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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in small spaces (26)


A Pad of Many Folds

There is nothing traditional or predictable about this space. And that's exactly why I fell in love with it and had the urge to write about its incredible design. While looking for the genius behind the project, I was happy to find out it was G&R Studio, one of my favorite Spanish architectural firms. Hector Ruiz-Velazquez and Javier Garcia worked hand in hand to create this out-of-the-box conceptual space. As you come in, you're greeted by a white origami-like structure that starts turning like a piece of paper running through the whole 530 square feet. This wooden centerpiece is so cleverly designed that it leaves open the living spaces and gives the necessary privacy to the bedroom and bathroom. It also encases the staircase to the second floor where the bedroom is located.

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Living In 500 Sq. Feet • The Kitchen 

For the first time last week, our pint-sized one bedroom apartment debuted in YHL. The response was overwhelmingly positive with lots and lots of compliments. People were amazed how we managed to stretch the 500 square-feet we live in, and make the most out every single inch. The questions were many, but what most people asked about was the floor plan to help them visualize the layout. That's when I came up with the idea of this series through which I'll be sharing with you juicy details about how we maximized the space we have — and to prove the point that small living can be beautiful.

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A Retreat on Wheels

I'm not much into camping or have ever experienced a caravan trip, but after seeing this adorable and über chic camper, this vacationing concept has a new meaning for me. This amazing creation was born from the collaboration between the Spanish company Caravanolic and the interior design firm Viceversa. What started as a one-time project, rapidly became a bigger production of designer caravans, converting them into very personal and unique spaces for a very stylish traveler.

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No Clutter, Please

The owner of a cleaning company in New York, Barbara Roche Fierman, lives in this small flat in the East Village designed by Oskar Torres. Her company, New York's Little Elves, often does show houses and cleans after multimillion dollar apartments that have been renovated by some of the most recognized interior designers in the city. After having raised her kids, she wanted to have a paired-down place. She went as far as taking the stove out of her kitchen because she feels burners are ugly — even the shelves are half full to avoid clutter. The whole apartment is all white since she wanted a “light neutral color that was totally non demanding” of her attention. After many years, Ms. Fierman has realized that objects are not worth worrying about. Living only with what is necessary is her motto. I guess that's key when having a small place

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A ceramic affair

Yes, I know I'm a junkie when it comes to crisp white interiors, result of my obsession with cleanliness (and no, I didn't have to pay a therapist for this diagnosis). But in this case what captivated me about this glorious space is that the architect, Héctor Ruiz-Velázquez, used ceramic tiles as the leading element in this project — hence the name Ceramic House. His idea was to create a continuous space and to have unobstructed flow between the open rooms and different levels. The layout of this attic apartment in Madrid maximizes space to perfection, creating a roomy and luminous space to relax in. One of my favorite things about this home is the love affair between the cold ceramic tiles and the warmth and richness of the wooden décor — what a perfect romance!

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Contain yourself

Some of the massive freight containers that pollute our landscape every time we drive by any of our country's many ports, are now seeing better days. They're being recycled into very affordable and innovative living spaces. Container architecture is becoming a hot trend. From having a lonesome purpose in life, these dreadful steel boxes are now becoming small homes, vacation cabins, business and even multi-unit buildings. It's an eco-friendly and a very flexible option to build.

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Now you see it, now you don't

People are living in smaller and smaller spaces, especially here in the Big Apple where square footage is a luxury. Most New Yorkers live in very small apartments and have to be extremely creative to make their space work for them — especially those living in studios. Having guests is a sure thing for those of us living in Gotham, but having a guest room is not often a option. This is why we always have to be in the lookout for smart solutions that will make our lives a little easier

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A simple solution

This clever and super functional wall rack is a very easy solution to store your bike and still make it look good. The Cycloc, designed by Andrew Lang, was the winner of the Consumer Product Design of the Year award. The intelligent design allows you to store your bike either vertically or horizontally and gives you four colors to choose from. And I love the fact that it's made out of 100% recycled post-industrial plastic. It's perfect for small pads.