Imagine the pleasure of coming to photograph a home only to realize that it was the former residence of a good friend…and then to see that this Regency jewel has enjoyed the deserved level of “refreshing” that earned it the prestigious Robert I. Ballinger award from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach (recognizing major renovation projects of historically sensitive estates).
With all of the home’s enhancements surely Ambassador Mary Ourisman’s favorite must be the loggia, which serves as an elegant extension of the house.
It is almost difficult to imagine a Palm Beach home without this architectural feature. A new addition to the western-facing facade of the house, the loggia looks out upon a long, tapis vert that ends at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Even the boat dock enjoys a level of attention usually reserved for interiors.
No surprise…Wm. R. Eubank’s Design is responsible for this as well as the homes overall design and renovation. Each detail takes full advantage of the Regency style that is grounded in balance and symmetry, including the garden and pair of steel pavilions created in collaboration with landscape designer, Keith Williams (feature image at top). The pairs concept continues with two small octagonal fountains nestled within the classically designed garden plan (one is also a chic hot tub).
The interiors are inspired by the same color chosen for the exterior of the house, champagne, Mary’s favorite. Of course, combined with shades of blue reminiscent of the sky and water! On the day I was visiting, the dining table vignette featured a silver pagoda and Asian figures against a backdrop of antique blue and white Chinese jars and collection of rock crystal accessories.
Draperies and fabrics pick up the same cool color palette.
This all plays so elegantly against the Gracie wallpaper with its silver leaf, lightly glazed background.
I could go on and on, room by room, in this wonderful house but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to close by pointing out two design elements that for personal reasons I found particularly appealing …the re-configured octagonal entry atrium with its inviting pair of “Hollywood in the 30’s” curved banquettes.
And the clever sliding glass panels (operated remotely) that hide the television in the small study. I teased Bill Eubanks that he could set up a separate business division just designing his tasteful takes on disguising “tellies”, as the English love to describe this necessity.
Appropriately, Mary Ourisman’s home is located within a small park of just five other Regency-inspired residences. The Ballinger award honor served as inspiration for pursuing a National Historic Register status for the small and exquisite enclave. One honor begets another.