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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Inspiration (471)



It's hard to believe this jewel of an apartment is barely 420 square-feet. The whole studio was so cleverly planned that they were able to accommodate a living area, an eat-in kitchen, a cozy sleeping quarter and even a small home office—all done exquisitely with plenty of style. The use of black and white was key to giving the space a cohesive look and a feeling of continuity, which makes the pad seem more spacious that it actually is. The combination of styles is delicious, particularly the mix of pendants in the dining area. What's not to love about this charming home?

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••• Sorry, but this giveaway is already closed •••

I love when a brand that has been a long-time staple in the market, looks for ways of reinventing itself to keep up with demands of new generations. Target, or “Tarjay” how I like to call it, is a wonderful example of such innovation that has kept its brand alive by making great design accessible to all through creative retail partnerships. With their latest design program, The Shops at Target, they're partnering directly with specialty shops and boutiques to co-create affordable, limited-edition collections for its guests. For the shelter niche, they're partnering with Privet House in Connecticut to create a signature line of decor and accessories for the home, garden and table reminiscent of the shop’s charming aesthetic. So, to introduce the collection to TheDesignerPad readers, Target is graciously sponsoring this exciting giveaway and giving FIVE of you the chance to own pieces of the collection before its May 6th launch. That's right, five readers will be winning a sweet package from the Privet House at Target line containing the following:

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How are you? I'm fine thanks, but actually How Are You? is the name of a design duo from Sweden who designed these great pillow covers. Tobias and Emelie's design philosophy is simple: “we do this for fun and we only do things we like and hopefully you like it too.” They recently introduced me to their newly-launched collection of decorative pillowcases Making Hard Things Soft and thought you might get a kick out of them. They're made of canvas and printed on both sides with digital images of hard materials such as concrete, plywood, brick and rocks. You might have not thought of using these kind of materials in your decor, but these pillowcases are small enough touches that will definitely bring a spark of quirkiness to any sofa or bed. The OSB wood one is my favorite! Which one is yours?



If you like to feel and live like a local when traveling, this funky new style of accommodations might be your ticket. Plus One Berlin is a stylish, ecological hotel space in an exciting yet still non-touristy neighborhood of Berlin. Besides enjoying its cool and innovatively designed rooms, the recently opened hotel gives you the opportunity to be the 'plus one' of a well-connected and knowledgeable local of your choice. That's right. You get to pick from a group of 28 locals of different nationalities, professions and interests, who have been chosen for their knowledge and passion for the city. They will give you one-of-a-kind insight into Berlin's life and help you discover a side to the city that only a local would know.

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One of the brands I have always admired for its creativity and clean graphics is the footwear company Camper. Their store concepts, although simple and calm, are beautiful and are designed with exquisite touches of whimsy. The new stores are developed under the Together concept, a model of collaboration between Camper and leading designers to create outstanding limited-edition stores. This one, in Genova, Italy, was done by Spanish designer Tomas Alonso. I love how he lined the walls with a grid of white ceramic tiles with a simple twist that breaks the regular pattern with geometric shapes that create a three-dimensional illusion. Not only did he came up with the overall concept, but Tomas also designed the cool furniture throughout the store.

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A casual and exclusive environment surrounded by black, white and gray welcomes guests everyday at the hip Hotel Habita in Monterrey, Mexico. Behind the minimalist, concrete front desk visitors can admire a wall mosaic made of hand-made mirrored tiles brought from India. Every single space in the hotel is sleek, dramatic and filled with timeless classics like Swan Chairs by Arne Jacobsen and furniture from avant-garde designer Rick Owens. The hyper-modern interiors were created by Parisian design extraordinaire Joseph Dirand, the creative mind behind the stupendous Hotel Distrito Capital in Mexico City—which I featured here not long ago. This one is most definitely going on my list of favorite boutique hotels.

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One of my many dreams is to one day buy an old barn in need of some TLC and transform it into a ideal weekend retreat. So when I came across this fabulous home in Dwell, my heart sskipped a beat. This fantastic British Barn conversion made me a little jealous. The surprising use of oriented strand board (made from pressed tree chippings and resin) as a decorating element throughout the house is really refreshing and unexpected. Using this material in furniture, wall coverings and to cover complete rooms, the owners found a design muse in OSB and made quite a bold statement. What a special place to spend a weekend, wouldn't you say?

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One of the things I love most about Nordic design is the sensibility to humor in its decor. It's those quirky touches that add a casual and effortless feel to every Scandinavian interior. This lovely home in Skåne, Sweden, is a fine model to follow if that's the look you're aiming for. Take for instance, the casual use of bulb string lights candidly freely from some of the curtain rods. But I'm most fascinated by the white dining table with just one of its legs partially painted in black. Love, love, love! Any which way you turn, you find fun and spontenous vignettes that will keep your entertained for a while.

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