What is Palm Beach Style?

The first thing people think of when they hear “Palm Beach” style is immediately jump to the clothing.  Women decked out in Lilly Pulitzer and Jack Rogers sandals.  Men in polo shirts with popped collars, khakis and loafers with no socks.

Ok, ask them again what they think Palm Beach style is for home décor.  From most, you’ll get either a blank stare, or a repeat of their first statement – Lilly Pulitzer.  Lilly is definitely a staple in Palm Beach life.  But, to understand Palm Beach style décor – you just need to know that there’s something for everyone.  From the preppy to the modern – it’s all chic, timeless, done well, and with heart.

“You mean I don’t have to have a stuffy home to be “So Palm Beach?””

Not at all! Palm Beach style is kind of a spectrum:

  • Very Traditional: Regency Style – lots of moldings, gold leaf, very grand – my parents’ home is very much in this style.
  • Classic:  British Colonial Style – I call this the Palm Beach Bungalow style – this is the style I most gravitate towards.  Darker woods, less gold leaf, and more brass accents
  • Modern/Bold:  Hollywood Regency – Decorating this way is to take Palm Beach style and turn the color volume way up!  Much lighter woods – lots of white.  Accents in chrome, mirror, glass or Lucite.

The beautiful thing about Palm Beach style is that you don’t have to stick to one particular theme.  True Palm Beachers are well-traveled and have pieces of furniture, artwork and accessories that have been passed down through their families, as well as having been acquired through their travels.  The key to a true Palm Beach style home is to have a beautiful eclectic mix of furnishings that reflect you and your family.

Elements of Palm Beach style

(future blog posts will dive deep into each of these – for now, I’ve listed them all together):

  1. Chinoiserie – even if it’s just one piece of blue and white on a table with an orchid – chinoiserie seems to instantly anchor a space
  2. Bamboo furnishings or décor (not the plants) – whether real or (preferably) faux – wood, painted, metal.
    1. Lamps
    2. Coffee and/or end tables
    3. Nightstands and dressers trimmed in bamboo detail
    4. Flatware
  3. Sea life – nothing kitschy
    1. Shells
    2. Coral
  4. Palms – subtle touches (especially in your summer décor)
    1. Lamps
    2. Candlesticks
  5. Gallery Wall – similarly themed items framed alike and hung equally spaced to fill a blank wall.
  6. Flowers – at least one orchid in a beautiful statement pot to suit the room
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