Sometimes a simple decorating job turns into something much more, as Cheryl Forman discovered when she was commissioned recently to decorate a house in Palm Beach’s North End.
Homeowner Michael Peacock had bought his home at 225 Mockingbird Trail in 2010, and had already renovated it up to a point before hiring Forman to furnish it, the designer explains.
“It was originally a one-story house,” Forman says. “He had already added a lantern effect at the front of the house, by creating a two-story foyer. He had added upstairs bedrooms over the garage, and he had changed the configuration of the kitchen.”
But the old and new parts of the house didn’t really connect visually, says Forman, of Bungalow Home & Design of Delray Beach.
“It felt like two houses in one. There were three different floorings: travertine in the great room, mahogany floors in the original bedrooms and dark wood ceilings throughout, as compared to new gray-washed French oak floors in the addition and renovated areas.
“Also, the bathrooms hadn’t been touched since it was built in 2001. So, while some of the house was new, it still needed updating.”
When Forman came aboard, structurally, she only needed to reconfigure the master bedroom and repurpose the living areas. All of the other changes were cosmetic.
“The house already had good bones and ceiling heights, and good volume made a big difference,” she says, noting the home’s pitched ceilings.
The project was completed this summer with the help of Conrad Construction in Lake Worth. And today, the color palette is white with grays and neutrals.
“It’s bright, white, and feels very Palm Beachy, yet it’s comfortable and relaxed,” Forman said
Peacock, however, has decided to downsize, and has listed his five-bedroom, four-bathroom, and two-half-bath home — with 4,718 square feet inside and out — with agent Leanna Joan Fruin of Engel & Volkers. The house is priced at $7.195 million, and the furniture is available through separate negotiations. The mid-block residence occupies a lot of nearly a half-acre, about midway between the Palm Beach Country Club and the northern tip of the island.
The house is laid out in a reverse “L” shape, with the living area just north of the foyer. Two guest suites, the family room, the kitchen and the garage extend to the east.
West of the foyer is the master suite, and upstairs, accessed from a stairway north of the kitchen, are the two new guest suites, one of which is now set up as an office.
The pool is nestled in the crook of the “L.” The garage, meanwhile, is accessed via a driveway along the east side of the house. “There’s also a cold plunge and outdoor shower,” Forman adds, referring to the spa filled with cold water.
In addition to painting the interiors white to lighten them up, Forman also removed all the shutters and replaced mahogany floors with French oak. Windows and doors are fitted with hurricane-resistant glass. The bathrooms also were updated.
“It’s like a brand-new house,” Forman says.
There are wallpapered accent walls, a wet bar and a simple fireplace in the living room.
The kitchen features a beamed ceiling and cabinetry with some open shelving. Carrara marble was used for countertops and the backsplash, and appliances have either stainless steel finishes or are integrated into the cabinetry. Just adjacent is an eating area set into a nook with windows and a built-in banquette.
In the master bedroom and bathroom, the ceilings are pitched, and the dressing room features built-in cabinetry. The master bathroom has a so-called “floating” vanity, a soaking tub, marble countertops and a walk-in shower.
One of the other bedrooms has built-in cabinetry, and the upstairs office has a bed built into a nook.
Peacock, meanwhile, is planning to stay in the North End, as he appreciates the neighborhood, which has access to the lakeside bicycle trail. The house also has access to a community beach cabana on the ocean.
By Christine Davis