Friday, October 22, 2010

Builder's special reinvented!

I have been going through photos of projects because I am working on a new website and thought I would post some to my blog as I go.

This project was a builder's special that clients bought and I worked on.  When I first saw this house, it was a very plain "vanilla" house that a builder squeezed onto a lot in Manalapan, Florida.  The only thing noteworthy about the house was the location and views.  The house itself was unremarkable and lacked any detail.

From the onset, the focus of the design was to bring the quality and details up to most of the fine homes in Palm Beach.  Addison Mizner's architecture was the inspiration.

For those who may not be familiar with Mizner's work, here is Wikipedia's info:
 Addison Cairns Mizner (December 12, 1872 – February 5, 1933) was an American resort architect whose Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style interpretations left an indelible stamp on South Florida, where it continues to inspire architects and land developers.[1] In the 1920s Mizner was, without exaggeration, the best-known and most-discussed living American architect.[2] Mizner was the visionary behind development of Boca Raton, Florida.  The following are some sample photos of his work:

Sadly, I did not save the "BEFORE"  photos of the house. I'd like you to imagine, low end fixtures, no moldings and standard builder white walls throughout.

Now, here are the photos of the interiors of this plain vanilla box - AFTER!
Formal Living Room
The formal living room had ceiling that were 22' high.  I want to bring the scale back down to a level that felt comfortable and not massive.   I added a custom designed iron chandelier that dropped to the 10' -12 ft point in order to focus the room.  The entire room was painted in a parchment effect of venetian plaster and one large mirror plus one small mirror were place on the massive fireplace to bring the focus more to the center of the room.  Curtains were designed to bring your eye away from the massive ceiling by adding custom design wrough iron rods that  hung in a pattern to bring the eye down and to focus on the water view outside.  The curtains were made of a blood orange linen gauze that would add color but not weight to the room.  A custom Lacey -Champion rug reflects the images of coral and seashells that were picked up in the sunny colors of the room as well as the clients artwork.
The study had a challenging window to design around so I designed a custom credenza along with a custom desk and lighted bookshelf in ebony macassar. The walls were plastered in a almost tiffany blue with art deco club chairs. The fabric for the curtains were a Kravet silk stripe with a hint of the blue for the walls.
Dining Room
The original dining room was a closed off box from the rest of the house.  I knew that it would never be used unless there was a flowing energy and view from the other spaces. I opened a wall from the foyer into the dining room and then continued the flow and view by adding three tall, narrow mahogany frenchdoors that lead into the family room.  The flame chandeliers and coral sconces against the backdrop of a waxed venetian plaster add character to an otherwise traditional dining room.

The breakfast room's view spoke for itself.  I added McKenzie-Childs fish chairs/ ceramic pedestals and beautiful venetian glass chandeliers.  The intent was to enhance the experience of the breakfast room by not upstage the view.
Family Room
The family room was, again, a combination of old world with contemporary.  A wrought iron entry was added to separate the family room for the open flow of the rest of the house.  White leather couches and white rugs give the room a light feel since the ceilings are lower than the others in the house and the back   yard loggia off the family room blocks some of the sunny florida light.

Master bedroom
The master bedroom is a mix of feminine and masculine with the play materials and color.  The cornice of the master bed is made from an architectural hand carved piece from a french chateau.  Again,  for consistency, the rods were custom made ironwork.

This home was truly transformed from an emotionally-devoid plain vanilla box into a special home that raised eyebrows. Finally, it is worth noting that the owners invested $500,000 on the transformation and that investment was more than doubled when the home was sold. The possibilities are endless (and valuable) when you look beyond a plain box., 

Au revoir for now!!