Nate Berkus' grandfather's jacket

Photo: Roger Davies

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Give Tissue Paper a Rest
Often, the finest things in design ooze age, patina and history. I'm talking about the things in drawers—the wedding presents, the quilts that came from our grandmothers, the blanket chests we inherit. People who come to my home wouldn't think to ask to see the jacket my grandfather wore when he was 2 years old. But when they see it hanging on a hook next to framed photographs and paintings in my stairwell, they invariably ask about it. The idea that it’s on display—and not wrapped in tissue—to me personifies what life can be like to live with things that have meaning.