A Traditional Pinecrest Home with a French Country-Style Exterior


Traditional White Rear Elevation with Brick Patio

All rooms overlook the garden through CGI windows from Clear Choice Windows and Doors. The brickwork (painted white by Gorman Painting), blue shutters, cedar shake roof (updated by Regency Roofing Florida ShakeMasters), and brick patio give the house a French country flavor. The pool was re-plumbed and refinished by Tuttle’s Pool, and heat and water features were added to it.

Traditional White Pergola with White-Brick Columns

The homeowners’ favorite spot for entertaining is in the backyard, beneath a pergola covered in bougainvillea among McKinnon and Harris furniture. Landscape architect Susan Hall has been cultivating the landscape over the past 25-plus years; in this incarnation, she turned to Layali Landscape for installation and ongoing maintenance.

Traditional Blue Bedroom with Glass Chandelier

A guest room gets a masculine makeover with a blue, beige and brown color combination. The walnut finish in the bookshelves echoes the antique bed as well as the paneling in the billiards room on the floor below. Crisp white bedding from Leontine Linens in New Orleans contrasts with the Phillip Jeffries Manila hemp wallcovering from Holly Hunt. The Venini glass chandelier is from Quotient Fine Furnishings in New York; the bedspread and draperies are by Quadrille.

Traditional White Bathroom with Marble Wall Tiles

The narrow yet extra-long master bathroom gets deluxe treatment with massive amounts of marble wall tile and mosaic flooring by Waterworks, installed by JRD Installations; two vanities are separated by an open dressing area. A 19th-century gilded stool perches by the tub. Sconces are from Remains Lighting in New York.

Traditional White Kitchen with Gold Marble Countertops

Peters and Mbiango designed the kitchen, with Calacatta gold marble countertops fabricated by Excellence in Stone, to be traditional yet fresh. Barstools from David Sutherland pull up to the island beneath a pot rack from Ann-Morris in New York. In one corner, a banquette built by Regina Suarez Design & Manufacturing hugs an oak table from John Rosselli & Associates. Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele appliances are from Monark.

Traditional Blue Dining Room with Floral Wallcovering

The dining room is a study in antiques, with a vintage Maison Jansen sideboard and a 19th-century chandelier, gilded mirror and rock crystal lamps. Gracie wallpaper from J Nelson lends a painterly backdrop. Jan Showers chairs, in George Smith’s chocolate leather, surround an antique table from the owners’ collection. Luxurious yet simple Quadrille draperies don’t distract from the view.

Traditional Brown Game Room with Walnut Paneling

Designers Jenny R. Peters and Rachel Mbiango took a detour from the bright whites found throughout the house, designing floor-to-ceiling walnut paneling in the bar and billiards room for the husband; the blue felt on the pool table and custom lampshades tie in hues from adjacent spaces. The Charles Edwards light fixture and Dessin Fournir barstools from David Sutherland add decorative flair.

Traditional Sitting Room with Bamboo Shades

Instead of another bedroom, the designers persuaded the owners to turn this space into a sitting room. A George Smith sofa and tufted chairs from Monica James & Co. in Quadrille fabrics join a Jan Showers cocktail table atop a rug from Art of the Knot. Quadrille draperies, fashioned by Itallica Fabric Designs, layer over Conrad shades fabricated by Paul Himber. The light fixture is by Charles Edwards.

Traditional White Living Room with Blue and Green Sofas

The living room features a Victoria Hagan Home Collection sofa in Nancy Corzine’s navy velvet; George Smith sofas from Monica James & Co. in green Boussac fabric by Pierre Frey; Victoria Hagan wing chairs in an Oscar de la Renta print from Lee Jofa; and Quadrille draperies. An Italian mirror from Wilson Antiques overlooks the setting, lit by a fixture from David Sutherland and Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. Accent pillows are by Fortuny and Madeline Weinrib.

Traditional White Foyer Vignette with Chinese Pottery

Facing the sofa in the foyer, a 19th-century French console found in Belgium displays a collection of the owners’ 19th-century Chinese pottery from William R. Eubanks and a coral objet d’art from David Sutherland. Chinese lacquered stools that also date to the 19th century offer extra places to perch. Charles Edwards sconces flank a mirror also from Belgium.

Traditional White Foyer with Pointed Ceiling

A grand two-story entry foyer with a sofa covered in Quadrille’s light blue linen greets the owners and guests. Sea-inspired artwork by Kito Mbiango beckons them farther into the home. The 19th-century rug is from Art of the Knot, and the lantern is by Charles Edwards. The sweeping walnut staircase was existing, but Out of The Woods replaced the stair treads; the custom-patterned limestone flooring is by Waterworks.

Traditional White Front Elevation with Blue Shutters

Built in 1988, the house had an exterior that leaned toward French country. With the help of project associate Rob Cebellos, architectural changes included an extension on the west side with two bedrooms and baths, the creation of a sun room, converting the attic space above the existing garage into a playroom— adding a bathroom, dormers and an internal stair—and extending the east side of the house.

Designers Jenny R. Peters and Rachel Mbiango stand behind their philosophy: A house should look comfortable and elegant and be easy to maintain. It should also be timeless and not overdone. A crowning example of their refined design aesthetic can be found in the Pinecrest home belonging to Jan Risi Field and her husband, Jim Field. Jan contacted the designers after touring the open house of Peters’ personal home and falling in love with the décor. Initially, Jan wanted assistance refreshing one room in her house, but the project turned into a three-year gut renovation. “She went from ‘I want to redo the kitchen,’ to ‘I want to redo everything,’ ” Peters says.

Built in 1988, the house had an exterior that leaned toward French country, with an interior that featured Colonial-style finishes and fixtures, French terra-cotta floors, Santa Fe-inspired stonework, and natural cedar-wood ceilings. While Jan loved the location and the bones of her home, she was looking for interiors that were lighter and brighter with a cohesive Hamptons-style look inside and out. “She wanted color as well as sophistication,” says Mbiango. “They entertain a lot and they have a big family, so we wanted to create comfortable spaces for them. It’s traditional at heart with a little freshness. It’s Palm Beach with an edge right here in Miami.” Peters and Mbiango “were very attentive to keeping it a family home,” adds Jan. “Did they push me out of my comfort zone? Every day. But they took my house to a level I never would have imagined.”

To help with the extensive remodel, Jan also called on architect Suzanne Martinson, who had originally designed the house over 25 years ago. “The existing style lent itself to additions that looked logical and didn’t overpower the site,” says Martinson (noting Mark A. Greenberg, who built the original home under Greenberg Construction Corporation and has since retired to Colorado, where he consults on construction projects under GreenbergCM). This time around, with the help of project associate Rob Cebellos, architectural changes included an extension on the west side with two bedrooms and baths, the creation of a sun room, converting the attic space above the existing garage into a playroom—adding a bathroom, dormers and an internal stair—and extending the east side of the house. “We found the same make of brick used on the original house to help the additions blend in,” says Gary Legrand Haskin, who served as the builder for the home’s current incarnation along with superintendent Mark Fischer. “Everything looks like it’s always been there.”

Peters and Mbiango began transforming the interiors by painting most of the walls and woodwork a crisp white and laying Jerusalem limestone on the floor; dark walnut flooring was chosen for the living room and main staircase. “We did a mix of wood and warm stone that is easy to maintain and looks fresh with all the white surfaces,” says Peters. The majestic walnut staircase commands attention in the entry foyer and is an apt introduction to the casual luxury found farther inside. The dark wood is a foil for the walls of bright white paneling and Venetian plaster. “The textures of the paneling and the plaster give the interiors a subtle richness,” says Mbiango.

After establishing a neutral foundation, the designers layered each space with Jan’s requested palette of “blue with a touch of blue.” They incorporated different shades of the color in nearly every room while mixing patterns and textures and other hues, such as yellow, chartreuse and brown, to keep the home cohesive while allowing each room its own distinct personality. Strong geometric-patterned fabrics were chosen over florals and damasks to break up the classical elements; antique Persian rugs add color and softness to the stone floors and anchor the mix of traditional, midcentury and found furnishings throughout. A crystal chandelier, paneled wainscoting and custom, hand-painted wallpaper in a soft teal set the tone in the stately dining room, where chairs upholstered in chocolate leather mingle with a regal 19th-century English dining table from the owners’ collection.

The designers also devised a billiards room with a bar and wine cellar clad completely in walnut paneling. “We wanted to create a space in the color tones that Jim wanted but that would still fit with the design of the rest of the house,” says Peters. A second-floor sitting room was designed for Jan; decked out in her beloved blue hues, the room features walls of windows overlooking the backyard garden, pool and pergola covered in blooming bougainvillea. “It’s such as special spot,” says Jan. “It feels like an old-fashioned Florida room.”

Like Martinson, landscape architect Susan Hall was another fitting partnership, as Hall had designed the landscape for the original owners and had already completed a renovation for the Fields, as well. Her inspiration this time was classic and traditional, and she wanted to create a feeling of being in the Hamptons to complement the architecture. “We used clipped hedges, espalier and manicured groundcovers,” Hall says. “Aside from the bougainvillea adorning the arbor near the pool, the landscape was to be a combination of green foliage and white flowering plants.” That arbor is an element that Martinson had designed previously, along with the pool, and Hall says it has only gotten better with age. Also added to the property over the years was a putting green, since the owner and his son are avid golfers. “When the property was expanded, we recommended building a new putting green farther back on the site and raising it slightly,” Hall recalls. “This allowed us to open up the immediate backyard of the home into a beautiful lawn area that was much more functional for entertaining and day-to-day activity.”

Today, says Mbiango, the entire home not only echoes the refreshed classicism of the exterior but also reflects the homeowners’ personalities: elegant and timeless. “My home is so comfortable and luxurious, and it suits our lifestyle,” says Jan. “For the first time, I feel like the house is the way it was always meant to be.”

—Terri Sapienza