Wednesday, October 8, 2014


 I arrived in Chicago on Sunday, summoned an Uber and directed him to take me to 1822 West Grand Street, home of Julia Buckingham Interior Design.   I was so busy answering emails and checking messages, that I was a bit startled when the driver announced we had arrived at our destination so quickly.  I had expected a much longer drive, from the airport to Julia's studio, so I questioned whether the driver had taken me to the right address.  He seemed a little confused, when I originally gave him the destination address at the airport, and kept asking me if I was sure this address was in Chicago.  
The first thing I saw when I got out of the car was a purple crown.  I immediately knew I was in the right place.  When I see crowns and especially this one whimsical purple one  I know it represents the one and only....  Julia Buckingham  and her amazing interior design firm.

My eyes didn't know where to look there was so much to take in.  A lovely pair of turquoise planters filled with artistically arranged colorful fall flowers adorned each side of the front door of the showroom.   

Standing in the doorway between the beautiful planters, my eyes settled on my adorable friend, Julia.  I can't tell you how excited I was to be at Buckingham ID.  Julia is one of my favorite people, not just in my design world, but in my life.  I consider her one of my dearest friends.  She is bubbly, vivacious and extremely gracious, so I wasn't surprised she came out in the street to greet me.  I couldn't wait to come inside to view her creative design laboratory.  A visit to Buckingham ID was one bucket list item, I could now check off the list. 

I took so many pictures of Julia's studio I decided to break this up into two posts.  The first post will describe Julia's "Modernique" style and give glimpses of how she interprets this unique aesthetic she has artfully crafted for her clients.  The second post will be a tour of her amazing studio.  I hope you enjoy my visit with Julia as much as I did.  

Julia's design philosophy is so much a part of who she is and how she lives her life, that she has coined her style of decorating as "Modernique."   Modernique is a method of  blending antiques; custom designed pieces, and artifacts with modern, artifacts that together formulate interiors that are unexpected and fresh. 

In Julia's own words, "My Journey has become a way of life.  And that way of life has become a lifestyle ~ Modernique"

Buckingham Interiors is an awarding winning firm with many projects published both domestically and abroad.  Her projects are created by blending found objects from her travels such as this Blenko glass bowl on distressed table next to a sleek, chrome frame leather chair.  Her aesthetic is edgy and cool, like the designer herself. 

Buckingham ID is a combination of amazing vignettes expertly curated and presented in a manner much the same as a museum installation.    

The mix of patterns, colors and objects are combined in a sophisticated, yet playful manner.  

Woven throughout the design showroom are gift items never displayed altogether like most shops but used as art objects in interesting ways.  Nest candles serve as the weights on these oversized scales along with pretty blown glass orbs. 

Every corner of Julia's showroom is a delightful blend of creative genius.  Smooth white ceramics paired with a rough wooden bowl create a dialogue between the items that speak "Modernique".   The old and new, the rough and the smooth are words that describe Julia's aesthetic.  

 Whenever she travels, Julia is on "the hunt" for objects she can bring back to her showroom and clients.  I assumed this piece covered in her signature crowns, was something she has custom produced, but she assured me, she found it in her travels. 

 Brick walls, antique, salvaged shelving are the perfect backdrop for a collection of antique accessories accented with fun, contemporary sheepskin stool in citron and lavender. 

A chair that could easily be a prop for "Alice in Wonderland" sits in a corner of the showroom.  Julia told a story about an accident that happened on the street outside the showroom.  An officer called on the scene brought a lady inside the showroom to use the phone.  Once inside the lady refused to leave until someone took her picture in this chair.  This story explains perfectly how one can lose their sense when pondering the fantasies of Buckingham ID. 

 Current designer fabrics used for client projects kept in antique baskets
 and containers line the walls in the design workroom.

 Natural light pours in the studio through the expansive bank of windows across the front of the showroom, adding the right amount of punctuation to the vignettes. 

Here is my friend, LA designer, Jill Seidner talking to Julia as she holds court in the showroom.  Julia has created the perfect habitat for her creative work.  Julia sits relaxed, among the collection of interesting objects and explains the various pieces and her attachment to them as if they were her children.  The original art, furniture and objects in the studio consists of artifacts and antiques found through Julia's travels abroad and domestically, partnered with custom designs masterfully created by the designer.

A Lion keeping a watchful eye over the Buckingham Showroom, represents the regal Buckingham name, much the same as the golden lions outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London.   At Buckingham Interior Design, there is also a queen, her name is Julia, she is amazingly talented and wears an invisible purple crown.

Read More About Her Collaboration with Global Views Here
Global Views recently announced a collaboration with Julia Buckingham.  An extensive 85 piece collection will be unveiled in Fall of 2015.  I can't wait to see what fabulousness will come from this collaboration.  Lighting, rugs, pillows, and furniture will make up the collection.  I will sit with baited breath until this collection is released, because I know if Julia designed the collection, there will be amazing pieces to unveil. 

I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse into the "Modernique" aesthetic of Julia Buckingham
Tomorrow I will take you on a tour of Buckingham Interior Design Showroom.  
It's a treat you will not want to miss!  

What to see more?  Check out Lisa Mende Design on Instagram here.  Also make sure you follow Julia Buckingham on instagram here for a peek into her fabulous design projects and travels and sometimes personal life.  

You can Follow Julia Buckingham on Her Social Channels Here:

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  1. Lisa I can tell what a cool gal Julia is and no wonder she is your friend! Very fun design style!

    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring Jeff Koons

    1. She is so cool Karena, that I want to be Julia when I grow up!

  2. Replies
    1. Susan you would love and adore her! She is awesome!

  3. Such a cool space and Julia is adorable! I'd love to go half the places you go Lisa! Thanks for sharing and can't wait to see more. xo Nancy

    1. come go with me Nancy! are you going to High Point? would love to see you a little longer this time?

  4. So awesome you got to see Julia's space, isn't it divine! Sorry I missed you while you were in town and I hope to see you soon. xoxox

  5. Great post! So FUN meeting up in Chicago with you and Julia! xoxo

    1. You are so kind! Just catching up with emails. Miss you!


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