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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Designer home (36)



Going through a renovation is no easy task and often takes a toll on the people who live through it. But at the end of the day the end results are worth the experience. For brother-sister duo Alex and Georgie Cleary, creative minds behind fashion label Alpha60, the outcome of their 14-month renovation was a dream come true. They transformed an old community hall into this breathtaking home in Melbourne, Australia. The original building was gutted but they were able to reclaim part of the old timber, metal beams and red brick throughout to maintain the original industrial feel. The house is the perfect space to display their extensive and eclectic artwork they've collected through the years, like the giant shoe sculpture made by Georgia's partner Giuseppe Demaio. This must be a fun place to live particularly with all the special and quirky details these siblings have used in their decor.

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There's nothing like a place that lives and breathes the personality of the people who use it, like this über funky flat in Stockholm. Home to 30-year-old model Patric Ohlund, this apartment is jam-packed with fun and artsy touches. I can't get enough of his skulls and amazing poster collection. One of his great ideas was to display cool books and magazines together with awesome accessories and mementos to create witty vignettes throughout. Although it seems spontaneous, I'm sure everything in Patric's place is carefully curated.

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I've fallen madly in love with this charming farmhouse in Rhinebeck, NY. Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown of TsAO & McKOWN Architects took on the renovation of a former tenant farmer's cottage and extended it with a screened porch to turn it into their 1200 square-feet weekend retreat. It truly came out beautifully. I applaud their decision to paint the interiors of the house, including the floors, in a creamy white— with the exception of a couple of walls in the foyer which they painted  pea-green for contrast and interest. The simplicity of the original architecture plays wonderfully with the rustic and mid-century modern furnishings and their collection of eclectic flea market finds. If you ask me what my favorite feature of the house is, I'd have to say the dark gray they picked to paint the exterior. It's simply perfect.

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Seasons influence the way we decorate our homes. They definitely inspire us with their colors, textures and moods every time they knock on our front door. Swedish designer and calligrapher Ylva Skarp has already done a beautiful job embracing the incoming Winter season and bringing it into her gorgeous home (featured here back in February). Although Christmas is still weeks away, Ylva has created a cozy and welcoming holiday atmosphere in her house by simply taking advantage of what nature has to offer and using spruce branches, pine cones and twigs as seasonal accessories. She believes in creating small vignettes with her decorations instead of spreading out. And of course for her, candlelight is key in order to achieve a magical ambiance. This is already awakening my Christmas spirit.

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Today's house tour takes us all the way to London, where we visit the beautiful 1840s, three-story town house of interior designer Harriet Anstruther, where she lives and works. Her home embodies her witty, humorous and eccentric style. She is not a big believer of design rules—she loves to mix traditional, classical styles with very modern pieces. Her fine art and fashion background has largely influenced her decorative aesthetic, helping her through the redesign of her home that she shares with her husband, daughter and dogs. The results speak for themselves.

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How cool would it be to live in an abandoned pencil factory? Well, you can get a good idea of what that would be like by snooping around this light and airy apartment in central Copenhagen, home of Morten Bo Jensen, chief designer at Vipp. The open-floor plan works beautifully for this young family of four. They've successfully created separate spaces through the use of furniture, panels and sliding doors, giving the home an industrial feel. Every room is minimally decorated with a neutral palette and plenty of personal style—like the artwork made by Morten with 195 No. 2 pencils (above) to celebrate the building's previous life. One of my favorite features of the home is the way they store the logs for the fire: it's clean, simple yet adds lots of character to the living room.

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I spent all day yesterday indoors preparing for the eminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy. So between keeping up with the storm's track, catching up with a long list of recorded TV shows and constant snacking, I got around to getting my daily dose of design inspiration. That's when I spotted this stunning Parisian pad in the pages of The New York Times Magazine. After a year-long renovation, interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch turned this 70s inspired apartment into a chic and modern jewel with impressive 14-foot ceilings and breathtaking views of the river Seine. It is quite the place to enjoy the wonders of this dreamy French capital.

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Most people often perceive minimalist spaces as stark and cold. But in reality there are many interpretation of this great style. Minimalist spaces can also be welcoming and warm, it all depends on the colors, materials and textures used in the decor. Take for instance this stunning Parisian flat featured in the September issue of Maison Française magazine fully redesigned by French interior designer Frederic Sicard in a neo-minimalist style. He beautifully transformed it into a luxurious, functional yet warm and inviting pied-a-terre by working with wood, rich hues and an amazing mix of furniture styles. This home is perfectly styled with just the right amount of pieces and accessories—proving my all time favorite expression ‘less is more’. Happy weekend!

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