Renowned interior & furnishings designer and top-selling author, Julia Buckingham is set to open her first standalone retail shop featuring home furnishings, lighting and collectibles in the heart of Uptown Phoenix in January. Named Modernique, this stunning storefront is wrapping up construction inside the restored midcentury modern landmark, Uptown Plaza at the NE corner of Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Tucked into the north side of the plaza next to West Elm, Modernique will showcase Buckingham’s signature interior design style: mixing and matching different genres and eras, allowing customers to create their own personalized yet still pulled-together look. The new boutique will feature unique furniture, decorative lighting, textiles, wall coverings, unique accessories and gift items, which will be available both to-the-trade and the public. Plus, Modernique will also offer an extensive selection of Buckingham’s own custom-designed furnishings and accessories, which were previously only available to fellow professional interior designers, architects, retailers and the hospitality trade.
A Chicago native, Buckingham has surprisingly deep Valley roots, including fond childhood memories of visiting Uptown Plaza with her grandparents, who were some of the first residents at Sun City back in the 1960s. More recently, she fell in love with the newly-revitalized property after being invited to the grand opening of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria at Uptown Plaza with her friends and fellow Chicagoans, the Malnati family. “My husband I have lived part-time in Phoenix for the past five years, so I feel confident saying that Phoenix is ready for something different when it comes to home décor and design-a more personalized, unique look – and Uptown Plaza is the perfect location for bringing the Modernique vision to life”
Blurring the lines between “modern” and “antique,” Modernique is more than just the trademarked name of Buckingham’s interior design book and new store; it’s her entire design philosophy. “I like to remind people that there are no rules,” Buckingham says. “Your home doesn’t have to look like a mass-market furniture showroom, or a funky vintage store, or a minimalist art gallery. You can pick and choose from all of them.”
Housed inside a narrow, rectilinear 1,900 square foot space, Modernique is decorated with stylish Tabarka tile- work made right here in Scottsdale, as well as white painted brick walls accented with pops of color from the curated art collection featuring top Chicago and local artists. Working with the Phoenix architect, Lance Enyart of LEA Architects, Buckingham plans to fill this curated space with multiple vignettes mixing and matching different styles, periods, color, patterns and textures. There will also be a brand-new client conference space carved out of the bunker-like backroom that once served as the electrical control room for the entire shopping center. Plus Modernique will also be the exclusive retail home to Buckingham’s extensive line of furniture and accessories manufactured all over the world, that now spans nearly 300 items and is in its fourth collection.
Most important, Buckingham says, she’s excited to get back to her roots of sourcing and finding the best new and old décor gems, and presenting them to the public versus just private clients. “Retail is in my blood, it’s what I love doing. I got my start in the retail business with Neiman Marcus and then transitioned into the antique business, and I still have a private showroom attached to my interior design firm in Chicago. But now I’m excited to bring the Modernique look to Phoenix and the world, one room at a time.”
Scheduled to open in January, Modernique will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm. For more information, or to shop Modernique online visit www.shopmodernique.com; call 480-349-2408 or follow on social media @shopmodernique.