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 :)

pyarpillows

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??!?


Pnursery

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….

island chairs

 Seating in dining rooms….

I loved using lucite in contrast to the darker, industrial pieces in this project of ours on the Mag Mile

dining chairs

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

spike stands

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!

luciteacc

Lucite also is everywhere in fashion, from jewelry….

lucitecollage

To shoes!

heels

Even Hollywood is jumping on the lucite bandwagon. Leave it to Miley C to make a major Lucite statement!! Hmmmmm…

miley

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!

MasterClass

 

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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Morticia

OMG!! Last time I checked in, there was just a hint of a chill in the air and the trees still looked like summer, and then, suddenly, it’s cold, half the trees are bare already–and tomorrow’s Halloween! How can that be? What happened to October? Or, for that matter, September? Oh, wait.  That’s right.  Since my last post…

Napa Show House

Buckingham Interiors + Design opened a brand new showroom next door to our Design Studio on Grand Avenue, we took part in Traditional Homes‘ 2013 Showhouse out in Napa Valley and we did those things at the same time that we were designing & installing several major projects for clients here in Chicago.  All that stuff  might have had something to do with my absence around here lately.  But, still: Halloween—tomorrow ? ? ? I just hope somebody else remembered to buy candy at home.

Guatemalan Ottoman

Speaking of sweets, though, am I the only person who looks at our way-cool Guatemalan ottomans and suddenly starts craving a snack? Say, iced donuts? With sprinkles? And, considering the season–apple cider?

Morticia Chair

And surely, other people besides me think of Mexican sugar skulls when they see our Morticia Chair–named after the seductive, black-gowned mistress of the decaying Victorian mansion on TV’s The Addams Family. Tell me they do! They have to.

Morticia Chair2

Morticia, of course, was the original Goth chick, and her slinky getup and dead-white makeup still inspires some people’s Halloween costumes, but let’s be honest: not everybody is (0r was) into black crape and seaweedy sleeves. I don’t need to tell you who it was that always went out trick-or-treating in a sparkly pink princess dress or a fairy godmother’s cape or a ballerina’s tutu. I am convinced that Material Girls are born, not made.

Halloween

Not me. Soooo not me, not even as a kid. I wasn’t even born in 1951. But Happy Halloween, anyway, and if you haven’t yet visited the showroom yet, do stop in.

Afrodite, Goddess of Candy keeps watch over the loot.

If the team hasn’t already eaten them all, you might even get a treat or two.





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Spain enchants me……On my very first trip to this captivating country,  I had the opportunity to be swept off my feet and to travel to Spain courtesy of Cosentino, the makers of Silestone, Sensa and Eco products. Cosentino’s current production capacity is 700,000 square meters of engineered stone per year, making it the largest manufacturer of engineered stone slabs in the world. The opportunity to visit their quarries and manufacturing plant and to get an all exclusive behind-the-scenes pass of everything Cosentino was the highlight of my summer.  And what a trip it was.

Starting in Barcelona, my husband  (Edels) and I met up with a group of fast paced and trend-setting  people in the design industry who were also part of this “party”. No expense was spared to provide us with an intimate glimpse into the culture and traditions of Spain. Being in the company with other like-minded design aficionados really was a treat, and in Spain we all aligned and gathered some roots.  Salutations to my friends who joined me on the trip…Patty Dominguez-Field Marketing Director for Cosentino, the leader of our group and the one who treated us all like royalty; Lisa Henry-National President of ASID , Randy Fiser-CEO of ASID  ; Shawn and Edward Alshut  -Duo architects of Studio A2 in Atlanta; Amanda Zitlin  and Terri Crittenden – both designers at the Chicago Interior Design Firm of Susan Fredman. What an amazing time we had together and experiences that I will never forget. We laughed, learned and shared much.

Along with experiencing some of the astounding sites, restaurants, shopping and nightlife to be seen in Barcelona, we were able to visit a local Silestone dealer and to gather in their exquisite showroom. We were then zoomed off  to Almeria  where we were able to visit Cosentino Headquarters. Upon our arrival to the airport, is was apparent that Cosentino had had a hand unto the design.  Cosentino is a  global leader within its field, is devoted to the responsible and innovative development of top-quality surfaces and is the world´s major producer of quartz surfaces, it is a family business consortium financed entirely with Spanish capital. I greatly admire their values and hope to aspire to them all within my own business.

A modern interior all created with Cosentino stone…

The Cosentino Headquarters certainly were a sight to see.  A very memorable part of the trip was having the opportunity to check out Cosentino’s Silestone quarries. Silestone is a naturally beautiful, durable quartz. (As you can see below!) Silestone is the world’s leading natural quartz surface and features a range of more than 65 unique colors! Silestone is the one and only worktop made of quartz with anti-bacterial protection, giving it hygienic properties that are not to be found anywhere else on the market. All in all, I love their products-having installation plotted for my new home in Arizona and my Buckingham I + D Showroom!

A Cosentino quarry- a great view of it all….

Of course, all that walking around quarries got all of our shoes a little dirty!  And check out my nail polish-quite the popular color this summer- Essie Bikini So Teeny! I just can’t resist a nod to fashion which sets off a light bulb for daily inspiration. I have been using blue quite a bit lately within my client projects. Just an FYI-this color has been sold out FOREVER- this was my swan song-best place for that bad news. Inspiration quite literally never stops!

 I am SO excited to be adding Cosentino’s Silestone in the color Lagoon in the Buckingham I+D showroom! It was such a great experience to watch the entire process- and look at the gorgeous results. We are all simply drooling over this color-simple and timeless- and my team is impatiently waiting for the BI+D installation!


While we were onsite- an interesting part of our trip was watching the manufacturing of Silestone.  Love this group pic of us respecting the process of proper and safe protocol for one of the most environmentally sound products in the world.

We had some very special group outings during the trip, including a luncheon within the private offices of the heart of the Cosentino Headquarter’s. The beautifully catered affair was an intimate glimpse of the fortitude, intelligence and elegance of the family themselves. Let it be said that our day together was regal in feel. I have had a glimpse of what it feels like to exhibit core values on every level-and their embrace of the generations of family that will carry on these values for many more years to come.

Our castle- Luncheon with Paco and his exquisite olive oil at Castillo de Canena

Oh the architecture…historic and regal.  We were received as friends and left as such!And yes, we got to sample it! YUM!

John and me during our final night in Granada..Alhambra Castle in the background. A night to treasure forever.

Thank you to the Chicago Cosentino Center for the Prexury Petrified Wood on the island and Haiku Silestone on the perimeter countertop in my designed kitchen at the CS Interiors 5th Anniversary Showcase at the Ritz-Carlton Residences (Open House October 12-13). Purchase tickets here. You will love it all as the Chicago design community has again proven what we can do!

 And a nod of gratitude to all of the Cosentino Family for the opportunity to have been invited to travel to Spain and to have been embraced as a part of their larger family. My experiences there have peaked my keen design interest to see what new and innovative products Cosentino comes up with next. I think that we all should stay tuned!

Adios amigos! xx

 





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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 recently ran across a post on Vintage and Modern where American interior designer Christopher Coleman and Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez combined forces to create a surprisingly gorgeous space consisting of mainly primary colors. The idea may seem childish, but when mixed properly- primary colors really can give a space that special “pop.” Check out some of the unique examples of how to perfect the use of primary.

Primary Residence:

Going Google:
Google is known for inspiring and unique spaces. Check out the interiors of Google’s headquarters In Zurich.

Locally Known and Loved: 
If you haven’t taken a tour of Red Frog Events, then you simply must take the time to admire their innovation. Complete with a treehouse, lego conference table and (gasp!) even a fully stocked bar- Red Frog’s fun personality definitely shines through their space.

Buckingham Goes Primary:
Last but not least- one of my previous client’s offices perfectly resembles their modern style in mainly primary colors!

So what do YOU think of the use of primary colors? Would you ever consider featuring the colors together in a space? Leave your thoughts below!





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One of my favorite elements of design is that inspiration comes from many different places. I was recently quoted in CS Interiors’ “It’s Glow Time” Summer 2012 issue. I was asked what I felt about a horned CT Chair. Although opinions were differed, it sparked an idea. Why not write about some interesting (whether you like them or not) designs that are inspired by nature!

1. Custommade designer Naturalism Furniture
2. Smarin Designs
3. Vine Bowl Baskets
4. Studio Aisslinger
5. VivaTerra
6. Tshuka
7. Unknown- photo credit: designer Jarlath Mellett
8. Cappellini
9. Nadezhda Moiseeva
10. Christian Norhave
11. Bodo Sperlein
12. Jesse Shaw

As you can see, I ran across several different and intriguing designs. Some modern, all unique- I certainly had a fun time finding all of these! So here goes the hard part, who can name the nature-inspiration behind all 12 pieces? I’ll comment later and give you the answers. No cheating! Comment below!





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After a whirlwind travel tour this past week- to High Point North Carolina for my speaking gig at High Point Market, and to Florida to check in on a client project- I am finally able to get back to working, and blogging, at my office in Chicago.

I was so happy to see a copy of the latest Luxe Magazine on my desk upon my return, not only because I am a big fan of the magazine in general but also because one of my recently completed projects is a featured spread.

I had such a great time decorating this Gold Coast home for the clients, who also happen to be good friends of mine-which can be a different and special gig.  The building is new and features unbelievable views of the city-Barney’s being a major highlight- and the wall space that wasn’t taken up by the floor-to-ceiling windows we filled with some really fantastic pieces of art.  I am bubbling over with the results and so excited to see it in both the local Chicago edition- and was notified by the Luxe team that it was also chosen for the national edition of Luxe Magazine this month.  To say that I am flattered to be among the projects’s of Phillip Gorrivan, Jay Jeffers, James Magni, Laura Umansky and the team of Andi Pepper and Stephen Jacobs would be a huge understatement. The talent surrounding me is crazy inspirational.

Check out the images from the feature below!





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I wish that it was every day that I had the chance to work on a Michigan Avenue project-right in the thick of things.   Add to that description a swank  apartment project in the city.  Many of my clients live in single family homes, but when I was presented with the opportunity to work on a pad in a posh Gold Coast high-rise (one of Chicago’s most beautiful neighborhoods) I immediately said “Heck yes!”

This was such a great project for me in that the client also shared an appreciation for art, antiques and artifacts- the 3 A’s which I live by.  In a smaller space like an apartment, every square foot must count.  No detail was overlooked, however I had to be careful not to “over decorate” the home.  No matter what objects or artifacts I put in the space, the finest piece of art will always be the phenomenal views of my beautiful city :)

It doesn’t matter that my phone doesn’t work here….kinda like a work oasis when I am here.

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