Redefined Classic

A Collaborative Effort Poses Symmetry, Scale And Proportion Along With A Relaxed Beach Vibe For An Oceanfront Home In Delray Beach
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Interior Design
Jeffrey Strasser and Courtney Morrison, Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL

Photography
Robert Brantley, Delray Beach, FL

Text by
De Schofield

In the design world, an attempt at reinterpreting the classics is often akin to trying to improve upon nature; in worst case, impossible, at best, challenging. One oceanfront estate in Delray Beach, Fla., however, breaks the mold, exceeding all expectations for delivering a fresh interpretation of classical Georgian style that speaks to beachside living. And though builder Mark Timothy Pulte, architect Benjamin Schreier and interior designer Jeffrey Strasser completed this project as a showcase home, the owners still felt as if it had been designed specifically with them in mind.

At 11,185 square feet, the spacious home offered everything the family of five desired in a luxury beachfront residence. Panoramic views are available from all main living areas and an expansive landscaped area between the house and ocean gives the sense of a classic backyard. "Mark understands how to take advantage of the critical space between the house and the waterfront, which goes a long way in creating a good relationship between structure and site," says Schreier, who eschewed the classic brick facade that typically denotes Georgian style and, instead, utilized a more appropriate stucco block exterior with classic proportions and detailing.

Inside, a subdued traditional theme takes its cues from the home's classic architectural bones with an entry that counters refined with relaxed. A dramatic, sweeping stairway leads the eye upward from the foyer's glossy beige and white marble flooring, yet the view culminates at a coffered beamed ceiling with the coloration and texture of washed driftwood. "We were striving for a look that was at once timeless and fresh; something subtle yet dramatic with a relaxed, beachy feel," Strasser says.

In the living room, 20-foot-long pocket sliders disappear to establish a connection between indoors and out. Tall, 14-foot-high ceilings lend a feel of generous dimension, while meticulous architectural detailing helps preserve a sense of intimacy. A modified tray ceiling delineates the grouping, an eclectic combination of furnishings in shades of blue combined with creamy beige, green and warm wood tones.

Architectural detailing plays a key role in defining the formal dining room with recessed, upholstery-paneled walls and intricate moldings painted in pale cream. Here, a Regency-style table pairs with chairs that feature a painted finish and seats clad in a striped, silk and cotton blend.

Upstairs, the palatial master bath takes its cues from the golden onyx and white marble flooring, done in a medallion effect under the room's focal-point center rotunda with domed ceiling. Sheer draperies in pale gold silk and an ornate, crystal and iron chandelier complete the opulent theme.

Strasser's butter and cream palette prevails in the master bedroom, articulated in varying tones chosen to complement the signature yellow and beige plaid featured throughout the space. The room's classical elegance is defined by a molded ceiling inset with hand-painted motifs and two gilt and crystal chandeliers. Schreier explains that the change in ceiling proportions above the sitting area "makes the space more cozy."

Outside, the well-appointed covered loggia was designed as an extension of the interiors and is accordingly outfitted with furniture of a more formal feel. "We thought of this space as an outdoor living room," Strasser says. "While the furnishings feature fabrics that withstand the elements, we also utilized colorations and textures that reference the interior theme." Located adjacent to the pool and cabana, the space amply accommodates two side-by-side arrangements: one features an oatmeal-toned sofa facing two deep-seated lounge chairs in a blue and beige stripe; the other composed of four chairs upholstered in a floral motif. The result is a timeless home that truly represents classically styled living at its best.