A Classic, Yet Fresh Idea – Palm Beach Design and Architectural Review, Vol. 8 #2
Once you’ve found the perfect piece of property, only the perfect residence will do. Scott Dingle of SRD Building Corporation discovered such a lot in the exclusive community of Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton. “It is a very unique location situated on a waterfront point that includes ample dockage space which can accommodate a large yacht,” Dingle says. “The site has just the right blend. It offers both a gorgeous view and complete privacy. Dingle immediately envisioned a Palm Beach style estate with clean lines and elegant finishes. “As a ‘spec’ home, we wanted a design that would appeal to an affluent buyer who would expect an inviting, comfortable feel within a sophisticated setting,” he adds. Plans were set into motion to create a more than 11,000-square-foot residence featuring seven bedrooms, eight full baths and two half baths. A fully air conditioned five-car motor court with space for a golf cart was also included in the design along with a resort-style patio and loggia.
The project called for top of the line workmanship and for this, Dingle called on Scott Ballin of Distinctive Kitchens and Baths. “Ballin was charged with overseeing the cabinetry and architectural detailing that would set this home apart,” Dingle says.
Collaborating from the beginning with SRD, Ballin shared Dingle’s vision for the residence. “We wanted to help develop a spectacular end product,” Ballin says. By utilizing high-end materials and working with the forward-thinking vendors, the team went “above and beyond custom,” Ballin explains. “The consumer for this property has a laser for quality, and we needed to offer unmatched excellence,” Ballin says. “This had to be the best in execution, materials and construction.”
Distinctive Kitchens and Baths had worked with SRD on several successful custom home ventures. Each knew that this home would be unique given the size and location. “This is the ultimate lot in the ultimate community,” Ballin says. For this, the team joined forces to achieve a complete and utter wow. “You want someone to walk into every room and wish that they could live there,” Ballin explains.
The choreography of the project was complete when Susan Connor of P & H Interiors became involved. “We were delighted to be asked to participate early on to provide a classic look to the home. There are other styles that have become overdone, and we wanted to give a sense of freshness in the design,” Connor says. Along with her core team which included Julie Harris and Pam Dortch, Connor created an environment that would have an inviting palette of rich tones and a variety of textures. “I don’t like interiors that look like one big run-on sentence,” Dortch explains. “I approach each room as if it has its own personality. This allows the opportunity for different experiences.”
The spectacular entry way with its intricately designed wood medallion insert and sweeping wrought-iron stairway accented with hand-cut diamond embellishments and turned railings signals to guests that they will be experiencing something unparalleled. “When we started, I knew that there were definitely two specific ingredients that I wanted in the design—a large, formal living room and a dramatic stairway in the foyer,” Dingle says. Connor positioned a tri-fold mirror to reflect the elegant grand piano. “I came across this mirror several years ago and tucked it away knowing that at some point there would be the perfect opportunity to use it,” she says. “I was thrilled to be able to place it in this residence where it makes such a dramatic impact.”
Sumptuous velvet and textured chenille grace the formal living room in an intimate seating area of sofas and roll back chairs. “A blend of fabrics give a wonderful feeling of ‘home’ that is elegant but not glitzy,” Connor says. The stone fireplace is topped with gracious architectural moldings which extend to the molded ceiling design. Connor enhanced the arch of the windows by designing a custom-shaped cornice which called for five panels of draperies that frame French doors which offer an unobstructed view of the lush landscaping.
From the living room, a duo of French doors opens to the rich masculine clubroom. After a game of billiards, guests can relax on butterscotch leather loveseats and put their feet up on the cut velvet striped ottoman. Blue suede barstools with an ostrich pattern are pulled up to the rich mahogany bar area with custom designed cabinetry to showcase glassware and personal collections through the glass front cabinet doors. “This is a wonderful extended space for the gentlemen to kick back and relax sports from the pair of flat-screen TV’s on opposite walls of the room,” Connor says.****ATTENTION—THERE MUST BE A TYPO IN THIS LAST SENTENCE —It was probably meant to read:…. kick back, relax and watch sports from the pair ……****
Always the hub of activity, the gourmet kitchen is equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and ample storage that any epicurean would find irresistible. “The intricate details in the cabinets and moldings make this kitchen spectacular,” Ballin says. He selected box on box cabinets featuring upper lit sections which display colorful dishware and pottery. “The Brazilian cherry center island is the perfect accent to the off white tonality of the area,” Ballin adds.
As with all of his projects, Ballin considered the end use of the area when preparing the details. “It is so critical to think about how and why a location will be used. I like to define the needs of a space and then work from there,” he explains. Lighting and plumbing are two components that can drive the planning and execution of a design. “You must be able to envision things before they are crafted both in renovation and new construction so that there are no surprises.”
Ballin saw the butler’s pantry as an important transition room from the kitchen to the formal dining room. “To maintain the elegance of the dining room and the functionality of the kitchen, I selected rich wooden door panels stained in a nutmeg tone with a bronze glaze as the backsplash to the countertops. This technique gives a wonderfully finished look to an area where you would normally find a simple painted wall or tile,” Ballin says. “Because it is a dry area, with no sink, you don’t have to worry about the wall getting wet as with a normal backsplash,” he explains.
The upstairs family room offers a breathtaking view of the green space from loft-style seating. It is from this perspective that Connor took her cue to incorporate natural elements from the outdoors. “This is a fantastic space, very reminiscent of a personal time for me, where I wanted the look and feel of a garden,” she explains. With tones of berry, olive green, orange and gold, Connor selected plaid sheers at the window with a gold sheer underneath. “The sunset literally glows in this window,” she adds. The palette extends to the textured pattern on the sofa and chairs. The room is enveloped with off-white paneled walls topped with a soft butter tone that are accented with framed aviary prints. The restful enclave of the master suite offers a sitting area where the owners can enjoy intimate, private time. Away from the activity and sipping a delicious cup of tea while reclining in oversized chaises blanketed in tones of burgundy, gold and taupe brocade, this retreat presents the ideal moment of the day. The scalloped medallion ceiling appliqué is echoed in the antique Peruvian mirror placed atop the intricately detailed wood mantle. Custom designed shelves exhibit a personal gallery of precious family photos and momentos.
Working in concert with the detailed tile work, Ballin selected warm, walnut cabinetry in the master bath. “It is very unusual to frame a tub area in wood but it worked perfectly and gave a very unique look,” he says. The wood extends to the vanity area and to the glass paneled tower.
Often overlooked, the laundry room is no longer an afterthought in the residence. Custom green stained cabinetry provides extensive storage with a unique look that is complimented with a tumbled stone and marble backsplash that is dotted with metal insets. “There is so much cabinetry in the home that it was important that this space stand apart and read differently than other areas,” Connor says.
The outdoor summer room is steps away from the infinity edge pool which can be viewed from the entry way. The pool features a series of cocktail benches where guests can unwind in the warm water after an active day on the golf course or boating.
The brushed finish of the creamy Alabama stone highlights the golden veins that run through the outdoor anti-skid surface of this loggia area with a private bar and welcoming outdoor fireplace.
The residence is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics that operate a complete home security system including security cameras which are installed in both the interior and exterior. A system is also in place which operates the lighting, audio/video and the pool. “The temperature of the pool and spa can be controlled from a keypad in the home that acts like a thermostat,” Dingle says.
To give the home an established feel, Dingle selected a collection of mature trees in the landscaping plans. “We wanted to give the impression that the home had been there for a long time and bringing in Canary Island date palms and oak trees created that look of being established,” Dingle says. The trees are linked with simple, low plantings that accent the home with its classic off white exterior and custom clay blend barrel tile roof. “In order to keep a balance of color within the roof tiles, we made sure to use a certain percentage of each color and see that they were evenly distributed,” Dingle explains.
For a project of this scope, coming up with the vision for the home and working together to bring it to fruition is a great feeling for everyone on the team. “It is such a great feeling to allow everyone to experience their own creativity and make such a significant statement,” Dingle says.
“The look and feel of this place is really over-the-top and one that the most discriminating of buyer would love to have for their home environment,” Ballin adds.