Buckingham Interiors + Design Mixes Past, Present and Future to Style Chicago Homes

Julia Buckingham’s passion for antiques gives her interior design style a mix of old and new.

Sometimes you don’t find your career path, your career path finds you. Julia Buckingham, owner of Buckingham Interiors + Design in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, stumbled upon the interior design industry and started her own business after working in fashion. While working at Neiman Marcus, she found that her creative side was what would fuel her growth and passion throughout her career. She then realized that she had a real knack for finding antiques and artifacts, so she began working as an antiques dealer. As she got into the business, clients started to ask her to do more by having her help them style their new pieces in their homes. After enough client requests and demand, she expanded her antiques business and opened a full design studio.

As is the fashion industry, interior design trends do not stay the same for long. Perhaps this is a main factor in the need for interior designers to help those that want to stay on trend and change up their style often. The industry can be cyclical, but it’s always trying to keep things fresh.

When it comes to the trends homeowners are leaning towards today, Buckingham says it’s all about the specific vibe clients are looking for.

“I’m finding that clients want to create homes that are warm and inviting, a respite from everyday life. They want quality, but are less concerned with labels and status, and are more into the way a home makes them feel rather than bragging rights,” says Buckingham. She goes to say that her clients seem to be more focused on if they like particular pieces rather than what brand made it.

Adding more color is another recent interior design trend that has Buckingham celebrating. “My palette is vibrant, and although I have been known to do a few spaces with serene grays, ivory and white in my day, it’s color that lights me up,” says Buckingham. Bold statements and saturated color was what Buckingham found were the trends in Paris this year.

While many homeowners have the desire to redesign or spruce up their home’s interior, they may not have the time to fully invest themselves in the project—and that’s when Buckingham and her team come in to help. But if you’re not the Chicago area to hire Buckingham Interiors + Design, how can you find the right designer for your home? Buckingham’s best advice is to do your homework.

“Research! Check out a potential designer’s website, the press, their projects and ask for references,” she said. A good designer won’t be nervous to get you in contact with previous clients—in fact they should be thrilled to show off their work.

It’s also important to ask a potential designer what they might do if they run into any issue. The usual issues Buckingham and her studio have come across working with her clients are in the form of structural surprises or restrictions from the city. But she always finds a solution. She explains, “We always find a way to work around those. In the end, it’s all about making the client happy and achieving the result we dreamed of together.”