A Glorious Renovation in Palm Beach

The complete reinvention of a Palm Beach bungalow into a proper residence heralds the beginning of a new chapter for its owner

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Sometimes, the desire for change leads to other pleasant surprises we hadn’t anticipated. The homeowner of what was once a simple 1950s-era Palm Beach bungalow who suddenly found herself craving more can certainly attest to that.  

“After a decade of living there, I noticed there were a couple of things it didn’t have that I wanted,” says the young retiree. “My closet was teeny, the kitchen was small, the plumbing was old, and the electrical [system] was outdated. But I love the street and I love my neighbors. It didn’t make sense to remodel, so I decided to tear it down.” 

A consultation with Daniel Kahan of Smith & Moore Architects, who had worked on renovating the loggia of the original structure, solidified the start-from-scratch decision. “She wanted to add more space while maintaining a similar footprint without taking away from the garden,” says Kahan. “A teardown made total sense.” 

While Kahan worked on a redesign layout that called for two levels and 4,000 square feet with four bedrooms (each with its own bath), the homeowner vacated the premises and reached out to her designer friend Patti Barnett Kelter to talk aesthetics. The Michigan-based Kelter, who worked in tandem with Kahan on the renovation, had previously tackled the interiors of the homeowner’s prior residences, so they had an easy rapport. “What I like most about Patti’s work is how she reflects my taste,” says the homeowner. “We have fun when we [collaborate].” 

For Kelter, key to this collaboration was incorporating her client’s new art collection, most of which she purchased in one swoop at Art Basel Miami Beach while the architectural work was underway. The grouping of paintings dictated everything from palette to illumination decisions. “I suggested a roof lantern,” she says. “We wanted to bring in light in a more horizontal way and bounce natural light around the space.” 

When it came to flooring decisions, treated oak was chosen for its ability to act as a backdrop. “We really worked at getting the right color,” says Kelter. “We had to keep sampling dye lots to ensure the palette was cohesive.” In the end, the chosen oak made the most sense with the house’s cream-colored walls. 

Offering a slight bit of contrast is the kitchen island Kelter and Kahan worked on together to design, along with the cabinetry, which Porath Fine Cabinetry in West Palm Beach fabricated. A tapered vent hood and linear chandelier from Boyd Lighting add a bit of geometry, while a quartzite countertop and zebra print-covered barstools provide quirky, unexpected intrigue. 

Outside, Kahan ensured the new structure blended in well with the surrounding neighborhood. “We take time to understand the vernacular and scale of a place,” says the architect. “There’s authenticity, but there’s also an understanding of how architectural history plays into it. We rethink that history without getting too stuck in it.”  

Once the new house was completed and the pains of construction were forgotten, the homeowner felt even more certain the decision to renew was the right one. Sometime later, her choice was further validated when life threw a happy curveball her way. “I met the man who’s now my husband toward the end of the renovation,” she says. “All that extra space worked out better than I expected.”   

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Patti Barnett Kelter, Kelter Schwartz Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Architecture by Daniel Kahan, Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL

Builder AMC Custom Builders, Lake Park, FL

Text by Riki Altman-Yee

Photography by Nickolas Sargent, West Palm Beach, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Patio

Chairs –Janus et Cie, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Pool chairs – Brown Jordan, brownjordan.com

Entry

Console designed by Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and fabricated by Aria, Rochester Hills, MI

Mirror – Owner’s collection 

Sconces – Paul Ferrante, Merchandise Mart,Chicago, IL

Living & Dining Area

Sofa – Patrick Naggar, Ralph Pucci, New York, NY

Fabric – Perennials and Holly Hunt, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Chair – Anees Furniture, Dennis Miller, D & D,New York, NY

Fabric – Perennials, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Cocktail and drink tables – Owner’s collection

Dining table designed by Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and fabricated by Aria, Rochester Hills, MI

Chairs – Troscan, Chicago, IL

Fabric – Cowtan & Tout, Troy, MI

Lighting – Apparatus Studio, New York, NY

Game table – Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and fabricated by Aria, Rochester Hills, MI

Chairs – Bespoke Furniture, bespokefurniture.com

Bronze artwork – Davina Semo, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Blue artwork – BLAH BLAH, Mel Bochner, Two Palms Gallery, New York, NY

Sconces – Paul Ferrante, Merchandise Mart,Chicago, IL

Cabinetry upper section – Amuneal, Philadelphia, PA 

Cabinetry lower section – S. Porath, West Palm Beach, FL

Decorative glassware – Owner’s collection

Stairway

Railing designed by Daniel Kahan, Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL

Abstract artwork on wall – Revok Library Street Gallery, Detroit, Mi

Artwork on landing and top of stairs – Owner’s collection

Kitchen

Cabinetry designed by Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL, and fabricated by S. Porth, West Palm Beach, FL

Back splash – Artistic Tile, Palm Beach, FL

Island designed by Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL 

Stools – Owner’s collection

Lighting – Boyd Lighting, Urban Electric, North Charleston, SC

Guest Bedroom

Bed and headboard designed by Vanguard Furniture, Troy, MI 

Bedside tables – Currey & Company, Troy, Mi

Chandelier and lamps – Visual Comfort, Houston, TX

Chair – Lee Furniture, Troy, MI

Drapery fabric – Cloth & Kind, Ann Arbor, MI

Window treatment – Laufler Drapery, Lake Worth Beach, FL

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry designed by Daniel Kahn, Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL, and fabricated by S. Porth, West Palm Beach, FL

Shower designed by Daniel Kahan, Smith & Moore Architects, West Palm Beach, FL

Tub – Penhaglion Tub, St. Petersburg, FL

Guest Room

Bed and headboard designed by Patricia Kelter Design, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and fabricated by Great Lakes Furniture Service, Pontiac, MI

Bedside tables – Vanguard Furniture, Troy, MI

Lamps – Visual Comfort, Houston, TX

Chandelier – Visual Comfort, Houston, TX

Wall coverings – China Seas, D & D, New York, NY

Loggia

Sofa and club chair grouping – Janus et Cie, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Cocktail tables – Zachary A Design, Chicago, IL

Throughout 

Outdoor lighting – Urban Electric, North Charleston, SC

Flooring – Absolute Wood Floors, West Palm Beach, FL

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