One Part Modern Apartment, One Part Traditional: A Pleasing Sum by Mauricio Karam

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This apartment, by Brazilian architect and designer Mauricio Karam, is a luxurious slice of modern style mixed with traditional touches; the classic polished-wood, marble-topped table and matching mirror holding a delicate glass vase of roses could be in any traditional dwelling anywhere in the world. When you enter the living room, however, the style is pure modern, with shimmering white floor-to-ceiling curtains that can be drawn to reveal expansive windows with a splendid view. Cream-colored couches with handfuls of plump pillows invite you to sit a while and relax — maybe thumb through one of the volumes on the square glass-topped coffee table. There’s a lovely traditional fleur-de-lis patterned wallpaper in the dining room, over a shining ebony table and chairs for 10 — and serving as a backdrop for a bold red abstract picture.

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There are more interesting juxtapositions as well: next to the long window you’ll see an ornate piece of sculpture on the floor, a curvy wood chair with plump cushions, and a traditional-styled table and lamp…not to mention a spinet piano. The piano stands against a mirrored wall, however — a sleek modern touch. A snack nook is all black-and-white chair and tables, sleek wall counter, and bright abstract painting; a small office/sitting room, by contrast, has a mural with white-painted “foliage” on it and a couch with fun “newsprint” upholstery. Contemporary recessed lighting casts a soft glow over all — except for the kitchen, which sports cool white fluorescents above streamlined appliances and a tiny counter. Finally, the master bedroom is cozy neutrals: sand-colored walls, white cube shelves beneath a wall-mounted TV…and a traditional Windsor chair with a neat paisley pattern. All in all, it’s part modern, part traditional, and all comfort.

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