Something lovingly old, something whimsically new is the theme behind a collection of redesigned guest rooms at The Brazilian Court in Palm Beach.
While they still embrace traditional dark wood floors and crown molding, Lauren Hastings of LSI Designs installed lush green velvet headboards and sofas, and added splashes of lavender. The standout feature: dreamy wisteria-upholstered wall panels. “In early design development we were pulling color inspirations that are strong enough to carry the weight of the room but that are also tranquil and contemporary,” explains Hastings. “Wisteria, with its varying tones of lavenders, blues, greens and yellows, was a perfect fit.”
Artist Austin Kerr created the artwork, and Frameworks printed the image on silk-like fabric. Renovations will continue, with special touches like custom art using Pierre Frey patterns and one-of-a-kind pieces from Keller Palm Beach.
Welcoming vacationers since July 15, the new Compass by Margaritaville hotel has settled fittingly into the serene landscape of Anna Maria Sound. Delivering a slice of the trademark relaxation lifestyle Margaritaville resorts have long supplied, this property overlooks a marina and offers a pool, a daily cocktail hour and its own seaside-inspired restaurant. Each of the 123 rooms features a water view, Margaritaville bedding and oversize bathrooms with rainfall showerheads, while complimentary daily breakfast, a lounge stocked with books and board games, and a snack-laden Welcome Cabana promote a laid-back itinerary—Jimmy Buffett-approved. compasshotel.com/annamariasound
Owning a primary residence in Boston, the clients wanted an uncomplicated retreat where their friends, adult children and grandchildren could gather. The single-level abode by Dailey Janssen Architects in the north end of Palm Beach had been the first property they toured when house hunting. They found themselves instantly attracted to its bright spaces and open floor plan, which conjured a carefree air of being on perpetual holiday. “What I love about the house is the sort of casual-living, Malibu vibe,” the wife says. “You walk in the front door, and the first thing you see is the outside and the pool. It instantly feels relaxing.” The Turkish stone flooring contributes to the mood, as do the soaring beamed ceilings and simple white and gray kitchen.
While the layout of the newly constructed dwelling appealed to the owners, the interior paint colors and light fixtures did not. Skok updated both and then set about curating a diverse selection of artwork, fabrics and rugs, incorporating not just her own creations but also those of her industry friends, to produce a layered, lived-in look. “There’s so much talent out there, and I love back-and- forth collaboration and integrating other designers’ work into my projects,” she says. “Personally, I think it’s boring to only use your own fabrics.”
Born and raised in South Africa, Skok lived in London for several years and brings an international sensibility to her projects through her use of eclectic fabrics and daring combination of bold patterns and rich textures. Elements of a Skok design are easy to identify, as in this residence: In the foyer is a settee she upholstered in a graphic Zulu-inspired material. Opposite is a dramatic braided ra a mirror, and on a nearby wall are painted ceramic plates by an emerging South African artist she discovered.
Just past the foyer are the living and dining areas, where Skok kept the furnishings neutral to employ her trademark mix. Pillows in graphic red and blue prints top the cream-colored sofa. Striking abstract art enlivens the dining area. And a trio of South African basket lids decorate a hallway leading to the master bedroom, where a tufted yellow bed and tropical window treatments add a youthful note. Down the hall, an explosion of unexpected patterns of Skok’s own design infuses the wife’s office with whimsy.
Throughout the home, the designer emphasized an informal Palm Beach vibe by sourcing accessories from Antique Row shops and other local vintage stores. A framed Japanese print discovered nearby hangs in the guest bedroom, and perched on the living area’s replace mantel is a growing flock of porcelain parrots–cheeky findings Skok calls her “wink to Palm Beach.”
Yet the essence of the locale is best captured in the home’s outdoor gathering spots. The U-shaped structure wraps around the pool, yielding a private backyard as well as an extra-deep loggia. That space–a key attraction for the couple, as the wife loves spending time outside–allowed Skok to form an exterior dining spot and a living area, outfitted with a large sectional. Continuing the strategy from inside, she kept the furnishings white and introduced color through pillows clad in wildly printed fabrics.
Despite the home’s lived-in feel, Skok completed the job swiftly and effortlessly by heeding her own design advice: “‘Enjoy yourself’ is what I tell clients. There is a lot of serendipity in each project, and sometimes you just have to follow that instead of the rules. Decorate, and then get on with your life.”
The residence initially required a few structural changes to reconfigure its tight, closed-in layout. “Everything had been blocked off, and the owners wanted a more open concept,” Scott recalls. To tackle the renovations, the interior designers turned to general contractor Andres Hoyos. With Bruce Carlson serving as architect of record, Hoyos and his team gutted the rooms and demolished the walls around the kitchen. The resulting free-flowing space has become the centerpiece of the home, with proximity to the living area and the den. “You can now walk a full circle throughout the interior because of the floor plan,” Jimenez says.
Hoyos also installed porcelain flooring throughout the home as well as trimless frame lighting and ipe wood ceiling planks from the living area to the kitchen. “The wood structure is floating and is cut in an L-shape to create a cove light,” he says. “The sides have a knife-edge profile, so you don’t see the thickness of the wood.”
To delineate areas such as the master bedroom, den and bathrooms, Jimenez and Scott employed sliding smoked-glass partitions, rather than traditional doors. Also a clever space-saving measure, the doors stack together and allow the homeowners to completely open the residence to guests when entertaining. Framed in bronze, the glass still offers privacy; only silhouettes are visible from the other side.
Within the new setting, the interior designers introduced modern finishes, contemporary lighting and understated tones in line with the airy aesthetic. In doing so, the duo played to each other’s strengths: Jimenez, for instance, considers himself a refined modernist and tends to focus on details such as millwork and how features should be flush and trimless. “Ray has an architectural mind for streamlining,” Scott says, pointing out how Jimenez ensured the living area’s side table aligns with the trimless recessed and surface-mount lights. He also painstakingly composed the master bathroom’s convex ceramic art piece tile-by-tile.
For her part, Scott, who favors more eclectic styles, takes the lead on elements related to mood and atmosphere, such as material compositions and furniture placement. In this case, she and Jimenez took Andrea on a shopping trip to the Windy City to hunt for the perfect pieces. “Ninety percent of the furniture in the home comes from Chicago,” Scott says. “We get a different perspective there.” The trio returned from the excursion with items such as the kitchen’s contemporary copper bar stools, the living area’s blush-toned modular sofa and the master bedroom’s curved black-and-white houndstooth-patterned loveseat.
The furniture is especially striking against the neutral color palette and understated features that pervade the home, such as the gray croc paneling that spans most of a wall in the living area. “Ray had to be convinced of the croc,” Scott laughs. Jimenez concurs, “The subtlety of the color, the scale of the croc and the stitching around each panel help to refine it.” Nearby, the off-white Corian kitchen countertops dominate the center of the space. And the master bathroom’s cool black, white and gray color scheme underscores the modern mood. Still, the interior designers found ways to incorporate pops of color, including blue and brass accessories, plum gray cushions on the kitchen stools and a red leather chair in the den.
Much like Jimenez and Scott, who merged their design talents, the residence is a posh, pleasing blend of two distinct looks: contemporary and beachy, uniting the best of both styles. As Jimenez notes: “When you can make a space modern, clean and sophisticated, that is the ultimate satisfaction.”
When interior designer Phyllis Taylor and architect Maria Rignack found themselves renovating a Key Largo condo with sharp angles and a challenging floor plan, the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi seemed an apt envelope for the Florida project. Derived from Buddhist teachings, the school of thought embraces imperfections and celebrates nature—tenets that have shaped interiors and architecture alike.
Taylor and Rignack’s clients, a prominent Midwestern family, had previously worked with their firm on a Palm Beach-style vacation home in the same resort community. But as the years went on, the family found they needed more space to accommodate an ever-expanding brood. With no acreage to build a guest cottage, the couple jumped at the opportunity to purchase in a new development just a quick golf cart ride away, enlisting the duo to smarten the existing architectural interiors and devise a tasteful, low-maintenance design scheme.
Bringing in natural light was the first priority. The unit was inwardly situated, plunging the entry and hallway into darkness. “Florida sun is our greatest natural resource,” Taylor says. “The quality of that light and how it reacts to color and gives us shadowing is what we count on to make our interiors successful.” So, as a first order of business, frosted-glass doors were added to the bedrooms off the entryway, filtering in soft outdoor light while still maintaining privacy.
Next, organic materials were employed to camouflage the hallway’s door procession. “Essentially we were given white walls, many utilitarian doors and an odd point,” Rignack explains of the corridor. “We decided the best way to address this was to conceal the doors as much as possible.” General contractor James Gregory and builder Miles Zamora clad the hall in a grainy milpa wood on one side and full-height white marble reliefs on the other. “The selections and applications of colors helped,” Gregory says. “They’re all the primarily neutral, natural tones. The natural light now bounces throughout the condo, and it’s very soft and comforting.” In tandem, the surfaces bring impactful texture to the space, which the team highlighted further with sleek sconces that simultaneously call attention to door openings. At the end of the hall, where the walls converge in that aforementioned point, Rignack carved in as much as the abutting plumbing would allow her, transforming the corner into a chic gallery niche-cum-focal feature.
The unit’s bones proved challenging for the clients as well, having long-favored classic interiors. “We couldn’t throw a traditional style into a modern layout—the space just didn’t lend itself to that,” Taylor explains. “The difficult thing was convincing the owners their sensibilities would still shine through—that the design would be an updated interpretation of what’s important to them and how they like to live.” Entrusting their fruitful long-term relationship, the couple took a leap and embraced Taylor’s contemporary “Zen with zing” vision.
To incorporate the wife’s favorite color—“blue, blue and more blue,” the interior designer describes—antique indigo textiles from Japan were introduced as a jumping-off point. Throughout each room, indigo fragments are sewn into throw pillows, framed as wall art and gracefully draped across furnishings, establishing a color narrative that carries across the hallway rug and powder bath detailing. Japanese references continue with details like the glass and rope pendants in the kitchen, inspired by the culture’s rope and knot art, and in the use of woven textures throughout, such as a living area armchair that nods to traditional basket weaving. Beyond these nuances, a reverence for fine craftsmanship and earthy forms permeates the space, from the intricate built-ins in the master bedroom to the bespoke surface of the indoor dining table: a slab of bleached wood Taylor had cast in white acrylic.
Bringing the wabi-sabi ethos full circle, the outdoor living space is undoubtedly the unit’s most enjoyed feature. Accessible via a wall of retractable glass doors, the expansive terrace flows into the airy interiors, blurring the lines between inside and outside. “The owners enjoy the Florida air and live more in that outside room than in the conventional interior spaces,” Taylor says.
In a happy surprise to both client and design team, the new apartment has drawn unexpected visitors to the family’s beloved vacation destination: the owners themselves. “They thought that this was going to be a house for guests,” Taylor says. “But as it turns out, they’re the guests.”
Who runs the world? These days, it feels like Miami. That’s where Rita Chraibi, the French-Moroccan designer who founded International Designers in Casablanca, has opened her second global headquarters. Even bigger news: She’s partnering with Roche Bobois as the exclusive interior designer for the brand’s 60th anniversary. Chraibi will oversee several design projects in Miami, including a $30 million residence in Miami Beach. “My collaborations with Roche Bobois represent the firm’s haute couture designers, who craft tailor-made home pieces,” says Chraibi. “I balance comfort with the signature styles of world-renowned fashion designers Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Kenzo, and fabric brands such as Lelièvre Paris and Missoni Home. This is a new concept that harmonizes fashion design with interior design.” intdesigners.com
As its name suggests, Epoch aims to usher in a new era of luxurious living for those who call it home. Slated to make its official debut along the Sarasota skyline in early 2021, the contemporary condominium comprising 23 residences was designed by Coral Gables architectural firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows set against the backdrop of panoramic ocean views. Residents will enjoy amenities such as concierge service, a rooftop terrace, a wellness center with a private massage suite and a secluded guest residence. The interiors, by Miami’s B. Pila Design, will be appointed with imported Italian cabinetry and free-standing soaking tubs. epochsarasota.com
The residence, located in Windsor, melds classic southern and island architecture with modern flourishes such as cantilevered balconies and expanses of glass. Created with an indoor-outdoor lifestyle in mind, the layout directs guests from the front door toward the open-air living space, complete with a lap pool and sitting area. The airy structure includes a large living area, a master bedroom and a loft. A pair of coach houses are also at the ready to accommodate guests.
The exterior had been painted a neutral hue; the inside was clean and white. But once Mickley set foot on the property, things started to change. “When I was younger, I really wanted to be an artist,” he recalls. “I wanted to go to art school, but my mother told me I needed a profession, so I went into interior design. My love of art comes out in what I do–not that I couldn’t do a white-on-white interior, but I love to mix things.”
Mickley’s bohemian blend of colors and forms begin with the dining area’s whimsical light fixture, a dozen pendants with global-patterned woven lampshades made of recycled plastics and soda bottles. He paired the bold piece with a rectangular light wood table and an oversize acrylic abstract on a nearby wall. “It easily could have looked like a modern art museum,” the designer says of the space. “But we brought in warmth through wicker chairs around the dining table.”
The “incredible light” pouring in through the large windows and 10-foot-high doors inspired the home’s palette, Mickley says. He pulled in the blue skies, nature and sunshine with well-considered turquoise, gold and red patterned fabrics; woven area rugs; and sun-bleached wooden pieces, such as the sculptural twin wall mirrors in the hallway between the kitchen and the master bedroom.
Spanning 18 to 35 feet, the ceilings’ monumental height left the home feeling equally airy and cavernous. To make the rooms feel more intimate, Mickley strategically hung abstract artwork throughout at 12-14 feet off the ground, lowering the visual focus. The human scale is especially evident in the living area, where vibrant shades and varied patterns lead the eye around the space–from the tribal print pillows to a beaded African stool and a vintage chair with bird profiles carved into the arms. “When I’m not restrained by someone’s taste, I’m told there can be a very ethnic influence to my work,” Mickley says. “But I do it in a way where everything plays off everything else, and there’s a balance. There’s a great amount of color, texture, simplicity and complication in this house. That yin and yang is what makes it so livable.”
The strategy continues in the master bedroom, where the designer cleverly minimized the voluminous space. Between two mirrored 10-foot-tall doors, he displayed a geometric grass-cloth mural that mimics the clean lines of the 9-foot-tall canopy bed. The mural’s blues and greens also echo the sitting area’s palm print armchairs, which offer a nod to the landscape outside.
The final design is anything but typical, yet totally Mickley. “Don’t make me do something because you think your friends will like it,” he tells his clients. “Do it because you like it. That’s what makes things fun.”
Designer Kara Hebert and general contractor Michael Maxwell have collaborated on an extensive list of residential projects. But, naturally, the engaged couple’s most meaningful joint venture is their most personal: their new home in Jupiter, Florida.
The duo designed the house from the ground up, conceiving a traditional West Indies-style abode that is colorful, energetic, approachable and, most importantly, accommodating for their blended family of five children and two dogs. Accustomed to joining forces, Hebert and Maxwell have a strong sense of each other’s style preferences, which tend to align. “We have always had similar goals in mind when working on any project, and this one was not very different,” Hebert says. “Michael is the construction part with strong interests in millwork and carpentry, and I come in with my love for textiles, wallpaper and lighting.”
Before the shiplap ceiling beams and patterned draperies went up, however, the pair had to consider how to wisely utilize coverage of a tight lot. “We needed to look at this in a nontraditional way, and the relationship of the surrounding homes and the lot’s uniqueness made me think about having a courtyard,” architect Dennis Rainho says of his idea to center the structure around an outdoor area. “The courtyard, connected to all common living spaces, makes this work.” He surrounded the courtyard with French doors and tall windows rather than walls, granting visual access from places such as the entry hall and bringing in natural light—as well as views of plantings by landscape architect Steve Parker. “It feels like a gallery when you walk in,” Rainho says, “and that sets the mood for the entire house: special, cozy and inviting.”
Inside, living areas are grounded with a soothing palette of white walls and marble flooring as a cohesive backdrop for the couple’s love of tropical colors, particularly blues and greens. The hues appear throughout in patterns and prints on furnishings and decor, starting with aqua draperies in the entry hall, where personal touches are also on full display. Hebert organized a gallery wall of family photos—which she calls their “memory station”—and hung a Gray Malin print of their favorite beach on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, where the couple frequently escapes to.
The hall leads to the family area, connected to the combined dining space and white Shaker-style kitchen, which displays the designer’s heirloom dishware on open shelving. Pale blue backsplash tile, rattan dining chairs, a white-washed table and a navy runner evoke the beachy vibe the couple appreciates. “Most decisions were pretty easy for us, as Michael and I both like happy colors and simple design,” Hebert says.
Amid the style selections, the couple took steps to maximize every inch of the floor plan. For instance, as sleeping arrangements for the three daughters, Hebert relocated windows and doors in a bedroom to accommodate two sets of chic, white bunk beds with Chippendale railings. Pink and orange ikat draperies add a whimsical feminine look that complements the lavender grass-cloth wallpaper of the adjoining bathroom. The den, meanwhile, acts as a fourth bedroom, with a blue-striped queen sleeper sofa near a coral armchair. There, Hebert payed homage to Maxwell’s former career as a professional skateboarder by mounting a custom wood rack of his boards, displaying the colorful collection like artwork. “I love incorporating a variety of art into clients’ homes, using a mix of abstract pieces, photography, even china,” she says. “It creates a sense of history and meaning. Skateboarding is a big part of Michael’s story, so we included that here.”
Not every aspect of the project came without a difference of opinion, however. Hebert, for one, insisted on installing a pool, even a modestly sized one. To get Maxwell on board, she taped out the shape of the feature multiple times in the courtyard to find the right spot for the plunge pool and waterfall wall. “Quite honestly, it’s such a great focal point,” the general contractor concedes.
As for his part, Maxwell envisioned the master quarters as a hotel suite, with an open-space bedroom and bathroom—no door separation, a compromise for Hebert. The aqua-hued bedroom seamlessly transitions from seagrass flooring to marble in the bathroom, which shares matching draperies near a freestanding tub.
In the end, the couple blended not just their family but also their lifestyle vision, with a perfect mixture of warmth, comfort and memories—an achievement Maxwell credits Hebert for making their house a true home. “Kara makes everyone she works with happy,” he says. “Every house she has done is like walking into a big hug.”
It’s a classic renovation tale: A couple buys a Naples, Florida vacation house. It’s ideal for them in the moment—turnkey and kitted out to perfection. A decade or so elapses, and times and needs change. Such was the case for designer Billy Ceglia’s longtime clients. “They looked at moving, at seeing what else was out there because their family had grown,” says Ceglia. “But they loved the location, and the house—it was just dated. They decided to stay, keep the memories, and make it fresh and new and right for their family now.” After two previous projects together, the designer and his clients had built serious trust, so Ceglia had nearly free reign on the house. “The ideal clients understand that they’re hiring professionals, so there are more functional and programming notes,” he observes.
In the revamp, out went the muted, tea-stained palette, bamboo furniture and tropical prints, and in came thoughtfully reworked spaces, tailored silhouettes and flourishes of bold color. “We gave it half a face-lift,” Ceglia says with a laugh. “And touched nearly every surface.” The designer’s efforts are visible outside, where orange barrel tile on the roof was replaced with flat, gray tiles. “It looks a little more like the Italian countryside,” he says. And then, “We painted everything that stood still white,” he says, referring to the now crisp finish on the formerly beige-y precast concrete façade. Ceglia took a similar tack inside, applying a whitewash to the walls. “I don’t like to go against what the outside tells you, so that you think, ‘Wait a minute, did I teleport somewhere else?’ It feels relatable to the exterior and to their lifestyle.” He directed paintbrushes to the architectural details as well. Columns and ceiling beams also received a white coat, and, to heighten that dolce vita vibe, the interiors of the ceiling coffers are blue. “It kept that feeling of open-air space,” notes the designer.
Ceglia kept the interior plan mostly intact. Well laid out, the bathrooms required only cosmetic overhauls, but the kitchen (and the adjacent breakfast area and family room) was a different story. “It had been a giant dead end,” says the designer, “so we took out a peninsula and swapped in a bigger island.” To accommodate the couple’s grandchildren, he created a kid zone there with storage conveniently positioned for little hands to grab paper plates, napkins and snacks. He also removed an existing bar to make way for a multi-person home office, while the family room gained more seating to accommodate their visiting tribe.
Rather than choosing all-white finishes for the kitchen, “We worked with Waterworks to find the palest gray paint for the perimeter cabinets and a stain for the island with a yellow undertone,” explains Ceglia. The latter hue was both an aesthetic and practical decision, as one of the few finishes kept was the travertine flooring. “It would have been a major undertaking to rip it out,” says general contractor Tom Lawrence, “and it was a beautiful element of the house, so why remove it?”
While the kitchen reads neutral, the rest of the open-plan house tells a thoughtfully woven color story. “We wanted it traditional but fresh and youthful, so we chose stronger colors on more classic furniture,” notes Ceglia. In the living room, a deep turquoise fabric with a subtle white ribbon pattern offers up an English-meets-South Florida vibe. “In the dining room, the color mellows and mutes on the host and hostess chairs and whispers in the chinoiserie wall panels,” he notes. The palette picks up steam again in the breakfast room, where a paler turquoise covers the pillows on a set of gray upholstered chairs before making a bigger statement on the family room’s sectional and lounge chair. The boldest expression is found in the vibrant wallcoverings in the turquoise guest room and bath. “We made an S curve that moves your eye through the house,” the designer explains, “When you’re outside looking back in, you see all of those rooms.”
For Ceglia, his clients’ home offers a compelling lesson for others faced with a dated abode. “You can look at this house and realize that you don’t have to start from scratch,” he says. A big part of the equation, though, is making decisions that will hold up in years to come. “I want my clients to do it once and never have to do it again,” the designer shares, “I like to choose classic, wonderful, comfortable things that they won’t tire of.”