Palm Beach: Just the sound of the name is powerful enough to conjure visions of beautiful estates, swaying palm trees and elegant soirees. Since its founding in 1909, Palm Beach has seen its share of interior design styles come and go. From salons filled with Victorian wicker settees and Louis XIV bergeres to heavy Mediterranean thrones, many cultures have appeared on the swanky island and left an indelible style.
In a place where iconic names such as Mizner, Pulitzer and Gucci are aplenty, there is no shortage of design perspectives. The interior of any Palm Beach home is the perfect tableau for homeowners to show off their design savvy. Yes, Palm Beach has its share of the over-the-top and glitzy interiors, but it has others that are understated and drop-dead chic. More often than not, when Palm Beach is mentioned in the context of design, it is about great style with a casual, almost effortless attitude.
A certain opulence is expected of interior designs in Palm Beach, in part due to the sheer size of some estates but also as a response to the overall excellent character of the architecture. In such a manicured environment, most every home, corner, nook and cranny abounds with a visual treat. The general vibe of Palm Beach style is one of affluence ... a bit of life reinvented or reimagined. No details are left to chance. Every design decision is seriously researched, planned and put forth into action.
Palm Beach style is extremely versatile and can be effective in smaller homes and apartments as well. This interior design style can be easily achieved without the need to break into a bank.
These insider's recommendations will add some Palm Beach style to your home:
— For sophistication, add a touch of any animal print; try leopard carpeting or zebra striped fabric.
— Colossal clusters of orchids. These flowers are less expensive than a dozen long-stemmed roses.
— Pulitzer-inspired colors of pink, chartreuse and orange, paired with white for contrast.
— Bamboo or bamboo-inspired furniture. Vintage pieces are especially coveted.
— Acrylic tables or accessories to add a bit of retro whimsy.
— Seagrass carpeting for that off-the-beach look.
— Slip-covered furniture for a casual look but also to protect or conceal that peach damask fabric underneath.
— Tortoiseshell tea caddies or other unusual accessories can be a good conversation starter.
— Pineapple and shell motifs in decorative accessories are welcome signs in any language.
— Collections, carefully arranged for impact.
— Linen or unlined taffeta drapery is slightly dressed up but casual at the same time.
— Palm trees in beautiful cachepots will celebrate the eponymous island emblem.
— A good dash of humor.
— Art by well-known or easily recognized artists. Try some contemporary art.
It's safe to say there isn't one Palm Beach style. It is about what the French call BCBG: Bon chic, bon genre (good style, good attitude). Whatever style you choose to pursue, these few tips will ensure it is stylish and oh, so Palm Beach!
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.