Occasionally, in the wilds of New York City, a downtown girl’s gotta move uptown. But she doesn’t have to be happy about it. “I was nervous about moving to the Upper East Side,” says Erica Samuels, an art consultant whose decor tastes run more Etheline Tenenbaum than Charlotte York. There was only one designer who could translate her experimental sensibilities to the family’s new four-bedroom co-op: Fawn Galli.
“People come to me because they know what they like, but they want to be challenged or pushed,” says Galli, whose first book, Magical Rooms: Elements of Interior Design(Rizzoli), hit bookstores in March. Her interiors exude a blissfully unrestrained confidence. After all, Galli lived without electricity or plumbing on a houseboat in Northern California until she was seven, and then there was Paris, where she spent two years post-college inhaling the flea markets and discotheques. So when she moved to New York City, armed with little more than a degree in international relations, she got a job at Robert A.M. Stern “as a professional pencil sharpener, assistant to the assistant.” But not for long, she recalls: “Five years later, I was his personal decorator.”
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