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Ahead of the Curve
By Tate Gunnerson | Photo: by Carmel Brantley | July 6, 2017
Acting as her own client for the first time, a Winnetka-based designer revitalizes her palm Beach abode with color, pattern and texture.
Temperate weather and lush palm trees make the tony seaside resort community of Palm Beach a destination for winter-weary souls from far and wide. Its natural blue and green hues also inspired the vibrant color palette that Winnetka designer and founder of Bardes Interiors and Maze Home Cindy Galvin selected for the redesign of her waterfront condo. Located in a sleek serpentine building designed by renowned midcentury architect Thomas Howard Chilton, “it’s prep,” Galvin says, “with a twist.”
The two-bedroom unit’s prime waterfront location across from the skyline sold Galvin, despite many problems with the space, which included a 1960s-era kitchen that was well past its due date, faux black marble flooring with prominent veining, and a unique wedge-shaped layout—a result of its location on the building’s curve. “There’s not a right angle in this entire unit,” Galvin explains. “It didn’t bother me because my eye kept going to the outside wall of glass.”
To address the pie-shaped problem, Galvin simply ignored it, laying out the furnishings as if the rooms were rectangular. Wide-plank white-oak floors flow throughout the main rooms while complementary Cyprus ceilings—including a coffered one in the living room—and planks with a chevron pattern on the sun porch and dining area define the spaces. “That was a play on old Florida,” she says. “There were pecky cypress walls all over the resort I went to as a child and at my grandmother’s house in Miami Beach.”
Likewise, nothing screams surf and sand except perhaps the capiz-shell wallcovering in the formal entryway, which is also laid in a chevron pattern. Look closely, and you’ll notice that one of the sofas in the living room also sports chevron, as does a small hide rug in the family room. Even the blue-and-green ikat fabric on the antique occasional chair is a stylized chevron turned on its side.
The repetition is calming and it’s one of many elements that indirectly leads the eye toward the view. “Everything is subtly woven together with pattern, color and texture,” the designer says. “That’s pretty much how my formula always works, and it doesn’t fail me.”
A navy grass cloth-and-silver Mylar wallcovering, for example, makes a splash in the spacious, open living and dining area, where Galvin incorporated a 16-foot-long banquette covered in a patterned fabric, along with a set of chairs in a different pattern—two of many different yet complementary motifs used throughout the interior. A tiered glass-beaded chandelier adds just the right amount of bling. “On a scale of one to 10 for layering, this was an eight or nine,” she says.
The layering continues in the master suite, where the ikat fabric on the upholstered headboard and lounge chairs pops against a watery blue wallcovering. Another blue-on-white paisley wallcovering creates a more bohemian feeling in the guest suite, where it has been paired with a set of ivory-and-periwinkle bone-inlaid side tables. “You see paisley on tropical islands all the time,” Galvin explains. “It cozies up the room a little bit.”
While blue is the predominant color throughout the interior, Galvin opted for a textural Kelly green wallcovering for the 37-foot-long curved sunporch, where she enjoys working at a glass table that overlooks the skyline. “I look out one direction in the morning and the other direction at the end of the day,” Galvin says, comparing herself to a cat looking for the sunny spot. “Watching the sunset is peaceful, and there’s nothing like seeing the sparkling lights out on the water at night.”
While family has visited on occasion, this is primarily Galvin’s retreat. Even her husband, Chris, had no say in the design. “I didn’t have to ask for anybody’s opinion about anything,” Galvin says. “It was the treat of a lifetime.”
Palm Beach, Florida
Kirchhoff & Associates Architects
Cindy Galvin, Bardes Interiors
Palm Beach Decorative Painting
Absolute Hardwood Flooring
Table lamps in living room
All custom upholstery
Holland & Sherry
Sofa and desk chair fabric
Phillip Jeffries wallcoverings in living room, dining room and sitting room
All accessories, ginkgo print art, living room side tables, console table in foyer, nesting tables in sitting room, D. Porthault bedding and towels, and Lucite and Tibetan lamb bench in master bedroom
Mother-of-pearl wallcovering in foyer
Paul S. Maybaum Inc.
All drapes, shades and shutters
Fabric for dining room banquette, sitting room window treatments, master bedroom chairs; wallcoverings in kitchen, master bathroom and master bedroom
Visual Comfort & Co.