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In the living room, an antique prayer rug beneath a crisp white Asian-inspired cocktail table. On the chocolate Italian leather sofa from High Fashion Home, Rufus, a rescue boxer, relaxes alongside a pair of hand-printed Arena silk faille throw pillows (Urn pattern in the color Dijon). The walls are treated with a plaster skim coat to create texture. The artisan’s four-by-four-foot mixed-media Visitation, 2006, underscores his prowess as a painter.
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At the entrance, the crystal chandelier bequeathed by the original owners was recently refurbished and illuminates the iridescent hand-printed Pavé wallpaper pattern on the ceiling. To the right of the front door, Arena’s wooden sculpture "Blue Streak Striped Top with Yellow Needle Poker," 1987.
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In the light-washed library off the entrance, the pagoda-inspired floor lamp also came with the house and has been a fixture in this spot for decades. Arena chicly replaced the original badly frayed shade with a black silk dupione one lined in golden silk. Flanking the lamp is a pair of vintage bleached ash chairs upholstered in the memorable Tigré, an Arena hand-embossed cotton velvet. Another signature touch is the ivory wool hand-woven flat-weave rug, artfully hand-screened with the Discus pattern in shades of cerulean and vermillion. Marble-topped chrome table is vintage Florence Knoll, topped by Turkish silver-washed copper bowl. Over the fireplace hangs Dog Boy, 2013, an acrylic on canvas inspired by Arena and Martinez’s boxer.
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In the library, an antique center table from an estate sale serves as stage for an ongoing archaeological collection. Treasures range from Etruscan to pre-Columbian and are finds amassed over a lifetime and wide-ranging travels. The art over the mantle and on the wall reflects Arena’s beginnings as an artist and his graduation from the very first class of HSPVA.
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In the dramatic sitting room, walls are covered in Arena’s muted damask on jute, the perennially appealing Avian pattern. The 19th-century French settee is upholstered in Maja on Belgian linen, with opulent Arena velvet pillows in Niosh and Santorini. The chandelier is yet another of the homeowner’s creations, in silver-leafed iron and designed to hold glass votives.
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A vignette in the sitting room interweaves different cultures and times. The black lacquer Art Deco wall-mounted table supports prized finds: a terracotta Buddha and bronze Turkish candlesticks. The vibrant casein painting Henge, 2013, was inspired by recent archeological discoveries at the site Göbekli Tepe in Southeastern Turkey.
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In the cool and calm sitting room, fragile Roman glass vases surround terracotta and stone artifacts from Cambodia, Thailand and Italy. An etching from Cambodia hangs in a wonderfully painted wooden frame.
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The original porcelain tub, circa 1910, is embellished with a star motif and finished to complement the plaster walls.
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The upstairs office with serene walls of tinted plaster. The painting is an Arena mixed media on paper entitled "Head Crush," 2007.
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The homeowner and his loyal canine savor the garden, which is the site of intimate, often impromptu fêtes spring and fall.
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Inspiration strikes in the office. Metal geometric ceiling fixture from High Fashion Home. Lions head on wall is a plaster copy of a Renaissance original from Florence. The chair opposite Arena is covered in his cotton-velvet Amaranth.
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The cosseted sitting room’s settee was upholstered in Maja in the late 1980s and offers testimony to the longevity of Arena textiles. Cotton-velvet pillow Niosh in varying shades of thistle and taupe. French Modern lamp, from the St. Vincent de Paul store, fashioned in seagrass and brass.
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