TAKING A RITZ CARLTON PENTHOUSE FROM BARE TO BEAUTIFUL.
By Virginia Gil | Photography By Daniel Newcomb
When Jacqueline Frank set out to design one of the penthouses at the Ritz Carlton on Singer Island, it was Mother Nature who really called the shots. “We let the beautiful nature be the inspiration because we didn’t want to take away from that,” says Frank, a 20-year design veteran whose firm, Decorators Unlimited, was contracted to design the two-bedroom condominium. From the deep blues of the ocean and sky to the sandy beaches, the landscape not only dictated the décor but also provided the ultimate color palette for the space. “We brought the outside in with the soft colors.”
Our goal was to keep it clean and simple, while protecting the elegant view
To bring out the silvery and beige of the shore down below, Frank chose a neutral-tone sofa and light, airy fabrics for the living room. The pale beige colors of the living room, along with the wood tones found in the kitchen and as accent colors in various pieces of furniture, helped ground the space. To provide a coastal element, the designer opted for pops of color, such as the blue area rug and artwork, though she was careful not to overdo it. “I think the blue tones are getting overdone here in Florida, but they’re just so reflective of the ocean,” explains Frank of her decision to opt for the shade anyway. More importantly, the blue has a cooling effect that also helps with Florida’s year-round warm weather.
As for art, Frank chose artwork created by John Richards that featured subtle sceneries in soft colors. The trick, however, was finding art that was objective. “We wanted to find transitional pieces that were not too Old World but also not too contemporary so that it worked for the masses,” she said.
Frank focused on modern, sophisticated touches to ensure the design of the model apartment remained neutral. The window treatments were customized so that all window soffits were hidden behind the drapery. This way, window treatments and fixtures would not detract from the penthouse view of the ocean. “Our goal was to keep it clean and simple, while protecting the elegant view,” she explained. Classic wallpapering was then added to complement the custom fabrics and furnishings selected for each room.
Frank focused on modern, sophisticated touches to ensure the design of the model apartment remained neutral.
“It was all a layering process,” Frank explains of the tiered design. “The flooring was bare, so we started with the hard surfaces and moved on to furnishings and treatments,” she said. The last step was incorporating the softer pieces. For this, the team selected everything, including the floral arrangements. The furniture was custom upholstered by Steve Grafton, a local furniture manufacturer who specializes in creating exclusive pieces for each client, while the window custom treatments were created by Basic. “We inspect everything down to the doorknob—we’re there all the way.”
Thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of modern interior design, from flooring to flowers, the spacious Singer Island pent-house became glitz on the Ritz.