Organic Balances Modern on Palm City’s Riverfront

Overlooking The Spectacular St. Lucie River, This Contemporary Home In The Floridian National Golf Club Plays The Blues, Instead Of The Greens


From its stacked marble street-front facade to its indoor presentation of magnificent reclaimed woods, this newly built 5,000-square-foot Palm City house in the Floridian National Golf Club balances chic modern forms with timeless organic warmth. Having already commissioned architects Peter Stromberg and Maria Chacon, builder Earnie Carrere, and interior designers Dianne Davant and Priscilla Hyatt Councill, homeowners Tony and Suzanne Kissling asked LEED consultant Kyle Abney to join the group. “My husband and I were pretty hands-on with this project,” the wife says. “We knew we wanted an energy efficient home with a relaxed living environment, and one that also brought the outdoors in.”

Located on the North Fork of the shimmering St. Lucie River, the home hugs the water’s edge providing spectacular uncensored glimpses of the natural wildlife — the majesty of a great blue heron or an osprey swooping down to nab a fish. “The river was our inspiration,” Davant says. It’s easy to see that the river and its natural environs had a large part to play not only in the architecture, but also in the decorating choices. “I feel what makes this home truly stand out from other contemporary houses is the warmer wood tones we used throughout,” Councill says.

The custom woodwork is, indeed, distinctive. Capturing attention upon entry, a floating stairway crafted from reclaimed Heart Cypress produces incredible color and tone. Milled from the true towering giants of the southeastern rivers, reclaimed Heart Cypress defines the great room’s fireplace surround and ceiling as well. Along with raised pecky cypress accents, these indigenous woods offer a subtle beauty throughout.

The kitchen features quarter sawn teak cabinetry with a textured wood finish on the island’s base. Four backed stools pull up to the easy-to-keep-clean porcelain Neolith cantilevered island that provides a spot to enjoy casual fare. “Using reclaimed wood, as well as the careful selection of sustainable materials like the Neolith porcelain flooring on the main level, helped us with achieving our goal of LEED Gold certification for this home,” Davant says.

A two-story-high glass presence captures the serene river views in the great room, where pocket glass doors slide completely open to connect to a large patio. “The owners are empty nesters,” Davant says. “They have a home on Central Park in Manhattan and another in Connecticut. For this one, they wanted a minimalist house for informal living.” The dining area is on the patio outside, which has drop-down screens to protect them if necessary. They saw no need for a formal dining room. “We spend November through May here,” the wife says. “We are outside much of the time, entertaining our friends with a glass of wine or an easy meal on the patio. My husband likes to swim in the lap pool every day and, of course, we are both avid golfers.”

Furnishings are simple, low-maintenance and textural in the living area styled with a pair of hide-upholstered mid-century-style lounge chairs; comfortable slipper chairs; a chenille-covered sofa with a mix of velvet and faux fur accent pillows; and a faux crocodile skin cocktail table. With sprinkles of watery blue touches, the calm and neutral palette was created to connect with the river views, not compete. “Less is definitely more,” Councill says. “The home is not full of accessories. We acquired more unique statement pieces. Those and the architectural attention to detail is what keeps the eye moving throughout the space.”

In what both designers call the “second master” on the first floor, aqua blues are a bit more prevalent. “We designed this guest room as a downstairs master,” Davant says. “We treated it and its en suite bath with the same care as the upstairs master. Should the homeowners decide to live on one floor, it is interchangeable with the master suite.” The guest room’s bath features a double open shower with aqua glass mosaic wall details and pebbled glass shower flooring, as well as its own private courtyard.

Upstairs, the master suite is styled in shimmery silver and vivid turquoise hues. “We all fell in love with the ombre fabric we used for the draperies,” Councill says. “It became an inspiration point for that room’s bolder palette.” The hits of turquoise carry into the master bath in the form of a bright glass-tile backsplash above the stunning teak vanity. “It feels like you are on a tropical cruise up there,” Davant says. “The homeowners are such fun people and it worked for them.”

Perhaps, the couple’s sense of fun came full circle when putting greens were added to the home. One sits on the balcony above the infinity edged pool, with the river beyond. “Our dream team really nailed it,” the wife says. “They worked with the theme and colors of the river to create a warm and comfortable contemporary home for us.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design
Dianne Davant Moffitt and Priscilla Hyatt Councill, Dianne Davant & Associates, Stuart, FL

Dan Forer, Miami, FL

Peter Stromberg and Maria Chacon, GarciaStromberg / GS4Studios, West Palm Beach, FL

Green Building Consultants
Kyle and Harmony Abney, Abney + Abney Green Solutions, Palm City, FL

Earnie Carrere, Carrere General Contractors, Hobe Sound, FL

Landscape Architecture
Paul Goulas, Lucido & Associates, Stuart, FL

Text by
Charlotte Safavi

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Front Exterior
Stone facade – Accurate Tile & Marble, Stuart, FL
Garage door – bp Glass Garage Doors & Entry Systems, Inc., Pomona, CA
Wall sconces – Modern Forms, Port Washington, NY
Stairway – Jefferson Woodworking, Palm City, FL
Living Area
Fireplace – Spark Modern Fires, Bethel, CT
Sofa, wood-framed chair, slipper chair and draperies – Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Lounge chairs – Control Brand, New York, NY
Fabric – Edelman Leather, New Milford, CT
Occasional tables – Charleston Forge, Boone, NC
Cocktail table – Lee Jofa, Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Table lamp – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX
Sofa table – Swaim, High Point, NC
Floor lamp – Dimond Home, Elk Group International, Nesquehoning, PA
Candleholders – Abigails, Alexandria, LA
Area rug – Mastour Galleries, New York, NY
Cabinetry – Jefferson Woodworking, Palm City, FL
Counters – Omicron Granite & Tile, Pompano Beach, FL
Counter stools – Vanguard Furniture, Conover, NC
Fabric – Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Sink – European Kitchen and Bath, Stuart, FL
Guest Bedroom
Bed, lounge chair and sheers – Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Lounge chair fabric – Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Drapery fabric – Stout Textiles, Colmar, PA
Print pillows – Ryan Studio, Mobile, AL
Bedside chests, occasional table and desk – Century Furniture, Hickory, NC
Table lamps – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX
Lucite stool – Sterling, Elk Group International, Nesquehoning, PA
Area rug – Company C, Concord, NH
Guest Bath
Vanity fabricated by Jefferson Woodworking, Palm City, FL
Countertop – Omicron Granite & Tile, Pompano Beach, FL
Stool – Global Views, Dallas, TX
Shower tile – Tile Market & Design, Stuart, FL
Rain showers – Hansgrohe, European Kitchen and Bath, Stuart, FL
Master Bedroom
Bed – Kravet, Inc., Bethpage, NY
Accent pillows – Villa by Classic Home, Los Angeles, CA
Bedside tables – Bernhardt Furniture, Lenoir, NC
Table lamps – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX
Bench – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX
Cabinet – Asian Accents of Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, FL
Artwork – Shorelines, Wildwood, NJ
Drapery fabric – Clarke & Clarke, Lancashire, UK
Fan – Fanimation, The Fan and Lighting Connection, Stuart, FL
Area rug – Stark, New York, NY
Master Bath
Vanity and shelving fabricated by Jefferson Woodworking, Palm City, FL
Backsplash – Tile Market & Design, Stuart, FL
Countertop – Accurate Tile & Marble, Stuart, FL
Bench – Dimond Home, Elk Group International, Nesquehoning, PA
Area rug – Stark, New York, NY
Patio and Balcony
Furniture – Walters Wicker, New York, NY
Occasional tables – Phillips Collection, High Point, NC
Putting green – Lucido & Associates, Stuart, FL, and Florida Innovative Landscape, Stuart, FL
Railing – Exterior Metal Work, Stuart, FL
Woodworking – Jefferson Woodworking, Palm City, FL


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