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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Tokens of Love

Love is meant to be expressed all year round, but February 14th is the official day when love and friendship is celebrated around the world — Saudi Arabia being the exception. In most countries this special day is observed by exchanging gifts with your sweethearts, but others have different traditions. In Korea and Japan only the girls give presents to the guys on that day, and March 14th (know as White Day) is when the guys do the gifting. Did you know that in Japan the girls actually have the luxury of choosing their own gift? I'm sure most gals out there would love to do the same. So in case you haven't already bought a token of love for your honey, here are some cool ideas for your consideration. Hurry, only one week left!

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Eco-friendly Since Birth

I'm so psyched to see how green design is inspiring furniture companies to get behind the great concept of sustainability. The very innovative French company Castor & Chouca has come out with a high-end green collection of furniture from infants to juniors. They've worked together with pediatricians, nurses and mothers to create a line inspired by innovations in the medical field and futuristic design. The company uses sustainable raw materials such as bamboo, linen, organic cotton and recyclable components. I really like the versatility of the pieces and the multiple uses they have. They're really worth the investment as their idea is for the furniture to last and not to be thrown away —so your bambinos can grow up with them. They believe in a universe where ecology, health, security and well-being are inseparable. How cool is that?

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Hare It Is!

Image via Flickr

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we just started the year of the Rabbit. It's supposed to be a placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. Good taste and refinement will shine on everything, and for once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances. So, here's a collection of fun and chi-chi finds for your home that celebrate this adorable little creature. Happy Year of the Rabbit!!

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Size Does Not Matter

Living in tight spaces has its challenges. You have to be clever about how to use your limited square footage and make it functional for your needs. Malena Georgieva, a Bulgarian import, only had a little over 200 square feet to work with. Can you imagine? Her tiny fourth-floor studio apartment located a few steps from the Dakota (one of the most iconic buildings in NYC and former home of John Lennon), only has enough room for a bed, a desk, a dining table and couple of chairs. As an aspiring artist and interior designer, Malena put her creative talent in designing and decorating her petite pad —much needed talent when working on a budget not much bigger than her place.

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Royally Exquisite

For me Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and it would be perfect to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day in this glorious metropolis. Of course, staying at the newly renovated Le Royal Monceau would the cherry on the cake. Its amazing transformation, by the hands of no other than Philippe Starck, has everybody talking. Although we can see his signature quirky style throughout, Starck still managed to maintain the sophistication of this historic hotel. The grand and luxe ambiance of the hotel welcomes la crème de la crème from around the world. Starting at 780 Euros a night, the rooms are ingrained with glamour and effervescence — and I'm sure for those who can afford it, a stay here would be quite the treat.

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Straight To The HeART

I consider myself a very crafty person and love everything handmade. I'm always delighted to see how others use their creativity to transform everyday materials into something unexpected and beautiful. When I stumbled upon these lovely heart pieces in Bloesem I was immediately seduced by them, especially by their sculptural vive. These personalized handmade Hearts are the creation of Brit artist Veronika, founder of the design studio Sarah & Bendrix. The funny thing is that it all started with a piece she made for a friend as a wedding present and everyone started asking about the artist...and the rest is history. You can tell she puts a lot of love, care and attention in each one of her creations. I'm telling you, one of these little treasures will make a super Valentine's Day gift for that special someone in your life.

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My top 10: Loveseats

Image by Mel Yates

The month of love and friendship has arrived and what better way to start celebrating it than by cuddling up with your sweetheart in one of these darlings. The loveseat, also known as settee or British two-seater, is a very versatile piece of furniture that can be used in most rooms around the house. In cases where square footage is modest, one of these cozy two-seaters is the perfect alternative for a couch — plus it secures an intimacy that a couch cannot. Remember that two's company and three's a crowd.

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A Pad with Multiple Personalities

Have you ever wondered how your place would look like decorated in different styles? Well, that's the idea behind this project by interior designers Berta Cayuso and Astrid van Roy. They decorated one apartment in three distinct styles —contemporary, romantic and minimalist— consistent with today's trends and lifestyles.

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