Mixing Metaphors

Modernique, interior designer Julia Buckingham’s new store, sparks Uptown Plaza.

Designer and author Julia Buckingham’s new Modernique location in central Phoenix showcases her signature mix of styles and products, plus her love of bold colors. 


Modern meets antique at Modernique, the Phoenix storefront by notable interior designer and author Julia Buckingham. Based on her book by the same name, the first-ever Modernique location showcases Buckingham’s signature design style. “I wanted to bring my book to life and show how I create interiors that mix modern furnishing with antique interiors,” she says.

The Chicago native, who calls Arizona her second home, jumped on the opportunity when a space at the midcentury-modern landmark, Uptown Plaza, became available. Shortly after, she “serendipitously” assembled her dream team. “It’s been a fantastic move,” she says.

Known for expertly mixing and matching different genres and eras, Buckingham’s Modernique carries a curated selection of her own pieces with Global Views, and favorite lines including Made Goods, Sarah Raskey Fine Art and Feizy, to name a few. The growing list of items carried at the boutique includes furniture, lighting, textiles, wallcoverings, accessories and gifts.

For Buckingham, the inspiration behind scouting the perfect pieces to carry comes from all over. After all, the girl loves to shop. “It’s a constant passion of mine,” she says.
The international treasure hunter, who recently returned from Morocco, looks far and wide for the perfect pieces. “I love the idea of not necessarily going on every trip to shop, but being inspired wherever you are and seeking out pieces that are special and indigenous to different countries,” she says.

Even though Buckingham’s sense of style is so quintessential to who she is, she says there are no rules when designing a space that is truly “modernique.” “You feel like you’re looking at things that are so compatible, but they have nothing in common,” says Buckingham. “That’s what’s so fun for me.”

It should come as no surprise that the adventurer doesn’t shy away from bold design. “My main inspiration comes from the world of color. If I’m scanning Instagram and come across a colorful image, I’m instantly smitten,” she says. “It’s very much about the happiness that you feel when you see something colorful. That’s exactly how I want everyone to feel when they come in.” 100 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 112, Phoenix