The Royal Treatment- Fresh Design And A Personal Touch Transform A Boca Family Home From Spec to Spectacular Ask Marcella Roberts for her definition of paradise, and she’ll reply, “My House.”
She and husband David recently moved into an 11,700-squarefoot spec home in Boca Raton’s tony Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. “We feel so blessed that we can call this our home,” says Marcella. “The view is amazing. We look out and see water and nature and it’s so peaceful.”
Indeed, the couple has high praise for the workmanship of Steve and Scott Dingle of SRD Building Corp. in Boca Raton, who built the home. The Roberts also give kudos to interior designer Susan Connor, owner of Coral Springs-based P&H Interiors, who worked her magic indoors.
The airy six-bedroom house, designed with Mediterranean Revival influences, overlooks Capone Island and Hillsboro River. It includes six full baths, two half-baths, two staircases, an exercise room, club room, home office, a nanny’s room that Marcella is converting to a meditation room and a five-car garage, part of which will become a playroom for the Roberts’ three young children, Gabriella, Nicholas and Sebastian.
“We rented a vacation house in Costa Rica but we didn’t want to go,” says Marcella. “We don’t want to leave our house!”
The home inspires the Roberts family to share quality time: They watch movies in the home theater, play board games in the loft, swim in the stylized rectangular pool, gather around the piano and challenge each other at the club room’s billiard table.
“I’m most proud of being able to integrate their personal life into the spec home,” says Susan Connor. “The house was already special, but bringing a real family into it and having it work so well for them was very rewarding.”
While Connor’s firm completely furnished the spec house, when the Roberts moved in she incorporated some of their furniture. Out went the existing piano; in came the Roberts’ Steinway baby grand, situated in the foyer atop a round Persian rug beneath a sweeping, wrought iron embellished staircase.
The Roberts introduced their own light fixture above the billiard table in the club room, and Connor completed the interior with two plasma TVs, two coral-brown leather loveseats facing a striped velvet ottoman, and blue-suede, ostrich-patterned chairs that belly up to a mahogany bar. French doors and arched, classic Palladian transom windows are repeated throughout; along with the multilayered, wood-coffered ceiling, they inject a note of elegance to the coziness of the wood-paneled room.
Palladian windows, embellished with sheer-tie drapes, continue in the living room. A pair of decorative, mirrored candelabras in gold on brown become parentheses around the manmade carved limestone mantel. A yellow velvet sofa rests on a one-of-a-kind, multipatterned wool rug from India, and is joined by two period-style chairs from the couple’s private collection.
Aged chestnut chairs around the formal dining room table boast coral textured-velvet backs with cushions featuring a laurel leaf design. A Bohemian crystal chandelier and gold sconces spill light into the room, drawing attention to the dining room’s stained-glass doors. One door hides a wine closet; another opens to a butler’s pantry leading to the kitchen.
The large, open kitchen features off-white, antique-painted cabinets built up to a coffered ceiling. The upper cabinets are inset with glass to display colorful dishes and collectibles. Dual dishwashers, a glazed cherry work island, a side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator, granite countertops and an eight-burner stove validate Connor’s description of the kitchen as being “spectacular.”
Across the kitchen, the family room features a wool Romanian area rug, chenille sofas and a custom wall unit that accommodates a plasma TV. It’s the perfect place for Marcella and the children to relax on weekend mornings until David announces that breakfast is ready. He loves to cook.
“He specializes in strawberry pancakes, frittatas and his own invention of egg dishes,” Marcella says with pride. The family also likes to gather around the kitchen counter to make ice cream sundaes or snack on fresh fruit.
“We worked hard to see that there was a different feel in every room, but with everything flowing,” says Connor. “The house has a great presence of light and high-quality finishes, but doesn’t look overdone. The color palette adds harmony, balance and warmth.”
Upstairs, checkered drapes on French doors, a sculptured wool-and-silk Nepalese area rug, framed bird prints and a combination of fabric blends highlight the loft. A guestroom is located nearby.
Focal points of the inviting master bedroom include the couple’s bookcase of family photos, a sitting area replete with velvet sofa and fireplace, and a wet bar. Here and throughout the house, pink and green tones reflect Marcella’s favorite colors.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in daughter Gabriella’s room, which Connor says “belongs to a princess.” Indeed, what little girl wouldn’t be enthralled with a canopy bed, hand-painted armoire, feminine dressing table and walls featuring a stripe-and-ribbon design?”
Sebastian and Nicholas are equally happy with their bedrooms, which showcase their interests, including a stuffed bear collection and a study-oriented atmosphere, respectively.
Aside from running his real estate company, Royal Palm Properties, David is on the Board of Trustees of St. Andrews School, which the children attend, and where Marcella often volunteers. Their home serves as a haven in which to unwind and simply enjoy being a family.
“I couldn’t tell you there’s one room in our house that’s special because we love all the rooms and we use all of them,” Marcella says. “We wanted a house that flows, that’s comfortable and elegant but that also has good energy. We have peace and tranquility here.”
With a contented smile, David echoes that sentiment. “We went away on our boat and when we came back, “ he says, “it was like coming home to a resort.”