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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.