You Don’t Have To Live By The Ocean To Get The Palm Beach Look
Not only is Palm Beach blessed with gorgeous weather and a wealth of historic homes (the best designed by society architect Addison Mizner), it has given birth to its own distinct style of eccentric decor. Good news? You don’t have to have the beach in your backyard to draw inspiration. All you need are palm and maritime motifs, beachy wovens, chinoiserie and electric colors.
Take a look at the 13 hallmarks that embody this-well loved decorating style, where relaxed elegance reigns supreme.
In this 12,000-square-foot home in Palm Beach, architect Maxime Vandal and designer Richard Ouellette of Montreal firm Les Ensembliers made a regal house feel homey. Though Greek Key is the Palm Beach pattern of choice, any bold combo helps punctuate a room, adding a graphic note that knocks the grandeur down a notch. Maxime and Richard chose a palette of crisp neutrals, brightened by bursts of terracotta, coral and plum.
Palm Beach is the home of Worth Avenue, one of Florida’s glitziest shopping destinations, so it’s no surprise that gold is de rigueur. Chairs with gilded, bamboo-shape frames, lighting and etched mirrors in a warm metal finish make an already ornate room seem even more glam.
This kitchen hearkens back to Palm Beach’s heyday with timeless design choices such as a checkerboard floor, marble counters, subway tiles and glass-fronted cabinets for a result that’s nostalgic, yet up-to-date.
Palm Beach resident Lily Pulitzer proved the popularity of bold prints with her patterned shift dresses (worn by Jackie Kennedy, who vacationed at the Winter White House in Florida). Blue and white prints are even more fabulous when presented en masse, while warm wood furniture adds natural texture to this fresh breakfast nook.
Chinoiserie is an important element in Palm Beach interiors. A graphic ginger jar and bamboo ladder bring global flair to a spa-like principal ensuite, for a well-travelled look.
Florida and oranges are synonymous, whether it’s an actual plant or a cheery citrus print. A potted orange tree or palms in glazed pots are ideal for establishing a semi-tropical mood.
The tactile appeal of woven natural materials — like wicker furniture and a wool Oushak rug — make an outdoor lounge area even more welcoming. Whether it’s bamboo, rattan or wicker, wovens are reminiscent of the palm trees native to the area and are especially fresh when contrasted by white cushions, upholstery or drapes.
Designer Sloan Mauran’s Palm Beach home showcases the area’s Mediterranean Revival architecture (note the terracotta tile roof). Sloan softened the curved archways of the loggia with climbing vines dotted with fuchsia flowers to drive home the lush effect.
Sloan left her home’s original terracotta floor tiles untouched because she appreciated their worn character, and they emphasize the house’s sunny Mediterranean flavor. The stylized ram’s head table base and vintage velvet chairs reinforce an opulent, 1970s feel in the dining area.
A refreshing white palette grounds the lacquered surfaces of the two vintage consoles behind the sofa, while a downy white flokati rug provides a cloud-like footnote for an expansive ottoman.
You can chalk it up to the Everglades, but a woven wallpaper — like grasscloth or raffia — is à propos in posh Palm Beach. In Sloan’s bedroom, an oversized upholstered headboard and neutral drapery dial up the luxury.
Audubon-style aviary prints are a regional nod to Florida’s abundant plant and animal life, while a whimsical zebra print pillow strikes another nature-inspired note.
Wicker furniture is an Old Floridian staple not only for its comfort, but air flow when humidity is high. Textural wicker gives furnishings on the loggia a handmade touch.