Established in 1947 and located just steps from both Worth Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, The Colony has become an iconic landmark in Palm Beach. After Andrew and Sarah Wetenhall purchased the hotel in 2016, Sarah soon discovered a mid-century postcard featuring The Colony’s original lobby which was painted with a mural titled “The Early Days in Palm Beach.” The mural inspired a partnership with de Gournay that channels the hotel’s Old Florida roots with Kemble Interiors commissioned for the decor.
“We worked hand in hand with de Gournay to create this unique ‘love letter’ to The Colony and Palm Beach,” said Sarah. It was our mission to embody the whimsy and humor of our beloved hotel, brought to life through the meticulous artistry of de Gournay.”
And no one does Old Florida better than Kemble Interiors! Founded in 1982 by Palm Beach native Mimi Maddock McMakin (whose family has resided on the island for more than 120 years), Mimi also designed Boca Grande’s Gasparilla Inn – the epitome of Old Florida Style. Kemble Interiors replaced The Colony’s existing lobby with a Living Room designed to feel like a private home. A palette of soft pink velvet, natural grasscloth, bamboo lattice, and hand watercolor grey linen will accent the hotel’s original black terrazzo floors, which have been revealed and are undergoing total restoration. Brass palm tree accent tables and palm frond wall sconces amp up the Palm Beach ‘glam’ factor, while the focal point of The Living Room is Kemble Interiors’ jaw dropping 10-foot tall pagoda rising above the existing fireplace.
The de Gournay wallpaper features flora and fauna indigenous to South Florida, painstakingly hand-painted on a custom pink Edo Xuan Paper. Alligators creep from shallow pools and panthers wear diamond necklaces – all while The Colony’s mascot, a monkey named Johnny Brown, sits high in a palm tree waving The Colony pennant flag. Nicknamed the “pink paradise” due to the signature exterior color, pink was naturally selected for the background.
AERIN Villa Jasmine
In addition to the newly decorated Living Room, The Colony also partnered with Aerin Lauder to design and curate the “AERIN Villa Jasmine,” a 2,100-square-foot Palm Beach villa built in 1929. AERIN and The Colony collaborated on the extensive renovation and redesign using AERIN’s home collections and pieces she personally selected. “The Colony Hotel is an iconic destination that allows you to experience the magic of Palm Beach and we hope that the ‘AERIN Villa Jasmine’ becomes the perfect escape, especially during the unique times that we are living today,” she said.
The villa offers a direct private entrance, two generous master bedrooms, two full-size bathrooms, kitchen, living and dining areas, each opening out to the fountained villa courtyard or front patio via French doors. Original historical details abound, including old growth pecky cypress doors and cast stone fireplace. The interior speaks to the natural beauty of Palm Beach embellished with a touch of old-world glamour. It features sea-inspired vases and lighting from the AERIN collection, woven rattan by Soane, furniture by the Lacquer Company, and botanical print fabrics by Colefax & Fowler.
AERIN Villa Jasmine is one of seven individually decorated villa apartments created from the historic Mediterranean-style Casa Manana, the original home of The Colony Hotel’s founders. Guests of ‘The Villa Collection at The Colony’ enjoy full hotel amenities plus ultra-personalized services including butler service, beach buggy program, around-town transportation, and access to the exclusive villa pool.
Other areas designed by Kemble Interiors
I was happy to learn that the hallways and main building guest rooms all still retain Carleton Varney‘s designs. You may recall he renovated The Colony in 2014. The whimsical banana leaf carpets and candy colored striped walls have become iconic!
Who is ready for a tropical getaway?! To learn more about The Colony, and to purchase exclusive framed panels of this beautiful custom wallpaper, please contact The Colony at 561.570.3909. To see more beautifully decorated interiors featuring de Gournay wallpaper, we recommend the new book de Gournay: Hand-Painted Interiors.