Florida Design, vol. 15

Written by Barbara Marshall

Photographed by Robert Brantley

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When Susan and Jim Keenan remodeled a classic, Regency-style home on Palm Beach’s north end, they envisioned an interior for entertaining with ease. As 15-year residents of Palm Beach, the Keenans support many philanthropic causes and often host formal dinner parties.

“I believe that you give back to your community, and I was very involved in charities during my TV career,” says Susan, a former news anchor who worked in several states, including California.

The couple also wanted a comfortable home for their teenage son and his friends. “I never want them, or anyone else, to feel the house is too formal,” she says.

To realize their vision, the Keenans called on interior designer William R. Eubanks, who has worked with the couple on previous projects. Eubanks and Mitch Brown, is is vice president and a part of Eubanks’ design team, transformed the home’s raw space into the classic yet comfortable interior Susan and Jim desired.

From the loggia to the main living areas, the ambiance is warm and welcoming. Gracefully proportioned rooms with high ceilings bear witness to the designers’ meticulous attention to detail. “We like the scale of the rooms, but had to add molding and architectural elements to give the interior its formal structure,” Eubanks says.

Upon entering the foyer hints at the designers’ savvy mix of colors, periods and styles. On one wall, 18th-century-style, French sconces flank a Japanese screen that hangs above a Louis XVI-style console. Nearby, a Venetian black amoor guards the opening to the living room.

The foyer also introduces the soft yellow, gold, green and melon palette used throughout the interior. “I’m a Californian, and I had to have cheerful colors,” Susan says.

In the living room, the designers toned down the brilliant citrine walls with umber and cream glazes. “The finish has so much depth you can almost feel it,” Eubanks says. “We feel it’s a reflection of Susan’s energy and sunny personality.”

A cast-stone fireplace and an ornate gilt mirror from the French Regence period establish the room’s formal tone. In front of the fireplace, the designers placed facing gold linen sofas and a pair of English cane-back armchairs with velvet ocelot print cushions. A glass-topped cocktail table with an iron base draws the seating together.

On the cocktail table rests 16th-century Chinese tomb guardians, while the mantel features 19th-century bust. Lamps made from 18th-century altar candlesticks add to eclectic mix of furnishings.

“Susan really appreciates this fusion of exotic and Asian pieces, which is reminiscent of 19th-century rooms,” Eubanks says.

“Quiet elegance” describes the ambiance of the dining room, where a dazzling rock-crystal chandelier illuminates the Keenans’ 18th-century English table and Venetian chairs.

From the dining room, sliding French doors open to the sunroom, where a Murano-glass chandelier establishes the garden palette. Eubanks and Brown chose Cowtan & Tout’s floral linen to cover the sofa, chair and ottoman, and to fashion the draperies. Underfoot, a needlepoint area rug blooms with flowers.

“There was no fear of using color or pattern in this room,” Brown says. “We wanted to layer the colors and the textures.”

Yellow hues also prevail in the master suite, which includes a cozy sitting area. “Susan wanted to wake up happy, so we made her a silk cocoon.” Eubanks says.

Scalamandre’s silk wraps the walls, while Travers & Co.’s silk forms the sumptuous crown above the bed and lavish window treatments. Indeed, no caterpillar would ever morph into a butterfly if it meant having to leave this luxurious room.