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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Seasoned lamps

Images courtesy of Inhabitat.comAfter ten relaxing days of traveling, eating yummy food and discovering wonderful things in Amsterdam and Antwerp, I'm home in the process of getting back in the groove of things. Once I'm done with the unpacking (not my favorite thing to do), I will go through all my photos and material I collected along the way in order to start sharing with you the many cool things I came across in my trip.
   But in the meantime let me show you how you can add a pinch of flavor to your decor with these delicious lamps made of salt. Yes, you heard right, salt. Designed by Roberto Tweraser, the SALT lamps made their debut at this year's London Design Festival and are great pieces that will season any bland space. How savory are they?

Via Inhabitat


A British head turner

After a two-hour train ride from Amsterdam we arrived in Antwerp, Belgium. This charming city has always been on my list of destinations since it's known to be a Mecca for up-and-coming fashion designers who are influencing the couture scene. While strolling down the cobblestone street near the Hotel Banks (where we're staying) I came across The MoMu, the Fashion Museum of Antwerp. Immediately I went in, and to my surprise they were hosting an exhibit of the largest collection of Stephen Jones' hats outside of his native Britain.

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A groovy haunted house

It's that time of year again! But now you don't have to resort to pumpkins, witch hats or cobwebs to add some terrorrific and magical ambiance to your home. Any of these bewitching pieces will do the trick giving your pad some spellbinding style. And the best part, they're artsy enough to keep them year-round.

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When in Amsterdam: deliciously beautiful

I love to walk around the hotel where we stay in order to discover the little treats the area has to offer. This time was no exception. A couple of short blocks away from Hotel V, I noticed this impeccable place with minimal decor and good looking, mouth-watering food. I wasn't sure what to expect once I opened the door. But to my surprise, Uliveto, this very charming Italian delicatessen welcomed me in. A long communal table with a Carrera marble top, soaring stainless steel shelves, metal containers, glass jars with pickled vegetables and white tiles as background is all they used to adorn this very tall space. I think what made it work was the repetition of basic shapes and beautiful objects in a very mnimal way. Simply delicious!

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When in Amsterdam

I have finally arrived in the land of the tulips and windmills where I'll be staying for the next few days. After checking into the hip Hotel V, we hit the streets in order to stay awake and fight the jet lag and fatigue. Walking around a maze of canals, we found some amazing furniture and design stores that I'll be including in my list of favorite places to shop...stay tuned. I will do my best to give you daily updates of my travels and the beautiful things this part of the world has to offer. On today's agenda we'll be visiting a couple of famous museums in town, and later I'll be doing another of my favorite cultural activities, SHOPPING – or most likely window shopping. For now, I'll give you a peek of this cool hotel where we're staying. Off we go!

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A sunny disposition

Image by Richard Powers

Rich, bright, sophisticated and warm. No, I'm not talking about the perfect soulmate, but the attributes that describe the versatility of this magnificent hue. Being one of the most popular choices when it comes to decorating, Golden Glow (my second choice from the Pantone Fall and Winter selection) is a mood lifter as it's said to help the brain work better. It comes in an array of tones, from an intense gold to softer all depends on your personality. Wherever you fall in the spectrum it will absolutely create a fresh and welcoming environment. It is definitely a fun color to live with and a ray of sunshine for your home – especially for those long and gloomy winter days we don't look forward to.

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Alphabet nook

Image by Mel Yates

Designers have always been inspired by everything around them, especially by the most ancient of things. The alphabet is no exception. Your ABCs and 123s have been, for the longest time, graphic shapes used as point of reference to create a vast amount of things, even soup – my favorite as a kid. Letters and numbers are designed with such precision and proportion that no matter how we use them, they will be a bold statement. Whether printed on paper, painted on a wall, silk screened on fabric or even made into furniture, these graphic representations can add an element of surprise and nostalgia. And what better example that this flavorful wood flooring (top) made from recycled whiskey barrel casks by McKay Flooring in the UK. Cheers! This fad of typographic decor won't be erased any time soon

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Tight space: big solutions

Living in snug quarters has its challenges, I can speak to that with authority – I reside in a 500 square-feet apartment. But to do it comfortably there are certain things we can't do without. The trick is to organize, organize and organize. There must be a place to conceal everything and you must own pieces of furniture and accessories that have dual functionality. For those compact dwellers my advice to you is to edit down your belongings and keep only what's most essential. But I know the hardest test of all is trying to fit all that you need (and want) without compromising style or comfort. These outstanding finds will help you conquer this battle. BTW, remember to use furniture proportional to your space, don't cram it in just because.

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