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De Cardenas assumes that the lamp in the corner of his bedroom is by the 1950s designer Mathieu Mategot, but he’s not positive. “I can’t find it in any books, but I can’t imagine it’s anyone else,” he says. “The walls are same color I’ve used for a million projects: Mexicali Turquoise by Benjamin Moore. There’s no intellectual consideration behind it, I’m just really into it. But people don’t like turquoise, and I think it’s weird that they don’t; in general for residential projects they never let me use it.” Which isn't to say he doesn't appreciate neutrals: “One of my new obsessions is that I want to buy a house upstate and fill it with old crap that’s brown,” he says.