A year after she moved into the apartment, her grandparents began downsizing, and Ms. Abbott fell heir to a classic 1950s coffee table and a two-tier side table, both with tile inlay. That furniture was right at home with the Russel Wright tableware (a wedding present from Ms. Abbott’s parents) and with the cache of chalkware — plaster of Paris figurines and wall hangings that were handed out as prizes at carnivals and became popular décor during the postwar era. For what it’s worth, they’re heavy enough to be murder weapons.
“My dad collected them, so I started collecting them, and we would give them to each other as presents. He passed away a few years ago, so I took some of the pieces I’d given him,” said Ms. Abbot, whose holdings include a Shirley Temple, a Snow White, a cowboy and a cornucopia of brightly colored fruit.
Vintage midcentury modern flamenco- and ballet-dancer figures hang on a wall in the living room. “I see them as providing some bohemian artistic energy for a 1950s Long Island family,” she said. “I’ve always loved the ballerina fantasy in pop culture — this perfect, pristine thing — so I often end up with tchotchkes that have the ballerina vibe. Obviously, ‘The Turnout’ was long in coming.”
A frequent topic of discussion during psychotherapy sessions, Ms. Abbott said, is her financial diffidence. She was a staff writer and story editor on the HBO series “The Deuce”; a creator of the USA Network series “Dare Me,” an adaptation of her 2012 mystery about a ruthless cheerleading squad; and she’s developing “The Turnout” as a limited series. But success has not gone to her head — or to her apartment.