‘Project Runway’ judge Nina Garcia unplugs on the Upper East Side

Lizbeth Scordo
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As fashion director of Marie Claire magazine, a judge on the fashion-focused reality show "Project Runway," and a mom of two, Nina Garcia is a busy woman. That's why, she explains to Architectural Digest, she wanted to make sure her New York City home was a place she could disconnect from the hustle and bustle. "In the rest of my life, I feel overstimulated," she tells the publication. "Here, I want things to be serene and unfussy, full of objects I love — but not too many of them."

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Garcia and husband David Conrod's apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side is actually a combination of two units. (The first they bought in 1998, the other when it came available in 2006.) After combining and renovating the spaces, Garcia says she took her time furnishing the place. "It's not like buying a dress. With furniture you have to proceed carefully."

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The couple eventually hired designer Carlos Aparicio, who owns the Soho decorative-arts gallery BAC. He helped turn the apartment into the family refuge it is today, filled with lots of Scandinavian and French furnishings from the first half of the 20th century, a style both Garcia and Aparicio appreciate. The bright living room, for example, features a 1920s table lamp as well as a side table, French daybed, Danish secretary all from the '40s.

The apartment may be a dream home now, but renovating and decorating it was far from dreamy. The process, says Garcia was "slow, expensive, hit or miss, sometimes a nightmare."

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The October issue of Architectural Digest hits newsstands on Tuesday, September 11.

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