An Exotic Flair

Tropical Elements, Design Influences From Southeast Asia And Objet d’Art From Around The World Revive One Couple’s North Palm Beach Vacation Home

Story Credits

Interior Design:
Jennifer Garrigues and Diana El Daher, Jennifer Garrigues, Inc., Palm Beach, FL
Troy Campbell, Miami, FL
Rustem Kupi, Rustem Kupi Architect P.A., Delray Beach, FL
Randy Webb and Jesse Fors, Webb Builders, Jupiter, FL
Landscape Arachitecture:
Elliott Templeton, E. S. Templeton Signature Landscapes, Ambler, PA
Text by:
Charlotte Safavi
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“Who wouldn’t love lounging in a balinese bed,” asks interior designer Jennifer Garrigues of the peaceful poolside setting in the lush tropical gardens of one couple’s residence in North Palm Beach, Fla. This 5,000-square-foot vacation home belonging to Jill and Alan Rappaport is conveniently located near the Atlantic Ocean and close to Palm Beach. “Alan and I chose this location because it’s ideally suited to our interests, with an engaged community and many athletic activities … not to mention the shopping and dining out,” Jill says.

When it comes to decorating, Garrigues and her longtime clients and good friends are on the same page. “We both love interesting textiles, vivid color, the exotic … anything unusual from places like India, Cambodia, Vietnam or Bali,” the designer says. To the Rappaports, it made perfect sense to approach the redesign of the 1970s house with Southeast Asia in mind. “We were aiming for a relatively contemporary, yet comfortable home, with a Zen feeling,” Jill says. “We love traveling and wanted to showcase the pieces we’ve collected from around the world. These objects, whether art or artifacts, became the defining feature of our decor, inspiring both the architecture and the landscaping of our home.” In keeping with the design aesthetic, Garrigues joined forces with architect Rustem Kupi, builder Randy Webb and landscape architect Elliott Templeton to create a harmonic balance that blurs the boundaries between inside and out.

Upon entry, an 18th-century Siamese Buddha greets visitors in the foyer that openly flows into the living room. Garrigues added spatial definition to the entry area with light stone flooring, a metal Moroccan light fixture, and a quartet of Indian carved wood pillars.

Interior walls in white provide continuity, and a fresh backdrop for the couple’s collection of art and their love of color. Brazilian walnut flooring flows throughout the open spaces, where floor-to-ceiling windows and glass sliders offer stunning garden views.“I love to use light and airy materials in Florida,” Garrigues says. Sheer curtain panels add a breezy privacy, dhurries are light and solid underfoot, and upholstery is mostly of cotton-linen blends. Though most of the large upholstered pieces are neutral, like the living room’s custom sofas, Garrigues adds pops of color with accent pieces, including embroidered throw pillows and bolsters made from Indonesian silk sarongs. “My palette comes directly from the adjacent art,” the designer says. “I’m also irresistibly drawn to fabric designers who are influenced by old Southeast Asian textiles. I love mixing patterns and prints in different scales and colors.”

In the great room, the palette switches to lively orange hues, which pull from the painting by artist Tadashi Asoma that hangs behind the sectional sofa. “We spray painted the square linen-sheathed cocktail table in that burnt orange hue,” Garrigues says. “The TV faces the sofa, so we wanted a large surface for plopping down pizza or a takeout meal.” </p>
<p>By contrast, the pedestal table in the dining room is painted a dark brown with an inlaid mother-of-pearl rim. Soft orange hues color the walls, while a strong burst of blue from a piece by Laos artist Thep Thavonsouk provides an eye-catching artistic focal point.

“The family loves to cook, including the couple’s grown kids when they visit. That’s why we made room for a big Caesarstone island,” the designer says. “We also chose triple basket-and-wire light pendants with an Asian flair, and antique gold pyrite tiles from Ann Sachs for a touch of Old World patina.”

Purple and pink hues reappear in the master bedroom with its cozy sitting area. “The painting by Roger Muhl became the inspiration for this room. It has clear colors and romantic form,” says Garrigues, who designed the Taj Mahal-inspired scalloped upholstered headboard in pale lavender. A bow-fronted antique pine dresser and a hexagonal accent table from India complete the intimate space.

In harmony with the inside-outside connectivity of the house, it’s not surprising that the master bath has a private outdoor shower complete with authentic Chinese garden seats, and colorful flowering plants blossoming on the stone wall.

“Our approach was to create a home with an interesting open feel that was exotic, yet comfortable,” Garrigues says. “For family and friends to feel at home but also feel like they’re in a different place, a wonderful place, somewhere in the South Pacific.”