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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Clock Wise

Here's to a passionate duo of woodworking and design professionals who work from home to create these one-of-a-kind time pieces. Everything started with one small and unforgettable clock, but as they became inundated with requests to make more, they decided to start their little Toronto-based enterprise known as Clockeee. Made of durable birch plywood with water-based lacquer stain, they have created four different collections: Industrial, Summer, Zen and the most recent, Life. Clokeees are fully customizable to your needs and made with the environment in mind. Neato!

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One With The Environment

Three thousand miles is quite the distance to travel to get to your summer house. But for the owners of this dreamy Nova Scotia cottage it's certainly worth it. Their inspiration for the 2,400-square-feet shingled cottage came from local barns with a nod to the spare Scandinavian aesthetic and obviously the outdoors. Eliot and Alexandra Angles, both interior designers from Los Angeles, based their color palette on the land and sky with ten different shades of blue, gray and green. I'm in awe of their delightful mix of furniture styles, with pieces coming from Europe, vintage shops from the region and even a neat end table Elliot made for their bedroom out of driftwood found on the beach. It really doesn't take much to see how seamlessly the interiors of this house blend in with its beautiful surroundings. I take my hat off to the Angles for creating such a peaceful and magical getaway. Applause please!

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A Wall is Born

In my line of work, I'm constantly exposed to new and interesting materials and finishes for the home. There are so many out there it's hard to keep track. One that I've been using in some of my projects with excellent results, and have fallen madly in love with, is this modern embossed three-dimensional wall covering by Inhabit. They're lightweight wall tiles that work together through an automatic pattern repeat to create large-scale dimensional walls of any size and shape. I find it to be a great solution to dress up any dull wall in a home. They automatically, and without much effort, add some character and spark to the room. For the longest time, I've been dying to bring this project home and use it on a brick wall which I've wanted to revamp for a while. It was hard to choose from all the patterns they offer, but since I wanted to somehow maintain the feeling of brick, I chose the Seesaw pattern. So I rolled up my sleeves, and with the help of my best friend Luis, we embarked on the perfect weekend project. The result: a slicker and modern brick wall. What do you think? To me, it's the best example of decorating to your heart's content. You can see how it turned out after the jump. 

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Neo-rustic chic

Maintaining the charm of a countryside vacation was the motor that drove the renovation of this delicious villa in Palmela, Portugal (near Lisbon), under the talented hand of interior designer and owner of Poeira, Monica Penaguião. She combined the agricultural origins of the house with relaxed sophistication and striking simplicity. Her use of color and textures is masterful, using soft white as a canvas. Monica is a designer after my own heart who pays exquisite attention to details. Probably the smallest room in the house, the bathroom, is one of the most surprising spaces in this neo-rustic chic home. The unexpected use of elements, like the velvet chair and colored toilet paper rolls, is quite dashing. I don't know about you, but I can see myself lounging by the pool of this precious Portuguese cottage.

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Pink Swan

“The Swan chair is a perfect mix of organic modernism and pop art and my goal in this design was to address both of those qualities by making a poppy allusion to the female form,” says Jonathan Adler of the inspiration for his Pink Swan project chair. SUITE New York has invited nineteen world-renowned designers to create a personalized version of Arne Jacobsen's iconic Swan chair for the second installment of the project. The chairs will be auctioned off on October 1-31, 2011 on with proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. What a fun project for such a great cause. Here are some of my faves.

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A Show Stopper

This 1930s hunting lodge in Wilton, Connecticut, has been gorgeously transformed into a contemporary home by Amsterdam’s UXUS Design firm. While maintaining the classic American style and paying homage to the heritage of this 2,339 square-feet house, the designers used an unexpected fusion of American and European design inspired by rustic luxury. The lodge is filled with fun and amazing pieces like my all time favorite Dear Ingo lamp by Moooi (in white) in the foyer. The colors used are soft and quiet, except for the deliberate injection of orange to add some spark to the space. Altogether, this chic hunting lodge is most definitely a show stopper! Don't you agree?

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Color Fest

I love traveling. Besides getting away to relax, visit new places and experience other cultures, for me it's a great source of inspiration. One of the things that caught my eye in my recent trip to Isla Mujeres, a little island off the coast of Mexico, is how Mexicans are not afraid of color. To the contrary, they embrace it and make it part of their everyday life. Everywhere I would turn there was an explosion of bright and happy hues of orange, yellow, pinks, blues, greens and so on. Here are some pictures of my island travels to give you a taste of this wonderful color fest. Enjoy!

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A Small Parisian Jewel

As you know, good things come in small packages, like this 540 square-feet Parisian flat designed by interior architects Manuel and Agnes Bonnemazou Cambus from Element. The original layout was compartmentalized and poorly distributed, the reason why the two roommates who share the pad sought professional guidance to help them maximize their tiny space. Every inch of the apartment has been optimized by incorporating custom storage that keeps the pad clutter-free and only leaves the essential objects visible. Color was also key in making the apartment look more spacious. With a palette ranging from purple and blue to gray and taupe, the designers played with contrast to create depth. Another neat solution was to divide the living and sleeping areas by raising the hallway floor. Like I always say, space should never stop you from living très chic. Happy weekend :)

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