A New Kind Of Classic


A Tropical Georgian Waterfront Home With Dramatic Curb Appeal Pairs Clean, High-Style Interiors With A Strong Contemporary Feel

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When interior designer Marc Thee and architect Carlos Martin were commissioned to create a spec home in Boca Raton, Fla., they quickly agreed it should have classical lines. But they also decided to give the project edge by adding a touch of contemporary. "Although we desired an overall sense of the classic, we just needed to pare it down," Thee says. "We also wanted everything to appear fresh and new."

The dramatic exterior features a covered loggia that offers stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway. A shimmering pool lends the illusion of a linear reflecting pond framed by a custom-designed, 5-foot-wide deck covered in lush synthetic turf.

With its symmetry and classical H-shaped floor plan, the design team's vision for this spectacular 8,700-square-foot home is evident from the moment you walk through the entryway to the magnificent great room. "Not having a client when we designed this house allowed us to push the envelope," the designer says. "We chose the finishes we wanted and we were a little purer in showcasing our point of view." The entire home is styled in what Thee refers to as his "new" neutral" palette — palomino, graphite, mink and truffle — classic menswear colors. "No boring beige here, only neutrals with an attitude," he says.

Upon entering the great room, twin sets of sleek colonnades that are edged in a modern trim offset the front and back galleries. Announcing the room, a pair of matching antique urns rest atop Lucite pedestals that seem to suspend in midair. Here, a custom palomino leather sofa from Kravet is accented with pillows that lend a subtle hint of color to an otherwise neutral palette. "Palomino leather reminds me of a baseball glove or the interior of a Ferrari," the designer says. Drawing the eye across the space, 10-foot-tall glass doors open wide to capture the refreshing breeze off of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Thee achieves "high contrast" with a monolithic slab fireplace and dark Camino Del Inca marble flooring that energizes neutral-toned furnishings and finishes. "If this was a custom house, these floors would not have made it past the planning stage," he says. "The floors were a big decision, but I think that they paid off."

In the family room, a bold-striped area rug enlivens a neutral-toned conversation grouping that features Kravet's "Jazz" sofa and Baker's matching armchairs clad in Duralee. "When you have a graphic starting point, such as the bold tobacco-and-cream striped wool area rug, everything else in the family room should be simple," Thee says."

Upstairs, the master bedroom posed a challenge for the designer, who described the space as "the epitome of a box." To add interest, a Marc-Michael's custom-designed marble fireplace is positioned in the center of the room. "It's clean organic lines really set the stage," Thee says. Opposite, an upholstered wall anchors a bed clad in linens by Kravet. Neutral-toned draperies from Pindler & Pindler dress French doors that open to a view of the Intracoastal Waterway. "The soft wall opposite the firebox creates that moment of axis and architecture. It's just like yin and yang — hard and soft," the designer says.

When all is said and done, the dynamic design team of Thee and Martin succeeded in creating a sophisticated, contemporary residence with edge. Both agree that this is the perfect home for the discerning owner with a penchant for classic, understated decor.

Interior Design
Marc Thee with Melissa Adair and Lindsey Snyder, Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL

Photography
Ed Butera, Boca Raton, FL

Architecture
Carlos Martin, Carlos Martin Architects, Inc., Margate, FL

Builder
Larry Frankel, Frankel Estate Homes, Boca Raton, FL

Text by
Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley