A Delray Beach Home Channels Historic Florida


mediterranean white exterior entry black...

Hand-painted tiles by Mexican Tile Designs adorn the front walls of a Delray Beach home by architect Randall Stofft, designer Jennifer Knowles and general contractor Terry Cudmore; the look was inspired by the work of early-20th-century architect Addison Mizner, which was an important factor for homeowner Melissa Schechter. The front door is by Jeld-Wen.

mediterranean neutral entry foyer staircase...

In the entryway, Knowles commissioned a local artisanal company, Belt, to forge the large, wrought-iron chandelier, that, along with the iron balustrade by South Florida Stairs, was influenced by Mizner's designs. Knowles re-covered the owners' existing sofa in a Schumacher fabric, and the stairs and main-level flooring are brushed and tumbled limestone from Opustone.

mediterranean family room gray sectional...

Hand-hewn pecky cypress ceilings crown the family room, which Knowles furnished with a custom sectional in Cowtan & Tout fabric, a Hickory Chair armchair in a Jane Churchill velvet and a leather ottoman. She then designed a richly hued statement rug, fabricated by Artistic Looms, using early-20th-century patterns as a reference. The chandelier is by Visual Comfort & Co., the linen drapery fabric is Schumacher with a Samuel & Sons trim, and the artwork is Out of the Mist by Richard Johnson, acquired through Addison Gallery.

mediterranean kitchen white cabinetry black...

A custom hood by Copper Kitchen Specialists anchors the kitchen, where Knowles designed and Classic Kitchens of South Florida fabricated the cabinetry and island. The honed black granite island counter from Marble of the World resembles basalt, Knowles says, and is accompanied by J. Douglas barstools. The light fixtures are Visual Comfort & Co.

mediterranean white kitchen

Knowles chose Athena quartzite from Marble of the World for the kitchen's perimeter counters and backsplash. The Roman shade was made from a Larsen linen, and the hardware is by Ashley Norton from Millers Elegant Hardware.

mediterranean dining room red velvet...

A wall in the dining room features Skip to the Good Part by Casey Matthews from Addison Gallery; it hangs over a console by Formations. The sconces are by Ironware International through Jerry Pair, the chandelier is by Currey & Company, and the parquet-topped dining table is by Century.

mediterranean dining room red velvet...

The dining room was decorated around Melissa's collection of Czarist Russian china. Roman shades in a Manuel Canovas fabric pick up the china's scarlet and lilac accents, as does the cherry chenille by Colefax and Fowler that covers the Hickory Chair chairs.

mediterranean office vintage mosaic fireplace

In the office, a vintage mosaic surround by Tiffany Studios anchors the fireplace, which was fabricated by Suncoast Stone. The desk is vintage, the light fixture is Currey & Company, and the rug is by Surya. Solace and Nourishment by Sharon Kingston graces the wall, while shelving, fabricated by Classic Kitchens of South Florida, displays Melissa's collections of English tea caddies.

mediterranean bathroom white gray gold...

The bathroom adjoining the exercise room is a nod to Mizner's Moroccan-style leanings, Knowles says, as evidenced in the Currey & Company light fixture and the mirror by Mirror Image Home. Knowles designed the vanity, which was fabricated by Classic Kitchens of South Florida, and the accent tiles are from Country Floors.

mediterranean bedroom wood bed wood...

The homeowners "like the look of an all-wood bed," Knowles says, so she chose a four-poster bed and a complementary nightstand from Hickory White for the master bedroom. The wall lamp is by Visual Comfort & Co.

mediterranean bedroom sitting area vintage...

Knowles designed everything in the home--especially the floors and fabrics--to stand up to the owners' dogs. In the sitting area of the master bedroom, the homeowners' armchairs flank a vintage accent table before a wall of windows that looks out to the pool. The hardwood flooring is from Designer Floors.

mediterranean exterior backyard pool landscape

Knowles refurbished 19th-century lanterns that Melissa found as salvage from a New England church; they now hang in the loggias off the family room and master bedroom. Randall Stofft Architects designed the pool, which was fabricated by South Florida Pools, while landscape architect Maureen Smith designed the pool patio and planting layout.

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.