Photo: Roger Davies
Plan out the "why" and "what for"
When you're starting over—for instance, like one of Nate's clients who moved from his old apartment with only a favorite black-and-white picture of his late mother—it's important to decide what kind of home you want to create. In that particular case, Nate understood that new apartment had to have richness and it had to have weight. Those two questions were applied to every object under consideration. Those questions also helped them decide that the flimsy French doors typical of new construction should be exchanged for floor-to-ceiling metal ones. In the end, those doors convey permanence—even majesty. Once you've figured out the "why" and "what for" of your space, it's much easier to figure out the "which"—as in, "which of all these sofas/end tables/crystal candelabra really seems like me?"