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The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Gray (31)



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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I'm always curious to find out where and how other design bloggers live, and today I'm letting you in my latest find. This darling flat belongs to fellow blogger Desiree from Vosges Paris. A Parisian stylist, painter and DIY'er living in Amsterdam, Desiree is in constant search of the perfect harmony between her love for French grays and Scandinavian white. “It's a cliche to say you can find inspiration everywhere around you but I think there is something true about it”, she explains. “I guess it is  all about what you do with it. If I come across something I like, I can use it some other time in combination with a new find”. She has a great eye for mixing pieces and styles, which she uses splendidly to tell stories in charming vignettes throughout her home. Thank you Desiree for sharing your place and inspiring us all with your splendid sense of style.

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At the beginning of every new year we challenge ourselves to lead a better, healthier and more fruitful life by coming up with a list of resolutions to keep us in track. Mine are often the same: exercise more, eat a sensible diet and be nicer to the planet. However, this year I added living a clutter-free life by pairing down on unnecessary stuff around the house and keeping it simple. To sort of inspire myself to do that, I felt these gorgeous images by the talented photographer Trevor Tondro were great inspiration to have around. I love their striking simplicity and how beautifully arranged each one of them is. How about you? Do you have any resolutions fo this year?

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It's no secret I love everything Nordic, especially their design sensibility. There's something about their aesthetic that says so much without trying too hard. Today's interior treat comes from a town outside of Stockholm furnished with an eclectic blend of furnishings in that distinctive Scandinavian style. I love the subtlety of the checkerboard pattern painted on the entry hallway's floor—it's an easy and inexpensive way of defining a space while at the same time creating the illusion of an area rug.

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It's often impossible finding a swanky trash can worth displaying in the kitchen, but this trash bin / laundry basket hybrid can proudly sit in my kitchen anytime. Muuto’s new Hideaway bins, by Finnish designer Mika Tolvanen, neatly hides your trash or laundry in style. It's functional and streamlined design conceals the trash bag within when the basket is closed to avoid any unsightly messes, and when open the lid can practically hang on the side of the bin. Hmm, I think I'll add this beauty to my long wish list. Happy weekend!

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Creating a city-sleek home on the top floor of an old Melbourne apartment was a tour de force for innovative architect Steven Whiting and his imaginative clients. After quite a strenuous renovation, this less-than-desirable flat was transformed into an enviable space where the interplay of textures give it the sense of warmth the owners were aiming for. I'm glad they opted for an open-floor layout as this unifies the living, dining and kitchen areas into one ample space. The color scheme—my favorite palette ever—is a calm mix of black, white and gray with the perfect touch of wood accents like the Mark Tuckey 'Tripod' dining table. Simply divine!

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Danish design company Hay never stops to amaze me. I fell in love with their furniture and accessory collection when I visited their flagship store in Copenhagen, and now I'm crushing on Nobody—an industrially produced chair made strictly from textile. The chair is molded in one piece and in one single process, resulting in a light weight and stackable chair meeting modern demands of sustainability in both materials and production. Its design is inspired by a piece of cloth used over a chair to protect it. Using a technique borrowed from the car industry, the Nobody chair is manufactured from a 100 % recyclable material made from used water and soda bottles. Amazingly, the production process neither requires an internal frame, plastic, screws, glue or any other type of reinforcements. I'm a big fan of this chair's modish vibe and the powerful statement it can make in a room.

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I remember planning my trip to Copenhagen over the Summer and reading about how wonderful the eating experience at the award-winning Noma was supposed to be. For the last three years the eatery has been named “World’s Best Restaurant” and a reservation waiting list is pretty much the norm in this place—one of the reasons why I didn't have the chance to dine there. Coincidentally, the restaurant's interiors have been recently revamped by Danish studio Space Copenhagen, which changed the decor color palette from its original earth tones to black and gray tones, and replaced the furniture. “It was very much about using organic materials such as wood, stone, leather, brass and linen in a new way; materials that age beautifully over time,”  described the designers Peter Bundgaard Rützou and Signe Bindslev Henriksen. Hmm, I guess this is yet another good reason to plan ahead and make a reservation at this coveted gourmet gem—of course, for those living in the Danish capital. Happy weekend!

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