A Contemporary Palm Beach Home with Bermudian Influences


Contemporary White Outdoor Shower with Tile Floor

A stucco-enclosed outdoor shower is a breezy way to rinse off after swimming or yoga. The shower fixture is by MGS, and the floor tile is by Waterworks.

Contemporary Black Granite Backyard Water Feature

A waterfall cascading against Absolute Black granite creates a soothing backdrop for Diane to practice yoga.

Contemporary White Loggia with Lap Pool

Armstrong Landscape Design Group installed plantings that ensure total privacy in the art-filled backyard. A bronze-and-bluestone sculpture by Boaz Vaadia overlooks the pool, colored with accent tiles and built by Royal Palm Pools. The loggia features chairs and ottomans by Janus et Cie in fabric from Magitex Decor and a Royal Botania sofa from Inside Out wearing Sunbrella fabric.

Contemporary Blue and White Master Bedroom with Vaulted Ceiling

A China Seas wallcovering softens the master bedroom, while Moooi’s Heracleum II chandelier casts shadows to the vaulted ceiling. Lee Jofa fabric covers the J. Robert Scott bed, and the Ligne Roset chair wears a Glant textile. Merete Rasmussen’s ceramic Blue Loop, acquired through J. Lohmann Gallery in New York, perches near custom draperies from Paul S. Maybaum. Wood floors are from Absolute Hardwood Flooring.

Contemporary White Master Bathroom with Double-Vanity

Designer Jennifer Post persuaded Diane to use Corian for the master bathroom’s double-vanity countertops fabricated by Englert Arts. Diane, in turn, persuaded Post to use wallpaper, such as the textured blue vinyl by Maharam. Patterson’s Custom Cabinetry fabricated the lacquered cabinetry designed by Post; the Thassos marble floor tile is by Walker Zanger.

Contemporary White Stairway with Blue Runner

The stairway to the Sculleys’ private master suite and art gallery gets plenty of natural light streaming through the plantation wall, fabricated by Bob Kline Quality Metal along with Post’s custom designed railing. The slatted feature wall allows the space to interact with the living room on the other side. The runner is by Sacco Carpet.

Contemporary White Office with Custom Shelving

Designer Jennifer Post designed a round partners’ desk that hides a power station for her clients’ computers and other electronics; it was built by Patterson’s Custom Cabinetry in Ontario, Canada. Custom shelving houses two Samsung screens so the pair can watch news programs and conduct video conferences. The Herman Miller desk chairs are from WB Wood in New York.

Contemporary White Kitchen with Marble Accents

The all-white kitchen and dining area is a Post signature, though she nodded to client Diane Sculley’s love for blue with the frosted-glass door. Vivid statuary Carrara marble punctuates custom lacquer cabinetry from Downsview Kitchens and white-finished Miele appliances. A customized Kopra Burst chandelier by David Weeks Studio hangs above the breakfast area.

Contemporary White Living Room with Shutter-Style Wall

In another area of the living room, Post designed a plantation shutter-style wall with angled slats that match the exterior roofline. Hamilton sofas by Minotti, from ddc, wear white Glant upholstery that allows the custom blue rug with white leather binding by Sacco Carpet to really pop. Custom suspension light fixtures by Artemide and floor lamps by Pablo Design add sculptural elements.

Contemporary White Living Room Seating Area with Swivel Chairs

Mobius chairs by Giorgetti sport Beach Blanket Ocean fabric by Link Outdoor in one of the living room’s conversation areas. They join white swivel chairs by Minotti, from ddc in New York, and custom side tables by Allan Knight and Associates. Post custom-designed the ottoman through Paul Ferrante using Kravet’s Ultrasuede fabric. A Samsung television nestles into a feature wall with blue leather indentations.

Contemporary White Exterior with Bermudan Influences

The square entry, which has its own stepped roof and finial, is modeled after a traditional Bermudan buttery. Designer Jennifer Post custom designed the door, fabricated by Palm City Millwork, to resemble a plantation shutter, but she updated that island vernacular with modern, linear sidelights and lanterns.

Contemporary White Entry with Custom Door

The square entry has its own stepped roof that replicates a classic Bermuda buttery.

Contemporary White Stucco Exterior Roof Detail

The stucco exterior—with plenty of statement-making architectural elements—achieves an airy feeling.

“Simplicity in design is the ultimate sophistication.” That has been John Sculley’s mantra throughout his well-known career, from his days as CEO for Pepsi and Apple, to his current investment ventures along with his wife Diane. The mission statement was no different when the couple embarked on building a new house on the island of Palm Beach. “We wanted the result to be an exceptional, comfortable living experience expressed in a contemporary minimalism of space and materials,” John says. They found a soul mate in New York designer Jennifer Post, who is reputed for her crisp, white modern palette.

In this case, Post’s aesthetic would be dressed in the architecture of Bermuda, where John grew up and whose whitewashed stucco walls and stepped rooflines he has always loved. “I wanted to make it magical,” says Post, who outlined a vision for a modern, chic, sophisticated beach home that would reference and incorporate organic materials. “I wanted there to be light, air, freedom of space, simplicity—and architectural heroes.”

The first “hero” was established right away: a square entry with its own stepped roof that replicates a classic Bermuda buttery, designed before refrigeration to keep butter and other perishables cool; it was a collaborative effort among John, Post and architect Peter Papadopoulos.

The design-savvy owners worked closely with the architect on a blueprint of large rooms and high ceilings that would flow from that focal point. “We really studied that architecture and balanced the whole house around the Bermuda buttery structure,” Papadopoulos says.

Inside, Post created an indoor-outdoor dialogue punctuated with statement-making architectural elements. The massive central living room is anchored on one side with a plantation shutter-style wall—a sculptural metal screen that reveals an equally distinctive stairwell on the other side. “That is the hero of the interiors,” Post says. “It’s reminiscent of iconic plantation shutters, taken to a completely different level.”

The designer also took cues from the stucco exterior, which she had slurried and painted to achieve an airy feeling, like a marshmallow, she says. Its interior iteration is Venetian plaster on every wall—a luscious foundation for the Sculleys’ formidable art collection that includes Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall, among many others.

Next, Post lacquered the floors and ceilings throughout the house, creating a high-gloss juxtaposition to the plaster. The living area got special treatment with soaring beamed ceilings—yet another study in white. “The way the light reflects through the house—it’s jewel-like,” Post says. The Sculleys note that the spare palette makes everything else pop. “It gives you an incredible sense of openness,” Diane says, “and it makes the objects in the house appear even more special.”

Working closely with Post throughout the entire process, Diane was able to draw from her background in the design industry. “Jennifer and I share an obsessiveness to detail,” says Diane, who built more than 100 houses on Palm Beach as vice president of design for Wittmann Building Corporation before leaving to work with John; her former partner, Paul Wittmann, handled the home’s construction. During the project, a productive dialogue was generated between homeowner and designer. “I knew up front I wanted wallpaper and blue accents throughout,” Diane says. For Post, blue was an intuitive choice for an island abode—but not wallpaper, something she had always dismissed as overly decorative. They finally landed on soft botanical motifs for the master and guest bedrooms. “It works very well,” Post admits. In return, she got her client to warm up to Corian, which she used liberally on shelving and surfaces throughout the house. Never before a fan of the man-made material, Diane says, “Now, I love it!”

Post stayed true to her wheelhouse with an all-white kitchen of statuary Carrara marble and custom lacquered cabinetry, anchored by a carefully curated dining area. She designed a Giacometti-inspired frame for the table through Paul Ferrante in New York, and paired it with Roche Bobois chairs that resemble praying mantises. “The table is the hero here,” she says, with the chairs placed as organic sculptures around it.

Nature itself plays a large role in the home’s design. The front door opens on an axis that pulls the eye through the living area and out to the loggia and pool. Floor-to-ceiling doors fold back across the rear, revealing a catwalk, as Post calls it, where the lacquered floors blend seamlessly into the stone terrace. A plate-glass window by the dining table frames a waterfall in Diane’s outdoor yoga area.

The Sculleys wanted the landscaping to be designed so none of the surrounding homes are visible. And landscape designer Keith L. Williams delivered. “The house from the beginning was Bermuda-influenced architecture, so we wanted the gardens to mimic this style, as well,” he says. “We worked closely with John and Diane to achieve a lush tropical look, keeping in mind the house and its architectural features.” In the end, John appreciates how the classic Bermudan exterior morphs into a thoroughly modern interior that’s as sophisticated as his and Diane’s New York apartment. “Both of us are very, very sensitive to design,” he says. “What we love about Jennifer is she’s into pure simplicity— and she has impeccable taste.”

— Jennifer Sergent