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The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Minimalist (85)



A destination that's always been on my short list of places to visit is Salzburg, Austria. I guess I've always been drawn to this Alpine city for its history and my love for Mozart. Just an hour away from Salzburg and set smack in the middle of beautiful rolling hills, the Hotel Wiesergut re-opened its doors after a complex renovation and extension by GOGL Architekten. Their goal was to upgrade the existing traditional structure with purist architecture and transform it into a modern retreat that exudes organic warmth and comfort. By using local wood, natural stone, granite, glass and exposed concrete they created a timeless style putting nature at its center. The furnishings were entirely commissioned to Austrian designers who gave a contemporary twist to classic materials like linen and weather-beaten leather, all of which factor prominently in the hotel’s design concept. I'm really impressed with their attention to detail which gives the the hotel its harmonic and elegant overall impression. No doubt Hotel Wiesergut has become yet another reason for me to cross the pond and visit my beloved Salzburg.

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It's quite obvious this is not the home of a hoarder, but the serene sanctuary of a meticulous couple like Jesper and Majbritt. Their Copenhagen nest is a beautifully edited composition of mid-century pieces accented by an eclectic mix of artwork. For them less is more and to avoid cluttering their space the follow a rule a live by: when something comes in, another must go out. Trust me, as hard as it is to get rid of some of your precious pocessions, it's the only way of keeping things tidy. Surely, keeping your color palette to a minimum as they did also helps.

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Please don't think I've abandoned you, but between a load of new projects and a nasty cold that hit me right before I left to help my dear friends with their wedding, I haven't had a moment to fulfill my blogging duties. The good news: I'm feeling better and back in action. So having just arrived from sunny Florida, where color abounds, I felt this bright and happy London apartment was the perfect inspiration for the day. Formerly a carpenter’s studio, this charming rental property was designed by Jack Mama and Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama. All the wood and streamline design gives this pad a wonderful Scandinavian vibe—just with the right amount of color splashes to make any stay quite cozy. It's the ideal lodging alternative for those who want to feel like a local.

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I've always dreamt of a having a big, spacious kitchen where I can do some serious cooking and baking without having to worry about making a mess. Not that I'm a messy person, but when working in a space-challenged kitchen it's hard to keep things that neat. I've fallen head-over-hills in love with the openness and serenity of this stunning kitchen. It's a beautiful mix of materials and styles. I especially like that it was designed without upper cabinets—a trend that I'm seeing more and more. To be honest, the rest of the place is quite a charmer too. But if you're wondering who the lucky dwellers are, wonder no more. This space it's actually a studio in a restored Victorian house in SE London. No wonder!

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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 always find that the simpler the object is, the more beautiful its design tends to be. Take for instance this minimalist Clamp Lamp designed by Swedish architect Andreas Martin-Löf. By simply using off-the-shelf lighting parts and attaching them to a handmade metal clamp, Andreas created a wonderfully cool and stylish table lamp. I'm telling you, it's all in the craftsmanship and details. I'd say this is my crush of the week.

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It doesn't matter from which angle you look at this Parisian flat, you can find the touch of a designer (or two) behind its stunning design. Patrick Gilles & Dorothée Boissier, who run an architecture and design studio, have renovated this 19th-century apartment into their dream home. Through the transformation, they saved all the original glory the apartment had and brought into play, to contrast, they're modern design concept. The artwork is to die for, especially how it's randomly placed throughout the space. Of course, a lot of the furniture we see here was designed by the talented duo to make sure it fit their impeccable taste. Thank you Yatzer for enlightining us with this beauty.

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Not everyone falls for minimalist spaces, but when done right they can be rather beautiful. The clean lines and clutter-free rooms makes this home visually stunning. Architect John Pawson and his wife Catherine used various shades of white to create subtle depth, but also included concrete, wood and bronze to give elegance and texture to the decor. The living room was specifically designed with an array of seating pieces arranged by the fireplace to create an area for quite contemplation. I don't know about you, but I feel extremely serene by just looking at the quietness of their sanctuary.

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