Palm Beach Contemporary


A New Oceanfront Residence In Palm Beach, Created By An Award-Winning Team, Attains Warmth Through Timeless Detailing And Natural Elements

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On the posh island of Palm Beach in South Florida, where Mediterranean, Georgian and Bermudian-style luxury properties are considered the norm, it is rare to find a new contemporary home on Billionaire’s Row with over 12,500 square feet of space plus a guesthouse. “It’s one of a kind,” renowned builder Mark Pulte says. “Today’s modern homes appeal to younger buyers — they want something a little edgier, a little fresher and a bit simpler than their parents had.” So, when Pulte was ready to build on this prime, half-acre oceanfront site, he turned for help to his award-winning creative team that was comprised of interior designer Marc Thee, and architects Benjamin Schreier and Mitchell Kunik.

To get into the spirit of the project, the group met for lunch under a tent on the property where Pulte laid out his expectations for the design of the spec home: it had to deserve its high-end price tag; it had to be livable and comfortable; and it had to be appropriate for beach living. Then he told his team to “fill in the gaps.” The architects’ approach was to style the home with clean lines and timeless detailing, while the designer brought warmth to the project by incorporating elements found in nature — water, earth, fire, metal and wood.

Outdoors, natural coral stone edges a pool surrounded by a perimeter of soft river rock. In the outdoor dining area, a Marc-Michaels’ custom table, topped with limestone and edged with chairs from Kingsley Bate, is perfect for dining alfresco.

A five-foot-wide, living-edge walnut entry door with textured glass panels opens to a foyer that flows through to the living area. “There is no formal entryway — we wanted the home to unfold in front of you,” interior designer Marc Thee says. Just steps into the sophisticated living area, the designer adds casual comfort with pieces from his home collection that include a double-back sofa upholstered in a Robert Allen fabric and a cocktail table that swivels open to provide extra space. A stacked oak-and-steel wall, and limed oak and grained travertine columns lend asymmetrical appeal. “This element lends the home a perfect imperfection,” Thee says.

In the kitchen, high-gloss lacquered cabinetry, created by Superior Wood Products, is topped with an aqua-colored glass counter that appears almost translucent, and lends Mid-century modern appeal. Against a wall, open walnut shelving is perfect for displaying casual china. Barstools from Vanguard clad in a Kravet fabric tuck neatly beneath a spacious breakfast island covered with a living-edge walnut counter that echoes the entry door.

To design the club room, Thee chose furnishings and accents that suggest the colors of the sea and sky. A pair of blue-gray leather armchairs from Lee Industries offer a quiet place to relax, while blue sheers drape a window near a custom-designed partner’s desk lacquered in walnut. Its unique bronze oval base lends a sculptural touch.

Casual indoor-outdoor entertaining is a delight in the spacious open-air loggia with its striking blue hues and nautical ambiance. According to the architectural team, seaside architecture needs to relate to natural elements that are interesting, durable and timeless. Here, a pair of oversized teak sofas from Lexington cushioned in a bold Sunbrella blue fabric are complemented by blue and white striped area rugs from Surya. Pocket doors open wide to spectacular views of the pool and ocean, where warm gentle breezes add to the tranquil tropical setting. “Our design is all about being comfortable, kicking back and relaxing,” Thee says.

Interior Design
Marc Thee with Kathryn Dunagan, Rachel Jones, Heather Fulmer and Conner Beaty, Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL

Photography
Ed Butera, Boca Raton, FL

Architecture
Benjamin Schreier, Mitchell F. Kunik, and Spencer D. Castro, Affiniti Architects, Boca Raton, FL

Builder
Mark Pulte, Mark Timothy, Inc., Luxury Homes, Boca Raton, FL

Landscape Architecture
Joe Peterson, Peterson Design Professionals, Boca Raton, FL

Text by
Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley