{Buckingham ID chair!}

{our chair!!}





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Paint My Life With Color

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Oct 20, 2010 | 2 Comments | Category: Color, Decorating

Powder-coated recycled-brass Wharf Light comes in more than 180 colors, $900 to $1,125, at Urban Archaeology, Merchandise Mart, 312-527-4627, urbanarchaeology.com.

The gloomy days of winter might be swiftly approaching, but that certainly doesn’t mean your life has to become drab.  This month’s Chicago Home + Garden offers a variety of color-ific options for to brighten up your home.  I have always been a huge advocate of color in my own designs (…recently just did a special for WGN on how to incorporate color in the home actually).  From lighting to chairs to throw blankets to even a mini grill, there is something for everyone in the following array of brightly hued items.

Descriptions courtesy of Chicago Home + Garden…thanks guys!

Mondrian-ian cashmere throw made in Italy, about 51 by 71 inches, $995, at Barneys New York, 15 E. Oak St., 312-587-1700, barneys.com

Auden sheer drapery fabric, created by Rodarte for Knoll Luxe, features wide bands of soft color inspired by the fashion house’s dip-dyed ombré gowns. From $130 a yard, at Knoll, Merchandise Mart, 312-454-6920, knoll.com


Party-in-a-glass color-swirled blown-glass tumblers are three inches high, $45 each, at Barneys New York.

Bodum’s cheerful Fyrkat portable charcoal grill, 13 ½-inch diameter, enamel-coated steel, $65, at Space519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519, space519.com

What do Kartell’s Dune trays by Mario Bellini bring to the table? Ripples of vivid color, for one thing. The thermoplastic dazzlers come in two sizes, $83 and $113, at Luminaire, 301 W. Superior St., 312-664-9582, luminaire.com.


Wegner Wishbone chairs now come in four lovely blues and a zippy orange, as well as black, white, and oak finishes. Beech frames, woven-papercord seats, $830 to $930 each, at Room & Board,roomandboard.com


Ligne Roset’s Pumpkin armchair in eight shades of red wool, inspired by the 1971 original designed by Pierre Paulin. Offered in a 150-piece limited edition, $2,100, at Ligne Roset, 440 N. Wells St., 312-222-9300, lignerosetchicago.com

Space-smart foldable stepladder, by Karl Malmvall for Design House Stockholm, comes in red, white, or black lacquered rubberwood, $329, at I.D., 3337 N. Halsted St., 773-755-4343, idchicago.com.

Farmhouse style, de-rusticated: The 95-inch Walker table has a cherry-red lacquered-wood top, powder-coated steel base, $999, at Crate & Barrel, crateandbarrel.com.

Basket-like glazed stoneware fruit bowls by Eucalyptus come in tasty colors, three sizes, from $43, at Les Tableaux, 131 Marion St., Oak Park, 708-524-8200, les-tableaux.net.





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{Article from Chicago Home + Garden, on sale now!}

Everyone has a favorite color.  Although I have many, one of my most favorite is orange.  However, color is truly personal, and furthermore is something that can define a space.  Although everyone has a color of choice, pairing hues can be a tricky task.

{Chicago Home + Garden editor, Jan Parr}

This coming Wednesday (October 13) I will be a guest on WGN’s midday show at noon, chatting with Chicago Home + Garden’s editor, Jan Parr, about adding/using color in the home.  With virtually any color in the rainbow at a homeowner’s disposal, those who crave the bold or those who prefer the subdued will find tips and tricks on color schemes during this segment.  Whether color is incorporated in a big way (a brightly colored accent wall) or a more subtle way (a few brightly colored books and nicknacks in a bookshelf or a bowl of lemons on the kitchen counter), mixing up hues can make all the difference.  So kick that color fear to the curb and tune in Wednesday!

All images courtesy of Buckingham Interiors + Design.

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