Starting With A Classic 1970s Home, A Dream Team Respects The Structure's Original Regency Style While Adding Functionality And Fun
"They did not want to change the look of the house one bit," says architect Brian J. Collins speaking of the owners of a classic 1970s Regency cottage originally designed by Palm Beach architect John Volk. However, the couple with three college-age daughters did want to make it more livable. So they decided to move into the North Palm Beach home "to get their bearings," interior designer Lisa Erdmann says. They also wanted to find professionals who had already performed miracles on neighboring properties.
Enter the dream team: builder Michael Conville, designer Lisa Erdmann and architect Brian Collins, who claims to have worked on a quarter of the nearly 400 homes in Lost Tree Village. It was luck that the original H-plan structure was set back on the over 20,000-square-foot property so it could be expanded both front and back to approximately 7,000 square feet.
One fun addition to the home is the covered loggia that overlooks the redesigned pool. "Throughout the year, when the family is here from New York, they want to live outside," says Erdmann who is particularly proud of the hand-finished cypress ceiling and the glowing Riado lanterns. The team was careful to preserve the original dental molding that was repaired and continued around the entire cornice of the home.
Inside, Erdmann added trim to the existing columns and detailed moldings to the tray ceiling in the living room that was expanded by the enclosure of an outdoor porch. Color makes a statement with overstuffed furnishings clad in bold prints and geometric patterns. Dark wood flooring ties the formal and casual living areas together.
"The owners requested that the hallway make an interesting statement as you enter the house," Erdmann says. She and designer Eden Tepper designed the intricate mosaic floor that required the meticulous blending of five types of marble and granite. The pattern is reflected in the ceiling trim. It's a backdrop for the chest that is among the couple's 18th-century antiques collected while living in England soon after their marriage.
To make the house suitable for casual entertaining, the original kitchen was completely demolished and rebuilt, the ceiling lifted, and a family area as well as an octagonal breakfast nook was added. Nearby, a wine collection finds a home in a carefully organized room lined with redwood racks and cork floors. For a party that's more formal, the dining room is set with a custom zinc-topped racetrack table on a painted wood base. "It's something fun and different," Erdmann says.
And because "the husband wanted a space to call his own," the designer created the den lined with custom-made cypress built-ins to hold his collection of military history books. "This is his little haven," she says.
In order to create a getaway for the couple, Erdmann designed the master bedroom just as the owners wished — with plenty of pattern and unexpected color. And off the bedroom, a convenient office was added for the wife.
Just outside is Erdmann's favorite part of the house: the covered loggia by the pool. "We made this house bigger and better," Collins says. "And if John Volk were alive, I think he would approve."
Lisa Erdmann and Eden Tepper, Lisa Erdmann & Associates, West Palm Beach, FL
Daniel Newcomb, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Brian J. Collins, AIA, Affiniti Architects, Boca Raton, FL
Michael Conville, Beacon Construction Group, Inc., North Palm Beach, FL
Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley