Always lifted by great weather and plentiful sunshine, the mood in Palm Beach Florida got another boost when the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2021 launched in April.
After a 2020 that had few if any design events because of pandemic restrictions, this event pulled together more than just great design examples: It fostered hope and generated enthusiasm for a return to shows and displays of what design can do for our lives.
This year’s Palm Beach Decorator Showhouse (a big thanks to Jana Yanover who send us the images) was the fourth in this region and it had plenty of drama. The home is a 4,400-square-foot Mediterranean villa on sought-after South Flagler Drive. The interiors feature the work of 20 designers who made use of bold colors and patterns, along with loads of details that range from fringes on light fixtures and beaded embellishments on walls to dramatic artwork.
The family room has a very casual style that includes plenty of elements that give a nod to the homes’ Mediterranean style. Designed by Mikel Welch, the space is relaxed and neutral with plenty of earthy touches.
In fact, Welch has been quite as saying that its design is meant to “convey Fred Flintstone style, in the year 2021.” From the antique console to the natural materials and hand-crafted pieces like the plastered planter, the family room is meant for relaxing.
Above the two-story family room space, the upstairs hall is enclosed by a wall of paned glass that lets in lots of light and has the feeling of a greenhouse.
That aspect was the inspiration for the designers at Casa Gusto, who decorated the space with antiques that are displayed in a unique fashion on pegs along the opposite wall. Furnishings used are also antiques and the strategically placed drapery panels help define the window wall and help highlight the view from below.
Socialite Bunny Melon was the inspiration for Benjamin Deaton’s living room design, which is a superb combination of blue and brown tones. Silk-covered walls are paired with a papered ceiling done in a woodgrain print by Nobilis.
The fireplace features a brown lacquered frame, a deep hue that is repeated in the blinds, lamp and pillows on the sofa. The darker colors are lightened up by the full-length draped accented with chocolate trim as well as the bright blue-striped chairs.
A bright and cheerful space ideal for a return to entertaining, the dining room by Lorna Gross is focused on the pink seating but it is so much more. The chandelier is a rattan fixture from Currey & Company that is elegant and fun but certainly not stuffy.
The room is anchored by the rug from New Moon Rugs that features an entire forest of gently hued flora and fauna that actually includes 174 different colors. Accent panels on the walls add more soft color and an interesting pattern to the space.
Comfortable and modern, the kitchen was created by Mark Williams Design. The cabinets are white oak and are done without hardware for a sleek appearance while the countertops and backsplash keep the look light and bright.
You might notice the contrast with the Mediterranean-looking terra cotta tiles, which actually presented a design challenge since they are used throughout the entire first floor. Instead of replacing them, the designers opted to blend them in by using a dining set that features chairs in a complementary color of upholstery and herringbone wall tile by Fireclay in the bar alcove.
While the interior may have Mediterranean flair, this balcony design by Ellen Kavanaugh is like a tropical getaway. Lots of natural materials make this space feel serene and relaxed. It’s also very practical thanks to the tented ceiling, which was crafted in collaboration with Associated Interior Design Services and David Sutherland Showroom. Between the lush surroundings and the large shaded area, it’s perfect for quiet time or for entertaining,
Transforming a closet space into a super stylish built-in bar vestibule is a genius design by Harry Heissmann. Tasseled trim at the top and star-printed wallpaper give it a fun feeling. Underlighting on the shelving keeps the space bright and well-lit.
If you notice the ostrich statue on the bar, it’s actually a repeat of the birds pictured in the custom mural on the wall (not shown) that features a flock of ostriches, giving the space its name of Flock Hall.
A closet by Alexandra Naranjo features the colors that you might associate with the beach most often. Vibrant turquoise covers the ceiling and trim, and provides pops of boldness in the lamp as well as some elements inside the glass-fronted shelves. A chinoiserie printed wallcovering provides a luxe backdrop for shiny gold accents.
If you’ve ever wanted a closet that feels more like a boutique, this is it! Shelving, drawers and glass-fronted cabinets create a spectacular place to store clothing and fashion items. It actually started out as two very small rooms that were combined into one space that even includes a built-in vanity.
Called “The Afro Luxe Fashion Adventure” and designed by Nicole White, it is intended to be a “celebration of Blackness.” Upholstery in the closet comes from the S. Harris collection by the Black Artists + Designers Guild. The closet also features an oversized work by artist Kabriah Asha.
Courtney Giles designed this bedroom that is oriented to overlook the swimming pool. The tropical leaf print wallpaper has a subdued old-school flavor but also the large-scale leaves that are more common in today’s wallcoverings. The clean-lined furniture adds a contemporary touch and the sisal rug has a geometric motif that brings it all together in a very serene look.
Nina Magon’s “Contessa’s Bedroom” is perfection in a dusty pink shade. The bed sits on a platform that extends along the wall to form the headboard and side sections, all highlighted by a strip of underlighting.
The headboard is custom-designed and made from Cosentino stone. Actually, Magon says it’s the first custom porcelain bed. The rest of the room features moldings on the walls that start out looking traditional but take on a new twist as they extend up toward the ceiling in an unexpected curve. The room is crowned by the central chandelier with its curved arms and bubble-like glass shades.
Pink Paired with Red
Not just another pink bedroom, this pretty space by Amy Morris pairs red and pink in a marvelous combination of colors, textures and patterns. Grasscloth was used on the walls in a neutral ivory, which helps keep the focus on the pink and red elements. The patterned ceiling adds interest and the biggest contrast comes from the ice blue painted floor.
The ceiling is also painted the same dark green and features some dandelion-like pouf motifs. Vines and flowers snake along the canopy frame and even the light fixture is in the shape of a flower! Our favorite part of this space is the windows, which are covered by shitters that have been laser cut with varied circles, making the daylight that comes in feel like sunlight coming through the leaves of the trees.
Alexandra Naranjo’s jungle bathroom gets its look from the dramatic and colorful De Gournay wallpaper. The bold bathroom has elegant, individual washbasins with exposed golden plumbing and an eye-catching navy bathtub. Paired with a marble floor and golden rattan ceiling, the space is very distinctive.
This bathroom by Forbes+Masters brings the outside in by including an array of live plants in the shower area. Modern and minimalist, the space features glazed tiles that are vertically oriented along with a marble floor and wall section.
In a fancy take on the standard technique of using mirrors to make a small space feel bigger, designer Brittany Bromley gave this bathroom a whole new opulent personality.
The antique mirrors are framed in Rosa Portugal marble, which is also used for the tub and the flooring. A far cry from the outdated pink bathrooms of yore, this one has loads of drama not only from the mirrors but also from the wall sconces that have floral motifs and the ceiling fixture, which is an entire orb of blossoms.
For this low-key design, Anna Braund was said to be inspired by the courtyards — or riads — found in homes in Morrocco.
The second-floor space has been surrounded by drapes for privacy and shade. The neutral palette was curated to be unobtrusive so that the view is the main attraction. In addition to the rattan chairs, European antiques are used in the space and art is installed over the drape-covered wall so that the loggia feels more like a room and less like an outpost.
The Wonderful Outdoors
Throughout the various areas of the courtyard, SMI Landscape Architecture used a teal color to evoke a Mediterranean location. The use of leafy screens instead of standard garden fencing adds to the exotic vibe and makes it look far more interesting.
Relaxing Pool Area
Landscape designer Fernando Wong created a relaxed area around the pool, with plenty of greenery in pots and around the home. It’s an inviting space the feels a little retro and the perfect outdoor counterpoint to the interiors.
Images by Jana Yanover.