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Heirlooms Apparent 

One of the things that struck me most about the home of Lisa Pulitzer and Gary Zoller (see page 7) is the way Lisa has displayed her artistic heritage throughout the house. It's one thing to own a striking, thoughtfully rendered portrait. It's quite another to be able to say, "Oh, my grandfather painted that one. And that one, and that one." Her grandfather, the late Leonard Flettrich, was an accomplished artist. The fact that Lisa has given his works a place of prominence in her home says as much about her love for him as it does about her eye for design.

It is true that some heirlooms are easier to appreciate than others, but then these things are, by their very nature, very personal. And though my father's parents, now deceased, were not artistically inclined, in a sense, the things I have from their home are my most cherished possessions. An old wooden bench that sat next to the fireplace, a tattered leather-covered chest from the cabana, '70s-era barstools from the kitchen — the weighty trove of memories they hold belie their weakened structures. And like an intense devotion to the homely child you favor over your more comely progeny, the idea that perhaps I alone can see their true beauty makes them all the more special to me. The truth is, these are the things that make me feel most at home in my own home.

I believe that, in the end, sometimes it's the things that we don't choose — like our genetic makeup, country of origin and handed-down treasures — that reveal the most about who we are, where we came from and how good we've gotten at making the most of what we've been given.

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