Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Sneak Peek into the 2014 Palm Beach Red Cross Designers' Show House

We had such a lovely time in Palm Beach this weekend... Not only did I bring home what is now one of my most treasured possessions - Lilly Pulitzer's personal desk from her estate auction - but we also attended the 2014 American Red Cross Designers' Show House, now in its 38th year.  It was breathtaking! Located off Flagler Drive in the heart of West Palm Beach, "Ville Delle Palme" - first featured as a Designers' Show House 20 years ago - makes an encore performance.

Since moving to South Florida, I have developed a passion for the 1920s Old Spanish architectural treasures that grace our landscape.  The quality workmanship and incredible details, such as elaborate arches and columns, soaring ceilings, ornate iron and plasterwork, elegant fireplaces, pecky cyprus ceilings, and decorative tile, simply cannot be replicated today.  Ville Delle Palme, a Mizner-Style villa built in 1925, contains all of these details and more. At one time, the magnificent property extended to the Intracoastal, but a later owner sold off most of the property to the east.

I cannot imagine a better backdrop for the 15 renowned interior and exterior designers who transformed the home to work their magic.  Here's a sneak peek of of a few of my favorite rooms...

124 Churhill Road, West Palm Beach. Image via the Red Cross

These mirrored panels in the entry hall are absolutely stunning. 

The dining room was decorated by Katherine Shenaman, whose work you may recall from this perfectly preserved Palm Beach mansion I blogged about in November.  The vintage Lucite table, lavender silk drapes, ocean blue leopard patterned chairs, and mirrored buffet she selected are delightful against pre-existing yellow Gracie wallpaper. You can read more about Katherine's vision for this elegant room via The Shiny Sheet.

 I could spend hours in this house taking in all of the details, such as the Gracie butterflies affixed to the ceiling. Such a beautiful and whimsical touch! 

Jennifer Garrigues worked closely with Diana El-Daher to create this exquisite living room. Existing trompe l'oeil wall treatments were kept, providing the perfect backdrop for this elegant space and its high ceilings, stone floors, and gracious details. Bold fabrics from Scalamandre add just the right amount of color and texture. 

The powder room was decorated by Melody Smith Interiors and features a beautiful Koi Chinoiserie wallpaper by Judit Gueth. The paper beautifully complements the existing black marble sink, which stays true to the period of the home. 

The inspiration for the master bedroom by Melissa Z. and Noe Guerra of NXG Studio was the Palm Beach-meets-Paris batik bird print fabric that the husband and wife design team found in France. Shimmery silver silk tufted chairs and a mirrored vanity add a touch of glamorous sparkle, yet the room still maintains a tropical feel.

Inspiration for the guest retreat, by Piper Gonzales Designs, came from the brightly colored fabrics of Robert Allen's new Color Library Collection. I fell in love with the coral chandelier and the deco inspired side tables! 

A giant thank you to my husband for taking these wonderful pictures, and to the Red Cross for permitting us to take them! I have more to share in a later post, but to fully appreciate this masterpiece, you really must see it in person. The American Red Cross Designers' Show House opened February 20 and runs through March 22, 2014. Hours are Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. General admission is $35. Click here for further details and to purchase tickets.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

From the Desk of Lilly Pulitzer: A Recap of Lilly's Estate Auction

When I first heard about the property auction for the estate of the late Lilly Pulitzer, held yesterday in West Palm Beach, Florida I simply knew I had to attend. Even though I never met her, I consider Lilly a role model, and I often find myself thinking, "What would Lilly do?" I am so inspired by her joie de vivre, her kind and charitable nature, her hostessing abilities, and her love for happy colors and whimsical prints. After pouring through the auction catalogue, I fell head over heels in love with this beautiful white wicker and bentwood writing desk that I learned was from Lilly's home office and served as her personal writing desk. The moment I saw it, I knew it had to be mine, and I was quite certain the inspiration I would absorb while working at Lilly's very own desk might just change my life!

Lilly Pulitzer's personal writing desk 

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and I do not think it was a coincidence that at the very moment I was writing this blog post about Lilly's then upcoming estate auction, I was contacted by the Lilly Pulitzer PR team with the opportunity to guest post "Palm Beach Chic Décor" for the official Lilly Pulitzer Pinterest account. A shiver went up my spine when I received their email... I knew this was a sign! So my wonderful husband (he is SUCH a trooper!) and I drove up to West Palm yesterday morning for the auction, my heart pounding the entire way!

In addition to 600+ online bidders and nearly 400 advance bids, more than 400 Lilly fans from all over the country filled Leslie Hindman's auction house, and we were packed in like colorful Lilly Pulitzer/Jack Rogers-clad sardines. The auction started at 11 a.m. and when my husband and I arrived just after 10 a.m. it was already standing room only!

We pulled into the valet line behind this monogrammed Lilly Pulitzer Jeep. 

Two and a half hours later, my desk (#67 out of 295 lots) was up, and I actually thought I might faint due to the combination of claustrophobia and excitement. After a heated bidding war with an unknown online bidder that seemed to last an eternity, the desk was mine!  I wish we could have stayed until the end, but we were starving and exhausted, so we paid for the desk, loaded it up in the back of our SUV, and were on our merry way.

Final bid prices were all over the map, with many items reaching a premium due to their previous owner's iconic status.  Items ranged from $100 for a Blanc de Chine lamp (sorry I missed that one) to $42,500 for a pair of Chinese vases valued at $2 - $4K.  And a whimsical printed canvas map of Palm Beach went for $16,250!

      Blanc de Chine Lamp                        Pair of Chinese Vases                      Canvas Map of Palm Beach, Framed

Below are a few images from the auction catalogue, which you can download here. And if you would like to learn more about Lilly's Palm Beach home, which recently sold and thankfully will be renovated and kept in tact, click here.

"Lilly Pulitzer Rosseau opened a world of color and style to all who wished to enter it, and if you didn't, she would drag you in anyway. The most important things in her life were her family, her friends, and her animals. She filled her life with laughter, hugging, kissing, cooking, and entertaining with people she adored. No one loved throwing a party more; the more music and dancing, the better. Her life was a jungle of joy in which all were welcome. 'Come one, come all. Stay a day. Stay a month.' Mom had an open door policy for anyone and everyone, and she used her policy well. She loved people and life. She turned everything into magic. The world is a better place because of her. She taught us to throw color around, and instantly everything feels better. Thanks Mom! "

- Peter Pulitzer, Minnie Pulitzer McCluskey, and Liza Pulitzer Calhoun 

I am delighted and honored to have this treasured piece of history in my home office, and I am delighted that I will be writing my blog posts, literally, "from the desk of Lilly Pulitzer"... Stay tuned as I finalize my office decor, and I will post pictures of Lilly's desk in its new home.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Meg Braff's Palm Beach Pied-à-Terre

I have been having such fun in my new role as a Guest Pinner for Lilly Pulitzer, where I have been busy pinning all things related to Palm Beach Chic Décor. Over the past few weeks, I've been culling through my favorite images, and I thought it might be fun to take a look at a few iconic moments in the world of Palm Beach Chic decor. When I think of Palm Beach Chic interior design, Meg Braff always comes to mind... How can you forget her swoonworthy West Palm pied-à-terre, featured in Coastal Living's March 2011 issue?  It is soooo good! I wanted to see more, so I went to her portfolio and have posted additional delicious images for you below. Let's take a look inside!

Sunny yellows, a candy-striped Dash & Albert rug, and lots of white upholstery keep the living room cherry. Florida's Intercoastal Waterway is reflected in the mirrored wall. 

Streamlined furnishings such as the living room's oversized Lucite coffee table, and deep squared-off Billy Baldwin sofas, and crisp white paint on either the floor or the walls in every room keep the high-octane color pallet of this home in check. 

I love the vintage spun fiberglass patio table and chairs!

The boldly hued dining room chairs provide sharp contrast to the glossy white walls and floor. 

Meg balanced citrusy orange with cool aqua in the den. "When using a strong color like orange, I add only one or two accent hues - it's less overwhelming," she said. 

"In Florida, you have to really bring on the color; otherwise, things get washed out," she said. "Something that looks fresh and pretty elsewhere can just die under the bright Florida light." 

I adore the Bamboo & Birds wallpaper by Bob Collins & Sons!

The love seat and palm-shaped bed boasters give this guest room vintage Palm Beach panache. 

In the guest bedroom's sitting area, sculptural white furnishings accent the bold aqua seating pieces and rug. 

A graphic horizontal-stripe China Seas fabric makes a pair of otherwise plain twin beds look extra vivid. 

"I have so many men in my family, I felt like I deserved a pink bedroom," Meg said of the master suite. 

Quadrille wallpaper in Lyford Pagoda 

Meg's Palm Beach wardrobe is just as colorful as her decor. "My beach clothes are a lot different from my city clothes," she says. 

Meg mixed in white shell motif pieces, such as the shell-inspired ceiling fixture and oversize clamshell console - a local thrift store find - in the guest room sitting area. "Because it's a vacation community, the pieces tend to be a little less serious and a little more whimsical than you might find elsewhere, which makes sense, " she said. 

Stay tuned for more iconic moments in Palm Beach Chic decor, and also for updates on all of the Island's latest activities... We are knee-deep in Season here in sunny South Florida, and there is so much goodness to report! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Palm Beach Chic on the MLS

One of my favorite past times is stalking the MLS in various cities, particularly in Palm Beach, one of my very favorite places on earth. I think you will agree, this house is pretty fabulous.... Old Spanish architecture with tons of Chinoiserie, bamboo, and blue and white accessories! Fabulous!! Built in 1950, it features five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and 5,370 square feet. Let's take a look inside...

So what do you think? Are you ready to move right in? I am! And I love that it is on Seminole Avenue, as my FSU 'Noles husband bleeds garnet and gold. Click here for more pictures and to view the MLS listing. 
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