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Mixing Old and New
Coral elements pull together objects from different eras.
 
When designer Tracey Garet began helping management consultant Michael Silber glam up his New York City living room, she started out by laying in fine antiques and then "making it nuttier," much to the delight of her client, who admits he would have played it straighter on his own. Their four-year collaboration—yes, on this room—included much debate but no overarching plan. "We didn't know where we were going," Michael explains. "We only knew what we were doing next." 

Michael says he found inspiration in the traditional interiors of the late great Sister Parish (Jackie O's decorator) and "the way her partner, Albert Hadley, would disrupt them with a touch of modernism." But Tracey gives convention an even more adventurous spin. "It's really a send-up of an Upper East Side salon," she says.

Color unifies objects of different eras. The coral elements that bounce around the room pull together this gilded 18th-century Spanish bench, the '50s Italian wing chair covered in scrolling Fortuny fabric, and the contemporary window shades in a bold awning stripe.