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UNDECORATE
The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 

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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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Thursday
Mar032011

GIVEAWAY: Granite Cheese Board

Do you love to entertain? I do, and one of the things I enjoy the most is looking for different ways of presenting my hors d'oeuvres. These one-of-a-kind granite boards, created by Roman Borisenko in North Carolina, are a great and unique way to serve them. Being an environmentally conscious guy, Roman uses repurposed pieces of beautiful and unused granite slabs with his growing collection of wine corks to create these very special cheese platters. The cool thing about a granite board (no pun intended), is that it will keep your cold appetizers chilled for a longer period of time — especially if you refrigerate it before using it.

(Drum roll) Roman is graciously giving one fortunate reader the chance to win one of his lovely granite boards (pictured above). He is also offering a 15% discount to all of you when purchasing any of his boards at his Etsy shop and entering the special code DESIGNER15OFF. So let's give Roman, and his wife Aleksandra, a round of applause for this fantastic freebie. Thanks guys!

Sorry, but entries for this giveaway are no longer accepted.

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Wednesday
Mar022011

Effortless Elegance

This 1930s flat in Bilbao, Spain, was redesigned to open up the space and create a more flexible layout. One of the owners' main goal was to maximize the light throughout the entire apartment and take advantage of the panoramic views of the city. Integrating the original style of the apartment with the newly designed space became one of the challenges since the designers wanted to avoid harsh contrasts. In order to make it work, they resorted to the use of white in the walls, floors and woodwork. The interior designers Fran Ugarte and Iñaki Cuesta created a contemporary and informal look by employing a loose mix of styles and materials: solid wood, iron and stone. Based on a successful marriage of odd pieces with remarkable taste, vintage furniture, heirlooms and classic mid-century pieces live happily together in this space. I can't get over the effortless look and casual feeling of this charming pad, and no doubt, with a definite personality

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Tuesday
Mar012011

Recyclable Sophistication

Earth-conscious products have come a long way when it comes to design. What used to be very basic and generic-looking items like disposable plates, are now beautiful paper tableware. Thanks to the Wasara Collection, there is no excuse for not having a stylish table when you don't want to deal with dirty dishes. This line of single-use, biodegradable pieces is made with the aesthetics and sensibility of Japanese design. All 14 pieces in the line are sturdy and suitable for cold or hot (though not boiling) foods and beverages, and are oil- and water-resistant. In order to minimize environmental waste, Wasara uses tree-free renewable and fully biodegradable materials such as sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp, representing their spirit of living in harmony with nature. There is no doubt that this graceful and irresistible collection of disposable tableware (that you can buy here) will add special sophistication to any casual gathering. Picnics and barbecues will never be the same.

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Monday
Feb282011

And The Icelandic Sheepskin Goes To...

Before I announce the lucky winner of this gorgeous Icelandic Sheepskin, I would like to thank all the readers who entered this fab giveaway. I also want to express my gratitude to Black Sheep (white light) for partnering with TheDesignerPad to bring you this contest. As a consolation prize, they have put the shorn white Icelandic Sheepskins on sale on their web shop — saving you $20 off the regular price until the end of this week.

Ok, so now to the moment you've been waiting for... Random.org has picked comment number 13 to be the lucky number, making LUIS from New York, the lucky person to be taking the eco-friendly Icelandic Sheepskin home. Luis feels “it would look great on his couch, especially now with the new slip cover. It would add that special touch”. Congrats, Luis and good luck with your new sheepskin. BTW, for those who weren't lucky this time, you'll have another chance to win another fab freebie later this week... Stay tuned!

Monday
Feb282011

Lost City Found

If you're a Mid-Century design aficionado, Lost City Arts is a recently found treasure to drool about. Established in 1982, this mod emporium is recognized internationally as a leading source of restored and original 20th century design furniture, lighting and accessories. Its owner, James Elkind, travels around the globe in a hunt for dashing gems to sell in his Manhattan shop. Named “Best Mid-Century Modern Furniture” by New York Magazine, the fabulous “City” is truly the place to discover unique and rare pieces. I really had a blast navigating throughout their fantastic collection. So here's a sampling of what you can expect to find in their impressive showroom.

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