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When it comes to designs for living, Europe seems to have invented everything from peaked roofs to plumbing, from Baroque ornamentation to Bauhaus functionalism, from chairs by Chippendale to end tables by Ikea. 

When 19th-century Americans designed banks and libraries, they invariably borrowed from the ancient Greeks; when 20th-century Americans moved to the suburbs, they furnished them with Scandinavia modern; when Walt Disney sought the very model of a fairytale castle, he turned to King Ludwig's beloved neo-Gothic Neuschwanstein. 

 Europe today remains a treasure trove for those seeking new looks for their own abodes. The historic houses and applied-arts museums are superb for generating ideas. And from cutting-edge shops to flea markets, Europe offers an incredible array of high-design goods of all eras.