That window-abundant and sun-bathed space in many homes, better known as the Florida room, is the focus of a new exhibition in Lake Worth - and it's drawing Palm Beach County's leading interior designers to the table.
The "Interior Design: The Florida Room" show, which opened Jan. 30, features eight smaller-scale versions of the classic living space, each with upscale furniture, chandeliers and exotic flair, within the 2,500-square-foot gallery at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County building.
That the gallery itself lacks a glut of windows and natural light did not prove daunting to the show’s interior designers, says Nichole Hickey, the Cultural Council's artist services manager.
"We''ll have plenty of track lighting above the spaces, and the designers are adding their own elements and interpretations," says Hickey, who co-curated the show with Palm Beach interior designer Joseph Pubillones, who has also been featured in HGTV's "Designers' Challenge. "The Florida room is a place to enjoy all the beauty of nature without the nature."
Each contributor was tasked with adorning a space measuring roughly 8-by-9-feet, adding decorative twists to a room that became a common feature of Florida homes built during the post-World War II construction boom. Local interior designers include Stephen Mooney, Susan Morgan, Frank Randolph, Allan Reyes, Angela Reynolds, Nickie Siegel and Judy Weiss, Gil Walsh and William Wright.
For Mooney's Florida Room, the West Palm Beach designer crafted a tented dining area reminiscent of a Chinese pagoda, with off-white and navy-blue fabric accents, a vintage chandelier, faux bamboo and Brown Jordan Calcutta II chairs flanking a central table.
"It will have these Asian influences and Chinese characters and warm colors," says Mooney, whose design firm is based in Palm Beach. "It has the feeling of a luxurious Florida room that you would find on a Palm Beach island in the 1960s or 1970s."
Reyes will draw on the legacy of Palm Beach County luminaries in his Florida room interpretation.
An antique-inspired space filled with cantaloupe-green-colored furnishings will include a decorative chair owned by socialite Marjorie Post, founder of General Foods, and a woven wicker settee owned by Celia Lipton Farris, wife of the paper milk carton inventor.
"Everything here will have some kind of historical context by the movers and shakers of old Palm Beach society," says Reyes, of West Palm Beach. "It might not work, it might backfire on me, but I think we're creating magic."
Interior Design: The Florida Room
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, through March 29
Where: Cultural Council of Palm Beach County building, 601 Lake Ave, Lake Worth
Contact: 561-471-2901, PalmBeachCulture.com