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Mimi Masri Living Room

Mimi Masri was given the challenge of turning a long and narrow space into a living room. “I wanted a striking room that had tropical appeal and held your attention,” says Masri. A soaring window treatment features a Création Baumann sheer over the glass, with side panels in a yellow-and-white leaf pattern from Schumacher. Sitting in front of the window is a Balinese bench covered in a zebra print bamboo fabric by Trina Turk. Handmade African terra-cotta “beads” form the posts of floor lamps flanking the cozy bench, which is topped with silk throw pillows.

Palm Beach Panache there’s a sunny outlook for design at this Florida Showhouse


Written by Clara Haneberg P h o t o g r a ph y b y R o b e r t B r a n t l e y Produced by Bonnie Maharam

here’s no better way to start a new year than with a showhouse filled with ideas that promise to inspire homeimprovement plans and lofty design dreams. Now in its 36th year—this year’s showhouse is open through February 18—the American Red Cross Designers’ Showhouse in West Palm Beach, Florida, is first-in-the-nation on the showhouse schedule,

and it continues to dazzle with charming rooms and creative solutions. In 2011, 15 rooms of a Mediterranean-style house overlooking Lake Worth were transformed by 18 design visionaries. Statement fabrics in color combinations both creative and classic, theatrical lighting, and window treatments that draw attention to engaging views prove that this showhouse deserves its front-runner status.


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Scott Robertson Stairwell

Wrapped in wrought-iron railing, the spiraling stairwell unified the adjacent rooms while imparting its own elegance. “I emphasized the verticality of the space with stripes and full-length draperies,” says Scott Robertson. Stripes of Benjamin Moore’s Acadia White were painted between lengths of Scalamandré wallpaper. Dramatic blue-gray draperies of Schumacher silk drop from the ceiling. A large-scale bronze basket of beets by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz adds a sculptural element to the sweeping space.

Keith Williams Exterior/Entrance

Pavers for a motor court were obstacles for Keith Williams when designing an elegant entrance to the showhouse. The structure’s architecture was equally challenging, inspiring Mediterranean plantings that created an unexpected garden environment. “We wanted the tall adonidia palms to create a canopy feeling and a balance to the tall structure,” explains Williams. Custom planters filled with ficus nitida trees frame the entryway, welcoming guests.

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Chad Renfro Study

Informed by his travels, Chad Renfro turned this small, square room into a captivating study. A nickel pendant light by Circa illuminates the navy lacquer trim on chalky walls. A mix of patterns and textures includes batik drapery panels by Duralee, natural woven shades by Hunter Douglas, an antique zebra rug, and geometric throw pillows. Sunbrella fabric covers the sofa and chairs. “The design was a study in contrasts,” Renfro says. “The goal was to challenge those enjoying the room to discover something new each time and to feel so comfortable they never want to leave.”

Lisa Erdmann Family Room

Before laying a finger on the family room, Lisa Erdmann noted that the light-flooded interior was a “perfect canvas for pattern and color.” So a chartreuse geometric paper by Quadrille was applied to a wide expanse of paneling, offsetting creamy white walls that complement the room’s signature indigoand-cream. The beloved blue-and-white combo dramatically appears on the damask drapery panels by Cowtan & Tout, on a comfy Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman sofa with fabric by Brunschwig & Fils, and on the cushions on Chinese and caned chairs.

Michael Powers Covered Loggia

Greece’s white buildings and blue roofs inspired Michael Powers’s loggia. He designed and built the bed, which was covered in striped Ralph Lauren outdoor fabric. Chairs with a striking blue lacquer finish were also upholstered in a complementary Ralph Lauren print. Softening the bold architecture, a Robert Allen sheer fabric gracefully creates drapery panels. Vintage travel pieces, blue Casa Ceramica planters, and hanging black rattan spheres with added lights tie the space’s elements together.


Joseph Pubillones Library

Instead of the expected rich, deep tones of traditional libraries, Joseph Pubillones decided to make a book nook that is bright and beachy. Cranberry red accents infuse the room with a punch of color on the desk lamp, the edge of the white linen drapery panel from Holland & Sherry at the window, and on insets that highlight each bookshelf cubby and its contents. Wall-to-wall sisal carpet by Stark nods to the sandy tones of the beach. Not wanting to weigh down the airy, sunlit area with heavy furniture, a glass-top desk in front of the window and slim-profile chairs are quietly functional. “In this room, the librarian has let her hair down and shown that sexy and smart can coexist,� says Pubillones.

Jennifer Garrigues & Diana El-Daher Landing

Designer Jennifer Garrigues packed an eyeful of artful designs into the landing, an area often overlooked as a multitask space. Painted in taupe with a sleek, glossy finish by Benjamin Moore, the walls provide a neutral but sassy foil to the casual slipcovered furniture, including a pair of matching wing chairs in white duck cloth and a coffee table cloaked in a plum-colored fabric. Embroidered throw pillows on the chairs pull together the bright colors used in accessories and artwork. Whimsically shaped side tables in steel give the room a playful personality.

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Verónica Volani-Inza Upstairs Loggia

Interior designer Verónica Volani-Inza wanted to create a romantic, upbeat space that would “encourage guests to relax, have a cup of coffee, and read a book while taking in the intercoastal views.” Sunbrella sheers whisper in a breeze punctuated by bright yellow-andbrown fabric designed by Trina Turk. The statement fabric was used to construct fashionable pillows for the love seat and cushions for the lacy gold-painted iron chairs. Adding pizzazz is an outdoor candlelight fixture by Elayna Toby Singer that descends from the covered loggia’s weathered wood.

Stephen Mooney Master Bedroom

Stephen Mooney had generous proportions to use in creating not only a sleeping area in the master bedroom but a sitting area as well. Mooney drenched the sunny space with a glowing shade of apricot by Benjamin Moore. A tailored headboard upholstered in a pale green fabric by Cowtan & Tout is flanked by mahogany bedside tables. At the foot of the bed, a bench covered in a trellis-patterned green velvet by Scalamandré adds a formal element. “I like variety,” says Mooney. “When everything is similar in style, you get that one-stop shopping look.” In the sitting area, a tropical pattern from Lee Jofa covers an armchair and provides a sense of movement among the solid-colored furniture. Lucite coffee tables by Michael Taylor are inconspicuously chic.


Joseph Cortes & Kevin Marnell Guest Room

Designers Joseph Cortes and Kevin Marnell created textural warmth in their seaside interior. A grass cloth from Phillip Jeffries wraps around the walls. At the large expanse of glass, a Roman shade fabricated from a Kravet ikat material and aqua-colored side panels soften the room and act as a contrast to the contemporary furniture. Solid-colored fabrics on the plush upholstered pieces are stylishly interrupted by patterned toss pillows.

Leta Austin Foster & India Foster Dining Room

With small dimensions, there was no room for Leta Austin Foster and her daughter, India, to overwhelm with decoration. “Our goal was to keep the space open and light,” says Austin Foster. The family duo axed window treatments because bushes outside provide ample privacy. A Lucite-and-glass table and vintage chrome chairs covered in striped linen sit atop a giraffe-print rug. The walls tease with a hint of pattern extended by a covering that features overlapping squares of Chinese paper by Gracie. It’s an ideal backdrop for an 18th-century mirror and a Portuguese console table. ➤

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Daryl McCann Pool Terrace

Daryl McCann ensured that the view to the tranquil water was comfortable. Teak outdoor furniture by Idlewild was stained dark while orange-and aquacolored pillows pop bright complementary color into the landscape. At the firepit, cushions add comfort to the stone seating. “My intent was to break the space by offering multiple places to sit,” says McCann. Outdoor firepit, paving stones, and retaining walls by Belgard. For information on showhouse rooms, see sources on page 118

Special Thanks to Our 2011 Sponsors

Benjamin Moore, Sunbrella, Belgard, and Volvo

2012 American Red Cross Designers’ Showhouse

For the second year, Traditional Home is proud to sponsor the 2012 American Red Cross Designers’ Showhouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. Completed in 1923, this historic Southern-style house located at 3001 Spruce Avenue features the work of 16 designers. It is open daily now through February 18. For more information, call 561/650-9133, or visit



go to on your smartphone, download the free tag reader app, then snap this tag. Or, go to

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Palm Beach Panache  

This was published in the February/March issue of Traditional Home magazine.