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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from February 1, 2013 - February 28, 2013



Please don't think I've abandoned you, but between a load of new projects and a nasty cold that hit me right before I left to help my dear friends with their wedding, I haven't had a moment to fulfill my blogging duties. The good news: I'm feeling better and back in action. So having just arrived from sunny Florida, where color abounds, I felt this bright and happy London apartment was the perfect inspiration for the day. Formerly a carpenter’s studio, this charming rental property was designed by Jack Mama and Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama. All the wood and streamline design gives this pad a wonderful Scandinavian vibe—just with the right amount of color splashes to make any stay quite cozy. It's the ideal lodging alternative for those who want to feel like a local.

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The iconic Stool 60 is celebrating it's 80th birthday. Designed by architect Alvar Alto in 1933, the 20th-century design classic is the number one seller of Artek's products and one of the most recognizable designs around the world. To commemorate the special occasion, the Finnish product company commissioned a handful of architects and designers to create a limited-edition stool. My favorite interpretations are Rings (above) by Japanese designer Nao Tamura and the whimsical depiction by Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme Des Garcons, with black polka dots.

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I've always dreamt of a having a big, spacious kitchen where I can do some serious cooking and baking without having to worry about making a mess. Not that I'm a messy person, but when working in a space-challenged kitchen it's hard to keep things that neat. I've fallen head-over-hills in love with the openness and serenity of this stunning kitchen. It's a beautiful mix of materials and styles. I especially like that it was designed without upper cabinets—a trend that I'm seeing more and more. To be honest, the rest of the place is quite a charmer too. But if you're wondering who the lucky dwellers are, wonder no more. This space it's actually a studio in a restored Victorian house in SE London. No wonder!

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If there's one thing I miss most living in the Big Apple is S-P-A-C-E! As you know square footage doesn't come cheap in this city. Living in just 500 square feet has helped me realize the importance of scale when designing a room. Of course, after seeing this magnificent loft located in the heart of Florence I can't help but have a bit of space envy. Do you blame me? Florence-based Studio q-bic converted the attic of a 19th century industrial building into the “Pallets Loft”—a home worth drooling for. One of the features I can't get enough of is their clever use of palettes (hence its name) in such unexpected ways. I'm amazed how cool they look as a kitchen island as well as in the bathroom as a vanity. How inventive!

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There's nothing like walking around the Big Apple taking in all the wonderful inspiration this city displays. Each neighborhood has its own flavor but still in keeping with that captivating New York vibe we can't get enough of. I know that's why I'm totally crushing on these illustrations by New York based graphic designer Jose Guizar. The Windows of New York project is his way of fostering his obsession with this magical Mecca. In his own words it is “a product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up”. How cool is that? These are not all. You must click over to Jose's cool website to enjoy the rest of these wonderful renderings.

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I always find that the simpler the object is, the more beautiful its design tends to be. Take for instance this minimalist Clamp Lamp designed by Swedish architect Andreas Martin-Löf. By simply using off-the-shelf lighting parts and attaching them to a handmade metal clamp, Andreas created a wonderfully cool and stylish table lamp. I'm telling you, it's all in the craftsmanship and details. I'd say this is my crush of the week.

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I'm all for mixing decorative styles, as long as they complement each other to make the best of a home. This charming Stockholm apartment is a perfect example of this, where a variety of styles come together beautifully. As a big fan of the IKEA's aesthetic and innovation, I'm glad to see how well the owners have managed to seamlessly incorporate different pieces from the Swedish famed brand into their eclectic decor—making them their own by adding personal touches. The secret is in the balance between the new and the old and not limiting yourself to one specific style. Be daring and listen to your creative side.

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Did you already buy your Valentine's gift? If not , I might have the perfect thing to show your sweetheart how much you love them. These fun giclée LOVE prints by London-based artist Luzelle van der Westhuizen are a lovely gift for that special someone in your life. They're printed in the UK on archival quality paper.

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