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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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A Jewel From the 50's

This magnificent and spacious flat in the center of Barcelona is a classic example of the great architecture from the 50's. Such style was the inspiration for the team of interior designers Patrizia Casarini and Mónica Colominas, who decided to keep most of the apartment's features intact. The only drastic change was made in the kitchen, where they combined three different areas and transformed them into a modern and more efficient area. The mix of styles, furniture and colors is splendid — they flow harmoniously throughout the many rooms. The designers also chose to use curtains in the same tone of the walls and trims in order to visually expand the space. I love how they showcased a variety of textures and fabrics: from plain canvas, rich damask and velvets to unexpected furs. But for me, the highlight of this pad is the oversized artwork, behind the orange Louis XV settee, depicting the back of a matador. It's to die for.

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Save It From A Rainy Day

As we get ready to enjoy our outdoor spaces and take care of our plants and blooms, it's important to be conscious about water conservation. To help us in this effort, young Dutch designer Bas van der Veer has created a rainwater collection system that plugs right into your downspouts, providing a watering can that fills up automatically when it rains. The Raindrop Mini, inspired by a drop of water, was designed specifically to be used on balconies and in small gardens. We all know recycling rainwater is a simple way of reducing household water consumption, so this genius system makes it easy for city dwellers to store and reuse rainwater in urban environments.

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A Splash of Spring

Today I'm heading back home from a few days in Miami where the weather was absolutely dreamy. It was nice to trade jackets and gloves for sunglasses and shorts — a much needed break from a long and cold New York Winter. This change of scenery, and weather, made me look forward to the warmer days of Spring. So what better way to welcome this joyful season than with these inspiring and stunning images from the amazing portfolio of photographer Johnny Miller. The use of color in his imagery is uplifting and beautiful. It's like a breath of fresh air. 

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The Cat's Meow

Even though I'm a dog person, I understand a cat lover's need to have stylish furniture and accessories for his or her pet. I've been noticing a trend where designers are paying more attention to our four-legged friends. Loyal Lux, by a Canadian duo of industrial designers, was born out of the idea that petfurniture and products needed to be different. The Cat Teepee (above) and the Canadian Cabin for fluffy little critters are two of their imaginative creations made of 100% recycled cardboard.

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Living Out of a Box

I don't know about you, but I don't like moving. Although I've moved quite a bit throughout my life, I like staying put in one place and enjoying my home for a while. But if you're the kind of person who's on the move all the time and tired of living out of packing boxes, I just found the perfect thing for you. The Caluso Concept gives people the flexibility and mobility to change residence without the hassle of packing and unpacking. It's a complete set of room furniture which can be set up (without any tools) in less than ten minutes and later disassembled and repacked in a whim. Believe it or not, the 31.5” by 47.2” box includes a wardrobe, a large desk/table, a separate cabinet with locking drawers, a revolving and height-adjustable desk chair, two stools, a single bed with a mattress and a tall set of shelves. But if you're concerned about storage, the stools and the desk drawers of the desk cabinet also double as additional storage containers. Quite unbelievable!

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Floating In Style

One of the first things I remember catching my attention when I visited Amsterdam last October was the amount of houseboats along the city's winding canals. They're very coveted real estate and they vary in style. I've always had the idea that houseboat living was casual and free, but after finding the very slick De Omval houseboat I'm starting to change my mind. The challenge for Dutch Studio +31Architects was to design a boat with an open floor plan that would allow their clients to enjoy the views of the Amstel River and the outdoor space to a maximum. They wanted all the charm that comes with living on the water but with a stylish design to meet their modern needs — not the typical houseboat they were used to. I've never considered living on a houseboat, but I have to admit this one might do it for me. It is absolutely flawless.

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Seeing The Potential

To continue with the flea market theme from yesterday's post, I want to share with you a wonderful story I spotted (and loved) in Dwell magazine. Christiane Högner is a German furniture designer living in Brussels who, like me, thrives on finding things in flea markets and on the street to give them a new lease on life. Högner embodies the saying “someone's trash is someone else's treasure.” She's the queen of repurposing old and found objects and giving them unexpected uses. My favorite piece in her apartment is the All for One shelves (above) that is made of a metal frame and holds colorful old plastic crates —used to transport croissants and loaves of bread— as drawers. I love her way of thinking and her sense social responsibility. The metal frame of this storage piece is made in a workshop that employs mentally-challenged individuals.

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Drab To Fab: Console Table

Part of being an interior designer is always being on the lookout for great finds, whether new or with great potential of becoming something wonderful. On a recent trip to one of my favorite places in the city to spot treasures —and after a couple of rounds through the flea market— I encountered this Country French-inspired console table in need of some love. Of course, I couldn't resist and ended up buying it since I already knew the perfect place in my apartment where to put it

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