For designer Jennifer Knowles, Melissa Schechter was not the typical client who needed help finding her style.
Melissa had spent 20 years on the board of the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami, did additional work with historical preservation, and now serves on the statewide Friends of Florida History. She and her husband, Andrew Brahms, like classic, old-Florida architecture — especially that of Addison Mizner, who designed Vizcaya — and Mizner’s contemporary Maurice Fatio. Both architects served the cream of Palm Beach society in the 1920s, creating Mediterranean revival mansions with Moorish and Rococo detail.
So, when it came time to design a Delray Beach home, the couple entrusted Knowles to honor that aesthetic. “It was very important to her that this house be authentic to that era of architecture,” Knowles explains.
Collaborating with architect Randall Stofft, the designer got to work crafting a home bearing hallmarks of the Mizner-Fatio style, including pecky cypress ceilings, carved-stone columns and cypress beams, loggias and courtyards. The duo did, however, practice some restraint so the property would complement the Mission styles of the historic district where the home was located.
Melissa, meanwhile, sourced architectural salvage from the early 20th century to incorporate within the design. “I wanted a home that really didn’t seem like a new home,” she says. This Florida history buff got exactly what she wanted.