Design & Décor, Living with Style, Travel Notes


Casa Tranquila: At Home in Palm Beach

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It’s seldom that I pair a home and its garden with individual posts. But Terry Rakolta’s exterior and interior are so elegantly and sympathetically considered — one flows gracefully into and informs the other. The northern Italian lake district (think Lake Como and Lake Garda) that captured my heart many years ago, also inspired Terry. I’m remembering Casa Tranquila well…understated, where each carefully chosen piece, detail and finish contributes just enough to compose an appealing and handsome picture, with no extraneous additions. The juxtaposition of large stone and simple, unfinished wood floors with grand antiques keep a balance at CasaTranquila that further accounts for its appeal. Unexpectedly, this is not an overly-large house; its rooms are graciously sized for smaller gatherings.

The faux-limestone block walls of the circular entry hall and living room beyond…

The coffered ceiling in the living room…

Studied views from one room to another…

A Fortuny clad dining room table presided over by a rock crystal chandelier…

Elaborate blue and white Italian tiles accentuating the kitchen’s walls…

A paneled library that opens onto the owner’s personally designed rill garden.

All meld seamlessly with the lanai and the poolside loggia whose views include arched green walls that continue the northern Italian garden design vernacular.

The small pool loggia is just off the entry hall with a tile studded shower to make those quick morning dips an easy in and out for Terry (no need for a separate “changing room”).

Aaaah, the pleasures of traveling in northern Italy…and we never left our armchair.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

5 thoughts on “Casa Tranquila: At Home in Palm Beach

  1. My family is from Italy to which I have traveled all my life . I now live in Palm beach county .
    Your house is Italian inspired with a castle feel and just wonderful

    1. This is indeed a most wonderful house and home (though not mine). I had the honor of photographing it last year and knew that many of my readers would welcome a peek into it.
      Thank you for your kind note.

  2. Abosulutaly beautiful!! Love your style!! Google Randolph Lucas House Atlanta Georgia to see my house! Built in 1924 my partner, Christopher Jones and I saved it from the wrecking ball in 2013, moved it 2 miles down Peachtree Street to Ansley Park. I love the Regency style, I grew up going to Palm Beach.

    1. What a thrill to hear this news! My last home in Atlanta was on E. Wesley but I haven’t been back in a few years. I always adored this jewel of a house and was saddened when the apartmennt tower was put up behind it. It so belongs in Ansley Park. Kudos to you and your partner for saving it!!

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