When designer Rod Mickley and architect Peter Moor were hired to renovate a Mediterranean-style house in Palm Beach, they knew it would require a total interior transformation. “It was an overly ornate Mediterranean, almost gratuitous,” Moor remembers. “Both the interior and exterior were a little bit overdone.”
Not only was the four-bedroom house’s interior too kitsch for its new owners, with its cherub-and grapevine-painted ceilings, but the ceilings themselves were also disjointed: some too high for a room, others too low. In fact, Moor and Mickley’s clients had wrestled with whether the house—which was in an ideal location—could be salvaged to suit their tastes and needs at all. Soon, though, the design team went to work on what has become an architectural and stylistic metamorphosis.
There is also an artfulness to the furnishings and their textures, seen in the white Mongolian wool-covered chair or sculptural bronze bench in the master bedroom, a decorative Moorish-style mirror in the living room, and an ebonized-wood top and patinated bronze base for the family room coffee table. Though the homeowners prefer modern and contemporary design, there is a combination of both that and traditional furnishings, such as the master bedroom’s classic oak-and-iron four-poster bed that’s streamlined enough to seem of today.
If the original house left something to be desired, today the results are breathtaking, with the elegant furnishings of a design studio and the art collection of a museum. Yet it’s also a house that feels calming and, most of all, like home. “When I walked in the house for the first time with the realtor, I immediately walked out,” the wife recalls. “But Peter made sense of the architecture, and Rod spent so much time with me looking at furniture and fabric samples. Now it’s where I want it to be.”