Photos and text by Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
The historic 7,000-square-foot Mediterranean home on the Intracoastal in Lake Worth suffered from decades of neglect before Scott Levine bought it last fall for $1.9 million. Thanks to the skill of 20 interior and exterior designers for the 2015 American Red Cross Designers’ Show House, it now fits its pedigree as a home built by Addison Mizner protégée Sherman Childs.
Nicknamed the “Birthday Cake Castle,” the 1925 home is the first historic estate in the Lake Worth registry and stands out like a jewel at 1 Fifth Ave. South.
Here are seven inspiring designer ideas from the project, open now through April 4.
Lesson 1: Don’t fear color.
The first wow factor when entering the house is the indoor loggia designed by Todd Hase of West Palm Beach. The room bursts with tropical color inspired by the new Blue Mystic orchid, a phalaenopsis with brilliant blue color that turns white on second blooming. The upholstery echoes the color of the orchids that are hung on the walls with special potholders.
Lesson 2: Mix different woods.
Owner Scott Levine’s 7-year-old daughter surely will enjoy the former master bedroom that William Bainbridge Steele of William Bainbridge Steele Design in Vero Beach designed with an area to entertain friends. Steele says he created the suite with old Florida elegance. It looks casual and collected because of the mix of painted and stained woods. The Indian-style coffee table was transformed from white to dark stain and topped with glass so that guests can sit on the floor and play games.
Lesson 3: Add some whimsy to steps.
The risers on the steep steps leading to the turret are painted in contrasting blue decorated with words such as Explore and Discover.
Lesson 4: Find new ways to use classic items.
Efua Ramdeen and Susan Wyatt of Frocktail Décor and Design in Boca Raton created a retreat in the turret with a tented ceiling and hanging classic globes.
Lesson 5: Inject whimsy into serious design.
Joseph Cortes and Kevin Marnell of HomeLife Interiors in West Palm Beach created a master bathroom from scratch. Instead of hanging a chandelier from the new tray ceiling, they added a colorful origami mobile. Take a good look at the white wood trim designed to reflect the exterior Moorish windows. The mosaic marble floor tiles from AKDO are also in the Moorish style.
Lesson 6: Reinvent ordinary flooring.
Scott Robertson of Scott Roberston Interiors in Lake Worth reinvented the floor of the Waterview Guest Suite using his skills as a decorative painter. He designed what looks like tiles on what he described as an “ugly laminate floor” using Benjamin Moore’s floor and porch enamel. A sealer makes it easy to clean with soap and water.
Lesson 7: Get the hang of displaying pictures.
Piper Gonzales of Piper Gonzalez Designs in Royal Palm Beach illustrates proper placement of art in the family room. The art was hung in a tight grid to make the pieces appear as a single unit. The clipped credenza from Lillian August has chopped ends for tight spaces.
The show house runs through April 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $35. For information see http://www.redcross.org/news/event/2015-Designers-Show-House or contact Analsia Muti at 561-650-9133. For more photos, see https://www.facebook.com/CityAndShoreMagazine