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STYLE: INTERIORS : Color-Coordinated

May 22, 1994|LESA SAWAHATA

While Lori and Alan Erenberg were married, they spent much of their time hunting down vintage furniture and accessories, then arranging them in living spaces noted for an intrepid, funky style. When the couple separated, their sense of style remained amicable. So after Alan, former owner of the Serta mattress company, grew dissatisfied with the way his mixed bag of post-divorce furnishings looked in his white-on-white condo, he asked Lori, a designer and set decorator, to pull the disparate pieces together.

Her answer: color. And not just any color but bold, bigger-than-life, Hollywood-influenced color--ocher, chartreuse, turquoise--that "gives a space life, movement and flow," she says. To find shades of this intensity that would work well together, Alan tested no fewer than 37, brushing them onto the white walls before arriving at the final seven.

This carefully considered palette resulted in a theatrical, Expressionistic backdrop that united Erenberg's California-flavored furniture, objects and art. Painted Monterey Western furniture (made by Barker Bros. in the '30s), old Mexican blankets and pure kitsch--like the '40s harem lamp, a legacy from Alan's father in a style he dubbed "Jewish Rococo"--combined comfortably with blue-chip pieces such as art from Calder and Leger, Tiffany silver and Steuben glassware.

"Alan had great taste, whether classic or kitsch," says Lori of her former husband, who died last month. His vision will live on through the Erenbergs' teen-age sons, Victor and Ilya. "They've been immersed in this all their lives," she says, "and like their dad, they've got great style all their own."

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