Seeking perpetual summer, the clients of designer Sara McCann left behind the fog and moody enchantment of San Francisco for a fresh start in South Florida. With their new home as a blank slate, the couple desired a dramatic reset reflective of the sunny locale. “The homeowners wanted to bring in a lot of bright colors and textures for an indoor-outdoor feel,” recalls designer Breanne Castillo, who worked alongside McCann on the project.
When it came to refreshing the Palm Beach residence, the couple initially envisioned solely renovating the kitchen and primary suite in addition to painting and updating the flooring. Yet, they soon realized a complete overhaul was necessary to achieve a cohesive aesthetic with the help of residential designer Caroline Forrest and general contractor Todd Cury. “We collaborated to create a bright palette and as much volume, space and organization so the designers could highlight rooms with colors and textures,” Forrest explains. They refinished the hardwood flooring in a whitewash stain and revamped the kitchen with features such as white cabinetry, a large island and shiplap paneling on the ceiling, mirroring the nearby family area. As for the private spaces, they elevated the primary bathroom with touches like marble flooring and countertops and decreased the size of the primary bedroom to create a feature the homeowners coveted: expansive his-and-her closets. “There’s not one thing in the house that didn’t get touched— but when you walk in, you can’t tell there’s been a major renovation,” Cury observes.
McCann and Castillo established feel-good vibes from the outset by splashing the front door of the white exterior in a punchy lacquered coral. Once inside, each space reveals its own energetic color story. “We like to have one jumping-off point by room,” McCann says. In the living and dining areas, for instance, the inspiration was a shell-pink fabric chosen for the sofas—a shade the wife requested on replicating for the surrounding walls, millwork and ceiling. “By painting the pale pink on every surface, she definitely pushed us out of our comfort zone,” Castillo acknowledges. “However, the color is subtle enough that your eye isn’t drawn away from the furnishings and accessories, so everything gets to have its own moment against the calming backdrop.”
Reflecting a duality between Palm Beach inspiration and sophisticated touches, the designers outfitted the living area with elements such as pink and green textiles, an abaca area rug and rattan chairs. They then echoed the tropical refinement in the dining area with circular rattan lighting above a softly rounded wood table.
Also driving the color narrative is a floral print in a reddish-coral, green and yellow palette that swaths the primary bedroom’s window treatments and pillows. “You see the same colors woven throughout the home, but they’re used differently,” Castillo notes, pointing to the coral- hued materials on the kitchen’s counter stools and the family area’s deep sectional. Green, meanwhile, shows up most vividly in the powder room, where the designers enveloped the walls in an iconic banana leaf-print wallpaper and, in a daring twist, lacquered the millwork and vanity for a jewel-box feel.
Coastal tones define the husband’s library, home to patterned draperies and modern geometric artwork set against walls wrapped in a pale, woven paper. “He’s a huge fan of blue, so it started with the drapery color, and then he found the artwork,” McCann explains. “We kept the wallcovering neutral so the art and fabrics could pop.” What also stands out is a sentimental item occupying the desk: a vintage hula dancer lamp the husband found in Hawaii years ago that has made every move with the family. “It’s a nod to our love of tropical living—a talisman that one day we’d be living in a sunny place,” the wife muses.
Naturally, the outdoor areas also deserved their own refresh, orchestrated by landscape designer Keith Williams. Surrounding the refinished pool, spaces are dotted with bright bougainvillea that crawls up the house. “The gardens are kept very simple to create a sense of depth,” Williams describes, “and the bougainvillea provides a magnificent element of color.”
All of this results in a tropical oasis worthy of a vibrant, new beginning in Palm Beach. “I’m just delighted with it,” the wife says. “I go around and sit in different areas of the house and pick out special touches I love.”
Discover the best in color and patterns for an invigorating home refresh. Explore the latest wallpaper trends, moody shades and neutral hues, plus colorful textiles invigorating today’s most buzzy spaces.