A 1920s Residence Gets A Twist On Traditional Palm Beach Style


“We didn’t want to take away from the beautiful architecture or landscaping,” designer Monique Miller says of a 1920s home in El Cid. To this end, clean-lined RH chaises along the pool and Harbour furnishings on the loggia let the Spanish-inspired exterior shine.

Inspired by the outside greenery, the designer wrapped the entry in Thibaut’s Ebru wallcovering. Serena & Lily’s Shore bench and a vintage terra-cotta planter bring in texture.

The living room’s existing pink walls are a perfect backdrop for pieces such as a bookcase from Mecox and a Burke Decor globe pendant. The wicker table and chair set is from Florida Regency. Custom stools and a vintage bar cart add to the scene.

light pink living space with...

CB2’s Piazza sofas join Noir armchairs and a McGuire coffee table on Armadillo’s Atlas rug in the living room. Visual Comfort’s Ian K. Fowler Lola floor lamp stands near the original plaster fireplace.

Preserving built-ins and wall sconces, designer Monique Miller created a charming breakfast nook. RH chairs and a bench cushion of Libeco linen from Arabel Fabrics form a cozy gathering around the vintage table.

Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green and Graham Gillmore art enliven the dining room. Below Aerin’s Mollino chandelier from Circa Lighting, Rove Concepts chairs and Four Hands benches surround a Grove + Anchor table. Arteriors’ Hamish consoles and Tompkins sconces frame the window.

Overlooking the entry, an upstairs hall carries the same green found in the dining room. The Oushak runner is from Heir Looms Vintage Rugs, while Libeco linen from Arabel Fabrics reappears on a window seat cushion. The owners’ chair and artwork complement an existing light.

A Made Goods nightstand holds Arteriors’ rattan Parasol lamp between the custom oak- and-linen upholstered beds on a Dash & Albert rug in the children’s bedroom. The Roman shade is The Shade Store’s Luxe linen in Oyster.

“We started with this beautiful wallpaper, and the design evolved from there,” Miller says of the Cole & Son Marquee stripe chosen for the children’s gender-neutral bedroom. Artwork and a tent from Smallable make for a charming play area.

A custom linen slipcovered bed sets a serene tone in the primary bedroom. Miller layered shades of white with a vintage floor covering from Heir Looms Vintage Rugs, Croft House’s Sierra chair and a CFC dresser. The Made Goods nightstand is topped with an Arteriors lamp.

“We didn’t want to take away from the beautiful architecture or landscaping,” the designer says of the loggia. Harbour outdoor furnishings, including a coffee table alongside a teak-framed sofa and armchairs, accompany cushions made of a Perennials material.

The first thing designer Monique Miller thought when she approached her clients’ Spanish- inspired home was, “Wow. This is beautiful.” When Miller walked inside, she had another strong reaction—but for different reasons. “The Palm Beach style was intense,” the designer recalls of the interior, which was awash in shades of pink and multitudes of wallpaper. “I knew I had to peel back those layers.”

The former owner purchased the historic El Cid residence, named Villa Belmonte, after it served as the Kips Bay showhouse in 2017, transforming the individually designed rooms into a singular vibe that embodied South Florida’s vintage look. But Miller’s clients, who’d relocated to the area from New York with their young children, wanted a different approach. “They asked me, ‘Can we revamp this into something elevated and relaxed?’” she says. “They still wanted a nod to Palm Beach but to embrace more of the home’s Spanish architecture.”

They’d chosen the right designer: Miller is renowned for her work with Mediterranean homes. “This house definitely speaks to my personal taste,” she says. “Historic Spanish colonial structures are what I love.”

Thanks to this expertise, the designer immediately knew the angle she wanted to take: Keep those classic architectural moments while integrating modern furnishings to make the interiors feel fresh. Original terra-cotta floors, Spanish tile, cypress beams and arched doorways would be preserved. Clean-lined furnishings, natural stone, statement lighting and greenery (lots and lots of it) would then brighten the rooms. “These details are what make the interiors current,” Miller notes.

There was another element she couldn’t ignore—incorporating a more restrained version of Palm Beach style into the home. It was important, Miller explains, to still reference the locale’s design influences. To do this, she embraced the classic pink-and-green color scheme with a modern take, including soft blues. The designer considered each room with a singularity, as the 1920s architecture meant separate rooms rather than a contemporary open- concept layout. But, using the chosen color palette as the baseline—sometimes quiet, sometimes dramatic—she also ensured there was a natural flow. “I had to think about each room individually but also holistically,” Miller says.

In the dining room, this meant coating the walls in a vivid green that reads fun yet sophisticated. “The clients wanted this room for entertaining,” she says, pointing to the contemporary vibes of the minimalist beetle chairs, sleek marble consoles and extra-wide oak table that allows for two-person benches rather than traditional head chairs.

After dinner, a transition to the living room for cocktails or coffee provides a subtler tribute to the region with its blush walls, chairs with moss-green leather seats and vintage wicker game table and chairs. “The wall color was already in the space,” the designer reveals. “But once we took out all the furnishings, including pink sofas, I realized it could work if we did it in our own way.” This included low-profile, armless, white linen sofas; a travertine coffee table; and an oversize globe pendant.

“Now the color is soft,” she muses, adding that the understated palette allows the white plaster fireplace to play center stage—“whereas before, the pink felt strong and prominent.”

Palm Beach chic is nothing if not playful, so Miller also wanted to ensure the abode has a lightheartedness. In the family room, a custom sectional covered in a blue performance linen encourages piling upon. “It’s so huge, it can fit eight to 10 people,” she says. A sunny yellow breakfast nook with a jade linen-covered banquette provides an exuberant ambience for casual meals. And for even more pop, the designer covered the entry walls in bold green-and-white patterned wallpaper and installed cane furniture in the space, playing to the cypress beams overhead while setting a tropical tone.

Another green-and-white wallpaper—this one striped—provides a gender-neutral backdrop in the children’s suite, which was designed for the couple’s son and daughter (they’ve since greeted a new baby). “They wanted their kids to be together,” Miller says. “We didn’t want it to speak to being a boy’s or a girl’s space.” In fact, any child would adore the room, which features a play area complete with a poofy sofa, kid-friendly artwork and props for imaginative games.

It’s a house the designer says holds a special place in her heart, as it reflects the family and how they live. “They made this huge move from New York to Southeast Florida,” she says. “And now, this really feels like home.”