I have written before about my love for Boca Grande – a “secret” getaway on Gasparilla Island, off the coast of southern Florida. The
posh, low-key resort community is the most charming and “old Florida” island
town, reminiscent of a bygone era. Click here to read about Boca Grande’s
Gasparilla Inn, decorated by Celerie Kemble’s mother, Mimi McMakin.
showplaces of the early 20th century, notably Miami’s Vizcaya and Palm Beach’s Villa Artemis.
Bill’s uncle, a Harvard professor,
commissioned the one-story dwelling to escape Boston’s frigid winters. The
Mortons were married at the home in 1984, and a few years later they inherited
the property and decided to move in. Then the improvements began, led by Nancy
who is the president of Ginger Lily, a Boca Grande interior design firm.
Morton relaxes in the loggia of the Boca Grande, Florida, residence she shares
with her husband, Bill, and Jack Russell terrier, Rupert.
house was designed in 1940 by architect F. Burrall Hoffman Jr.
lightened by decorative painter Bob Christian,
whose work can also be seen on the tile fireplace surround. The landscape
paintings are 19th-century English, the roll-arm sofas are by O. Henry House, and the
Louis XV–style armchairs by Edward Ferrell +
Lewis Mittman, in the foreground, are upholstered in a Brunschwig & Fils
floral; Chinese rice barrels serve as occasional tables.
chest-on-stand is positioned beneath an antique English painting of dogs; the
Aubusson is by Stark.
hall and living area, the cypress-beamed loggia is paved with travertine by
Country Floors. The walls feature trompe l’oeil decoration by Christian and an
array of Staffordshire plates and platters. The faux-bamboo lantern fixture,
two-tier occasional table, and button-tufted armchair are from John Rosselli,
and a Lee Jofa ikat stripe
covers a pair of scroll-back chairs by O. Henry House.
artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement inspired Christian’s murals in the dining room,
a space added by the Mortons; the artist also painted the Georgian-style dining
chairs and marbleized the mantel. Hurricane candleholders by Simon Pearce are displayed
on the double-pedestal table; the sisal is by Stark.
green palette freshen the master bedroom. Brackets from John Rosselli hang
above a Louis J. Solomon
faux-bamboo desk with custom-painted decoration by Christian; the curtain
fabric is by Brunschwig & Fils, a Clarence House stripe covers the slipper chair, and the
sea-grass carpet is by Stark.
room; a Manuel Canovas print from Cowtan & Tout is used on the beds and the armchair.
heirloom atmosphere to another guest room.
the ceramic tiles and travertine pavers are by Country Floors.
contents of the Mortons’ house are a spirited counterpoint to the perfectly
polite architecture, but that sense of surprise was the goal. “It’s eccentric
and definitely more daring than what I would do for a client,” Nancy said. “But
it’s very us—a little crazy and definitely mixed up.”