Avant Garde Apartment Style: A Mix of Old and New by Mauricio Karam

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When most of us think of “avant garde,” the first thing that comes to mind may not be a juxtaposition of modern and traditional, or even antique styles; however, with a peek inside this apartment by Brazilian architect Mauricio Karam, that’s the “avant garde” approach you’ll see. Step through a foyer with a carved, ornate shelf holding a fluted vase and floral arrangement into the first surprise: an ultra-contemporary living room, with entertainment center on a wood-paneled wall, sleek-lined recliner, and abstract art brightening the neutral color scheme. A round modern dining table and chairs are topped by a crystal chandelier that could have been at Grandma’s house — as could the side tables, desk, and large white-shaded lamps. Want more interesting combinations? A second seating area boasts a square, contemporary-scaled couch — and painted antique velvet armchair.

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Slide glass doors to get to a breakfast nook/snack bar with cool white chairs and casual table — and a definite indoor/outdoor feel. The actual kitchen is straight-up modern: ebony-toned cabinets, table and chairs, stainless steel appliances, track ceiling lighting. Bedrooms are colorful: blues and sand, along with wood, in the master; one “little girl” room, all white, pale pink, and lavender; and a no-nonsense boy’s room in red, blue, and sports print, with a long desk/work area suitable for studying or projects. Even in the midst of modern, however, are still little “traditional” touches: a tufted blue bench at the foot of the bed, an ornate three-drawer nightstand. And a bathroom completes the eclectic mix — with a rectangular vanity sink in pure white, paired with ornate vases filled with purple flowers echoed in the upholstery of a handy stool. The mix works — in “avant garde” fashion that’s truly welcoming.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).