Abstract art tempers traditional furniture.

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Don't aim for all-out perfection. Objects with patina give spaces an aged, lived-in quality that new items—and even mint-condition antiques—don't establish. That's why Michael sought out these "gently tattered" 19th-century Persian rugs. "They prevent the room from feeling overly decorated," he says.

Abstract art tempers traditional furniture. On their own, the leather Chesterfield sofa and black lacquer Louis XVI desk might skew a little staid. Tracey evened out the uptown-downtown tally by hanging silkscreens from postmodernist Yves Klein on the shelves and Phillip Smith's 1992 painting Before Paris on the windowed wall.
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