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Orange certainly IS the new black! I have always had a huge crush on orange. It just makes me happy.  It instantly makes a space positive, energizing and warm. I love combining orange with grounding colors such as brown, navy and tan, or together with turquoise and purple, it forms my favorite mid-century color combination.

But orange doesn’t like to be toned down too much. It commands attention! This vibrant hue is often a recurring color in many of my design projects…

This orange shaggy lamb stool (available from my BID Showroom in a rainbow of colors) was the perfect pop within a sea of grays in this serene bedroom sitting area.

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I couldn’t resist these fab Knoll upholstered orange Milo Baughman dining chairs for my own getaway home in Arizona…

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or these stunning orange accent chairs by Bradley upholstered in one of my fave Jim Thompson fabrics in this Chi-town Ritz Carlton Mag Mile high rise!!

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Whether using orange as an accent as I did within this Nantucket third floor guest nook using antique quilts…

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or as a big WOW factor as in these orange Farrow and Ball ”Charlottes Locks” adorned walls of the Lake Forest Infant Welfare Show house I designed last year…

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You can’t go wrong with incorporating this fab color as exhibited in my fave Brunschwig & Fils fabric on my Rondelay.

And, of course at my Buckingham I+D Showroom in Chicago you can see orange waving out to you from every direction! Check it out my Rug Company pals!

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The latest item in the showroom to get an orange makeover via my go-to Orange Burst by Benjamin Moore
is this Mid-Century Modern beauty that we obviously use for BID parties and for some storage too :)

orangecab


 Grab yourselves a bouquet of some orange lilies or gerber daisies this summer and enjoy what we have going on in July! xx





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It’s amazing to see that what used to be a dreaded growing out phase of hair color and roots is now the “IT” trend literally EVERYWHERE! From hair and nails,   to interior design and the home accessory craze, it is all about OMBRE.

If y’all watched the Academy Award season, you couldn’t miss actor Jared Leto and his long ombre locks. Or Hollywood reality star turned fashion designer Lauren Conrad who seems to have started the trend. Or Bachelor contestest, soon-to-be The Bachelorette, Andi, who famously said “See ya!” to Juan Pablo while rocking her brunette ombre tresses.

Nail polish too–whether it be gradual variations on each nail or on each hand, or given the ombre effect with glitter–have jumped onto this trend’s bandwagon.

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Design has seen its share of ombre too. It’s so fun to search and find a plethora of projects and everyone’s individual take on this look. Here are a few of my faves.

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Ombre walls…..

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Furniture….

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and bathroom tiles!

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We currently have some cool ombre pieces in our Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago too! On our dining table we feature these cool blue-green ombre tapered vases from Global Views

Ombrevignette

and this fabulous Kelly Wearstler rug from The Rug Company, appropriately named…ummm.. “Ombre” d’accord!

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There are fabulous new introductions in fabric too that we are loving like this one from Beacon Hill….

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Lighting has not been spared from this trend at all.  This “Flamingo” chandelier from Currey and Company is amazing in all of it’s color washed glory!

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Even food has jumped on the ombre bandwagon. Ombre donuts? YES PLEASE!!

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Goes to show, pretty much anything can be given an ombre makeover. Looks like this trend is here to stay…at least till the next big craze- of which I have quite a few ideas!





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Birds, like colors and shoe shapes, fall in and out of style. Flamingos were hot in the Depression and they came back in the Miami Vice era. Wood-&-copper mallard ducks flew across family room walls in the 1950s and a few years ago, we had a short, meaningless fling with owls (what was that all about?) but still, the list of birds used in decoration is pretty short. When was the last time you saw, say, a flock of crows used as a decorative motif?  It’s been a long time.

Let’s face it, certain birds are simply more popular than others.  I mean, its hard to think decoratively about birds that wreck crops or carry away cute baby bunnies for their midnight snacks! With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that, this season, peacocks, the quintessential Art Nouveau bird, are having yet another one of their many moments, the same way they did in 1966, at the beginning of the Psychedelic era.  Like the poet says “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

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I spotted the beautiful mounted specimens above while treasure hunting for antiques in Paris last summer and when I got back to the studio, I found an addition (one of many!) to our recently renovated conference area: this incredible PEACOCK DARK rug  by English fashion designer Matthew Williamson, whose brand is known for incredible prints.  It was gifted to BID from our good friends at The Rug Company!

The Peacock designed rug is available in a light colourway as well as this dark one.

The Peacock Rug is also available in a light colourway.

And for those who might hesitate to put such such a gorgeous piece of art on their floors, I have good news! Matthew Williamson’s new Autumn 2013 collection of fabrics and wallpapers for Osborne & Little also features one of his signature peacock designs:  “The Eden Collection  is as heavenly as its name suggests: a riot of colours and patterns reflecting the British fashion designer’s diverse influences, from exotic birds to 1970s-style animal prints” - ELLE Decoration.  This richly colored jewel toned collection (filled with lots of deep emerald, cobalt blue, plum, and gold tones) will be sure to inspire you as we enter into late Fall. It definitely inspires me!

How insane is this wallpaper?

How insane is this wallpaper? And I love how the polished chrome of the furniture echoes the metallic sheen of the paper!

For years, there was a silly prejudice about combining certain colors.  ”Blue and green must never be seen” used to be a common saying.  Didn’t those folks ever see a bed of iris? Or blue hydrangeas against bright green grass? Or–hello!–a peacock? For people not so hemmed-in by arbitrary decorating rules, peacocks have served as the direct inspiration for a lot of  to-die-for rooms.

The Peacock Room at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Peacock Room, now at the Smithsonian in Washington, has been all over the place, but it started out in London, as an 1870s collaboration between shipping tycoon Frederick Leyland, the English architect Thomas Jekyll (who designed the room’s walnut paneling and shelving to display Leyland’s collection of Oriental porcelain and panels of antique Spanish leather) and the American artist James Whistler (yes, that Whistler) who proceeded to gild Jekyll’s wood and completely paint over Leyland’s treasured antique leather panels. The big reveal must have been like the Victorian version of Trading Spaces–OMG!–and not in the good way, either.

Yes, the finished room was stunningly gorgeous–it is in a museum, after all!–but it wasn’t at all the what client asked for and the whole thing ended up in a nasty lawsuit. Quelle hot mess! So this room contains two important lessons for designers, one good and one bad:  1) Blue & green DO go together,  but 2) Ignore the client’s wishes at your own risk.

Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing Driehaus Museum, photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich-Blessing[/caption]

Fortunately, that kind of  disaster doesn’t happen very often. In fact, here’s another interior of the same period and with the same kind of richly glowing colors (this time, in glazed tile, not painted leather) and this time, the client loved the results! The room is in the Driehaus Museum in Chicago–just off Michigan Avenue, so don’t miss it–and if you visit in the next few weeks, you can see another peacock-inspired creation in the museum’s current Tiffany exhibit:  this iridescent gold-mounted Favrile glass vase.

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OK, this beauty isn’t for sale, but these are exactly the kind of colors I’m always drawn to, so if you see the show and decide you’re wanting a swirly glass piece in those colors–one that you could actually buy, that is, not just look at–we have the little piece below  in the BID Studio. With a coat of Tiffany Blue lacquer on your walls and a few feathers in a tall nickel-plated cylinder,  you can create your very own Peacock Room!  And if you do, send us a picture!

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Last stop: a rendering of a Peacock Room (painted for the Crane Company of Chicago) that doesn’t contain a single peacock reference, only the colors of its plumage. This subliminal approach is often the most interesting, because instead of stating a theme explicitly, it lets the room’s occupants discover it on their own. Sometimes, less is more,  although, considering the level of finish in this room, “less” isn’t quite the word. Either way, it’s a knockout!

Crane Roman Peacock Bath

The takeaway lesson is simple: inspiration is everywhere.  How you use it is up to you.





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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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