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The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from February 1, 2011 - February 28, 2011


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... 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!


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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New Destination: Eataly

Having people in from out of town always gives us a chance to explore a little deeper the wonders NYC has to offer. They usually come with a list of things to do, and for us its quite the opportunity to finally take the time to visit new places we've always wanted to check out (but didn't have the time to go). Our second stop of the day was Eataly (clever name, right?), the city's ultimate destination for food lovers to shop, taste and savor everything Italian. The 50,000 square-feet paradise houses several restaurants, a year-round rooftop beer garden, a cooking school and a retail market offering 700 exclusively Italian wines, 400 diverse varieties of regional Italian cheeses, the best fresh and dry pasta, fresh produce and many, many, many more yummy Italian delicacies. So if you're planning to pay this city a visit, I highly recommend putting Eataly on top of your list of places to go to. Or if you're a local, this is one of the new hits in town where to enjoy some great Italian delights. Of course, after having a wonderful lunch in La Pizza & Pasta restaurant, I couldn't stop myself and bought a divine Panettone and an exquisite Burrata cheese. Simply delish! Here is a mouth-watering sneak peek... Enjoy.

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Distorted Percerption

This weekend is quite special since we have the pleasure of having family visiting from out of town. And of course, we've been running around showing them some new cool places. The first spot on the agenda was this über fun coffee shop (that I had heard about) inspired by the nearby New York Public Library at Bryant Park and designed by Nemaworkshop. As we walked in D'Espresso, it felt as if we were in the middle of the set of the movie Inception or Alice in Wonderland as the place gives the impression of being turned on its side. The finish materials were inverted: the herringbone-patterned oak "flooring" becomes a wall, the bookshelf-printed tiles become the floor and ceilings and the lights on the "ceiling" protrude horizontally out from the wall behind the counter. The owner of the 500-square-foot coffee shop is planning to open other locations around Manhattan and other major cities, and the next one will be designed upside down. I can't wait to see how they manage to do that. Stay tuned for other new cool finds in the big city. BTW, the coffee was also worth the visit.

Would you like to win a fab Icelandic sheepsking? Go here.

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The New Man Cave

My, my, talk about shoebox living. When I came across this article in The New York Times, I couldn't help but share it with you. I was amazed by these tiny structures built by Derek Diedricksen, a former comic book writer who makes a living doing carpentry in Stoughton, Massachusetts. He builds these micro structures in his backyard using discarded materials like shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and scrapped kitchen cabinets from his neighbor, keeping his budget to under $200. “The $100 Homeless Hut” was the first structure he built to see if he could build a homeless shelter for under $100 (It measures a mere four sq. ft. at its base and is four feet tall). These are very unique alternatives for a man cave. Now, if you want to read the whole story on Derek and his wonderful microhouses, go here. BTW, if you haven't already done so, enter this week's giveaway here. You can win a beautiful eco-friendly Icelandic sheepskin. Happy Friday:)

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GIVEAWAY: Icelandic Sheepskin

I've been wanting to get my hands on a sheepskin for some time, and while browsing the net to find the right one I finally came across a very neat online store Black Sheep (white light). Isn't that a cool name? I immediately fell in love with their variety of tones and large scale — and thought you would too. You can check them out here. That's when I approached them to see if they were willing to participate in a giveaway for my beloved readers. Luckily, they agreed. So thanks to their generosity, a fortunate reader can win one of their fabulous eco-friendly Icelandic Sheepskin, valued at $129 (above). 

After reading what Black Sheep (white light) is all about, I liked them even more. Believe it or not, these Icelandic Sheepskins are eco-friendly as they're bio-degradable and tanned 
without using harmful chemicals. To be specific, these sheepskins meet strict EU directives concerning 
environmental preservation and protection. They're really one of a kind. BTW, their generosity goes beyond this giveaway, as part of the proceeds of every sheepskin sold goes to help the homeless. You can read more about their great cause here.

Sorry, but entries for this giveaway are no longer accepted. But as a consolation prize, Black Sheep (white light) has put the shorn white Icelandic Sheepskins on sale on their web shop — saving you $20 off the regular price until March 6th.

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A Visionary's Dream

This 1930 textile factory in the banks of the Rhine River (19 miles from Cologne, Germany) was brought to life, after almost disappearing in ruins, by visionary entrepreneur Tilman Paas. After falling in love with the property, he led the rehabilitation of the 300,000 square-feet complex. While the project was taking place, Paas installed an iron foundry and a carpentry shop in the smokestack to be able to tackle the larger jobs. Only 3,200 sq. ft. of the building was assigned for his living quarters, and the rest was allotted to offices, meeting rooms and a private space he rents to a friend. The access to the main house is through a polished iron gate that leads to the multilevel living space

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A Table To Inspire

Image © Gemma Comas

Last week I got a sweet email from one of my readers in search of some inspiration for table settings. She loves to entertain A LOT and is always looking for fresh ideas to style her tables. Luckily, she likes to mix things up - French, modern, floral… name it. It's funny she asked me since I also enjoy playing with my table settings. Although I'm more of a white-palette kind of guy, I often find myself advising clients to be adventurous when entertaining. I think it's always fun to have a variety of styles, shapes, colors, textures and heights to play with. Your tables should always reflect your style and it's ideal to start with a theme or inspiration — this will dictate the direction to take and give your table a cohesive look. So I've put together five themes to show you how imaginative you can get when dressing up your tables. Remember, it's always better to start with all your options and then edit down, but the key is to have a ball. So my dear Monica, I hope these vignettes will inspire you to let your creative juices flow. Happy entertaining!

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