NAPA 2013 A

As of last Sunday, the 2013 Napa Valley Showhouse at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena California is history. Sometime next year, many of its beautifully designed rooms will appear in the glossy pages of Traditional Home Magazine,  but nothing tops visiting a quality show house in person and seeing it firsthand. And speaking of firsts, it was a first for me. Not just doing a show house: I’ve been privileged to take part in a number of good ones over the years.  But I had never done one on the West Coast before. And if you haven’t been there, let me tell you, the Napa Valley is one of this country’s most beautiful areas.  So of course I said Yes when they asked me! Yes yes yes!

Napa Show House 3

Trad Home has been sponsoring showhouses for a number of years but the house they chose this time was unique: an expansive hundred-year-old farmhouse owned by vintner Peter Mondavi and designed by Willis Polk, one of San Francisco’s most important historically architects. And while you know I always love to see what’s new in the design world, I also love history, so this was a perfect chance for me to do one of my favorite things–blend the two!

Napa chairs

The dining room still retained its historic wood paneling, so we introduced color with fabric–the fun Kravet Kelly Wearstler print upholstery on their custom chairs (thank you so for a fabulous job with expediting), the crazy cool Jonathan Adler for Kravet fabric sourced for the roman shades and the glistening Maya Romanoff wall covering above the plate rail-one of my favorite local Chi town vendors. Thank you also to Benjamin Moore   for donating the paint for the ceiling and another shout out to Bloomingdale’s for supplying all the tabletop accessories. Speaking of my dining room tabletop…. the showstopper was a one-of-a-kind ceramic masterpiece by Ohio artist Tara Winslow. I became obsessed with Tara’s works when first spied at the High Point Market last Spring.

One thing I didn’t do was use any wine-themed motifs–old labels, bottles, grape leaves, that stuff–because those things were all around us already.  What would be the point? Instead, I used a series of blues & greens in our room: some soft, some vibrant, all beautiful, and, together, perfect complements to the warm tones of the wood. Plus a gigantic table big enough for the whole Peter Mondavi family. It featured a glass-topped gearwheel out from a historic European water mill, and let me tell you, getting that beast into place was a real feat for our heroic installers, who had to roll its ancient wood–very carefully--through the other designers’ rooms without wrecking the floors. When we finally got it into place, we were all ready for a glass of wine. Maybe more than one!

NAPA TABLE A

But it wasn’t just the installers whose efforts I need to mention.  To everyone involved in this massive project–the magazine that invited us, the other talented designers I got to meet, the Charles Krug winery, the Napa Film Festival that benefits from all the visitors, and all the patient and professional work crews, a big Thank You from all of us at BID. Thank you for making me feel welcome at my first California showhouse.  And to my own team–back in rainy, cold Chicago, while I was basking in the glory of a California autumn–you are the best! (But you already know that.)





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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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