Coastal Chic Vero Beach Home is a Perfect Blend

A mother-daughter design duo mixes talent and sensibilities in a coastal classic

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How a 1940s picnic scene became the backdrop for this 4,600-square-foot, vintage home in Vero Beach, Fla., is the essence of serendipity for the worldly clients of one design duo. Excited to host family and friends at their recently purchased piece of paradise, the homeowners did not hesitate to commission interior designer Suzanne Varner who lives in Memphis, Tenn., and her daughter Austin Macaskill from New York.

“It’s all about gathering for a party, a very elegant party,” Varner says. The scene in question, a study in blues, notwithstanding, is ethereal, filled with whimsy and subtle flashes of bright pastels that show up in the palette of soothing beachy colors. “There’s a tiny, bright yellow basket and a pink plume on a gentleman’s hat,” Macaskill says. “They wanted blues and aquas mirroring the surrounding scenery … whimsical patterns with a hint of formality.”

When Macaskill discovered the hand-painted mural in a metropolitan antique shop, she knew it was a perfect fit. Niched beneath the living room’s vaulted ceiling, this unique seven-paneled find exudes a playful tone in complement to the owners’ antique wingback chair. Glimpses of a Chippendale frieze on one side of the living space and a Palladian-style door peeking out from beyond the foyer on the other offer clues to the formal architectural revival styles found throughout the home.

Playfulness spills over into the dining room where real-life party scenes take place. The linear space lends itself to evening cocktail hours and Sunday brunch buffets. Yet, it is also paramount for the hostess to be able to seat 15 or more for a dinner party or a family feast. Each pedestal-based table seats six, while two benches pull up aside the center table to accommodate four or six more guests. “This arrangement is cozier, a bit more intimate than one long table,” Macaskill says. “It’s a surprising layout for a dining room.” A gilded mirror on the opposite wall reflects the owner’s personal aesthetic. “They wanted hints of glamour throughout the home. The mirror in the dining room exhibits just that,” Varner says. Hints of glamour follow from room to room in small, subtle metallic touches found in a brass wall sconce, a lamp base, a flash of gold leaf on a frame.

“The house has a great floor plan,” Varner says. “Because it is all on one level, it provides an easy flow for both entertaining and everyday life.” The spectacular ocean views and continuous light permeating throughout the house are what inspired these designers to create a space worthy of its backdrop.

Coastal colors reflect the abundance of daylight and surrounding sea tones in the breakfast area. The design team worked with the homeowner, virtually communicating with the client via text and email, sending fabric swatches and photos to seek her approval. “It’s always great when you have clients who know what they like and are incredibly decisive,” Macaskill says.

Framing a courtyard view, Lee Jofa’s floral cornflower blue and mint green coral drapery fabric proved the pivotal choice for the serene palette in one of the guest rooms. “Once we chose this fabric, the rest of the room came together quite effortlessly,” says Macaskill, who found the framed coral on grasscloth shadow boxes, a last-minute purchase during the week of installation. Varner appropriated the client’s antique frame chairs from her home in Tennessee and placed them with pillowed cushions beside a shell-encased chest.

“It’s more interesting when the things you find have a story to tell. Whether from a local antique dealer or the client’s own collection, it’s rewarding to see it all come together,” Varner says. “One advantage, I think, is having a younger set and a seasoned set of eyes on the project,” Macaskill says. Vision or experience … it makes for the perfect blend of old and new by design.

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Austin Macaskill and Suzanne Varner, Varner Macaskill Interiors, New York, NY

Text by Marimar McNaughton

Photography by Carmel Brantley, Ocean Ridge, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

SOURCES

courtyard

Outdoor furnishings – Owners’ Collection

living room

Sofa and lounge chairs – Custom designed by Varner Macaskill Interiors, New York, NY

Sofa fabric – Colefax & Fowler, Cowtan & Tout, D&D Building, New York, NY

Lounge chair fabric – China Seas, Quadrille,

D&D Building, New York, NY

Antique wingback chair – Owners’ Collection

Fabric – Jane Shelton, John Rosselli,

D&D Building, New York, NY

Cocktail table – Hive Home, West Palm Beach, FL

Occasional tables – Bunny Williams Home, The Fine Arts Building, New York, NY

Table lamps – Jan Showers, Dallas, TX

Antique panel – Newel Antiques,

New York, NY

Artwork – David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

Area rug – Safavieh, Port Washington, NY

foyer

Console – Modern History, High Point, NC

Artwork – L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN

Wall sconce – Circa Lighting, New York, NY

Antique wingback chair – Owners’ Collection

Fabric – Manuel Canovas, Cowtan & Tout, D&D Building, New York, NY

dining area

Round dining tables – Owners’ Collection

Dining chairs – Custom designed by Varner

Macaskill Interiors, New York, NY

Fabric – Colefax & Fowler, Cowtan & Tout, D&D Building, New York, NY

Center dining table, centerpiece vases, sculpture, mirror and draperies – Owners’ Collection

Chandeliers – Demiurge, New York, NY

Small table lamps – Circa Lighting, New York, NY

Large table lamps – Mecox Gardens,

West Palm Beach, FL

Sideboard – Modern History, High Point, NC

breakfast area

Dining table – Custom manufactured by

Robert Johnson Furniture, Memphis, TN

Chairs – TCS Designs, Inc., Hickory, NC

Counter stools – Custom designed by Varner

Macaskill Interiors, New York, NY

Fabric – Rogers & Goffigon, D&D Building, New York, NY

Stacked art – Owners’ Collection

living room sitting area

Lounge chairs – Custom designed

by Varner Macaskill Interiors,

New York, NY

Fabric – China Seas, Quadrille, D&D Building, New York, NY

Cocktail ottoman – Custom designed by Varner Macaskill Interiors,

New York, NY

Fabric – Colefax & Fowler,

Cowtan & Tout, D&D Building,

New York, NY

White accent table – Hive Home,

West Palm Beach, FL

Fireplace – Francois & Co, Naples, FL

Consoles – Cote Jardin Antiques, West Palm Beach, FL

Table lamps – Jan Showers, Dallas, TX

Mirrors – Garners Frame Shop,

Memphis, TN

Artwork – Demiurge, New York, NY

Stacked art – Owners’ Collection

Large artwork – David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

guest room

Bed and bedside chests – Chelsea Editions, New York, NY

Table lamps on bedside

chests – Vaughan Designs,

New York, NY

Shadow boxes, lamps on occasional table – Owners’ Collection

Armchairs – Custom designed by Varner Macaskill Interiors,

New York, NY

Fabric – Rogers & Goffigon, D&D Building, New York, NY

Occasional table – Highland House, Atlanta, GA

Drapery fabric – Lee Jofa, D&D

Building, New York, NY

guest room VIGNETTE

Chest – Mecox Gardens,

West Palm Beach, FL

Mirror, lamp and antique side

chairs – Owners’ Collection

master bedroom sitting area

Antique armoire – Cote Jardin

Antiques, West Palm Beach, FL

Lounge chairs and ottoman – Custom designed by Varner Macaskill Interiors, New York, NY

Fabric – Link, Hines Co., D&D Building, New York, NY

Floor lamp – Vaughan Designs,

New York, NY

throughout

Carpet – Stark Carpet, D&D Building, New York, NY

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