Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Whimsical Palm Beach Home by Kemble Interiors

One thing I love about Palm Beach design is that it always embraces its playful side, providing a whimsical escape amongst the sunshine and sea breeze. People aren't afraid to be original here, and "irreverence is appreciated" says Mimi McMakin of Kemble Interiors.  When it comes to Palm Beach style, no one creates the quintessential look quite Kemble Interiors.  I have covered them frequently on my blog, and I was thrilled when I saw their latest work featured in the December/January 2015 of House Beautiful. Let's take a look at this winter Palm Beach escape designed by Ms. McMakin and her business partner Ashley Sharpe!

In the dining room, Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman chairs in Schumacher's Hampton Court Diamond surround a hand-carved teak table made in India. Curtains in Blithfield's Beasties from Lee Jofa.

A tropical landscape fantasy is painted on the walls — as if viewed from a bougainvillea-draped porch — complete with an applied wood railing and faux columns. Wall sconce, John Rosselli.

The expansive living room is glazed a "juicy cantaloupe color that makes everyone smile," Ashley Sharpe says. Even the coffered ceiling subtly picks up the tropical punch. Carved cane sofas add "classic Caribbean style, and there's nothing sexier than masculine dark wood in a room with this much white." Sofa cushions in Perennials' durable Ishi can stand up to the family poodle's muddy paws. The fireplace is made of Dominican coral stone, and the painting over the inlaid chest is by Palm Beach artist Orville Bulman. O. Henry House armchair with pillow in Pindler & Pindler's Jefferson. Quatrefoil floor lamp by Suzanne Kasler for Circa Lighting. Ankara table lamp by Vaughan.

In the entrance hall, an arrangement of porcelain on a British Colonial–style table becomes a lesson in display: Various shapes and sizes of ginger jars all go together when they're all blue and white.

McMakin calls the entry's sofa, covered in China Seas' Arbre de Matisse, "a love loveseat" — it's so small, two people will sit there only if they're in love. The walls are covered in Carleton V's Plantation and trimmed in Benjamin Moore's Mayonnaise. Sisal runner, Stark.

The headboards on the hand-turned beds in a guest room are upholstered in Kravet's Samaria for more island flavor. Jane wallpaper by Hinson from Brunschwig & Fils. Sconces, Alexa Hampton for Circa Lighting with custom cane shades.

The "wow" effect of Cowtan & Tout's Bamboo wallpaper is heightened by applied bamboo trim that frames a guest bedroom and extends onto the ceiling. Matouk bed linens and curtains in Norbar's Ozone add the "luxury of white," McMakin says. Floor lamp, Jamie Young. Cassard bookcase, Starbay. Carpet, Comeran.  Lee Jofa's Polynesia adds a touch of the exotic to the armchair.

Detail from above... bamboo window casings mimic traditional English molding.

The master bedroom catches the breeze from the pool terrace, and its fresh, natural palette sprang directly from Raoul Textiles' Martinique — used on the sofa and curtains. The mahogany four-poster bed with sheers in Schumacher's Lucia sits under a cathedral ceiling. Walls covered in Montclair Strie from Peter Fasano harmonize with all the blues, like Lulu DK's Somersault on a desk chair by Baker, and an arm-chair and ottoman in Raoul Textiles' Pineapple Stripe.

Designers Ashley Sharpe (left) and Mimi McMakin in the butler's pantry.

Pillows in China Seas fabrics and Plantation wallpaper from Carleton V on the upstairs landing make for an inviting reading nook.

A powder room near the pool is painted to look like a cabana with a tasseled, tented awning.

The designers had the cast-coquina dining table made for the terrace and circled it with Brown Jordan Calcutta II chairs, the same collection used for the seating area. Cushions are in Sunbrella's Spectrum Sailor.

A chinoiserie pagoda by landscape designer Keith Williams is filled with Brown Jordan furniture that blends into the lattice. "It's an intimate spot where the owner can sit and look back at the house he loves so much," Sharpe says.

"The loggia is quintessential Palm Beach, with traditional rattan furniture, Mizner-style tile, and black iron light fixtures," Sharpe says. Armchairs and sofa from Palecek's President's Collection are brightened with cushions in Sunbrella's Spectrum Sailor. The iron-and-coral-stone coffee table is from S&L Designs. The tile was made specifically for the space "with bits of yellow for contrast, but not too much, because we wanted it to envelop, not shout," McMakin says. The hanging Moroccan plates are from Casa Ceramica.

For more on this gorgeous home and to read an interview with the designers, please visit House Beautiful, or pick up a copy on newsstands. Photography by Melanie Acevedo, captions from House Beautiful. More of Kemble Interior's work can be seen on my blog here, here, here, here, and here.


  1. This house is perfect ! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kemble Interiors are my very favorite in my life! I met Mimi when she lived in the "church"! with my close friend; Britty!

    I have followed you all my life! And I have been a decorator in Southern California (I think) as long as you! 43 years!

    What fun! Knowing you....following you and your adorable daughter..I think I even have a former assistant who worked for New York!

    I still adore every single thing you do! How interesting!

    43 years!

    Thank you for all of your inspiration!!


  3. I agree with Mimi McMakin. Every time I see your blog posts featuring Palm Beach design, it's always full of colour, pattern and playful accents! It's so refreshing! I wish there was more of that in Toronto! Beautiful work!

  4. So lovely. The ginger jar styled hallway table and the geometric wallpapered bedroom were both really well done. Jenn at East Meets South

  5. This house is amazing - love every room and the bamboo window casings are unbelievable. So many beautiful wallpapers and details in every room…happy Monday!!


Thank you for your lovely comments. They absolutely make my day!

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