Monday, July 29, 2013

Renovation Progress

I've been burning the candle at both ends these days... We are in the final stages of our renovation, which is demanding a tremendous amount of my time. And I have taken a leadership role with the Junior League, which is also taking up a significant amount of time. So unfortunately, I've been neglecting my poor little blog. Please forgive me!  I have some great posts in the queue, and I'm looking forward to reconnecting!! In the meantime, here is an update on our renovation...

Our entryway is coming along... click here for more in progress shots.
The entryway before renovations.

The dining room... I cannot wait to have our Carleton V Brazilliance banana leaf wallpaper installed!!! 
Dining Room before, in all its 1970s sunken splendor!

The kitchen cabinets are being installed, and they eagerly await their Danby marble countertops!
One of our Imperial Danby marble slabs.
One of our guest baths in progress...

Guest bath before, ick!
The steam shower in our master bathroom... It will be covered in Calacatta gold slabs.
Calacatta gold marble slabs awaiting installation.
Calacatta mosaic for the shower floor.
Calacatta tile on the floors (in the water closet)..
It is coming along, slowly but surely!! More updates to come! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Scalamandre-Inspired Zebra Fabric... on a Budget

How can you not love the iconic and oh so whimsical Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper and fabric? The only problem is the price... and unless you are a designer or work with one, it can be a bit difficult to hunt down. I found the fabric for sale here at $174.50 a yard, and the wallpaper is available through Decorators Best at $127.50 per roll.

Want a similar look for a fraction of the price? Here are a few options!

Menagerie Zebra Red - Just $7.63 a yard, hurry this is on clearance!
Menagerie Zebra Lime - Also on sale for $7.63.
The Menagerie Zebra Yellow is sold out, but a few yards can still be found on eBay for $8.50 a yard.
And remember those adorable zebra pillows featured in the March issue of Matchbook Magazine?
Jane Lilly Warren
What do you think? Would you save your pennies on these fabulous, budget-friendly options, or splurge on the real deal? To see more of the glorious Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper, make sure to read my comprehensive roundup.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Palm Beach Pink Love Story

Historical preservation is a passion of mine, so I was thrilled when I read this heartwarming story of "Bella Costa" a Mediterranean mansion built in 1925 by the legendary Addison Mizner, Palm Beach's most revered architect. Slated for the wrecking ball in 1999, the current owners literally saved this historically significant home.

In their Palm Beach house hunt, the owners, who have always had an appreciation for architecture, had been perusing the town demolition applications submissions, and this gorgeous house caught their eye.

“We saw that the Dunbar house had come up for demolition,” the husband told the Palm Beach Daily News. “We drove by to look at it, and we were dumbfounded that this house with its significance and architectural details was slated to be demolished.”

A Palm Beach builder had purchased the house with plans to demolish it, subdivide the oceanfront lot and build two spec houses.  The couple asked if they could save the home and move it, and fortunately the builder was happy to oblige. So they bought it, turned it 90 degrees and moved it dozens of yards to its current location.

111 Dunbar Road
The exterior paint today reflects Mizner’s original shade of pink, the color renovation crews uncovered after scraping through layers of paint. The owners, who say they saw their roles as stewards of a historic property, also tried to identify the home’s original interior colors.
After the home was moved, the owners restored it, and now they have decided to move on. The 9,862 square foot pink stucco home - a Mizner hallmark - is for sale Sotheby’s International Realty for $8.95M.
It is believed that the plasterwork in the dining room was replicated from photographs of the Alhambra that Mizner had taken during his travels in Spain. The terrazzo floor contains thin metal dividers that create a tiled effect.
The Tunisian tile floor in the entrance foyer is hundreds of years old, and black pure Belgian marble covers the foyer’s floor.
 Other historic features include the pecky-cypress beams in the entry and living room, hardwood floors, decorative tilework, wrought-iron detailing, arches, decorative columns, corbels, stone carvings and stone-carved mantelpieces. 
“I can’t help but feel the touch of Addison Mizner, as I walk the marble floors, or when I’m just sitting in the grand ballroom reading a book to my kids,” said the owner. 
To learn more about this architectural love affair and the history of Bella Costa, I highly recommend reading this wonderful article from the Palm Beach Daily News.  The real estate listing for this home can be found here.
Personally, I would love to see Palm Beach decorator Mimi McMakin get her hands on the decor... I can just imagine what Bella Costa would look like once she put her signature Palm Beach Chic, Old Florida stamp on this masterpiece!
Can't get enough Addison Mizner? Click here to see another Palm Beach mansion for sale... this one is oceanfront!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Renovation Update

TGIF, y'all! My goodness, it has been one stressful week!!! We have had yet ANOTHER renovation delay, and we are now looking at a move-in date of August 15. Let me just tell you, renovations are NOT for the faint of heart... Our original move-in date was supposed to be February 1, grrrr! We had six months of delays from the permitting process alone.

On a happy note, our house is finally starting to look like a house, and not a war zone. Let's take a look inside!

Inspirational image for our front door. Original art by Kim Peterson, available for sale at Etsy.
Here is what our hurricane impact resistant front doors look like now... They will be painted in high gloss black - Fine Paints of Europe, Hollandlac Brilliant, and they will have brass handles. We will also install red brick pavers, and of course blue and white planters are a must!

Here is the view from our entry, as of this morning...
Here is the same view last month...
And in May...
Prior to renovations...
This is our dining room, as of this morning... It will eventually look like this! That little patch spot is the stain test, which I approved today...
We will have espresso-stained oak wood floors. Walls are Sherwin Williams Extra White, and of course we will be papering our dining room in Brazilliance by Carleton V.  
Here is our kitchen, which will eventually look like this... The floor stain will be complete in the kitchen first, and cabinets will be installed on Tuesday!
Here is a view of the backyard from our master bedroom. If you look closely, you can see that the backyard is also in the midst of an overhaul. The before and inspiration pics can be seen here.

The master closets will flank our bed. The closet on the left will be mine... it was formerly two tiny his and her closets, which we combined. The closet on the right will be my husband's. It was formerly the master bathroom. Inspirational images, and before pics can be seen here...
We are converting an adjacent bedroom into our master bath, and I will show pictures soon!
We simply cannot wait to move in our new home... It has been a rough road, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end. :)  Even though our move in date is August 15, we will still have a TON of work to do... little odds and ends in the house, and the exterior will still be a construction zone. But we have to be out of our current home by the end of August, so fingers crossed there will be NO MORE DELAYS!!! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mimi McMakin: A Palm Beach Icon

On Thursday, I wrote about a charming 640-square-foot Palm Beach maisonette, decorated by the gracious and oh-so-talented Mimi McMakin, founder of Kemble Interiors. After my post, Ms. McMakin sent me such a sweet note of thanks which made my day, and she informed me of an interview she had conducted for the Summer 2013 issue of flower magazine! The feature also includes a glimpse of the Palm Beach maisonette owner's other Palm Beach home... more on that in one moment!

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.

Mimi McMakin relaxes on the pink porch of her Palm Beach home with her beloved dogs Turtle And Anchovie. The home, a former Episcopal church - the first Bethesda-by-the-Sea, was featured here in the August 2011 issue of Town & Country. The room exemplifies the designer’s love of a pretty palette, layered and sometimes quirky collections, and furniture that will accommodate real life. Photo by Robert Nelson, via flower magazine.

A sitting area in McMakin’s master bedroom is a study in green and white, reflecting the verdant landscape beyond. Vines appear to have climbed through the window to envelop the upholstery fabric and the base of a floor lamp. The portrait is of her daughter, Phoebe. Photo by Zach Desart, via flower magazine.
No detail in a room escapes McMakin’s attention. She often incorporates murals and decorative painting into her design, as seen in the floral vine climbing this archway, painted by Raoul de Sibour. Photo by Brantley Photography, courtesy of Kemble Interiors, via flower magazine.

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.
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.
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