A Timeless Old Palm Mansion Gets A Modern Redesign
When interior designer Diane Parisian received a commission for a vacation home in Old Palm Golf Club, a neighborhood of Palm Beach Gardens, she was already familiar with her clients' tastes. She had, after all, been working with them for a decade and designed three previous homes for them.
“Their other home is very traditional,” Parisian says. “They wanted this one to be more modern and transitional, with a more open floor plan. But they wanted something timeless and classic, not trendy.”
As with other projects Parisian had done for them, the couple wanted to be deeply involved in the design process. The husband enjoyed working with her on structure and architectural details, while his wife wanted to help choose furnishings and fabrics. The home was also to be a showcase for the couple's collection of fine art.
“We pulled colors for the design from the artwork,” she says.
Parisian's work has won ASID and PRISM awards, and what she does is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
“I knew from the time I was 6 years old and pushing furniture around the living room that this was my calling,” she says. “I meet fascinating people, and being invited into someone's life and private world is a privilege.”
The 4,800-square-foot home in Old Palm has four bedrooms and five full baths, plus a powder room and a cabana bath. Flooring throughout the main living areas uses 3-by-3-foot polished diamond white marble tiles, and custom millwork helps tie spaces together.
A polished Umbria limestone mosaic inset that mimics the look of an elegant rug adds visual interest and definition to the floor of the wide foyer, which is open to a hallway on one side and the living room on the other. On the upper section of the wall, custom millwork frames two narrow vertical tinted mirrored insets, while a horizontal one on the lower wall creates a backdrop for a wood credenza glazed with an elegant silver metallic finish.
“We were looking for a wow factor,” Parisian says.
Suspended from the ceiling is a large chandelier made of curved, blown glass arms and creamy silk shades. It matches two delicate wall sconces.
In the living room, a coffered ceiling with recessed lighting immediately draws the eye. Narrow drapery panels with a pale blue-and-cream paisley hang from short walnut wood rods accented with polished chrome trumpet finials, flanking a bank of glass doors. Motorized shades can create privacy. On the floor is a handmade wool rug in soft tones of cream and blue.
“She wanted a traditional element to anchor the modern furnishings,” Parisian says.
The dark walnut wall unit was custom made with shelves to display artwork, cabinets for storage and accent lighting. A large inset covered with handmade pale blue wallpaper and hints of silver provides a striking backdrop for a painting with a nautical theme. A twin insert covered in textured plaster houses a large TV screen.
Through the double doors off the living room is a hallway that leads to the master bedroom and his-and-her baths. When the doors are open, a large, eye-catching painting of two women dressed in formal finery is visible. Metal triangular patterns make the base of a console beneath the painting look like a piece of sculpture.
Twin clean-lined living room sofas with walnut block feet are upholstered in bone chenille, and a two-tier glass cocktail table is framed in chrome. Motorized navy leather reclining chairs add color and comfort to the space. Between them is a table wrapped in sky blue linen with a nailhead trim. Two ottomans upholstered in deep sapphire blue tufted velvet offer easily movable extra seating when it is needed.
Behind the recliners is an elegant, floor-to-ceiling wine cabinet holding bottles suspended by aircraft cables in lighted glass towers. At the bottom of the unit is a chiller.
On the far side of the living room is a creamy, curved marble-topped bar. Three comfortable club chairs upholstered in textured blue tweed provide seating. Behind the sunken back bar, rich walnut frames a large vertical tinted mirror and lighted glass towers, and blue stone inlays accent chrome door and drawer hardware.
A large, rectangular island creates definition between the living room and kitchen. Topped with blue calcite that matches the countertops, the island has a dramatic waterfall edge and holds a farmhouse sink. Three glass globe-shaped pendant lights hang above it, while stools with walnut frames and circular chrome footrests are upholstered in a blue-gray fabric.
White kitchen cabinets with long, horizontal polished chrome hardware create a clean, fresh look. The breakfast table has a cerused oak top and a silver metallic finish on the base, and chairs have light walnut legs and taupe sateen upholstery. A cobalt blue stove is an eye-catcher.
Between the kitchen and the dining room is a butler's pantry, perfect for keeping out-of-sight dishes and utensils used for cooking, as well as small appliances. The backsplash is dramatic with textured glazed green ceramic tile, and the butcher block countertop is walnut. Glass-fronted cabinets help create an open look.
In the dining room, the floor is a polished diamond white marble with an Umbria limestone diamond lattice pattern inlay. On one wall, white millwork frames wall panels upholstered in gray paisley silk. Fixed drapery panels are made from the same fabric. On the opposite wall is a painting depicting iconic movie star Audrey Hepburn, the inspiration for some of the room's color scheme.
Swarovski crystal-encrusted twin half-sphere bronze chandeliers suspended from a cove ceiling with latticework detail, and wall sconces match those in the foyer. The cerused oak pedestal table has scrolled detailing and silver highlights. Chairs with oak legs are upholstered in blush linen tweed accented with chocolate velvet buttons and pleats on the back.
CLUB ROOM & OFFICE
In the combined club room and home office, built-in dark walnut wall units that match the millwork provide display shelves and storage cabinets. Deep-cut pile carpeting adds softness to the room. A sectional upholstered in sand-colored linen was custom built to fit its space, and a bronze-framed cocktail table is topped with green bubble glass.
A circular-shaped bronze chandelier has amber glass globes, and a peninsula desk finished in dark walnut has leather-wrapped drawer pulls with brushed nickel accents.
“We designed it to look like a cozy library,” Parisian says. “It's a place to work and relax that's both handsome and functional.”
The color scheme of the master bedroom was inspired by a painting of flowers that hangs in it. Tiffany blue walls accented with a pattern of narrow white molding are the backdrop for a tufted headboard upholstered in oatmeal linen, while matching material covers a bench at the foot of the bed. On the white oak floor, a handmade wool rug with a pattern in pale blues and yellows adds softness and texture. Pale blue linen drapery panels encrusted with shimmering crystals frame the large windows and sliding doors leading to the loggia.
Nightstands have a silvery taupe metallic finish and travertine insets on top. Crystal lamps with circular glass bases complement curved wall molding. A dresser complements the nightstands in the same finish, and a drum-shaped chandelier hangs from the ceiling.
In the sitting area, silver nail head trim accents a clean-lined sofa with a dressmaker skirt and pale pistachio linen upholstery. An oval-shaped glass-topped table is framed in hammered metal with a silver patina finish.
The couple has luxurious separate bathrooms. His has an Umbria limestone floor, polished except in the shower, where it is honed to avoid slipping. Countertops are polished vein-cut travertine.
In her bathroom, the polished white marble floor has a Carrera arabesque inset. Countertops are polished white calcite, and floor-to-ceiling white glass tiles line the shower walls. Elegant crystal-accented velvet covers the vanity chair.
In the powder room, a wall cabinet is finished in high-gloss taupe lacquer, and an onyx sink features a waterfall faucet. Handmade wallpaper is overlaid with fabric fibers and painted with a pewter satin finish. Art deco-inspired sconces have glass lenses and pewter accents.
On the spacious loggia, a focal wall behind the built-in grill, as well as the countertops, are covered with slabs of polished calcite. A woven sectional with navy canvas cushions faces a wood-burning fireplace, while an aluminum table with a faux walnut top and pewter-colored aluminum chairs create a convenient spot for alfresco dining.
In the cabana bath, whimsical wallpaper has an undersea theme, and the pale blue ceiling matches its background. An oval mirror framed in nautical-style rope hangs over an onyx sink.
A TIMELESS RETREAT
Just as her clients asked her to, Parisian created a décor that is modern, yet with a timeless, lasting look. Perfect for entertaining, it's also a private retreat and a place the owners are likely to want to spend a great deal of time in during years to come.