This 1920s Palm Beach Home Perfectly Blends Past & Present
From the outside, the Palm Beach, Florida, house that Maxine Granovsky Gluskin shares with her husband, Ira Gluskin, is a throwback to the oceanfront enclave’s old-school opulence. Built in the 1920s by renowned American architect Addison Mizner, the landmark has a Mediterranean Revival style that perfectly preserves the glamour of an era when Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Astors flocked to the area for sun and fun. Inside, however, the transformation that took nearly two years to complete is an awe-inspiring blend of conservation and contemporary chutzpah.
Maxime — former president and current honorary chair of the Art Gallery of Ontario board of trustees — interviewed five designers before committing to the New York firm Haynes-Roberts, who understood how to translate her vision: “relaxed formality.”
“There’s an urbanity to some of the pieces because you’re in a place where it’s about sophistication and elegance — the old Palm Beach,” say the designers. But, then, this is new Palm Beach. A slightly later mid-century influence — think 1960s and ’70s — comes through, particularly in the lighting, which expresses personality and modernity in equal measure. “It’s a little more playful-chic, an almost Italian inspiration in terms of interiors,” say the designers.
Scroll down to step inside this opulent Palm Beach oasis.
The landmark house reflects a signature mix of Venetian, Spanish and southern styles.
Maxine stands under an Allegro Assai chandelier that brings contemporary verve to the loggia.
In the entrance hall, the eye is drawn outward to the garden and upward to the sculpture by Ugo Rondinone on the landing. The chandelier by Hans- Agne Jakobsson is circa-1950s.
A Fornasetti chair has impact in the understated front entry.
A shade of lilac covers the walls in the bar as a more romantic alternative to grey. “When we entertain, we often hang out in the bar,” says Maxine. “We frequently dine here, too.”
The nickel-framed bar makes a polished statement within a space that retains a certain beachy ease.
Beneath the living room’s ornate ceiling, a formal arrangment of vintage, pedigreed and playful furniture offers a creative interpretation of Palm Beach ambience. “The ceiling details are over-the-top ornate and beautifully crafted, which is a lovely foil to the more sedate furnishings in the living room,” says Maxine.
The living room’s restored cork and composite flooring adds graphic impact. “I love the floors,” says Maxine. “They’re original to the house and are bold and interesting.” The console is another striking accent in the space. “The designer, Paul Evans, often worked in metals,” she adds. “There’s an elegance to his pieces, even though they can be raw and Brutalist.” Art by Wolgang Tillmans grounds the space while adding an almost seductive feeling.
A sense of streamlined glamour plays out in the dining room, where retro furniture, including Arflex chairs from the 1960s, takes on a modern look. The butler’s pantry (background) is used for glassware and linens.
“When I saw this work, I thought of a close friend who had recently passed away, as we had both loved the artist,” says Maxine. “This piece will always remind me of him.”
Maxine’s favorite spot in the house is the luxurious yet low-key kitchen, which stands out for its milky tile backsplash and island topped with a two-and-a-half-inch slab of honed Calacatta Gold marble. “I wanted to have a homey but highly functional kitchen that referenced modern and Swedish design,” says Maxine. “We dine at home quite often and I love cooking on the La Cornue range.”
The breakfast room features a wall sculpture of acrylic cubes by Teresita Fernández and an iconic Saarinen dining table and chairs.
In the main-floor den, tactile fabrics and reimagined vintage furniture exude effortless flair.
The stairway off the hallway leads to the tower where Maxine has her office and yoga space.
The principal bedroom’s 1960s chandelier and chest of drawers reference a vintage elegance.
A soft shade of sage green bathes the bedroom in calm.
For her principal bathroom, Maxine wanted a serene, uncluttered, space.
Coquina stone with terracotta tile inlays ground the loggia in the past.
Breakfast and lunch are served outside on the terrace.
New landscaping around the pool area evokes a Slim Aarons-esque sensibility.