A Florida Home Reflects A Family’s Laid-Back Style


traditional exterior entry sitting area...

To round out the traditional vibe of a West Palm Beach home's entryway, interior designer Ellen Kavanaugh added a pair of Lutyens-style plantation teak benches from Kingsley-Bate topped with cushions in a Schumacher outdoor geometric pattern under the cypress-ceiling loggia. The pillows, in a turquoise-and-white bird-and- flower print from Schumacher, echo the similar color palette of the fluted glazed pots filled with low-maintenance bromeliads.

traditional foyer staircase mahogany paneled...

On one side of the foyer framing the dining room entryway are a pair of 19th-century French wrought-iron trellises with prickets for candles. A wingback sofa from Lee Industries is upholstered in navy blue linen from Jim Thompson; underfoot is Jerusalem limestone flooring laid in a herringbone pattern. The stairway's mahogany hand rails and treads match the custom mahogany paneled door, as well as the 6-inch plank flooring used in the dining room and elsewhere in the home.

traditional living room tangerine hues...

Kavanaugh created deep comfortable seating in the living room with English-style sofas and a pair of armchairs in a rich navy. Pillows and a coffee table in a solid tangerine hue join a China Seas blue-and-white palm-print fabric, which is also used for the cushions on the Lucite X benches, to add pops of color to the mostly neutral scheme. Below the flat- screen TV is a mirrored cerused-oak two-door cabinet from Modern History Home; the open-weave black-rattan chairs are vintage.

traditional white kitchen island stools

The kitchen's custom hood above the Wolf range is bordered with a pecky wood cypress salvaged from the original house on the property, while handmade white-glazed terra-cotta mosaics from Morocco add dimension to the backsplash. The large marble-topped island has an overhang for seating, where Laura Kirar Ring stools in a dark tobacco finish by McGuire pull up to the counter; overhead are Gibson light pendants by The Urban Electric Co. with shades painted in a sea-glass hue. The polished-nickel pot filler and faucets are by Perrin & Rowe.

traditional sitting area dining area...

For a nautical note, the breakfast nook's walls are clad in shipboard planks, whereas cypress beams add architectural dimension overhead. Storage is located beneath the custom-crafted banquette, and the bold Raoul Textiles graphic on the seat cushion is the same used for the Roman shade above the kitchen sink. The hourglass Minna table with a glass top by McGuire is crafted from stacked rattan coils held together with rawhide bindings. The watercolor of a Bahamian scene by Stephen Scott Young is from Surovek Gallery.

traditional dining room blue accents

A large custom-framed botanical hangs on natural raffia from Phillip Jeffries, lending an island vibe to the dining room. A built-in hutch features white shelves displayed against a sea-glass-painted wall showcasing a collection of Mottahedeh blue lace plates. The dining chair seat cushions are made from a Cowtan & Tout basket-weave pattern, while a linen- and-cotton batik pattern, Nitik II, envelops the Lee Industries skirted host chairs. Sheer linen Cowtan & Tout Roman shades add a delicate softness to the window frames. Above the grand dining table is a six-light iron-and-sea- glass chandelier by Formations from Jerry Pair.

traditional bedroom neutral with blue...

Setting a tranquil mood in the master bedroom is a soft backdrop of pale-blue hand- painted walls fabricated by Joseph Steiert. The Willa four-poster bed from Oly is painted white and features an upholstered raffia headboard. Hickory Chair nightstands are matched with Arteriors lamps, and in front of the bed are a pair of skirted swivel chairs from Lee Industries covered in a Raoul Textiles orchid print punched up with graphic leafy pillows. Illuminating the sitting room is a pendant light from Visual Comfort & Co.

traditional bathroom colorful fish-themed wallpaper...

A colorful fish-themed wallpaper from Osborne & Little lends a playfulness to the wife's bathroom. The painted vanities have bowed fronts and legs to maintain the feminine aesthetic, along with a Mystery white marble countertop and a polished-nickel faucet from Watermark. The mother-of-pearl mirrors are from Made Goods, and the vintage Chippendale-style rattan ottoman is slipcovered with terry cloth. The sconces are from Visual Comfort & Co., and the floor is limestone with a white Thassos mosaic.

traditional front landscape

Alexander and coconut palms bring an island flavor to the front landscape, which faces a dock and the Intracoastal Waterway. Weathered Chicago brick pavers laid in a herringbone pattern complement peachy toned tabby concrete poured with shells, while a pair of Aegean blue glazed pots frame the stairs to the loggia. Chippendale- style railing on the stairs, and on the front gate, allude to the staircase inside. The Tradd Street II patinated copper sconces and pendant are by Carolina Lanterns.

When Kristen and Brian Ray found a ’70s ranch for sale on a quiet street in West Palm Beach, Florida, they began to imagine their dream home for their young family.

But they would need a little help to make their vision come to life.

Interior designer Ellen Kavanaugh and builder Chip Valle worked closely together to customize the home. They raised the foundation about 3 feet — as a flooding precaution and for a better view — and installed beautiful cypress beams and built-ins, plus subtle nautical touches like shiplap siding.

Today, curvy coconut palms and show-stopping bushy foxtails are planted along a large expanse of zoysia grass outside the Florida vernacular home, which is outfitted with an old-fashioned loggia. With its comfy teak seating and a swing, the building looks as if it has been there for decades.

Inside, the home has traditional roots with a modern, open feel. An ocean-inspired palette of blue and white with tangerine accents makes it fun and bright. A Florida room with a fireplace and flat-screen, sitting and dining areas as well as a grill/kitchen — where hog snapper is a favorite dish — plus a pool in a palm-screened backyard, round out the features.

“Nothing is fussy,” says Kavanaugh. “It’s classic and designed for comfort.”

Kristen says the home mirrors the couple’s personalities. “We each have a serious side and a more playful side. That reflects in our home. We can all hang out with friends watching Gator games in the Florida room or sit on the foyer floor with the girls playing Twister. We all have fun.”