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"Context is everything. You never really know if something is going to work until you see it in place," she says, adding, "I return a lot of things."
These days, Carole edits more than she adds. For the windows facing the road she chose simple white shades with beaded silver pulls. For an antique desk that bordered on ostentation she hid its marquetry and ormolu with steel-hued primer. ("Someday, someone's going to strip it and think, 'What kind of crazy person would paint this?'" she acknowledges.) Upstairs, the master suite features a white leather headboard of her own design and gleaming white bed linens—a soothing backdrop to the spectacular Sound views. Her husband's bathroom is a study of handsome neutrals; hers is as pale and creamy as a white rose.
After all this work, a question arises: is Carole home for good? "This house has great karma," she says. Then again, she thinks she has finally convinced her husband to buy a Manhattan pied-à-terre and she has her eye on a beach bungalow. "I'm really just visiting," she says. "We're all just visiting."