Designer Profile: Interview with Julia Buckingham Edelmann

In the sea of shelter magazines and design blogs, I so often find myself loving just bits and pieces of settings, but the work of Julia Buckingham Edelmann hits on every one of my design-loving senses.  Her work truly stands on its own and I feel so fortunate to introduce her as the next designer in this series!

Julia is the owner and principal of Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC, a Chicago-based residential and commercial design firm.  Needless to say, I could easily spend hours admiring their remarkable portfolio.  Each space is designed with such rich character; the collaboration of antiques, natural finishes and always a distinguished light fixture.  Julia's outstanding design talent is complimented by her gracious demeanor, and I easily consider her one of my favourite designers.

Enjoy Julia's fabulous interview!

What was your first big design break?
Breaking into the world of design can be a daunting task! I remember my first visit to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago- nervous and unsure of what to say or how to inquire about a product. That was 12 years ago and I can still clearly see that day and how I felt. Starting small, and with the realization that each new project brought me knowledge and experience for the next- all along with the most fun that I had ever had- brought me to the career that I cherish today. The clients and their homes that I have been lucky enough to be a part of, all led me to the moment of “aha” that I consider to be my very first design break. 

I was contacted to meet and visit a project in an historic Chicago neighborhood. When I left that site- I knew that I would be experiencing a bit of design magic and that after this- I would definitely never be the same. The power of referrals by friends- both clients of mine where this new client had visited their homes and asked who had designed- is the key to a strong and successful design business. To this day, I consider this project to be the turning point of my career. A project that I was devastated had to end!

Can you tell us about your first job in the design field?
As one of four owners of a Cincinnati, Ohio Antiques Store, I would travel all over the world to source and select unique furnishings for the home. This amazing- and hard to believe that it was even called a job experience led me into the homes of people who were purchasing my pieces and asking for help in placing them into their homes.

My first design “housewarming party” will not ever be forgotten. My client was showing her new home to friends and referring to spaces as “Julia’s rooms.” How cool is that?! This was my very first experience with a wall mounted TV above a fireplace mantle- it was such a novelty back then.

What is your most memorable travel destination?
PARIS FLEA MARKETS! Everything looks better and much more beautiful when you cross the ocean.

I am also very sentimental about the markets in Ohio, Kentucky and the place that I visit every Spring with gal pals in Brimfield Massachusetts. If you ever go there you must have a lobster roll and wear very sensible shoes :)

What are your “best practices” for accessorizing a room?
Go bold with accessories. This is my mantra- small scale pieces can be ordinary and end up looking like absolutely nothing at all! If you grab an aged or repurposed object is can actually look like a piece of modern art. And remember that “Spare is not always bare.” It is in the interesting texture and scale of an accessory piece that can make or break a room.

What's next for you
More, more and more! I am loving my revolving art exhibits in my showroom in Chicago. We have thus far focused on local talent from Francine Turk to a fantastic new exhibit opening on March 18 Skrebneski Photography. Lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful and stunning works of art. Allows me and my design team to be all that much more creative on a daily basis.

A book is on the horizon for me. One that will be as appealing to the eye as the collection of hundreds that surround me at all times for inspiration. And, of course, I strive to meet and work with the next round of fantastic clients!

Thank you so much to Julia for participating in this series!

1 comment:

Meghan @ My Wishful Thinking said...

Wow! I'm completely smitten with all these spaces! Love the Designer Profile series!

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