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The No-Rules Approach
to Interior Design
by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Shopping (12)



One of the things I loved most about my trip to Amsterdam a few years back was the amazing variety of design and concept stores around town. It was really hard not to stop and peek in to see what each had to offer. It was a shopping paradise for the design aficionados. Actually, a new gem was recently added to this marketplace. The brand Yaya recently opened their flagship store in the Dutch capital and from what I can see in these pictures it's to die for. Designed by Dutch stylist and interior designer AnoukB, the decor has an eclectic/industrial look to it that gives the shop a casual flair that's rather delightful. Hmm, I've always wanted a reason to go back to Amsterdam, and this might be it. Wouldn't you agree?

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If you're a mid-century modern aficionado like moi, then you know how hard it is to find great pieces at prices that won't break the bank. At times, this can be a frustrating task. But with a growing demand for this timeless style, amazing reproductions are being manufactured so close to the originals that you have to be an expert to tell them apart. I'm always in the lookout for these classic beauties since they add a touch of modernity to any decor without trying so hard. I recently found, Exclusive Mod, a new wonderful online resource that offers a great —and affordable— collection of modern reproductions. So if you happen to be in the market for a Verner Panton style chair or an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair (among many others), then you're in luck. Our friends at Exclusive Mod are extending our readers a unique discount coupon worth 25% off their purchase. It's siimple: just remember to use coupon code DESIGNERPAD25 at checkout. Shop away!



This past Sunday was such a gorgeous day we took a drive upstate to get away from the city—at least for a few hours. Of course we also took advantage of the day trip to search for some of those wonderful hidden treasures the Hudson Valley has to offer. And what a treasure we found as we walked into Materia Locus (Latin for local matter) — this amazing barn-turned-showroom/gallery with a beautiful collection of furniture, lighting, art and the most incredible industrial antiques from the area. Megan Summerville and Matt Ensner merged their expertise in fashion, movement arts, environmental conservation and landscape design to create this artists' co-op and home design store “born out of their quest for specialized objects that compliment and highlight their eclectic approach to living.” It was truly an unexpected treat to come across this new gem, especially after chit chatting with Megan for a while and getting to know a little bit about them and their cool design vision.

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Born out of the partnership between the famed Danish design house Fritz Hansen and Italian firm Spotti, the first Republic of Fritz Hansen showroom opens its doors in MIlan. This magnificent space combines the best of both of both worlds—classic Nordic style and Milanese tradition—creating a fresh new look. Undoubtedly, the limited edition pieces and site-specific installations ultimately make the store a unique place to visit. Is anyone game for a trip to Milan? This might be worth a visit. Happy weekend!

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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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