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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from January 1, 2011 - January 31, 2011


A Pad with Multiple Personalities

Have you ever wondered how your place would look like decorated in different styles? Well, that's the idea behind this project by interior designers Berta Cayuso and Astrid van Roy. They decorated one apartment in three distinct styles —contemporary, romantic and minimalist— consistent with today's trends and lifestyles.

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Daring Inspiration

This tall, dark and handsome pad is quite the catch. The charcoal walls seamlessly unify every single room creating a dramatic and bold statement. Although they used very bright and contrasting colors, the ambiance is quite serene. I love their clever and whimsical use of accessories. You can say the decor is somewhat minimalist, but every piece used in this home certainly has personality. But my all time favorite is the bookshelf wallpaper and how it was used to emphasize the height of the lofty living area. How about that wire-framed lamp shade?

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My Top 10: Eco Totes

Image via Deborah MacLeanc

On my first visit to Paris, the City of Lights had me at “hello”. I remember everything being monumentally beautiful, the people dashing and the food to die for. But as the trip progressed, one thing struck a chord: every Parisian would waltz out of the supermarché carrying these fabulous and trendy shopping totes that were not your typical plastic sacs we were used to in the States. After a couple of days, I knew I had to get my hands on at least one. The curiosity was killing me. But my friend, whom I was staying with, filled me in on the scoop. Apparently, this phenomenon of eco-friendly, reusable shopping totes we are now seeing in the U.S. had been the norm in the Old Continent for a while. Go figure

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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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Showing The Love

Pssst, have you heard about The Homies Awards? It's a way for the great Apartment Therapy to discover, share and honor the best shelter blogs out there. It's not quite a competition, but a way of surveying the blogosphere for the best new home design blogs and sharing them with everyone. And it's also their way of celebrating the richness and awesomeness of shelter bloggers around the globe. Looking at the nominees from last year, I'd be lying if I said that I woudn't be extremely honored and thrilled if The Designer Pad ended up on this year's list. But the only way to get there is to have my lovely readers nominate my blog. Here's what you can do by following these three easy steps:

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A Barn's New Life

This past weekend I spent a couple of wonderful and very relaxing days in the countryside, away from the hazle that comes from living in NYC. Every time we have the chance to go, we can't help but think when we'll be able to fulfill our longtime dream of transforming an old, rickety barn into our own weekend retreat. So when I came across this amazing jewel, I couldn't resist posting about it. This old barn in the Netherlands was transformed into a gorgeous family home by Dutch architects Maxwan. They made the owners very happy by giving them what they were longing for: a large kitchen/living room area for them to relax, entertain friends and host wine tasting parties for their customers. What I find interesting about the project is how they chose to invert the layout of the house, converting this old barn into their private quarters and moving their office and storage space into what used to be their living space  —a total 1300 square-feet of blissful living space.

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In The Swing of Things

It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in New Hope, PA, where I'm spending the weekend with friends. But before we start our daily excursion into town, I want to share this little piece of jewelry I found for your home. The Swing Necklace, by German interior designer Johanna Richter, is an adorable handmade swing that serves as extra sitting and a conversation piece in any room. How fun is this? You have two choices: beechwood and and wool felt. And it's 10-feet length can be adjusted to your needs. I know, you're probably wondering if this gem is steady enough, but don't worry, it has two strong hangers with doubled pressed aluminium shells to make you feel safe.

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