After a 30-year friendship with her client—a serious art collector—and having already designed eight of her previous residences, you could say that Jennifer Garrigues was as much a co-curator of this Palm Beach winter home as she was a designer. Garrigues had already developed a keen sense of her client’s aesthetic sensibility: “She has an incredible eye, and we both love paintings,” Garrigues says. So for this project, where the owner wanted to downsize, the two were able to pull from her collection of art and furnishings to create an elegant yet casual home.
Generous light and sweeping ocean views initially captured the owner’s attention. “She fell in love with this apartment,” says Garrigues, who tapped senior designer Maggie Poetz Ck for the project. Though it already had beautiful finishes, builder John McKinney of MJ Construction came on board to help oversee the details of its transformationCk. The flooring, especially, “was a no-brainer,” Garrigues says. In a deep mahogany—practically black—it offered a dramatic counterpoint to the white Venetian plaster walls and didn’t compete with the furniture and art. Its rich tone also complemented some of the darker pieces, such as African stools and masks, Chinese chairs, Tang Dynasty sculptures, and an impressive collection of weighty pre-Columbian figures.
Garrigues and her client went through the owner’s previous residence—which she’d given to a family member—and selected favorite possessions and artworks to transfer to her new space. Two paintings in particular, with their varying shades of green, guided the serene palette of the ocean-facing living room: White Table by Roger Mühl Ck, which hangs over the fireplace, and across from it, above the sofa, Pearson’s Folly by Robert Natkin ck, a personal friend. Of the latter, Garrigures recalls, “We absolutely loved it when we saw it in his studio.”
In a nod to those works, a pair of plump armchairs were reupholstered in a light olive green, and pillows on a facing ivory sofa pick up the accent color. Anchoring the room, before the wall of windows, is a treasured Indonesian altar table with gold writing carved into the legs, found years ago in San Francisco, as well as a chocolate shagreen Julian Chichester coffee table with a silver-leaf underside and curved edges inspired by a waterfall. Pre-Columbian sculptures, a leopard-print footed stool and camel-shaped side tables reflect worldly sophistication in earthy hues. To keep the focus on the art, which includes a 1918 Matisse, “we kept the color palette simple,” says Garrigues.
The same goes for the nearby family room, where Corridors of Power Ck—a gift from artist and designer John Saladino—hangs above a sofa reupholstered in a quiet eggshell hue. Sturdy linen and cottons cover classic cozy pieces, while animal prints add visual interest. In the adjacent dining area, a Chinese Coromandel screen, once owned by Coco Chanel and passed on to the owner by Angelo Donghia Ck, hangs on the wall near a limestone table. Depicting two dragons and rarely seen in ivory, the screen features lettering that translates, “We are the ancients who guard the gates of heaven.” Chinese foo dogs guard the bar in kind.
Chinese elements continue in the sisal-carpeted master bedroom, which draws its color inspiration from a 1963 painting by Stephen Pace. A Chinese chair and Qing Dynasty kang table are paired in one corner, while contemporary pillows in spirited shades of coral and yellow enliven the room from the ivory-clad bed.
In the end, the designer and friend were able to breathe new life into familiar pieces. Though Garrigues says it was hard during the downsizing process to part with some of the furnishings they’ve found over the years, the owner loves that her collection will be cherished by her family, as she’s passed on some items to them as heirlooms. “She loves the idea of art moving on,” says Garrigues. “She loves sharing the beauty.”