July 18, 2019

Jennifer Post Design Makes Simplicity the Point of a Stucco-Clad Palm Beach Residence

Jennifer Post sums up this snappy Palm Beach, Florida, abode in three words: “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” (OK, technically one word.) “My challenge was to streamline,” she explains. “This house is not grandiose; it’s a jewel box.” It’s true that the cottage exhibits an almost disarming clarity. For starters, every surface is white—walls, floors, ceiling, window frames—as are the majority of the furnishings, and there’s primarily one accent color: beach-appropriate blue.

A Bermuda-style peaked roof of slurry-coated concrete caps the stucco-clad residence. Photography by Ken Hayden.

And though it encompasses a not-inconsequential 3,700 square feet, the house is still relatively petite by Palm Beach standards. The residence is functionally a two-bedroom, with ground-floor guest quarters and master suite upstairs (although what’s used as a dressing room is technically a third bedroom). Decoratively speaking, the first impression is of minimal embellishment; observe the spare moldings, fuss-free sheer window treatments, and clean-lined furniture, most of Italian provenance. Simple? Sure.

Thassos marble treated to a brushed and bush-hammered finish paves the poolside terrace, furnished with seating by Kris Van Puyvelde; in the garden is a bronze and bluestone sculpture by Boaz Vaadia. Photography by Ken Hayden.

But probe a little deeper and you notice this fresh-faced cottage is more complex than it initially lets on. What appeared to be slick expanses of pure, unadulterated white are actually quite nuanced, with textures evocative of sea and sand and boat decks. The lacquered ceiling is grooved, walls are Venetian plaster, the floor is heavily painted rift-sawn oak, and the Thassos marble paving the covered
patio has perceptible shifts in coloration, from palest cream to blanc de chine. The predominant ocean-blue hue also turns out to be a carefully calibrated spectrum. “It was tricky to make the space tonally even—blues can really clash—without seeming repetitive,” she notes. And even though the residence has a veneer of modesty, with its relaxed open plan, Post accommodated bells and whistles aplenty, including a yoga yard with a black-granite water feature and the clients’ rather serious art collection (see: Lichtenstein, Hockney), around which key elevations were composed.

The entry, nicknamed the buttery, features a pebble floor inset and a concrete bench by Eric Slayton. Photography by Ken Hayden.

Post had a design partner in Peter Papadopoulos, of Smith and Moore Architects, who masterminded the Bermudian-style structure, with its signature stepped roofline and high pitch (requiring Landmarks Preservation Commission approval). Other savvy collaborators were in the mix: the clients. John and Diane Sculley are a trained architect and a former exec at a high-end construction-management firm, respectively. He is also an erstwhile CEO of Apple and PepsiCo, who now invests in tech startups; his desire to host at-home meetings accounts for the setup of the living room, with a secondary seating grouping that doubles as a conference area. “These are clients who could have anything,” Post says. “But they just wanted a space to nestle in, with a ray of sunshine in every room.” In a word, refreshing.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

A dining area at one end of the white-lacquered kitchen (with Cararra backsplash and countertop) features a David Weeks Kopra Burst chandelier; the Ava chairs are by Song Wen Zhong and the tabletop sculpture by Martha Sturdy. Photography by Ken Hayden.
In the stairwell, screened from the living room via plantation-style custom metal louvers, hangs Pedestrians 372, an acrylic on canvas by James Zwadlo. Photography by Ken Hayden.
Above the living room’s custom lacquered console hangs David Hockney’s Table Flowable; the sofas are by Rodolfo Dordoni. Photography by Ken Hayden.
Stones, an acrylic on canvas by Alan Magee, accents the office, with a custom wall unit and desk plus Yves Béhar’s Sayl chairs. Photography by Ken Hayden.
Praia Piquinia, a photograph by Christian Chaize, hangs on the guest room’s hand-painted wallpaper; the rug is a cotton flatweave but the woven headboard and Dordoni chair are leather. Photography by Ken Hayden.
The master bath­room features a sandblasted Starphire glass shower parti­tion and Thassos flooring. Photography by Ken Hayden.
A mohair rug, custom lac­quer night tables, and Bertjan Pot chandelier fur­nish the master bedroom. Photography by Ken Hayden.
An awning-shaded terrace lines the lap pool. Photography by Ken Hayden.

Project Team: Smith And Moore Architects: Architect of Record. Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design: Lighting Consultant. Ask the Advisors: Audiovisual Consultant. Patterson’s Custom Cabinetry: Wood­work. Armstrong Land­scape Group: Landscaping Consultant. Absolute Hard­wood Flooring: Flooring. Wittmann Building Corpo­ration: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Top: Modern Forms: Sconces (Exterior). Royal Botania: Sofa, Cocktail Table (Terrace). Sunbrella: Sofa Fabric. Janus et Cie: Chairs, Ottomans. Magitex Decor: Chair Fabric, Otto­man Fabric. Walker Zanger: Floor Tile (Exterior, Bath­room). TRI-KES: Wall Cover­Ing (Entry). Property: Chandelier. Eric Slayton: Bench. Coverings ETC: Floor­ing. Downsview Kitchens: Cabinets (Kitchen). David Weeks Studio: Chandelier (Dining Area). Roche Bobois: Chairs. Paul Ferrante: Table (Dining Area), Coffee Table (Living Room). Bob Kline Quality Metal: Louver Wall (Living Room). Artemide: Chandelier. Minotti: Sofas (Living Room), Chair (Guest Bedroom). Glant: Sofa Fabric (Living Room). Windows Walls & More: Couch Pillows. Kravet: Pillow Fabric (Liv­ing Room), Chair Leather (Guest Bedroom). Pablo Lighting: Floor Lamps (Liv­Ing Room). Modulightor: Art Sconce. Herman Miller: Chairs (Office). Tango: Chandelier (Guest Bedroom). Nancy Cor­zine: Wallpaper. Poltrona Frau: Bed. Shyam Ahuja: Rug. Cappellini: Nightstands, Dresser. Jonathan Adler: Lamps. Classic Windows & Glass: Partition (Bath­room). Altman: Shower Fittings. Ann Sacks; Stone Source: Tile. Quadrille: Wallpaper (Master Bedroom). Moooi: Chandelier. J. Robert Scott: Bed. Lee Jofa: Head­board Suede. Ligne Roset: Lounge Chair, Ottoman. Koncept: Lamps. Throughout: Paul S. Maybaum: Window Treatments. Sacco Carpet: Rugs.

> See more from the Interior Design Summer Homes 2019 issue

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