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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries from November 1, 2011 - November 30, 2011


Locally Inspired

For those who love to have a different lodging experience when traveling, this funky hotel is one to consider. Located in a quiet street in the heart of downtown Lisbon, The Lisboanaire Apartments welcome and inspire visitors to discover the traditional and contemporary Portuguese capital and all the small things that make it so special. Local artists and designers lent their unique talents to individually decorate each of the 19 studios and one bedroom apartments, invoking a specific object or place from the surrounding area. The creative direction of the project was overseen by Portuguese architecture and design agency Experimenta, who created a bold, graphic and kooky look to the whole place. The best part: the prices are very affordable starting at 30 euros per person. Who can beat that?

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Holiday Giving: Chapter Two

How are you doing so far with your holiday shopping? Well, I haven't even started. But I know I have to start checking off my list pretty soon before it gets too frantic out there in the shoppersphere. If you know someone who digs the look and style of yesteryear, here are some cool suggestions that might help you find the perfect gift. 
Happy shopping!

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The Countryside Blues

I just came back from spending a glorious holiday weekend in upstate New York in a dreamy farmhouse we rented. I simply fell in love with it. It was all I expected it to be and more. So now I'm in a country state of mind and I'm having a hard time snapping out of it. I had stumbled upon this charming house a few weeks ago and thought today would be a perfect time to share it with you since it sort of fits my mood. This scruffy 1862 Swedish brew house was recently revamped into a functional and cozy family home to be used only as a Summer house. However, its lucky owners loved it so much they decided to make it their permanent residence. The whole renovation was done by them, including most of the furniture which they built. They intended to keep the raw industrial feel of the old house, dominated by concrete, steel and polished stone floors. But they absolutely made it warm and inviting with all their personal touches used around the home, like the soft, organic lamb skins they used on their dining room chairs.

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Growing your ABCs

No garden will fall short of looking amazing with one of these giant three-dimensional letters created by Jimmy Fiction Esq. in Deptford, South East London. The monumental alphabet, including numbers and symbols, is free-standing and can be used as outdoor decoration or as a whimsical trellis for your seasonal vines.

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A Green Holiday Tradition

As the countdown to Christmas begins, it's time to start getting in the holiday decorating mood. For those space-challenged apartment dwellers like me, these Christmas tree die-cut wall decals are ideal since they take literally no space. No more watering a dead tree, no more fire hazard, no more vacuuming up pine needles well into April. Finally, a truly green Christmas tree has been created by celebrated artists like Jacob Hashimoto, Kayson & Savage, Phoebe Washburn and Christopher Daniels, among others. These life-size, vinyl trees can be applied directly to the wall by either removing the paper back or simply pinning it — the perfect gift for those who have everything. Are you dying to get your hands on one? You can order them online at Arware Editions.

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A Study in Contrasts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day for celebrating and gathering with family and friends — a day for being thankful for all the good things life brings us. Among other things, I'm personally grateful to you for your support and loyal readership, to our sponsors for their endorsement and to everyone who has lent a hand in order to make this a better blog. To celebrate this holiday, my closest friends and I drove a couple of hours outside of NYC to Eldred, New York, to spend four glorious days in this dreamy retreat. Located at the edge of a pristine brook and waterfall, the Floating Farmhouse was a sinking ship when owner Tom Givone first discovered it. After a four-year renovation and following his masterful vision, this 1820 manor home is now a study in contrasts. Fully restored to its original grandeur, the house features purely modernist elements: a curtain wall of skyscraper glass in the kitchen, polished concrete and steel finishes, minimalist interiors, and a porch "floating" on the surface of the water. What else can I ask for? This is the perfect refuge to enjoy the company of the ones I love, and I hope you're doing the same wherever you are. Cheers!

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Holiday Giving: Chapter One

Time has come to decide who's been naughty or nice, and to find that perfect gift that will fit their personalities. Relax, there's no need to stress out as Holiday shopping should be enjoyed to the max. So here are some cute and fun ideas that I guarantee will make them grin. Happy shopping!

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A New Operatic Star

Paris always has something new and fabulous to offer. When I read about the recent opening of L'Opera Restaurant in the Palais Garnier, I knew right away this was a mandatory stop in my four-day visit to the City of Lights. The project took 136 years in the making, since it was originally part of the "final draft" but never came to completion. Finally, Charles Garnier's dream came a reality when this magnificent space opened its doors this year with an ultra modern design orchestrated by architect Odile Decq. After seeing a phenomenal production of La Source by the Paris Opera Ballet, having dinner here was the perfect compliment to a wonderful evening. Inside, the space is divided into three different areas: the hall, the Martini lounge bar and the mezzanine –all surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling undulating veil of glass. Frankly, it was an absolute treat to dine in a space full of history and with such remarkable contrast between the old and the new. This restaurant is a wonderful addition to what already is an unbelievably breathtaking building.

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