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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from August 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012



Once you fall head-over-heels in love with color, there's no going back. At least that's the case for design-centric Bradford Shellhammer, founder and chief designer of His upstate New York weekend home is a Technicolor projection of his ardent passion for a bright color palette. This fun-filled early 1960's country house is the perfect getaway from his busy online retail job. His wonderful collection of mid-century furniture, artwork and chachkies come mostly from his own You can say he is a very satisfied customer.

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No matter which home decorating style you fancy, it's all about how much of YOU is reflected in your nest. Undoubtedly, this 900 square-feet home shows lots of special touches from owner Benedikte Ugland. Her passion for photography and interior design is present in every nook as lovely details that exude personality. I'm particularly crushing on the impromptu chandelier in the kitchen, made with six different hanging bulbs wrapped around a pole she commissioned to a blacksmith. The mix of concrete, industrial accessories and flea market finds gives this home a lived-in feel that's really charming and inviting.

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I'm not really feeling blue, but blue was the main color I chose when I started staging this apartment a couple of months age. It's important to narrow a color palette before starting any decorating project, whether it's renovating, staging or simply sprucing up a room. The challenge here was to make a few square feet look larger and welcoming within a tight budget. In this case, the living area was right next to the kitchen, so I needed to create a separation of both spaces. By painting the wall behind the couch but leaving a white border, I was able to create a visual separation for the living room—a trick that I often use and works wonders. I was lucky this place had somewhat high ceilings, which helped make the rooms appear larger. So I decided to take advantage of this and add some drama to the bedroom by using a tall tufted headboard. Since I couldn't find one tall enough, I created one by framing wallpaper with a tufted print to achieve the same look. It really came out great. Remember, keeping it simple and telling a visual story are two rules to keep in mind when working with smaller spaces.

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The best thing about having Chinese food, besides enjoying a delish Asian fare, is cracking that fortune cookie at the end of the meal to find words of wisdom or those lucky numbers that will make us lotto winners (if only). These adorable porcelain interpretations, by Aleksandra Pollner in collaboration with Object, have fortunes written by a psychic working from the Seattle area and soon by a celebrity near you. They can be used a beautiful accessories on a coffee table or can broken to find out the message inside. How cute are they?

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A gem of a city, Stockholm is truly magical. The fact that it spreads out over 14 islands makes it a stunning setting and a unique place to visit. I immediately fell in love with it and left with the a strong desire to go back. There was much to see and do, that five days were not enough—especially with over 80 museums and attractions. For Swedes design is not a luxury but a lifestyle that comes natural and effortless. There isn't a spot in the Swedish capital that's not touched by that wonderful Scandinavian style. I can only imagine what the rest of the country looks like. Here are some photos of my visit to prove my point. Happy Sunday!

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If there's one thing I'm guilty about, it's not getting around to sharing my travel pictures soon after my trips. It usually takes me a few weeks to actually sit down and go through all my photos. It's not because I don't want to, but mostly because of the lack of time. Between my projects and my everyday errands, I barely have time left in the day to getting around to do it. So after threats from my friends and family, I felt the need to carve a few minutes off my weekend and edit. Here is a small sampling of some of my favorite shots of my Copenhagen visit. From a stunning boutique dressing room (above) to unexpected furniture finds, the Danish capital is full of beautiful vignettes worth a snapshot. Enjoy!

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Living in limited square footage forces you to think of ways of cheating the eye to make the space look larger. Paint is one of the easiest ways to accomplishing this. Designer Caroline Gomez uses colors to define different areas in this French apartment, adding a few extra visual feet to this charming home. Her secret is to never paint an entire room in the same color, but strategically chooses a wall, or parts of it, to paint and create a sense of separation. For her, color is the perfect ally to establish a mood in a room and tell a story. By the way, how sweet is her color palette? I'm not much into pastels, but I totally love the color scheme she chose for this nest. I'm also feeling her “slow design” style where natural materials and pure forms are key.

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Organization has always been my weakness, well more like my obsession. That's why when I saw these neatly arranged kitchen drawers I felt in heaven. Undoubtedly, these are drawers for any design lover. The color-coordinated drawers display utensils from Normann Copenhagen's Fall line of kitchen gadgets, known for their great balance between form and function. I've always been a huge fan of their products, more so after visiting their flagship store in Copenhagen—it was like walking into a design paradise.

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