hen a native Floridian with a fondness for life on the coast was tasked with designing the interiors of a Jupiter vacation home for retired snowbirds, only the colors of the ocean and sky would do. The relaxing palette, specially requested by the homeowners, fulfills their wish for a serene spot where they could escape harsh New York winters and gather with their children and grandchildren.
Designer Kara Hebert, who led the project, spent her childhood in Jupiter riding her bicycle to the beach and taking family boating trips to the Bahamas–idyllic experiences that have “influenced my work and my lifestyle,” she says. Her latest endeavor is no exception: Hebert incorporated variations of soft blue throughout every room, creating a soothing atmosphere in the home by residential designer Dennis Rainho and general contractor Michael Maxwell. To ensure the pervasive primary color is subdued yet engaging, she incorporated shades of white and gray, introduced prints and presented varying hues and textures. The result is a seamless, calming getaway.
The residence’s restful tone is established in the entry courtesy of an abstract ocean watercolor, pale blue lamps and a chandelier made of white shells. From there, the great room takes over as the wide-open heart of the home, encompassing the kitchen, living area and dining area as well as leading to a family room and patio. Comfortable seating includes an approachable white sofa and four light blue chairs, two of which swivel–so during gatherings, occupants can turn toward any conversation. “Strong furniture and art placement in the great room were crucial,” Hebert says. “The space has a high ceiling and an abundance of natural light from windows and glass doors, a signature of Maxwell homes.” Clear handblown glass pendants allow unobstructed views from the living area to the kitchen’s focal shiplap wall, with the family room and patio on the right side and a stunning marble-walled laundry room on the left. “This sight line is my favorite view and probably the most interesting in the house,” the designer says. “It shows a layered effect, which is so important when using a singular color palette.”
To create more visual interest, Hebert selected a subtle patterned fabric for the living area’s swivel chairs and topped the sofa with throw pillows that add pops of blues and grays. For texture, she maintained wood as the main material for various tables, including round washed-mango-wood end tables, a square gray washed-wood coffee table and, in the dining area, a solid wood table surrounded by slate-colored upholstered chairs. “Because you can see into almost every space from the great room, I wanted a visual treat everywhere you looked,” Hebert says. Wooden elements reappear in the family room, where a lattice-back chair and a round drum coffee table retain the coastal vibe. Here, darker gray walls and a powder-blue linen sectional add to the cozy feel for movie nights and lounging. “This is the owners’ favorite room in the house,” Hebert says.
While much of the home gives a nod to the ocean, the master bedroom, where the wife requested a “cloud-like” feel, points toward the sky. Hebert combined a white custom rug, white linen draperies trimmed in seafoam and a comfy bed upholstered in the same powder-blue fabric as a nearby chaise. White linen bedside chests further soften the room, as do the cotton-sateen linens the designer acquired to outfit each bed in the house. The pampering continues in the spa-like master bathroom, where pale sky linen draperies frame a soaking tub. A dramatic wood bead chandelier and walls lined in horizontal shiplap reintroduce the beachy presence.
The restful spaces are more than what they seem: To stand up to the owners’ rescue dogs and visiting family members, Hebert incorporated performance materials throughout the home–notably Crypton fabrics on nearly all the upholstered pieces, including the living area sofa, the family room sectional, the dining chairs and even the master bedroom headboard and chaise. All of the countertops are engineered quartz, known for its durability. And there is not a carpet to be found: Rather, indoor-outdoor area rugs and durable tile that mimics wood provide proper footing for scampering feet. “I wouldn’t want to design a house that will stress someone out,” Hebert says. “I always tell my clients, I want their home to reflect their family and the way they live.”
It’s safe to say Hebert hit her mark: According to the wife, guests say their blood pressure drops in the peaceful environment. “So much of the gratification I get out of my job is making sure clients are comfortable in their home,” the designer says. “To me, that’s the best result.”
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