There is a relaxed sophistication about the interiors of this Palm Beach Intracoastal home, but it is also peppered with an array of stunning yet unexpected elements. In the living room, for example, a pair of glass tables by Fredrikson Stallard filled with white feathers flank a tufted sofa, while the dining room wows with a vintage Italian chandelier that required three people to painstakingly attach its 120 hanging glass balls. But designer Andrew Sheinman and his team of Kristine Greenblatt and Peggy Gubelmann had a way of weaving these statement pieces together with elegant yet comfortable upholstered seating and silk area rugs to make everything feel effortless and somehow a little less imposing. “The existing house was very traditional, and we introduced an eclectic mix that made it fresh,” Sheinman says. “It’s now a wonderful place for a glamorous couple to live and entertain.”
But the couple in question, empty nesters with a large blended family that includes 10 grandchildren, had other things in mind when they started shopping for waterfront property. In fact, their initial attraction to the house wasn’t the size or the layout. Rather, one of their prime considerations was the dock with water deep enough to oat their yacht. The house also had the advantage of sitting on a lot set high enough to ensure optimal seclusion. As the wife explains, “The house is set at such a height so that we can enjoy the views while maintaining privacy.”
Good thing, too. After the transformation of the many small rooms and meandering hallways into commodious living spaces that factored in the soft tropical surroundings, the desire to peer inside the beautifully appointed digs would prove irresistible. “The owners live full time in an old Tudor in Michigan, and for this house, they purposefully asked for a look that was traditional Palm Beach meets contemporary Hollywood glamour,” says Sheinman, whose creative hand is evident everywhere from the recommendation of a new frameless glass window wall and leveled floor, which makes stepping from the living room to the rear terrace one seamless motion, to the crisp stone-and-grass grid that forms the auto court.
In collaboration with the design team and the homeowners, landscape designer Keith L. Williams further defined the entry sequence to include an allee flanked by a blend of manicured hedges and loose tropical plantings that intentionally obscure the front door just slightly. “Upon arrival there needed to be a little mystery, and each aspect is its own wow factor,” says Williams, who rimmed the garage with bold fuchsia bougainvillea as an exclamation point. On the back, the existing pool was redesigned and lined with mature Canary Island palm trees so large that they needed to be craned over the house.
Meanwhile, in another coordinated effort with the design team and general contractor Paul Wittmann, architect Keith Spina, along with project manager Coleen Shahamad, worked on raising doorways in the living room, widening corridors and strengthening the relationships between the spaces as well as between the rooms and the landscape. After the kitchen was relocated from the back to a more convenient side of the house, for example, the addition of a wall of windows and glass doors turned the expanse of foliage visible through the glazing into a living painting.
With elements such as custom plaster walls adding texture and at ceiling moldings imbuing character, the rooms stood ready to be outfitted with furnishings and artwork. Divided into two separate sitting areas, the living room—with its overscale white-tufted sofa on one end and its purple velvet counterpart on the other—embodies the chicness of a Parisian salon. “Beauty and elegance need not come at the cost of comfort,” Sheinman says. “We used fabrics that are soft and durable, and the seating is not too low, making it easy to get in and out of.” Artwork from the owners’ collection, including a pair of black-and-white Donald Sultan paintings and a piece by Milton Resnick, adds intrigue, while the hand-painted draperies with a wide bronze-gold border incorporate another level of style.
In the dining room, the window panels are de ned by exaggerated brushstrokes creating an abstract pattern, and, in a daring move, the tabletop is embellished with a layer of gold paint. “It’s our role as designers to think outside the box and create delightful, unexpected moments,” Greenblatt says. “This table is an example of that. It’s an artisanal-style piece that fits with our overall goal of bringing things that are totally unique to a project.”
In the family room, cerused paneled walls provide a backdrop for a lush blue velvet sectional with a substantial root coffee table and a Nepalese rug with a graphic high-shag pattern, with all elements coming together to create a cozier, more casual space compared to the more formal living room. Glamour makes a dramatic comeback in the master suite with mirrored end tables, custom linens laced with silvery metallic threads and an upholstered silk-paneled wall. “This home was such a great collaboration,” enthuses the wife about the result. “Its relationship to the water and the juxtaposition of the jewel tones on the furniture with the modern art—everything is perfect, and it happened through the work of the most creative team on the planet.”