But first, let's start with Mimi McMakin. A fourth-generation Palm Beacher, McMakin inherited her love for interior decorating through her mother who had a passion for arranging flowers and furniture. In turn, she passed down her creativity to both of her daughters. Renowned interior decorator Celerie Kemble heads up Kemble Interiors' New York office, and Phoebe Kemble is a Le Cordon Bleu chef who has opened the newest branch of Kemble Interiors in London.
When McMakin first married and was living in New York, she worked for a company where her primary job was to return materials that had been borrowed from a design center. This piqued her interest, and when she and her husband eventually moved back to Palm Beach, she worked for two well-known decorating firms—Smith Knudson and then Polly Jessup, who was the grande dame Palm Beach decorator, and a contemporary of Sister Parish. She opened Kemble Interiors in the mid-1980s, and the rest is history.
Now let's head back to Palm Beach's Major Alley! The owners of the maisonette I featured on Thursday also own a second residence just across the alley path that they use as their pied-à-terre. Here is a picture of the "colorful cantaloupe living room," as McMakin described it.
Lacquered cantaloupe walls both anchor and provide a little levity for a room that includes a collection of fine art and antiques, including a wood carving in the style of 17th-century artist Grinling Gibbons. The orchid pillow fabric is by Raoul Textiles.Photo by Zach Desart, via flower magazine.
This image whet my appetite, and I had to see more.. After some digging, I discovered the pied-à-terre was featured in the 2009 May/June issue of Southern Accents. Here are a few more images!
Major Alley, a Palm Beach treasure, consists of two rows of Bermuda-style bungalows built in 1925 by renowned Palm Beach architect Howard Major.
The portrait above the mantle is by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the shell-encrusted mantle imparts a bit of Florida flair.The owners brought the paining that now hangs over the mantle from their home in London. While a bit “serious” for Palm Beach, decorators McMakin and Brooke Hutting added some lightheartedness with the brightly colored walls, plush matelassé covered sofa, and club chairs. They lightened the bergères, originally in a green finish, with new linen upholstery in antique white.
Image via Kemble Interiors.
Another wonderful feature of the home is an enclosed terrace that makes an ideal spot for dining. The mosaic tiled table is custom-painted with scenes from Château de Malmaison in France, the former home of Empress Joséphine.
Major Alley, Palm Beach
Click here to read the fantastic interview flower magazine conducted with Mimi McMakin, and learn more about her esteemed family, professional background, inspiration and, of course, her love of flowers.