What you get from a timely stay at a top-notch vacation venue such as Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is usually obvious: gorgeous ocean views, great hospitality service from courteous staff members, and guaranteed stress relief. What you leave with, however, is a bit more subtle than relaxed muscles and a refreshed attitude. When your mind is soothed from the irritants of everyday life, it becomes open to new ideas; as Ovid noted, “a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” So whether you know it or not, a few days spent luxuriating at Eau Palm Beach, the 309 guest rooms, suites and corridors of which were redesigned by the renowned Jonathan Adler for the winter 2015 season, is a subconscious experience in creativity.
For the mindful, it’s a veritable workshop in how to choose hue, textile, artwork and decor to complement your own South Florida home. “Palm Beach has an incredible combination of glamour, fantasy and luxury,” Adler says. By channeling the designer’s unique sensibilities, a homeowner can re-create the vibe that Adler invokes here.
To achieve a look that speaks to each of these elements, Adler connects three different but related geographic points — “Capri meets Santorini, meets Palm Beach” — metaphorically with color. The palette in the guest rooms is inspired by the pure, nautical blues that dot Capri; the white walls and sky-like rooftops that dominate the architecture of Santorini; and the brilliantly reflective sun, sand and sky of Palm Beach. At Eau Palm Beach, this celebrity-favored resort destinations are represented by deep blue rugs and navy valances; bleached white comforters and pillows picked out by stunning yellow; and aqua, white, yellow, and chrome accents.
Likewise, catering to the oceanic flavor of its locale is a must for a South Florida home to feel as if it is organically designed.
Next, Adler advises transition-free living through the choice of bamboo and wrought iron furniture in the living and dining spaces. He also advocates the use of podlike hanging chairs both in sunrooms and on porches, as he does on the guest room balconies at Eau Palm Beach. Not only does bringing such experimentally shaped yet traditionally textured “outdoor” furniture into the home offer seamlessness with the exterior, it incorporates an irreverence and playfulness that tells your guests you’re at one with nature, and not attempting to manicure it or keep it at bay (an impossibility in South Florida anyway).
He then adds glamour and high fashion, again with whimsical nods, through one-of-a-kind commissioned art pieces. In the hotel, these exclusive artworks were solicited from Donald “Drawbertson” Robertson, Leila Jeffries and Jenna Snyder-Phillips, and they sit side-by-side next to Slim Aarons photography, whose subjects evoke archetypal socialites and celebrities with a 60s feel. Hung on bamboo wallpaper next to mod light fixtures, they offer a nod to vintage even as the background whispers its sustainable eco-friendliness. Preserving the environment is, of course, an important point to consider when redesigning any 21st –century home, but even more of a consideration when living in a delicate eco-system.
Adler continues to represent aspects of the region at Eau Palm Beach with antique, Chinoiserie-inspired décor, fanciful touches such as desks bedecked with tassels — what Adler eclectically calls the “earrings of the home” — and colorful quirks that guests can stumble across in surprisingly places, such as wash rooms. As much as he takes his designs seriously, believing that they should offer acknowledgment to the history of an area, he also addresses them with a wink and a smile, wanting guests to laugh and relax.
In other words, while the décor and artwork you choose may be worthy of hanging in a museum, you shouldn’t expect guests to tiptoe around them as if they are actually in such an institution. Ultimately, his message is that in an environment and climate like that of South Florida’s notions of beauty should be tailored to setting and history, and quality and comfort should go hand-in-hand for everyone’s ease.