When Trinity Reback, a design consultant with DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, received a commission to renovate a condominium in the Harbour Ridge neighborhood of Palm City, the project originally included upgrading the kitchen and enclosing a patio to create more indoor living space. It eventually turned into a full-scale gut-and-remodel.
The owners, Beverly and John Martin, were relocating from their primary residence in Kentucky and decided they would retire to South Florida, where they owned a vacation home they enjoyed. “Now they were ready for a forever home, and they decided they wanted it to be here,” Reback says.
The couple chose the two-bedroom-plus-den, 2,500-square foot condo in Harbour Ridge largely because it offers a spectacular view of the St. Lucie River. Perhaps because of her years in Kentucky, Beverly had a love for traditional Southern décor, but now she wanted something more contemporary. “We decided to do a modern take on traditional style,” Reback says. “They entertain a lot, and they wanted the home to be casual and comfortable, yet elegant with a classic feel.”
A CAREER CHANGE
For Reback, interior design represents a significant career change. “I started in advertising and marketing, but I wasn’t passionate about it,” she says. “Then one morning I woke up and decided I wanted something different, so I went back to school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.”
Reback was always fond of decorating. She remembers rearranging the furniture in her room as a little girl and the importance of decorating her college dorm room. “I’d always been passionate about it, but when I was starting out, I didn’t realize it was something I could do to make a living,” she says. “I love seeing the final product—looking at before and after pictures and seeing the transformation.”
COLOR, COLOR EVERYWHERE
For the main living areas, European white oak flooring creates a backdrop that is clean and fresh, yet warm and inviting. White crown molding throughout the home gives a traditional look, and is paired with flat baseboards for a more contemporary style. Walls in the main living areas are also a soft shade of white, but the homeowner loves color, especially navy blue and green, so color became a major player in the design.
To open up the main living space, a non-load bearing wall was taken down that divided the dining room from the kitchen. “The wall blocked the view of the river from the kitchen and interrupted the whole flow,” Reback says. “We turned the space into a very large kitchen, and now you can walk in and see the view of the river.”
Unlike many South Floridians who prefer all-white kitchens, one of Beverly’s first requests was for navy blue cabinets. Other designers, Beverly told Reback, had tried to discourage that choice. But Reback realized that not only could the colorful cabinets work, they would also be a stunning visual feature. “I loved her willingness to take risks with color,” Reback says. “So many people are afraid of it. She loves navy, but she also loves greens and browns, so we brought the colors of nature into her home.”
To balance the navy blue, Reback installed a white Thassos stone backsplash in a subway pattern, which is carried up behind the decorative white hood and between the upper and lower cabinets. Countertops are white quartz, and recessed and under-cabinet lighting illuminates the workspace. Cabinets and drawers around the perimeter of the kitchen add plenty of storage for Beverly, who loves to cook.
Panels in the same navy blue as the cabinets cover the refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. Cabinet and drawer pulls—some large-scale, some smaller for visual variety—have a satin brass finish that matches the plumbing fixtures.
In the center of the kitchen, white quartz crowns a large, 11-by-5-foot island. The custom piece contains navy blue storage cabinets and drawers, as well as a convection oven and vegetable sink. “A lot of people want a secondary color for the island, but she was committed to the navy,” Reback says. After raising the low ceiling, a tray that matches the footprint of the island was installed. Suspended from it are two circular brass-and-glass pendant lights.
In one corner of the kitchen is a wet bar area with a drink cooler, sink and coffee maker. Cabinets with mullion glass fronts are both decorative and functional. “We designed the kitchen with entertaining in mind,” Reback says.
THE LIVING ROOM
The living room is another testament to Beverly’s love of color. A pair of blue sofas flank a sea-green rug, all of which she furnished herself. The coffee and sofa tables were handmade by the Martins’ niece, Adrienne Romine, founder of Half Halt, a furniture design studio in Austin, Texas.
At one end of the space, Reback placed a built-in unit that houses a TV screen with storage underneath. Glass display shelves on either side open to the game room.
BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN
Enclosing the wraparound patio to increase interior living space was one of the main goals of the project. Poured concrete brought the outdoor floor to the same level as the interior of the home. Impact-resistant, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors replaced the patio screens.
Half of the U-shaped space has lush chairs in which to relax and a dining area that overlooks the river; above the table, ceiling beams house recessed lighting. On either side of the TV are glass shelves that open to the living room, while another opening acts as a passthrough to the bar in the kitchen, inviting family members or guests to stop by for a beverage. Bench seating has storage underneath.
In the den, walls are painted a rich green, creating a dramatic background for a white built-in desk and storage unit with open and closed shelves, drawers and cabinets. To improve traffic flow, a door was added to one side that opens to the living room.
Adjacent to the den is a guest bath, where green patterned wallpaper immediately draws the eye. Beverly liked the wall covering so much, she had a chair upholstered in the same color and pattern for the den.
The design team also pulled out the existing tub and converted the space into a large shower enclosed in frameless glass and lined with navy blue and white glass mosaic tile. Classic white countertops, cabinets and octagon-shaped porcelain floor tiles balance the deep colors. Hardware and fixtures have the same satin brass finish as in the kitchen. An eye-catching mirror has a gold ribbon-style frame.
In the master suite, the double-door entry changed to a single, creating space for a linen closet. In the bedroom, a navy blue painted wall is the backdrop for a large vintage map of the U.S. that the owners wanted to display. A large white built-in wall unit has a traditionally styled crown, bookshelves, an opening for a TV and storage underneath. A splash of navy accents the white bedspread.
To provide space for enlarging the closet, the team relocated the entry to the master bath, where red textured wallpaper adds rich color. They also enclosed the commode and removed an angled wall to accommodate a long, straight white vanity with cabinets, drawers and a makeup table topped with white quartz. Suspended over the double sinks are twin glass pendant lights.
After pulling out the existing large whirlpool tub, an oversized shower lined with large format, ice-colored glass tile replaced it. A rainhead, body sprays, and his-and-her bottle storage niches create a luxurious feel.
GUEST BEDROOM AND BATH
The guest bedroom is more subdued than most of the house. Walls are gray, and the medium-toned wood bed is a traditional style with two tall decorative posts. Woodside tables hold lamps with white drum shades, while a decorative ceiling fan adds a contemporary touch. In the bathroom, the wallpaper has an abstract pattern in soft browns and grays.
THE LAUNDRY ROOM
The laundry room is both stylish and functional. Dark blue wood cabinets with satin brass hardware provide ample storage. The polished stone backsplash matches the one in the kitchen. A quartz countertop offers folding space, and a sink can accommodate garments that need to be hand washed. The water heater relocated to a closet to make the space more attractive.
The newly renovated home now has the color and style the owners wanted, as well as space for the entertaining they love to do. “They put a lot of thought and consideration into every decision because they knew it was going to be their forever home,” Reback says.
The Martins are delighted with the results. “We wanted something cozy but more contemporary than what we had before,” Beverly says. “We’re very happy with the way it turned out.”