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Collective calm

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Subdued, neutral hues are highlighted with antiques, artifacts and small splashes of color, resulting in a living area that speaks of timelessness

Collective calm

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When it comes to interior design, classic and contemporary need not be mutually exclusive. While furniture and room layouts may have a contemporary touch, a sense of timelessness can be established through color choices and accessories.

In the design of the home pictured on these pages, interior consultants Handman Associates struck this balance. President Shelly Handman says that sticking to a neutral color palette ensures a room will not date.

"Fashionable colors become tiresome over time. Instead we use neutrals as a backdrop and add color through details, such as flowers, artwork or ornaments."

Handman is particularly interested in antique and ethnic accessories, which he picks up on his travels. These are showcased at Handman Associates' offices, ready to add an unusual or intricate element to a new design.

"A triptych of Cambodian marble heads adorns the coffee table in this living room, and an Egyptian stone bust is displayed in the corner. The history behind these artifacts adds depth to the contemporary furniture."

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In the same way that these ornaments add visual interest, Handman says drapery can give a room a sense of refuge.

"Soft fabrics are not only visually and physically warming, but they also help to reduce echo in a room. When light filters through drapery, it has a calming effect."

For more details, contact Handman Associates, 415 LaSalle St, Suite 615, Chicago, IL 60610, phone (312) 222 0035. Email: shelley@handmanassociates.com. Website:www.handmanassociates.com.

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