Last week at the D&D Building in New York City, Chicago-based interior designer and antiques dealer Julia Buckingham Edelmann joined forces with Lonny magazine editor Irene Edwards to decipher the meaning of “Modernique” style.
Attendees were able to view examples of Edelmann’s interior design work and images of her showroom and antiques, which she incorporates into her modern aesthetic.
Julia Buckingham Edelmann and Irene Edwards
Prior to becoming an interior designer, Edelmann first worked in fashion, then became an antiques dealer. Antiques are important to her because “they represent curated items that have been collected over the years, and tell your life story. The rare helps punctuate the real in every home,” she said.
She explained that as designers, you don’t have to choose between new and old. “There are no rules anymore.” Instead you need to find a way to integrate both modern elements and antiques into a space, which she coined as being “Modernique.”
So, what are her “Modernique” essentials? You must have the following:
- A confident mix of materials and scale
- Juxtaposition of styles and pedigrees
- Personal passions and preferences
- Energy and tension
- Respect for the past and a sense of adventure
“Modernique interiors maneuver through multiple worlds at once, never colliding but happily residing together,” she said. “Rustic, refined, primitive and detailed.”
Many attendees mentioned that they can’t always get their clients to agree to such eclecticism. So the question arose: How can you ensure that your clients will love the mix? “I only do turn-key installations,” said Edelmann. “No client is allowed to see the pieces as they are trickling in. Once the project is complete, I do not take calls for the first 48 hours.”
“Careful, artful and deliberate choices of accents and materials infuse life and interest into interiors,” she continued. “It takes those two days for the clients to adjust, let it all sink in, and they will ultimately love it.”
Edelmann also shared her business tips with the attendees. “Be true to yourself and your gut,” she said. “There are no regrets. Don’t have any regrets. Your actions must be motivated from love, passion and genuine interest.”
Another major tip was for designers to be visible and accessible in the industry. “Participate in your industry on many levels,” she said. “Be active with blogging, industry ambassadorships, style spotting, volunteering and mentoring.”
Finally, Edelmann shared that all designers should continue to travel and see new things, be confident in their uniqueness and be consistent. “If a client is calling you, they’ve seen your style and aesthetic and that’s what they want.”