Lindsey Lane’s radical do-over of a sad-sack Palm Beach bungalow surprises by putting a coastal spin on less-is-more minimalism.
Although she grew up in southern Georgia and spent family vacations on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Lindsey Lane had never set foot in Palm Beach before her Manhattan clients asked her to redo their 1940s bungalow there. “I love the beach and adore vivid patterns,” says Lane, a 2015 CQ Next Wave alum, “so I was immediately in my comfort zone.”
When she arrived, the house was being raised above the floodplain to prevent water damage. “It was a blank slate,” Lane says of the overhaul that ensued. “I had total freedom to realize my vision: a fresh take on clean-lined tropical.”
The exterior of a renovated 1940s bungalow in Palm Beach designed by Lindsey Lane as a getaway for a family from New York. The landscaping includes native plants.
The home’s floor plan was reconfigured to emphasize the side yard, with the public rooms moved to look onto the new swimming pool. While Lane kept these spaces neutral and airy, she indulged her passion for vibrant motifs in the bedrooms of the 2,700- square-foot bungalow.
The entry’s lush and leafy Hinson wallpaper “feels like you’re being engulfed by the jungle,” Lane says. Pendant, Tom Dixon. Lanterns, Amanda Lindroth. The front door is in Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore.
Bumping up the ceiling to a soaring 10-and-a-half feet and installing three sets of French doors that open onto the pool transformed what was previously a ho-hum bedroom into a breezy living room.
Lane initially toyed with a more classic Palm Beach color scheme of hot pink and orange before gravitating instead toward minimalist black and white. “It’s more surprising in this setting,” she says. “The room feels larger, and I like the contrast with the green and blue of the outdoors.”
Layers of texture lend interest to the neutral living room. The rattan pendant is by Serena & Lily, and the travertine-topped coffee table is from Wisteria. Rough-hewn painted cypress planks on the ceiling “add instant character and warmth.” Understated pieces, like the high-back RH, Restoration Hardware, sofa and the Mr. Brown lounge chairs in a pale Madeaux silk-linen blend play off the rustic ceiling, which was originally supposed to be painted. The 1971 photograph, Windblown Jackie, is by Ron Galella.
Despite its skylight and French doors, the north-facing “before” family room felt as closed-in as a tunnel. When the room was pivoted to the east during the revamp — it now has views of the side yard and pool — it gained sunlight along with square footage and became the family’s favorite post-swimming hangout spot.
In the family room, Lane hung a second Serena & Lily rattan pendant, this one in an elongated bell shape. Billowy linen curtains filter the strong Florida light along the wall of French doors. Floor lamps, Aerin for Circa Lighting.
Like the adjacent living room, the space has a vaulted ceiling and white-oak floors, but Lane gave it a more casual identity. The custom sofas, designed by Lane to be extra-deep — “This is a tall family!” — are upholstered in a Sunbrella fabric from Pindler that can withstand the damp swimsuits of the couple’s three children, along with soggy doggy fur.
The nondescript kitchen, last updated in the 1980s, had minimal personality and was too small for cooking big-batch meals for a family of five. Overhauled and enlarged, it now boasts counters in Caesarstone and handmade Mosaic House terra-cotta tiles stretching across an entire wall.
“The terra-cotta tiles are an amazing focal point, and it continues the living room’s black-and-white theme,” Lane says. Also spanning the length of the wall: floating shelves, a request from the wife, who is an avid cook and wanted easy access to frequently used items. Having so much visible storage initially worried Lane. “When everything’s on view, you have to be super-tidy,” she observes. “But luckily, she’s clutter-averse.”
The guest bedroom gets its hang-loose vibe from a surfboard-shaped headboard in a Christopher Farr Cloth fabric. Preppy stripes on the Pine Cone Hill sham temper the florals on the Roberta Roller Rabbit sheets. Desk, West Elm. The faux-bamboo cane-back chair is from Bungalow
Before Lane added bright wallpaper and bold hues, the children's bathroom was dark, drab, and outdated.
Brilliant orange birds on the Cockatoos wallpaper by Florence Broadhurst enliven the kids’ bathroom. “Inspiration hit the moment I spotted it,” Lane says. “What child wouldn’t love that upbeat and vibrant print?” An oversized mirror, trimmed in bent and split rattan and flanked by nautical-inspired steel-cage sconces, holds its own against the bold walls and keeps the permanent-holiday look going. To tuck away towels and children’s bath toys, the existing vanity was replaced with a custom cabinet with ample room inside. The sconces and mirror are from Serena & Lily.
“Vacation homes shouldn’t be so serious,” Lane says, “and that’s what I kept in mind when I was decorating the master bedroom.” She transformed what was previously the living room into a private blue-and-white oasis.
A 1950s Slim Aarons photograph of C.Z. Guest, her son, and their two dogs hangs outside the room in the hallway. The setting of the image: none other than a villa in Palm Beach. Says Lane: “We couldn’t not use it in this house!” The headboard is in the same Kravet velvet as the stools. Sheets, D. Porthault.
Rather than a white ceiling like in the rest of the bungalow, Lane introduced color to the master bedroom with Morning Glory by Benjamin Moore overhead. “Supposedly, the blue keeps the bugs away,” she says. “Plus, it’s like sleeping under a cloudless sky.”
Tailored stools in a Kravet velvet — an unexpected choice for the beach — are positioned next to breezy rattan dome chairs. Floor-to-ceiling floral curtains in Thibaut’s Sevita hang in front of the room’s French doors.
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This story was originally published in the February 2018 issue of CQ.