ADMITTEDLY, MANY DESIGNERS’ objections to the interiors they grew up in were aesthetic: that teal blue a parent fixated on, those faux-brick walls. But equally important were comfort and accessibility. Polyester shag rugs, ubiquitous in the 1970s, still rankle not because they were ugly but because they left bare limbs itchy. And the demise of the formal living room might be rooted in the five words “That room is for company.” Matt Berman, principal of New York architecture and design firm Workshop/APD, said that because his parents’ Connecticut living room was off limits, “I’ve always been committed to making sure all the spaces I design get used.” Here, 12 other designers reveal what plagued—and pleased—them.
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