Kemble Interiors designs a “pretty and unpretentious” home in Palm Beach

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There is perhaps no one who understands Palm Beach’s special appeal better than Mimi McMakin. The founder of Kemble interiors hails from Palm Beach, and she and her design team have a well-documented history of reinventing the charm of the beach town in new ways that celebrate its past while welcoming a new generation of visitors and residents. (For proof, look no further than the company’s redesign of the iconic Colony Hotel.)

Photograph by Brantley

salon

Photograph by Brantley

So when a young family that moved from London was looking for a designer to create a cheerful yet functional family home, it was no surprise that they landed on Kemble Interiors. Together, Kemble’s McMakin and Cece Bowman have taken a traditional Palm Beach home and revitalized it, channeling the best of old Palm Beach juxtaposed with fun and fresh coastal-style riffs for a family that wants a beautiful home, without no stifling formality. “It’s our way of life, so it’s not really hard for us to channel that: colorful, kid-friendly, dog-friendly,” McMakin muses.

They also had a good backdrop in the house itself, a colonial from Monterey in need of a bit of TLC – which the Kemble team skillfully revived with the help of Daniel Kahan from Smith & Moore architects. “It’s a classic Palm Beach house with good bones,” McMakin says. “It’s pretty, not pretentious.”

This credo – pretty, not pretentious – is prevalent throughout the house, where the pretty details and jubilant patterns do not hamper the functional arrangements and family friendliness. After all, McMakin says of his hometown and its appeal, “people come here for an easier life, not a formal one.”

Visit the house with Bowman and McMakin below.


Salon

salon

Photograph by Brantley

“I think that’s a really nice way to kind of say ‘Welcome to Palm Beach’,” Bowman says of the lattice walls. “It makes the room almost look like a garden.” It’s also a surefire way to add textural interest to homes without a lot of architectural detail: “The room didn’t have a lot of architectural amenities,” McMakin explains. “We couldn’t rely on very high ceilings or unique moldings, so we gave that flavor to the wall. This is a very good design tip. An assortment of comfy furnishings, mostly covered in performance fabric, greets guests of all ages with a soft green palette reminiscent of the greenery outside.


Solarium

screened veranda, veranda

Photograph by Brantley

Next to the living room, a pink-hued veranda showcases the best of both interior and exterior. “Her dream was to leave the doors open and have a seamless entrance between the outside and the inside,” McMakin explains of the owner, who uses the space as an office. Sliding patio doors provide that seamless flow. “She can take her calls and be surrounded by the outside even when she needs to be inside.”


Dining room

dining room

Photograph by Brantley

“The funniest thing in a dining room is to make it into a little jewelry box,” says Bowman. To achieve this, they brought in a coral textured wallpaper trimmed with bamboo turtle paneling, hand painted and applied by Bruce’s local team. Thomas Wallpaper: “We had a flat ceiling and the room didn’t have a lot of architectural detail, so we created it with bamboo,” she says.

It’s the perfect addition to a tropical painting by Palm Beach artist Orville Bulman, who drew inspiration from Rousseau’s work. Kemble Interiors custom made the ornate twin bases of the table and topped them with glass (for a better view of the bases).


Bathroom

Bathroom

Photograph by Brantley

“She really wanted the original English toilet,” Bowman says of the owner. “She wanted this piece of England brought to Palm Beach.” They paired old-world fixtures with Venetian marbled paper, which the company frequently uses on lampshades. “It works with English devices,” McMakin says.


To study

desk, green walls, green chairs

Photograph by Brantley

When the family bought the house, the built-in carpentry was tinted brown. “It’s funny, so many people think your bookcase should be dark brown,” McMakin recalls. Not in the world of Kemble: the team has refurbished them in a “fabulous sage green frosting”.


Bedroom

bedroom

Photograph by Brantley

The room’s Cyprus ceiling imparts instant warmth and, paired with Cole & Sons leafy wallpaper, gives the impression of being immersed in a rainforest canopy. “When you go up to that spare bedroom, you’re in your own little house almost in the trees,” says Bowman.


Bathroom

kemble house tour

Photograph by Brantley

The centerpiece of the master bathroom is the sculptural marble tub: “It took a while to pick the right one, and it had to be crane in,” reveals McMakin.


Children’s playroom

dollhouse, children's playroom

Photograph by Brantley

Not only is the miniature version of the playroom house fun for the kids, but it also cleverly blocks a staircase, making the room safe for children. “It was really fun to do,” Bowman says of the structure. “You can see the little copper details – we really made a miniature replica of the real house. “


Patio

outside

Photograph by Brantley

outside

Photograph by Brantley

The Kemble team worked closely with Jorge A. Sanchez and Brian Vertesch from SMI landscape architecture to ensure that the home’s exterior spaces are just as welcoming as its interiors. “Their house creates a really nice backyard which is really special, so we wanted to make sure this space looks like an outdoor room,” Bowman says of the patio, which the team outfitted with several types of furniture for different. occasions. : a dining room setup for alfresco dining, secluded swings and a living space with weathered copper furniture from the Dominican Republic, all surrounded by lush vegetation carefully crafted to gently reinforce the various outdoor spaces .


Pool

Bowl

Photograph by Brantley

Bowl

Photograph by Brantley

Grass cobblestones make a path through the lush landscape around the swimming pool, which is covered with a turquoise glazed tile the owner brought back from Morocco. “It gives the pool that fabulous glow,” McMakin explains. In a secluded patio separate from the main outdoor space (more details below), lounge chairs by McMakin’s daughter, Celerie Kemble, invite lounging.

“It’s hard to create landscapes that don’t compete with the house but that enhance it,” explains McMakin. “But they have had tremendous success in this area.”


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