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Carol Glasser understands the power of antiques, how something old has the ability to renew. “I’d rather have an eighteenth-century piece than something new,” says the noted Houston-based interior designer from her spacious, light-filled loft-style apartment in the city’s Museum District. “An antique gives character and patina to the room like nothing else.” In her new highrise home, Glasser has masterfully combined formal and traditional European furnishings with rustic, large-scale country-style pieces. “I think that’s the definition of eclectic,” she says, “the juxtaposition of the old and the new, the country and the gilt. To me, it’s the mix that makes a home interesting.”

This unexpected and surprisingly pleasing combination of elements provides the backdrop for her impressive collections of English ironstone and Delft pottery, pieces she uses to serve from, to eat from, or to display fresh flowers. Glasser, a native West Texan, has been collecting for most of her adult life, though she emphasizes with a laugh, “I’m not a hoarder. I enjoy and I use these pieces and nothing is for show. Those really are my everyday dishes, but I ended up with a lot of them by default.”

Early in her interior designing career, Glasser had an antiques store in Houston, traveling at regular intervals to England on buying trips. “I specialized in antique accessories,” she explains, “and I was left with the things that didn’t sell. Because of my work, I was fortunate to have acquired many beautiful pieces over time, and they comprised the backbone of my collection.”  Helping her all along has been her associate, Becky Cooper. “Becky walked in soon after I opened my shop and has been with me ever since—thirty-four years. She began as my apprentice and now we work side by side.”

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This story appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of MILIEU.