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Universal Appeal

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When David Carmel decided to propose to Kirsten Axelsen, he was at home in Manhattan and she was in Ethiopia, working to eliminate trachoma (the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness). No problem: David flew 7,000 miles to pop the question at a restaurant in Addis Ababa. A year and a trip to the altar later, the Carmels now live in a Chelsea apartment that’s designed in part to make it easy for David to get around in a wheelchair; a diving accident eight years ago left him paralyzed from the waist down.
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  A ceiling-hung projection TV, aimed at a white wall, frees up floor space in the living room, where David Carmel’s modern pieces mix with Kirsten’s more traditional choices, including the wing chair and leather “fainting couch.”  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    A ceiling-hung projection TV, aimed at a white wall, frees up floor space in the living room, where David Carmel’s modern pieces mix with Kirsten’s more traditional choices, including the wing chair and leather “fainting couch.”

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  David’s desk, like the other furniture in the apartment, was chosen for both style and wheelchair accessibility.  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    David’s desk, like the other furniture in the apartment, was chosen for both style and wheelchair accessibility.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  North-facing windows offer views of the Empire State Building and just enough reflected light to keep the sliding wall of aluminum foam glowing.  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    North-facing windows offer views of the Empire State Building and just enough reflected light to keep the sliding wall of aluminum foam glowing.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  The apartment sits at a lofty remove from the busy Chelsea streets.  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    The apartment sits at a lofty remove from the busy Chelsea streets.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  Behind the living room’s foam partition, and accented with orange paint, a storage wall includes a Murphy bed for guests.  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    Behind the living room’s foam partition, and accented with orange paint, a storage wall includes a Murphy bed for guests.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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  The bedroom is painted white with one blue wall and built-in shelving. Wood floors, largely rugless, are luminous and wheelchair friendly.  Photo by: Raimund Koch
    The bedroom is painted white with one blue wall and built-in shelving. Wood floors, largely rugless, are luminous and wheelchair friendly.

    Photo by: Raimund Koch

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