In Florida, an intestinal renovation with grape nuances

For Barbara and Jeffrey Rosenberg, it took a makeover to realize they needed another. In the summer of 2017, the couple moved into thei...


For Barbara and Jeffrey Rosenberg, it took a makeover to realize they needed another.

In the summer of 2017, the couple moved into their newly renovated second home in Sag Harbor, NY, and were delighted to have a home that catered for their every whim and served as an awesome destination for entertaining family and friends.

So when they returned to their main home, a home in Delray Beach, Florida that they bought for $ 2.75 million in 2005, they couldn’t help but feel a little deflated. “The minute I walked into our Florida home, I said, ‘This house needs a makeover,’ said Mr. Rosenberg, 74, who is largely retired from a family owned business. investment and real estate development that he helped build. “We were spoiled in Sag Harbor.”

The 7,760 square foot home had been designed in a contemporary neoclassical style, and that no longer suited them. The coffered ceilings, the oversized moldings, the decorative columns, the picture windows, the antiques, everything suddenly seemed old.

They also wanted to correct any inconvenience they had endured for years, including the kitchen, which was oddly cramped considering the size of the house – and hardly ideal for Mr. Rosenberg, who likes few things more than prepare elaborate meals for guests.

“The kitchen was completely without windows,” he said, “so there was no natural light.”

In search of a new vision for the house, they turned to Allen Saunders, a Miami-based interior designer who designed a sleek, modern home for their son in nearby Boca Raton.

While the couple had specific ideas on what they wanted in the food-focused spaces – an expanded kitchen, large wine cellar, Italian pizza oven in the backyard – they didn’t give away. to Mr. Saunders only one directive for the rest of the house: ‘We want to come in and say’ Wow ‘, “said Mr. Rosenberg.” We literally said to Allen,’ You have free rein to do everything that you must do. “”

Relishing the challenge, Mr Saunders drew up plans for a gut-to-the-bone renovation that changed the floor plan and gave the house a decidedly modern interior with black, white and eggplant details, as well as many conversation starter pieces.

The design converted what was a five-bedroom home into a three-bedroom home – a master suite, a guest bedroom, and a bunk bed room for the couple’s grandchildren – complete with a gym, movie theater house and plenty of space for entertaining.

Just inside the main entrance is a living room centered around a huge chandelier with 55 bubbles of mouth-blown purple glass from Cameron Design House. “It’s supposed to be a ‘wow’ feature,” Saunders said. “Jeff collects wine, so we played around with that idea, with coloring and planning almost like grapes. “

The living room is open to the dining room, where Mr. Saunders has set up two custom gloss lacquer dining tables, end to end, for intimate family dinners and large gatherings. “We thought it would be strange to have four people sitting at a gigantic table,” he said. “So we split the table in two: one that can easily seat eight or nine people and one that can seat four or five people. “

Above the tables, a light installation of ocher cast glass droplets is also divided into two sections that can be individually controlled to illuminate a single area or the entire expanse.

For Mr. Rosenberg’s flagship kitchen, Mr. Saunders designed a space with two islands: a work island, with black granite and butcher’s block counters, for food preparation; and a more elegant 10 foot unit with curved ends, metal doors in bronze finish and Calacatta Viola marble top, for service. Three hinged panel doors conceal the refrigerator, freezer and pantry entry.

In the master suite, Mr Saunders added more aubergine details, including an upholstered headboard that extends almost to the ceiling, glossy lacquered doors in the bathroom, and lilac marble slabs that have a touch of color. subtle hints of violet.

After spending about two years on the new interior, the Rosenbergs also asked Mr. Saunders to transform the exterior space behind the house. There, he replaced the round pool with a rectangular pool integrated with a new terrace and built a wall of green and bronze enameled tiles that provides privacy for neighbors while amplifying the reflections of the water.

“I used the pool as a reflecting pond,” Saunders said. “And that wall has become a work of art in motion.”

After about nine months of additional construction outside, the project was finally completed last year, at a cost of around $ 2.5 million.

The couple are “totally thrilled” with the house, said Ms Rosenberg, 72, looking mildly impressed with the difference she makes today. “We can’t believe it.”

The end result was well worth it, Rosenberg added, although it took longer than expected.

“If you had asked me while we were building and had to live in a rental, maybe we would have had doubts about what we were doing,” he said. “But anyone who goes through a renovation, or a teardown and a rebuild, goes through this.”

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