Ashley’s Blanket

“I’m 36 years old and I sleep with a blankie!”  The opening statement had us all hooked and eager for more.  The night of the first Neighborly Storyteller Series  hosted at Modernique, focused on the theme, “The prettiest and ugliest things in my home are…” The crowd, an incredible turn out of eclectic storytellers- friends, clients old and new, passersby and fans of Modernique.The audience participation was wonderful, we heard stories of shoe organizers, glass block windows, funky pieces of art, overflowing garage storage, bad wall colors and so much more.

A little about the shop – Modernique, Julia Buckingham‘s creation, is a mix of modern and vintage, old and new, high and low priced items- her store is a delight to the senses and the items within are real treasures.   You can often find Julia re-arranging the shop in a whirlwind, snacking on candies- generously shared throughout in beautiful candy dishes. Through shopping at Modernique and getting to know Julia, I knew that sharing her shop, energy and talents would be the ultimate gift to share with Neighborly followers.

Misha NSS

Misha getting the event started


Treats by theDinersaur

The prize for the best story of the evening, voted by the audience, included a gift card, discount and a room of the winners choice styled by Julia Buckingham!  Really! It was quite the generous prize for this first ever Neighborly event, and we must stop to thank Julia once again, thank you!


Modernique at Uptown Plaza, photo Modernique

Julia NSS

Julia sharing her story

When Ashley took to the little makeshift stage and shared the story of her wedding blanket as the ugliest and prettiest thing in her home, she won over the crowd with laughs and a heartfelt tribute to her grandmother.  The votes were tallied, Ashley won by a landslide!

Ashley chose her bedroom for the in-home styling- she sent before shots and measurements, then, let two would-be-strangers into her home when she wasn’t there! While Ashley was at work, Julia whipped up a fantastic room refresh with stunning vintage and modern pieces- a beautiful collection of colors, textures and styles.  The room looked happy to be all dressed up- sparkling and quirky.

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After Modernique makeover

We wanted to learn more about Ashley, her story of moving to the valley and what she loves about where she lives.

N:  Where are you from? What brought you to the valley? How long have you been here?

A:  I’m originally from Kansas City and moved to Phoenix in 2014 for a job at Cramer-Krasselt as an Account Supervisor. My husband and I absolutely loved KC, but we were ready for a new adventure and excited about an opportunity to build a new life in a new city. We had never really considered Phoenix – who wants to live in the desert!? – but I moved here in November and the winter temps had me SOLD. We’ve been here ever since and don’t really have any plans to leave.

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Julia putting the final touches on the room

N:  What area do you live in? What made you decide on the location?

A:  When we first moved here we live on 3rd avenue and Lynwood and we totally fell in love with Central Phoenix. Since then we’ve lived at 17th and Missouri, 22nd and Lincoln and 6th street and Central, before moving to our space in Scottsdale. We both got jobs in Scottsdale back in 2018 so we decided to make the leap from Phoenix to Old Town and we just signed a third year on our lease. We chose the location primarily because it’s 8 minutes from my office. I also really enjoy spending time at Fashion Square – it’s where I get my steps in – and the opportunity to live a 2 minutes walk from the mall was irresistible.

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Side tables all styled up, all items can be found at Modernique

N:  What do you like most about where you live?

A:  We absolutely LOVE living in the heart of Scottdale especially because we can walk to just about everything we need. Walking to the movies, to some of the best restaurants, to boutique shops, and getting to partake in the art and dining events in Old Town are so much fun. Old Town (and Fashion Square) are also really dog-friendly which means we can take our beloved pup with us just about everywhere we go.  We don’t love the “nightlife” element so much, but it is really cool to live right where everyone wants to be.

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Details, Moroccan Wedding Blanket, Bar Tray by JJ Justice- all found at Modernique

N:  What area of town are you most interested in?  Favorite shops? Restaurants?

A:  Our favorite spots in Old Town are Scape Goat Wine Bar,  Casablanca (rooftop bar), Berdenas coffee shop, EVO, Citizen’s Public House and Alo Cafe for the most delicious waffle with fruit compote you’ve ever had in your life. Favorite shopes are Carmen, Leela, and the Cactus Boutique plant shop.

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Vintage side table and lamp, Iron Poppy Mirror- all found at Modernique

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Ostrich Eggs on stands, Beads, Modernique book all found at Modernique

N:  What are your favorite pieces from your room refresh?A:  I loved the Moroccan wedding blanket! Aside from being beautiful, it also had a cool tie to my own “wedding blanket” which was the theme of my winning story. Julia has such an eye for details,  I think what really makes her rooms special are the little things she adds and the way she displays them. I would have never thought to combine some of these really interesting pieces into one space! I especially loved this quirky and weird Jonathan Adler gold dish – gives a whole new meaning to “clawfoot” lol.

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Ostrich Leg Stand, Peyote Box- Jonathan Adler, Artwork, Tuffet stool- all found at Modernique

N:  Can you share your winning story from the storyteller series?

A:  I told a story about my blanket. Yes, I’m a 36-year-old woman who sleeps with a blanket. It smells good and it’s the perfect size and it just makes me feel happy. To say it’s ugly is a bit of an understatement because I’ve slept with it since I was in college, which means about 16 years. It’s tattered and falling apart and what used to be white is now grey. It’s so ugly that I hide it every time someone comes over to my house.  My husband HATES it and finds it so embarrassing. But you should also know that this blanket is really special. It’s a handmade quilt that my Great Grandmother made for me. I was really close with my great grandmother because we shared a birthday and we were penpals my first two years in college. She was a really skilled seamstress so I would always ask her to sew me something for Christmas or my birthday.  What I didn’t know, was that she was using the leftover material from those outfits to hand sew a quilt for me that would be gifted to me on my wedding day. Sadly, she didn’t make it to my wedding day, so I received the blanket after her death when I was 20. I so loved it that I started to sleep with it at night. So yes, this blanket is really ugly, and I hide it from guests due to its frayed edges and sad stains, but it’s also really beautiful to me because of the love that went into making it and the woman who made it for me.


Ashley Styled her room


Ashley and her Corgie, Yoda, checking out all the new items

A big thank you again to Julia Buckingham for all that she does! Thank you to Ashely for being so trusting and for sharing your story at the event.  Thank your to theDinersaur for making up some yummy treats for the event.Thank you to Katrina thefoxykat for co-hosting the night!  Also, thank you to everyone that came out to the Neighborly Storyteller Series- our first ever event!


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