Julia Buckingham Edelmann is one talented and savvy woman! Not only does she know a thing or two about design, but also she has embraced the blogging world. Founding principal of Buckingham Interiors + Design, a full service Interior Design firm on the North Shore of Chicago, Julia is the Chicago contributor for the popular blog Material Girls.
A lifelong passion for design, unusual antiques and unfussy objects is what fuels her work and imagination. Julia’s trademark style is a modern twist on tradition. "I have to infuse just a little bit of "funk" into every room that my firm designs," Julia concedes. The result—rooms that are time-honored, yet fun and unusual.
Julia also possesses a keen eye for unwanted houses. In 20+ years of marriage, she and her husband John have flipped seven houses, “I am always revitalizing the proverbial ugly duckling and looking for ways to infuse my style into a home." The firsthand knowledge of renovation and construction is one that Julia happily passes on to her clients. “Creating a true customer connection is the cornerstone of my business, but most importantly I want my work to be a reflection of the homeowner's lifestyle and not a shrine to my vision."
With which iconic interior decorator or architect do you most identify?
Mies van der Rohe. He strove towards an architectural style of a minimal framework, structural order and balance. His mantra “less is more” and “God is in the details” always rings true when I design a project. Editing is such an important part of the creative process. It’s good to know when to stop.
What talent would you most like to possess?
To be an architect and to design the whole thing!
Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
Darryl Carter. He uses clean simple lines in his interiors and then adds beautiful antiques with just the right amount of patina and dimension.
Who are your style icons?
Axel Vervoordt. His philosophy is simple: Make people happy; make them discover things in themselves; make them feel at home and love their house.”
Ralph Lauren. What he did for design and fashion while creating the wardrobe for the movie the Great Gatsby remains an inspirational favorite. The lines between fashion and the set design were blurred, and as result one aesthetic beautifully emerged. Ralph Lauren embodies a timeless sense of style.
Diane von Furstenberg. Her sense of design allows women to feel and look beautiful. The confidence that comes from wearing her designs has no doubt created some very strong women.
Holly Hunt. You’ve gotta love Holly Hunt and her design philosophy, “The best decisions are always made at the last minute. Just know when the last minute is.” I am always on the lookout to for that moment when I know—this is just right.
What is your most prized possession?
My family. They are my jewels—my husband, John, and our children; Caroline, Alex and Madi. Children are a huge gift, and one that keeps on getting better. I must mention our Wheaten Terriers Jane and Frankie too. We are a bit obsessed, as each child goes off to college we keep adding another dog to the family. How does this make any sense?!
What books are currently on your bedside table?
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Crazy For the Storm by Norman Ollestad
Phoenix Home and Garden (from a recent trip)
What is your favorite luxury in life?
A beautiful dress
Who would you most like to meet and spend the day with?
I wish that I had met and spent a day with Princess Diana. Her innate sense of style and beauty came through in all that surrounded her, not to mention her goodwill and charity towards those less fortunate was incredibly moving. And all the while she slogged through some pretty treacherous adversity!
How would you describe your style?
Mix and twist tradition with whimsy! One part classic design, one part whimsy and one part lovely.
What inspires your creativity and designs?
The “oohs” and “aahs” of my clients. If I do not hear this, then I am not making a difference. Whether it is a design hit or a miss, emotion has to be present! My clients keep me real and grounded. The relationships that form are priceless, not to mention that we have a lot of fun together!
Profile by Ronda Carman