Where Art Lives, The Heart Grows

When You Care Enough To Share The Very Best — Of Yourselves And Your Lifelong Passion Of Art — It Pays To Assemble A Dream Team To Help Create The Perfect Setting
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With multiple residences in the Northeast and a busy travel schedule, the homeowners of this 15,000-square-foot, classically styled estate in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., say they have, at last, with the help of an elite design team, created a home they'd always dreamt of. "We have lived in and loved Palm Beach, the island, for years," the wife says. "But when we saw this private one-acre lot with the possibilities of creating a new home with no 'should haves, could haves or would haves' — a place where our art could truly be the star attraction — the decision to build was easy."

And understanding this priority were designer Louis Shuster and architect Randall Stofft, a convergence of creative talent, who, coupled with the owners' careful vision, have made this six-bedroom home, and its two-bedroom guest house, not only livably warm, but museum-perfect for their vast collection of photo-realistic art, sculpture and glass. This continuing theme appears at the rear exterior, where the owners' extensive collection of statuary is scattered poolside. Sculpture in itself, the pool circles around a dramatic island fountain. An elegant loggia and summer kitchen features pocket doors that slide into the walls to allow the outside to expand to the interior. A muted palette of taupe, cream and chocolate reigns here and prevails throughout.

"It was the focus on the art that guided us," Shuster says. "A designer has to be willing to take a back seat to that kind of vision — and has to know when to stop."

Believing that art "tells you where it wants to live," the owners had walls measured and created for specific pieces, such as James Rosenquist's abstract painting in the foyer. With the eye of Duane Hanson's bronze "Security Guard" sculpture keeping watch from the corner, the pop of orange in Dale Chihuly's art glass continues the circular motif from the faceted light fixture above to the contemporary table below. Off the foyer, a gallery features Patrick Thomas' fixtures that wash the art with light.

Because the owners' collection was always primary, Shuster practiced the "art of restraint," preferring unobtrusive hues, patterns and textures. With a nod to a French drawing room, the designer created mirror-image seating arrangements for the 30-foot-high living room, where red-striped accent pillows resonates with William Morris' and Toots Zynsky's art glass in the custom-designed étagère. Ivory Saturnia marble tiles form the flooring and continue the subtle background, while soft Duralee drapery panels soften the room's towering windows.

Hues of cream and taupe highlight every line and curve in the master bedroom, where the owners used furniture Shuster had designed for their previous home's living area. A portrait by Dennis Martin and Jane Lund's "My Mother's Hands" flank this seating space that overlooks the pool. "The creation of this home," the owners say, "captured us perfectly" — thanks to the flexibility of their "dream team" and the vision that was genuinely shared.

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Interior Design
Louis Shuster, with project manager Clayton Weidner, Shuster Design Associates, Inc., Wilton Manors, FL

Photography
Kim Sargent, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Text by
Marina Brown