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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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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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Trendy Cardboard

Cardboard furniture and accessories have been in the eco-scene for some time, but it's now that this ecological trend is becoming more and more popular. The Valencia-based multidisciplinary design studio Sanserif Creatius —set up by the designer Ana Yago and journalist Jose Antonio Gimenez— specializes in the development of this kind of environment-friendly furniture and products. Their exclusive collection of 100% biodegradable corrugated cardboard pieces is very unique, drawing some inspiration from typography and Spain’s Moorish past, like their m-shaped “Mustafá” table (below).

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Help Japan

As human beings, we're all affected when tragedy strikes anywhere around the world. The horrible devastation after Friday's 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan has left many people in need of desperate help. Times likes these are when we need to come together and lend our helping hand to those less fortunate. To help in the relief efforts, different artists have graciously donated their talent to create these three meaningful and unique Help Japan posters. All the proceeds from the sales will be donated to benefit the Japanese disaster relief fund. The first poster by James White, above, is available at the Signalnoise Store.

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Elevate Your Plants

I'm so looking forward to the arrival of Spring next week, and I bet some of you are feeling the same way. It's been a long and dreary Winter. So in order for us to get in a Spring state-of-mind, I found these slick and colorful planters for your home. Made out of powder coated spun aluminum, the Walter planters feature five small holes for drainage making them ideal for any outdoor environment. Whether hung on a wall, from a tree or even standing tall among your beautiful perennials, the Walter planters give your green thumb an array of options to display this season's blooms. They're great for small delicate succulents, cactus, herbs, or lettuces. Are you loving them as much as I am? Ah, remember Daylight Saving Time resumes this weekend, so don't forget to set your clocks one hour ahead before going to bed tonight.

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Floating Globes

I'm always fascinated to learn how designers find their calling to do what they do. For Lindsey Adelman inspiration came when watching an industrial designer at the Smithsonian Institution carve French fries for a show. Right there and then, she knew industrial design was her thing. Her ongoing interest in combining the hand-crafted with the machine-made, the sensual with the practical, and the feminine with the masculine is a consistent trademark of her work. After years of working in mass production, Adelman decided to go back toward having a direct hand in the work and create a more exclusive product, hence giving life to her signature lighting collection featuring hand-blown glass globes and custom plated hardware. Crafted and assembled in her New York City studio, the Bubble Series includes two styles of chandeliers with either branching or stacking hardware, a sconce, and a floor light. I'm finding the whole collection unbelievably stunning, and the fact they're custom-made makes the design possibilities endless.

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Calm Balance

Remodeling an older home always comes with many challenges, especially when the space is broken up in several small rooms. Usually, they're dark, hard to navigate and don't agree with today's multifunctional needs. This was the problem interior designer Tomas Avila faced when asked to renovate this 2100 sq. ft. Madrid home. Of course, the first thing on his to do list was to knock down several of the dividing walls in order to open up the living space. However, he kept some privacy by erecting white wooded panels between the rooms, a very clever solution. As for the decor, Avila resorted to an eclecticism that mixes antiques, vintage furniture, 20th Century classics and pieces designed by him. His beautiful palette consists mostly of whites, ocher and metallics — a balanced trio that gives a soothing feeling to the space and prominence to the furniture. This flat is truly a flawless sanctuary to relax in. My favorite piece in this project is the elliptical chrome console designed by Avila that sits behind the couch... Love it!

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Reclaimed Thrones

Neato! Adam Barron, an Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati, created this super chic Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair from a steel rod frame and seatbelts he collected from a local junkyard. What started as a school project, ended wining him first prize at a contest which challenged participants to design a product using reclaimed auto parts. His design incorporates three of five Japanese design principles: humor, craftsmanship, compactness, asymmetry and simplicity. The chair is handmade in New York and, because of its nature, each chair is one-of-a-kind.

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Colorful Identity

For someone who's in constant search of storage solutions, I think I've found some of the coolest cabinets out there. They're the new members of the Collect Cabinet family designed by Swedish Design Studio A2.  They aim to create a new, young and brave brand that dares to realize interesting and a bit different ideas. They simply want to challenge the furniture world. I'm simply in love with their work for its strong identity and distinct almost-graphic expression. The patterned doors and the neon-like colors of the Collect 2011 cabinets make them pieces de resistance. But being a black and white fanatic, cabinet No. 24, named after the 24 white and dark grey fields in its doors, is one of my faves. The cabinet's size is about perfect, making it ideal for bedrooms, foyers or hallways. I wish I had the room in my apartment for one of these beauties (Big sigh)... Anyway, the impeccable craftsmanship of Studio A2 extends beyond cabinets, so take the time to check out their complete line of gorgeous furniture. Enjoy!

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