Inside a mansion in Florida where imperfect design is the name of the game
The Treasure Coast, named after the 16th-century cargo shipwreck discovered in 1961, sits on the eastern shores of sunny Florida. Its combination of sandy beaches, lush pine and dwarf palm plains, and shallow water bodies have long made it an enviable retreat. It is also, discovered designer Lori Deeds, an ideal place for a complete renovation.
“We realized the house had this wonderful character about it,” Kemble Interiors designer said of the cracker-style mansion that she and her colleagues were commissioned to update. âThe rooms are quite small, but not too small. The ceilings were high enough, but not too high. We raised some of the doors because we had such high ceilings, âshe explains.
Beyond those good bones, Deeds clients were inspired by a trip to Marrakech that helped light up the stylistic vibe of the house. âMost importantly,â she says, âthey wanted it to be eclectic, original and laid back. They wanted found objects. They wanted it to look a little bit incomparable, and they wanted it to lack harmony.
Ironically, the mix of colors and textures from Morocco, as well as the Dominican Republic, India and the African continent, resulted in a wonderful design orchestration that was both unexpected and harmonious. âEvery time I tried to coordinate the fabrics they would say ‘No’,â Deeds recalls. âI think the best answer in the world is sometimes ‘no’. They did such a great job keeping me off the beaten track and pushing me, pushing my designs and pushing my artistic creativity. They wanted that imperfect quality throughout the house.
It is the owners’ precise attention to detail and distinction that has created a magical and somewhat mystical mediation on modern, global living. Deeds explains that the space says âyou have now entered a different world. You have entered something fantastic, [and] you don’t really know where you are. . . “
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From the front doors, which are solid aluminum and weigh 400 pounds each, to the entrance with its high cypress ceilings and hand-hammered silver tiling, everything is clear. The entrance leads into a large 500 square foot room – a combination of dining and living areas – with a large picture window and patio doors. Four copper chandeliers and a palm tree ceiling fan are just a few of the objects that set the stage for disparate styles to interact.
Having said that, Deeds also believed the house was warm and welcoming. Another requirement was that, despite the obvious cacophony of colors, somewhat neutral walls were needed to display the owners’ art collection. âEverything had to tell a story,â Deeds adds.
To this end, jarring moments in the design have become the blueprint for the rest of the house. âI think opposites attract,â Deeds recalls. “[And] I like to mix styles. Why can’t the mid-century be eclectic? Regarding this specific topic, a prime example might be a pair of modern chairs, which are placed next to a more traditional sofa. âWhat he does is allow every room to sing and have that presence, because you see these chairs, but you also see the sofa. What if the chairs had been the same style as the sofa, you probably wouldn’t see [them]. So I think the contrast allows things to stand out and sing on their own, and keep their own space. “