Located on a curve of the intracoastal waterway in one of Palm Beach’s most sought-after luxury buildings, a condominium was recently transformed into a light, breezy, oceanside sanctuary under the discerning eye of local designer Cindy West Ray.
Originally a dark and misappropriated space, the condo, which hadn’t been touched since it was first built over 30 years ago, warranted a complete makeover. “Everything was removed, renovated, redesigned and reconfigured,” notes Ray. Up against Palm Beach’s mandated April to November construction time frame, the designer’s supremely organized team, along with Mitch Gold of Derco Construction, deftly managed to stay on their tight under two-year seasonal schedule. “When I walked into the completed project I felt like I had stepped onto a cloud,” says the wife, who lives in New York with her husband and two grown children. The couple purchased the Palm Beach condominium as their snowbird retreat. “It is just so peaceful. You never want to leave.” By all accounts the husband-and-wife team were on the same page—both enjoying and seeking light, sun, ocean, peace and quiet—looking for a fresh, new feeling.
Ray readily embraced the client’s wishes with a predominantly white interior featuring soft clean lines and a sophisticated beach house feel. She designed custom furniture pieces and infused the spaces with blue hues and accessories that glimmer and glow. “It’s a contemporary take on a Hamptons house,” says Ray. “We used tongue-and-groove paneling, hand-brushed white painted woodwork, wainscoting and dark walnut floors throughout the residence.” One of the most appealing characteristics of the property is its spacious first floor location, which affords the intimate feeling of a home with direct access from all rooms to the loggia and garden, and the sparkling ocean just a few steps beyond.
“To capitalize on the indoor-outdoor connection, we used light linen Rodolph curtains that just float throughout,” says Ray. Immediately upon entering the circular foyer, one is transported into a calming, bright seaside oasis and the eye, which at first is captivated by a Venetia Studium fixture suspended over a round custom bleached and distressed ashwood table, is drawn down a hallway that leads to the main living space and to the lawn and ocean beyond. A sense of private tropical calm is apparent. “The living room, den, kitchen and dining area are all essentially one large space divided and defined by the allocation of furniture,” says Ray. Two generously proportioned armchairs and two sofas, set around an oversize white leather tufted ottoman serving as a coffee table, provide an intimate and sophisticated gathering spot in the living room, where two glass walls offer unobstructed views of the water.
Cleverly incorporated hints of the ocean abound with accents such as a pair of starfish-inspired light blue ottomans and an assortment of brilliant blue vases. “The den is delineated by a white tongue- and-groove paneled ceiling,” says Ray, who gave the room a comfortable yet casual feel by incorporating wood pieces such as a vintage coffee table and an antique solid teak-block side table. Shells, blue pillows and blue and white porcelain-based lamps capture the ocean for this space. Blue hues are evident throughout the residence, sometimes in a surprising fashion as seen with the brilliant, blue and white loose zig- zag-patterned fabric chosen for the barstools, which pull up to the Bahia granite bar separating the kitchen from the dining area.
“The master suite introduces slightly more glamour,” notes Ray. “The pieces are a little bit dressier.” A cream silk tufted headboard, silver-and-glass side tables by the sofa and a crystal chandelier create a slightly more feminine and formal feeling. “The master bathroom is pristine without being icy,” says Ray, who created a soothing retreat using mosaic tile- work both for the flooring—where an inset trim gives the illusion of an area rug—and for the walls, where inset mirrors appear to be floating, adding depth to the space. Creating a warm atmosphere using clean lines and whites and blues can be a challenge, yet for this Palm Beach gem it was unquestionably achieved. “It feels like a pearl, a little diamond,” exclaims the wife. “I just want to keep it to myself. It’s just more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.”