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Thursday
Mar102011

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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Wednesday
Mar092011

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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Tuesday
Mar082011

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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Monday
Mar072011

Ready to Entertain

Congratulations to Katie, the lucky winner of this fab blue granite cheese board by EcoStone. Her favorite way to entertain is to have a tie-in to her favorite charity, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She will often ask everyone to pitch in and make a contribution in their honor, or they'll do a little craft project or activity for all of the cancer-stricken kids at St. Jude. It is a lovely way to combine philanthropy and a great time. So Katie, kudos on your win and your kind heart. Keep up the benevolent entertaining!

 

Monday
Mar072011

Colonial a La Mode

Here's yet another fine example where fashion meets hospitality. The renowned Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi has partnered with CF Hospitality to develop the first Tcherassi Hotel + Spa in dreamy Cartagena, Colombia. As owner and designer, she believes the hotel project is a natural expression of her creative vision where she's been able to put into practice her earlier studies in interior design. “Fashion and hospitality are both businesses totally committed to the creation of new experiences and new sensations; trying to awaken the inner senses of each person whether through a new style of clothes or a perfect state in a beautiful environment,” explains Tcherassi. Drawing inspiration from her past fashion collections, Tcherassi was able to transform a magnificent 250-year-old colonial mansion in the heart of this seaside town into an inviting and very serene oasis. The seven unique rooms and suites reflect her eclectic and unique style. Her exquisite attention to details and luxe finishes happily coexist with the house's old colonial bones — the use of clothing labels on the bedding makes this retreat very fashionable.

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Sunday
Mar062011

Always A Fresh Hair Day

In my search for new and fun ideas to share with you today, I came across these hilarious pots designed by Good in the Republic of Kazakhstan. These ‘Facepots’ can be a fun alternative to picture frames, giving your portraits an amusing twist — and a funky hairdo. But if you're worried your prints might get damaged by water and/or humidity, don't. They're sealed between the basic white pot and transparent protective layer to keep them nice and dry. Aren't these witty? BTW, you have until 8 pm EST tonight to enter this week's GIVEAWAY :)

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Saturday
Mar052011

Weekend Fun

Pssst! I just got the perfect thing for you to make your weekend even more delicious. The Spring issue of Sweet Paul Webazine just came out and it's full of fun and yummy goodies. For the first time, Paul has dedicated the entire issue to kids. From delicious everyday food recipes for the whole family to white-and-gray crafty projects for Easter, your eyes will have a feast with its gorgeous photography. And if you happen to have kids, it's the perfect magazine to share with them as it's filled with witty ideas from cover to cover. Here's a sneak peek of what to expect. Enjoy the eye candy, and have a fantastic and relaxing weekend!

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Friday
Mar042011

A Cave With a View

I've often wondered how people lived back in the Stone Age, and how comfortable their dwelling might have been. I think that was the idea behind the magnificent and intriguing Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita hotel. Located in the village of Matera, in southern Italy, the hotel is based on the owner's concept of total immersion, where all 18 rooms are located inside the Sassi caves themselves. They were very clever in keeping the integrity of the caves intact by using the original architectural materials from the area, disguising the use of modern technology and maintaining the new design to a minimum. The decor of the rooms is very basic using plain furniture built out of recycled materials, yet keeping the rural historic tradition through colors, textures and scents identified with the area. Where elements needed to be added to bring in modern ammenities —such as bathrooms which didn't exist in the original structure— they felt a minimalist approach was best suited. Their philosophy was not to betray the ‘soul’ of the building, but to preserve the caves' rural heritage. I guess Prehistoric men might have never left their caves with these kind of accommodations. I definitely have to put this place on my list of places to stay.

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