Known for her colorful aesthetic, longtime Chicago interior designer and author Julia Buckingham puts it to the test in her new Scottsdale home.
“Twiggy” by Dallas artist Lindsay Ekstrom sits above the Wiggle chair designed by Buckingham via Global Views.
“We absolutely fell in love with this house when we first entered,” says Julia Buckingham, founder of Julia Buckingham Interiors (buckinghamid.com) and author of Modernique, a lifestyle book sharing her passion for mixing modern and antique furnishings in her clients’ homes. “The home had almost a time capsule feel and the clerestory windows in the living room gave it a masterful midcentury modern vibe.”
Artwork from her own personal collection and curated through Julia Buckingham Interiors is displayed throughout the home. Above the fireplace is an orange typography piece found in Paris’ Porte de Clignancourt by artist Raoul W.
Buckingham and her husband, John Edelmann, strongly believe in renovation and restoration instead of demolition. “This is our 16th home restored in 35 years of marriage,” she notes. “Most of the homes that we restored to their historic splendor were considered tear-downs.” This Scottsdale home in particular was built in 1963 and included the ability to have two living rooms, which was an added bonus in their search for their next home.
The Crazy Cut coffee table by Phillips Collection is a perfect centerpiece.
From the moment you walk onto the property, it whimsically grabs your attention. The exterior was refreshed with Sherwin-Williams Ibis White paint and a splash of Behr Gem Turquoise on the trim. Once inside, the disparity of the interior pieces curated from a combination of genres and eras is consistent with Buckingham’s core design mantra of Modernique, which also signifies colorful home design vibes. Here in her 16th home, she is fearless in using colors to bring warmth, life and sophistication.
A splash of Behr Gem Turquoise paint on the front entrance invites
“Our goal was to create an open, family-oriented kitchen space and to invigorate the red and brown goddess into a multicolored, candy-colored, inspired ‘happy home’ filled with unique furnishings and collected art,” she says. “I am more than obsessed with color. It’s very much about the happiness that you feel when you see something colorful.”
Retro charm is shown throughout the home with accent walls dressed in vintage midcentury wallpapers.
By tearing down a wall that hid the kitchen from the family room and removing the front hall closet, she created a larger and more open kitchen with the help of builder Ryan Brown, owner of RBI Services in Mesa. Colorful Moroccan tiles, a mirrored vanity and crystal-knobbed plumbing fixtures are some of the newly installed features throughout the kitchen and all three bathrooms. Making a bold statement in the kitchen are the appliances from Big Chill (bigchill.com), custom colored in Benjamin Moore Orange Burst. “I also selected a custom-colored tile from my expat friends now living in Morocco for the kitchen walls,” she says. And, the glass bubble pendants are from Chairish (chairish.com), where Buckingham also has an antiques storefront.
Bold appliances in the kitchen pop against white cabinets
Hanging above the 1960s-designed table purchased from one of her favorite dealers at Antique Gatherings (antiquegatherings.com) is a rock crystal pendant by Flos from CB2 (cb2.com). “The ‘Circle of Life’ vintage dining table is so unique that most people have never seen anything like it,” she says. On the walls inside the original dining room shelving, now removed, is a Libertine for Schumacher (fschumacher.com) wallpaper. “I collect vintage midcentury wallpapers and you will see the inclusion of them installed throughout the house on accent walls that add to the vintage charm and original period feel.”
The vintage Circle of Life dining table is a stunning rare find.
The old floor tile throughout the house was replaced with Carrara marble tiles. But, Buckingham went bright in the dining room by lacquering its floor in fuchsia with Sherwin-Williams Exuberant Pink. More of Buckingham’s wacky propensity for whimsical and colorful lighting is found throughout the house. She adds texture with one-o-a-kind finds, like her chandeliers—some are her own design along with brand partner Global Views (globalviews.com). Curvy shapes and bright pops of color are continued in the living and family rooms, with most of the seating sourced through her friends at High Point Antiques Market (hpadc.com).
“Our home is hopefully never dull and creates a space that we seemingly are forever entertaining within,” says Buckingham. “All of a sudden everyone wants to visit or at least drive by and take a peek at our turquoise-painted barn.” Risky? Not a bit!
Photography by: Michael Woodall