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Throughout the apartment graceful touches are balanced with practicality. In the dining room, with its treetop views of Central Park, the decorators installed a circa-1940 Venetian-glass chandelier, a gray-tone tryptich by Uta Barth, and a wall-mounted George Nakashima console. But a visitor couldn't help also noticing protective pads atop the dining table. It's where the kids do their homework.

In the breakfast room, which is where the family often takes its meals, the previous banquette upholstery had been held together by tape. To re-cover it, the Gomezes found a pale Lee Jofa fabric that was luscious in the extreme. At first Pollan balked, but only briefly, rationalizing, "Our kids are so careful." Now they are urged to be mindful during meals-and aren't always silent about it. As one daughter protested," you think you did an upgrade?"

Closets are often in short supply in Manhattan apartments, and it's no different here, including in the master bedroom. While the common solution is to annex more space for storage, Pollan makes do with a decidedly modest walk-in closet. "It's enough for me," she says. Shoes are not her priority. "In a fire," she remarks, “I’d save the art and the pottery.” Among the bedroom’s muted accent pieces are an Axel Salto stoneware vase, an elegant Art Nouveau bench, and a painting by Judith Belzer (the wife of Pollan’s brother, writer Michael Pollan). The bathrooms, left largely as they were, retain a charming prewar feel. "We like old New York apartments," Fox says. “We never wanted a Soho loft."

For all its refinements, the home exudes continuity and familiarity - it’s a place where people actually live. Children wander through. And dogs,too. A very contented Fox refers to the apartment as “the location of my inner peace".

Yes, but what would Alex P. Keaton, the smart-aleck conservative son on Family Ties, say? The question produces a wicked grin. And a wry response from the actor who made that character an icon: "Alex would call this apartment economical. But not cheap."

Left, from top: In the breakfast room, the ‘60s Lightolier pendant lamp and the table, a ‘60s teak partners desk by Florence Knoll, are both from Wyeth; the banquette is covered in a Lee Jofa linen, and the Knoll Saarinen chairs, from Design Within Reach, are upholstered in a Manuel Canovas chenille. Arrayed in Fox’s study are a ‘50s Wormley walnut-and-steel desk, an Eames desk chair from Design Within Reach, and an Art Deco club chair; the Art Deco alabaster ceiling fixture is from Chameleon Fine Lighting.

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