All Together Now!

In The Old Palm Golf Club, A Seamlessly Realized Asian Contemporary Is Created When Confident Professionals Join Together As A Team
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When a comfortably retired South Florida businessman and his wife decided to leave the vistas of their home on the Gulf of Mexico to move inland, a golf course was the perfect choice. "I'm a golfer," the owner says. "And this is the first time in 40 years I'll be off the water!" So with a spectacular one-acre lot on the 13th hole of the Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the next question was what to put on it.

Eschewing the area's fascination with Neo-Mediterranean villas, their only instruction to architect Randall Stofft was, "Build us a contemporary Asian home with beautiful clean lines." With Stofft's instincts and experience, he knew that often the sum of any project is greater than its parts — especially when team members are hand-picked and expert on their own. That's how interior designer Beril Yurdakul and her partner, Korhan Saygideger, with builder Paul Courchene and landscape designer Koby Kirwin, became part of this team right alongside the happily involved owners.

Luckily, this couple has had plenty of practice eyeing beautiful architectural styles in their travels around the world. From Jerusalem to Bali, and several places in between — including their second home in Aspen — these travelers have accumulated impressions of several of the most exquisite spots on earth.

Though this 7,600-square-foot home is Asian-inspired, don't look for a pagoda. The clean lines of the exterior — with only simple outriggers suggesting Pacific-rim styling — are much more contemporary than Asian. "Tropical-modern," as Stofft calls it. "It is a home well within the context of Old Palm Golf Club." And Yurdakul agrees. "Both inside and out, we wanted to stay away from trends."

And though Stofft had the concept beforehand, Yurdakul, an architect herself, and Stofft, bounced ideas off of each other. "We have a similar sense of style and aesthetic," she says. "We were going for something timeless … not literal."

Indeed, the rear exterior of the house, with its geometric footstone placement, angular pool and subtle pool-length waterspill, whispers of Arabian nights as easily as Asia with subliminal touches like smooth river rock and a bright red urn that give a sense of far away.

Divided into two wings connected by a spacious gallery that contains the public spaces, the home's expansive views exude a natural serenity. The two-story guest wing on one side and the owners' personal space on the other offer maximum privacy.

Just inside, floor-to-ceiling windows, complete with full transoms and cached automatic shades, turn the space into a light-filled extension of the exterior's charm. Following one line of Asian aesthetic, a spare color palette serves as the foil for more dramatic accents throughout. Using a favorite Yurdakul trick, the designer shaped the open living and dining areas as one from above with a "reverse" coffered ceiling and floating square panels. Below, cream limestone flooring bordered by charcoal mosaic slate grounds the harmonious space, while a hydro-finished granite ledge supported by towering 16-foot pillars suggests separation. Off-white leather on the living room sofas plays coyly with two armchairs covered in crocodile-embossed chocolate leather and a hot-rolled steel cocktail table executed by artist Peter Mann. Nearby, an intriguing sculpture, Anatomy of a Golfer by Richard MacDonald, announces the dining area, where a Patrick Hughes piece above the console creates a 3-D view of the owners' former home in Coral Gables.

No space exemplifies the delicate balance between East and West more than the parlor, where the couple can sit in quiet repose amidst a blend of contemporary and Asian decor. The couple's personal spaces allow for rest and relaxation in a spacious bedroom and sitting area, an exercise room, office and media center. The master suite, with its dark bamboo flooring, Yurdakul-designed bed and leather-grid wall, is given a splash of the Orient in an under-played set of pillows and a woven bench wrapped in dark chocolate leather. Ladder-like, solid wenge pillars in the bedroom's wide hall are inspired by the Qutub Minar — the memorial temple in Delhi — proving that good design must follow its own aesthetic and as Yurdakul says, "not be dictated by novelty" or in this case, even a specific country.

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Interior Design
Beril Yurdakul and Korhan Saygideger, iKaSu Design, Deerfield Beach, FL

Kim Sargent, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Randall Stofft, Randall Stofft Architects, Delray Beach, FL, and Stofft Cooney Architects, Naples, FL

Paul L. Courchene, Courchene Development Corp., Boca Raton, FL

Landscape Architecture
Koby Kirwin, Exteriors by Koby Kirwin, Naples, FL

Text by
Marina Brown