The home decor style that emerges from the small coastal town of Palm Beach in South Florida is one of vibrant colors, energetic fun patterns, with furniture pieces in wicker and rattan, and tropical accents. It’s a breezy beach style of laid-back sophistication that enjoys vintage European roots showcased in its style as well. It’s actually quite an eclectic mix that might sound hard to pin down and recreate but the general outline of design styles to observe are as follows:
- Natural textures
- Bold, colorful design
- A neutral base with fun prints and patterns
- Textures of rattan and wicker
- Signature colors: flamingo pink, lime green, bright blues, sunny yellow
- Motifs: palms fronds and trees; zebras, pineapples, bamboo, flamingos
The resurgence in popularity of this style comes from the feeling it provokes, one of welcoming classic comfort with a large hint of Hollywood glamor. It’s the use of bright alive colors and elements from nature that make for a happy home that‘s enjoyable to relax and live in. The mixture of mellow and casual furnishings with bits of decor that surprise around every turn. To bring a little bit of this exclusive community’s style into your home, follow along for the secrets of Billionaire’s Row and how to include the basics of this coastal decor’s essential elements in your design.
DEFINING PALM BEACH STYLE
A Combination of European & Floridian Excellence in Taste
Synonymous with Palm Beach and its chic style is Lilly Pulitzer. Back in the 1960s. Lilly opened a juice stand in front of one of her husband’s citrus groves. The simple shift dress she designed in bold patterns, that she could wear for the juice stand work, became a huge hit (in partial thanks to Jackie Kennedy who wore one of her floral frocks). Today, the brand is found all over, from signature stores to your everyday big chain markets. When people think of Palm Beach, usually one of Lilly’s stereotypical loud bold patterns comes to mind. To modernize this look, update it with a smaller installation of:
- An accent wall of palm fronds.
- For that surprise in decor design, instead of a typical green palm, do the design in pink or soft tan.
- The goal is to give the home a tropical vibe with a unique twist.
- Use can also use animal prints: leopards, flamingos, zebras.
- Use an assortment of bright and bold colors.
Although Palm Beach Style is known for its bold prints and color, these are all set against the coolness of a clean white background. It’s the essence of the bright sunshine and white sands of the area. You will mostly find white walls and floors, even white furniture that is then topped with bold accents of patterned throw pillows and pops of citrus colors in the accents.
- Use the rainbow of citrus hues to get that fresh Palm Beach style: lime green, lemon yellow, tangerine, ruby grapefruit.
- Painted faux bamboo furniture is another popular decor style that pops elegantly against white backgrounds. These are easy pieces to find at secondhand stores and can be made over with a coat of paint.
- Remember, Palm Beach interior design is a vibrant tropical take on bright coastal decor with a preppy Hollywood twist.
To use color in a timeless classic way that is essentially Palm Beach style means not going overboard.
- No floor-to-ceiling bold prints and colors.
- Balance is key: whites and neutrals with pops of color as an accent.
- Consider color palettes in softer blue, grays, sands, and pale ivories.
- The feeling you want to impart is one of bright freshness that’s light and airy.
- Remember, the gorgeous waterways and ocean views are the real decor elements, and the home design is meant to show those gorgeous aspects of nature off to their fullest.
Home Palette Outline
The plan for a Palm Beach style home and using all your colors might look like this:
- Use neutrals for large objects.
- Patterns and brighter colors on your window treatments.
- This also goes for accent furnishings.
- Use rattan texture in a bedroom headboard, or in a seagrass area rug.
- Your hints of glitz and gold can come in a beaded chandelier to complete the look.
Being a coastal city, like many other decor styles, Palm Beach uses the natural aspects of its surrounding area. Thus you will find elements of local nature brought into the home.
- The earthiness of rattan and wicker.
- Tropical grasscloth is a consistent texture on wallpaper.
- Small palm trees and other local plants bring life and freshness into the home.
- This trellis wallpaper with a lattice design is a perfect example of mimicking a lush Florida garden.
- Add textural wall elements onto the backs of a bookcase, or on a powder room accent wall.
Besides paint color, furniture, and floor selections, how you accent your home will determine much of the design style. A pure Palm Beach decor definitely needs coastal accents to complete the look.
- Palm fronds
- Palm trees
- Lily flowers
Since Palm Beach is populated with old money mansions, the design style is filled with a mixture of that coastal breezy style but also vintage pieces handed down through the families and long lines of rich inventors. Some items you might see in Palm Beach style homes include:
- Chinoiserie side table.
- A rattan Papasan chair.
- Other eclectic vintage.
- Chinoiserie accessories- decorative pieces with Asian motifs (vases, jars).
Palm Beach Florida weather is wonderful for a good portion of the year, making it a patio culture, thus it is not unusual to find these pieces inside the home as well.
- Bring colorful vintage looking metal patio furniture indoors.
- Painted in bright hues like aqua, pink, or lime green fit in perfectly with this decor style.
Hint of Glitz
Palm Beach used to have a more glamorous Hollywood meets the southern east coast vibe than it does today. Some of those remnants from the 1950s style still remain. No Palm Beach home would be complete without a few glamorous pieces in gold or other high gloss metal statue, art element, or other opulent accessory.
- Add a gold accent here and there to achieve your ideal Palm Beach look.
You can almost never go wrong in using mirror as decor pieces in your home. They have so many design advantages and looks to play with when styling the decor accents, that goes especially for a Palm Beach style home.
- Hang a statement mirror over bold wallpaper; this is the surprise style element mentioned earlier that fits well in this type of decor.
- Lacquered faux bamboo frame is a bold statement that screams Palm Beach style.
- Feature a mixture of angular, geometric designs.
- Or pair two curvy, organic designs as shown in the leaf wallpaper and leaf mirror shown below.
Jonathan Adler is a famous home interior designer, among other talents, and has a style that goes wonderfully with Florida’s Palm Beach decor style.
- Look for funky, colorful mid-century modern art pieces with a twist to copy this kind of art style.
- Ceramic pieces like his add a huge touch of personality to your Palm Beach style home.
Palm Beach homes have front entrances and porches that make a statement, presenting a preview of what you’re going to get in these glamorous homes before you even enter.
- Add some glam to an entrance with colorful pots, iron work, and flowers.
- Monogrammed welcome mats.
- Landscape lighting directed upward into palm trees is a typical trick.
- Outdoor curtains add a sense of drama to the front of a house.
- Instead of mulch, use beach glass in its place.
- Pairs of potted palms on the porch is a typical part of this entrance style.
- A walkway with artistic sculptures is another classic statement item you’ll find around these homes.
As we’ve seen in every style decor we analyze, lighting is essential for creating an aesthetic in any home. It’s the secret to creating an ambiance in the home.
- Using programmable LED options are the new wave of the future and offer a personalized experience.
- This technology allows you to boost natural light during the day, adding to the airy brightness of the Palm Beach look.
- You can then transition to an evening entertaining atmosphere.
Much like the home interior, Palm Beach style backyards have many of the same textural and colorful elements and motifs.
- Bright bold colors.
- Wicker furniture.
- Textured and patterned area rugs.
- Potted plants and trees.
- Coastal accents.
Embracing the Palm Beach style means the use of citrus and sunset colors: yellows, oranges, limes, pinks, and turquoise. Then add a healthy dose of ocean life accessories. Surround those with natural materials, like wicker, bamboo, and rattan and your Palm Beach style will come to life. It is definitely an eclectic mix of styles, from preppy to mid-century, contemporary blended with European vintage. One thing is always consistent with the Palm Beach decor look and that is one of bold creativity and an element of whimsical, glitz fun.
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