Hard-edged chairs and modern art

Before: His hard-edged chairs and modern art clash with her traditional furniture.

The problem: Eve Feuer, the style director of Fitness magazine, and her husband, Ron, a businessman, have been married eight years and have two daughters. They were grown-ups when they married, with different ideas about what's beautiful and comfortable and two apartments full of stuff to prove it. They'd been living in his digs until recently, when they moved into a new home—and swept the discussion, if you will, under his rug.

"This is not what I would have done if I had started from scratch," says Eve, gesturing at her patterned sofa, his modern chairs, her delicate family photographs in a pile on a shelf, his edgy art stacked behind the sofa, the Oriental rugs crowded together on the floor. But who ever starts from scratch? You've got yours and he's got his, and you try to fit the pieces together. That's called marriage.
Lovely stripes and silks for her, and (washable) Ultrasuede and wool upholstery for him

After: Soothe both sensibilities with lovely stripes and silks for her, and (washable) Ultrasuede and wool upholstery for him. Hang his art and tidy up her family photographs.

The solution: What journalist and home stylist Mallery Roberts Lane did was to mindfully address and honor each piece in the room. So Ron's art has been hung, and Eve's couch has been reupholstered in a noncompetitive beige. The hot-red shade on her pool-blue lamp has been switched for a white one, which looks crisp against his big photograph now hanging behind it. Both Eve and Ron have beautiful books—hers about fashion, his about art—and Mallery has stacked them on the tables.

She brought in a few things, too—an orchid in a champagne bucket, Asian-style nesting tables, a blue leather cushion. The rugs have been culled to one, "so the room can breathe," says Mallery. "The whole tone of the thing is masculine, and the detail is all feminine."