Interior designers simply cannot stop looking at beautiful things. It always is interesting to see how other creative people perceive a space, as well as how they reinvent uses for different pieces of furniture and decorative items.
I recently had the good fortune to be in Palm Beach, Fla., for the auction of Lilly Pulitzer’s estate. To my joy, the timing coincided with the annual American Red Cross Designers’ Show House in West Palm Beach! Add to the mix all of the wonderful antique shops in the area, and it was like hitting an interior-design trifecta! I was in heaven!
The Italian villa-inspired home, Ville delle Palme (isn’t your home named?), was built in the 1920s and had all the bells and whistles you would expect. There were more than 15 spaces made over by the area’s top interior design professionals and they did not disappoint.
Each space reflected the history of the home’s original architecture and was enhanced by the color and texture selected by each designer. The foyer was the only room in the home left in its original state due to the fact that it really is perfection. The antique églomisé painted mirrors set in panel frames made a stunning yet quiet statement as guests entered the home. Even the original chandelier remained to light the space.
The small but dramatic powder room was right off of the foyer. Bold wallpaper with a koi pattern in a sort of yin-and-yang formation commanded the walls. Coral, black and lotus leaf green gave one a sense of happy!
The dining room to the left of the foyer was designed around the Gracie wallcovering that had hung in the home for years. Pulling the ‘fresher’ colors from the paper’s palette, the designer infused a youthful shot to this rather formal space and added contemporary furnishings and touches.
Now on to the living room, where the stone fireplace on one side and a double staircase on the other punctuated the dramatic two-story height of the space. Bright colors again juxtaposed with a healthy dose of neutrals kept the space in harmony. An antique armoire was lined in a matte red taffeta and outfitted as a dry bar—a clever use of a piece of furniture that doesn’t get much play these days.
Taking a turn to the right at the end of the living room brought us to the study. Designed with neutrals, warm woods, and judicious splashes of blues, reds and yellows made this an inviting space. No television present, so the seating arrangements encouraged conversation. Not one detail was left unattended to.
Stepping out onto the loggia, a screened wall created a sanctuary that protects you from the ever-present bugs that Florida is known for in the summertime. Again, neutrals kept harmony with the natural hues of the green plantings both inside and outside of the loggia.
The main floor was completed with another powder room and a Florida room that used color in a way that was definitely reminiscent of the 1970s.
Upstairs was divided into two distinct wings, depending on which staircase you ascended. To one side, a master suite with master bath and ladies dressing area offered ocean views. The other side of the second level was designed as a guest retreat, guest bedroom and a bathroom.
The gardens were lovely—after all, it is Florida. One designer created a ‘tented’ outdoor living room for those pleasant evenings when there is a beautiful breeze and no beastly bugs.
Indeed, a very inspirational excursion that will have lasting effects on projects here in the Midwest!