I recently stumbled upon pictures of Genevieve “Bunny” and Nicholas “Nicky” du Pont’s Palm Beach home, taken in April 1964 and featured in New York Social Diary’s “Resort Life” series. Located at 977 North Ocean Boulevard, “Casuarina” is a bermuda-style, direct oceanfront home, designed by legendary architect John Volk and decorated by Valerian Rybar. At the time, Rybar was known as “the world’s most expensive decorator to the world’s wealthiest,” according to NYSD.
What struck me the most about the decor is how timelessly fresh it remains half a century later. Many of these images could easily be mistaken for the Palm Beach Chic style that is all the rage today. Sunset pinks, leaf and lime greens, sunny lemon yellows and ocean blues are mixed with abandon, while liberal doses of chintz, zebra print, faux bamboo, and blue and white Chinese porcelain complete the look. This quote, describing Rybar’s work at the du Pont’s new house, captures my favorite aspect of Palm Beach Chic decor…
~ Suzanne “Suzy” Anderson Gardner, via the Palm Beach Daily News, March 1964