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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from July 1, 2011 - July 31, 2011


A Funky-Chic Retreat

Two of my favorite designers happen to work side by side creating über fun and unexpected interiors. Courtney and Robert Novogratz, founders of Sixx Design, are a hip and artsy couple known for conceiving sumptuous and well-designed spaces, while juggling seven children and dozens of clients. Their funky-chic style is characterized by their striking aesthetic and amazing use of details. One of the ways the Novograts break away from their busy lifestyle is by escaping to their country retreat, or as they call it the anti-NYC. Every time they pull up to the house, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the yellow shutters are a sunny reminder for them to leave the stress of everyday life behind. This home not only reflects their fun personalities but also their true design imprint. Their mix of styles, textures and artwork is what makes their signature design brand unique. They're on a constant hunt for new pieces, refurbishing vintage ones and creating original furniture and home goods when they can't find the right look in the market place. If you want to see this creative duo in action, you can do it by tuning in to their new TV show, Home by Novogratz on HGTV. It's a lot of fun!

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Welcoming Ideas

via InteriorConnector

Today, the web is one the most important tools for interior designers as it gives us amazing accessibility to resources and new products from around the world. In my daily browsing, I came across Interior Connector, a phenomenal site where you can find the most unique, brilliant, exciting and of-the-moment collections of furnishings, and more. It is a hub where we can find inspiration, discover the newest undercover sources and get the latest industry news. A cool feature Interior Connector offers is an array of articles by talented designers, trendsetters and tastemakers lending design tips and highlighting the latest trends. One that caught my attention is a piece on foyers and entryways by Robyn and Sara Karp, a mother-daughter design team from New York. Here's what they have to say about this important part of the home:

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Stay Tuned

One of my favorite European destinations has to be Berlin for its history, creative vibe and the mix of the old with the new. Also known for its cutting edge music and culture scene, the German capital is an international epicenter for design. Walking down the street, you can't help but notice all the cool and modern architectural structures juxtaposed with the old Berlin. One of the most recent additions to the skyline is the nhow Berlin, Europe's first music hotel. Located directly on the banks of the river Spree, the hotel was designed by New York designer Karim Rashid. His visionary style strikes the perfect chord with the building’s exterior, designed by star architect Sergei Tchoban, making the nhow Berlin one of the capital's modern architectural and design highlights. Its design is a manifestation of a philosophy that allows guests to enter another world for the duration of their stay.

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A Theatrical Experience

Wanting to redefine the experience for their guests, hotel La Maison Champs-Elysées recently commissioned Belgian fashion house Martin Margiela to redesign, redecorate and reconcieve part of the hotel. The project included suites, the restaurant, smoking room, bar and reception area. Maison Martin Margiela beautifully created a theatrical environment where reality and trompe-l'oeil blend into a surreal and minimalist atmosphere, with utmost simplicity and yet abundant in details. The result is an atypical ambience of different harmonies that come together into something new, innovating and simply cool.

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Accessible Art

There's nothing I enjoy more that featuring new talent from around the world who have something unique to offer. Let me to introduce you to K19, a recently established studio in Frenchen, Germany, whose idea was to create high-quality and original modern paintings accessible for everyone. These art gallery-worthy pieces are great finds that would make any blank wall happy.

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Design For Health

Hospitals don't need to be depressing environments anymore thanks to Lucy and Tobie Snowdowne, the masterminds behind British studio Two Create. They were hired by the Teenage Cancer Trust to rethink the hospital experience and create a space for 12 teenage patients in the newly built Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. Don't you wish other hospitals would take inspiration from this amazing ward? I'm sure it would change the concept of what hospitals should be like and make the whole patient experience a little more uplifting.

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Simplicity Speaks Volumes

Since 1921, Poland holds the Poznań International Fair, the biggest industrial fair in the country. This year, architects of mode:lina have completed a cool apartment designed for guests visiting the fair. Quotel, as they named it, merges hotel amenities with a homey atmosphere. Their challenge was to design a space that definitely stands out among other similar accommodations using easily replaceable pieces. So the designers resorted to IKEA's fab catalogue and used their products in combination with custom-made ones “to create an affordable and durable concept giving the impression of tailored interiors”. The quotes on the wall, which gave the guest apartment its name, are crazy fun. Aren't they? Enjoy your weekend :)

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Enchanting Taste

A key attribute for being a great designer is having the ability to find inspiration on every little thing we're exposed to, and conceptualize it in our work. One designer and tastemaker I find masters that talent is Kelly Wearstler, known for her enchanting take on interiors and luxury lifestyle. I have always admired her daring use of color and scale in her interiors. Her whimsical style of accessorizing is simply beautiful. The Los Angeles-based, award-winning designer has left her imprint in several international and domestic resorts and hotels, restaurants, stores and residences for a high-profile and celebrity clientele. “I am always aware of my surroundings and I spend time each day searching for beautiful and unusual things,” says Wearstler. She has an inherent affection for taking photos of the things that capture her attention and excite her, which she shares in her blog My Vibe My Life. Trust me, you're in for a treat.

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