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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Experiencing the Past

If you're an adventurous traveler, the kind who seek the unexpected when abroad, this might be the kind of lodging you might want to experience. Yet another minimalist hotel in Italy, this one is quite different from the one featured in yesterday's post. Austrian architects feld72, took an abandoned house in Prata Sannita, north of Naples, Italy, and transformed it into The Million Donkey Hotel, resembling the town's original cave-like houses built into the the rocky hillside. The hotel is far from being a 5-star resort, but the experience of going back to Medieval times is priceless. Although the hotel doesn't offer many rooms, they're extremely unique, especially Il Letto Volante (The Flying Bed), a room with a rolling bed that gives you the option of sleeping indoors or under the stars — of course, given you don't suffer from acrophobia.

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A White Renaissance

The underlying theme of this spectacular boutique hotel is white, my favorite color of them all. The impeccable look and unique charm of the Hh Florence Hotel immediately immerses the guest in an intimate atmosphere. Its flawless design is described  as “Post Minimal in The Cradle of The Renaissance”. Although minimal, the hotel is rich in details and textures, using touches in gold as posh accents. This place seems to be have the right balance between comfort and luxury, and it would be a wonderful retreat to enjoy while visiting one of the most fascinating and bewitching cities in the world. Simplicity, elegance and privacy is their version of luxury.

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Mid Century Birds

Having birds around your garden is one of the charms of summer. So invite them to hang out in these mid century-inspired modern birdhouses. Although not a pure replica of the original case study modern birdhouses, these interpretations by Burdhaus are quite alluring and colorful modern shelters for our fine, feathered friends.

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In Case of an Emergency

Putting a touch of humor when decorating always adds a fresh and unexpected twist to any room. Think of that one object or accessory that can be a conversation piece among your friends. This Emergency Cocktail Station, by Urbancase, will do just that, and more. Inspired by the classic first aid kit, the stylish wall-mounted cabinet provides space to store your liquor bottles, tools and fancy martini glasses in style. Cheers!

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Living in The Desert

I'm not sure if it would ever cross my mind to live in the middle of the desert, but Italian journalist Fabrizio Rondolino and his family certainly contemplated the idea. After a long love affair with Death Valley, the family decided to build this beautiful house in the middle of the scorching nowhere — 150 miles north of Las Vegas. The Rondolinos hired a young German architect to work with them in the project, and surprisingly they planned, constructed and furnished the 1200 square-foot house via e-mail without ever meeting or speaking over the phone. Can you imagine? Well, I have to say that after seeing the end result, the beauty of the natural setting and the spectacular views, living in the desert may have its charm.

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Lord of South Beach

Posh, friendly, sexy and kitsch is what makes the Lords South Beach Hotel one of the hottest spots in Miami Beach. Designed by Dan Mazzarini and Brian Humphrey from the New York-based design studio BHDM, the 54-room hotel is America's first gay hotel chain. Certainly, they were not afraid of playing with color, textures and patterns, creating a highly spirited, happy and fun place to stay. Of course, a touch of glittery gold was a must when choosing their delicious color palette. I'm digging all the Old-Hollywood references throughout, especially the oversized Liz Taylor's portraits above the beds.

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More Than a Spoon

I just love when great ideas are put to practice. Frech product designer Aïssa Logerot came up with the exceptional Spoon More, a chopstick and spoon hybrid that makes eating a bowl of your favorite Ramen Noodles or Pho Ga a breeze. When taken apart, the spoon also serves as a small dish for your sauce. Brilliant!!

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An Eye On Design

Isn't this the coolest? l'm so very happy I came across this neat Eye Exam digital print by Joel Pirela, founder of Blue Ant Studio. I think it's a fun twist on the eye chart we all have come to know. The print is hand signed and dated by the artist. He has also designed other mod prints inspired by mid-century designers like Aalto, Saarinen and Eames. And if you think you're interested in getting your hands on one of his prints, you can get a random poster with your purchase — a limited time offer!

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