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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in window shopping (15)



I just came back from a wonderful long weekend in upstate New York celebrating Thanksgiving. It really was a terrific and relaxing getaway full of great food and special moments in the company of loved ones. Every time we spend time in the countryside we crave more and more having our own country nest. We tend to explore the small towns in the area and enjoy discovering all their fun shops. However, we can't help paying a visit to a handful of home decor and lifestyle store that we simply love. One of them is Nest located in the beautiful Delaware River community of Narrowsburg, New York. Splendidly curated by Brazilian native and owner, Anna Bern (former art director for W and design director for Vogue magazine), Nest is a dreamy haven filled with country contemporary products ranging from bed and bath, decor, furniture, clothing, accessories and jewelry. Everything in it is right up my alley, particularly the eclectic mix of furnishings I always envision in my dream country home.

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This past weekend was a one for celebrating. I went up to Boston to help my best friend celebrate his birthday—we spent a couple of days eating, drinking and catching up. But of course, we had to fit in the mandatory leisurely stroll through the city's charming streets in search of cool finds. While exploring the historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill, and to escape the soft drizzle of an overcast Sunday afternoon, I stepped into GOOD, this marvelous boutique filled with a divine selection of accessories and unique furniture pieces. It was the perfect ray of light to brighten up a gray Fall afternoon. The shop is perfectly curated with an effortless and sophisticated look to showcase the eclectic collection of treasures, mostly one-of-a-kind pieces from artisans from around the country. So on your next trip to Boston, GOOD is definitely a spot you can't miss if you're a design addict like me.

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I was happily surprised to have stumbled upon one of the coolest home decor shops on my first day in Copenhagen. After visiting The Apartment, we headed over to the center of town to grab a bite when I suddenly saw HAY, the Danish home decor brand known for their strong commitment to good design and making it accessible to everyone. The moment you step into the building, you're welcomed by a wall lined with neon lights directing you to the elevator that takes you up to a design wonderland. The store has three floors of beautifully set vignettes displaying their gorgeous inventory. Besides their to-die-for furniture collection, HAY is also known for their stunning accessories, rugs, pillows, bedding and a wonderful collection of knick-knacks for every room of the home. Needless to say, I drooled my way around the whole store. Although I'd seen a few of their pieces here in New York, it wasn't the same as being surrounded by rooms filled with their brilliant design. Being a huge fan of HAY, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

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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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We can easily recognize a Starbucks from miles away, especially here in New York where there is one in every corner. But not in this case. I'm loving the new vibe architect Kengo Kuma gave this Starbucks coffee house in Fukuoka, Japan. He definitely did away with the cookie-cutter shops they're known for. With simple wooden beams that extend from wall to ceiling, Kuma created a web-llke structure that gives an intriguing and magical feel to the space. I'm all for extending this far-out concept to other Starbucks around the world. I definitely see myself enjoying my double macchiato in a place like this.

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Sweet Joy

I have to confess I'm one with a sweet tooth, and cupcakes are one of my ultimate weaknesses. There's something luscious and alluring about them that make my mouth water. I'm not surprised Mim Design got inspired by their delicious beauty to create this sweet cupcake store in Melbourne, Australia. “Joy Cupcakes prides itself on using all natural ingredients, and in turn the interior design reflects that ‘natural’ feel using warm timbers, soft colors and hand crafted materials. The product was to take centre stage, with the interior as a complementary backdrop to the product and the ‘Joy Cupcakes’ brand. The store, like the project objective, was to install a sense of joy and happiness,” explains the design firm. To enforce the product and the brand of the decor, they had most of the furnishings custom-made, including the fun cupcake-shaped pendant lamps, stools and tables. What a lovely placee to indulge your eyes and palette.

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A Fresh, New Mentality

Galleries can sometimes be a little unwelcoming and intimidating. That's why the approach for the gorgeous Haaz Design and Art Gallery was to create a cozier and inviting space where you can enjoy and absorb the beauty of their collections. Located in the trendiest shopping district of Istanbul, “Haaz is a source for great refinement and enjoyment, offering a curatorial collection that celebrates the best, brightest and most beautiful in the world of design and art.” I've noticed this new gallery concept is spreading fast, I guess because people feel more comfortable in these kind of environments. It's almost as if they want to take you through someone's home — of course, someone with lots of money and impeccable taste :) All the vignettes are done splendidly, giving the spectators great inspiration and ideas for their own homes. I want EVERYTHING!!

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I Scream For Style

There's nothing better than a delicious gelato cone on a hot summer day. It always brings me back to the days when my parents would take us for this yummy treat every Sunday afternoon, of course, given we were good that week. But things have changed since. Ice cream parlors are no longer what they used to be. Some are now trendy and sophisticated spots like the gorgeous Podka Gelato in London, offering a special gelato experience. The branding company Vonsung was responsible for the ultra minimalist and monochromatic space where all the color and taste comes from the luscious gelato. Isn't this a rather stylish way of bringing these frozen treats back into our lives? I absolutely think so.

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